Business & Technology

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, …

China’s rearview mirror

China is leaving the U.S. in the dust as it surges ahead on clean energy

Even as China overtakes the U.S. in the dubious category of “world’s leading greenhouse gas producer,” it is also well ahead of the U.S. in developing the technologies and policies to solve the problem — and selling those solutions to us at massive profits which could have been ours. On a recent trip, I saw entire Chinese towns powered by farm waste and enough windmills for jousts with ten thousand Don Quixotes. As you read this, China will have just surpassed the U.S. as the leading producer of wind turbines, many of which are exported at very high margins. And …

What you can do

A message from Van Jones

Van Jones sent this message out to friends and supporters on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Dear Friends: My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then — in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency. Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do. The main thing is …

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