Ethanol worsens climate change, yet EPA demands more of it
Morning Consult, feat. John DeCicco
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt took a trip to Iowa last week to meet with ethanol producers. But the day before he headed to the Hawkeye State, the agency doubled down on the biofuel boondoggle, announcing it would mandate yet another increase in the amount of ethanol forced into our nation’s motor fuel.
In 2016, the University of Michigan emitted 641,000 metric tons, or 1,413,161,420 pounds, of carbon dioxide. This represents approximately 30% of Ann Arbor’s total emissions footprint.
This fall, student teams battled to best conceptualize what 641,000 tons actually looks like during the Energy + competition, which culminated in a judging session this week at the Duderstadt Center. The challenge, offered by the Energy Institute and the Duderstadt Media Commons, sought to demonstrate to students the interconnectedness of energy with the built environment, the climate, and the centrality of energy in society.
Score one for corn: In battle over biofuel, a rare setback for Big Oil
The New York Times, feat. John DeCicco
America’s cars run partly on fuels derived from corn and soy. That’s because of a decade-old federal mandate beloved by Midwestern farmers but opposed by an unusual coalition of oil refiners and environmentalists.
China signs on to Alaska gas pipeline, but it's far from set
The New York Times, feat. Mark Barteau
The latest push in a decades-long effort to commercialize vast stores of Alaska's natural gas got a boost when the state announced a deal with three Chinese companies. But the $43 billion project is far from reality.
End of Clean Power Plan unlikely to change energy direction in Michigan
Crain’s Detroit Business, feat. Steve Skerlos
Michigan's top energy officials say the Trump administration's move to rescind the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan will have a negligible impact on the state's plans to produce cleaner energy that will reduce pollution by using renewable energy and natural gas to generate electricity.
Many people in the Midwest may still remember the Northeast blackout of 2003, which left around 45 million people without power, some for as long as two days. Occurrences as massive as that blackout are relatively scarce in the Midwest; generally power outage events are relatively localized and fixed within a few hours. In recent years, however, cities across the country have come to the conclusion that, for critical health care and industrial assets, waiting a few hours for power is not always a possibility.
Using University of Michigan buildings as batteries
The Michigan Engineer News Center, feat. Johanna Mathieu and Ian Hiskens
Michigan researchers and staff are testing how to use the immense thermal energy of large buildings as theoretical battery packs. The goal is to help the nation’s grid better accommodate renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.