BP not in step with industry on renewable fuel regulations

By Mark Drajem

June 23, 2013

As Congress considers scaling back or abolishing U.S. rules that mandate the use of renewable fuels, it has the full-throated support of the petroleum industry — with one major exception.

BP, one of the world’s biggest oil companies by revenue, is part of a joint venture with DuPont that is set to start producing a new alternative fuel by the end of the year. In order to preserve a market for that fuel, its officials are busy in Washington trying to persuade lawmakers that the current system doesn’t need an overhaul.

New Effort to Quantify ‘Social Cost’ of Pollution

By Matthew L. Wald

June 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is making a second attempt to systematically account for the dollar damage from greenhouse gas pollution, even with no consensus on how to forestall global warming or whether to do so.

Supporters of the idea acknowledge the tremendous difficulties of trying to translate slippery estimates into a single mathematical factor, difficulties that perhaps help explain why there is little hope of consensus now on climate policy.

The new effort is an update to an estimate for the awkwardly named “Social Cost of Carbon,” a range of costs, stated in dollars per ton, that carbon dioxide emissions are thought to impose on future generations. When the government totes up costs and benefits for a variety of proposed regulations, the Social Cost of Carbon is plugged into the calculation to decide how to write the regulation.

Next 10: Unraveling California’s Ties To Petroleum

by Dana Hull

June 19, 2013

California is a leader on the renewable energy front: utilities are well on their way to meeting the 33 percent RPS mandate, rooftop solar power is growing like crazy, and there are big desires to electrify transportation via High Speed Rail.

But a new report, released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan group Next 10, notes that a variety of policies keep California locked into a transportation system that is largely dependent on oil. Part of it is sheer size: there are 35,209,430 registered motor vehicles in the state.

This Map Shows California’s Potential to Power Itself With Clean Energy

by 

June 19, 2013

Close-up in the southwestern states’ portion of the Saxum energy map | Image: Saxum

An Oklahoma firm has produced a map showing the regional energy scenes across the United States, and the results are interesting — though some of what’s going on in California doesn’t really show.

The map, drawn to show the available energy resources in different regions across the U.S., reveals that California is relatively rich in renewable energy potential. Foremost among the forms of renewable energy resource covering the state is solar, represented on the map by the light yellow wash across the southern two-thirds of the state.

 

Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035

DOWNLOAD: Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

When it comes to oil use, our country is at a crossroads: we can put the U.S. on a path toward cutting projected oil consumption in half, or we can continue to threaten our health and economic well-being by moving to increasingly dirty, inaccessible, and dangerous sources of oil.

The choice is clear. It is time to commit to creating a future in which we live in healthier communities, prosper from a strong economy, and help safeguard our planet against the disastrous effects of climate change.

Oil Companies Bet on Tar Sands, Against California Neighbors

June 12, 2013

By Brant Olson

Oil’s Rail Wager

A series of rail terminals proposed by California’s biggest oil refiners could dramatically increase the supply of crude oil from the Canadian tar sands into the state,  potentially posing major health hazards to local communities.

In recent weeks, ValeroTesoro, and Phillips 66 have all announced plans to build rail facilities that could eventually bring as much as 286,000 barrels of dirty oil per day from the Canadian tar sands into California refineries – roughly five 100-car trains full of oil every day.

ARB claims diesel engine controls reducing climate change impact in California

June 14, 2013

By Frank Maccioli

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) yesterday announced that the results of a new study show that the state’s regulations to control diesel engine emissions are also benefitting climate change efforts.

The project was led by Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The study estimated that the black carbon reductions from air regulations also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 21 million metric tons annually. That’s equivalent to removing more than 4 million cars from California’s roads every year.

Chevron CEO: cutting carbon will take a long time.

May 30, 2013

By David R. Baker

Chevron CEO John Watson had his hands full Wednesday at the oil company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Ramon.

As usual, he faced tough questioning over the company’s$19 billion pollution lawsuit in Ecuador. Some of the exchanges grew tense, and one of the speakers was ejected from the room. For a full account, check out my story here.

California solar power hitting records

Jun 13, 2013, 7:15am PDT

Solar power generation is rising in California, breaking records twice in the past week, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

On Friday, the state hit an all-time high output of 2,071 megawatts of electrical generation 12:59 p.m. That record was broken again at 12:53 p.m. on Monday, when output reached 2,104 megawatts.

It was just last September that California for the first time peaked at 1,000 megawatts.