Policy and Social Impact

Friday, August 07, 2015

This week's Energy in the news focuses on the Clean Power Plan's debut and the first GOP candidate debate. 

Energy coverage and the GOP debate

On energy, Republican candidates sound a lot like Obama (Slate)

Energy policy finds little room in early debate (Washington Examiner)


Friday, July 24, 2015

States wavering on standards for renewable energy


Michigan utilities met the state's standard this year, generating 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Now, to reduce carbon emissions, some people in the state want to see the bar raised to 20 percent or higher, but paying for it remains controversial.

“What we found is that doubling our RPS would add about $1.70 per month for a typical consumer,” says Jeremiah Johnson, a professor at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.

Friday, July 17, 2015

UM set to open driverless-car test site Mcity on Monday

Crain’s Detroit

The University of Michigan will officially open its new testing site for connected and driverless cars on Monday. The 32-acre testing grounds, called Mcity, are designed to simulate urban and suburban roads with a network of controlled intersections, traffic signals, streetlights, sidewalks, construction obstacles and more, the university said in a release. The $6.5 million test track is operated by UM’s Mobility Transformation Center.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

From the Detroit News: 

Voters are long familiar with Michigan’s big issues each election — jobs, education, infrastructure and taxes are perennial defining platforms for Michigan candidates. Energy is poised to join that short list, with issues surrounding energy choice, oil and gas development, renewables, and environmental stewardship top-of-mind for a growing percentage of legislators, corporate interests and voters. And with energy issues come “front groups” paid for by energy companies.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Beware Casting Pope Francis as a Caped Climate Crusader

New York Times

All eyes are on the Vatican after an Italian news magazine leaked what is very likely the final text (the Italian translation) of Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical letter on humanity’s obligations to protect the environment, avoid dangerous climate change and overcome poverty and inequity. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Is there a renaissance in US manufacturing? Numbers don't add up


Sridhar Kota is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and a board member of the coincidentally named Manufacturing Renaissance, a Chicago-based nonprofit champion of advanced manufacturing. He also served from 2009–12 in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he helped establish the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and its signature Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Titled "Increasing Michigan's renewable energy portfolio is a no-risk strategy customers would embrace," Barteau's piece is excerpted below. 

It's time for our Legislature to listen to the people about renewable energy.

That may sound like a Tea Party battle cry. Far from it. It's time for the legislature to ignore interest groups and listen to what consumers are saying about renewable energy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The University of Michigan Energy Survey has released its latest results, condensing six quarters of data into a succinct analysis of American consumers' personal views about energy. This short summary explores attitudes about gasoline and home energy affordability in the context of the past year's dynamic gasoline prices. 

The full results are available here

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Transportation lab revs up for role in climate crackdown

E&E News

U.S. EPA’s National Fuel and Vehicle Emissions Laboratory – a big player in early Clean Air Act crackdowns on tailpipe pollution– is getting a makeover for the battle against global warming.

A five-year, $50 million overhaul is adding a hangar where big rigs and buses can be taken on treadmill rides at speeds of up to 90 mph, providing emissions data in a day instead of the month or more it takes now.


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