Business & Technology

California air agency says cutting emissions will boost economy

California’s 2006 law requiring the state to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 would help boost its economy and save residents more money in the long term than doing nothing, according to a report by the influential California Air Resources Board. The state’s draft plan for reducing emissions focuses on requiring utilities to generate one-third of their electricity from renewables, increasing the energy efficiency of state buildings, and (if it’s ever granted the waiver it needs from the U.S. EPA) requiring new vehicles sold in the state to significantly reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. By 2020, such measures would …

'I don't believe in the CO2 theory'

Touting the Volt, GM exec denies anthropogenic climate change

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz was on the “Colbert Report” last night to talk about the new Chevy Volt, but a lot of the conversation ended up being about whether or not Lutz believes in anthropogenic climate change. Colbert, on the Volt: “This is tantamount to admitting that we have to do something about global warming, sir. You are capitulating with the enemy. Why not just call this the Chevy Gore? You don’t believe global warming is real. You’ve said so.” Lutz: “I accept that the planet is heated, but like many noted scientists I don’t believe in the CO2 …

'Should go over big with the tree huggers ... '

Truth in advertising

Check out this pearl from commenter David Ahlport (found in the comments of David Roberts’ Cost Tic post). I’m a proponent of using ads to spread ideas. The problem with most ads is that they are at best half-truths. This one has it all. They draw a gentle and humorous line between themselves and negative stereotypes. Going green should not be about sacrifice and depravation deprivation. I have seen a few versions of this while channel surfing. We could use a lot more like it.

Hurricane Wall Street, part II

Still trying to make environmental sense of the massive bailout now underway

I like to think of myself as a reasonably cynical person, at least in matters of finance. When I started reporting on Mexico’s markets in 1998, Russia had just defaulted in billions of debt. Russia and Mexico had virtually no direct financial or trade relationship, yet large investors punished Mexico anyway. (To be fair, Mexico still hadn’t recovered from its own financial meltdown of a few years before.) The peso plunged against the dollar, sparking something close to hyper inflation. I watched in awe as working people’s real wages — my own included, since I was paid in pesos — …

Immelt: yay RPS!

I’m on a conference call, listening to Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, chat with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, about energy. I don’t have a recording, but I tell you, Immelt sounds more and more like a standard greenie — he’s stumping for a national RPS, 10-year extension of renewable tax credits, and a price on carbon. And he keeps insisting that it’s not particularly political. “Energy is easy,” he says. Then again, Al Gore (who apparently is also in the room) asked him directly about what’s blocking this stuff in Congress, and he basically dodged. “Partisanship,” blah blah. There’s …

Financial crisis, meet climate crisis

Will New York Gov. Paterson gut the regional northeastern-state carbon cap?

New York State relies heavily on Wall Street as an economic engine. With the financial-services industry in its deepest funk since the Great Depression, New York politicians are extremely skittish about the state’s economic prospects. That’s why Gov. David Paterson has been scrambling to help prop up AIG, the wobbly New York-based insurance behemoth. And that’s not all he’s doing in response to a possible economic slump for his state. According to The Daily Green, the governor is also prepared to gut the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an alliance among ten northeastern states to cap carbon emissions. The RGGI (known …

Student activist gets Phoenix buzzing with green biz expo

Chris Samila Age: 23 School: Arizona State University Sometimes people do things because they don’t realize they can’t. If this makes no sense to you, you haven’t met Chris Samila, a (permanent, as he jokingly puts it) senior at Arizona State University in Tempe, where he had some epiphanies, founded a business (Green Summit Inc.), and somehow managed to pull off a wildly successful green business expo on campus. With no experience. And no real cash. And about five volunteers. “We had no idea what we were doing,” Samila says. “There were so many nights where I was like, ‘Oh …

'A bit anarchic'

Lehman quietly shuts down its carbon-trading desk

I have no idea how to parse the long-term implications of this: Lehman Brothers shut down its carbon emissions trading desk after the bank filed for bankruptcy protection, a source close to the company told Reuters on Monday. The "source close to the company" declared the sudden stoppage "a bit anarchic." I agree! Lehman had announced that it would keep all operations going as it went through bankruptcy. Guess not. Any comment on this development, Adam Stein?

GM unveils Chevy Volt ‘production model’ at 100th birthday celebration

Chevy Volt. Photo: gmeurope At its 100th birthday party on Tuesday, General Motors unveiled its oh-so-close-to-production model of the Chevrolet Volt –a plug-in hybrid that the automaker swears will be on sale by the end of 2010. GM has been plagued by massive financial problems lately caused mainly by its heavy focus on SUVs, which have largely fallen out of favor with consumers due to sustained high gas prices. In an effort to turn the automaker’s fortunes around, GM has promised big things from the Volt, including an advanced lithium-ion battery (that doesn’t quite exist yet) that GM says will …

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