News & Events


Energy in the News: Friday, November 9

Events today, November 9

The University of Michigan Presents Symposium: Shaping Future Cities
NERS Colloquium: Matteo Bucci, Ph.D
ARC Collaborative Research Seminar Series

Congrats to Arun Agrawal, who has been appointed to the editorial board of PNAS!

Check out this week’s Energy Economics Weekly Briefing by Ellen Hughes-Cromwick: Electrified Vehicle Sales in the UK

Funding announcement: The Global Engineering Education Exchange (Global E3), of which Michigan is a member university, recently received a NSF grant to support PhD candidates to conduct research abroad for a period of 3-6 months Spring/Summer/Fall 2019.  UM CoE can nominate two PhD candidates to compete for the 10 funded research experiences, amongst the 34 US University members of Global E3. Faculty are encouraged to submit nominations using the form linked here. Nominations must be submitted by end of day, Tuesday, November 13. A CoE faculty committee will review the nominations and select 2 nominations to forward to the Global E3 for consideration.

It’s high time to find a CAFE middle ground
Automotive News, featuring Trish Koman
Stakeholders and interested citizens have officially weighed in about the Trump administration’s efforts to freeze vehicle fuel efficiency standards at the 2020 model year.
The auto industry and public interest groups must now nervously wait while NHTSA and the EPA cull through more than 100,000 written filings, plus testimony from three listening sessions, and then draft their final rule-making — expected sometime next year.If the White House sticks to its plan, an onslaught of lawsuits from state attorneys general and environmental and consumer groups will follow to stop its implementation, ushering in more uncertainty for automakers that want to know the rules of the game for 2021-25 so they can make research, investment and operational plans that require long lead times.
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Meet The First Black Woman To Earn A Nuclear Engineering Ph.D. From Nation’s Top Program
Huffington Post, featuring NERS
Ciara Sivels knew she was going to make history, but she really wanted to focus on finishing her Ph.D. program first.
Sivels, a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, is the first black woman to earn a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan, the top program in the country.
“It was something that was in the back of my mind as I was going through the program,” Sivels told HuffPost. “So yeah, it was something that I thought about, but I tried not to make it the focus because I didn’t want to add more stress to the rigor of the program.”
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COLORADO MATTERS PODCAST: Jared Polis Is Your New Governor; Hickenlooper Reflects On Democrats’ Trifecta, His Future
Featuring Daniel Raimi (at the 37-minute mark)
What’s next for oil and gas after Colorado’s Prop 112 and 74 fail? Daniel Raimi discusses the often more nuanced views of voters who live close to oil and gas fields.
Listen here

Scott Walker denied 3rd term as Trump hits Rust Belt wall
E&E News, featuring Barry Rabe
Barry Rabe, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said, “Clearly, the Trump margins you saw in 2016 did not carry over into 2018. I’m not quite sure what that means for 2020, but certainly, if Wisconsin flips, you’re going to have a very different configuration of Midwest governors, with potentially huge implications for energy and environmental policies.”
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Barry Rabe was also quoted in the Associated Press: Voters reject carbon fee, OK ban on local soda taxes

4 ballot measures that could shape U.S. climate policy
E&E News, featuring Barry Rabe
Climate change has been overshadowed by health care, immigration and the economy on the campaign trail. But a series of ballot initiatives across the West have the potential to reshape U.S. climate policy.
“In some ways, these four ballot propositions might tell us more about the future of climate policy than who controls the House or Senate,” said Barry Rabe, a professor who studies carbon pricing at the University of Michigan. “This shows the range of policy approaches that are out there. One is your straight-up carbon tax. But my goodness, for two of these to go back to the energy mandate model, and throw in one that effectively bans fracking in parts of Colorado, it’s an amazing compilation of policy.”
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This article was also reprinted in Scientific American.

Feeling Guilty About Your Carbon Footprint? Go Vote.
Outside, featuring Joe Arvai
Last winter, I took a trip to Vermont. The 3,662-mile round-trip journey spewed 1.3 tons (2,600 pounds) of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per passenger—at least, that’s what Native Energy’s carbon calculator told me. I felt sick.
Travel is one of the great ironies of the outdoor lifestyle. It’s the foundation for almost everything we do, be it driving to the trailhead after work, road-tripping to climb in Yosemite, or flying to Japan for that dream ski trip. It’s also one of the biggest contributors to climate change, which threatens the wild places we cherish.
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Democrats Plan to Revive House Climate Committee
House Democrats are planning to resurrect a special committee focused on climate change, giving them a platform to spotlight an issue on which polls show President Donald Trump is out of step with the public.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California will ask her colleagues to reconstitute the select committee, which was created under her watch 11 years ago and disbanded by Republicans after they took control of the House in January 2011. The plan was described by senior Democratic aides who asked not to be named before a formal announcement.
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Voters rejected most ballot measures aimed at curbing climate change
Washington Post
In Arizona, voters said no to accelerating the shift to renewable energy. In Colorado, they said no to an effort to sharply limit drilling on non-federal land. And a measure to make Washington the first state to tax carbon emissions appears to have fallen short.
The failure of environmental ballot measures in Arizona and Colorado — and the likely defeat of a proposal to impose fees on carbon emissions in Washington state — underscore the difficulty of tackling a global problem such as climate change at the state and local level, where huge sums of money poured in on both sides.
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Mining bitcoin uses more energy than mining gold
Cryptocurrencies have an image problem.
For the past few years, cryptocurrency networks like bitcoin have gained a reputation as energy hogs, eliciting headlines comparing their energy consumption to that of mid-sized countries.
Now, a new analysis shows mining bitcoin uses more energy, dollar for dollar, than mining gold.
“It was definitely surprising,” environmental engineer Max Krause said of his findings, published today in the journal Nature Sustainability.
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The Battery Boom Will Draw $1.2 Trillion in Investment by 2040
The battery boom is coming to China, California and basically everywhere else—and it will be even bigger than previously thought.
The global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 gigawatts by 2040, according to a new forecast from Bloomberg NEF published Tuesday, and that growth will necessitate $1.2 trillion in investment. Sharply falling battery costs is a key driver of the boom. BNEF sees the capital cost of a utility-scale lithium-ion storage system falling another 52 percent by 2030.
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Hydropower to Become Unsustainable as Climate Changes, Study Says
Bloomberg Environment
Large hydropower dams will become a less sustainable source of renewable energy as the climate changes, especially in the developing world, according to a report released Nov. 5.
Unpredictable weather extremes, especially severe climate-driven droughts, are likely to reduce the dams’ ability to generate electricity, concluded the Michigan State University study.
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Environmental group: Keep open nuclear power plants
A high-profile, science-based environmental nonprofit is calling for financially struggling nuclear power plants to remain open, citing their benefits to tackling climate change.
Why it matters: In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists is joining a growing number of environmental leaders to back existing nuclear power because of climate reasons, despite continued concerns about the technology’s safety and radioactive waste. The increased support could help keep open some power plants.
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