Climate & Energy

A handshake at a knife fight

Should Obama consider compromise on drilling?

Obama is taking lots of heat for his softening on offshore drilling. I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it’s extremely important to get the …

All about water?

ZapRoot takes on the Pickens plan:

California climate skirmish

Los Angeles utility starts to squawk as it stares down a $700 million carbon bill

Regulators have won praise for speed and thoughtfulness with which they have laid the groundwork for implementation of A.B. 32, the landmark bill that aims to bring California's greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. But even within a single state, climate change legislation creates winners and losers, and regional tensions are starting to show. California's climate plan consists of a slew of new efficiency standards, regulations, and reduction measures -- as well as a cap-and-trade system to place a lid on total emissions. It's the cap-and-trade system that is part of the present pushback. At issue in particular are the long-term contracts that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has entered into for coal-based electricity. Although coal has kept L.A.'s electricity some of the cheapest in the state, the utility will have to pay enormous sums for carbon allowances under the new law. It's always instructive to unpack some of the distortions that surround the politics of climate change legislation. Officials from L.A. seem to be trying out three different angles in their resistance to the bill. The first is that the steep cost of the allowances will divert money away from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

Crush into you

Crusher credit: one of many savvy short-term solutions

In case you missed it, noted economist Alan Blinder made the case for a crusher credit in the NYT last week. The idea is to …

Eric Roston on Colbert

Eric Roston, author of The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat, tells Stephen Colbert all about his favorite element:

Opt liver

Florida utility’s green energy program died a predictable death

The sad fate of Florida Power & Light’s green energy program should be instructive. Of course the program had to spend a ton of money …

High fuel prices causing globalization to lose momentum

It was unthinkable mere years ago, but globalization is starting to lose momentum. High and holding fuel prices — shipping a 40-foot container from Shanghai …

Obama's new 'New Energy' plan

More drilling in exchange for comprehensive energy legislation

Democrat Barack Obama on Friday said he would be willing to support some offshore drilling if it were necessary to enact a comprehensive energy plan, …

In Big Oil's Pocket

Obama releases new ad blasting’s McCain’s ties to oil industry

The campaign 2008 energy ad wars continue, delving deeper into negative territory. Today, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released a new television ad accusing GOP …