Climate & Energy

Hog heaven, part 2

Climate action requires leadership beyond political ‘reasonableness’

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. Let's face it: The Bush Administration has made a mess of things, as noted in "Hog heaven, part 1." It is now clear, if it hasn't been all along, that by the time George Bush leaves office, the White House will have wasted eight years of leadership on the Mother of All Issues. If those eight years are a profound disappointment looking backward, then they are a profound tragedy looking forward. The head of the IPCC is spreading the message that the world community has seven short years to act decisively to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Dr. John Holdren is among the prestigious U.S. scientists who now say more openly that the effects of climate change already are upon us. Dr. Jim Hansen now estimates that atmospheric concentrations of carbon must level off at 350 ppm, nearly 30 percent lower than everyone thought was needed to keep climate change at "safe" levels. Anyone who's paying attention sees that the impacts of global warming are occurring much faster than predicted. If this year's weather extremes are a sample of climate change, how much worse will they be 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years from now, as today's rising and accumulating emissions take their toll?

New business coalition wants cheaper energy, stat

A group of businesses has kicked off a new campaign with the goal of making energy cheaper by whatever means possible. The new Coalition for …

A T. Boone of sugar makes the medicine go down

CBS interviews oil man Pickens on his new greenish plan

I was gone last week when T. Boone Pickens’ big energy plan came out and everyone was buzzing about it. CBS has a new interview …

Fighting the full court press

Cost-benefit analysis can help environmentalists battle offshore drilling

In a time of fiscal crisis, environmentalists will have to make a strong case against the economic wisdom of offshore oil drilling to ensure that Congress does not pay dearly for its continued opposition.

Nuke-power company Exelon announces big emissions cuts by 2020

Nuclear-power company Exelon today launched a program it says will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by over 16 million tons a year by 2020 — more than …

NF3 panic unjustified, not as bad as Drudge report says

Plasma TVs and solar cells not so bad after all

A recent Grist article shared a bit in some of the panic about NF3 and plasma TVs. If all the NF3 manufactured were released, it warns, it would have a warming effect equivalent to that of Austria. It turns out that is mighty big "if," one that Eli Rabett manages to blast into smithereens.

Oil gone wild

Transportation sector lies at the root of U.S. energy problem

This is a guest essay from Jack D. Hidary, chair of SmartTransportation.org and the Freedom Prize Foundation. It was originally published on the Huffington Post and is republished here with the author's permission. The price of oil struck an ominous chord for the U.S. economy with yesterday's record trade of $147 per barrel. At these prices we are sending more than $1 million every minute of every day to oil rich countries. As oil hits a new high the dollar has hit a record low against the euro. Our equity is draining away and flowing to foreign hands. How can we get ourselves out of this mess? This crisis will take nothing short of a restructuring of our core industrial and transport sectors. Just as a turnaround CEO comes in to fix a troubled company, we need a retooling to rid ourselves of oil dependency. We do not need politicians looking for fake fixes such as a summer gas tax holiday. We do not need the President of the United States of America to beg sheiks for a bit more of the black gold. Keep your dignity, Mr. President. The problem is clear -- 55 percent of all the oil we use in the U.S. is guzzled by cars and SUVs. Not planes, not trains, not big trucks. To find the problem look no further than your driveway. Yes, the fleet of 245 million cars and SUVs that we drive in the US -- that is the main problem.

Bush administration boosts solar, big-time — in Iraq, natch

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Hog heaven, part 1

Increased offshore drilling does not substitute for national energy policy

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. When it comes to energy policy, Amory Lovins has proven again and again that he's a pretty smart guy. At the moment, nothing seems more insightful than one of Amory's comments in the May/June issue of Mother Jones. Asked what energy policies the next president should champion, Lovins was skeptical. He believes energy policy will continue to be made not at the national level, but by communities and states. "With modest exceptions," Amory said, "our federal energy policy is really a large trough arranged by the hogs for their convenience." Right now, the hogs are eating very, very well. With voters struggling from record prices for gasoline and all of the products made from petroleum and with no end in sight, the oil companies are pushing for more leases to drill for more oil on more public lands. President Bush, Big Oil's special friend in the White House, is pushing for more drilling, too, as are a number of people in Congress. At the moment, most Democrats on the Hill seem to be holding fast against this strategy -- but there's an election coming up.