Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements
Maximum Length: 12 pages, including figures, tables, and references. Use
either Times New Roman or Arial (12 point) font. Double space the
The assignment is worth 100 points awarded in the following areas:
Organization (10 pts.): Your presentation should have the following
Justification of GHG Emissions Target
Summary of Current US Energy Sources and Use by Sectors– graphs or
tables would be here.
Proposed Energy Policy
Discuss pros and cons – there will be no “perfect” solution.
Discuss feasibility of implementation
Discuss incentives or disincentives and other economic considerations.
Concepts (60 pts.): Your presentation should demonstrate your accurate
knowledge of the subject matter. It should also competently address the
goals of the assignment as outlined above.
Final Project Guidance The Challenge – A New Sustainable Energy Policy Your final term project for this course will be a term paper that outlines and defends a new sustainable energy policy for the United States. As you have undoubtedly noticed, there the United States currently get its energy has some major “issues”. In Week 1, you learned on the magnitude of the effect that humans have had on the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global warming. In Week 2, you were introduced to the concept of an energy policy. The time frame to consider is from now until 2060 for implementation. The project will build on the entire course. Your forum assignment in Week 2 and your Mid-term Project will provide the foundations upon which will can formulate your energy policy. Your new energy policy must be practical, feasible, economical, and have our country’s best interests at heart. For example, we can’t suddenly switch to having all of our energy come from wind mills, for example, overnight. Most of our current energy comes from fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal). Under the best circumstances, it will take decades to phase them out, or at least reduce our dependence on them because our infrastructure is built around them. Likewise, the potential for wind and solar is not equal across the country. How will you get energy from prospective areas to market? Economics are an important consideration. If these alternative energy sources were cheaper than our current sources then they would have already been implemented. The catch is that the current fossil fuel industries have not factored in the cost of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To “level the playing field”, governments can typically provide a number of incentives or disincentives to alter behavior. These include things like subsidies or tax breaks to encourage some activities, and taxes to discourage some activities, or outright outlawing of some activities. Some incentives target the corporate level; others target the consumer. What will you plan do?2 Key aspects to consider: Introduction: Set the stage for the need for a new American energy policy. Justification of GHG Target: Scientists have concluded that we need to reduce our global carbon emissions to roughly 50 % of their current levels. Check out the Week 2 lecture notes and supplemental readings for some interesting graphs and useful statistics. Should all countries merely cut their emissions by 50 %? Is that fair? Wealthier nations consume more energy, which means they currently emit more GHGs! China and India are aggressively trying to expand their economies. They want the American Dream – “a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot”. China’s economy is roughly half the size of ours, but their population is 3 to 4 times bigger than ours. To grow their economy using current practices, they will end up emitting 3 to 4 times as much carbon dioxide as we do. That approach will certainly increase global warming, but do we have the right to tell them that each of their citizens cannot emit as much carbon dioxide as one of ours? Summary of Current Energy Sources and Use: An effective plan for the future needs a sound accounting of where we are before we can map out where we need to go. Don’t spend a lot of space on this. Tables and figures are efficient ways to provide a snapshot of where we are. Proposed Energy Policy: Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of your plan. Anything that tries to be practical, feasible, economical, and keeps us out of a war will undoubtedly have some compromises. Also discuss broad aspects of feasibility. For example, trying to switch transportation to electric vehicles will only help if we generate our electricity from sources that don’t emit greenhouse gases. Likewise, if you propose to rely heavily on tidal energy, for example, how will you get the electricity to the continental interior? What are the factors that will drive your plan? Will you outlaw certain activities? Stipulate certain energy efficiencies? Will you have 3 economic incentives or disincentives? If you generate revenue how will you use it? In an unrelated example, a tax on alcohol could be used to fund local substance abuse programs. Taxes on gasoline are used for road construction, etc. Maximum Length: 15 pages, including figures, tables, and references. Use either Times New Roman or Arial (12 point) font. Double space the document. Grading The assignment is worth 100 points awarded in the following areas: Organization (10 pts.): Your presentation should have the following sections Introduction Justification of GHG Emissions Target Summary of Current US Energy Sources and Use by Sectors– graphs or tables would be here. Proposed Energy Policy Discuss pros and cons – there will be no “perfect” solution. Discuss feasibility of implementation Discuss incentives or disincentives and other economic considerations. References Concepts (60 pts.): Your presentation should demonstrate your accurate knowledge of the subject matter. It should also competently address the goals of the assignment as outlined above.4 Writing Style and Presentation (20 pts): Correct grammar and spelling are important. You must include at least two figures and one table. References (10 pts.): Cite your sources of information! Timeliness: Assignments submitted in the week after the deadline will have 10 % deducted. Assignments submitted more than 1 week late will receive a zero. I understand that “life” happens on occasion, which may make the deadline impossible to meet. I need to know about these events in advance if you hope to get an extension on the assignment. Deadline: End of Week 7
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