Climate & Energy

It's A Harvard Study

“Realistic” first-generation CCS costs a whopping $150 per ton of CO2 — 20 cents per kWh!

Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has published a blockbuster study, “Realistic Costs of Carbon Capture.” The paper concludes that First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) carbon capture and storage plants are going to be much more expensive than most people realize: 1.  The costs of carbon abatement on a 2008 basis for FOAK IGCC plants are expected to be approximately $150/tCO2 avoided (with a range $120-180/tCO2 avoided), excluding transport and storage costs…. This yields “levelised cost of electricity on a 2008 basis is approximately 10¢/kWh higher with capture than for conventional plants.”  So pick your favorite price for new coal plants …

mo money, mo problems, for everyone but the GOP

Money can’t buy YOU love — but it can buy the fossil fuel industry the GOP loves

Oil companies, electric utilities and the coal industry have poured more than $250,000 this year into the coffers of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s House fundraising arm that has played a lead role in attacking Democrats who supported climate legislation. All told, political action committees for various fossil fuel industries have given at least $280,000 to NRCC through the end of June, according to quarterly finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission…. In the 2008 campaign cycle, the oil and gas industry and utilities combined to contribute more than $1.6 million to NRCC, according to data compiled …

Stop the madness!

Congress reverses Chu’s decision, flushes $100 million down the toilet pursuing hydrogen cars

Honda’s FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car: yours for only $100,000!There are only three sure things in life — death, taxes, and you’re never going to buy a hydrogen fuel cell car.  Congress should stop wasting your money pursuing Bush’s phony dream. The fundamental problem with hydrogen as a transport fuel is one that no amount of federal R&D can solve:  The absurdly expensive infrastructure will never be built. Why would the oil companies build an infrastructure which would, at best, compete with their existing product, or, more likely, cause them to lose their entire investment?  That leaves governments.  But …

just as i speculated

Nobelist Krugman: Fear of carbon markets and speculation is “99% wrong and bad for the planet”

There are many obstacles to taking action on climate change. Most of those obstacles have deep roots: there are powerful interest groups that don’t want market prices to reflect true costs, and there are ideologues — financially supported by these interest groups — who don’t want to admit that sometimes the government has to intervene. But there’s also, it seems, growing opposition to cap-and-trade from people who should be on the side of progress — but whose reaction is basically “Eek! Markets! Wall Street! Speculation! Bad!” We don’t need this. So let me talk a bit about why this reaction …

Are new nuclear plants the answer? No.

Oh, those sexy building codes: More powerful than 100 nuclear plants

Building energy codes are the key.Are 100 new nuclear plants the solution to our climate troubles? I asked that question in a post last week. The answer lies buried deep within the 1,428-page Waxman-Markey climate bill (H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act), passed by the House and now under consideration in the Senate. It is Section 201, pages 320-348. It is this section that makes H.R. 2454 worth passing. No matter what else is compromised or changed in the climate bill as it works its way through the Senate, Section 201 must not be changed or weakened. …

It's the 'Green' Mountain state for a reason

We need an energy revolution

The United States today spends some $400 billion a year importing oil from countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, and Venezuela. Think for a moment what an incredible impact that same $400 billion a year could have on our country if that money were invested here and not abroad, in such areas as weatherization, energy efficiency, sustainable energies like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, public transportation and automobiles that are energy efficient or don’t use fossil fuels at all. What we are talking about is an energy revolution that leads us toward energy independence, the cessation of support for foreign …

even the desert can be green

Recipe for green jobs

In this economy, every state wants jobs. Green jobs are popular, but frankly, they’ll take them in any color. A great way to attract renewable energy jobs to a state is to—and this should be obvious—establish a local market.  If a state provides incentives for a local solar market, for example, you get on the order of 14 jobs (a year) per MW installed.  Installers, engineers, sales reps—those are good jobs, and they stay local.  Can’t be outsourced. But what about manufacturing?  That’s a different story.  It’s a global market, and every state in the country, and every country in …

Evergreen jobs

Washington guv highlights green-jobs potential of climate action

Washington Gov. Christine GregoireWashington state has already surpassed its ambitious goal for creating green jobs, and the rest of the country could see similar results if Congress passes strong energy and climate legislation, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) told the Senate this week. In 2007, Gregoire set a goal of having 25,000 green jobs in her state by 2020, but that goal has been met in just two years with 47,000 jobs in the state now considered “green,” she said. Washington has also had dramatic success in ramping up its wind power industry; in 2001, virtually none of the state’s …

not your grandfather's climate bill

The Climate Bill Shouldn’t Give Coal a Free Pass

Now that historic U.S. climate legislation – the American Clean Energy and Security Act – (ACES), has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate is debating its version of energy/climate legislation, let’s talk about what must be fixed before it gets to the President’s desk. Big Coal has long sought and enjoyed loopholes for their dirty industry – anything to keep the money rolling in as they avoid cleaning up. And now, over objections of our clean energy champions, this bill gives them another massive loophole that the Senate must correct. Although coal-fired power plants account for roughly a …

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