E2 Morning Roundup: Murkowski concession shakes up energy panel, Reid opens door to lame-duck renewables fight, and much more

BP: Industry accident response capacity is improving

The Houston Chronicle reports:

“The offshore oil and gas industry is better equipped to deal with deep-water accidents because of lessons that BP learned battling its massive oil spill, the British oil giant says in a report due on federal regulators' desks today.”

“The company was expected Tuesday night to submit to the Interior Department a self-evaluation of BP's response to the disastrous Macondo oil spill, and to make recommendations for handling future spills in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico.”

“Though not made public Tuesday, the report hews closely to a presentation made in early August by BP executives at a federal forum on offshore drilling, a person familiar with the report said.”

“In that presentation, BP highlighted a number of ‘lessons learned’ in battling the worst oil spill in U.S. history but stopped short of saying it made mistakes.”

Report ranks states on energy efficiency

The Center for American Progress released a report Tuesday that looks at which states are taking the lead on energy efficiency incentives and programs. CAP calls efficiency programs a big jobs engine. How is your state doing? The whole report is available here.

Retrofitting homes and buildings to save energy is tonic for the construction sector, argues the report issued with the Energy Resource Management Corp.

By CAP’s tally, retrofitting 40 percent of the country’s residential and commercial building stock would create 625,000 full-time jobs over a decade, spark hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and save utility ratepayers as much as $64 billion per year.

The ‘skeptical environmentalist’ has a change of heart on tackling climate change


The New York Times looks at the evolving views of Bjorn Lomborg, whose opinions on climate change have riled greens for years.

“With the publication of his 2001 book, ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist,’ Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish economics professor, became a leading contrarian voice on global warming and a leading opponent of carbon reduction efforts like the Kyoto Protocol," their piece states.

“Mr. Lomborg did not dispute that adding greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide to the atmosphere was warming the climate; rather, he argued that the vast expense of reining in emissions would far outweigh the benefit deferred by the resultant effect on global temperatures.”

“ ‘We can help the developing world so much better by doing other things, like giving them clean drinking water and proper sanitation,’ Mr. Lomborg said in a 2002 interview.”

“Yet Mr. Lomborg’s latest book, ‘Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits,’ is unlikely to bolster his popularity among those opposed to drastic immediate action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In the book, to be published in September, he calls for $150 billion in new investment annually for clean energy development, climate engineering and climate change adaptations like building sea walls to protect low-lying areas from sea-level rise — with the money to be raised through a global tax on carbon dioxide emissions.”

Interior’s scientific integrity policy makes waves

The Interior Department has imposed new rules on offshore drilling regulators to prevent conflicts of interest, but a lower-profile policy decision is also making waves.

Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones takes a look at Interior’s new scientific integrity guidelines, and the quick criticism they attracted.