New Paths to Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform?

Fossil fuel subsidies are an economic, environmental, and security scourge. Used mostly in developing countries and often defended as pro-poor, they are typically ineffective at combatting poverty, waste scarce government resources, and encourage overconsumption of energy. Yet it has proven incredibly difficult to reform and reduce them. Two thought-provoking new studies suggest ways forward. The […]

A New Keystone XL Paper is Probably Wrong

I’ve been trying to avoid two things lately: Keystone XL and picking on shaky scientific papers. But a new paper on Keystone XL in Nature Climate Change has been generating a lot of  buzzand requests for comment, so a post on it seems worthwhile. The paper claims to show that the State Department has underestimated the emissions impact of the pipeline […]

Will the U.S. Oil Boom Make Energy Sanctions Easier?

Ask someone to identify a big geopolitical consequence of the ongoing U.S. oil production boom and odds are high that they’ll invoke Iran. (Every one of the links in that last sentence is an example.) Without surging U.S. oil production, they’ll argue, sanctions on Iranian oil exports would have led to a massive oil price spike. Here is a concrete case of the oil boom yielding greater U.S. freedom of action in […]

The Other Big Energy Export News

The energy world has been abuzz this week with news that the Department of Commerce will allow exports of minimally processed condensate. This has been heralded as a “step towards a rational oil policy” and a shift that “could change the world’s energy balance”. In particular, many are speculating that this is a step toward complete elimination […]

How Will China Clean its Air?

“I’ve been working my whole life on climate change. And now, because of policies to fight local air pollution, Chinese carbon emissions will peak and begin to decline in less than ten years, and our efforts on climate change will have nothing to do with it.” That was the message from one of several Chinese […]

Understanding the EPA Carbon Proposal in Context

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the EPA will announce carbon regulations for existing power plants on Monday that seek to reduce U.S. electricity sector emissions by 25 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by 30 percent by 2030. It’s illuminating to compare those figures with EIA estimates of the likely impact of other policies that have been proposed. […]