Amy Myers Jaffe is joining the University of California, Davis, in October as executive director of energy and sustainability in a joint appointment to the Graduate School of Management and Institute of Transportation Studies. Jaffe has spent the past 16 years at Houston’s Rice University, where she served as director of the Energy Forum at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Kenneth Medlock, deputy director of the forum, was named the new director. Jaffe said she was drawn by the California university’s “focus on sustainability and the interdisciplinary research and relationships between transportation and energy, and by the opportunity to work near California’s state capital, which is an international pioneer on environmental and public policy issues.”
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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said $18 million in grants is available to businesses, governmental entities, school districts and individuals that replace older medium- or heavy-duty gasoline or diesel vehicles with natural gas vehicles (NGV) or repower the older vehicles with natural gas engines. Applicants must apply for Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program grants through a participating dealer. A list of participating dealers is available at www.terpgrants.org. The predetermined grant amounts are 60-90% of the incremental cost of the NGVs and engines, and are based on the fuel capacity, usage and weight class of the grant-funded vehicles. Grant applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Projects must result in at least a 25% reduction of emissions of nitrogen oxides, and grant recipients must commit to operate the grant-funded vehicles in eligible Texas counties for at least 75% of the annual mileage for four years, or 400,000 miles, whichever occurs earlier. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2013 or until all funds are awarded. For information call (800) 919-TERP (8377).
Early indications point to natural gas development having a positive impact on state tax collections in counties in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region, according to an analysis by Pennsylvania State University researchers.
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has about $700,000 available in grants to help public fleet operators, such as school districts, cities and counties, buy new natural gas vehicles. The grant funding, which the RRC originally received to use for propane-fueled vehicles, has now been expanded to natural gas vehicles and can be used to offset some or all of the incremental costs of a natural gas fuel system on a new or retrofitted vehicle. Matching funds for the purchase of the vehicles must come from non-federal sources. Public fleets statewide are eligible to apply for the grants, regardless of the fleet location’s air-quality classification. More information is available at the RRC website.
Colorado School of Mines, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT) on Thursday launched a shale natural gas and oil training development initiative, which initially would be funded with separate $1 million grants from ExxonMobil Corp. and GE.
Exploration and field development in the largest continuous shale oil play in the Lower 48 states, the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana, will be guided by new geo-models developed with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE).
Life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Marcellus Shale natural gas are 20-50% lower than coal for electric generation, according to a new Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) study.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has expanded his energy advisory staff in partnership with the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources and its director, Rob Hurless, who will serve as a member of Mead’s policy team. Mead said the continuing partnership allows his administration to “tap into the energy expertise already in place at the university, and to keep the focus there on issues that are relevant to the companies that employ so many people in Wyoming.” Hurless will join Mead’s Policy Director Shawn Reese, who will continue to focus on energy, a spokesperson for the governor said. “Energy industries produce the bulk of our revenue, so I want state government to support the industry to the benefit of citizens,” said Mead.