Energy & Environment

Leveraging our American energy revolution

American ingenuity and technological advances have unlocked a vast supply of domestic natural gas, more than enough to meet the needs of our country for generations to come. The economy and the environment are already benefitting from this affordable and abundant supply of clean-burning fuel, including the lowest CO2 emissions levels since the mid-1990s and a cost savings of more than $560 million per day for consumers and businesses. According to a study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, domestic natural gas production has actually helped prevent us from falling into another recession.
But what if we could continue to enjoy these benefits while also creating more jobs and more economic growth?


An opportunity to debate climate change

270 minutes. That's how long the leading candidates for president and vice president have stood on stage in front of the American people without mentioning a challenge as big as the national debt, education, health care, and national security: climate change.

It's not that they haven't had plenty of opportunities.


EPA's war on consumers, affordable electricity and jobs

Over the past year, we’ve heard a lot about the Obama Administration’s ‘War on Coal’. The White House has been quick to dismiss the notion, pointing to their “all-of-the-above” energy policy. They’ve attributed the demise of coal-fired power in part to the record-low prices of natural gas. While most agree that the coal industry has faced challenges, especially under current economic conditions, the argument that people are shutting down coal power plants because gas is cheaper just doesn’t hold water.
Why? Coal is by far the cheapest source of electricity. So if cost isn’t the reason, what is?


Americans' desire for domestic energy is rooted in economics

It’s no surprise that at this time of great decision, the nation is sharply divided on our current energy path. But while the nation disagrees on the details, it is wholeheartedly united in the desire for political leaders to guide us toward a solution. And I see that as very encouraging.
I also see that as a clear mandate for whoever is in office next.
These observations are supported by results from “2012 Energy Habits, Awareness & Perceptions,” a national survey recently conducted by Harris Interactive and funded by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) to gauge the current public opinion about domestic energy and green living practices. Some of the most interesting findings were on the subject of domestic energy:


The Clean Water Act turns 40 today

The Clean Water Act is 40 years old today and the nation should celebrate the accomplishments of this landmark legislation.

As we near the end of 2012, we can look back and say we’ve made remarkable progress on cleaning up the nation’s waters.

Forty years ago, people were afraid to swim or fish in our waters, our lakes and our rivers. And quite frankly, we didn’t have the resources to address the issue.


Time for the U.S. to address its mineral dependence problem

Access to critical minerals and metals is vital to America’s militarystrength and economic health. As we move further forward into the technology age, we need a range of non-fuel minerals – from antimony to zinc – for defense technologies that protect the homeland and project American power abroad. These same minerals and metals underpin our manufacturing sector too, and the cost of raw materials impacts everything from productivity and innovation to economic growth and job creation.

Without smarter policies that increase access to resources under our own soil, America will continue to depend heavily on China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries that don’t have our interests at heart.


Congress needs to revisit Renewable Fuel Standards

In his recent post, Biotechnology Industry Organization’s president and CEO James Greenwood brashly minimizes important and ongoing  concerns of many Americans when claiming that because the drought is subsiding, those calling for adjustments to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are merely “not allowing this crisis to go to waste.” In reality, the RFS is monopolizing 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop for use as ethanol, inflating food prices and damaging the environment.


Expect more pain at the pump in second Obama term

As Election Day approaches, issues such as new energy production, energy jobs, and state economic recovery are figuring high in people’s minds and could well influence how people vote in November. If President Obama is returned to office, what can America expect regarding the Administration’s energy policies in a second term?


American consumers want more miles per gallon

The recent adoption of a new national average fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by the year 2025 is not only one of the most important energy policy moves of the past quarter-century, it is also a big win for consumers.


Sacrificing energy independence is not the solution

This past summer, as parts of the Midwest faced historic droughts and farmers and ranchers struggled with the impact of failing crops, a group of governors petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) as a way to provide relief. As temperatures cool and the drought stabilizes, it’s clear that government programs to provide emergency assistance for farmers and ranchers worked as intended. Yet, the call to suspend the RFS remains.