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Energy, United States

Hochman G.,Rutgers University | Zilberman D.,University of California at Berkeley | Zilberman D.,Energy Bioscience Institute
Energy Economics

We develop a conceptual model that captures OPEC pricing behavior, and apply it to explain the large gap observed between domestic fuel prices in OPEC countries and prices in the rest of the world. We model OPEC as a cartel of nations, not firms, and assume that politicians use two instruments: production quotas and domestic fuel consumption subsidies. The cartel-of-nations model suggests that introduction of alternatives to petroleum products may lead OPEC to reduce exports and increase domestic fuel consumption. The empirical analysis suggests that when OPEC sets production quotas, it places similar weights on consumer and producer surplus. But when OPEC countries set domestic fuel subsidies, on average 6% more weight is given to consumer surplus with some of the OPEC countries pursuing very aggressive domestic cheap fuel policies. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Miresmailli S.,Energy Bioscience Institute | Miresmailli S.,Sumatics LLC | Nabity P.,Institute of Genomic Biology | Mitchell C.A.,Energy Bioscience Institute | And 9 more authors.
Insect Science

The extensive land use conversion expected to occur to meet demands for bioenergy feedstock production will likely have widespread impacts on agroecosystem biodiversity and ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. Although arthropod detritivores are known to contribute to litter decomposition and thus energy flow and nutrient cycling in many plant communities, their importance in bioenergy feedstock communities has not yet been assessed. We undertook an experimental study quantifying rates of litter mass loss and nutrient cycling in the presence and absence of these organisms in three bioenergy feedstock crops-miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and a planted prairie community. Overall arthropod abundance and litter decomposition rates were similar in all three communities. Despite effective reduction of arthropods in experimental plots via insecticide application, litter decomposition rates, inorganic nitrogen leaching, and carbon-nitrogen ratios did not differ significantly between control (with arthropods) and treatment (without arthropods) plots in any of the three community types. Our findings suggest that changes in arthropod faunal composition associated with widespread adoption of bioenergy feedstock crops may not be associated with profoundly altered arthropod-mediated litter decomposition and nutrient release. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Source

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