Business & Technology

DOLLARS TO DOUGHNUTS

At Governator’s climate party, EPA chief aims to calm small business worries

LOS ANGELES — EPA administrator Lisa Jackson unveiled a modest proposal on Wednesday: If a company wants to build a new power plant or refinery, or fix up a smoky old belcher, it will have to use the best available technology to control greenhouse gases. That’s it. Oh, and the Dunkin Donuts of the country will be spared. Depending on who you ask, the proposed regulation is either a bone-headed move that will land her agency back in court, or a shrewd maneuver to quash industry scare tactics and quell rising panic on Main Street about the potential costs of …

What’s Happening On The Fifth Floor?

Millions of people come and go from New York’s iconic Empire State Building every year. The 102 floors bristle with keyboard-clicking, ballpoint-wielding, paper-shredding cubicle dwellers, none of which would appear out of place in an episode of “The Office”. But something very different is happening on the fifth floor – – a magical workplace that may soon transform the entire skyline of a big city near you. At the recent Clinton Global Initiative conference (CGI) in New York, I caught up with Marc Porat of Serious Materials (www.seriousmaterials.com). He’s part of a team working on the Empire State Building, doing …

firing chamber

Corporations call off the old green battle, but Chamber of Commerce soldiers on [UPDATED]

Update: This story keeps growing. Since last week… The country’s largest utility, Exelon, said it was quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest of the group’s climate-bill opposition. New Mexico utility PNM Resources did the same. Nike, the most public-facing Chamber defector to date, said it would leave the Chamber board of directors while keeping its membership in the group. The Chamber has tried to do damage control, without changing its opposition to clean-energy legislation. And if you’re not sure why the Chamber even matters, “no organization in this country has done more to undermine [climate] legislation,” according to …

Rooting for the underdog

For Khosla, clean tech is all about scale

Getting an audience with Silicon Valley’s guru of green investing isn’t always easy. Vinod KhoslaJames Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media, Inc. (via Wikimedia Commons)If Vinod Khosla is not speaking at one of the innumerable, and apparently recession-proof, green business conferences that seem to happen every other week, he’s giving lectures at Google headquarters, writing white papers, or, of course, inking checks to green tech startups with the potential to disrupt multi trillion-dollar global industries like energy, automobiles and building materials. He’s something of a Valley legend: Co-founder of Sun Microsystems, then a longtime tech investor with marquee venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins …

Still fallacious

The perfect market fallacy

Suppose you want to compete in the 100 meter dash. Your odds of breaking Usain Bolt’s world record are pretty slim. So should you bother training? If you did train but ended up losing in the Olympic quarterfinals, would you take that as proof that training was a waste of time? Now consider that you are a legislator trying to reduce CO2 emissions as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Should you bother putting a price on pollution to discourage its release? Noting the extreme rarity of “perfect markets” and the recent spate of financial scandals, should you not instead …

The clean-energy investment agenda

This post was co-authored by Center for American Progress Vice President for Energy Policy Kate Gordon, Senior Fellow Bracken Hendricks, and Policy Analyst Benjamin Goldstein. It was cross-posted from Wonk Room. The United States is having the wrong public debate about global warming. We are asking important questions about pollution caps and timetables, carbon markets and allocations, but we have lost sight of our principal objective: building a robust and prosperous clean energy economy. This is a fundamentally affirmative agenda, rather than a restrictive one. Moving beyond pollution from fossil fuels will involve exciting work, new opportunities, new products and …

Inside Newsweek’s new green corporate rankings

Cross-posted from GreenBiz. On Monday, Newsweek magazine unveiled its first annual Green Rankings, the fruits of a near-Herculean endeavor: rating and ranking the environmental performance, achievements, and reputation of the S&P 500. The list, published today in a 12-page special section in the magazine as well as online, is the culmination of an 18-month journey. The resulting rankings are straightforward, almost elegant, but it wasn’t a straight or easy path. Like most such rankings, they’re imperfect. They’ll likely be challenged and debated, especially by some of the lower-ranking companies, not to mention the activist/blogosphere community. But it may well be …

Leno's shocking conversion

Ford goes Hollywood to tout electric cred

Ford custom built two battery-powered Ford Focus cars for Jay Leno, who will put celebrities behind the wheel for a segment on his new primetime NBC show.Courtesy Ford / Jay Leno ShowHollywood has is green crusaders. But Jay Leno, whose garage in Los Angeles (despite solar paneling, a steam engine and wind turbine power) is a veritable shrine to the internal combustion engine, has never been considered one. But now, as part of his new show on NBC, Leno might just have come up with a concept that will strike an eco chord in Hollywood, and then on Main Street …

VW L1 hybrid: “most efficient car in the world”

Via The Huffington Post. Volkswagen has traditionally been known more for its quirky branding than its bold claims. That didn’t stop the German automaker from recently declaring that it had built “the most fuel-efficient car in the world.” Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/18/vw-l1-hybrid-most-efficie_n_291257.html Though, it won’t be available until 2013, the two-seater L1 — which stands for its one-liter fuel capacity — quickly become the talk of Frankfurt. The diesel-electric hybrid engine gets a whopping 157.8 miles per gallon and tops out at 100 miles per hour, according to CarConnection. The L1 also has an “impressive” driving range of 416 miles, …

Welcome to the new Grist. Tell us what you think, or if it's your first time learn about us. Grist is celebrating 15 years. ×