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Category Archives: Energy

Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress

Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress. Jane A. Leggett, Coordinator, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy. February 23, 2015.
“This report reviews current actions (as of January 2015) of selected federal departments and agencies to adapt their own missions, infrastructure, operations, and personnel to projected climate change. (It does not address federal programs meant primarily to assist others to adapt, although the boundary is often hard to delineate.) This synthesis is not comprehensive. It identifies common approaches among agencies, examples of specific actions, and notable barriers the federal government faces. As of December 2014, almost 40 federal departments and agencies had, to varying degrees, produced climate change adaptation plans, climate change vulnerability assessments, adaptation milestones, and/or metrics to evaluate adaptation performance. These efforts have identified wide-ranging vulnerabilities to potential climate changes, as well as some opportunities. Most agencies are in formative stages of their assessments and strategic planning. Some agencies are embarking on more detailed analyses and limited implementation actions. Overall, few examples are apparent of day-to-day agency decisions or actions that are different as a result of their adaptation efforts. Numerous challenges face federal officials in their efforts, including constrained resources, data gaps regarding location-specific climate changes or existing facilities, insufficient personnel training, and—sometimes—low priority among priorities. CRS identified few on-the-ground adaptations and few evaluations, as yet, of the effectiveness and efficiency of alternative adaptation approaches and actions. It may not be possible to tally budgetary resources associated with federal adaptation efforts. While some are reported in the President’s budget proposals, many are indivisible from the activities with which they are associated, reflecting more of a change in how efforts are undertaken than a change in level of effort.”

New GAO Reports – African Growth and Opportunity Act, DOE Real Property, Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, Foster Care, IRS Investment

African Growth and Opportunity Act: Lessons Learned from Other Countries’ Trade Arrangements with Sub-Saharan Africa, GAO-15-393R: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2015. DOE Real Property: Better Data and a More Proactive Approach Needed to Facilitate Property Disposal, GAO-15-305: Published: Feb 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2015. Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request:Continue Reading

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the US

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the United States. Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy J Michalek.  Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/es505621s Publication Date (Web): February 11, 2015. “We characterize the effect of regional temperature differences on battery electric vehicle (BEV) efficiency, range, and use-phase CO2 emissions inContinue Reading

PSE Citation Database on Shale & Tight Gas Development

“This citation database provides bibliographic information, abstracts, and links to many of the vetted scientific papers housed in the PSE Healthy Energy Library, as well as other peer-reviewed journal articles. This database is a near exhaustive and evolving list of the peer-reviewed literature that directly pertains to shale and tight gas development. This literature is organizedContinue Reading

Analysis of the oil and gas industry’s case for fracking

The Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) Report – Frackademia in Depth: “In the wake of New York State’s decision to ban fracking, drilling proponents have criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration for basing the decision on “pseudo science” and “junk science.” When asked about the New York fracking ban at his 2015 “State of AmericanContinue Reading

What is the Smart Grid?

“Maybe you have heard of the Smart Grid on the news or from your energy provider. But not everyone knows what the grid is, let alone the Smart Grid. “The grid,” refers to the electric grid, a network of transmission lines, substations, transformers and more that deliver electricity from the power plant to your homeContinue Reading

Proposed efficiency standard may eliminate noncondensing gas furnaces

EIA: “Following a court challenge that caused a previous proposal to be sent back for further analysis, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a new proposed rulemaking to increase the minimum efficiency standards for gas furnaces, which are mostly fueled by natural gas but also include propane furnaces. Gas furnaces are one ofContinue Reading

Final Assessment: What We Have Learned From Our Inspections of Incinerators and Use of Burn Pits in Afghanistan

“This report presents SIGAR’s final assessment of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) use of incinerators and open-air burn pits to dispose of solid waste in Afghanistan. The facts and concluding observations contained in this report are based on inspections conducted by SIGAR between October 2012and June 2014 at Camp Leatherneck, Forward Operating Base Salerno, ForwardContinue Reading

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. Science Advances 01 Feb 2015: Vol. 1 no. 1 e1400082. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400082.  “In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent thanContinue Reading

First Clothes Dryers to Earn EPA’s Energy Star Label Now Available Nationwide

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Energy Star certified clothes dryers are now available nationwide through major retailers. At least 45 models of dryers earning the Energy Star label, including Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, LG, and Safemate, are at least 20 percent more efficient and now available at prices comparable to standard dryers. “DryersContinue Reading

Japan plans to restart some nuclear plants in 2015 after Fukushima shutdown

EIA: “Previously one of the world’s largest producers of nuclear-generated electricity, Japan has relied heavily on fossil fuels following the meltdown at Fukushima Dai-ichi and subsequent shutdown of the country’s nuclear fleet. In 2013, when almost all of Japan’s nuclear fleet was shut down, more than 86% of Japan’s generation mix was composed of fossilContinue Reading

Using ESPCs to Finance Federal Investments in Energy-Efficient Equipment

CBO Report – “A variety of laws and executive orders require federal agencies to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and to pursue a range of other energy-related goals. Because the availability of annual appropriations is limited, the Administration encourages federal agencies to use other types of financing—such as energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs)—toContinue Reading