Josephine V. Yam

Josephine Yam Selected as Energy Futures Lab Fellow


Josephine Victoria Yam, the Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre (Alberta), has been selected as one of 40 Energy Futures Lab Fellows.

These Fellows are leaders from across Alberta’s energy system who are charting the course towards shaping a new energy future for Alberta. Each of the Fellows brings a particular viewpoint representing a diverse set of interests including government, ENGOs, energy industry, academia, First Nations and community groups. What unites these leaders is an understanding of the need to move towards a new energy system for Alberta characterized by sustainability, resilience and innovation.

As Josephine notes…

"For many decades, Alberta has been a major engine of economic growth for Canada. Central to this growth is Alberta's carbon-intensive oil and gas and oil sands resources. Alberta should recognize these carbon-rich resources as opportunities - not barriers - that can help its successful transition to a carbon-constrained world".

"Alberta has a vast abundance of clean energy resources - - - solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. It can use its world-class research and innovation and its entrepreneurial spirit to develop these low carbon resources in cutting-edge, innovative ways as it did with oil and gas and oil sands many decades ago".

Want to learn more about Josephine's work with the Energy Futures Lab? Connect with Josephine via LinkedIn

U.S. Adopts Stricter Fuel Efficiency Standards

The Obama administration recently issued final rules that would require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025, reported The New York Times. This new fuel efficiency mandate requires an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon (mgp) for the 2025 model year. Existing rules for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) program require an average of about 29 mpg, with gradual increases to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Obama announced that the stricter fuel standards represent “the single most important step” his administration has ever taken to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The benefits are numerous: reduction in oil consumption by 12 billion barrels; savings of $1.7 trillion in fuel costs; average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2025 through the elimination of six billion tons over the course of the program; and creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs by increasing the demand for new technologies.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized the new fuel efficiency standards as “extreme” as they “would limit the choices when consumers shop for a new car.” Remarked Romney’s camp: “The president tells voters that his regulations will save them thousands of dollars at the pump, but always forgets to mention that the savings will be wiped out by having to pay thousands of dollars more upfront for unproven technology that they may not even want.”

Nevertheless, in a New York Times’ Op-ed article entitled “Cleaner Cars, a Safer Planet”, it was noted that this fuel efficiency mandate is “an important step on America’s path to a lower-carbon and more-secure energy future…. They may also serve as proof that well-tailored government regulation can achieve positive results and that consensus among old enemies — in this case environmentalists and the car companies — is possible even at a time of partisan discord.”