Climate & Energy

EPA OKs giant coal plant on Navajo land in New Mexico

After more than four years of deliberation, the U.S. EPA has bestowed an air permit to a proposed 600-acre coal plant on Navajo land in …

Hot, hot heat

By century’s end we can expect extremely high surface temperatures

Sure glacier melt, sea level rise, extreme drought, and species loss get all the media attention -- they are the Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Barack Obama of climate impacts. But what about good old-fashioned sweltering heat? How bad will that be? Two little-noticed studies -- one new, one old -- spell out the grim news. Bottom line: By century's end, extreme temperatures of up to 122°F would threaten most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Even worse, Houston and Washington, D.C. could experience temperatures exceeding 98°F for some 60 days a year. The peak temperature analysis comes from a Geophysical Research Letters paper [PDF] published two weeks ago that focused on the annual-maximum "once-in-a-century" temperature. Researchers looked at the case of a (mere) 700 ppm atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the A1b scenario, with total warming of about 3.5°C by century's end. The key scientific point is that "the extremes rise faster than the means in a warming climate."

The world is full of crashing oil barrels

Ads from Sierra Club and MoveOn hit McCain over energy policy

“Big Oil companies have our economy and politics in a choke hold,” says a new TV ad released today by the Sierra Club Political Committee. …

Obama: 'Save the drama'

New Obama ad responds to McCain’s Britney ad

Barack Obama is hammering back after John McCain ran an ad comparing him to Britney Spears. In a new ad of his own, Obama accuses …

Bush praises coal, other fossil fuels in speech to West Virginia Coal Association

In a speech to coal industry executives in West Virginia Thursday, President Bush praised nuclear power and fossil fuels of all kinds, but lavished special …

Backscratching

If you are interested in distributed solar generation, you really should get the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's newsletter. I say this because they do critical work on net-metering and interconnection standards. They were also kind enough to publish a profile of our work, so props in return seems only right.

States, green groups to sue EPA for not regulating plane or ship emissions

Two separate coalitions of states, environmental groups, and state and local pollution regulators announced Thursday their respective intents to sue the U.S. EPA over its …

Stormy weather

NewScientist cover story looks at link between tornadoes and global warming

With a cover that makes Twister look like a heartwarming inspirational flick, the August 2 issue of NewScientist asks if global warming is to blame …

I wish they all could be California's plans

Energy efficiency, part 4

California and its utilities have achieved remarkably consistent energy efficiency gains for three decades. How did they do it? In part, a smart California Energy Commission has promoted strong building standards and the aggressive deployment of energy-efficient technologies and strategies -- and has done so with support of both Democratic and Republican leadership over three decades. I talked to California energy commissioner Art Rosenfeld -- a former DOE colleague and the godfather of energy efficiency -- about what the state does, and here are some interesting details he offered, as discussed in "Why we never need to build another polluting power plant":