Business & Technology

The Cost of the Oil Spill

A teachable moment

The Cape Wind project just approved for the waters offshore of Massachusetts will pump $1 billion into the local economy and create clean, reliable wind energy for decades. The BP oil rig in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico is spewing millions of gallons of petroleum toward the coastlines of four states, incurring $6 million per day in cleanup costs and estimated to top $3 billion before it’s all over, not counting fines or damage claims from communities and the fishing industry. Could there be any more dramatic examples this week of our choices as we invent and invest …

Cough, baby, cough

Burning oil sends heavy vapor toward Gulf residents

The EPA is warning that Gulf Coast residents are at risk of headaches, nausea, and other ill health effects; the culprit is air pollution from the oil burns that response teams are conducting to try to keep the big slick away from coastlines. “The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf could cause an odor similar to that of a gas station for communities along the affected coast,” warns the site the EPA set up on the disaster: Is the odor bad for my health? This odor may cause symptoms such as headaches or nausea. For your own comfort, limit your …

don't waste this crisis

Wake up, Obama. The Gulf spill is our big chance

President Barack Obama so far has said nothing about the screamingly obvious connection between the spoils of fossil-fuel dependency and the vision of a clean-energy economy that he’s been sporadically promoting. Instead he had this tepid statement on the Gulf oil spill Friday morning: “I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security.” What happened to never letting a crisis go to waste? This mother of a crisis runs straight into our fossil-fuel addiction. It’s a prime opportunity for progressives and clean-energy advocates to demonstrate the desperate need for new …

gushing to the top

Oil rig disaster could soon be worse than Exxon Valdez

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Cross-posted from Wonk Room. The catastrophic gusher of oil unleashed by the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last week is on track to quickly exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, an independent expert warns. An explosive burst of oil destroyed the exploratory rig 41 miles off the Louisiana coast on the eve of Earth Day, killing 11 workers. After the shattered hulk of the rig sank to the ocean floor a mile down, the pipeline continues to spew oil that has now reached shore, with an end weeks or months away. John Amos, the president …

Weeking havoc

The worst week ever, brought to you by the fossil-fuel industry

It’s a week to remember — or better yet, forget.  Who could have imagined such a confluence of terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad events, rounding up what has to be the most disheartening “Earth Month” ever?  In what may soon be the worst oil spill in U.S. history, crude is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and bleeding into Louisiana wetlands. The situation is so dire that our best environmental option is to set it ablaze. Eleven workers died when the rig blew up. Economic disaster may follow ecological and human disaster, with the fishing, shrimping, and tourism industries likely to …

Put the moves on

Take note, companies: Young workers want urban jobs

Downtown ChicagoPhoto: Chicago Man via FlickrBusinesses ought to consider locating in walkable, culturally diverse city centers because that’s where young workers want to be, according to some liberal commie rag printed on recycled draft cards. No, scratch that, this argument comes from the Harvard Business Review. An article in the May issue opens with the news that United Airlines is moving its headquarters to downtown Chicago from the outer-ring suburb Elk Grove, while Quicken Loans plans to build headquarters in downtown Detroit.  “These companies are getting a jump on a major cultural and demographic shift away from suburban sprawl,” writes …

It's a breeze

Cape Wind decision may take green power national

Offshore wind turbinePhoto courtesy phault via FlickrWhen Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced federal approval of the Cape Wind project on Wednesday, the media coverage tended to focus on the denouement of a nearly decade-long battle over the United States’ first offshore wind farm. And indeed, our East Coast cousins put Californians to shame when it comes to green NIMBYism. (Not to dismiss legitimate environmental concerns over offshore wind farms, but the nine-year struggle to put 130 wind turbines in the Kennedy’s backyard in Nantucket Sound makes the permitting of Mojave Desert solar power plants look like a breeze by comparison.) …

dirty south

The story of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill [PHOTOS]

Photo: Transocean The Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by the Houston company Transocean, drilled the deepest oil well in history (35,050 feet) in September 2009 in the Gulf of Mexico. In January, the rig moved to a British Petroleum project 120 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Great Coal Debate had some false information

Peabody Energy exec misleads during coal debate

Last night I debated the role of coal in our country’s energy future with Peabody Energy VP of Government Relations Fred Palmer on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The debate took place in front of more than 500 students and community members at Graham Chapel on campus, and was watched live online by nearly 4,700 additional interested observers. Here are four minutes of highlights: If you want to watch the full debate, click here. The debate was a great conversation about the dangers presented by coal and there was frank dialogue between Mr. Palmer and I about …

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