Stephen Lacey

Stephen Lacey is a reporter with Climate Progress covering clean energy issues. He formerly worked as a producer/editor at

Climate Policy

Texas toast: State’s drought-crippled ag market has global impact

Lakeview Park, Texas.Photo: dasrooflessCross-posted from Climate Progress. In August, agronomists showed that the historic drought in Texas had caused a stunning $5.3 billion in losses in the agricultural sector. Two months later, even with some rain finally coming to the state, Texas farmers are being crippled by a drought that could stretch beyond next summer. As the economic losses pile up, they are having an impact on global commodities like cotton and beef — stretching this crisis well beyond the state of Texas, and showing just how “global” the problem of global warming truly is. Kate Galbraith reported on the …

Energy Policy

Rep. Cliff Stearns doesn’t understand how government subsidies work

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.)Photo: Republican ConferenceCross-posted from Climate Progress. So far this week, four of the world’s top five oil companies have announced more than $24 billion in third quarter profits. And by the logic of Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), that should mean those oil companies deserve more subsidies, not less. Speaking at a town hall meeting Oct. 22 in his home state of Florida, Stearns displayed a very sketchy grasp on how subsidies should work, explaining to Climate Progress that incentives should be given to mature companies, not early-stage companies. “When somebody is successful, then you give them the …

Solar Power

Which are cheaper — tradeable credits or feed-in tariffs?

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. A few years ago, a heated debate started within the U.S. solar industry about which was more cost-effective: solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) or feed-in tariffs (FITs). Now that we’ve had more experience with both policies, the question is again being asked. Researchers at the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) attempted to answer this question, and released a report earlier this month concluding that long-term contracts for clean energy are more cost-competitive than tradeable credit markets. (Note: Some are now calling FITs “CLEAN Contracts.” We’ll use both terms in this post.) So what does that …

Green Jobs

Romney attacks green jobs, ignoring the 64,000 created in his state

Mitt Romney’s facts are illusory — not green jobs.Photo: World Affairs Council of PhiladelphiaCross-posted from Climate Progress. Former Massachusetts governor and presidential front-runner Mitt Romney — once a candidate who stood up to coal and supported clean energy — is now calling green jobs fake. In an op-ed in the Orange County Register published Monday, Romney regurgitates GOP talking points on loan guarantees to Solyndra and Fisker Automotive, two stories that have turned leading conservative politicians and media pundits into a pack of scandalmongers — even while many of those politicians supported the same government investments for companies in their …


Colbert v. Browner: Former chief defends the EPA against truthiness

In an interview with former EPA Administrator Carol Browner, Stephen Colbert came out swinging at the EPA with lines straight out of the GOP playbook.

Energy Policy

A positive energy vision for the future, from Amory Lovins

For inspiration on the energy front, RMI's new project, Reinventing Fire, offers an ambitiously positive plan for energy independence.

Solar Power

Are we in a solar trade war with China?

Concerns about China's support of domestic solar companies have been brewing for years. But they have finally come to a boiling point -- and it's causing some in the solar industry to feel burned.

Solar Power

Move over, Solyndra: There’s a new fake solar scandal

A misinformed editor claims SunPower is getting a $1.2 billion loan guarantee, equating it to Solyndra. Note to real reporters: SunPower isn’t even getting the loan guarantee -- it is simply building a 250-MW solar PV project for the global energy company NRG.


Rick Perry's energy plan: drill more, pollute more, spew a lot of hot air

Rick Perry released a new attack ad and op-ed that lay out a strategy of drilling for more oil and gas and rolling back clean air and water standards.

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