Friday, September 22, 2017

Q&A: Michigan economist discusses the market forces pushing electric vehicles, clean energy

Midwest Energy News, feat. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

After serving 18 years as chief global economist at Ford Motor Co. and then as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick brings a market-driven perspective to the way energy use and transportation could mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A carbon tax would not cause too much grief at the gas pump

University of Michigan News, feat. John DeCicco

A new report from the University of Michigan Energy Survey offers insight into how American consumers would react to a carbon tax.

A tax of $40 per ton of carbon—which adds 36 cents per gallon to the price of gasoline—still leaves more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers inside their comfort zones for fuel prices and travel choices.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A new report from the University of Michigan Energy Survey offers insight into how American consumers would react to a carbon tax. A tax of $40 per ton of carbon — which adds 36¢ per gallon to the price of gasoline — still leaves more than 90% of U.S. consumers inside their comfort zones for fuel prices and travel choices. But the report, based on asking consumers how much they feel they can afford to pay for fuel, also finds that much greater pressure would be felt by consumers in the lower third of the distribution by household income.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

- China’s government leaders have outlined an ambitious plan to increase the sales and production of new energy vehicles.

- As in other countries, without substantial subsidies or carbon taxes, aggressive targets will be difficult to achieve. 

Get this week's full report at the link

Friday, September 08, 2017

Biodiversity proves its real-world value

University of Michigan News, feat. Brad Cardinale

Hundreds of experiments have suggested that biodiversity fosters healthier, more productive ecosystems. But many experts doubted that results from small-scale experiments would hold up in real-world ecosystems where nature is most unpredictable and complex.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Our thoughts are with the people of Texas as they struggle to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. The recovery has begun; the road ahead is long and arduous.

  • -  The concentration of energy assets in the area hit by the hurricane adds to the challenges, though many have displayed remarkable resilience. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Harvey adds new urgency to climate change debate

The Hill, feat. Barry Rabe

Barry Rabe, an environmental policy professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, said past extreme weather events have not moved the needle much on the public’s perception of climate change.

“People are extremely confident, increasingly so, one way or the other on this. And it’s not clear that past singular weather disasters have had an enduring effect,” Rabe said, citing polling data from past disasters.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • Energy exchange traded funds have exploded in recent years.
  • In principle, this is a positive development because it has made investing in the energy sector less expensive, thereby providing more funds for capital spending in the sector.
  • Most recently, investors are voting with their purse: year-to- date returns on “alt energy” bets are in the plus column. 
Friday, August 25, 2017

Are environmental rules really job killers?

E&E News, feat. John DeCicco

Shortly after last year's election, President-elect Trump pledged to "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy."

Rolling back these federal regulations, Trump said in a video, would lead to the creation of "many millions of high-paying jobs."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This week's takeaways:

  • - Energy price inflation at the retail level collapsed in the mid- 2014 through mid-2016.
  • - Overall consumers are facing attractive pricing across the board, from the pump to the grid.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Red team-blue team? Debating climate science should not be a cage match

The Conversation, feat. Richard Rood

Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for a “red team-blue team” review to challenge the science behind climate change. “The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” he said on a radio show, adding he hoped to hold the exercise in the fall.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Electric vehicle sales are growing at a double digit pace.

  • -  Electrified vehicles are one pathway to increased vehicle automation and cutbacks in emissions.

  • -  But this trend will likely play out over several years, even if you think autonomous vehicles are coming quickly.