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ItemEnhance Resilience to Climate Change by Integrating Ecosystems into Adaptation Planning: Policy Recommendations for the National Adaptation Plan of Madagascar(2016-12) Kimball, StephanieThe purpose of this Capstone Project is to create science-based policy recommendations on integrating ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) into Madagascar’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which is a plan developed by the national government and coordinated through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Working with climate science and policy experts at Conservation International, the options to enhance Madagascar’s resilience to climate change impacts are assessed by mapping and analyzing spatial data on climate change stressors, agricultural production and livelihoods, and essential natural capital, to identify geographies and livelihoods that are vulnerable to climate change. This data guided the creation of targeted recommendations for Madagascar’s NAP that identify where and in what ways climate resilience can be enhanced through activities that harness the potential of EbA. These recommendations are significant because they will allow the Malagasy government to prioritize adaptation and sustainable development interventions and investments based on data and scientific evidence across the entire socio-ecological-economic system. Such prioritization, based on a clear understanding of the trade-offs each decision entails, will lead to longer-term sustainability of the selected adaptation actions – ultimately contributing to increased climate resilience for the Malagasy people. Conducting this analysis serves as a culmination of the skills and knowledge that I have developed in the fields of climate science, policy analysis, and socio-economics during my time in the EPC program. ItemLifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Generation: A Comparative Analysis Between the United States and the European Union and its Implication for Developing Economies Using the Example of China(2016-12) Yun, HoonIn this study, it will be examined how these technologies, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables (wind, hydro, solar, biomass, and geothermal), are currently generating greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and the U. S., and how developments might affect China’s policies in the future. To that end, today's emission ‘snapshots’ will be juxtaposed, and how they will evolve will be explored with increasing renewable usage. The following questions will be answered: Between the U. S. and the EU, which one is the bigger emitter in terms of electricity generation only? Which energy source(s) are responsible for this? Which technologies should be eliminated? Which technologies should be encouraged? What kind of lessons can be learned from this comparison when designing a policy? And finally, could this affect large developing economies, such as China? ItemClimate Silence, Moral Disengagement, and Self-Efficacy: How Albert Bandura's Theories Inform our Climate-Change Predicament(2017-04) Heald, Seth G.Although Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change, only one in five Americans hear people they know talk about the issue at least once a month. This has been described as a “spiral of silence,” because when people don’t hear others talk about climate change, they tend not to talk or think about it themselves. This paper examines climate silence in the United States, arguing that climate silence can be more subtle than simply not talking about climate change, such as where people talk about certain aspects of climate change, but avoid mentioning the more disturbing or negative implications of climate change. The paper considers two major theories developed by Albert Bandura at Stanford University, self-efficacy and moral disengagement theory. In his recent book Moral Disengagement Bandura links climate change to U.S. overconsumption, “excessive consumerism,” “unbridled economic self-interest,” “free-market principles,” “free-market fundamentalists,” and our “market-driven culture.” These arguments align Bandura with scholars and writers who urge Americans to focus on capitalism, economic growth, neoliberalism, and overconsumption as both the causes of climate change, and major obstacles to addressing it. The paper concludes that in challenging moral disengagement surrounding climate change, climate activists and climate communicators would be well advised to consider both of Bandura’s theories, and to consult a growing literature in sociology that has examined the role of neoliberalism as a root cause of our climate predicament. ItemThe Enhancement of Emissions Efficiency through Utilization of Vehicle to Grid Technology(2017-05) Carite, MichaelElectric vehicles with large capacity batteries are capable of providing benefits to the electric grid itself like load shifting and even potential exporting of power. More interestingly, vehicles are parked 90% of the time (LeTendre & Denholm, 2006), and therefore can be expected to be in a specific location at a specific time and provide exact capacity export, something renewables cannot do. This research is predicated on a forecasting model that considers two main scenarios. The objective of the model was to recreate a national perspective that could estimate time-of-use and grid emissions on an hourly basis. The resulting values demonstrate significant emissions savings on an hourly basis created by consideration of time of use charging and vehicle-to-grid exporting of power. The vehicle-to-grid scenario provides substantial improvements by flattening the demand and shifting power from peak times to off-peak times. The vehicle-to-grid scenario results in notable emissions savings when considering the overall load increases by 22.38% in 2050 but the total emissions from the grid only increases by 12.79% at that time. The grid emissions efficiency is realized by a conversion of peaking, single cycle natural gas turbine power facilities to a more efficient combined cycle, base load technology. As the load increases and flattens out, inefficient peaking technologies are no longer needed. In addition, these peaking technologies are replaced by battery storage that loads up during off peak hours, further improving efficiencies. The change from peaking to base load natural gas power supply can be seen in Table 7 Base Load NG Supply and Table 8 Peaking Natural Gas Supply located in Appendix B – Additional Tables. This study further solidifies the notion that not only do electric vehicles provide emissions savings on a simple comparison to gasoline vehicles but they provide efficiency improvements to the grid itself that creates further emissions savings. With the expected growth in renewable capacity and need for storage, electric vehicles can provide the solution while savings more emissions. ItemUsing Market-Based Tools to Achieve Meaningful Carbon Emissions Reductions in the United States(2017-05) Shen, NatalieCarbon emissions are directly and unequivocally linked to anthropogenic climate change. Reducing carbon emissions will mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change, which include immediate and sustained harm to public health, environmental integrity, national security, and economic growth in the United States. The most economically efficient way to reduce carbon emissions is to implement a cap-and-trade carbon market scheme on the US national level. Relevant topics include the possible distinction between the Social Cost of Carbon and the socially optimal level of emissions, technocratic and defense strategic concerns relating to climate change and mitigation, and the technological challenges to carbon emissions reductions involving electric grid reliability and power generation. Although a carbon tax is perhaps appealing as a tool which in theory can quickly slash emissions, problems could arise due to regulatory gridlock, market leakage, and inconsistent revenue allocation. Thus, a market-based cap-and-trade scheme is instead proposed. To determine whether the stated emissions reductions target of the Clean Power Plan may be achieved using market instruments alone, a trended forecast analysis was performed wherein several existing cap-and-trade schemes and carbon markets and relevant factors were analyzed and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was determined to be the best fit model for a national US carbon market. Although the EU ETS model may decrease emissions compared to the US “business as usual” course of action, it alone cannot achieve the target emissions reductions prescribed in the Clean Power Plan. However, it is possible that the achievable level of emissions reductions based on the EU ETS model is closer to a more appropriate socially optimal level of emissions. Because the model and methodology are necessarily imperfect, a national US carbon market based on the EU ETS market scheme will need to incorporate lessons and best practices learned from the other analyzed models as well. Finally, although the EU ETS model may be successful for the national US carbon market scheme, alternative strategies such as resurrecting and improving the Clean Power Plan, linking existing regional carbon markets, involving RTOs/ISOs in carbon market formulation, and removing unfair tax advantages from traditional oil and gas producers may also be helpful in ultimately reducing carbon emissions in the US with market tools and without the need for superfluous regulation. ItemElectric and Fuel Cell Forklifts in Mexico: A Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment(2017-05) Miranda, TaniaA recent overhaul of Mexico’s energy sector launched by a Constitutional reform in 2013 started the decarbonization of the economy by tapping into Mexico’s vast renewable resources and through the deployment of new energy technologies. This, in addition to health concerns due to high pollution levels in large urban populations, encouraged the government to kick-start an effort to roll out alternative-fuel vehicles. One of the alternative-fuel vehicles currently explored in the United States and other countries, like Japan and the EU, are fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen, yet this technology requires complex supply chains with large up-front costs. Thus, governments are exploring early market applications that can help jump start the hydrogen market through demonstration projects, like city-owned buses, and through government incentives for hydrogen-powered material handling equipment. This study takes a first stab at delving whether the Mexican government should consider incentivizing the deployment of fuel cell technologies, in their effort to accelerate the de-carbonization of the transportation system and more generally to tackle climate change, through hydrogen-powered forklifts—as these are a proven early market application that is widely used in the United States. Yet this can only be argued for if the new technology presents a solid environmental benefit vis-à-vis the incumbent one – in this case battery-powered forklifts. The methodology used in the study was a life-cycle assessment, that estimates the emissions and energy used throughout the hydrogen supply chain, and compares them to the electricity one, using a model developed by the Argonne National Laboratory and Mexico-specific data. The results show a clear advantage of using hydrogen over batteries when produced via electrolysis powered by wind electricity; a large disadvantage when using electrolysis powered by the average Mexican electric mix; and mixed results when using hydrogen produced through the reforming of natural gas. However, there is also a case for fuel cells in material handling equipment due to potential reductions in cost of ownership that argue in favor of the hydrogen scenario. ItemCharacteristics of Oil and Gas Pipeline Accidents Caused by Climate Change Intensified Hurricanes(2017-12) Matek, BenjaminScientist now believe with more confidence that human activities contribute substantially to the observed upward trend in hurricane activity. An occasional casualty of hurricanes is energy infrastructure like hazardous liquid and gas pipelines. The objective of this study is to use pipeline accident data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) to search for the characteristics indicative of the most severe pipeline accidents caused by hurricanes. Using a multivariable regression analysis, this study demonstrates a weak relationship between hurricane damages and offshore gas pipelines’ pressure, size, and strength. The data for hazardous liquid and onshore gas pipelines was too limited to draw any definite conclusions. In regions susceptible to hurricanes, policy makers who govern areas near offshore gas pipelines, or companies who move product via offshore pipeline of significant pressure, size, and strength may want to consider the implications of these findings when evaluating risks to energy infrastructure. ItemDeveloping Policy for Beneficial Use of Waste Heat Energy for Low-Carbon Impact Thermal Desalination(2017-12) Knoop, GregoryThis study proposes that policy—supported by innovative technologies in desalination and cogeneration—can be used as a mechanism to facilitate thermal desalination for the relief of water stress without the burden of additional carbon emissions. The research methodology for this study drew from technical journals, trade publications, academic research papers, and government publications. The research investigated global water stress, state of the industry desalination methods, industrial combined heat and power (cogeneration) technologies, and existing policies to find viable intersections that support the thesis. Each part of the study synthesizes resulting potentials that are then wrapped together in the policy section regarding the use of policy to support the beneficial use of waste heat energy for low carbon impact thermal desalination. The conclusion of the study integrates the entire picture of market conditions, technologies, and policies to suggest a vision forward. ItemQuantifying Changes in Retail Electricity Rates Resulting from a Microgrid Deployment(2017-12) Boylan, ThomasUnderstanding how a proposed microgrid would affect customers is critical to deciding whether to deploy such a system and this paper seeks to assess how a microgrid deployment would affect retail electricity rates for residents of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. To answer this question, a simplified model was first developed and then run using inputs specific to Cape Hatteras imagining a microgrid system with local distributed generation. The results of the modeling suggest that average retail electricity rates, in $/kWh, will increase slightly during winter months but decrease slightly during the summer. Additionally, annual electricity bills for Cape Hatteras residents can be expected to decrease by an average of $114.14 per year. The results of the modeling also suggest a -21% rate of return to the local co-op for the overall project and all individual project segments apart from the demand response initiative. However, project rate of return is heavily dependent on the frequency and severity of major outages. Additionally, microgrid designs are highly customizable for use with different technologies and government policy can play a significant role in ensuring economic viability of a microgrid paired with distributed generation. In all, a holistic review suggests there is the potential for an economically-viable microgrid deployment on Cape Hatteras, NC. The completion of this project enabled me to synthesize the various topics of learning throughout the EPC program. I was able to apply my knowledge of finance, the technical aspects of different energy technologies, and created the potential for policy integration to test the real-world effects of different policies. During the completion of this project, I also gained more insight into renewable project financing for energy cooperatives, community cooperative operations in general, and an appreciation for energy efficiency and grid modernization efforts currently underway at local levels. ItemPotential Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Opportunities at Pacific Marine Energy Center(2017-12) DeWitt, SteveThis capstone project is closely aligned with the professional goals of the author as an engineer within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technology Office (WPTO). The WPTO has two primary branches, conventional hydropower and marine hydro-kinetics (MHK), which includes energy derived from tidal, wave, ocean current and ocean thermal systems. The author’s responsibilities within the WPTO are primarily focused on managing various MHK projects including the design and construction of Pacific Marine Energy Center - South Energy Test Site (PMEC-SETS). PMEC-SETS is an open ocean, grid connected wave energy test facility that is currently in the design phase, and scheduled to begin operations off the coast of Newport Oregon in 2021. This project is a collaborative effort amongst Oregon State University, the lead organization, the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the European Marine Energy Centre, and various other industry partners. The Johns Hopkins Energy Policy and Climate Change Master of Science degree program has helped prepare the author for employment with the DOE, and is a good complement to the author’s engineering education. The curriculum focus on energy and environmental policies is particularly useful in understanding the numerous policy challenges faced in obtaining the necessary permits, and gaining concurrence from federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as local stakeholders, to build an offshore energy facility such as PMEC-SETS. If the DOE elects to further develop the testing capabilities at PMEC-SETS, as discussed in this paper, significant effort would be required to work through the potential federal regulatory and local stakeholder issues. ItemChina's Renewable and Nuclear Energy Agenda: A Geopolitical Strategy?(2017-12) Ashburn, AlisonThis study is a culmination of research performed during the Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate Program at Johns Hopkins University. Through questioning, research accumulation, aggregation, analytical review, synopsis, and conclusion, this paper represents my expertise and knowledge gained throughout the program. The country of China has always been a focus of mine. I have studied the language, lived in the country, and have always pondered the economic, environmental, and civic future of the nation. In a condensed amount of time China has been able to have an enormous impact on the world and its own people, from its trade relationship with the United States and other nations throughout the world, to its unsustainable pollution caused by energy production. When entering this program, I employed an insufficient number of the tools necessary to research, analyze, and ultimately predict the consequences of China’s current actions both nationally and geopolitically. Throughout the program, those tools were gradually gained. I am now able to identify key concepts that include why China’s pollution has increased so drastically over the past decades, how it has, why it will continue, what actions China’s government is taking to decrease pollution, whether these actions are also being used to for geopolitical gain in certain regions of the world, and what are the national security risks caused by these actions? The research performed throughout the Capstone Project and the program has greatly helped my professional career. While I am interested in all energy policy, my current focus is nuclear energy. Whereas before, I would not be able to describe how a nuclear power plant operates, I am now able to understand the materials and operations necessary to generate that electricity. This is not only with nuclear power, but also with wind and solar energy, coal, oil and gas. I was able to deploy my knowledge of this throughout this paper. Transmission and the grid is another area where my knowledge has greatly improved, as well as the process of regulation and policy that is an integral component to where the electricity is originating from and what power source. Furthermore, I am able to identify weaknesses and strongpoints throughout the nuclear energy sector both in the U.S. and abroad, and how China’s recent push to increase its nuclear energy production could be a cause for concern. The program also brought to light the national security issues caused by climate change and taught me how to identify climate trends, analyze if these trends will manifest into conflict, and where the National Security community needs to focus. The Capstone Project allowed me to combine aspects of the program along with my professional work into one final report. I was able to combine energy production technology with geopolitical aspects, with a pronounced focus on nuclear energy. ItemUsing 2012 State Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Annual Payroll Data to Understand United States Sector Emissions(2017-12) Doyle, Stephanie E.The completion of this paper is an excellent summation of my time in the EPC program. I came into the program hoping to compliment my work at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which revolves around the implementation of a federal carbon tax and dividend. My time in the EPC program provided the perfect complement of classes, lectures and connections via faculty and students to fill in the gaps in my knowledge between a Biology degree and my current work in energy policy. This capstone is a summation of that new knowledge, combining science in the research and understanding of why this study matters and how it will be relevant to studies in the future, technical knowledge in how to write and format a perfect scientific paper using multiple data sets both researched and calculated, and the policy knowledge of how to combine the knowledge learned into real world implications that can affect future policies regarding decarbonization. The work in this capstone fits in with the studies I found most interesting during the EPC program (which were policy and energy law classes) through my work and discussion of how decarbonization of sectors may be blocked or aided depending on elected officials. I found that aspect of this study most interesting, as it applies not only to the policy work I do on a daily basis but relates to the history and future prospects for energy policy that I spent time studying and engaging with through the program. I am confident this capstone shows a glimpse into the best of what I have learned and achieved in the EPC program, including the confidence and critical thinking skills needed to excel in my continued career in energy policy and advocacy. ItemEvaluation of State Plug-In Electric Vehicle Purchase Incentive Programs: What Drives Vehicle Uptake?(2018-04) Snelling, AmyThis objective of this paper was to identify common program components of state-level financial purchase incentives for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are most closely linked with “success,” which is determined by referring to the number of PEVs registered in the state, normalized based on population (per 1,000 people) in 2017. While there is no single factor that drives PEV uptake for non-fleet retail customers, financial purchase incentives are a key component. We evaluated PEV financial purchase incentive program components to offer recommendations to states on successful program elements. Through a review of active state PEV purchase incentives in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, this project developed a list of recommendations for key components of incentive programs to support PEVs. We offered six recommendations to consider when designing PEV incentive programs. These recommendations may inform states developing PEV financial purchase incentive programs to expand the PEV market. This project is significant as many PEVs provide a promising pathway to reduce petroleum consumption, GHG emissions, and air pollution. Further, an evaluation of state-level incentive programs is critical as more weight is placed on states’ efforts address these challenges. ItemCan Climate Change Increase the Likelihood of State Fragility?(2018-04) Huang, JameIt was concluded that climate change can influence the fragility of a country. The existing academic literature has found that it can be as nuanced as the displacement of people due to drought, flooding, storms, forest fires, and other natural and human-related forces. These scenarios can lead to a large influx of climate refugees into foreign regions that under some circumstances may result in localized conflicts due to competition for resources and/or cultural and ethnic differences. A rapid and persistent change in environmental conditions such as caused by drought has direct consequences for those that rely on the natural resources. A sudden and persistent change in the natural environment can be analogous to how other species may need to migrate in order to survive. Mankind is no exception here, specifically those that are dependent on arable land for farming and have no other means of income or food security. A mass migration can have potentially destabilizing effects on nearby countries and the world due to the interconnectedness of globalization. The case of Syria’s civil war is the most prominent case of how climate change contributed to the violent conflict. A powerful drought outside of natural variability and linked to anthropogenic climate change forced Syrian farmers to abandon their lands and into the outskirts of urban cities in pursuit of work. A strain on resources due to unsustainable water policies also resulted in a classic case of environmental scarcity which further exacerbated the drought crisis. During this time, the Arab Spring protests encouraged revolutionary tendencies in neighboring countries and as a result, also spread to Syria. The displaced farmers added fuel to the unrest in Syria. The underlying themes associated with conflict and unrest, such as mass migration and resource scarcity, are indirectly applied to conclude that a changing climate has the potential to disrupt a stable country and have cascading destabilizing effects internally and to neighboring countries. Statistically significant findings also suggest that there is a high correlation between temperature anomalies and the fragility of a country. However, there is no simple link between climate events and instability. Countries with a relatively poor governance structure are most susceptible to exogenous natural forces due to their assumed low adaptive capacity to deal with natural disasters and/or mitigate their impacts. The correlation of the year to year variations between temperature and the number of displaced persons, which is a driver of state fragility, are weak. But the upward trends of the number of globally displaced persons and temperature are strongly correlated. ItemRetraining Programs for Coal Workers in Transition: Lessons from Appalachia(2018-04) Bottino, TizianaThe use of coal for energy in the United States is being pushed to historic lows for a number of reasons, including the ascent of natural gas as the fuel of choice, technological advancements, environmental regulations, mechanization of extraction and the rise of renewable sources of energy. Meanwhile, coal communities around the nation are left to grapple with the consequences of coal mine and power station closures, and consequent job losses. In response, the government, and some civil society organizations, have made available several retraining programs for unemployed coal workers. However, these initiatives have largely failed to attract and retain displaced workers in the coal mining regions. Helping coal country move forward has proved more difficult than anticipated, and this paper delves into the technical and practical aspects of some of the existing programs and organizations. The paper explored three case studies of retraining initiatives in the Appalachian region, which were created specifically to help former coal workers transition to a new sector. The research explores the effectiveness of Appalachian-born responses to the mining job crisis by comparing a selection of three case studies, and an analysis of the most successful elements is discussed. ItemElectricity Transmission and the State Utility Commission Approcal Process- What's Taking So Long?(2018-04) Kruszynski, JamesElectricity transmission lines connecting widely dispersed renewable energy resources and other electricity generators to load centers are a vital piece of the electric grid of the future. Building transmission infrastructure faces a number of obstacles, not the least of which is receiving approval from state utility commissions. This paper tracks the progress of fifteen transmission projects approved in Midcontinent Independent System Operator Transmission Expansion Planning 2011, as they move through the commission approval process in an attempt to identify any delays and their causes. These projects were selected due to their status as Multi value Projects in the hopes they would represent the best case scenario for projects seeking approval. The projects cover eight states: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. While projects in Iowa and Minnesota were found to take significantly longer than projects in other states, the delays were determined to be due primarily to developer actions, rather than a cumbersome approval process. ItemExamining Uncertainty in Reserves Estimation for Oil and Natural Gas Wells Completed with Hydraulic Fracturing(2018-04) Costello, Harrison C.The recent innovations in horizontal drilling technology, paired with hydraulic fracturing (HF), have opened up vast reserves of petroleum across the world, particularly the United States. This recent surge in oil and gas production has numerous implications for energy security and international relations and will weigh heavily on future US energy policy decisions. However, wells in HF-stimulated reservoirs behave differently than their conventional counterparts, estimating recoverable resources difficult and often highly uncertain. Historically, recoverable reserves have been estimated using decline curve analysis, a method utilizing empirical curve fits production data to predict long-term good production. This analysis sought to understand the degree of uncertainty in unconventional reserve estimates using standard decline curve analysis through a comparison of representative well estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) in four tight oil plays and two tight gas plays. Mean EUR data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and industry were compared directly with modeled representative well EURs. The high variability seen in the resulting comparison indicated significant uncertainty in mean EUR estimates for the same plays. More comprehensive reservoir modeling techniques like rate-transient analysis (RTA), which incorporates geologic data, fracture geometry, and flow regime analysis, have been demonstrated in conventional reservoirs to yield more accurate estimates of recoverable reserves and reduce uncertainty. As HF-stimulated oil and gas production in the United States continues to play a larger role in future energy policy decisions, reducing uncertainty, including by utilizing RTA, in future estimations of recoverable reserves will be critical to developing sustainable and effective policies. Item"What Gets Measured Gets Done": A Solar Energy Project Analysis for Reforming the Public Land Project Approval Process(2018-04) Hersch, LauraThe National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) mandates federal agencies to consider any “significant” impact on the environment a major energy or infrastructure project will have on public lands before proceeding with development. Yet core challenges have stalled the approval process including data synthesis, multi-agency and multi-level jurisdiction, and required public involvement. According to the National Association of Environmental Professionals, the average completion time for Environmental Impact Statements is five years. The opportunity costs associated with delays in development are critical for the transition to a clean energy economy. The Trump Administration has exhibited an earnestness to streamline NEPA approvals of infrastructure and energy development projects. In August 2017, the Administration released Executive Order 13807 emphasizing a lead agency policy and setting a non-binding average two-year goal for processing reviews of individual projects. When considering how thoroughly vetted major project approvals are, restrictive scoping and time limits are serious matters for discussion. In 2012, the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) was established to promote development in the Southwestern region by catalyzing solar energy applications on resourceful lands. Since three projects have gained approval in 9 months’ time. This capstone investigated the quantitative and qualitative merits of investing in solar programmatic planning. Twenty-five NEPA authorized solar energy projects were found to have a positive correlation between their approved power and the time per megawatt (MW) required for approval. The higher the recommended power, the less time each MW required for analyzing. The three environmental assessments tiered from the PEIS were evaluated based on public commentary periods, competitive bidding, and overall process. This capstone found that broad scale scoping rather than time limits will yield best results in streamlining the NEPA process. ItemCarbon Neutral Food Menu for Restaurants(2018-04) Ganbavale, GouriAn individual’s carbon footprint consists of all the greenhouse gases from the meals produced as they wind their way through the food system. Shrinking this individual carbon footprint can help improve environmental and social conditions in near and distant places touched by our food system. Apart from the food manufacturing industry and the food retail industry (e.g., grocery stores), the restaurant industry, has a large impact on the environment. Much of information is available on the carbon footprint on individual food ingredients and associated processes such as their cultivation, harvesting, transport, processing, consumption, and wastage. However, there are limited comprehensive studies on Food Menus incorporating the full Life-cycle Assessment (LCA) of food dishes including the preparation and serving of meals. The aim of this study is to design a carbon neutral food menu for a restaurant for three meal types (brunch, lunch, and dinner) by performing LCA for food ingredients, incorporating their respective origin, transport, processing, cooking, and the volume of food items (number of dishes) produced. The greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of food are complex and far-reaching (Nemecek et al., 2016, Canals et al., 2007). Understanding how individual eating habits affect global warming could help mitigate those impacts through conscious daily living. The LCA based on 1 month’s data indicates that an average sized restaurant emits about 35.63 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2e) per month, when considering the entire full scope of the restaurant’s supply chain activities. Item10 Years of Cap and Trade: A Comprehensive Review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative(2018-04) Rich, Adam L.The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was the first greenhouse gas-focused cap-and-trade program in the United States. Encompassing nine states in the northeast region of the country, the program covers carbon dioxide emissions from large-scale fossil-based electric power generators. Over the course of the last decade, the Initiative has helped make substantial progress in reducing emissions and changing the generation portfolio in the region, as seen in data from governments, independent system operators, and RGGI itself. It has helped to encourage the reduction of coal and petroleum as sources of electric generation, while encouraging the adoption of renewable generation, and collectively reducing emissions among RGGI states by over 22%, far exceeding the rest of the nation. While RGGI has been a major factor in emissions reduction and the shifts in the region’s generation portfolio, it is not likely the only reason. Other factors, including the cost of energy, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and the potential for emissions leakage, all have had an impact on sources of electric generation and emissions reduction. Ultimately, the Initiative has been successful in its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the region’s generation portfolio. While not without its drawbacks, including the overallocation of carbon allowances, and the potential for leakage, the program does have the potential for long-term improvement by expanding sector coverage and eliminating sources of leakage.