Methane Gets a Fresh Look as Trump Scraps Rules

The oil industry and scholars are trying to figure out a way to cut potent methane emissions without harming the energy industry or the environment. They also need to keep alive an agreement among U.S., Mexico, and Canada to curb the emissions, or find an alternative. Scholars from John Hopkins and Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions published an article in Climate Policy that says a 2016 agreement among the three countries to cut methane emissions is flailing, at best, while the Trump administration's push to reverse regulations to control the potent greenhouse gas provides even more challenges.

Study Examines Methane Emissions Reduction from Oil and Gas in North America

Atmospheric methane concentrations continue to increase globally, despite a pledge in 2016 from the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to reduce methane emissions from each country's oil and gas sector. Additionally, the trilateral methane pledge faces more challenges as the Trump Administration seeks to reverse federal methane research and control efforts.

Review: Building ‘The Source’ of America’s Cash Flows and Liquid Assets

"Why is it,” Martin Doyle, director of the Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and author of the new book "The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers" asks, “that sewers are often at the cutting edge in finance?” The question isn’t meant as a slur on the financial industry but as testimony to the oversized but underrated role that waterworks have played in the economic annals of the United States. A Wall Street Journal article reviewing the book offers that throughout history our penchant for big-ticket water projects—canals, dams, waste-treatment plants, the wholesale engineering of rivers—has altered the course of public finance and even shifted the balance of power among federal, state and local governments.

Blending Capital to Fill the Ocean’s Fisheries Finance Gap

How can we help global fisheries recover while providing for the millions dependent on them for survival? In The Economist, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions John Virdin writes about new ways of bridging the fisheries finance gap.

FERC's Resilience Order May Suggest Reliability Tweaks, Rather than Novel Solutions

The Nicholas Institute's Kate Konschnik and Brian Murray write in Utility Dive that determining whether resilience is a stand-alone concept or just a component of reliability has real world implications, including whether it requires its own novel mechanisms and market interventions.

To Frack or Not to Frack

On the Duke Research Blog, Maya Iskandarani writes about alumnus Daniel Raimi's new book The Fracking Debate: The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution. At a talk co-sponsored by the Duke Energy Initiative and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Raimi shared some of the insights he gained in traveling the country to investigate the community-level impact of the shale revolution in the U.S. 

Energy Data Analytics Lab Team Takes Top Prize at 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium with Electricity Access Project

A Bass Connections team that includes the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions T. Robert Fetter took top honors for work using machine learning and visual object identification to assess electricity access at the 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium on Jan. 25.

National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Awards $5.3 Million to Enhance Environmental Restoration Outcomes and Improve Oil Spill Risk Assessment

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grant awards for seven new projects totaling $5.3 million, including an award to a team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts.

Duke-Led Team Receives Funding to Assess Progress on Gulf Ecosystem Restoration

A team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has received $1,335,798 to conduct research on Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration. The grant is funded by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Pruitt was Headed to Ultra-Efficient Japanese Coal Plant ($)

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last weekend was slated to visit a Japanese plant that claims to be the world's most efficient coal-fired power producer. Japan is making a historic shift back to coal use after abandoning nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Jackson Ewing, facutly fellow with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions told ClimateWire that "Pre-Fukushima, Japan was planning to scale up nuclear to the range of 60 percent of its total energy generation by the end of the century. With the disaster, they've not only had to scuttle the expansionary plans, but they've had to considerably dial back the existing nuclear power that they have on the grid."