Friday, August 25, 2017

Are environmental rules really job killers?

E&E News, feat. John DeCicco

Shortly after last year's election, President-elect Trump pledged to "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy."

Rolling back these federal regulations, Trump said in a video, would lead to the creation of "many millions of high-paying jobs."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This week's takeaways:

  • - Energy price inflation at the retail level collapsed in the mid- 2014 through mid-2016.
  • - Overall consumers are facing attractive pricing across the board, from the pump to the grid.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Red team-blue team? Debating climate science should not be a cage match

The Conversation, feat. Richard Rood

Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for a “red team-blue team” review to challenge the science behind climate change. “The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” he said on a radio show, adding he hoped to hold the exercise in the fall.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Electric vehicle sales are growing at a double digit pace.

  • -  Electrified vehicles are one pathway to increased vehicle automation and cutbacks in emissions.

  • -  But this trend will likely play out over several years, even if you think autonomous vehicles are coming quickly. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gas mileage hits best mark in three years

University of Michigan News, feat. Michael Sivak

Fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month reached its highest level since August 2014, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) in July was 25.4 mpg—up 0.3 mpg from June and just 0.1 mpg less than the peak of 25.5 mpg three years ago.

Friday, August 04, 2017

'Missing lead' in Flint water pipes confirms cause of crisis

University of Michigan News, feat. Brian Ellis

A study of lead service lines in Flint's damaged drinking water system reveals a Swiss cheese pattern in the pipes' interior crust, with holes where the lead used to be.

Friday, August 04, 2017
Energy Economics Weekly Briefings, by UMEI Senior Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, will feature an economist's look at the national transportation, energy, economic, and environmental landscape.
Ellen Hughes-Cromwick
Friday, July 28, 2017

Ethanol friends and foes spar in House hearing

E&E News, feat. John DeCicco

Advocates and critics of biofuels brought their disagreement over the alternative fuel to a congressional hearing yesterday, as Congress remains stuck over tinkering with federal ethanol mandates.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It is difficult to imagine a more precipitous pivot from the energy, environment and climate policies of the Obama administration to those of the Trump administration. Coal, domestic oil and gas, and pipelines are in; the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards are in suspended animation; the U.S. has announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and climate change is not to be spoken of in Federal agencies. One could be forgiven a feeling of whiplash. Against this backdrop, the work of the Energy Institute and its faculty affiliates has taken on new urgency.

Energy Institute Director Mark Barteau
Friday, July 21, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions

University of Michigan News, feat. Suljo Linic

An exotic interaction between light and metal can be harnessed to make chemical reactions more sustainable, but the physics behind it has been widely debated in the field.

Now, a study from the University of Michigan has shown how a light-harvesting metal transfers energy to a catalytic metal, opening the way for better catalyst designs.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A crony cartel is running the corn crop

Houston Chronicle, feat. John DeCicco

The Environmental Protection Agency has reduced the mandate for renewable fuels, but subsidies for ethanol, the worst crony capitalism program in the country, will continue.

The announcement last week by President Donald Trump's EPA director, Scott Pruitt, reveals the difficulty in draining the Washington swamp. Republican politicians in the Midwest must appease corn farmers, who have become addicted to billions of dollars in government subsidies.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Business has much more to do if it wants to be a climate leader

The Globe and Mail, feat. Joe Arvai

If there’s one group that’s basking in the long shadow cast by Donald Trump’s ill-fated decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, it’s business. In story after story, reporters and pundits are hailing businesses – large and small – as the would-be saviours of much needed progress in the efforts to curb the risks associated with climate change.