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Category Archives: Energy

World Bank Commodity Markets Outlook October 2016

World Bank Raises 2017 Oil Price Forecast – “Most commodity prices continued to rise in the third quarter from their lows in early 2016 . Crude oil prices are forecast to rise to $55 per barrel in 2017 from an average of $43/bbl this year as the market continues to rebalance and OPEC is likely to limit output. Metals prices are projected to rise more sharply in 2017 than forecast in July, as a result of faster-than-expected mine closures. Agricultural commodities prices are anticipated to rise slightly in 2017 after a minimal decline this year but with wide variations in the outlook for different commodities depending on supply conditions. This issue of the Commodity Markets Outlook analyzes OPEC’s recent decision to limit output by examining earlier commodity agreements and assessing the implications of changing market forces over the past decades. It concludes that commodity agreements have limited ability to influence global prices over extended periods of time and eventually collapse, often with unintended consequences. The ability of OPEC, the only surviving commodity organization seeking to influence markets, will be tested in the presence of unconventional oil suppliers, notably the U.S. shale oil industry…”

The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience

Virtual Human Interaction Lab: “This experience is free to download and can be viewed on the HTC Vive. There are two ways to download: Steam:; Viveport: “Most people have never heard of ocean acidification—the process by which the ocean becomes more acidic as it absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been emitted into the… Continue Reading

EPA IG Reports Drinking Water Contamination in Flint

Follow up to previous postings on water contamination in Flint, Michigan – see the EPA IG report, Management Alert: Drinking Water Contamination in Flint, Michigan, Demonstrates a Need to Clarify EPA Authority to Issue Emergency Orders to Protect the Public – and accompanying pocast and video, posted on October 201, 2016: “This report is an… Continue Reading

GAO – EPA estimates over $650 billion in expenditures for cities to upgrade water infrastructure

Water Infrastructure: Information on Selected Midsize and Large Cities with Declining Populations, GAO-16-785: Published: Sep 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2016 “EPA estimates water and sewer utilities will need to spend $655 billion over the next 20 years to maintain, upgrade, or replace water infrastructure. Many midsize and large cities that lost a large… Continue Reading

Energy-related CO2 emissions for first six months of 2016 are lowest since 1991

EIA – “U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions totaled 2,530 million metric tons in the first six months of 2016. This was the lowest emissions level for the first six months of the year since 1991, as mild weather and changes in the fuels used to generate electricity contributed to the decline in energy-related emissions.… Continue Reading

UNESCO – Water, Megacities and Global Change: Challenges and Solutions

Water, Megacities and Global Change: Portraits of 15 Emblematic Cities of the World “Each of the megacities in this publication has specific local conditions characterizing their geographic, climatic, hydrogeologic, demographic and economic situations. However, they also share similar water governance challenges with multiple actors focused on their own duties and concerns. As such, they can work together to… Continue Reading

CRS – Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions, Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. September 21, 2016. “The comprehensive nuclear accord (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), finalized on July 14, 2015, provides Iran broad relief from U.S., U.N., and multilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy, financial, shipping, automotive, and other sectors. Sanctions were suspended or lifted upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certification on… Continue Reading

NISO Releases Altmetrics Recommended Practice

“The National Information Standards Organization has published NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the NISO Alternative Assessment Project. This recommended practice on altmetrics, an expansion of the tools available for measuring the scholarly impact of research in the knowledge environment, was developed by working groups that were part of NISO’s Altmetrics Initiative, a project funded by the… Continue Reading

US traffic fatalities up sharply in 2015 to 35,092

“The nation lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014. The final data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed traffic deaths rising across nearly every segment of the population. The last single-year… Continue Reading

American landfills and waste production – landfills over time, size and location

How Much Trash in Near Your Home?: “The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. It may not seem all that astonishing on the surface, but with 323.7 million people living in the United States, that is roughly 728,000 tons of daily garbage – enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. That is… Continue Reading

New Pilot Study on Measuring OECD Countries’ Starting Positions on Sustainable Development Goals

“On July 14 2016 the OECD presented its Pilot Study on Measuring OECD Countries’ Starting Positions on the SDGs in the margins of the UN High-Level Political Forum on the SDGs in New York.  The Study, Measuring the Distance to the SDGs Targets, piloted on selected OECD countries, leverages on the OECD work on well-being… Continue Reading

EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks

“Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The final phase two standards were called for by President Obama’s… Continue Reading