Category: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

August 10, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Perspectives

On the road with eco plastics

by Sarah McKee

Jeff Bridges as "The Dude"

My car (a ’99 Honda Accord with 175,000+ miles) has been paid off for several months now and with all the new entries in the market, I’m officially shopping for a new car.   (The Dude, Jeff Bridges, is quite convincing about the new Hyndai Sonata.)  Fellow WaterCooler blogger, Eric Bickel is also making me see fuel economy in a whole new way.  Now, the question is, do I go hybrid and put into practice a personal sustainability strategy? continue

August 3, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Generation, Natural Gas, Sustainability

The Summer of Policy – Cross-State Air Pollution Ruling

by Eric Bickel

Summer 2011 is quickly becoming known as the Summer of Policy Initiatives (trademark: me) as the EPA have recently rolled out two emissions-related policies, while President Obama has just announced a brand new set of fuel economy standards.

Although these policies initially seem straightforward, the toughest part is establishing their indirect impact. Their direct effect on the energy world is usually apparent (as we will see), while the knock-on effects are generally more difficult to predict (as we will also see). So here is a step-by-step guide to the changing world of energy policy, covering these three current and relevant policies (in separate posts, for the sake of both your and my sanity):

  • Cross-State Air Pollution Ruling (CSAPR)
  • Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards (ONGAP)
  • The Obama Administration Fuel Economy Standards (FES) continue
June 28, 2011 • Current Events, Electricity, Energy's Lighter Side

The early ’70s: OPEC, AAA, SPR and Corinthian leather

by Chad Holder

Recently, Summit Energy commodity analyst Matt Smith appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to field questions on how the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) affects the crude oil market. Matt’s appearance led me to do a little digging on the history of the SPR, which uncovered five fascinating historical footnotes, some awesome ’70s-era YouTube video clips and 62 underground salt caverns that hold more than 700 million barrels of crude oil. continue

June 28, 2011 • Sustainability

Turning waste into energy

by Katie Schultz

Recently, I passed a Waste Management truck with the following message advertised on its side: “The waste we collect helps power over one million homes.” I hastily scribbled a note to myself as a reminder to research Waste Management and find out exactly how they are involved in energy management. continue

June 27, 2011 • Electricity, Energy Efficiency, Energy Innovation, Natural Gas, Perspectives, Sustainability

Look who’s talking: Experts on the speaking circuit

by AmyHiggs

June has been a whirlwind of activity at Summit, and I’ve had trouble keeping up with everything going on. (Not that this is different than any other month, but I digress.) In the midst of all the standard nuttiness were some speaking gigs by Summit folks who are pretty well known as experts in their fields. continue

May 16, 2011 • Emerging Technology, Energy's Lighter Side, Natural Gas, Perspectives

Old man embraces new fuel technology

by Chad Holder

Get off my lawn!

Another birthday and a drawer full of v-neck undershirts signal I’m ready to embrace my inner “old man.” These days I spend a lot of time complaining and talking about the way things were “back in my day,” back before gasoline was $4.07 a gallon. One day last week unleaded gas shot up 37 cents a gallon. Summit Energy commodity analyst, Matt Smith, attributed the meteoric rise to “flooding on the Mississippi, which is impacting both production and transportation of the fuel.” Matt’s right, of course, but the grumpy old man in me would rather blame it on “kids these days” or Communism. continue

May 13, 2011 • Current Events, Sustainability

Royal Footprints

by Katie Schultz

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton brought out the romantic in me, and I waited in eager anticipation to see the big moments unfold on my TV screen. It was exciting to see the wedding dress, to hear the vows, and to watch as a country closed down to honor the nuptials of its new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

I was just as surprised as anyone to see Prince William and his bride come driving out of the gates of Buckingham Palace in his father’s 1969 Aston Martin DB6. What brought me out of my teary-eyed stupor was the mention of how “green” that vintage blue car actually was. continue

March 2, 2011 • Current Events, Sustainability, Travel & Leisure

Sundance: More Movies, Less Megawatts

by Sarah McKee

I’m a huge movie fan and there are many reasons why this time of year is one of my favorites: the Oscars, the anticipation of the upcoming year’s movies and the reviews from the Sundance Film Festival.  This year I’ve been on such a movie high that I’ve already decided on next year’s vacation — a trip to Sundance to see its glory all for myself!

Although I have a whole year to plan my trip to Utah (the next festival is in January 2012), it was raining today and there’s no better time to plan a vacation than on a rainy afternoon. I’ve officially begun my research.  As I checked out the various venues and my lodging options, I learned that the 2011 Sundance Film Festival utilized renewable energy credits to offset the electricity use for the fifth consecutive year. continue

February 24, 2011 • Energy Efficiency, Energy Innovation, Perspectives

Infographics Are Awesome

by Kent Evans

Pretty much all you have to do to get a marketing person’s attention is call something an “infographic.” It brings the marketers running like Pavlov’s dinner bell. I admit to being a sucker for them, and in our energy management space, we suffer no shortage of creative people trying to visually demonstrate something related to energy benchmarking, greenhouse gas emissions or energy efficiency projects.  Since the first cave drawings were etched by our forefathers, mankind has searched for increasingly compelling ways to share information in a visual context. Infographics are the latest evolutionary step. continue

February 9, 2011 • Current Events, Perspectives, Sustainability

An Emerging Leader in an emerging field

by John Hoekstra

It’s challenging to help clients lead in an energy world that is changing drastically … and fast. So there was a lot of celebrating here last week when we received the designation of “Emerging Leader” for our enterprise-wide software system for managing sustainability metrics, known as dashboarDView (DV). The journey from Kyoto to here has been an exciting one. continue

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