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El Paso May Become the First Texas City to Go Coal Free

El Paso’s public utility announced plans to run the city coal-free in two years. It’s a bold proposal since no major U.S. city can run without coal power yet, but it seems possible, and it puts El Paso ahead among Texas cities that have sought to end their dependence on coal. The announcement mirrors an [...]

Fact-Checking Obama and Romney on Energy and the Environment

Both candidates were guilty of stretching the truth on energy policies.

Last night’s presidential debate saw a lot of claims and assertions about energy and environmental policy, so we sat down to sift through what the candidates are saying. It may not surprise you that there were some questionable assertions from both sides. It’s worth noting that any policy, and energy policy in particular, doesn’t typically [...]

Why Less Coal in Texas Could Mean More Water For a Thirsty State

As Texas moves away from coal and towards natural gas for its power plants, it stands to save billions of gallons of water in the process, according to a new study by the University of Texas at Austin’s Webber Energy Group. And in planning for the future, switching to gas will save even more. You can [...]

The Bigger Picture on Carbon Emissions

chart

You may have been encouraged to read a widely-circulated story last week that declared “CO2 Emissions in U.S. Drop to 20-year Low.” The report from the Associated Press largely credits cheap natural gas for the change, and says that “many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it [...]

How a Mild Winter (Among Other Things) Decreased CO2 Emissions

Last winter’s poor performance, along with other factors, has created an unexpected positive. The June monthly Energy Review by the U.S. Energy Information Administration says that carbon dioxide emissions from energy use for the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest they’ve been in two decades. High demand for heat from fossil fuels usually pushes [...]

In the Great Energy Race, Coal Takes Another Hit

CoalRetirementsMap

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, “Annual Electric Generator Report.” Note: Capacity values represent net summer capacity. Earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that natural gas energy production finally tied with energy generated from coal in April. Now, that group is projecting that energy from coal-fired plants will likely contract [...]

In the Great Energy Race, Natural Gas Finally Ties with Coal

Natural Gas energy production has finally tied coal.

For the first time, natural gas has tied with coal. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that energy generation from natural gas-fired plants became “virtually equal” to energy generation from coal-fired plants in April. Preliminary data shows that each fuel provides 32 percent of total energy generation, with natural gas generating 95.9 million megawatt [...]

At House Hearing, Water Issues Dominate

A drop of water falls from a pump on Apr

When water became scarce in Texas last year, scrutiny quickly fell on the state’s burgeoning energy industry. Proposed new coal plants had trouble getting water permits. And hydraulic fracturing drillers faced accusations of groundwater contamination and excessive water use. But at the House joint hearing on energy and natural resources held last Wednesday, industry leaders gave representatives [...]

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