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And then I’m done

All right, one more and I'll let the liquefied coal thing go. For today at least. First, note that Brad Plumer has a great piece on CTL at The New Republic. Second, I once again want to draw attention to two bits from the much-commented NYT piece this morning. First, this bit: Coal executives say that they need government help primarily because oil prices are so volatile and the upfront construction costs are so high. "We're not asking for everything. All we're asking for is something," said Hunt Ramsbottom, chief executive of Rentech Inc., which is trying to build two …

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Coal companies try a fast one

There is no better reminder of the perils of the end of the cheap gasoline era than the article in today's New York Times, ""Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process," i.e., coal-to-liquids. This is the process that converts coal to diesel fuel, and while doing so, according to the NYT, emits 119 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional diesel. (David discussed the article this morning.) Of course, the coal companies will allegedly "try" to sequester the carbon, a position which will inevitably move to "just too expensive" and "technical difficulties." Dick Gephardt, of Democratic congressional fame, has even …

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Yet another pioneering green move from the state

... for recognizing that coal is the enemy of the human race. This means all those proposed new Western coal-fired power plants will have to reduce their emissions via carbon sequestration if they want to sell to Cali, one of their biggest prospective clients. And if you ask me, the likelihood of sequestration on that scale working out economically any time soon is essentially nil, so this puts a serious damper on the financial case for building those plants at all.

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Real Climate tears apart another fraudulent presentation from E. G. Beck

Over at RealClimate today, they present and debunk another fraudulent reconstruction from German school-teacher-plays-skeptic-scientist E. G. Beck. First it was his groundbreaking (as in stick your head in the sand) work on CO2; now he turns his attention to temperature reconstructions for the past millennium. When bad science still doesn't get the result you want, why not spice it up with a bit of plain and simple fraud?

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Business is splitting from Republicans; the time is right for a tax

In Washington Monthly, Chris Hayes draws attention to the "revolt of the CEOs." Big Business is parting ways with the Republican Party, actively seeking greater government involvement in the realms of health care and climate change. Why? Two reasons. One, CEOs recognize that rising health care costs and global warming are real problems that will affect their bottom lines. Two, they see the way the wind is blowing. They realize that public pressure is building for gov't action, Democrats are likely to win the White House in 2008, and, well: The Chamber of Commerce's [Bruce] Josten summed up his members' …

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The ‘in it for the money’ theory of climate science doesn’t pan out

We have all heard the following argument: in order to get funding for research, the scientific community is forced to produce alarmist predictions of climate change. There's a lot wrong with this argument. But it recently occurred to me that it doesn't even make sense. In the latest IPCC reports, what the scientific community said is that our understanding of climate change is quite good (although not "settled"). This does nothing to build up research funding. The scientific community could generate much higher levels of funding if scientists argued that our understanding of climate change was poor, and that the …

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Man wants to put wind turbines on his ailing farm

Opposition from neighbors drives man to suicide. And you thought the rich whingers at Cape Wind were irksome!

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Beachfront property in Hawaii for only $40!

That is, if you're willing to wait 10,000 years for the ocean to reach it.

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Hint: We’re talking about Congress here

Those of you with strong stomachs will want to marvel at the contrast between two New York Times stories out today. Marvel ... and tear your fracking hair out. First, there's this story on energy efficiency. It makes the simple and familiar point that the cheapest, fastest source of energy is negawatts -- not using the energy in the first place. In particular, efficiency is cheaper than coal: "When we started talking about this in 1990s in terms of energy efficiency versus coal energy, we were talking 4 cents a kilowatt-hour for coal, and 4 cents for energy efficiency," said …

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And the Mining Seems So Safe and Clean

Congress considers legislation that would give coal a boost What if there was a liquid fuel with the potential to produce nearly twice as many greenhouse gases as petroleum? And it would cost nearly four times as much to build a processing plant for this fuel as for petroleum? You'd say no thanks. But Congress is saying yes please to this flawed fuel, commonly known as "coal." Legislation currently making its way through House and Senate committees includes federal tax credits, subsidies, and loan guarantees to the tune of billions of dollars, as well as a plan for 25-year military …

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