KC Golden

KC is policy director at Climate Solutions, blogs at GRIP, and serves on the boards of 350.org, U.S. Climate Action Network, NW Energy Coalition, and Renewable Northwest Project.

Got $60 worth of coal-in-the-ground? BLM will give you a buck and change for it

Dave Roberts and others have been talking about leaving coal in the ground.  That got me thinking:  What’s it worth there? The question looms large in light of recent and imminent federal leases to extract a bazillion tons of coal from public land in the Powder River Basin (PRB).  Critics of the practice note that Americans are being compensated for this public resource at well below its market value. But if you don’t happen to be in the coal business, the market value of coal-to-burn pales in comparison to the vital functions of coal-in-the-ground (hereafter, “coal ITG”). Undisturbed coal delivers …

Sex is better with energy efficiency

Something  must be done about the abysmal marketing of energy efficiency.  Never has such a big energy story received so little love. In the pie-throwing contest that passes for energy dialogue in our political culture, Solyndra gets the ink, while the biggest story by far goes unreported.   Keystone dominates the headlines, while new fuel economy standards languish in obscurity — even though they’ll save far more oil than Keystone will deliver and create more jobs, at a fraction of the cost.  Clean energy naysayers offer a rhetorical choice between a “Keystone economy vs. a Solyndra economy“, when the actual economy …

Climate Policy

Solving the climate crisis means saying yes and no

When it comes to climate work, yes and no are the interdependent and mutually reinforcing faces of responsible action.

Election 2012

Newt’s win in South Carolina bodes well for climate

Newt Gingrich defied cynicism and tapped into voter anger to win South Carolina. That's what it will take to achieve large-scale climate solutions, too.

Frame-out: Why reporters can't admit that Keystone Pipeline is a job-suck

Allow me to bury the lead. The Keystone XL pipeline is a climate disaster. I reiterate this, at the risk of what David Roberts calls “public flatulism,” because this post is about jobs, and I don’t want anyone to infer that any amount of jobs would justify committing climate suicide. IEA’s warnings against imminent climate “lock-in” mean that any major investment in long-lived, capital-intensive fossil-fuel infrastructure must now be considered flatly immoral. So we quibble about jobs at the risk of blurring this moral line when we should be sharpening it. I hope I have mitigated that risk by naming …

Coal? Sorry, wrong century

Next Xmas: A 1700 lb. lump of coal for every Washingtonian's stocking?

The global coal industry wants to play the same obsolete, self-serving noise here in the Northwest that the Texas oil companies used in California.

American Power Act — Climate Solutions’ initial reactions

This piece was co-authored by Ross Macfarlane. Sens. Kerry (D-Mass) and Lieberman (I-Conn) finally released the American Power Act (APA) on Wednesday, May 11, after months of internal negotiations, and nearly a year after the House passed its comprehensive climate and energy bill, (the American Clean Energy and Security Act or ACES). Climate Solutions is still reviewing its nearly 1000 pages, and will be developing more detailed responses and priorities for our advocacy work. But we wanted to provide some high level reactions to our friends and supporters, and highlight some of the areas that we will be working on …

Yes, Han Kan, if Han fights for it

Obama to world in Copenhagen: ‘We will do what we say.’ Now tell it to the Senate.

“There is no time to waste. America has made our choice. We have charted our course, we have made our commitments, and we will do what we say.” — President Obama, speaking to world leaders in Copenhagen December 18 “Kan Han?” (Can He?) So implored the headline and full-page picture of President Obama on the front of the Copenhagen MetroXpress on December 18, the day the President flew in to rescue the climate summit. With negotiations on the verge of collapse, Obama narrowly averted a total disaster with a strong show of determination and some deft eleventh-hour negotiating. The talks …

COP flops. Hopenhagen hops.

Global will is ripe. Leaders need to pluck it.

The “Copenhagen Accord” is terribly weak. Not just “weaker than it needs to be to prevent climate catastrophe.” We knew it would be that, but hoped to emerge with a serious framework for real solutions. Formally, diplomatically, legally, we didn’t get that. This truth is stark but indispensable. We shouldn’t spin away from it. The Accord will include some positive developments: serious engagement by the U.S. and China, progress toward better accounting and verification, and real movement on climate finance – a critical issue that goes to the moral heart of the impasse. But it lacks legal and scientific integrity. …

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