Recently there have been calls for a ban on U.S. oil and natural gas production using hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”), and several states have passed laws banning its use. To investigate such a policy initiative, the American Petroleum Institute (API) turned to OnLocation to provide quantitative modeling and analysis to determine the impacts of an outright ban on fracking. API chose OnLocation because of its reputation for respected and timely analysis of this nature.
On Friday February 28, the comment period for the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) comes to a close. The TCI proposal would establish a regional program to cap greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels and invest in transportation projects to achieve additional environmental benefits. The program would cover more than 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from twelve TCI states and the District of Columbia. After the MOU comments have been compiled and incorporated into the proposal, a final MOU will be released, likely in the spring, for final approval by TCI states.
While renewable energy and nuclear power often grab the headlines regarding the current electricity markets transformations, leaders across the industry recognize that electricity storage is the real game changer driving revolutionary change. While an increasingly decarbonized energy mix is oft the focus, smart money is on battery technologies being the key aspect to disrupt grids across the world.
The United States has a long and complex history with regards to nuclear energy, stretching back to the first harnessing of nuclear power during the Manhattan Project through the panic in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident and to today where technological advancements are making nuclear power safer and more efficient than ever before. Despite these advancements, decreasing natural gas prices, a boom in solar and wind power, and a persistent inherent fear of nuclear power in some circles has brought construction of new nuclear plants to a virtual standstill. Only one new reactor, Watts Bar #2, has come online since 1996, one construction project in South Carolina was abandoned partway through construction, and the only active nuclear construction project, Plant Vogtle in Georgia, has been mired in controversy and uncertainty amid escalating costs. Compounding that issue in the nuclear industry is the expected closure of many of the aging nuclear reactors across the country, with almost 12% of U.S. nuclear capacity expected to close in the next seven years.
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