Climate & Energy

Restating the obvious: Coal isn't renewable

Alaska state legislature proposes fund to support alternative energy including coal

Alaska has proposed a $21 billion fund (Greenwire, $ub. req'd), which uses oil surpluses to support alternative energy projects, including: wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass and a plant that "produces ultraclean fuels from coal." State Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) responds: Coal is not renewable energy and by any fair definition it's not really alternative energy Sounds controversial!

A convenient truth

Al Gore to speak at free event in D.C.

Of interest to our D.C. area readers: Former Vice President Al Gore will be speaking at noon on July 17 at the DAR Constitution Hall …

Bingaman gets it right

Smart ideas for post Lieberman-Warner climate policy

Lieberman-Warner had many, many, many, many, many problems. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has just done a bit of musing ($ub. req'd) on what the next effort ought to look like; he has done a rather eloquent job outlining the problems with Lieberman-Warner and suggesting what lessons we ought to take from its failure as we advance to a better model. From Restructuring Today:

Your windows could collect solar energy, says study

Have windows? Then you could collect solar energy, says a new study published in the journal Science. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have …

A coalonial House

Boucher’s bill to fund CCS technology at the expense of rate-payers

A few months ago, the debate about greenhouse gas policy in Washington was in the Senate focused on Lieberman-Warner. That effort ultimately failed, as a good idea (reduce GHG emissions within a market framework) got turned into a really crummy bill. Good intentions were bedeviled by lousy execution. Conventional wisdom says that the next effort to develop a U.S. GHG plan will emerge from the House, and specifically from the House Energy committee. This week, we got our first look at where their priorities lie, and it is not pretty. If there was any lesson taken from L-W's failure, it seems to have been that if your long-term goal is a crummy bill, you might as well just skip the whole good intentions part.

Darth Cheney

Cheney’s office censors CDC director’s testimony on climate-related health threats

The Center for American Progress Action Fund emails out a great daily report (sign up here). Today's subject is Dick Cheney's one Vader man war to use Jedi mind tricks censorship to keep the American public in the dark side on the dangers of climate change. In this case, he censored the testimony on the "health threat posed by global warming" by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October. She had planned to say the "CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern." But who really cares what the CDC has to say on the subject anyway when we have White House Press Secretary Dana Perino to assure us "There are public health benefits to climate change"? After all, Perino is an expert on the subject thanks to here bachelor's degree in mass communications and a masters in Public Affairs Reporting. Here is the Progress Report in full:

An interview with climate mockumentary filmmaker Randy Olson

Randy Olson became a filmmaker after fifteen years as a marine biologist, so the perspective he brings to the craft is rooted in science — …

A billion here, a billion there

Alberta sets aside nearly $4 billion for public transport and CCS

From Greenwire ($ub. req'd) comes this news from Alberta that sounds so promising and then gets it so very wrong. First the good news: Alberta, under continuing pressure to do something about their tar-sand driven boom in CO2 emissions, has committed to using C$4 billion worth ($3.92 billion) of their budget surplus to lowering CO2 emissions. Whatever one thinks of tar sands, that's admirable. But then, in an all-too-common case of confusing the path with the goal, they have announced that the money will be split into two $2 billion funds: One set aside to boost the use of public transport and the other set aside for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Better yet, some of the CCS will be used for enhanced oil field recovery, defeating the initial purpose. The good news is that governments are taking climate seriously. The bad news is that climate policy remains a decidedly shoddy endeavor. We can do better. Story below the fold.

Oil hysteria, part 3

Congress scrambles for short-term solutions to counter oil prices

I was afraid of this. The irrationality being exhibited about the price of gasoline is on prominent display this week in Congress. According to the New York Times article "Congress feeling pressure for action on oil prices," some of the things being considered are 1) drilling, of course, 2) anti-speculation legislation, and 3) "incentives for renewable fuels," ergo, corn ethanol.