Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Posts in "Science"

October 20, 2014

Texas Congressman Claims EPA Analysis Falls Short

Today, Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling for a more thorough cost-benefit analysis of the agency’s newly proposed electricity regulations.

In his letter, Smith roundly criticized the agency’s evaluation process, stating that “systematic biases and major omissions in EPA’s limited evaluation produced a cost-benefit analysis divorced from reality. Consequently, EPA’s Regulatory Impact Assessment fails to assess whether the proposed rule will achieve meaningful benefits and, more importantly, whether the benefits are worth the heavy cost.” Smith closed the letter by demanding that without “comprehensive energy and economic modeling,” rule making should not move forward.

The letter to EPA is Smith’s second one in three months and comes on the heels of a report released by NERA Economic Consulting. The report projects that EPA’s new proposals will cause double digit increases in the price of electricity across 43 states. Additionally, it predicts that compliance costs could end up totaling $400 billion over 15 years.

October 16, 2014

3D Innovation for Electric Cars

2014 inverter P05004 article 3D Innovation for Electric Cars

(Energy Department)

Researchers at the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used 3-D printing to construct a high-efficiency power inverter that takes up less space than current technology, the department announced this week. Full story

October 14, 2014

The Week Ahead: Russia, Solar, Gas, Carbon and Coal

A little bit of everything is happening this week, and much of it takes place Tuesday. Full story

October 7, 2014

Developing a Solar Battery

batteriesinc 445x441 Developing a Solar Battery

Nanometer-sized rods of titanium dioxide cover the surface of a piece of titanium gauze. (Yiying Wu/The Ohio State University)

Looking to increase the efficiency of solar power storage, researchers at Ohio State University devised a process to integrate solar electric generation and storage into one implement. Full story

September 18, 2014

Moniz Unveiled

wr20140915 26moniz cx 349555747 423x600 Moniz Unveiled

Photo courtesy of the Energy Department

CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss sat down with Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz earlier this summer to discuss his relationship with Congress, as we mentioned last week. The whole story is now available outside the paywall.

Enjoy.

September 17, 2014

Moniz: Let’s Double Energy Productivity

The Energy Department is looking to increase the amount of energy efficiency in manufacturing and productivity to double energy productivity by 2030. Full story

September 16, 2014

Senators Launch National Laboratory Caucus

wilson hall 1 445x556 Senators Launch National Laboratory Caucus

Fermilab’s Wilson Hall (Energy Department)

A bipartisan group of senators are launching an effort to support the work of the national laboratory system. Full story

September 12, 2014

Moniz’s Congressional Straddle

wr20140915 26moniz hair cx 445x593 Monizs Congressional Straddle

Moniz fishing for salmon in Alaska with Verne Martell, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s husband. (Energy Department)

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz is embraced by members on both sides of the aisle while straddling the contentious divide over energy and environment issues, CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss reports in the forthcoming copy of CQ Weekly (subscription). Full story

August 13, 2014

Capacitative Cannabis Gets High Wattage

73245308 445x296 Capacitative Cannabis Gets High Wattage

A cannabis plant grows in the Amsterdam Cannabis College.
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Researchers have developed nano-thin sheets of carbon from hemp fibers, which could be a very cheap replacement for graphene, which is used to make supercapacitors for energy storage applications.    Full story

August 8, 2014

Getting Electric Vehicles to Talk with the Grid

Electric vehicles could provide smart grid services that have been handled by conventional power plants. Automakers and utility groups took a step forward last week in an effort to systematize the communication between a charging plug-in electric vehicle, or PEV, and grid operators. Full story

August 7, 2014

More Money for Geothermal Fracking

EGS Capture 445x299 More Money for Geothermal Fracking

(Capture from Energy Department animation)

The Energy Department will provide $18 million for 32 advanced geothermal research projects, it announced Wednesday. Full story

August 4, 2014

Producing Pee Power

Ioannis Ieropoulos and his team at Bristol Robotics Laboratory are studying how to produce electricity from urine, The Economist reports. Full story

July 31, 2014

The Federal Government’s ‘Shark Tank’ for Small Businesses

159256774 445x308 The Federal Government’s Shark Tank for Small Businesses

Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Daymond John of “Shark Tank” speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour Jan. 10 in Pasadena, Calif. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Companies that have energy innovations to peddle can benefit from groups with know-how that the Small Business Administration has organized and calls clusters, according to retired Rear Adm. Steven Smith, now director of the SBA’s Office of Disaster Planning and Risk Management. The process has similarities to the ABC TV show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to deep-pocketed moguls. Full story

July 28, 2014

DOE Cybersecurity Is a Mess, According to Senate Panel

There are 11 different places in the Energy Department budget that contain cybersecurity funding for energy, science and environmental missions. That’s too messy for the Senate Appropriations Committee, which wants to see all of that nearly $150 million consolidated into one place. Full story

July 11, 2014

‘Iron Man II’ Debuts in House Science

Ned Sauthoff, the director of U.S. involvement at an international fusion project in France, relied on popular references Friday to explain to lawmakers the status of technological advancement in the decades-long quest for fusion power. Full story

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