Climate & Energy

California utilities scuffle over cap-and-trade

California is well aware that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is easier said than done. The state’s attempts to craft an effective cap-and-trade system are causing infighting among public utilities and their privately owned counterparts. Public utilities, …

Fortune Brainstorm Green

I flew down to Pasadena today for the Fortune Brainstorm: Green conference. There’s tons of interesting stuff on the agenda — a mix of corporate types and NGO types, technology and policy topics. I’m moderating …

Climate policy and purity tests

Enough with the internecine warfare over Lieberman-Warner

A lot of green folks of my acquaintance seem to have two and only two things to say about the Lieberman-Warner climate bill: It won’t achieve what science demands. Those who support it, even with …

Three-point plan

RFK Jr. advocates for cap-and-trade, renewables, smart grids

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s got a three-point plan for the next president. I think it would work.

Can the coal industry be saved in spite of itself? Should it be?

New analysis explores whether Congress can do a better job with CCS than Bush administration

One of biggest debates about climate solutions is whether coal generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is going to be practical and affordable on the timescale needed to avoid catastrophic outcomes. And, of course, there are many who don't think coal should be saved at all. I am not in the second camp, but I doubt coal with CCS is likely to exceed one wedge (I'll discuss this more next week). And we probably need 14 wedges to stay below 450 ppm. I have no doubt concentrated solar will delivery far more power than coal with CCS -- two or three wedges are possible. The coal industry has long been in denial about the reality of human-caused global warming, so they are woefully unprepared for what is to come. And the administration has botched FutureGen, the centerpiece of its CCS effort. Can Congress do a better job? The answer can be found in a new analysis by Bob Sussman and Ken Berlin for the Center for American Progress, "Maximizing Carbon Capture and Storage Under the Lieberman Warner Global Warming Bill." Here is a summary:

Kennedy clan vs. clean power

Your last chance to be heard about Cape Wind

A friend once described Nantucket Sound as a body of water surrounded on three sides by money. The outcome of the six-year-long effort to use a small part of that water to house a 130-turbine, 468-megawatt wind farm -- still the largest proposed renewable-energy project in the eastern U.S. -- will help determine whether we, as a nation, are serious about confronting the climate crisis. The federal agency in charge of the formal review of the Cape Wind project, the Minerals Management Service, is receiving public comments through Monday, April 21. It's the last opportunity for ordinary citizens to outshout the Kennedys and other plutocrats who would rather keep subjecting Cape Cod waters to oil tanker spills than sully their viewsheds with matchbox-sized spinning blades (which is how they'll appear from land). The Cape-based citizens group Clean Power Now ("It's not the view, it's the vision") has an e-mail form you can fill out in a few seconds to register your support. If you prefer to compose your own message, use this form from the project developers, Cape Wind. That's how I beat the deadline with my comments, below.

A story in pictures

  Minorities are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution … is suspected of posing the greatest health danger, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. … • …

Collins misoverestimates Bush

NYT columnist gives president too much credit on climate, which ain’t hard

New York Times columnist Gail Collins begins today’s piece with a glaring error. She says: Didn’t know we had any goals for curbing global warming? Where were you in 2002 when the president put us …

Cool paint job

Reflective paint and glaze can reduce the need for A/C in your car

The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress. ----- California's AB 32 cap on greenhouse gas emissions has its regulatory agencies working to find a set of measures that will amount to savings enough to cut 2020 emissions by about 30 percent. Since 12 years is too short to change California's vehicle fleet or its power plants, myriad measures are being considered, each rather small but hoped to make a difference cumulatively. One such effort is to find paints and coatings to reduce how hot cars get when parked, so the driver is less likely to turn on the air conditioner: