The Energy Department's Solar Futures Study envisions solar accounting for 40% of the US energy mix by 2050, but turning that blueprint into reality will require overcoming some significant hurdles. This piece discusses what it will take to accelerate US solar growth, including developing a domestic supply chain, access to skilled labor, sourcing polysilicon and other materials in a low-cost manner and building out a smart electrical grid.
The European Space Agency plans to drill up to 2 meters into Mars using the Rosalind Franklin Mars rover, which would collect a soil sample and study it in an onboard laboratory. The rover, scheduled to head toward Mars next year, could provide more details about Martian geology and history by drilling deeper than any previous rover and examining soil that hasn't been inundated by surface radiation, project scientists say.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of environmental groups, striking down Idaho's general concentrated animal feeding operations permit for regulating discharge from feedlots and other animal sites under the Clean Water Act. The permit includes provisions for regulating underground and dry weather discharges but doesn't contain "monitoring requirements for either kind of discharge," the court said.
A $100 billion carbon capture project proposed by ExxonMobil for the Houston area has garnered support from 11 other energy companies, including Chevron, Dow Inc. and Phillips 66. "If appropriate policies and regulations are put in place, CCS could generate tens of thousands of new jobs, protect current jobs and reduce emissions at a lower cost to society than many other widely available technologies," the companies said in a statement.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee has opened an investigation into public information campaign by the fossil fuel industry about climate change and called on top executives at the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil, BP America, Shell Oil Company, Chevron and the US Chamber of Commerce to testify at a hearing next month. API "welcomes the opportunity to testify again" and "advance our priorities of pricing carbon, regulating methane and reliably producing American energy," said spokeswoman Bethany Aronhalt.
The Energy Department expects US Gulf of Mexico oil production to decline by 200,000 barrels per day in August to 1.5 million barrels per day and by 500,000 barrels per day in September to 1.2 million barrels per day due to disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida. The storm affected as much as 96% of crude oil output and 94% of natural gas output, but production volumes should recover fully by October.
Warwick Investment Group has reached a deal to acquire oil and natural gas assets in the Eagle Ford Shale from Rosewood Resources for $450 million and said that future development will target natural gas and natural gas liquids. "Current oil production and near-term development will provide Warwick exposure to oil prices and the recovery in oil demand observed in the persistent decline in U.S. oil inventories," Warwick said.
Strong demand from airlines coupled with prospects for a supportive policy environment is prompting US refiners to consider including sustainable aviation fuel in their plans for renewable diesel production. However, government subsidies for SAF production will need to be higher than those for renewable diesel to encourage investments by refiners, according to Turner, Mason & Company analyst Robert Auers.
President Joe Biden's climate agenda will help reduce carbon emissions, and clean energy growth will also lower the cost of consumer products while ensuring the delivery of low-cost electricity, according to a blog post written by White House economists Heather Boushey, Noah Kaufman and R. Daniel Bressler. "Our collective failure to address climate change will continue to add costs to family budgets in the decade to come, which can be reduced if we can bring down carbon emissions now," they wrote.
Vineyard Wind is seeking approval for the 800-megawatt and 1.2-gigawatt Commonwealth Wind projects under Massachusetts' latest request for proposals. "We have deliberately named our proposals 'Commonwealth Wind' to underline the broad benefit of affordable energy to the entire Commonwealth as well as the significant economic benefits that will be delivered to multiple regions of Massachusetts," said CEO Lars Pederson.
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