Business & Technology

Follow the money

BP’s donations to Congress are more worrying than its donations to Obama

The Sunlight Foundation reports on the slick of BP money that’s already spread far and wide through the American political system. The oil and gas giant is a major campaign contributor, giving more than $6 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years. President Obama has received the most — $77,051 — which might seem surprising at first blush. But presidential candidates receive a lot more than everybody else, and most major donors, including energy companies, spread their donations between Republicans and Democrats. So it’s not shocking that Obama’s among the very top recipients, although I would’ve expected McCain …

Car and away

Does ‘sustainable transportation’ mean better cars or fewer cars?

Ohio State University’s excellent Moving Ahead 2010 conference wrapped up with an impromptu panel on the oil spill and oil addiction. (White House energy adviser Carol Browner was supposed to do the final keynote, but got pulled away. Apparently there’s something going on in Louisiana.) I’ll wrap up my coverage by making a point I made on that panel, about a divide I noticed at the conference, and in the sustainable transportation world more broadly. On one side, you have people like Scott Bernstein of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Geoff Anderson of Smart Growth America, or Tom Murphy of …

SPILL BABY SPILL

Colbert and Letterman mock BP for wrecking the Gulf

Personally, I think it’s a time to be sober and try to comfort our beleaguered oil companies. But here are two other approaches. Stephen Colbert’s oil cleanup plan goes awry:   And Letterman provides the Top Ten BP Excuses (listed out below the video): TOP TEN BP EXCUSES 10. The Gulf of Mexico was overdue for its 3,000-mile oil change. 9. We promise we’ll get around to it by Labor Day. 8. Relax, it’s only leaking 210,000 gallons a day. 7. Giving everyone a free BP travel mug. 6. Louisiana hasn’t had a disaster in 5 years. 5. Guy from …

I have a green job

A new café owner forages and finds a fresh take on sustainability

From activists to politicians, everybody loves to talk about the promise of green jobs. But in reality, who the heck actually has a green job, and how do you get one? In our new column, “I Have a Green Job,” Grist will be regularly profiling one of the lucky employed who has landed a job in the new green economy, or a green job in the old economy. Know someone with a green job and a good story? Tell us about them! A lemongrass elk meatball sandwich at Nettletown.Photo courtesy Christina ChoiThe newly opened Seattle café Nettletown sources ingredients from …

beyond awful

Jon Stewart slams BP, oil-defending politicians, more usual suspects

Our customer research department tell us that some of you enjoy humorous video, watchdog journalism, holding politicians accountable, and biting media criticism. If that’s the case, we think you should know about this guy Jon Stewart: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Beyond Awful www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

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 …

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