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Can the WTO Take a Lesson from the Paris Climate Playbook?

Climate negotiators have looked longingly at how the World Trade Organization (WTO) was able to negotiate effective international agreements. But ironically, the Paris climate talks and the WTO negotiations, which were set to take place the following week in Nairobi, lead to the opposite conclusion. read more

An Ill-Conceived Tax Idea

Recently we learned that President Obama's final budget proposal includes a plan to raise money for transportation projects and other uses by imposing a per-barrel tax on US oil companies. Here are a few quick thoughts on this ill-conceived idea. read more

Canada Makes Big Decisions to Further Strengthen its Commitment to Nuclear Power

When we think about nuclear power around the world these days, two things come to mind – the rapid growth in Asia led by China fueling the industry forward, and the challenges facing the industry in the west with some plants closing early in the USA and new build projects in Europe being delayed. read more


A Pathway to the Distributed Grid; Evaluating the economics of distributed energy resources and outlining a pathway to capturing their potential value Ryan Hanley, February 2016 (SolarCity) Executive Summary Designing the electric grid for the twenty-first century is one of today’s most important and exciting societal challenges. Show More Summary


CLIMATE CHANGE IN WATER COLORS Painting Climate Change Peter Sinclair, February 4, 2016 (Climate Denial Crock of the Week) "…Climate data is usually seen in pixels, spreadsheets, and maps. But watercolor paintings? Not so much. That’s what makes a growing series of paintings by Maine-based artist Jill Pelto so striking. Show More Summary

Realizing our True (Solar) Potential

Nations worldwide are increasingly embracing solar power as an alternative electricity source for homes, buildings, and even the grid. Since 2008, installed solar capacity in the United States alone has grown 17-fold, from 1.2 to 20 gigawatts (GW), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. read more

What EPA Should Consider on Their Final "Fracking" Assessment

Questions about if and how hydraulic fracturing activities (what is called “fracking” by some) can contaminate drinking water have been top-of-mind for many since the practice started getting widespread public attention about a decade ago. read more

Is Carbon Capture for Natural Gas the Missing Climate Solution?

Natural gas with carbon capture and storage could be an ideal long-term cheap and reliable low-carbon energy source. When most people in energy policy or markets hear “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), they think of coal generation. And rightly so. read more

It's All About the Transition

The ambition embodied within the Paris Agreement argues for the need to reach a state of net zero anthropogenic emissions around the middle of the century, although the text of the Agreement is less stringent and points to the second half of the century for a balance between sinks and sources. read more

India Takes Another Step Toward Deals With U.S. Nuclear Vendors

In a step towards opening its market to the nuclear reactors vendors of western nations, India recently finally signed off on to an international agreement on liability for damages in the event of a nuclear accident. The action has been pending since 2007. read more

Proposing an Overdue Oil and Climate Security Fee

The President proposed a 21st Century Clean Transportation Initiative loaded with interesting policy, the most attention-grabbing of which is a $10-per-barrel oil fee to be phased in over 5 years. The revenue from it drives a portfolio of investments in better, cleaner transportation. read more

Renewable Jet fuels: The Current State of Affairs

Jet fuel conventionally is produced from petroleum crude refining. Its composition depends on the raw crude oil, but the composition is typically around 20% paraffins, 40% isoparaffins, 20% naphthenes and 20% aromatics. Each of these components has a very specific role. read more

Super Bowl Waste Management Victory Goes to Geospatial Technology

Super Bowl 50 victory went to the Denver Broncos last night but the waste management winner was Trimble Geospatial Solutions, which provided the geospatial technology used to clean up illegal dumping sites across San Jose, California. As Waste360 reports, the city has seen a 75 percent increase in illegal dumping over the past several years. […]

Why We’re Seeing the Beginning of a Multi-Billion Dollar Ecosystem Marketplace

A little-noticed announcement by the US Department of Interior in late 2015 reflects an emerging paradigm shift in natural resource conservation — and the role market-based solutions will play as the nation ramps up efforts to save America’s imperiled species and landscapes. The new initiative to launch a Natural Resource Investment Center comes as the […]

Ask Hunker Harry: Good weather news is bad news for US steel

Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog who predicts the longevity of the US winter each year, did  not see his shadow last week, indicating an early spring. This is only the 18th time in 130 years that the groundhog failed to see his shadow. An emcee at the Groundhog Day event in a chilly northwestern Pennsylvania town […]

Coercion and Boondoggles in the Name of Green Transportation

Randal O'Toole For most of Obama’s years as president, he has opposed raising the gas tax. Now, in his last, lame-duck year, he is proposing a $10 per barrel tax on oil. Since a 42-gallon barrel of oil produces about 45 gallons of gasoline,...Show More Summary

Obama Proposes $10-Per-Barrel Oil Tax

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will propose a $10-per-barrel fee paid by oil companies to fund investments in low-carbon transportation. The oil tax, which would be phased in over five years, is part of the president’s 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan. The plan would increase by $20 billion per year above current levels spending on […]

Sanctions failed to take a bite out of Russia’s oil patch: Fuel for Thought

International sanctions against Russia introduced in 2014 turned out not to be the bogeyman they first seemed to be, and could in fact have played a key role in helping the Russian oil sector to not only handle the sharp price drop over the last year and a half, but make the industry more efficient […]

Jumping the Track Revisited

Update: I think this text still holds up and can be applied to issues that we face in the 2016 election. My conclusions point to thinking errors that Bernie Sanders has inherited from a sorta pseudo liberal ideology that he calls Socialism, but is not in fact derived from classical Socialism. Show More Summary

3 Ways the Texas Grid is Getting Smarter Thanks to the DoE's SunShot Initiative

Recently, GridWise Alliance released its 3rd Annual Grid Modernization Index (GMI), a ranking of every state’s progress toward the improvement and modernization of our nation's electric system – and Texas impressively placed third. read more

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