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Category Archives: Alternative Fuels

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Executive Orders & Carbon Emissions: Can Governor Inslee Establish A Low Carbon Fuel Standard Without Legislation?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, Legislation

The authority of a governmental executive to issue an executive order has recently been a hot topic in the politico-legal world. President Obama’s issuance of Executive Order 13682 sparked a national debate over the Executive’s power to establish and enforce his own laws on controversial issues. The validity of executive orders may very soon become… Continue Reading

What Does Data Show About the Economics of Regional Cap-and-Trade?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Climate Change, Entrepreneurs, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business

Back before the recession, there was a major push in Washington State to adopt a state carbon cap-and-trade program as part of Washington’s membership in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).  The argument was heated, and like most things these days tended to split on party lines with a gulf between the two.  Democrats generally argued… Continue Reading

Oberlin, Ohio Joins the Ground Game of Carbon Neutrality

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business

I was asked last week to refer someone to a consultant who could help them evaluate a business selling carbon credits and renewable energy credits. While I could suggest a consultant to do that, I had to note that selling carbon credits just isn’t the same business as it would have been if the United… Continue Reading

One More (Baby?) Step Towards Aviation Fuel From Forest Biomass

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Natural Resources and Environment, Regulatory, Renewable Energy

Air travel is a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions and a major consumer of fossil fuels.  As a result Boeing and Airbus, as well as European airlines, have made major investments in developing aviation biofuel.  In 2008 Boeing said that aviation biofuel would be a reality by 2011. Well, 2011 is here, but commercial… Continue Reading

Hearing on HB 1268 Presents a Microcosm of Why Adopting and Implementing an Energy Policy that Moves Away from the Status Quo Is So Hard

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Renewable Energy

The Washington State Green Energy Leadership Plan Report, released October 21, 2010, identified four areas where it found Washington State might be able to achieve leadership in emerging segments of the future green economy. As we discussed in an earlier post, for two of those areas – combined energy efficiency, green building and smart grid… Continue Reading

CAN WE HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT THE COST OF CAP-AND-TRADE?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Climate Change, Entrepreneurs, Natural Resources and Environment, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business

Washington’s Department of Ecology recently issued a report entitled “Washington Western Climate Initiative Economic Impact Analysis,” which predicts that if the cap-and-trade program advocated by the Western Climate Initiative were adopted, the result would be an additional 19,300 jobs by 2020 and $3.3 billion increased economic output in the state product by 2020.  Presumably those… Continue Reading

Can Forest Biomass Solve Two Problems at Once? Or Will It Just Give Us Two Dead Birds?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Natural Resources and Environment, Sustainable Business

We like to think about killing two birds with one stone. Seems efficient. Burning forest biomass to create electricity is one of the potential solutions to reducing CO2 emissions and fossil fuel consumption. If forest biomass is grown sustainably, it can be produced indefinitely. Burning forest biomass also potentially creates the opportunity to improve forest… Continue Reading

Kerry-Boxer Bill – Part Two of a Many-Part Series: The Personal Transportation Sector

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment

The simple fact is that America’s love affair with the automobile has a whole lot to do with making us not only the largest producer of greenhouse gases but also the largest per capita producer of greenhouse gases in the world. [China’s race to become the second largest producer of greenhouse gases is fueled in… Continue Reading

Kerry-Boxer Bill – Part One of a Many-Part Series: Promoting Nuclear Power

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment

The pundits seem to be lost in an endless game of “how many ways can we say that governing is harder than it looked when President Obama was elected?” As any teenager would tell us, “well, duh!” It is clear that the President will not be able to march through nearly as much of his… Continue Reading

Urban Wood Waste Cuts Seattle Steam’s Fossil Fuel Carbon Emissions in Half

Posted in Alternative Fuels, LEED, Renewable Energy

Seattle Steam Company was founded in 1893. It has 18 miles of steam pipes running under the streets of downtown Seattle, which it uses to distribute steam to approximately 200 downtown buildings, and the First Hill neighborhoods. That steam heats the buildings, sterilizes hospital instruments, and creates the hot water to wash mountains of hotel… Continue Reading

Would a Feed-In Tariff for Solar Energy Make Distributed Energy Work?

Posted in Alternative Fuels, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Renewable Energy

Most of the discussion about substituting renewable energy for fossil fuels in the production of electricity focuses on major projects – the wind farm that can light Vancouver, or the co-generation plant that can supply all the electricity for Bellevue. It may be that such projects will be necessary, but they are at the very… Continue Reading