More Bad News – EIA Faces a Funding Cut

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In addition to the bad news about CBECS 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administation is facing an immediate 14% funding cut. This means there will be less information and analysis about energy.

The following is from an EIA press release:

“The lower FY 2011 funding level will require significant cuts in EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting activities,” said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. “EIA had already taken a number of decisive steps in recent years to streamline operations and enhance overall efficiency, and we will continue to do so in order to minimize the impact of these cuts at a time when both policymaker and public interest in energy issues is high,” he said… …

Initial adjustments to EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting programs include the following:

Oil and Natural Gas Information

  • Do not prepare or publish 2011 edition of the annual data release on U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves.
  • Curtail efforts to understand linkages between physical energy markets and financial trading.
  • Suspend analysis and reporting on the market impacts of planned refinery outages.
  • Curtail collection and dissemination of monthly state-level data on wholesale petroleum product prices, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, residual fuel oil, and kerosene. Also, terminate the preparation and publication of the annual petroleum marketing data report and the fuel oil and kerosene sales report.
  • Suspend auditing of data submitted by major oil and natural gas companies and reporting on their 2010 financial performance through EIA’s Financial Reporting System.
  • Reduce collection of data from natural gas marketing companies.
  • Cancel the planned increase in resources to be applied to petroleum data quality issues.
  • Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA oil and natural gas surveys.

Electricity, Renewables, and Coal Information

  • Reduce data on electricity exports and imports.
  • Terminate annual data collection and report on geothermal space heating (heat pump) systems.
  • Terminate annual data collection and report on solar thermal systems.
  • Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA electricity and coal surveys.

Consumption, Efficiency, and International Energy Information

  • Suspend work on EIA’s 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the Nation’s only source of statistical data for energy consumption and related characteristics of commercial buildings.
  • Terminate updates to EIA’s International Energy Statistics.

Energy Analysis Capacity

  • Halt preparation of the 2012 edition of EIA’s International Energy Outlook.
  • Suspend further upgrades to the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is the country’s preeminent tool for developing projections of U.S. energy production, consumption, prices, and technologies and its results are widely used by policymakers, industry, and others in making energy-related decisions. A multiyear project to replace aging NEMS components will be halted.
  • Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.
  • Limit responses to requests from policymakers for special analyses.
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Assorted Links

Greentech Media discusses the ongoing infighting between the solar and energy efficiency sectors.

The coal industry costs more money than it creates in West Virginia.

Earth2Tech says we should all be watching the Texas smart meter market, not California.

Is Wal-Mart going green or greenwashing?

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You can read our post on Greenwashing here.

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The Energy-Water Nexus

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This post is part of our definitions series on “eco-lingo” and technical terms.

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We have been hearing with increasing frequency about “the energy-water nexus” in California as we face potential changes to our climate and our water supply. But what is it?

Basically, water and energy supplies are fundamentally linked together. Producing energy requires a huge volume of water (even for renewables). Treating and distributing water requires a consistent supply of energy. Therefore, serious challenges to the supply of one threatens the reliability of the other.

According to Sandia National Laboratory, producing electricity from just fossil fuels and nuclear energy requires 190 billion gallons of water each day, which accounts for 39% of all U.S. freshwater use. Each kWh generated from coal necessitates 25 gallons of water (source here). Also, since the energy needed to treat and distribute water can account for up to 80% of the water’s final cost, a reduction in the amount of available, inexpensive energy will have a direct impact on the cost and supply of water.

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What exactly does “sustainability” mean? How about “green”, “eco” or “environmentally friendly”? The truth is that these terms are just vague enough to mean many different things to many different people. With the staggering array of “green” products, ‘lifestyles’ and concepts being promoted by marketers and environmentalists alike (as well as the necessary coining of new terms to match new ideas) our definition series aims to make sense of the rising tide of “eco-lingo” and technical terms.