Energy Exchange

The NPC studies out this week and the work left undone

Two high profile studies released this week by the National Petroleum Council paint a portrait of an industry asserting a positive role in the energy transition but struggling to act on what good science demands of it.

The studies — one on natural gas, the other on hydrogen — were produced at the request of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who is looking to better understand how and under what circumstances those resources can play a constructive role in the energy transition, a strategic and economic imperative for the United States.

Created by President Harry Truman to advise the executive branch on critical energy issues, the NPC has provided successive administrations with analysis-backed recommendations on how to structure and manage U.S energy policy to advance the national interest. Read More »

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Biden wants facts first: pauses LNG permits to analyze climate impact.

The Biden administration paused approval of new facilities that would export liquified natural gas in order to study the impact of these projects on the climate. The Natural Gas Act charges the U.S Department of Energy with determining whether gas exports to certain countries are in the public interest. With the damage caused by climate change getting worse, the President is right to ask for the facts before moving forward. After all, natural gas produces carbon dioxide when burned and methane pollution when leaked — both powerful climate pollutants.

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Generous tax subsidies for sustainable aviation fuels in the U.S.? Yes, but details matter

Aircraft jet landing

One of the Inflation Reduction Act’s key provisions is a powerful tax credit to spark the development and adoption of clean, low-carbon aviation fuels. Climate pollution from aircraft is often overlooked, but if aviation were a country, it would be among the top 10 greenhouse gas emitters.

The Biden administration is about to make a crucial decision on which fuels should be eligible for the tax credits. Getting this right is critical to whether this government subsidy will be money well spent.

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Details, Details: Quiet Action at COP 27 Tees Up a Big Year for Methane


It’s no surprise that COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt closed with few groundbreaking headlines. Going in, we knew it would be  a “working COP” focused on steps to advance the commitments made at previous gatherings. And while some important steps were made on technical issues and a historic agreement on funding arrangements for loss and damage was sparked, there was real progress in the fight to reduce methane, the pollutant driving nearly a third of current warming.

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The twin crises of energy supply and climate have the same solution

Today’s energy system has become a liability we can no longer afford. As dependence on oil and gas restrains the response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week issued yet another urgent warning that society is running out of time to avoid dangerous climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions.

Politicians and pundits say we must choose which problem to solve — protect the economy or protect the planet. But the twin crises of energy and climate have the same solution: the fastest possible transformation of our global energy system.

To those who want to prioritize the energy crisis, they must contend with the reality that there are no big spigots likely to be opened. Pre-Covid, oil and gas production were near record highs. Recent company announcements offer only marginal bumps in production, not enough to replace Russian oil or change prices at the pump.

And despite their rhetoric, neither producers nor their financiers show any interest in making the massive investments necessary to change these fundamentals.

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The truth about Russia’s war: Our addiction to oil gives Putin power

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is alarming and wrong — recognized by governments across the political spectrum as a dangerous assault on peace and stability.

How sad, then, that some columnists here in the United States are using it as an opportunity to spin up a partisan attack on the Biden administration’s energy policy.

Instead of recognizing the reality that the world’s addiction to fossil fuels empowers Putin, these columnists are making the bizarre claim that more clean energy is somehow to blame for Russian aggression.

But facts are stubborn things. The truth is, U.S. oil production is near record levels — which did nothing to stop Putin. For better or worse, the Biden administration has issued new permits for drilling on federal lands at a faster clip than the notoriously pro-oil Trump administration.

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