2,178 research outputs found

    Competing Dimensions of Energy Security: An International Perspective

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    How well are industrialized nations doing in terms of their energy security? Without a standardized set of metrics, it is difficult to determine the extent that countries are properly responding to the emerging energy security challenges related to climate change, growing dependence on fossil fuels, population growth and economic development. In response, we propose the creation of an Energy Security Index to inform policymakers, investors and analysts about the status of energy conditions. Using the United States and 21 other member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as an example, and looking at energy security from 1970 to 2007, our index shows that only four countriesÂĄÂȘBelgium, Denmark, Japan, and the United KingdomÂĄÂȘhave made progress on multiple dimensions of the energy security problem. The remaining 18 have either made no improvement or are less secure. To make this argument, the first section of the article surveys the scholarly literature on energy security from 2003 to 2008 and argues that an index should address accessibility, affordability, efficiency, and environmental stewardship. Because each of these four components is multidimensional, the second section discusses ten metrics that comprise an Energy Security Index: oil import dependence, percentage of alternative transport fuels, on-road fuel economy for passenger vehicles, energy intensity, natural gas import dependence, electricity prices, gasoline prices, sulfur dioxide emissions, and carbon dioxide emissions. The third section analyzes the relative performance of four countries: Denmark (the top performer), Japan (which performed well), the United States (which performed poorly), and Spain (the worst performer). The article concludes by offering implications for policy. Conflicts between energy security criteria mean that advancement along any one dimension can undermine progress on another dimension. By focusing on a 10-point index, public policy can better illuminate such tradeoffs and can identify compensating policies

    Koch Industries, Inc. Strategie Corporate Research Report

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    [Excerpt] With its 2005 purchase of paper giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries became the largest privately-held corporation in North America. Originally started as an oil production and refining firm in the first half of the twentieth century, Koch now has major operations in petroleum, chemicals, energy, fibers and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, chemical technology equipment, forest and consumer products, ranching, trading, and securities and finance. The company, based in Wichita, Kansas, employs 80,000 people in sixty countries worldwide. Koch’s oil operations are run primarily through the Flint Hills Resources family of subsidiaries, which has a production capacity of about 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Another one of Koch’s major ventures, synthetic textiles, operates through the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, INVISTA, which produces both consumer and commodity textiles. Koch’s newest project, forest and consumer products, operates through Georgia-Pacific, which remains an independent but wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries

    California Methanol Assessment; Volume II, Technical Report

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    A joint effort by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering has brought together sponsors from both the public and private sectors for an analysis of the prospects for methanol use as a fuel in California, primarily for the transportation and stationary application sectors. Increasing optimism in 1982 for a slower rise in oil prices and a more realistic understanding of the costs of methanol production have had a negative effect on methanol viability in the near term (before the year 2000). Methanol was determined to have some promise in the transportation sector, but is not forecasted for large-scale use until beyond the year 2000. Similarly, while alternative use of methanol can have a positive effect on air quality (reducing NOx, SOx, and other emissions), a best case estimate is for less than 4% reduction in peak ozone by 2000 at realistic neat methanol vehicle adoption rates. Methanol is not likely to be a viable fuel in the stationary application sector because it cannot compete economically with conventional fuels except in very limited cases. On the production end, it was determined that methanol produced from natural gas will continue to dominate supply options through the year 2000, and the present and planned industry capacity is somewhat in excess of all projected needs. Nonsubsidized coal-based methanol cannot compete with conventional feedstocks using current technology, but coal-based methanol has promise in the long term (after the year 2000), providing that industry is willing to take the technical and market risks and that government agencies will help facilitate the environment for methanol. Given that the prospects for viable major markets (stationary applications and neat fuel in passenger cars) are unlikely in the 1980s and early 1990s, the next steps for methanol are in further experimentation and research of production and utilization technologies, expanded use as an octane enhancer, and selected fleet implementation. In the view of the study, it is not advantageous at this time to establish policies within California that attempt to expand methanol use rapidly as a neat fuel for passenger cars or to induce electric utility use of methanol on a widespread basis

    Automotive air pollution : issues and options for developing countries

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    Air pollution constitutes an ominous threat to human health and welfare. Its adverse effects are pervasive and may be disaggregated at three levels: (a) local, confined to urban and industrial centers; (b) regional, pertaining to transboundary transport of pollutants; and (c) global, related to build up of greenhouse gases. These effects have been observed globally but the characteristics and scale of the air pollution problem in developing countries are not known; nor has the problem been researched and evaluated to the same extent as in industrialized countries. Air pollution, however, can no longer be regarded as a local or a regional issue as it has global repercussions in terms of the greenhouse effect and depletion of the ozone layer. This paper discusses the contribution of motorized land transport to air pollution problems, with special reference to developing countries. It assesses the adverse effects of air pollution from transport sources, primarily motor vehicles, and reviews possible approaches to bring about improvements. The paper identifies key issues and research needs related to land transport and air pollution in developing countriesTransport and Environment,Environmental Economics&Policies,Montreal Protocol,Energy and Environment,Roads&Highways

    Emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States 1996

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    National Environmental Policy During the Clinton Years

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    We review major developments in national environmental policy during the Clinton Administration, defining environmental policy to include not only the statutes, regulations, and policies associated with reducing pollution, but also major issues of public lands management and species preservation. We adopt economic criteria for policy assessment and highlight a set of five themes that emerge in the economics of national environmental policy over the past decade. First, over the course of the decade, national environmental targets were made more stringent, and environmental quality improved. Most important among the new targets were the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ambient ozone and particulate matter, issued by EPA in July 1997, which could turn out to be one of the Clinton Administration's most enduring environmental legacies. Also, natural resource policy during the Clinton years was heavily weighted toward environmental protection. Environmental quality improved overall during the decade, continuing a trend that began in the 1970s, although improvements were much less than during the previous two decades. Second, the use of benefit-cost analysis for assessing environmental regulation was controversial in the Clinton Administration, while economic efficiency emerged as a central goal of the regulatory reform movement in the Congress during the 1990s. When attention was given to increased efficiency, the locus of that attention during the Clinton years was the Congress in the case of environmental policies and the Administration in the case of natural resource policies. Ironically, the increased attention given to benefit-cost analysis may not have had a marked effect on the economic efficiency of environmental regulations. Third, cost-effectiveness achieved a much more prominent position in public discourse regarding environmental policy during the 1990s. From the Bush Administration through the Clinton Administration, interest and activity regarding market-based instruments for environmental protection, particularly tradeable permit systems, continued to increase. Fourth, the Clinton Administration put much greater emphasis than previous administrations on expanding the role of environmental information disclosure and voluntary programs. While such programs can provide cost-effective ways of reaching environmental policy goals, little is known about their actual costs or effectiveness. Fifth and finally, the Environmental Protection Agency placed much less emphasis on economic analysis during the 1990s. EPA leadership was more hostile to economic analysis than it had been under the prior Bush Administration, and it made organizational changes to reflect this change in priorities.