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Category Archives: Energy

EU law requires companies to fix electronic goods for up to 10 years

Euronews: “Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers, or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent. The “right to repair,” as it is sometimes called, comes into force across the 27-nation bloc on Monday. It is part of a broader effort to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods by making them more durable and energy-efficient. “This is a really big step in the right direction,” said Daniel Affelt of the environmental group BUND-Berlin, which runs several “repair cafes” where people can bring in their broken appliances and get help fixing them up again. Modern appliances are often glued or riveted together, he said. “If you need special tools or have to break open the device, then you can’t repair it.”

…Each year, Europeans produce more than 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of electrical waste per person. About half of that junk is due to broken household appliances, and the EU recycles only about 40% of it, leaving behind huge amounts of potentially hazardous material.German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that the next step should see manufacturers forced to state how long a product is expected to work for and repair it if it breaks down earlier. This would encourage companies to build more durable products, she said…”

See also TechRepublic – Right to repair moves forward for your broken devices. But campaigners want to go much further

Access Denied: Federal Web Governance Under the Trump Administration

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), February 2021: “The Trump administration pushed the boundaries of rules, guidelines, and norms in most areas of governance. Manipulating public information was a key tactic, which included dramatic and damaging changes to federal agency websites relating to environmental regulations. These changes led the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative… Continue Reading

Majority of Americans Confident in Biden’s Handling of Foreign Policy as Term Begins

Pew Report – “President Joe Biden begins his term with a majority of Americans having confidence in his ability to handle international affairs. In a new Pew Research Center survey, 60% of U.S. adults have confidence in Biden on foreign policy – fewer than said the same of Barack Obama as his presidency began (74%)… Continue Reading

To Avoid a Repeat of Blackouts, Researcher Suggests Diversifying

Medium – Big Idea: Thousands of Californians suffered blackouts this fall, but research offers steps for utilities to prevent similar outages in the future. “In October and November, more than 800,000 Californians lost power, when Pacific Gas & Electric turned off transmission lines to prevent wildfires. In 2011, 54 Japanese nuclear plants were closed, after a… Continue Reading

Power Outages in Texas

CRS Insight – Power Outages in Texas, February 17, 2021: “Texas’s power outages, many experts argue, are largely a result of policies for electricity independence that the state has pursued for decades. Texas operates its own independent electrical grid, run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) that serves most of the state. Texas… Continue Reading

How are bitcoin created?

The Hustle – “An illustrated guide to bitcoin mining, blockchains, and the “minting” process of cryptocurrency’s most popular coin. Bitcoin has had a banner start to the year. Less than 2 months after breaking the $20k barrier for the first time, the digital currency more than doubled in price, hitting a high of $49,344 this… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber Releases In-Depth Analysis of U.S.-China Economic Relationship

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s China Center, in partnership with Rhodium Group, released a new analysis today examining the complexity of the U.S.-China economic relationship. A first-of-its-kind study, “Understanding U.S.-China Decoupling: Macro Trends and Industry Impacts” seeks to better understand the degree to which the U.S. and Chinese economies are intertwined and dependent on each… Continue Reading

Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation

CDC- Schools and Child Care Programs​ – Plan, Prepare, and Respond – “As communities plan safe delivery of in-person instruction in K-12 schools, it is essential to decide when and under what conditions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is critical for… Continue Reading

Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina’

BBC News: “”Mining” for the cryptocurrency is power-hungry, involving heavy computer calculations to verify transactions. Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year – and is unlikely to fall unless the value of the currency slumps. Critics say electric-car firm Tesla’s decision to invest heavily in Bitcoin undermines its environmental image. The… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Preview of 2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings

CRS Report – Supreme Court Preview of2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings, Updated February 11, 2021: “The Supreme Court 2019-2020 term, which started on October 1, 2019, was historic in unexpected ways. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the Court indefinitely closing its building to the public, postponing… Continue Reading