Reports on Energy

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Energy. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit www.PolicyArchive.org. Full archive coming soon.

America's Emerging Clean Energy Capital: How Houston Can Lead the Nation to a New Energy Future

 

In recent years, Houston has emerged as a nationwide leader in expanding its production and use of clean energy. The City of Houston has adopted strong, energy-saving building codes, ramped up purchases of renewable energy, and begun laying the groundwork for widespread adoption of electric cars – all steps that have jump-started the area’s transition toward a clean energy economy. However, Houston still has a great deal of untapped potential to save energy and avoid pollution. This report illustrates how Houston can build on its current momentum through a number of clean energy technologies, including net-zero energy home construction, rooftop solar installations and electric vehicles (EVs).

(November 2011)
Building a Brighter Future: California’s Progress Toward a Million Solar Roofs

In early November 2011, California passed the major milestone of installing more than 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar power capacity -- more than all but five nations in the world. This success is the result of an innovative policy effort, launched in 2007, to make solar technology accessible to everyday Californians. As 2011 winds down, we are approaching the halfway point of this policy initiative. In Building a Solar Future, we take a closer look at the progress the program has achieved.

(November 2011)
A Smart Solution: EmPOWER Maryland Is Saving Energy, Saving Money, and Boosting Our Economy

Maryland electricity consumers are beginning to reap the benefits of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve energy efficiency and measures to cut peak demand. Consumers are saving money and avoiding paying for expensive new infrastructure projects, while employers have been able to increase their competitiveness and hire new staff. A Smart Solution documents these benefits, and makes recommendations on how to further strengthen efficiency measures so that the state achieves the goals of EmPOWER Maryland.

(October 2011)
Grand Canyon at Risk: Uranium Mining Doesn't Belong Near Our National Treasures

Uranium mining is an industry with a bad track record. At sites ranging from a giant tailings pile next to the Colorado River near Moab, Utah, to old mines near the Grand Canyon, the industry has left radioactive contamination behind it. Opening land near the Grand Canyon to uranium exploration would threaten one of our most valuable national places, and imperil the drinking water of 25 million downstream residents.

(August 2011)
Getting Off Oil: A 50-State Roadmap for Curbing Our Dependence on Petroleum

America's dependence on oil inflicts a heavy toll on our environment - harming our air, water and land. And with oil companies now having to go to greater lengths – and take greater risks – to satisfy the world’s demand for oil, the environmental impact of oil consumption will only increase in the years to come. Getting Off Oil describes how the United States can use a combination of local, state and federal policies to curb our consumption of oil for energy by 31 percent by 2030.

(August 2011)
Building a Clean Energy Workforce: Preparing Californians for New Opportunities in the State's Green Economy

California has taken strong action to promote cleaner cars, increase the amount of power it receives from renewable sources, and reduce emissions of global warming pollutants from throughout its economy. These policies have put California on a path toward cleaner air and improved public health, but fully achieving all potential environmental benefits will require the day-to-day work of tens of thousands of people trained in designing, implementing and repairing green technologies. Building a Clean Energy Workforce reviews the depth of green job training programs in the state and how they provide unique points of entry for California workers into the clean energy economy.

(July 2011)
A Program that Works: How the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Is Helping the Northeast Shift to Clean Energy and Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuels

Ten northeastern states created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as a tool to cut global warming pollution and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In its two years of operation, it has succeeded in promoting clean energy development and demonstrated that a market for global warming pollution allowances can function smoothly. It needs a lower cap on pollution to deliver the cuts in global warming pollution the region needs.

(June 2011)
In the Shadow of the Marcellus Boom: How Shale Gas Extraction Puts Vulnerable Pennsylvanians at Risk

From Pittsburgh to Scranton, gas companies have already drilled more than 3,000 hydraulic fracturing wells, and the state has issued permits for thousands more. Permitted well sites exist within two miles of more than 320 day care facilities, 67 schools and nine hospitals statewide.

(May 2011)
The Way Forward on Global Warming: Reducing Carbon Pollution Today and Restoring Momentum for Tomorrow by Promoting Clean Energy

Humanity is running out of time to stop the most dangerous impacts of global warming. But there is still hope. The Way Forward on Global Warming provides a substantive and strategic roadmap for rejuvenating the climate protection movement and achieving concrete reductions in global warming pollution through the pursuit of clean energy policies, mainly at the local and state levels.

(April 2011)
Saving Energy, Growing Jobs: Illinois' Energy Efficiency Industry

Energy efficiency protects Illinois' environment, saves consumers money, and reduces dependence on fossil fuels. It is also sparking the growth of new industries that are potent job creators. Saving Energy, Growing Jobs surveys Illinois' "energy efficiency industry," highlighting the hundreds of companies statewide that are working to put Illinois on track to a cleaner, more energy efficient economy.

(April 2011)
Unacceptable Risk: Two Decades of "Close Calls," Leaks and Other Problems at U.S. Nuclear Reactors

As the eyes of the world have focused on the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan, Americans have begun to raise questions about the safety of nuclear power plants in the United States. American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Indeed, at several points over the last 20 years, American nuclear power plants have experienced “close calls” that could have led to damage to the reactor core and the subsequent release of large amounts of radiation.

(March 2011)
Ohio's Clean Energy Report Card: How Wind, Solar, and Energy Efficiency are Repowering the Buckeye State

Ohio currently generates 85 percent of its electric power from coal, one of the dirtiest energy sources in existence. That makes our state the nation’s second-leading emitter of global warming pollution, costs us $1.5 billion annually on coal imported from other states, and threatens public health and the environment by releasing hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic chemicals into our air each year. Renewable energy and energy efficiency offer better ways to power our state. By decreasing the need for electricity from fossil fuels, these technologies help clean up our air and protect our environment, while also creating new jobs and new investment.

(March 2011)
Falling Behind on Energy Efficiency: Maryland Risks Missing Its Electricity Savings Goals

In recent years, energy efficiency programs launched at part of the EmPOWER Maryland Act have delivered significant benefits to Maryland’s economy and environment, saving money on consumers’ power bills and reducing health-threatening air pollution. The state will be unable to maximize these benefits, however, because it is not on track to meet the electricity savings goals established by EmPOWER Maryland, due in part to the mismanagement of the program by the Public Service Commission (PSC). In order to achieve all the benefits of energy efficiency, the PSC must do more to ensure that utilities meet EmPOWER Maryland goals by taking advantage of all opportunities to save energy that deliver a net benefit to the state.

(March 2011)
Catching the Wind: Harnessing the Potential of Offshore Wind Power to Clean Our Air and Create Jobs in Maryland

Offshore wind energy provides a tremendous environmental and economic opportunity for Maryland. Catching the Wind describes how Maryland’s vast offshore wind resource can reduce dependence on coal-fired power plants and help the state meet its renewable energy requirements. It also describes offshore wind's potential to create thousands of jobs in dozens of fields – helping to sustain existing Maryland firms and encouraging the creation of brand-new industries.

(March 2011)
Smart, Clean and Ready to Go: How Solar Water Heating can Reduce Pollution and Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Solar water heating has the potential to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and curb pollution that causes global warming and respiratory problems. By taking advantage of America’s full potential to produce hot water for homes and businesses from solar energy, the nation could reduce natural gas consumption by 2.5 percent and electricity use by nearly one percent, while avoiding 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year – equivalent to emissions from 13 coal-fired power plants or 9.9 million cars. The United States should take aggressive steps to encourage the installation of solar water heaters on homes and businesses and to promote other solar water heating technologies that can make an even bigger dent in our consumption of fossil fuels.

(March 2011)

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