Articles on US energy policy

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If carbon regulations restrict how much a company can pollute where it’s located, it could move operations (and jobs) to another country – with no reduction in emissions. billy_wilson/flickr

Here’s a better way to regulate carbon – and change the tired environment-versus-economy debate

Two environmental policy experts offer a more politically palatable way to lower carbon emissions – based on consumption, not conventional regulation.
Trump promises to revive the coal industry in part by opening up mining on federal lands, yet economists found that increasing royalties on public land would lead to more mining elsewhere, including Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Will Trump negotiate a better coal deal for taxpayers?

One of Trump's first orders of business on energy will likely be to reopen federal lands to coal mining, which would be a bad deal for taxpayers and the environment.
Obama has prioritized development of wind and solar in a number of ways, including installation on military bases. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Will President Obama’s clean energy legacy endure?

The Trump administration has the tools to slow the momentum Obama started on clean energy. Countering Trump are global market forces and state-level action.
In 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, part of a behind-the-scenes policy to ensure access to oil for the U.S. and its allies. National Archives and Records Administration

Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and the rise of Big Oil in American politics

Big Oil has historically played a behind-the-scenes role on American policy and politics. No longer.
A political sign in West Virginia reflects the claim that the Obama administration, by developing policies to reduce carbon emission, was waging a campaign against the industry. Vicki Smith/AP Photo

Inside the coal industry’s rhetorical playbook

Scholars of communications pick apart the rhetoric behind the 'war on coal' and explain why it ultimately benefits the coal industry.
Activists in Seattle practice for demonstrations against Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic, April 17, 2015. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Will Obama’s offshore drilling ban be Trumped?

President Obama used an obscure 1953 law to bar offshore drilling in Arctic Alaska and along the Atlantic coast. Republicans and energy companies want to reverse the ban, but it will not be easy.
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration supervises the removal of 68 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (enough for two nuclear weapons) from the Czech Republic in 2013. NNSA/Flickr

Lesson one for Rick Perry: The Energy Department doesn’t produce much energy

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has experience with energy, but if confirmed as secretary of energy, he should get ready to learn a lot about DOE's big jobs: nuclear security and basic science research.
The incoming EPA will likely lean toward less oversight over state public health programs – and lax enforcement is one of the causes behind the Flint water crisis. Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Will a weakened EPA set environmental justice back?

The hostility of Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to head the EPA, toward climate change rules is well-known. But his anti-regulatory stance could easily set back years of work on environmental justice.
Gatherers in Cannon Ball, North Dakota celebrate news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline. AP Photo/David Goldman

Victory at Standing Rock reflects a failure of US energy and climate policy

The protesters have scored a big victory in the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict, but it's served only to illuminate the sharp divisions over energy policy in the US.
Trump’s energy plan will be fossil fuels on steroids combined with efforts to roll back limits on greenhouse gases. AP Photo/Eric Gay

What President Trump means for the future of energy and climate

President-elect Trump's objective on energy and climate is clear: Undo Obama's legacy of environmental regulations and massively expand fossil fuel production.
Stacks at the Nucor Steel plant – one of the types of manufacturing sites that would be affected by a carbon tax – in front of the Space Needle in Seattle. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Why aren’t environmentalists supporting a carbon tax in Washington state?

Washington state's plan to create a carbon tax would make it a climate leader, but local environmental groups are fighting it. What gives?
Soybeans and corn are two of the most widely planted crops in the United States and the main feedstocks used to make biofuels. www.shutterstock.com

Biofuels turn out to be a climate mistake – here’s why

A new study challenges the longstanding view that biofuels are carbon-neutral, and asserts that in the U.S. to date, they have done more harm to the climate than gasoline.

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