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Stupid on smart meters

Southern California Edison wants to distribute smart meters to its customers. That's a great idea. Consumer group Utility Reform Network is fighting it. That is, as Kevin says, immeasurably stupid. Argh.

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Now that’s a 12-step program

A hopeful press release touting an even more hopeful (wishful?) report: Takoma Park, MD -- At the G-8 summit in Germany in June 2007, President Bush promised to "consider seriously" the European Union goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to limit global temperature rise to about 4 degrees Fahrenheit. A new study concludes that the United States could eliminate almost all of its carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2050. It also concludes that it is possible to do so without the use of nuclear power. The landmark study, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, was …

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The latest from Congress

The Washington Post reports today: Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) claims to have rounded up about 200 votes for an amendment raising fuel economy standards, while the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, John D. Dingell (Mich.) and 50 other Democrats have signed on to a weaker version ... But yesterday, Pelosi said the bill was not likely to address fuel economy at all, postponing the issue until a conference committee reconciles House and Senate energy bills in September ... Pelosi is eager to avoid a breach with the powerful Dingell, who opposes the Markey amendment and whose committee will handle many …

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An interview with Dennis Kucinich about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Dennis Kucinich dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 25, 2008. Dennis Kucinich. Photo: SEIU via flickr He may be eating the front-runners' dust in the polls, but among deep-green voters, Dennis Kucinich is considered a trailblazer. A Democratic U.S. rep from Cleveland, Ohio, Kucinich is calling for a radical overhaul of the U.S. government and economy -- one that infuses every agency in the executive branch with a sustainability agenda, phases out coal and nuclear power entirely, and calls on …

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No surprises here, please

The electricity grid doesn't like surprises. Sudden voltage spikes or sags do not a healthy grid make. So proponents of large-scale solar and wind are working to create tools to smooth over volatility issues, so these generating resources can be integrated seamlessly onto the grid. If we're going to be in a position to rely on more solar and wind power and use these to replace significant amounts of power generated from coal, the grid planning and dispatch issues must be addressed. Which brings us to yesterday's announcement by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) that they have received a $100,000 federal …

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Having survived Biosphere, she’s ready to enter the offset debate

A summary overview / intro to offsets by a woman who was one of the Biospherians.

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They might be coming sooner than you think

From a NASA's Earth Observatory: Hurricanes need two basic ingredients to develop: warm, moist air and a relatively calm atmosphere. Late summer over the Atlantic Ocean provides both things. Ocean waters above about 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit) give rise to the warm, moist air that fuels tropical storms, and winds that could tear a storm apart are light during the summer. Typically, the Atlantic is primed for hurricanes by early August, and the height of the hurricane season comes in September, though the official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. They have a great figure showing …

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Umbra on wave power

Hello Umbra, I just read a little bit about wave power and was wondering what you think the future potential is for this clean and never-ending energy source? Peter Blomquist Orlando, Fla. Dearest Peter, Wow. I'm a sucker for anything with a good name, like "LIMPET." There are fun technologies under development to harness the might of the sea as it swells up from the briny deep. Crest easy. Photo: iStockphoto Wind hits the surface of the ocean and makes tiny ripples that over distance and time become waves. As contrasted with the tidal technologies we discussed last week, which …

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Ranking oil companies from evil to even more evil

Get pumped: Sierra has updated its guide to choosing the least-evil gas stations. And they've condensed it to fit in a handy travel-sized package: a rearview-mirror air freshener, which could not be more appropriate considering how gassy Americans are. (We consume some 400 million gallons of crudeness a day!) Below, the top eight oil companies ranked from evil to even more evil: Top of the Barrel BP Sunoco Middle of the Barrel Royal Dutch Shell Chevron Valero Energy Corporation Citgo Bottom of the Barrel ExxonMobil ConocoPhillips