Climate & Energy

Three-point plan

RFK Jr. advocates for cap-and-trade, renewables, smart grids

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s got a three-point plan for the next president. I think it would work.

Can the coal industry be saved in spite of itself? Should it be?

New analysis explores whether Congress can do a better job with CCS than Bush administration

One of biggest debates about climate solutions is whether coal generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is going to be practical and affordable on the timescale needed to avoid catastrophic outcomes. And, of course, there are many who don't think coal should be saved at all. I am not in the second camp, but I doubt coal with CCS is likely to exceed one wedge (I'll discuss this more next week). And we probably need 14 wedges to stay below 450 ppm. I have no doubt concentrated solar will delivery far more power than coal with CCS -- two or three wedges are possible. The coal industry has long been in denial about the reality of human-caused global warming, so they are woefully unprepared for what is to come. And the administration has botched FutureGen, the centerpiece of its CCS effort. Can Congress do a better job? The answer can be found in a new analysis by Bob Sussman and Ken Berlin for the Center for American Progress, "Maximizing Carbon Capture and Storage Under the Lieberman Warner Global Warming Bill." Here is a summary:

Kennedy clan vs. clean power

Your last chance to be heard about Cape Wind

A friend once described Nantucket Sound as a body of water surrounded on three sides by money. The outcome of the six-year-long effort to use a small part of that water to house a 130-turbine, 468-megawatt wind farm -- still the largest proposed renewable-energy project in the eastern U.S. -- will help determine whether we, as a nation, are serious about confronting the climate crisis. The federal agency in charge of the formal review of the Cape Wind project, the Minerals Management Service, is receiving public comments through Monday, April 21. It's the last opportunity for ordinary citizens to outshout the Kennedys and other plutocrats who would rather keep subjecting Cape Cod waters to oil tanker spills than sully their viewsheds with matchbox-sized spinning blades (which is how they'll appear from land). The Cape-based citizens group Clean Power Now ("It's not the view, it's the vision") has an e-mail form you can fill out in a few seconds to register your support. If you prefer to compose your own message, use this form from the project developers, Cape Wind. That's how I beat the deadline with my comments, below.

A story in pictures

  Minorities are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution … is suspected of posing the greatest health danger, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. … • The Government Accountability Office concluded earlier this year that EPA devoted little attention to environmental equality when it developed three major rules to implement the Clean Air Act between 2000 and 2004. • The EPA’s inspector general reported last year that the agency hadn’t implemented Clinton’s order nor “consistently integrated environmental justice into its day-to-day operations.” The watchdog said EPA had not identified minority and …

Collins misoverestimates Bush

NYT columnist gives president too much credit on climate, which ain’t hard

New York Times columnist Gail Collins begins today’s piece with a glaring error. She says: Didn’t know we had any goals for curbing global warming? Where were you in 2002 when the president put us on the road toward reducing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent by 2012? Now, Collins spends the rest of the column deriding that goal, and the new goal Bush announced on Wed., as she should: both goals are worth deriding. But that wasn’t what Bush announced in 2002. He didn’t propose to slow the rate of greenhouse-gas emission growth. He proposed to …

Cool paint job

Reflective paint and glaze can reduce the need for A/C in your car

The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress. ----- California's AB 32 cap on greenhouse gas emissions has its regulatory agencies working to find a set of measures that will amount to savings enough to cut 2020 emissions by about 30 percent. Since 12 years is too short to change California's vehicle fleet or its power plants, myriad measures are being considered, each rather small but hoped to make a difference cumulatively. One such effort is to find paints and coatings to reduce how hot cars get when parked, so the driver is less likely to turn on the air conditioner: