Climate & Energy

Warning: falling metaphors ahead

It’s no time for change, says ad from Gingrich’s group

American Solutions for Winning the FutureThe people who brought you the “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” energy plan have launched a new TV ad opposing the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, or, as the new 30-second spot calls it, the “national energy tax.” American Solutions for Winning the Future, a group founded by former House speaker and Republican “ideas man” Newt Gingrich, will begin airing the ads on TV tomorrow. The ad shows the 1940 footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge twisting, heaving, and buckling in a windstorm, then collapsing. “Factories closing… businesses failing… families hurting,” says the narrator. …

Solar passes gas

RE less than G

The next time someone tells you solar is too expensive, send them here (PDF). It’s a contract PG&E signed for a 230 MW solar photovoltaic project, delivering 592 GWh/year. That’s a lot. But the best part? Look at the chart on the bottom of page 3. It won’t tell you the price exactly, but it’s below 13 cents/kWh—which is the proxy price for a combined cycle gas turbine. Solar cheaper than the fossil fuel alternative.

Big Ag Wins!

Peterson gets his way with climate and energy bill

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on Tuesday surrendered to agriculture interests on a key provision in the massive climate and energy bill he introduced with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Facing a defection from farm-state Democrats, Politico.com reports that Waxman agreed to change the bill so that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture will oversee the [carbon] offset program for farmers, and the House will seek further guidance from the Obama administration about the appropriate role for the EPA.” Politico further reported that Waxman “agreed to ask the EPA to roll back its new requirements that farmers offset rural land developed in other …

Action Jackson

EPA chief Lisa Jackson on mountaintop removal, climate legislation, toxics, and more

In a wide-ranging interview with Grist, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson hit on a number of hot-button topics. Here are highlights in video and text.  (For more, read the full Q & A.) On mountaintop-removal mining: [T]he current state of the law and regs doesn’t allow us to just change the law and the regs to say that this process will no longer be allowable. There’s no way to do that under current law. What we can do at EPA is commit to a couple things: rigorous scrutiny of permits to make sure that we look at potential impacts to water …

Nerd wars!

Blogospheric passions run high on, um, the CBO report

After watching a tedious press conference this morning at which not a single question was asked about the Waxman-Markey bill (after Obama endorsed it!), I’m happy to see that somebody outside the dreary confines of “green blogging” is grappling with it. If it all happens to be obsessively focused on the CBO report, well, I’ll take what I can get. Let’s take a walk through the last few days of action. First, Ryan Avent noted the new CBO report, which says that Waxman-Markey will cost the average household about a postage stamp a day and actually benefit the lowest quintile …

What are they smoking?

Obama endorses climate bill, press corps asks about his cigarettes

President Obama gave a strong endorsement of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) at a White House press conference today, calling it “historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America.” The White House press corps didn’t seem to notice, asking not a single question about the bill, its reach into the American economy, or about energy and climate in general. Instead, reporters asked questions about the timing of his statements on Iran’s election and about his personal smoking habits. For real. “How many cigarettes a day do you now smoke?” Margaret Talev …

Waxman-Markey: We’d better try to get what we need

Once again Mick Jagger is right: “You can’t always get what you want/But if you try sometimes you just might find/You get what you need.” The House of Representatives is poised for its first-ever floor debate and series of votes on a landmark measure to reduce global warming pollution. This bill is revolutionary in its intent and, while imperfect in its means, it deserves the support of progressives. The American Clean Energy and Security Act would establish binding greenhouse gas pollution limits, set the first national renewable electricity and efficiency standards for utilities, and improve efficiency standards for buildings and …

EPA: Waxman-Markey will lower electricity bills

The main argument conservatives and big oil and coal companies use against the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is that it would cripple American households with a crushing energy tax. To make that claim, they have distorted cost estimates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted their own biased studies. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency obliterated these phony numbers with the release of its economic analysis of H.R. 2454. The EPA estimated the bill would actually lower household electricity bills: As a result of energy efficiency measures, consumer spending on utility bills would be roughly 7% …

SCREEEEECH

That, my friends, is the sound of the California solar market grinding to a halt — which is exactly what will happen if we don’t lift the cap on net metering. Net metering, of course, is the policy that allows you to roll you meter backwards when you generate more solar electricity than you use. By allowing you to reduce your utility bill commensurate with what you generate, it makes a solar system more economical. And by maximizing the amount of electricity on the grid during peak periods–when the system needs it most and electricity is most expensive–net metering saves …

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. ×