Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate & Energy

Comments

Ready to Barack

Obama qualifies his support for coal-to-liquid fuel Illinois senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama (D) has qualified his support for coal -- which is, you may recall, the enemy of the human race. In January, Obama cosponsored legislation to provide incentives for production of coal-to-liquid fuel. He was lambasted by enviros; influential advocacy group MoveOn.org waged a petition opposing the bill. And the public pressure seems to have worked: Yesterday, Obama sent an email to green groups that stated, "Senator Obama supports ... investing in technology that could make coal a clean-burning source of energy. However, unless and until this …

Comments

We Propose They Give Everyone a Pony

Senate begins to debate energy bill The U.S. Senate began debate on a honkin' new energy bill yesterday. In its current form, the bill would increase vehicle fuel-economy standards by up to 40 percent by 2020, significantly boost ethanol production (both corn and non-corn), promote green-collar job training, and mandate a reduction in imported-oil use by 10 million barrels a day by 2031. Let the amending begin! Coal-state Democrats want billions of dollars in loans and other incentives for the bane of greens' existence, coal-to-liquid fuel. Republicans want incentives for domestic fossil-fuel production. One proposal in the works would weaken …

Comments

Obama, CTL, and opportunity costs

Better, but still not great

This statement from Obama is a welcome clarification of his position on liquid coal: he says he won't support it unless it demonstrates "at least 20% less life-cycle carbon than conventional fuels." The key term, of course, is "life-cycle." Unless he's weaseling, that means the whole shebang, from mining to refining to burning. This is a clear line in the sand, and Obama's to be commended for it. But. It still dodges the crux of the issue: opportunity costs. The technology exists to get CTL down to a 20% emissions reduction from gasoline, but if all of it is implemented, …

Comments

The power of the coal lobby

It makes Senate Dems act like wussies

Remarkable: The bill is being circulated by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and the energy bill's lead author. Until this week, Mr. Bingaman had opposed big subsidies for coal-based fuels, saying that each new production plant would cost billions of dollars and that the economic uncertainties posed risks for taxpayers. But in what could be an effort to fend off demands from coal-state lawmakers for bigger subsidies, Mr. Bingaman's draft proposal would offer up to $10 billion in direct government loans for coal-to-liquid plants. Unfuckingbelievable. They want to give one of the …

Comments

Lobbyists belly up to the energy trough

New energy legislation in Congress debates various terrible solutions

This piece in the NYT is pretty depressing. It's about the main battles around the upcoming energy legislation. Here are the points of contention: Ethanol subsidies Coal and nuclear subsidies CAFE standards On pretty much all these issues, it's Big Money lobby vs. Big Money lobby, and every one of them is a distraction -- no help at best, a hindrance at worst. Where's the Big Efficiency lobby when you need it?

Comments

I just called to say I love you

It’s hard out here for a glacier

Feeling down? Probably not as down as the Arctic's melting glaciers. And now you can listen to their sob story by giving the Icelandic glacier Vatnajokull a call, thanks to an art project that helps folks "connect emotionally" with Europe's largest glacier. With the help of Virgin Mobile and DolphinEAR, Peterson dropped a hydrophone into the glacier, allowing folks from around the world to call in and listen to the creaks, groans, and drips of a dying chunk of ice. Only one person can call in at a time, allowing everyone to have a "one-to-one beautiful and intimate moment" with …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Tuvalu, we hardly knew you

The tiny island nation of Tuvalu is threatened by global warming.

Possibly one of the most tragic outcomes that may result from climate change is the extinction of an entire nation's culture and homeland. As the United Nations discussed the threat that global warming poses to the security of nations, Afelee Pita, an ambassador from the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, was there to represent his country. Tuvalu may be one of the first nations whose way of life could disappear as a result of the actions (or in this case, the lack of action) of other countries. NPR is covering this story as part of their year-long Climate Connections …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Action on federal renewable energy standard

Make your opinion heard

Senator Bingaman is with the majority of Americans in wanting more renewable energy. Accordingly, he has authored legislation that would require utilities to increase renewables in their portfolio to 15 percent by 2020. Senator Domenici is with the craven few who don't want this to happen. Accordingly, he has authored an amendment to redefine qualifying renewables to include nukes and coal. So tricky! But we are on to him. The vote on Domenici's amendment will take place this afternoon. Calls to the following swinging senators by 2 p.m. EDT today could make all the difference. Minn. - Coleman - 202.224.5641 …

Comments

Two presidential ads on global warming

From the candidates with the best plans and least chances

The two Democratic presidential candidates with the strongest energy plans and, um, least chance of winning have come out with new ads based on global warming. Here's Chris Dodd's: Here's Bill Richardson's: (via Hugg)

Comments

Can You Hear the Drums, Hu Jintao?

Sweden hosts Chinese president, global environment ministers What we learned today: while researching eco-news from Sweden, you might stumble upon some juicy tidbits. Like the fact that tennis player Björn Borg was severely bitten by a dog this weekend, or that the organizers of a future museum dedicated to ABBA have found a location in Stockholm! But since you are a professional, you will not let such news distract you from your purpose. Which is to report that Chinese President Hu Jintao has just wrapped up a three-day visit to Sweden, during which he affirmed his country's commitment to battling …

Read more: Climate & Energy