The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its Chicago Business Barometer™ soared in December to its highest level since July 1988, representing the 15th consecutive month of expansion. Furthermore, Midwest production reached its highest level since October 2004 and new orders have returned to 2005 levels.
Motivating customers and organizations to change their behavior can lead to significant energy savings. A new report from ACEEE, Visible and Concrete Savings: Case Studies of Effective Behavioral Approaches to Improving Customer Energy Efficiency, profiles a variety of programs that spur individuals and organizations to save energy by changing behavior in their homes, businesses, and plants.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) earned recognition for three outstanding programs in ACEEE's latest States Stepping Forward report, which can be accessed here. The programs present unique, innovative models to hasten the market penetration of energy efficiency technologies in municipal wastewater facilities, commercial facilities, and industrial buildings.
On August 23, 2010, ACEEE submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources.
As the debate rages on as to whether carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology will be a viable alternative to low-carbon energy sources, some companies are exploring a different approach altogether. An article in ClimateWire today details a number of efforts to sequester carbon dioxide for use in profitable products, including what some are calling "green cement," which involves injecting CO2 into seawater as a step in concrete production.
As part of the larger Make It In America initiative, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5156, the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act of 2010. According to its main sponsor, California Congresswoman Doris Matsui, the Act will encourage investment in American-made high-tech products and launch an export strategy to bring those products to foreign markets.
A story in Monday's New York Times reports that the costs of marine freight are again increasing as the global economy recovers. This trend is a reemergence of a trend that ACEEE noted in the last half of the past decade. Part of this trend is competition for capacity, but much of it results from infrastructure constraints at U.S. ports that increase the cost and delay imports into the U.S.
<p>A <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/02/business/economy/02manufacturing.html?... in today's New York Times highlighted a fact that ACEEE has been hearing for several years, which is there is a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers (as I discussed last year in my Senate Energy <a href="/tstimony/032409_senate_RNE.pdf">testimony</a>).
Three Studies All Find that Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits Can be Met without Harming the U.S. Economy
<p>On Tuesday June 15, 2010, three studies were released on the impacts of the <a href="/topics/american-power-act-2010">American Power Act (APA)</a> as developed by Senators Kerry and Lieberman. The three studies also integrated in all or many aspects of the <a href="/topics/acela">American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA)</a> as developed by the Senate Energy Committee. All three studies found that impacts of this bill on the U.S. economy would be minimal.
<p>This morning ACEEE released <a href="/press/2010/06/enhancing-energy-efficiency-provisions-pending-energy-cl">a report</a> analyzing the <a href="/topics/american-power-act-2010">American Power Act (APA)</a>, introduced by Sens. <a href="http://kerry.senate.gov">Kerry</a> and <a href="http://lieberman.senate.gov/">Lieberman</a>.