In 2010, coal-fired power plants represented 45% of the electricity generated in the United States and oil a smaller amount, 1%. Combined together they are the dominant air polluters and facing tough new restrictions from the EPA.
Unfortunately, they have a few years to clean-up and that doesn’t help if you live in one of the toxic twenty states. Visit the previous link to see how your state compares, or scan this map to see if any of the polluting power plants are close to you.
Continue reading Map of coal and oil-fired power plants in the United States
Last month, Michael Noble of Fresh Energy put up a fascinating list of projections made by energy experts around 2000 or so. Suffice to say, the projections did not fare well. They were badly wrong…
What should we take from this?
The projections weren’t just off, they were way off. You can find similarly poor projections from the ’70s that underestimate the spread of energy efficiency and other demand-side technology solutions (They thought they were going to need hundreds of nuclear plants). Similarly terrible projections were also common in the early years of cell phones.
What do cell phones, energy efficiency, and renewable energy have in common? One, they are dynamic areas of technology development and market competition, which makes straight-line projections pretty useless. And two, they are distributed, with millions of loosely networked people and organizations working on them in parallel. Distributed, human-scale technologies come in small increments. They replicate quickly, so there’s more variation and competitive selection, and thus more evolution.
Keep reading: Grist – Why do ‘experts’ always lowball clean-energy projections?
Continue reading Why do experts always lowball clean energy projections?
The debate goes much deeper than who received money, but these numbers are still important:
In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
A Think Progress Green analysis shows:
- The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA).
The oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.
55 percent of Americans want to see the subsidies stopped.
via Think Progress Green
Thx to Justin Bacon
Transportation, not electricity, is the source of oil’s importance: since the 1970s, the U.S. has weaned its power sector off of oil. Today only one percent of U.S. electricity is generated from oil and only one percent of U.S. oil demand is due to electricity generation. Thus expansion of electricity generation from solar, wind, nuclear, and other power sources will not serve to displace oil in any perceptible manner. Plug in an electric vehicle today and 99% of the electricity its battery is charged with will not be generated from oil.
via United States Energy Security Council
Thx to Steven Witt
Keep reading – California launches a statewide network of charging stations for electric vehicles
The following chart shows U.S. petroleum and gasoline usage for the same three-month period (Dec-Feb) going back to 1992.
Note that petroleum usage is back to 1995 levels, and gasoline usage is back to 2001.
Chart via Global Economic Analysis – (thx to Steven Witt for the tip)
This graph highlights a continuing U.S. trend where oil imports have also dropped to 13 year lows, and we are importing less than half of our oil.