- Former Shell Oil President, Top Gov. Snyder Staff Share Vision for American Energy Renaissance at Major Detroit-Area Forum
Hofmeister left Shell Oil Company to found Citizens for Affordable Energy, a nonprofit that educates people about how to go green at the local level. He says CFAE was founded on a non-partisan platform in 2011 to educate citizens and government officials about affordable energy solutions, environmental protection, energy alternatives, efficiency, infrastructure, public policy, competitiveness, social cohesion, and quality of life.
- Consumers Energy leads energy optimization in Michigan businesses and homes
The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires 10 percent of the state's energy portfolio be renewable by 2015, Malone says. In 2008, Consumers Energy was producing 4 percent renewable energy, he says, but opened its first wind farm in Mason County.
- Michigan Saves makes going green easy and affordable
More than 2,000 homes have been improved through Michigan Saves, she says, and each homeowner saves, on average, $450 each year on their utility bill. Using a network of local credit unions, Michigan Saves brings financing and contracting experts together to identify ways to lower homeowners' utility costs, Metty Bennett says.
- Valerie Brader: Working to ensure Michigan's energy and environmental future
The adaptability of future energy policies is incredibly important to Gov. Snyder, Brader says. Future energy and environmental policies will focus on affordable energy, reliable energy and protecting our environment, she says, which aim to suit a variety of futures.
- Hydraulic fracturing in Michigan lowers fuel costs and could create jobs, decreasing dependence on foreign energy
Because of the influx of media coverage of hydraulic fracturing, Cook says, people think the process is new and they are increasingly skeptical. "This is something we've been doing for 50 years," he says, "and we've had no problems of any contamination of water wells in northern Michigan."
Study predicts demand for oil to slide after 2020 - and here's why.
"The United States is dependent on foreign sources for about 37 percent of its present petroleum needs. In 10 years, if we do nothing, we will be importing more than half our oil at prices fixed by others--if they choose to sell to us at all. In 2 1/2 years, we will be twice as vulnerable to a foreign oil embargo as we were two winters ago." - Pres. Gerald Ford
Recently, press reports focused on the birth of the seven billionth person in the world. By 2050, demographers estimate that there will be 9.5 billion people on the planet. Obviously, the impact on the existence of so many people on the world's resources is a real concern. But one study estimates that after 2020, the demand for oil will start declining and the authors suggest some very interesting reasons why that will happen.
Ricardo, a technology consulting firm, recently issued a report on its conclusions regarding the anticipated demand for oil into the future. Despite the rise in population, Ricardo expects that demand for oil will peak around 2020 and then start ebbing so that by 2035, demand will be less than that in 2010. The reasons for this is not due to supply side pressures, says Ricardo, but because of demand patterns related to responses to global warming, international security issues, and demographics.
A main driver for future reduced demand is that developed nations are now taking seriously (as opposed to the decades of lip service government leaders paid to the subject) the need to reduce dependency on foreign oil. Developed nations are taking steps legislatively to reduce oil demand, which Ricardo expects to have serious results. According to Ricardo, "there has been a general misunderstanding of the future impact of government policies to improve fuel efficiency and promote alternatives to oil."
Ricardo focuses on policies that promote more efficiency in transportation, like recent changes in CAFE standards. While new electric vehicle technologies will have a dent in demand, the study concludes that most of the improved efficiency will come from improvements in combustion technology. Other reductions in demand will come from increased use of natural gas, including its use as a transportation fuel, and the development of biofuels to replace oil.
Perhaps an indication of coming changes in demand is that for the first time in 20 years, earlier this year the United States was actually a net exporter of gasoline (do not confuse this with oil, which we still import in huge amounts). With increasing frequency, many public and commercial fleets of vehicles are changing over to compressed natural gas (CNG) and biofuels. Despite calls to reverse CAFE standards and energy efficiency programs, it is precisely these actions that the United States and other developed countries are taking that will ultimately result in the long-stated promise to reduce our dependence on oil, according to this new study. Now is not the time to backtrack while the rest of the world is moving forward to reduce demand for oil.
The author, Saulius Mikalonis, is an environmental attorney with over 25 years of experience in the Bloomfield Hills offices of Plunkett Cooney. He is also the author of The Green Blawg, in which he writes about environmental law issues for the non-lawyer. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Mikalonis is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Auburn Hills Campus, at which he teaches a course entitled "Sustainable Development Law & Policy" and a Board Member of the Detroit Regional Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).