Climate & Energy

You can't be too rich or too dirty

Fossil interests plow money into Congress

Rich and thin is passé. What's hot now is rich and dirty. Why is a smart energy and climate policy so elusive for this country? In three words -- money, money, money. The nation's energy bill is now about a trillion dollars. That means the super-rich fossil fuel companies have enormous profits they can spend on lobbying to ensure their continued dominance. How much? Jeff Goodell has the answer here: In the first quarter of 2008, Big Coal's new front group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, spent a record-breaking $1.9 million in federal lobbying expenses. To put that in perspective, in the same period, the Solar Energies Industries Association spent all of $75,000 ... Individual coal companies have been even more generous to our nation's cash-starved policymakers:

Say goodbye to the lungs of the earth

Amazon deforestation exploding. The agrofuels lobby assures us that it has nothing to do with them.

Energy prices

Conservatives want to terrify voters at the prospect of climate policy raising energy prices. Meanwhile: “Wealth Evaporates as Gas Prices Clobber McMansions.” How long will we stay on this sinking ship?

Sizzle this summer

New mockumentary on climate science, dialogue, and societal change is opening soon

Filmmaker Randy Olson has just completed Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy, a hilarious new mockumentary thickly peopled with real life climate scientists, activists, skeptics, and a rollicking plot-line that could bring a lot more people into the global warming tent. I found it refreshing and a good follow-up to the Gore movie, because it's not so much about the scientists or the celebrities telling us why we should care. Instead, it's fun, watchable, and about real people and what they think about this issue. Watch the trailer here. Tickets for the L.A. premiere go on sale next Monday.

McCain and Obama tout very different energy policies

While campaigning in different cities Monday, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama managed to trade plenty of jabs on energy policy. At a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Obama called for a tax on oil-company windfall …

What Mr. Crude Oil sees ahead

High oil prices are our lot until demand is destroyed, but no peak

Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun Murti predicted the recent spike in oil prices, so it's worth looking at his recent interview in Barron's:

'You just gave my speech'

Drilling for fossil fuels and subsidizing nuclear power: McCain energy policy

McCain reveals the heart of his energy policy: McCain was more gung-ho about nuclear power and expanded domestic drilling for oil and natural gas. When a donor in Richmond summed up his advice as, “nuclear, …

The Will to be ignorant

Drilling in ANWR still isn’t the solution to high gas prices

George Will is at it again. His latest bit of inane demagoguery can be found here, in which he excoriates everyone who has ever opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Also disqualified from complaining [about oil prices] are all voters who sent to Washington senators and representatives who have voted to keep ANWR's oil in the ground and who voted to put 85 percent of America's offshore territory off-limits to drilling. Naturally, Will ignores the flip side of the coin. What about people who have opposed investing in renewable energy, increasing fuel efficiency standards for cars, or encouraging conservation a decade ago? Those people have done far more long-term damage. If we'd begun to work on the oil problem ten years ago, we would be in much, much better shape than we are today. But is drill, drill, drill a solution? Will writes:

Belly up!

There is such a thing as a free lunch

You frequently hear that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” particularly when it comes to climate and energy policy. It’s a mark of “seriousness” to solemnly proclaim that it’s all going to cost …