U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Reports

Reports

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new regulations on carbon emissions from the power plants of today and tomorrow. In order to evaluate these new regulations, all Americans should understand the effect they will have on consumers, our economy, and on carbon emissions.
 

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Last year’s inaugural edition of the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s International Index of Energy Security Risk was the first comprehensive comparative analysis of the energy security risks confronting the United States and 24 other large energy consuming countries from 1980 to 2010. This second edition incorporates the addition of a new metric methodological improvements, and revised data through 2012 to provide a more relevant and timely picture of these risks.

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Since the rise in influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the 1960s, energy has occupied the minds of policymakers. Energy is recognized as among the top challenges to our nation’s future prosperity, national security, and quality of life.

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This 2013 Edition of the Institute for 21st Century Energy ‘s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk (U.S. Index) illustrates, perhaps more than any of the previous editions, the scale and scope of the changes taking place in U.S. energy markets and how those are improving energy security at a pace unseen since the early 1980s. It also is a good time to take stock of how the U.S. Index, after four editions, has done at answering the simple question: Is our energy security is getting better or worse, and why?

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This is the third volume in a three-part series on the effects of unconventional oil and natural gas on the US economy. The first volume detailed the effects of upstream unconventional oil and gas development on the national economy, and the second volume presented the role of upstream unconventional oil and natural gas on each of the lower 48 states. In this volume, we extend the work undertaken in the first two volumes by examining three critical ways in which this unconventional revolution is impacting the US economy. 

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After the progress made at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Cancún, Mexico in 2010, many observers had unrealistically high hopes for the recently-concluded talks held in Durban, South Africa. To a great extent, those hopes were dashed.

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China’s rapid industrial growth in the past three decades — averaging nearly 12% per year — has fueled a surging demand for energy. Indeed, in 2009, China edged out the United States to become the world’s largest energy consumer and in the late 1990s China shifted from being a net energy exporter to a net importer. China’s demand for energy continues to grow and is expected to account for a quarter of global energy consumption by 2035. Consequently, the quest for energy supplies has taken on strategic importance.

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Solving our energy challenges is a long-term proposition; however, we can achieve immediate economic and environmental benefits by better harnessing the energy we unintentionally waste each day. Putting into practice more robust energy effi ciency programs is a crucial component of our nation’s energy security. We can free up significant amounts of energy for more productive purposes and eliminate unnecessary expenditures on the part of both businesses and consumers.

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Many of you are probably a bit confused by the outcome of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen. Depending on which account you read, it was an unprecedented success or a complete failure, and everything in between. Regardless, it is important to understand exactly what happened in Copenhagen—and what did not. In this paper, we will try to make some sense of it all so you can draw your own conclusions. 

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As this year’s negotiations wind their way to a conclusion in Copenhagen, Denmark, the prospect of a new international deal is not very bright, and it is not hard to see why. Consider that the starting point for discussion is a 50% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Endorsed by G8 leaders, this “50-by-50” goal is among the most aggressive of the 177 emissions reduction scenarios examined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.