Josh Dorner

Getting warmed up on warming

Obama hits green home run in remarks to govs on clean energy and climate

Much like Al Gore’s surprise appearance at Netroots Nation this summer (which seems like eons ago at this point), I am told that President-elect Barack …

Dome-ing it down

New McCain ad repeats discredited claim that Obama will raise taxes on electricity

After releasing an ad earlier this week that contained debunked lies about offshore drilling and gas prices, John McCain unveiled a new ad today, "Dome," …

Bachmann drilling overdrive

Cuckoo bananas energy policy from House conservatives

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) personifies just how haywire House conservatives have gone lately, particularly on energy issues. She quickly made a name for herself after …

Post-Carbon County

Clean energy comes to the coalfields

The name says it all. Carbon County, Pennsylvania is a county of 58,000 located in the heart of the Keystone State’s famed anthracite coalfields. The …

Houston, we have a solution?

Four encouraging signs from Big Oil’s backyard

After Nerdi Gras (Netroots Nation), I took a couple days off to dry-out and trotted over to Houston to visit my parents. It came as no surprise that Houston is booming due to the skyrocketing price of oil. But I also learned a few surprising things that gave me hope that brighter days are ahead for the rest of us well. Because if Houston can get it right, who can't?

Big Oil CEOs are drinking our milkshake

Paychecks growing fatter for Big Oil execs

Everyone is acutely aware that the price of oil is surging and gas prices break a new record almost daily. Less well-reported -- yet completely unsurprising -- is that the paychecks of Big Oil CEOs are also reaching new heights, according to a report by Equilar, as reported by MSN Money. Median S&P 500 CEO compensation: $9.9 million. Big Oil CEO pay range: $15-$21.7 million (!) Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, raked in an astonishing $21.7 million and is sitting on nearly $78 million of unvested stock options. (Though this is chump change compared to the obscene $500 million golden parachute his predecessor, Lee Raymond, received upon retirement. That is of course also the same amount ExxonMobil will have to pay in punitive damages for the ExxonValdez disaster, thanks to a recent wrongheaded Supreme Court decision.) David O'Reilly, CEO of Chevron, made $15.7 million and is sitting on $26.3 million in unvested options. James Mulva of ConocoPhillips made $15 million and has a whopping $234 million in options.

Notable quotable

Hansen on fossil fuels

On tar sands, oil shale, the like, and global warming: "If we use unconventional fossil fuels then there's no hope." On the Bush-McCain plan for offshore oil drilling: "It's just a crazy thing to do." -- Dr. James Hansen, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon, which honored him and commemorated the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1988 Senate hearing on global warming.

Ducks per gallon

Tar sands are hardly ‘environmentally responsible’

Alberta's tar sands got yet another huge black eye this week when as many as 500 ducks died after simply landing on a giant pond full of highly toxic oil sands tailings. Only five were said to have survived their toxic plunge. A member of a Canadian environmental watchdog group described the water found in the ponds as follows: Drinking a glass of water from a tailings pond would be like drinking a diluted glass of oil or gasoline. Whether the bitumen is cooked in situ while still underground or scraped off, carted away, and processed elsewhere -- either process requiring both huge amounts of energy and water -- millions of tons of global warming pollution are produced and nearly unfathomable amounts of toxic wastewater and tailings are left behind. Indeed, it is estimated that producing one barrel of oil from tar sands requires between 2 and 4.5 barrels of water. Last year alone, the Alberta tar sands industry was permitted water withdrawals totaling a staggering 119.5 billion gallons.

When $10.9 billion is just not enough

ExxonMobil’s profits huge; shares fall anyway

You know we're living in strange and perverse times when ExxonMobil can post a $10.9 billion quarterly profit and still fall short of expectations. This past quarter marked the second most profitable quarter ever for the most profitable company in the history of the world -- a 17 percent increase in year-on profits. And like its competitors at BP and Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon managed to increase its profits despite no increase in production. (Funny what happens when the price of oil literally doubles.) Nevertheless, Wall Street was disappointed and the company's shares fell sharply in early trading yesterday.