Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

Another Strike Against the RFS

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  biofuels  ethanol  co2 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2015

There’s more scholarly research challenging the oft-heard claim that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its requirements for increasing use of biofuels is good for the environment and climate.

The claimed environmental benefits of the RFS have been questioned before by organizations including the Environmental Working Group and ActionAid, as well as University of Minnesota researchers.

Now a paper published this month by University of Michigan Energy Institute researchers argues that the government-sponsored model used to calculate biofuels’ carbon footprint is flawed. The paper says a more accurate accounting method shows that corn ethanol doesn’t have an edge over petroleum gasoline when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

Research by the institute’s John DeCicco and Rashmi Krishnan (sponsored by API) found that assumed biofuel carbon neutrality that’s built into the government-sponsored model “does not hold up for real-world biofuel production.”

More »

Natural Gas and CO2 Emissions

air quality  co2 emissions  natural gas 

Erik Milito

Erik Milito
Posted July 17, 2015

Earlier this week Climate Central posted a story on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants noting that 41 states experienced reductions from 2008 to 2013, according to a study by Ceres, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Bank of America and four large utilities. 

More »

Climate Doers

climate  greenhouse gases  greenhouse gas mitigation  co2 emissions  president obama  oil and natural gas development  american energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 20, 2015

More unhelpful talk from the administration directed at America’s energy industry – strange, given the key role played by the oil and natural gas industry in the nation’s recovery from recession, in reducing oil imports, in making the U.S. more secure in the world and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, all on the current administration’s watch.

It’s not that some in the administration haven’t noticed these positives. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at CSIS this week:

“… it’s no coincidence that our economic recovery has been accompanied by the biggest energy transformation of our lifetimes. The energy revolution we experienced in these last six years helped spur the recovery, but it’s also been accelerated by the policies our country put in place. Since 2008, American oil production has surged, from 5 million to 9 million barrels a day. And our dependence on foreign oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years. … These shifts in U.S. energy markets aren’t marginal or temporary. They are tectonic shifts …”

... Yet, in a recent interview President Obama talked about energy companies and climate change in adversarial, unproductive tones – echoing other administration messaging lately that borrows from the activist community. Like that messaging, these recent remarks are divorced from reality.

More »

Shale Natural Gas is Reducing Emissions, Increasing Opportunity

co2 emissions  natural gas benefits  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  economic growth  manufacturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 4, 2014

It’s hard to overstate the significance of the role that abundant, clean-burning natural gas had in bringing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to a 20-year low in 2012. While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected 2013 emissions to inch up – mostly due to increased coal use in electrical generation – the projected level still would be more than 10 percent below where emissions were in 2005

While lowering CO2 emissions is talked about in various circles, the fact is the United States already is doing it, thanks largely to natural gas – 60 percent of the U.S. total produced with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

More »

Investing in All of the Above

Environment  co2 emissions  greenhouse gas mitigation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 10, 2013

Let the numbers sink in from a new T2 and Associates study that details the oil and natural gas industry’s investments in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions starting with $81 billion – industry’s investment in GHG mitigation technologies between 2000 and 2012.

More »

Natural Gas Notables

access  co2 emissions  hydraulic fracturing  natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 16, 2013

A pair of noteworthy items point to the sustainability of America’s shale natural gas revolution – and also its added benefits.

First, the newest biennial report by the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) says the United States has a total future natural gas supply of 2,688 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as of the end of 2012, a significant increase from its 2010 year-end estimate. Details:

  • 2,384 tcf in technically recoverable reserves, including 2,226 tcf from conventional sources, tight sands and carbonates and shales, plus 158 tcf in coalbed reserves. The overall future supply number is the sum of PGC’s technically recoverable figure and the Energy Department’s latest figure for proved reserves (dry gas).
  • Compared to the year-end 2010 estimate, assessed resources increased by 28 percent.
  • The assessment is the highest in PGC’s 48-year history.

More »

Shale Gas Emissions Study: Garbage In, Garbage Out

coal  fracking  greenhouse gas emissions  hydraulic fracturing  hydrofracking  methane  rhetoric vs reality  carbon dioxide emissions  carbon emissions  co2  eid  energy in depth  methane emissions  natural gas pipelines 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 13, 2011

Calling it "an annual rite of spring," Energy In Depth (EID) debunks the latest Cornell "study" on emissions from shale gas development. Although the study got the attention of The New York Times and other major publications, EID points out on its blog that this isn't the first time that Cornell University Professor Robert Howarth has issued studies or abstracts alleging that shale gas production, especially the process of hydraulic fracturing, emits more methane than previously thought. His goal: casting a pall on the environmental benefits of using clean-burning natural gas. 

More »

ETR 127 The Impact of EPA Regulations

clean air act  co2  congress  energy policy  epa  epa regulations  ghg  greenhouse gas  greenhouse gas emissions  accf  carbon dioxide 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 1, 2011

In today's episode, I interview the American Council for Capital Formation's Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Margo Thorning about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. 

More »

Proposed Truck Regulations: 'An Empty Suit'

co2  energy policy  environmental protection agency  epa  ghg  ghg emissions  greenhouse gas  greenhouse gas emissions  over regulation 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted November 5, 2010

In another example of overreaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have joined forces to produce the first ever greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses. 

More »