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.

Energy Efficiency: The Smart Way to Reduce Global Warming Pollution in the Northeast

In 2005, Northeast states from Delaware to Maine worked on developing a regional system to limit global warming pollution from power plants, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The main argument against an aggressive cap is that it will cost too much. However, as Energy Efficiency: The Smart Way to Reduce Global Warming Pollution in the Northeast highlights, a strategy that couples limits on carbon dioxide emissions with vigorous efficiency measures can reduce the cost of the program, enable greater emission reductions and boost the region’s economy.

(August 2005)
Making Sense of America's Oil Needs: A Sustainable, State-Based Response to Dwindling Oil Supplies

Rising oil prices are pinching the American economy. And, if many oil industry analysts are correct, prices won’t be coming back down any time soon. Indeed, it appears that the era of “cheap oil” may well be over. Making Sense of America’s Oil Needs examines the long-term oil supply challenges facing the United States and the world and makes the case for short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies to reduce dependence on oil through improved energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy sources.

(August 2005)
Achieving a New Energy Future: How States Can Lead America to a Clean, Sustainable Economy

At the dawn of the 21st century, America faces immense energy challenges, and enjoys boundless opportunities. To properly address these challenges, America must transform how it produces and consumes energy. We must do it. And we can. Achieving a New Energy Future details the contributions energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy can make to an economically and environmentally sustainable energy future.

(August 2005)
More Heat than Light: Global Warming Pollution from the Northeast's Dirtiest Power Producers

Most global warming pollution from electricity generation in the Northeast comes from a handful of power plants, owned by a small number of companies. More Heat than Light identifies the worst polluting power plants and their owners—making the case that cleaning up these plants should be the first step to reduce global warming pollution from power generation.

(July 2005)
Bringing Solar to Scale: California's Opportunity to Create a Thriving, Self-Sustaining Residential Solar Market

Given its abundant sunshine, California has tremendous solar power potential. Increased reliance on solar power would reduce the state’s air pollution, decrease the need for expensive upgrades to electricity transmission and distribution systems, and protect California consumers from volatile electricity prices. Bringing Solar to Scale: California’s Opportunity to Create a Thriving, Self-Sustaining Residential Solar Market, illustrates that government programs—designed to promote long-term market development through financial incentives and new construction design policies – can lead to increased demand, lowered prices, and ultimately a robust, self-sufficient solar market in which government incentives are no longer necessary.

(April 2005)
Renewing Arizona's Economy: The Clean Energy Path to Jobs and Economic Growth

Investing in a clean, renewable energy supply for Arizona would generate thousands of new high-paying jobs, boost Arizona’s economy, conserve scarce water supplies, reduce pollution and improve public health. Renewing Arizona’s Economy quantifies the benefits of an accelerated renewable energy standard for the state.

(April 2005)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced Technology Vehicles for Maine

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Maine outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(March 2005)

The bulk of the electricity consumed in New Jersey is generated by coal-fired and nuclear power plants, which generate global warming pollution and radioactive waste. Generating power by using fossil fuels or nuclear power imposes unbearable costs on our environment, our health, and our economy. The Environmental Case for Wind Power in New Jersey argues that instead of increasing our dependence on dangerous, polluting power sources, New Jersey should tap into clean, sustainable energy resources such as wind power.

(March 2005)
The Economics of Solar Homes in California: How Residential Photovoltaic Incentives Can Pay Off for Homeowners and the Public

Developing clean, abundant solar power resources in California can benefit all those who live and work in the state—reducing air pollution, protecting consumers from volatile electricity prices, and reducing the need for expensive upgrades to electric transmission and distribution systems. The Economics of Solar Homes in California shows that residents of nine of California’s fastest-growing municipalities (in 2003-2004) could save money on their electricity bills by installing solar panels on new homes—provided that the state steps up to the plate with a substantial and long-term commitment to promote solar power.

(December 2004)
A Briefing Guide to Initiative 297: Protecting Washington from Nuclear Waste at Hanford

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington is one of the most contaminated nuclear waste sites in the world. Containing the threat to public health and the environment from the Hanford Site will be a daunting and time consuming task, but a vitally necessary one. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is advancing a new cleanup plan that will undermine progress and leave Washington at risk. To ensure that DOE lives up to its commitment to clean up the Hanford Site, citizens have banded together to put forward Initiative 297 for voter approval. This report summarizes the major issues behind Initiative 297 and the role it will play in holding the DOE to a higher standard.

(October 2004)
Stopping Global Warming Begins at Home: The Case Against the Use of Offsets in a Regional Power Sector Cap-and-Trade Program

A group of northeastern states have joined together in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to limit emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants in the region. A number of stakeholders in the RGGI process have suggested that the region allow owners of power plants to purchase “offsets” (reductions in global warming emissions made at other facilities outside the region or at facilities other than the fossil fuel power plants regulated under the program). Allowing offsets to be used to comply with a regional power-sector emission cap could undermine otherwise significant gains in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power generating facilities.

(September 2004)
Making Sense of Hydrogen: The Potential Role of Hydrogen in Achieving a Clean, Sustainable Transportation System

The use of hydrogen as a fuel for cars and trucks has been touted as an environmentally responsible way to end America’s dependence on foreign oil. However, Making Sense of Hydrogen explains that a transition to a “hydrogen economy”—if poorly executed—could extend America’s dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power, while doing little to solve the environmental problems caused by our dependence on polluting and dangerous sources of energy. Making Sense of Hydrogen outlines a sensible path for the development of an environmentally sound hydrogen economy, beginning with strong investments in improving automobile fuel economy and developing renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and energy from crops.

(August 2004)
Rhode Island Responds to Global Warming: Priority Policies for Reducing Rhode Island's Contribution to Global Warming

In 2001, the governors of the six New England states made an historic commitment to reduce their region’s emissions of global warming pollution. Rhode Island Responds to Global Warming documents how Rhode Island could make major strides toward reducing emissions of global warming gases over the next several decades by adopting a series of policy strategies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

(August 2004)
Toward a Consumer-Oriented Electric System: Assuring Affordability, Reliability, Accountability, and Balance After a Decade of Restructuring

The restructuring of the electric industry during the 1990s was touted as a way to reduce costs for consumers and promote innovation and competition. But, a decade later, consumers in many states that have undergone restructuring are faced with high prices, unreliable service, few choices and less accountability from electric utilities. Toward a Consumer-Oriented Electric System documents the many challenges facing the electric system after a decade of restructuring and proposes a series of principles and policies for resolving these problems for the benefit of consumers.

(June 2004)
Greening the Budget: 11 Ideas for Protecting the Environment and Easing Maryland's Fiscal Crisis

Eleven fiscally sound and environmentally friendly “green budget” policies evaluated in this report could help the State of Maryland ease its budget crisis while discouraging waste and pollution. Closing harmful loopholes in the tax code, eliminating unfair subsidies for pollution, and cutting wasteful projects would create financial disincentives for sprawling growth, air pollution, wetlands development, overuse of groundwater, and other environmentally damaging activities. Adopting these policies could increase state revenues by at least $145 million, with up to $3 billion in long-term savings.

(June 2004)

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