More on external costs of energy

Continuing my collection of recent estimates of external costs of energy, I found this National Academies report (free to download as pdf).

As mostly a biologist, I found this discussion of the absurdity of the US trying to limit “foreign oil” fascinating – start reading under section “3”.

Whether we consider pollution, macroeconomic impacts, price volatility, supply interruptions, or Middle East politics, our vulnerability depends upon the global market. It does not depend upon the fraction of our consumption that is imported.

Kind of misses the point of these policies in my opinion.  No, domestic sources aren’t going to influence the price of oil, but at least the capital would remain in the US economy right?

Finally, more voices in the discussion of whether natural gas is less GHG intensive in the form of this Worldwatch Institute report – or check the pdf link here. Just to spoil it, they agree that on a 100 year horizon, gas is better.  There is also this paper in Climatic Change with a similar conclusion.

In my previous post, I mentioned these other opinions on the issue:

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