Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown's Vow to Slash Oil Use in California Cars in Trouble
The meltdown of California’s cap-and-trade system of reducing carbon emissions has not only thrown its climate-change crusade into disarray but has also caused collateral damage.
One victim is Gov. Jerry Brown’s $3.1 billion plan to spend auction proceeds, now on indefinite hold. It not only affects a $500 million allocation for Brown’s bullet train project, but also another $500 million for “low-carbon transportation and fuels.”
The latter is a centerpiece of Brown’s very ambitious drive to reduce petroleum use in auto travel -- the largest single source of California’s carbon emissions -- by 50 percent by 2030 even though the state legislature indirectly rejected that goal last year.
Reuters: White House Economists Say Coal Program Costing Taxpayers
A U.S. program meant to encourage coal mining on federal land is open to industry abuse and costs taxpayers billions of dollars in lost revenue every year, a White House study to be released on Wednesday concluded.
Roughly 40 percent of U.S. coal comes from federal land, and taxpayers are being shortchanged on those sales due to lax oversight and permissive royalty rules, according to the report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors.
"The program has been structured in a way that misaligns incentives, going back for decades," according to the report.
Washington Post: This Tiny Change to Nest Thermostats Could Have Big Energy Consequences
The new software announced Tuesday by Nest Labs, the Alphabet-owned smart-thermostat maker whose devices are appearing in more and more homes, may sound kind of wonky at first. In fact, it opens the door to a pretty profound change in how we use electricity.
Called “Time of Savings,” the program will allow Nest thermostats installed in key U.S. regions to learn when their owners are participating in what is called a time-of-use electricity plan. In these plans, which are greatly favored by economists, people actually pay more for electricity at key times when it is in greater demand (say, the evening), but less at times of lower demand (which is most times). In effect, consumers become economic actors with a reason to make a rational choice about how and when they use electricity.
The Verge: The Hyperloop May Be Heading to Moscow
Hyperloop One, an L.A.-based startup working to realize Elon Musk's dream of 760-mph tube-based transportation, announced today that it struck a partnership with the city of Moscow thanks to the support of a mysterious Russian oligarch.
The startup and the Summa Group, a Russian port and oil business owned by billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov, says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Moscow to explore connecting the city's transportation grid to the Hyperloop. It's also further evidence that the first Hyperloop is likely to be built in a country other than the U.S.
Vox: Yes, We Want Energy-Efficient Homes. But We Haven't Done the Work Yet
There have never been more options to manage your energy use at home. If energy nerdery is your thing, tools and services abound to help you cut consumption, increase efficiency, and generate your own electricity. In fact, "behind-the-meter" energy management is one of the hottest topics in the energy world today, full of all kinds of hype and utopian predictions (some of which I have made myself).
And why not? Energy management can be fun. It’s like a puzzle -- and as you solve it, you do something tangible to cut your emissions and contribute to the climate fight.
So it’s worth it, for us energy journalists at least, to take a deep breath and remember that the home energy management revolution hasn’t actually arrived yet. Things are shifting, especially among younger customers, but managing your own energy is still more of a hassle and expense than most homeowners want to take on.