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Posts from the ‘Coal’ Category

Exploring a Carbon Price for Colorado

In May of 2013 I gave a talk at Clean Energy Action’s Global Warming Solutions Speaker Series in Boulder, on how we might structure a carbon pricing scheme in Colorado. You can also download a PDF of the slides and watch an edited version of that presentation via YouTube:

The short policy overview:

  • We should begin levying a modest carbon tax, in the range of $5 to $25/ton of CO2e.
  • The tax must be applied to the fossil fuels used in electricity generation (coal and natural gas). Ideally it should also be applied to gasoline, diesel, natural gas used outside the power sector, and fugitive methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, but those are less important for the moment.
  • New electricity generation resources must be allowed to compete economically with the operation of existing carbon-intensive facilities, and fuel costs must not be blindly passed through to consumers without either rigorous regulatory oversight, or utilities sharing fuel price risk.
  • Carbon tax revenues should be spent on emissions mitigation, providing reliable, low-cost financing for energy efficiency measures and a standard-offer contract with modest performance-based returns for new renewable generation.
  • Over time the carbon price should be increased and applied uniformly across all segments of the economy, with the eventual integration of  consumption based emissions footprinting for imported goods.

But wait… I can hear you saying, I thought the Citizen’s Climate Lobby was rallying support for a revenue neutral carbon tax proposal?  Even the arch-conservative American Enterprise Institute was looking into it, weren’t they?

Read on to understand why we disagree on the issue of revenue neutrality.

Read more

What Value Should We Place on Our Future?

Courtesy of the Old Marlovian

Courtesy of the Old Marlovian

By: Alexandra Czastkiewicz

October 2013

The social cost of carbon might not be a conversation that comes up at the dinner table, but realize it or not the implications of global climate change are far reaching and daunting. How important is the fate of the future generation? When your children grow up, what kind of world do you want them to experience? Putting a numeric value on the future is difficult, but it must be done if we are to change the direction of our energy future, and introduce cleaner energy technologies that produce less harmful pollution and emissions.

Coal is perceived as a more economic energy source then many renewable technologies. The Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences recently published an article about the implications of modernizing our electricity systems. The US government needs an official cost estimate associated with the production of CO2 from fossil fuels. According to report, without counting pollution and carbon emissions, coal, on average, costs 3.0 cents/kWh versus wind energy (8.0 cents/kWh) or photovoltaics (13.3 cents/kWh) (Johnson et al. 2013). The government is now trying to take into account the environmental costs of using fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. This includes adding a cost of potential damages caused by the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. These potential and already realized costs include damages and deaths incurred from drought, floods, heat waves, hurricanes and other natural phenomenon that have been exacerbated given human induced climate change. Additionally, the social cost of carbon has serious public safety and health implications. Increased pollution has led to increases in asthma, water contamination, and rises in climate sensitive diseases. Every day our health and wellbeing are being compromised and if we do not change our current energy practices, and it will only continue to worsen for our futures. Read more

Clean Energy Action Launches Crowdfund for Latest Coal Report

The United States is rapidly approaching the end of economically recoverable coal reserves and Clean Energy Action wants everyone to know it. On November 1st, 2013, Clean Energy Action launched a crowdfund through Indiegogo that will raise money to share our latest coal report, “Warning: Faulty Reporting on U.S. Coal Reserves,” with everyone throughout the United States and many throughout the world. Similar reports on coal reserves have been found to cost $15,000 dollars per copy, so we are working to raise $45,000, the price for three copies, to make this information free and open to the public.

indiegogoClean Energy Action’s hard-hitting coal report will reveal to the press, government agencies, organizations, research and financial institutions, and citizens the rough economic change this nation faces if it continues to be powered by expensive coal.

Please consider donating to our crowdfund and sharing it with all of your coworkers, friends, and colleagues. We need to end our dependence on coal now, and you can be a part in the movement towards a safe, clean, renewable energy future.