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Predictably Unpredictable: Volatility in Future Energy Supply and Price from Over-Dependence on Natural Gas

In response to the 2000-2001 energy crisis on the West Coast, Washington state policy makers rushed to approve and encourage the construction of as many natural gas power plants as possible. Demand for natural gas across the country is skyrocketing, and domestic supplies are tight. Predictably Unpredictable explains how Washington is setting itself up for an energy crisis by relying so heavily on one fuel source, and recommends tapping the vast in-state potential for renewable energy instead.

(September 2003)
After the Blackout: Achieving a Cleaner, More Reliable Electric System

The Northeast blackout of 2003 showed yet again that today's cumbersome, centralized power grid linked to fossil fuel-fired and nuclear power plants is a costly, unreliable and environmentally destructive anachronism. After the Blackout, a paper issued three weeks after the blackout cut power to 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada, distills the lessons of the blackout and calls for the creation of a decentralized, resilient and consumer-focused electric system that taps the nation’s ample potential for energy efficiency, clean renewable power, and distributed generation.

(September 2003)
Cars and Global Warming: Policy Options to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Massachusetts Cars and Light Trucks

The transportation sector produces roughly 35 percent of Massachusetts’ global warming pollution. Cars and Global Warming explains how Massachusetts could reduce global warming emissions from passenger vehicles by adopting California’s clean car standards. By requiring advanced-technology vehicles—including hybrid-electric and eventually hydrogen vehicles—and establishing global warming pollution standards, the clean cars program will begin to reduce Massachusetts’ contribution to global warming.

(April 2003)
More Roads, More Traffic: The Failure of Road-Building to Alleviate Traffic Congestion in Maryland

Despite spending millions of dollars to build 7,000 lane mile to its road network from 1985 to 2000, Maryland’s congestion problem continues to get worse. A major reason is generated traffic—the new, longer, or diverted trips that develop once highway capacity in an area is increased. Generated traffic reduces or negates the congestion-fighting benefits of highway expansion. Evidence from university studies of congestion patterns, government statistics on transportation and academic research shows that highway expansion is not an effective way to fight congestion. Maryland should shift its transportation strategy away from costly highway expansion projects and toward alternatives that can provide more transportation choices to residents.

(April 2002)

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