Climate & Energy

Bill Clinton goes nuclear

Former prez helped a rich guy get uranium-mining rights in Kazakhstan

From Wednesday’s New York Times: Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them. Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying …

Jake Tapper is a hack

Campaign reporter misrepresents Clinton, responds to correction with pissy snark

So Jake Tapper — the very model of the modern gossip-obsessed campaign reporter — goes to see a Bill Clinton speech and returns to write a blog post: "Bill: ‘We Just Have to Slow Down Our Economy’ to Fight Global Warming." Ha! Finally the dirty liberals admit it! They want to destroy the economy! The post ended up on Drudge, from whence it made the usual rounds of the dingbatosphere. Only Tapper was full of shit. As the Clinton campaign rushed to point out, Tapper yanked the quote out of context — a context in which Bill Clinton was making …

Testing Sebelius

Kansas dirty-energy advocates make their play to allow coal plants

The fight over coal plants in Kansas has taken another turn. State legislators have introduced a new law that they say is "fair to both sides." That characterization could not be more comical. First of all, the bill was crafted in secret by four legislators who are members of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority and support building the coal plants. No environmentalists were invited to the table, but the plants developer, Sunflower Electric Power, "had input into the legislation." Nice. The bill would allow the plants to be built with some weak restrictions on CO2 emissions: "the new plant would …

The bright side of the demise of TV programming

Hollywood writers strike a blow for the climate

Okay, you're annoyed you can't watch 24, or a full season of House or The Office -- and yes, The Daily Show is kind of lame these days. But on the bright side, as a U.K. Times headline notes: Viewers turned off by Hollywood writers strike 'may never switch TV on again.' Yet, as is so typical of the MSM, they completely missed the real story: the connection to global warming. Turning TVs off equals using less electricity equals emitting less carbon dioxide. How much less?

Here comes the sun

California and New Jersey have high numbers of PV installations

The following essay is a guest post by Earl Killian. ----- Cooler Planet looked at the solar photovoltaic (PV) installation data from the California Energy Commission and made it visual to show just how it is growing. A static view of their data is at the right, but go to the site and move the slider to see the growth from only 1,675 grid-connected photovoltaic installations in 2002 to 29,628 installations in 2008. According to SolarBuzz: In 2006, 112 megawatts of solar photovoltaics were installed in the US Grid Connect market, up from 80 megawatts in 2005. Demand was led once again by California, which accounted for 63% of the national market. Notwithstanding funding program bottlenecks, New Jersey saw very strong growth in 2006, representing 17% of the national market. Why would California and New Jersey, with only 12 percent and 2.9 percent of U.S. population respectively, account for such a large fraction of PV installations? Perhaps incentive programs (most recently the California Solar Initiative and the New Jersey Clean Energy Rebate Program) and other policies are working. Internationally, Germany (8.8 x U.S. in 2006 MW installed) and Japan (2.6 x U.S.) (PDF) are the leaders in PV installations, with California a "distant third" (PDF) according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Most places where PV is economic have some combination of the following (but usually not all):

Cap-and-trade: The economic fairness issue

Grandfathering is Robin Hood’s evil twin

Climate change is regressive. Its effects punish the least fortunate the most -- those who've contributed little to and gained little from polluting economies. But the solutions to climate change can be progressive. Done right, they can share fairly the burdens and opportunities of preventing climate disruption. I said "can." If poorly designed, climate policy can also be viciously regressive -- a vacuum cleaner sucking up working families' earning. That's why it's so important to get climate policy right. It's the single most important economic fairness issue facing us right now: more important than reforming payday lending, more important even than reforming health insurance. It's what every advocate for economic opportunity should be losing sleep over -- and jumping to action to help shape the solution. The most needed measure for minimizing climate disruption is a firm cap on emissions of greenhouse gases and a mechanism for putting a price on those emissions. In short, climate pricing. We need to make prices tell the truth about the climate.

Nation's phallus hit with grafitti

Greenpeace pulls off a doozy of a stunt

Some fiendishly clever visual protest from Greenpeace: Joe Romm must be flattered.

Notable quotable

“I do think we’re in a position where we don’t foresee the need for new coal-fired generation in the Carolinas anytime in the foreseeable future. It’s probably premature to say we will never build a coal plant in the Carolinas again, but today we do not foresee the need to do that based on the inputs we see and based on planning in front of us.” – Jim Turner, president of Duke Energy Duke is set to build a coal plant in N.C., with the blessing of the Sierra Club, thanks to this: In a unique measure, the permit issued …

Competing for the Governator's endorsement?

All four Republican candidates support California’s right to a waiver from the Bush EPA

In tonight’s debate, much to my surprise, the Republican candidates got a direct question about the California waiver. Also rather to my surprise, all four said they support California’s right to a waiver. It’s amazing how isolated Johnson (*cough*Cheney*cough*) is on this. Not one of his party’s standard-bearers will back him up. That is some sad sh*t. Here’s the portion of the debate on Pavley and climate change: [L.A. TIMES' JANET] HOOK: This is for Senator McCain. Senator McCain, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed that California be allowed to implement much tougher environmental regulations on emission requirements than apply to the …