Russ Choma

Grist contributor Russ Choma is an investigative journalist based in Washington, D.C. Russ covers the justice system, politics and most recently energy and infrastructure development.

Alert Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck!

American stimulus funds benefiting foreign wind energy firms

The Investigative Reporting Workshop released a report on Thursday detailing how one of the first big chunks of money for clean energy under the stimulus package is actually being spent. Our findings (I was the lead reporter on the story) can be found here. Most interestingly, we found that the program, which is designed to reimburse companies for 30 percent of the cost of building a renewable energy facility, has given out $1.05 billion since Sept. 1. Almost all of it (91 percent) has gone to 11 wind farms (a mix of solar, geothermal and biomass projects collected the rest). …

Five scoops of compromise

Sampling the competing flavors of the Senate climate debate

When it comes to the debate over climate and energy legislation, there are those in Congress and business for whom any bill will always be too much, and there are lawmakers and environmental groups for whom no bill will ever be tough enough. In between the two extremes, there are the middle paths, variously labeled as “centrist,” “moderate,” or “compromise” alternatives. Some of these are more viable than others, some are well-defined proposals, and some are just talking points being pushed by coalitions of like-minded senators who want a hand in shaping a final bill. How do you get 60 …

Climate bill breakdown

We’ve taken a good long look at CEJAPA, the 801-page Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act that was introduced recently by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Now, it’s time to see how the Senate bill compares with ACES. the American Clean Energy and Security Act co-sponsored by House members Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.).  Be forewarned that even CEJAPA’s biggest supporters say that much about the Senate bill will change. The first markup on Boxer’s Environment and Public Works committee is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15. Until then, here’s how the two climate bills …

Senate Chainsaw Massacre

Memo to Congress: Don’t dawdle on climate bill

Even though the Senate hasn’t even begun debating a specific climate bill, naysayers at home and abroad are already declaring as dead on arrival the effort to pass climate and energy legislation in the United States this year. And who can blame them? Like health-care reform — and bad teenage slasher movies — the whole climate and energy debate seems to be moving very slowly down a well-trodden path toward a bloody ending. Slasher flicks? See, big political debates in Congress, like your typical horror movie, teach us that those who linger when being pursued, whether by Republican senators or …

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