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Category Archives: Energy

Access Denied: Federal Web Governance Under the Trump Administration

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), February 2021: “The Trump administration pushed the boundaries of rules, guidelines, and norms in most areas of governance. Manipulating public information was a key tactic, which included dramatic and damaging changes to federal agency websites relating to environmental regulations. These changes led the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) to identify acute gaps in federal website governance and develop recommendations for reforms under the Biden administration and beyond. Websites are the primary means by which federal environmental agencies communicate with the public and serve as resources paid for by American tax dollars to benefit the public. Changes to language, content, or access to federal websites can directly affect public knowledge of and participation in environmental decision-making. While considerable guidance exists for the delivery of federal digital services , there is scant policy focused on the web content provided by federal agencies, and born-digital resources are by and large excluded from record-keeping laws. There are no repercussions, for example, for agencies stripping websites that contain inconvenient factual information for a given political agenda. In this digital age and at this juncture in the development and protection of American democracy, EDGI recommends that the Biden administration swiftly develop progressive web-based information policies to be implemented across federal agencies and then codified into law. These policies and laws would provide standards for web governance , that is, the creation and management of data and informational resources provided on digital platforms. We recommend that regulatory-related resources–informational resources that pertain to the purpose, function, or impact of environmental laws–be a web governance priority…”

To Avoid a Repeat of Blackouts, Researcher Suggests Diversifying

Medium – Big Idea: Thousands of Californians suffered blackouts this fall, but research offers steps for utilities to prevent similar outages in the future. “In October and November, more than 800,000 Californians lost power, when Pacific Gas & Electric turned off transmission lines to prevent wildfires. In 2011, 54 Japanese nuclear plants were closed, after a… Continue Reading

Power Outages in Texas

CRS Insight – Power Outages in Texas, February 17, 2021: “Texas’s power outages, many experts argue, are largely a result of policies for electricity independence that the state has pursued for decades. Texas operates its own independent electrical grid, run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) that serves most of the state. Texas… Continue Reading

How are bitcoin created?

The Hustle – “An illustrated guide to bitcoin mining, blockchains, and the “minting” process of cryptocurrency’s most popular coin. Bitcoin has had a banner start to the year. Less than 2 months after breaking the $20k barrier for the first time, the digital currency more than doubled in price, hitting a high of $49,344 this… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber Releases In-Depth Analysis of U.S.-China Economic Relationship

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s China Center, in partnership with Rhodium Group, released a new analysis today examining the complexity of the U.S.-China economic relationship. A first-of-its-kind study, “Understanding U.S.-China Decoupling: Macro Trends and Industry Impacts” seeks to better understand the degree to which the U.S. and Chinese economies are intertwined and dependent on each… Continue Reading

Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation

CDC- Schools and Child Care Programs​ – Plan, Prepare, and Respond – “As communities plan safe delivery of in-person instruction in K-12 schools, it is essential to decide when and under what conditions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is critical for… Continue Reading

Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina’

BBC News: “”Mining” for the cryptocurrency is power-hungry, involving heavy computer calculations to verify transactions. Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year – and is unlikely to fall unless the value of the currency slumps. Critics say electric-car firm Tesla’s decision to invest heavily in Bitcoin undermines its environmental image. The… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Preview of 2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings

CRS Report – Supreme Court Preview of2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings, Updated February 11, 2021: “The Supreme Court 2019-2020 term, which started on October 1, 2019, was historic in unexpected ways. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the Court indefinitely closing its building to the public, postponing… Continue Reading

We use 6.8 billion face masks a day. Researchers want to turn them into roads

Fast Company – And the roads could be even stronger than traditional roads, according to new research in the journal ‘Science of the Total Environment: “The disposable masks you see every day have to go somewhere. Many, if not most, end up in a landfill. Researchers have developed a new material that turns all those… Continue Reading