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    More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives
  • Does Uber Make Cities More Energy Efficient?

    Morning traffic in Paris. Photo by Tali Trigg.

    It seems you can’t read an article about new mobility or the sharing economy without stumbling across Uber; the mobility service that sprung up in 2009 to only five years later become valued at more than Avis, Hertz, or Sony. Yes, Sony. Two weeks ago, I found myself using the service for the first time, [...]

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    Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline Makes Candidates Most Appealing to Seniors and Republicans


    With Keystone XL back in the news after the pipeline bill failed to pass the Senate, I pulled up the latest UT Energy Poll data to a look at what we know about public opinion on the topic*. While we have not directly asked about attitudes on Keystone itself, we do have data on the [...]

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    Three Reasons Oncor’s Energy Storage Proposal Is a Game Changer

    The Brattle Group calculated the net effect that Oncor's proposal would have on an average Texas residential electric bill.

    Early last week, Texas transmission and distribution company Oncor announced a proposal to install 5,000 megawatts of battery energy storage on the Texas grid. The words “game-changing” get thrown around a lot about energy storage projects—usually prematurely. But in this case I think there are some clear reasons why Oncor’s proposed deal could be a [...]

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    India says “no” to coal plant after inadequate environmental impact assessment


    A panel of judges has struck down the environmental clearance for a proposed 3.6 GW coal-fired power plant in Tamil Nadu, India. The decision by the National Green Tribunal responded to an appeal by local villagers who cited concerns about water and air pollution in this already polluted area. In their review, the judges found that the “casual approach” to [...]

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    Has Support For Fracking Really Decreased? Maybe Not.

    Source: UT Energy Poll, Base: 2,105

    According to a new poll out by Pew of 1,353 Americans, support for the increased use of fracking has declined over the past year with 41% of Americans in favor of the practice and 47% opposed. But wait just one second… Is it really fair to assess support for fracking given over half of Americans [...]

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    On Competitiveness and Innovation, U.S. Falling Behind


    I’ve been mentioning R&D in talks and articles a lot lately. Most audiences outside the beltway don’t immediately know I mean Research and Development – until I explain it’s the part of our federal budget accounting for a good deal of “science stuff.” R&D supports basic research and leads to new innovation while helping boost [...]

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    How Green Is Green Energy?


    Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s keynote presentation during the 2014 Energy Thought Summit in Austin. Wozniak mostly spoke about his experience developing early versions of the personal computer, and lessons from his experience that might translate to the energy industry. When asked what advice he has for [...]

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    Think it’s Possible for the U.S. to Become the World’s Leading Producer of Oil and Gas?


    It’s not just possible, it’s happening… The United States is already overtaking Russia to become the largest oil and gas producer in the world. This question appeared on the latest UT Energy Poll to take the pulse of energy literacy in the U.S.  Previous waves reported that most Americans don’t seem to know where we [...]

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    EPA must look at human health and the environment in updating ozone standards

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 4.26.52 PM

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might be preparing to unveil a major air pollution rule change shortly after midterm elections. The new standards would reflect the latest science relating to the health and ecosystem impacts of ground-level ozone and could have significant impacts on infrastructure projects across the nation. Ground-level ozone (a.k.a. tropospheric ozone or (O3) [...]

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    Self driving vehicles are great – but we might not be ready to hand over the wheel (yet)


    The promise of self-driving vehicles has brought with it high expectations and enthusiasm. But, we might not be quite ready to hand over the wheel. Today, the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute released the results of a study on public opinion related to self-driving vehicles. According to its authors – Brandon Schoettle and Dr. [...]

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