RL Miller

RL Miller is an attorney, climate/enviro blogger, runner, quilter, keeper of chickens. If you hate the terms climate zombies and oilpocalypse, blame RL Miller.

Politics

Oil shale drilling another terrible aspect of GOP transportation bill

Yet another reason why the Republican transportation bill sucks: It would open up more land to oil shale mining -- a destructive and not-commercially feasible technology.

Natural Gas

Situation normal, all fracked up: Obama embraces fracking

The Obama administration appears to have bought the hype about abundant natural gas. In a report last week, it endorsed the "safe and environmentally responsible" extraction of the fuel via hydraulic fracturing.

Keystone cave? No, Keystone Kabuki.

The payroll tax cut extension deal, approved by the Senate 89-10 this morning, is being widely reported as including a requirement that the State Department act on the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days. Talking Points Memo labels it a GOP win on Keystone, and Politico reports:Greens call out Keystone XL deal. However, David Dayen at Firedoglake – a site not normally known for reflexive defense of Democrats’ negotiating tactics – sees it differently: Republicans demand to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. A careful analysis shows that the in all likelihood the deal will simply allow both sides to generate hot-button quotes …

Coal

Water. Coal. Texas. Sanity. One of these words does not belong.

Texas’ water problems won’t be over anytime soon.Photo: SeanIn case anyone missed it, Texas had a big drought last summer — the worst one-year drought in the state’s history. Lakes dried, animals were slaughtered, cities imposed lawn-watering restrictions, the governor prayed for rain. Among the doom-and-gloom sector of the left, talk has been circulating of Texas as a failed state. That’s easy to dismiss as tit-for-tat revenge for Texas’ age-old talk of secession; after all, droughts end, and places recover. Unless they don’t: When one takes a hard look at Texas’ water supply, and plans to build nine water-intensive coal …

A mini-Keystone XL in Utah

Photo: RL MillerThe Keystone XL pipeline symbolizes our national debate: a governmental policy to be made that will set policy, for good or bad, for years to come: claimed energy security (access to friendly North American oil) and jobs vs environmental ruin and carbon bomb continuing our addiction to cheap-ish fossil fuels. Keystone XL is a huge decision to be made at a Presidential level. However, all across America, similar decisions are being made: fossil fuel production is being expanded with the blessing of the federal government. Consider Alton Coal. But first, consider Bryce Canyon National Park.   Bryce Canyon is best …

Oil

Will other states follow Nebraska’s lead in fighting Keystone XL?

Nebraskan protesters outside the state capitol.Photo: Mitch PaineThe Keystone XL pipeline will cross six states: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Opposition has been fiercest in Nebraska, whether because of a desire to protect the Ogallala Aquifer and Sand Hills or because of tremendous organizing by Jane Kleeb and Bold Nebraska (or both). Gov. Dave Heineman (R) has called a special session of the state legislature, beginning Nov. 1, presumably to regulate safety or, if possible, route the pipeline out of Nebraska entirely. The red state populist rebellion is now spreading beyond Nebraska. Now, South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) …

Politics

Solyndra and Keystone XL: A case study of skewed coverage at Politico

Politico has hyped Solyndra as a "scandal" while giving comparably little coverage to the culture of cronyism surrounding Keystone XL approval.

Climate Change

Why the insurance industry won’t save us from climate change

Could pricey premiums deter people from living in high-risk areas and prompt action on climate change? The evidence so far suggests not.

Solar Power

Solyndra was collateral damage in a trade war with China

Solar-panel installations are booming in the U.S. even as domestic solar companies are struggling, thanks to China's policy of shoveling money into its solar industry.

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