Climate & Energy

Loan payday

California’s innovative energy efficiency loan program is a model worth copying

A request: If you a) have anything to do with city or county government, and b) have any interest in, or authority over, property taxes, finance, or energy efficiency, please drop whatever you're doing for two minutes, and skim this article. Oh, all right, I bet you didn't actually hit the link. So to make your job easier, I'll pull a quote or two. California [just] enacted a law that allows cities and counties to make low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, high-efficiency air conditioners and other energy-saving improvements.Participants can pay back the loans over decades through property taxes. And if a property owner sells his home or business, the loan balance is transferred to the next owner, along with the improvements. [Emphasis added.] I don't think that I emphasize this enough: This is truly groundbreaking. In fact, it may well be among the top three climate policies ever adopted by the state. I hope that other states follow suit soon -- even if it means fixing the state constitution (Cough*Washington*cough).

The energy-ad arms race

Presidential candidates keep the energy ads a-comin’

John McCain put out this new ad yesterday, “Broken,” in which he’s portrayed as the “original maverick” and pledges to “battle Big Oil.” (Someone might …

Umbra on calculating CO2 weight

Dear Umbra, I know CO2 is a gas as other greenhouse gases are, and gases are sometimes lighter than air. So I’m wondering: how can …

Dell Inc. claims carbon neutrality

Dell Computer’s worldwide business operations are now carbon neutral, the company announced Wednesday. True carbon neutrality is, of course, a chimera for a giant IT …

Phone tag team

Fact-checking the McCain campaign’s press call on energy policy

The McCain campaign held a press call yesterday on Barack Obama’s energy policy, in which their spokesfolks let fly a few statements that should be …

Gore and Edwards, not sitting in a tree

Joel Makower makes a fantastic point here: Why aren’t Gore and Edwards working together? Or rather, why aren’t those fighting climate change working with those …

NYC officials fear natural-gas drilling would taint water supplies

New York City officials want to ban natural-gas drilling within a mile of six major upstate reservoirs for fear that the city’s drinking water could …

Matt Yglesias on the GOP drilling push

Is drilling debate a repeat of the immigration debate?

Last week, Matt Yglesias finished his stint blogging for The Atlantic. Next week he starts blogging for the Center for American Progress. In between he’s …

Efficienciezzz …

Bob Herbert’s column in the NYT yesterday makes two points: One, efficiency and conservation are the smartest strategies to combat our energy woes; two, it’s …