The House just passed the tax package that was voted down late last year as part of the energy bill. It contains tax incentives for renewables, paid for by removing some of the Big Oil subsidies from the 2005 Energy Bill. It also closes a fuel efficiency loophole for SUVs. More later.
Daylight-saving time was enacted as an energy-saving measure, but when time springs forward on March 9, people may actually use more energy, says a new study. When all of Indiana began to participate in daylight-saving time — before 2006, only 15 of the state’s 92 counties would spring forward and fall back — researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara started tracking Hoosiers’ energy bills. The result: Indiana households paid an extra $8.6 million annually for electricity after the switch, likely due to increased air-conditioner use. Critics say that Indiana’s situation might not apply nationwide. Besides, says Rep. Ed Markey …
Wow! Now that the caucuses are safely behind us, an Iowa paper notices that "ethanol" is how corporations and troglodyte utilities pronounce "laundered coal," AKA, The Enemy of the Human Race. Specifically, 300 tons a day, per plant. Here's an Orwell-Award winning statement for you: Officials with Alliant Energy, which has proposed a new coal-fired plant in Marshalltown, told the Iowa Utilities Board recently that if Iowans want renewable energy, they will need more electricity from coal plants. Apparently if you don't want coal you need to use more of it. QED.
Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby, in an absurdly titled column, "Obama's Missing Ideas," proves once again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Obama's ideas about climate solutions are probably the very last place one can find something missing. Obama has a terrific climate plan, full of winning ideas, as I have blogged many times. Yet Mallaby claims that "good ideas are actually quite scarce. Just take a look at climate change." Mallaby's "case" is based on two climate ideas many people have always thought were lame (which he never actually bothers to link to Obama), one climate problem that is pretty straightforward to solve, and one idea Mallaby thinks is new that is in fact quite old, is not really a climate idea, and as such has limited climate benefits. First he says, "A couple of years back, ethanol was touted as a good answer to global warming." Uh, no. Corn ethanol, which is what he attacks, was not considered a "good answer to global warming" by any energy or climate expert I have ever met. To the extent climate advocates even tolerated the fuel, it was strictly as a bridge to cellulosic ethanol. To the extent that corn ethanol was supported on policy grounds by politicians [as opposed to support for the farmers or a desire not to offend Iowans], it is primarily from people who are concerned about our dependence on imported oil, not global warming. Does Mallaby even know that Obama supports "a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard," which would block any fuel that increases greenhouse-gas emissions -- or that he supports accelerating the development of cellulosic (i.e., low-carbon) ethanol? These are good ideas. Next Mallaby complains about "carbon trading with developing countries":
The tiny village of Kivalina, built on a barrier reef in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against 24 oil, coal, and power companies, alleging that Big Fossil Fuel’s greenhouse-gas emissions are contributing to the climate-change-caused coastal erosion that threatens the village’s very existence. Kivalina says that the companies should pay for its relocation. The lawsuit also accuses eight of the companies of conspiracy to “create a false scientific debate” and “mislead the public about the science of global warming.”
The National Governors Association has linked up with “a team of Wal-Mart energy experts” to “green the capitols.” That’s fantastic — and I’m sure it will draw well-deserved huzzahs in certain green circles. (It’s touching to see Wal-Mart giving back some of what it has been siphoning off in state taxes!) But read a little deeper into the press release, and you see what the National Governors Association means by “green.” Turns out that when it comes to energy, the govs love some pretty dubious stuff. I’ll let Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell take it from here: [I]t’s clear that charting …
Aside from being substantively misleading, this is just really, really awful. Doesn’t CEI have enough money to hire a video editor?
This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- As all eyes turn toward Texas this week in advance of the Democratic primary, we will see a state that is beginning its transition to a new energy economy. Texas is grappling with a shift the entire nation faces -- and as usual, it's doing it on a big scale. When it comes to energy and to carbon emissions, Texas is a place of superlatives and contrasts. It has more solar, wind, and biomass resources that any other state; but it's also No. 1 in total carbon emissions. It is the ancestral home of Big Oil, but it also hosts the world's largest wind farms. It has a very successful renewable energy portfolio standard, but it also has two nuclear power plants in the pipeline to provide power to its rapidly growing population. A year ago in a watershed deal, a private equity firm working with environmentalists arranged a $45 billion buyout of the state's largest power producer, TXU. As part of the deal, eight of 11 planned new coal-fired power plants were cancelled. However, as many as nine new coal plants remain in the pipeline. In Texas, we see a contest between conventional and renewable energy resources, and between the past and the future.
“So when it came time to vote on Dick Cheney’s energy bill, I voted no, and Senator Obama voted yes.” – Hillary Clinton, Ohio Democratic presidential primary debate
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