Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Business & Technology


good news for your "solar texas"

Shell Oil pays $6 million for clean air violations, Texas schools use funds to go solar

A school roof in California featuring solar panels.Photo: mjmontyHere's a story with a sense of justice (albeit small) from a case of environmental wrongdoing: Shell Oil was sued two years ago for releasing millions of pounds of chemicals, including benzene and other toxins, from its Deer Park refinery in Texas into the air. It was violating the Clean Air Act -- and of the $6 million legal settlement that resulted, $2 million is now helping two Texas schools go solar. Beautiful irony. The 700-panel, 145-kilowatt system is currently being installed on the roofs of two schools, one in Pasadena and …


law and border: eco victim's unit

EPA captures latest environmental fugitive on 'Most Wanted' list

This time, there's no one-armed man.Photo: Shawn Carpenter These days the letter of the law reads E-P-A. Photo: epa.govThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just nabbed the latest fugitive on its Most Wanted list (are you more surprised that the EPA has a "Most Wanted" list or that they're actually catching people on it?). Arrested October 30 in her native Dominican Republic, Albania Deleon was on the run for giving green jobs a bad name. Deleon was convicted in 2008 for bestowing fake asbestos-removal certifications to hundreds of workers, many of whom were illegal immigrants, through her Massachusetts-based company, Environmental …


The Golden State's clean sweep

California exceptionalism or a rising green tide? [UPDATED]

When you mix red and blue in a state like California, you get green. Tuesday's landslide defeat of Proposition 23 -- the ballot measure bankrolled by Texas oil companies Tesoro and Valero that would have suspended the state's landmark global-warming law -- marked the emergence of a bipartisan, enviro-business coalition that spanned the demographic divide.   With nearly all ballots counted Wednesday morning, 61.3 percent of voters rejected Prop 23 in the nation's first statewide plebiscite on a climate-change law. Equally important, voters swept into California's top offices a slate of environmentalists led by Gov.-elect Jerry Brown of Oakland. In …


Climate Change World Series

Giants' win cheers Prop 23 opponents as the polls open

Will Giants fans' enthusiasm carry over to the voting booth?Photo: Art SiegelAs voters head to the polls Tuesday, opponents of Proposition 23, the California ballot measure that would suspend the state's global warming law, are hoping the San Francisco Giants' win over the Texas Rangers augurs well for the outcome of the election. The latest polls show Prop 23, which is backed by Texas oil companies and the petrochemical industry, heading to defeat, though a large number of voters remained undecided. (The No on 23 campaign ran a full-page ad in the sports section of the San Francisco Chronicle during …


progress report

Taking on the global energy investment challenge

Governments can use policy measures alongside relatively small sums of public money to catalyze the private sector to help developing countries finance their clean energy transition.Photo: Center for American ProgressInternational negotiations on a comprehensive climate change treaty made limited progress this year, yet global investments in clean energy in both developed and developing countries alike continue apace. Ironically, there is a positive connection between the two -- despite the slow pace of negotiations to produce a comprehensive climate treaty, the discussions have produced a continuing and evolving commitment in the international arena to help developing countries finance their transition to …


Stop HACCPing us

Shutdown of two small cheesemakers raises more doubts about food-safety legislation

Editor's note: Are you confused about whether to support the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510)? You're not alone. We've decided to ask the major players to debate its pros and cons for an upcoming Food Fight roundtable -- watch for it late next week. In all the acrimony that has settled over Washington, one major legislative matter has continued to receive bipartisan support: food safety legislation intended to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration vastly expanded powers to reduce the amount of contaminated food getting into distribution. Highly publicized outbreaks over the last few years involving everything from …


Energy lessons from Manhattan to Marrakech

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Marrakech last week, I expected to hear the sustainability challenges of the Middle East and North Africa (the so-called "MENA" region) described in some detail -- from education to health care, from women in the workplace to replacing oil. I was not disappointed, but what I did not expect to hear in that setting was a lesson on energy economics from Manhattan. Delegates from the MENA region and beyond have long concluded that a growing economy -- even in one of the most oil-rich parts of the globe -- cannot be sustained by …


Why weight?

Nutritionist Marion Nestle fingers the missing calories in America's big binge

Marion NestlePhoto: New York University "At first I didn't think agriculture had anything to do with food," admitted renowned nutritionist Marion Nestle. "Now I don't think you can learn anything about how our food system works without understanding agriculture." Her confession speaks volumes about America's evolving (and obsessive) ideas surrounding food, nutrition, and public health. Nestle, author of the seminal book Food Politics, is a food systems researcher at New York University who has been writing and teaching about these issues for the past 35 years, long before they entered the mainstream vogue. With that, she launched into the energetic …


The Flawed Squad

Is Halliburton the real heavy in the Gulf oil explosion?

Reports from the latest investigation of the Gulf oil spill say that Halliburton and BP knew the cement used on the doomed well was "unstable." Not saying that BP hasn't deserved the beatdown it's been taking for the Gulf oil spill. But now it looks like Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old stomping grounds, has moved dead center into the line of fire.  It's a shame they didn't make that right: Turns out, according to the lead investigator for the presidential commission investigating the Gulf spill, that both Halliburton and BP knew that the cement used to seal the doomed well was …


So what you’re saying is …, video

Chevron thinks we’re stupid [VIDEO]

Satirical heroes The Yes Men scooped Chevron on its very own ad campaign, releasing fake Chevron ads before the energy giant's multimillion-dollar "We Agree" campaign launched. Then the Yes Men solicited more parodies, including a lolcats version. Now Funny or Die shows us what Chevron is really trying to say: they think we're stupid. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of funny and pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.