Climate & Energy

Cool idea of the day

Floating wind turbines that can be placed farther out at sea (and in heavier wind) than typical anchored offshore turbines. Next: high-altitude wind!

So, what now?

What we learned from the stymied Climate Security Act, and what comes next

After months of engine-revving, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act sputtered to a halt in the Senate last week. Now attention has turned to what was …

Notable quotable

Ragin’ Cajun for Gore

“I think if I was Senator Obama I would say the biggest economic problem we face is the biggest national security problem and the biggest …

Mad Max meets Wall Street ... on ice

Colbert on the Arctic

No country for dead dinosaurs

House committee hears testimony on the future of oil (hint: it’s dim)

With gas prices at record highs and the Senate engaged in a fruitless struggle to find a new way forward on energy policy, the House …

San Francisco approves giant solar incentive program

San Francisco has become the proud owner of the largest municipal solar program in the United States. The Solar Energy Incentive Program, approved by the …

Money changes everything

Everyone wants a piece of the climate bill pie

The debate over the Climate Security Act bill has made it clear that trillions are at stake in global warming legislation. No surprise, then, that the Senate power brokers don't want Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) Environment and Public Works committee to have the only say on who gets what. E&E Daily ($ub. req'd) has the story of how the climate bill is likely to have a much longer and far more tangled journey next year:

Corn polls

New surveys suggest changing views on biofuels

Biofuel policy has made it to the polls. Yesterday, the National Center for Public Policy Research, a nonprofit, non-partisan educational foundation based in Washington, D.C., released the results of a survey (PDF) conducted at the beginning of this month which claims to have found that most Americans -- "including those in the Farm Belt" -- want Congress to reduce or eliminate the mandated use of corn ethanol. In response to the key question, "What do you think Congress should do now?" with respect to the Renewable Fuels Standard (which last December raised the minimum volume of biofuels used in the United States from 7.5 billion gallons a year in 2012 to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, of which 15 billion gallons is expected to be supplied by "conventional biofuel" -- ethanol derived from corn starch -- by 2015), 42 percent of the participants in the survey thought that that the mandate should be eliminated to reduce ethanol production and use. Of the rest: 25 percent wanted the mandate to be partly eliminated to reduce ethanol production and use; 16 percent wanted it left unchanged; Six percent wanted it partly expanded to increase ethanol production and use; and 2 percent wanted it significantly expanded to increase ethanol production and use. Nine percent were undecided, didn't know what to answer, or refused to answer. Even among people living in the Farm Belt, 25 percent percent said they wanted the ethanol mandate repealed entirely, and another 30 percent wanted it scaled back.

Action on Solar Investment Tax Credit Delayed

Lack of credit threatens solar industry

Originally posted at the NDN Blog. The failure of the Senate to obtain cloture on the Solar Investment Tax Credit -- coming on the heels of the collapse of climate change legislation last Friday -- should send a wake up call to the environment and clean technology communities that a new more forceful strategy is needed to make progress on climate change and energy independence. At a moment when the U.S. economy is suffering from the effects of a full blown oil shock, when the United States is fighting a hot war in the Middle East in part to protect access to oil in a volatile region, and when much of the domestic news consists of extreme weather reports -- from floods in the Midwest to school closings in the east due to dangerous temperatures though it is not yet summer -- it is hard to fathom the lack of leadership on energy issues coming out of Washington.