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Josh Dorner's Posts

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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 Obama's taped message to the Bi-Partisan Governor's Global Climate Summit was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. President-elect Obama's remarks should quiet any remaining suspicions that his campaign pledges -- the strongest energy and environmental platform by a presidential candidate ever -- were merely fleeting campaign promises to be discarded after Election Day. (Though it should have long since been clear to anyone paying attention that Obama is very serious about clean energy.) …

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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," that hits on classic conservative fears of "massive government,&quot and both "painful" and "skyrocketing" taxes. The ad's voiceover specifically stokes fears of "skyrocketing taxes on life savings, electricity, and home heating oil." This resurrects an old, discredited claim made this summer in the original "Celeb" ad. (Remember when we thought that was as low as the McCain camp could go?) It has been thoroughly debunked by FactCheck.org: McCain's new ad claims that Obama "says he'll …

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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 being elected to Congress in 2006. In fact, she gained some dubious notoriety even before being elected, announcing to a Brooklyn Park, Minnesota congregation in October 2006 that "God then called [her] to run for the United States Congress." If possibly violating election laws weren't enough, Bachmann really upped the ante once she got to D.C. Following the 2007 State of the Union speech, she got an autograph from President Bush as he was exiting …

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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 county was famous not just for its coal, but also the notorious Molly Maguires that exemplified the kind of organized violence between workers and bosses that marked 19th century American industrialism. Pennsylvania is also the state that launched the petroleum industry, with the sinking of the Drake Well in Titusville (on the opposite end of the state from Carbon County) in 1859. But times, they are a changin'. Carbon County, in a poetic turn, is …

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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? 1. 100 percent wind power is now cheaper than dirty electricity in Texas. If folks didn't know before that Texas was wind central, then T. Boone Pickens and his $58 …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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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 …

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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.

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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 …

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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. The …

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Bush, Big Oil offer more of the same

Yesterday, David noted comments by an oil analyst who predicted $200 oil by 2012. Today, that analyst was joined in his prediction by none other than the chief of OPEC, Chakib Khelil (who's also Algeria's energy minister). Mr. Khelil's comments were not date-specific, though this article leads me to believe he was thinking $200 oil could come much sooner than 2012. Meanwhile, we saw more of the same from both President Bush and Big Oil. For its part, Big Oil began yet another round of record quarterly profit reports, with Royal Dutch Shell raking in $9.08 billion and BP pulling …