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The Net-Zero Industry Tracker
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian is an advisory board member for the new World Economic Forum Net-Zero Industry Tracker report that sets the their ambition to establish a robust tracking platform that supports the emergence of low-carbon industries by the decade’s end. Industrial sectors account for nearly 40% of global energy consumption and more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The transformation of these sectors is pivotal to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. It is time to close the gaps with timely and consistent monitoring of industrial decarbonization. July 28, 2022.
Gov. Polis, as Chair of the Bipartisan Western Governors Association, Outlines Geothermal Opportunities for Colorado & West 7/26/2022
Gov. Polis, as Chair of the Bipartisan Western Governors Association, Outlines Geothermal Opportunities for Colorado & West
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian is featured on this announcement by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on his “Heat Beneath our Feet” initiative with the 2023 Western Governors’ Association (WGA). HBOF is a bold initiative that will jump-start the development of geothermal energy generation. HBOF and the exploration of geothermal energy generation is an innovative approach to expanding clean energy resources, saving people money, and promoting bipartisan partnership with other Western States. July 26, 2022.
Nuclear Power Reset?
Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert writes about how nuclear power, we’ve learned the hard way, can be dangerous and is always off-the-charts expensive. And if that doesn’t disqualify it as part of the solution to our energy woes, there are the problems of waste and nuclear weapons security. Or maybe not. Last fall, for the first time in recent memory, nuclear energy was on the agenda of very serious people trying to stop climate change. July 25, 2022.
SILO FIRE AT SITE OF FORMER EXPLOSION IN BEIRUT
Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student researcher Elijah Mt.Castle uses satellite imagery to look at the grain silo fire burning in the capital of Lebanon, Beirut. The blaze started in early July and has been continuously burning. July 21, 2022.
PAYNE INSTITUTE WELCOMES DR. CAITLIN McKENNIE RESEARCH ASSOCIATE FOR CRITICAL MINERALS
The Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines announced that Dr. Caitlin McKennie has joined the institute as a Researcher, and will be focusing her work on critical minerals. July 20, 2022.
How Manchin wobble may hit Biden’s public land oil strategy
Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how after Sen. Joe Manchin sent climate negotiations into chaos on Capitol Hill last week, the pressure is on President Joe Biden to take his own concrete steps to halt global warming, like toughening his stance on drilling for oil on public lands. The West Virginia Democrat waffled ahead of the weekend on whether he will support climate spending in ongoing negotiations over the reconciliation package that Democrats are trying to get passed ahead of the midterm elections — when the GOP is predicted to gain spots in Congress. He blamed inflation for his position. July 18, 2022.
Making carbon offset disclosure align with climate value
Payne Institute Program Manager Brad Handler, Communications Associate Simon Lomax, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the voluntary carbon market would benefit from a ratings system to score the climate effectiveness of different offset types. Carbon offsets have a valuable role to play in mobilizing private capital to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and slow the pace of climate change. July 18, 2022.
A new gold rush pits money and jobs against California’s environment
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Elizabeth Holley contributed to this article about how companies are seeking to open old mines and explore in new sensitive regions, amid resistance from Californians who want the Gold Rush to remain part of history. There is still a lot of gold in these hills and a lot of money at stake. But across California, a strong environmental ethos and, in many historic places, an economic shift toward tourism are now sharply at odds with the resumption of gold mining, despite its promise of new jobs more than a century and a half after tens of thousands of migrants arrived to strike it rich in this state on the country’s edge. July 17, 2022.
A View from the Ground Along the Proposed Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) Route
Payne Institute ESG Research Associate Baba Freeman writes about how the proposed Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) has been conceived to transport gas from the Niger delta in Nigeria, across Niger and Algeria to supply Europe as it reduces its dependence on Russian gas while transitioning to lower carbon energy. Technical risks to the pipeline’s success can also be substantially mitigated through engineering studies before the final investment decision is made. A case can be made that beyond these latter risk categories, that there would be residual risks to the TSGP’s success that are non-market and non-technical in nature. July 15, 2022.
Clearing the Non-Technical Hurdles for CCS
Payne Institute Communications Associate Brooke Bowser, Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler, CCUS Program Manager Anna Littlefield, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the oil and gas industry began injecting carbon dioxide into the ground in the 1970s as a technique to produce more oil (now called enhanced oil recovery), but today there is a renewed interest in CO2 injection for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects — this time as a way to address climate change. Despite CCS technology itself being decades-old, persistent regulatory and liability questions paired with limited economic viability threaten development, even as the industry appears to be gathering momentum for large-scale growth. July 15, 2022.
After years of contamination at Pittsburgh airport, nearby drinking water still hasn’t been tested 7/15/2022
After years of contamination at Pittsburgh airport, nearby drinking water still hasn’t been tested
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributed to this article about how the airport has known about the potential contamination on its property for years but hasn’t tested for it or taken steps to protect nearby residents. There are no laws requiring it to take action. Scientists say the airport’s $1.4 billion construction project could make the contamination problem worse. July 15, 2022.
Payne Institute for Public Policy tackling ripple effects of renewable energy on mineral supply chain 7/14/2022
Payne Institute for Public Policy tackling ripple effects of renewable energy on mineral supply chain
The Payne Institute Supply Chain Transparency Initiative is studying, documenting journey for materials that are critical to clean energy transition. Though increased clean energy should ultimately help slow the progression of climate change, it may also cause wide-ranging ripple effects around the world. The new Supply Chain Transparency Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy aims to better understand these issues and, using Mines’ technical expertise, offer solutions for addressing them. July 14, 2022.
Kamini Singha wins SEG Reginald Fessenden Award
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Kamini Singha is the recipient of the 2022 Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). Singha, whose research focuses on physical hydrologic processes on the Earth’s surface and subsurface, was selected for “her extensive and significant contributions of applied geophysics to hydrogeophysics, including critical zone hydrology, anomalous solute transport, and water resources management.” July 13, 2022.
Experts say workers shouldn’t climb coal piles, the action that records show led to 2 deaths at a Pueblo power plant 7/12/2022
Experts say workers shouldn’t climb coal piles, the action that records show led to 2 deaths at a Pueblo power plant
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jürgen Brune contributed to this article about how two contract workers who died after sinking into a 60-foot coal pile in Pueblo last month had climbed the pile to find and clear an air pocket. Coal storage piles with underground draw points always bear the risk of collapse, therefore no one should ever walk or work (on) top of such a pile. July 12, 2022.
More than 8 million Illinoisans get drinking water from a utility where forever chemicals have been detected, Tribune investigation finds 7/12/2022
More than 8 million Illinoisans get drinking water from a utility where forever chemicals have been detected, Tribune investigation finds
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributed to this article about how something as simple as drinking tap water is exposing millions of Illinoisans to toxic chemicals that build up in human blood, cause cancer and other diseases and take years to leave the body. Scientists call the chemicals per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. They are commonly known as forever chemicals because they don’t break down in the environment. July 12, 2022.
Wildfire in Yosemite National Park
Payne Institute Earth Observation Group student Elijah Mt.Castle writes about the Washburn Fire burning in the southern tip of Yosemite National Park and how it is threatening the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees. The grove contains 500 giant trees some of which are more than 2,000 years old. July 11, 2022
Why tellurium mining is the key to a low-carbon economy
Payne Institute Communications Associate Simon Lomax writes about how Utah’s Kennecott copper mine produces one of Earth’s rarest metals — tellurium. Vital to low-carbon technologies, this mining project can help us reduce our carbon emissions. But the next phase of the energy transition will be more challenging. July 7, 2022.
US College Students Are Shunning Oil-Industry Degrees for ESG Future
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jennifer Miskimins contributed to this article about how college students see energy transition marginalizing industry and the number of new oil grads seen plunging 83% from 5 years ago. Students feel that fossil fuels may not have much of a future given increasing pressure from politicians, activists and investors to pivot toward more climate-friendly energy sources. July 6, 2022.
Less is More: The Impact of Auto Lender Risk on Household Auto Purchases
Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange, Payne Institute Researcher Caitlin McKennie, and Mirko Moro write about how credit risk can be an impediment to new auto purchases, especially for electric vehicles. This paper looks at the elimination of auto loan cramdowns for Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, where the loan value is made equal to the auto value, on three outcomes: auto value, likelihood of new auto, and loan-to-value ratio of new autos. Using a difference-in-difference approach based on a state’s historical use of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we show that household’s secure better loan-to-value ratios and acquire higher valued autos due to lower credit risk following the reform. July 5, 2022.
Policy-Driven Potential for Deploying Carbon Capture and Sequestration in a Fossil-Rich Power Sector 7/2/2022
Policy-Driven Potential for Deploying Carbon Capture and Sequestration in a Fossil-Rich Power Sector
Abdallah Dindi, Payne Institute Fellow Kipp Coddington, Jada F. Garofalo, Wanying Wu, and Haibo Zhai write about how in 2020, the Wyoming Legislature enacted House Bill No. 0200 (HB0200), which requires utilities to generate a percentage of dispatchable and reliable low-carbon electricity by 2030. This state requirement must take into consideration “any potentially expiring federal tax credits”, such as the federal Section 45Q tax credit. This study aims to examine the potential role of economic and policy incentives that facilitate carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) deployment. July 2, 2022.