Noteby Trevor Houser and Shashank Mohan | February 14, 2013 In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama welcomed the environmental benefits of low-cost natural gas, noting that US CO2 emissions have declined sharply over the past four years. Indeed, coal’s share of US electricity generation fell to 33% in April 2012, the lowest level seen in decades, thanks in large part to cheap natural gas, and US CO2 emissions in the first half of 2012 were 13% below 2005 levels. But as gas prices have risen in recent months, so has demand for coal for power generation. Absent new policy, the recent drop in emissions has likely run its course.
Noteby Trevor Houser | February 11, 2013 Trade data on how Tehran fared under the first year of international sanctions aimed at choking off the country’s crude oil exports is now available. We offer a roundup of Iranian oil exports in 2012 and discuss the outlook for the year ahead.
Reportby Trevor Houser and Shashank Mohan | February 7, 2013 RHG assesses the economic, environmental and security implications of the Alliance to Save Energy's goal of doubling US energy productivity by 2030, adopted by President Obama in his State of the Union Address.
Noteby Trevor Houser | November 12, 2012 Today the International Energy Agency (IEA) released their 2012 World Energy Outlook. One of the most striking changes from the 2011 edition is the outlook for American oil production, with the IEA upward revising their projection for US oil output in 2020 by 35%. The report describes recent changes in American energy landscape as “profound” and promises their effects will be “felt beyond North America”. In this note, we look at how IEA’s new projections stack up against other leading forecasts and what they mean for American “energy independence”.
Noteby Trevor Houser | July 27, 2012 Earlier this month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the US produced more electricity from natural gas than from coal in April thanks to the dramatic shale-driven decline in natural gas prices. Today, EIA released complete April energy sector data and, as you might expect, US CO2 emissions have declined alongside coal’s market share, continuing a trend we discussed in our May 7 note. Power sector CO2 emissions are down 12% from a year ago and total US CO2 emissions have declined by 6%. Measured against 2005 (the base year used for America’s international climate change commitments) and January-April CO2 emissions are down 19% and 14% for the power sector and the economy as a whole respectively.
Noteby Trevor Houser | June 27, 2012 Over the coming week, Western sanctions on Iranian oil exports formally take effect. Starting tomorrow, any bank processing payment for Iranian crude trade received an exception, and as of Sunday, shipping insurance providers will lose their European-based reinsurance if they continue to cover Iranian oil cargos. This note provides a wrap-up of the oil market impacts of sanctions to date and an outlook for the months ahead.
Noteby Trevor Houser | May 7, 2012 At the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009, the US committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 – a target included in cap-and-trade legislation that had passed the House of Representatives earlier that year. With the death of cap-and-trade in the Senate and the Republican takeover of the House, America’s ability to meet this emission reduction goal has been in doubt. In January of this year, however, US emissions came in 13% below 2005 levels, and power sector emissions were down by more than 17% – achieving the 2020 target eight years early.
Noteby Trevor Houser and Shashank Mohan | March 28, 2012 With US oil demand falling thanks to high prices fuel efficient vehicles and domestic crude and natural gas supply rising thanks to unconventional production, energy analysts have begun speculating that policymakers long-elusive goal of “energy independence” might be within reach. In this note, we provide a roundup of recent government and industry projections and will explore what these various American energy futures mean for the US economy and national security in the weeks and months ahead.
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