Stephen Lacey

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

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 …