Ethanol is now a matter of national security

Two steps forward, one step back: Congress cuts two ethanol subsidies worth billions, but the White House redirects $510 million to power the military's ships and aircraft with corn-sourced biofuels.


Critical List: Exxon could lose a big Gulf oil lease; alligator fat makes good biofuel

Exxon could lose its lease on one of its biggest oil finds ever. Bill McKibben explains why Keystone XL protesters will wear Obama '08 buttons. Isn’t there some place to put a big wind farm that won't threaten endangered species …


Critical List: The Navy and USDA invest in biofuels; Norway's big oil find

The Navy, USDA, and Energy Department are investing in biofuels that come from plants we don't eat. As Shell fought an oil leak in the North Sea, Norway's biggest oil company announced it had found a huge oil field there. …


North Korea runs on wood-burning trucks

If you've ever wondered what we'll do after we've run out of cheap oil, other than eat each other, you have only to look to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a.k.a. North Korea. Ever since the shipments of crude …


Trash trucks powered by trash gas reduce emissions by 80-90 percent

Waste Management Inc. owns 1,000 trash trucks that run on natural gas, plus a bunch of landfills that are constantly pumping out natural gas as a natural product of the decomposition of organic waste. Closing the loop on this cycle …


Critical List: $6 billion ethanol subsidy to end; Wyoming wolves screwed by Senate politics

The Senate is ending a $6 billion subsidy program for ethanol; anti-ethanol food and environmental groups say it's "not a perfect comprise" but that they're "encouraged" by the step. Carbon captured from coal plants can feed biofuel-producing algae. Which is …


Critical List: Republicans plan to defund the environment; no one likes the EPA

House Republicans want to defund all kinds of environmental activity -- the EPA, the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service. You know, just anything having to do with the outside. And the USDA thinks that bioengineered bluegrass doesn't fall …


Critical List: Dust storm hits Phoenix; Electric Prius hits the roads

Phoenix was hit by a 5,000-foot-tall, 50-mile-wide wall of dust. What does Virgin Australia have in common with koala bears? They're both very interested in consuming eucalyptus leaves, which hopefully will not get the airplanes as stoned as they get …


Biomass is the new coal

Dominion wants to convert three of its Virginia coal plants to run on waste biomass. Will biomass be a smart way to transition away from coal?