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Archive for the ‘Pollution’ Category

Transportation Futures: Policy Scenarios for Reducing Greenhouse Gases

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Table 1. Fuel Economy and GHG Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

The goal of this study was to examine various policy options that can achieve large-scale reductions by 2040, based on the current time frame of Annual Energy Outlook forecasts. Existing regulations on light-duty vehicle fuel economy and carbon emissions are leading to rapid decreases in emissions. New heavy-duty fuel economy standards will also soon take effect. These are supplemented by the renewable fuel standard. But these efforts are unlikely to be sufficient to meet what will be challenging reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the next 30 years. This study examined the degree to which three key travel-demand policies—road pricing, directing new population growth to more compact areas, and increasing the level of transit service—could contribute to reductions within this time frame.

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The Hudson Valley’s “Virtual Pipeline”: Carrying Crude Oil by Train

Friday, February 28th, 2014
The Hudson Valley’s “Virtual Pipeline”: Carrying Crude Oil by Train

A new “virtual pipeline” carries crude oil by train through Hudson Valley communities including Albany, Kingston, Newburgh, Haverstraw and West Nyack, New York.
Carrying crude oil by train risks “major loss of life, property damage, and environmental consequences,” the NTSB said in the wake of a series of accidents, derailments and explosions.

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Status and Trends of America’s Wetlands

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
wetlands thumb

The cumulative effects of losses in the freshwater system have had consequences for hydrologic and ecosystem connectivity. In certain regions, profound reductions in wetland extent have resulted in habitat loss, fragmentation, and limited opportunities for reestablishment and watershed rehabilitation.

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Fracking’s Water Footprint in West Virginia and Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Figure 1: Horizontal Marcellus gas well permits in West Virginia and Pennsylvania

This report focuses on the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. While conventional gas production has been conducted here for decades, unconventional wells that utilize advances in horizontal drilling have grown considerably more common in the past decade. Nearly nine thousand horizontal Marcellus Shale natural gas wells have been permitted in these two states from 2005 to 2012, and more than eleven thousand such wells will likely be permitted by the end of 2013.

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Time to Change the Game: Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Figure 1: Fossil fuel subsidies and emissions in the E11

By Shelagh Whitley
Fossil fuel subsidies undermine international efforts to avert dangerous climate change and represent a drain on national budgets. They also fail in one of their core objectives: to benefit the poorest. Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies would create a win-win scenario. It would eliminate the perverse incentives that drive up carbon emissions, create price signals for investment in a low-carbon transition and reduce pressure on public finances.

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Toxic Trash Exposed: Coal Ash in Michigan

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Water defines, and is central, to Michigan’s economy. Major tourism, agriculture, and fishing industries depend on the health of rivers, lakes, and streams. The Great Lakes contain over 20% of the world’s usable fresh surface water. Unfortunately unmitigated coal ash pollution is a major threat to the health of the state’s water and economy.

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Cleantech Redefined

Friday, November 1st, 2013
Figure 8: Eight major groupings of clean technologies. Source: Kachan analysis

The global economy is undergoing a fundamental change. Companies are under increasing pressure to produce and consume more efficiently. This pressure is creating innovation and, above all, opportunity in cleantech.

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Minneapolis: How Powderhorn Lake Got Clean

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Minneapolis: How Powderhorn Lake Got Clean

Fifteen years ago, Powderhorn Lake in Minneapolis was in a dismal state—trash floated on the surface, the shoreline was eroding, and fertilizer and animal waste running off from the surrounding neighborhood caused frequent algae blooms…But today, thanks to the efforts of residents, the city, and other groups, Powderhorn Lake is a poster child for what can happen when citizens and government work together to create change.

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The Social Cost of Carbon

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Table 2 Building new conventional coal and natural gas versus cleaner sources (2007$) (revised WG SCCs)

This paper extends the work of Johnson and Hope (2012), who re-estimated the US government’s estimates of climate change damages, called the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), to more fully account for impacts on future generations. To demonstrate the policy implications of their SCC estimates, Johnson and Hope (JH) incorporated the costs of pollution into the cost of electricity generation from coal, natural gas, onshore wind, and solar photovoltaic…Overall, for new generation, we find that all JH and government SCCs justified conventional natural gas, natural gas with CCS, and wind over conventional coal. Most estimates also justified solar and coal with CCS over conventional coal, and wind over natural gas. For existing generation, at all of JH’s SCCs, continuing to operate some of the dirtiest coal plants is more expensive than replacing them with natural gas, natural gas with CCS, or wind; at their two highest estimates, this is also true for new coal with CCS and solar photovoltaic.

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U.S. Domestic Airline Fuel Efficiency Ranking

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
ICCT Figure ES-1

The analysis presented here rigorously compares the efficiency of all airlines independent of size, network structure, or type of service, with a methodology that improves upon previous efforts in four fundamental ways. First, it uses airline-reported fuel consumption data, rather than modeled estimates, to account fully for all the ways in which airlines can reduce fuel burn…Second, it develops an efficiency metric that recognizes that airlines burn fuel to provide both mobility…and access, allowing an equitable comparison between airlines. Third, the efficiency metric distinguishes productive from nonproductive miles flown by identifying those airlines that operate particularly circuitous routes. Finally, the study attributes the transport service provided by and fuel consumption of affiliate carriers to mainline carriers in order to enable comprehensive comparisons across carriers’ full business operations.

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