31 March '10
10:18 AM UTC
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Obama To Expand Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling, Next Stop: A Climate Change Law [Update]

President Obama is set to announce an unprecedented expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling on the Atlantic Coast (as far north as Delaware) as well as the Florida Gulf Coast and parts of Alaska. This is a big shift to the right for the Obama administration and major reversal of the country’s energy policy.

The president is expected to make an announcement today at 11:00 AM ET. Obama will specifically lift a long-time moratorium banning oil exploration on the East Coast and will open 167 million acres for oil and gas exploration and eventually, production.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tells Bloomberg News that oil exploration could start this summer.

The news  will obviously anger Obama’s environmental base, which will point out that on the campaign trail, while his opponents rode the “drill, baby, drill” wave, he argued that expanding domestic oil and gas production would not lower energy costs (at the time a barrel was trading at triple digits).

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7 February '10
8:41 AM UTC
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This Week In Green Energy: Government Intervention Wanted

This week, Green Energy Reporter traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual (RETECH). The event was held at the cavernous Washington Convention Center where, maybe because of the size of the place or because of the impending blizzard, attendance seemed thin.  Aside from the looming snowstorm, on the minds of the people who made it to the conference were two issues: cap-and-trade and access to capital. Read More »

3 February '10
4:51 PM UTC
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Lindsey Graham: Don’t give me “some half-assed energy bill”

Lindsey Graham: Greener than Obama?


“Obama now not as green as Lindsey Graham.” 

That little gem from Talking Points Memo’ssummed up our topsy-turvy world today. He was responding to a speech in which the South Carolina Republican senator said President Obama was unwise to propose an energy bill without putting a price on carbon.  

Graham accomplished a seemingly impossible feat (for a Republican) in his speech at the “Business Advocacy Day for Jobs, Climate & New Energy Leadership” in Washington D.C.: he outflanked Obama from the LEFT. Read More »

11 November '09
9:59 AM UTC
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The Carbon Markets Have Spoken: No Treaty In Copenhagen

The European carbon markets have declared a verdict on the Copenhagen climate summit: there will be no meaningful treaty.

Reuters that prices for permits under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have remained stable, at prices between 12 euros ($17.98) and 15.50 euros ($23.22) a tonne, for the last six months.

Prices will likely go up when and if a new deal is reached on greenhouse gas emissions.

Permits were trading at 13.60 euros on Wednesday and are likely to remain in that range, analysts say, because companies have decided on their permit needs in advance of Copenhagen.

Deutsche Bank’s Mark C. Lewis said: Read More »

20 October '09
6:17 PM UTC
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C02 at $60 Before Utilities Cut Emissions, Stanford University Report Predicts

At what price will operators of natural gas-fired power plants invest in carbon capture storage (CCS) technology? Between $50 and $60 dollars per ton of CO2, according to the initial findings of a yet to be released study by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, GER learns.

We spoke to the study’s author, Stanford‘s William R. Timken professor of accounting, Stefan Reichelstein. He start out by telling us that the paper’s findings “are preliminary and still subject to change.”

He adds:

In a cap-and-trade environment, if we’re staying below $50 -to- $60 levels natural gas-powered plant operators will find it advantageous to operate without buying permits or invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

Concretely, this means that even in a cap-and-trade world it could take a while ($50 or $60), before carbon-loaded utilities even consider cutting their emissions.

The study follows another paper Reichelstein co-authored with graduate student Ozge Islegen, released this week that among other things concluded that a cap-and-trade regime would increase the cost of electricity but not at the levels predicted by competing studies. It also estimated that the price for a ton of carbon would have to hover between $25 and $30 before utilities operating coal-fired power plants buy permits and invest in CCS technology.