White House Energy Blueprint Highlights Carbon Emission Reductions, Fuel Economy Gains, The White House (March 15, 2013). This fact sheet, President Obama’s Blueprint for a Clean and Secure Energy Future, describes the Administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce dependency on foreign oil while also decreasing carbon emissions. To achieve new breakthroughs, the White House urges Congress to establish an Energy Security Trust, which will fund research into technologies that increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions. The blueprint points to a new Environmental Protection Agency report, Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2012 detailing the benefits of the Administration’s “historic fuel economy standards” that have reduced climate-altering carbon pollution.
Policy Brief: Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles: Made for Each Other?, International Transport Forum (July 3, 2012). The International Transport Forum has issued a policy brief on the ways in which smart grid technologies and the increasing use of electric vehicles can each foster the development of the other. The brief says that smart grid technologies can regulate the demand from increasing numbers of electric vehicles without overloading the power supply. The brief also says that electric vehicles, in conjunction with smart grid, can be used for off-peak electricity demand, can be charged when the cost of generation is lowest, and can serve as off-grid energy storage that could be fed back into the grid during peak demand. The brief is a summary of a larger report, Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles: Made for Each Other?
Annual Energy Outlook 2012, U.S. Energy Information Administration (June 25, 2012). The U.S. Energy Information Administration has issued the annual report on information and statistics regarding energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends. The report discusses projections under the assumption that current laws and regulations remain unchanged. The report also includes 29 alternative cases which explore scenarios under different policies and the economic trends.
An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO (March 13, 2012). This report presents a plan for coordinating public and private sector action to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) nationwide. The action plan consists of recommendations presented by a PEV Dialogue Group convened by C2ES in 2011 that included representatives from auto manufactures, electric utilities, environmental groups, and federal and state officials. The recommendations include encouraging utilities and other policymakers to create a consistent regulatory framework nationwide, optimizing public and private investment in PEV charging infrastructure, facilitating PEV rollout, and educating consumers on the costs and benefits of PEVs.
Energy Innovation Hubs, Department of Energy. This program establishes research centers that bring together multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers to advance the development of promising clean energy technologies. An example is the Fuels from Sunlight Hub, which seeks to design technologies that can generate fuel directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. DOE also announced on Feb. 7, 2012, the launch of a new hub for advanced research on batteries and energy storage. The hub will focus on accelerating research and development of electrochemical energy storage for transportation, including electric and hybrid vehicles, and the electric grid.
Paper Describes Framework for Federal Clean Energy Standard for Electricity, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (Nov. 30, 2011). This paper offers an illustrative framework for a federal clean energy standard (CES), or market-based standard setting requirements for the percentage of electricity that must come from renewable energy sources. This paper describes how a federal CES could be designed to balance different policy objectives such as maintaining diversity of electricity sources, advancing technology, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The paper also highlights policies that can compliment a federal CES such as tax credits and federal funding for energy research and development.
Paper Describes U.S. Policy Options for Boosting Clean Electricity, Regulatory Assistance Project and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (Nov. 17, 2011). This discussion paper addresses options for the development of a clean energy standard (CES), or policy requiring utilities to produce a specified share of electricity from clean energy sources. According to the paper, without significant new policies the share of U.S. electricity coming from clean energy sources is unlikely to increase by more than a few percentage points in the next 25 years. The paper provides an overview of the CES concept and its benefits and describes federal and state options for CES policies.
Rising Gasoline Prices and Households Expenditures: Will Policymakers Get Serious About Ending Our “Addiction to Oil” by Supporting a 60 Mile Per Gallon Standard?, Consumer Federation of America (May 16, 2011). This report analyses a national survey finding that concern over rising gas prices means 65 percent of U.S. consumers may be willing to support an aggressive fuel economy standard of 60 miles per gallon by 2025, if the payback period to pay for higher automobile costs is five years. The survey also found that respondents of both political party affiliations supported the adoption of a 60 mpg standard. EPA and NHTSA currently are developing a proposal to adopt new fuel economy standards for 2017 through 2025, and the report recommends that the Obama administration adopt 60 mph as its long-term fuel economy target.
Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (March 3, 2011). This newly updated series provides brief reports on climate change topics such as climate science; adaptation measures; and U.S Federal, State, and local action. The updated reports highlight issues including the significance of the global negotiations, local efforts to address climate change, and current predictions on global temperature changes. Individual reports can be accessed at the following links: Overview, Science and Impacts, Adaptation, Technology, Business, International, Federal, State, Local, and Cap and Trade.
2010 National Climate Symposium, AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration FHWA. This webinar provides highlights of the Aug. 5-6, 2010, Climate Change Symposium held by AASHTO in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration is now available for viewing on the Internet. The symposium provided information, both policy-oriented and technical, to support State DOTs in their efforts to address the challenges of climate change. To download and view the webinar, webinar slides, conference presentations, and a written summary of the event, link to the 2010 National Climate Symposium website.
A Costly Climate of Inaction, Small Business Majority, the Main Street Alliance, American Businesses for Clean Energy, and We Can Lead (Sept. 2010). This report, by a coalition of four business groups, finds that the United States has missed out on more than $11 billion in clean energy investments – costing some 1.9 million jobs – since the Senate dropped efforts to approve comprehensive clean energy legislation in July 2010.
Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. (Sept. 2010). Three highly efficient vehicle design teams split $10 million as the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. The prize went to one ethanol-powered vehicle design and two electric vehicle designs. The prize was awarded based on efficiency, safety, affordability, and environmental performance. According to the X Prize Foundation, the competition is meant to encourage development of highly efficient vehicles "that consumers will want to buy, not science projects or concept cars."
The Changing Context for U.S. Energy Policy: Then, Now and Looking Forward: A 2006 powerpoint presentation by Peter Blair to the National Research Council Executive Board.
Vehicle Technologies Program, Department of Energy. This program supports research and development efforts to help make cars and trucks more energy-efficient and develop technologies that will help transition the United States to using vehicles that do not require petroleum fuels. Program activities include research, development, demonstration, testing, technology validation, technology transfer, and education.