Friday, April 26, 2013——The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing on the benefits of capturing and harnessing methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills. Landfills are the third largest source of anthropogenic methane gas produced in the United States; between 1990 and 2011, landfill gas (LFG) composed 17.7 percent of all U.S. methane emissions. Because of the high methane content in LFG, the captured gas can be refined and used to produce heat, electricity, and/or vehicle fuels. More than 590 landfill projects in 47 states capture enough LFG to power more than one million homes and heat 740,000. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are more than 500 additional landfills that are candidates for LFG energy projects. The briefing discussed the economic, health, and climate benefits of tapping the energy potential of the nation’s landfills.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing discussing American perceptions of climate change. This briefing provided a broad review of survey evidence and explained what may lie behind variations in public attitudes toward climate change. Professor Jon Krosnick highlighted the results of a meta-analysis of public opinion polls on climate change conducted over the last 20 years. He presented the results of new surveys documenting change over time in public beliefs, and the causes of those trends.
In addition, the briefing included a state-by-state breakdown of public opinion, an analysis of the impact of global warming on voting in the 2012 elections as well as the impact of Superstorm Sandy on the public's perception of climate change. Finally, Dr. Krosnick assessed the extent of public support for government action aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change.
March 21, 2013-The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) held a briefing on the resiliency of residential real estate values located in areas well-connected by public transportation. Although the recent economic crisis had a negative effect on housing prices around the country, property values with good access to public transit remained much closer to their pre-recession levels than properties without access, even within the same city. A new report commissioned by APTA and NAR investigates the relationship between residential real estate and public transportation in five U.S. metropolitan regions. The study, The New Real Estate Mantra: Location Near Public Transportation, was released on March 21.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, and the Franciscan Action Network held a briefing on the disparate impact climate change has upon communities of color and tribal nations in congressional districts around the country. The speakers talked about steps and initiatives they are taking to sustain and strengthen their communities, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Environmental and Energy Studies Institute (EESI) and the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) held a briefing on the conclusions of the newly released EERE Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) study. The study identifies a combined set of strategies to achieve deep cuts in petroleum use and carbon emissions from the U.S. transportation sector, emphasizing underexplored opportunities and challenges along the path to a more sustainable transportation energy future.
Speakers for this forum were:
Michael Carr, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, EERE
Arthur Rypinski, Energy Economist, Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation
Peter Chipman, Senior Transportation Specialist, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (DOT)
Austin Brown, Senior Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory