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Report: EPA Should Use Sustainability Tools, Embrace Collaboration

The EPA should incorporate sustainability tools in its decision making and collaborate with private-sector companies and non-government organizations, according to a report by the National Research Council. The report was created at the EPA’s request, and builds on a 2011 report by the National Research Council, Sustainability and the EPA, … Read more »

Better Climate Monitoring Could Aid Business Decisions

A report out this week may help companies as they try to determine the greatest climate-related risks to their business – but it also hints at how much firms still don’t know. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises, produced by a National Research Council-appointed panel, says that some predicted climate … Read more »

chemical testing

EPA Chemical Assessment ‘Should Take Data-Driven Approach’

The EPA’s draft plan to assess inorganic arsenic risks should take greater advantage of the data that exists on the chemical to reach evidence-based conclusions, says a report from the National Research Council. While the EPA’s draft plan that describes how the agency will assess the potential health effects of … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: DOE Computer Standards, BP Spill Estimates

The Department of Energy announced in the Federal Register that it plans to order new efficiency standards for all computers and servers in the US. The DOE said it “tentatively” ruled that title III, part A of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) covers both consumers and servers. The DOE proposal is open for public comment … Read more »

wind turbines

US Tax Code Is ‘Poor GHG Reduction Tool’

Current federal tax provisions have minimal net effect on greenhouse gas emissions, according to a National Research Council report published today. The report found that several existing tax subsidies have unexpected effects, and others yield little reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue loss. At the request of … Read more »

IMF: Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Cut CO2 13%

IMF: Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Could Cut CO2 13%

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies worth $1.9 trillion worldwide would reduce CO2 emissions by 4.2 billion tons — a 13 percent reduction — and produce “major gains” for economic growth, according to an International Monetary Fund report. Energy Subsidy Reform – Lessons and Implications says subsidies for petroleum products, electricity, natural … Read more »

NRC: Car Petroleum Use, GHG Emissions Could Drop 80%

NRC: Car Petroleum Use, GHG Emissions Could Drop 80%

The US could reduce petroleum use and cars’ greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels by using more efficient vehicles, alternative fuels and implementing strong government policies, according to a study by the National Research Council. To reach the 2050 goals, vehicles must become dramatically more efficient … Read more »

FEMA Mandatory Flood Insurance ‘Not Effective,’ Report Says

The Federal Emergency Management Agency should not extend its mandatory flood insurance program to areas without levees and needs a more modern approach to analyzing and managing flood risk behind levees, says a report from the National Research Council. The report says purchasing flood insurance is an effective way for … Read more »

Defense Department ‘Should Continue’ LEED Certification

The US Department of Defense should continue to require that its new buildings or major renovations to facilities be designed to achieve a LEED-Silver or equivalent rating, according to a report from the National Research Council. Based on a review of empirical studies related to energy-efficiency and green building standards, Energy-Efficiency Standards and … Read more »

Cleanup of US Groundwater Contamination Limited by Technology

Cleanup of US Groundwater Contamination Limited by Technology

About 10 percent of the 126,000 contaminated groundwater sites in the United States are considered complex, with restoration unlikely in the next 50 to 100 years due to technological limitations, according to a National Research Council report. The report, “Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites,” estimated the … Read more »