Climate & Energy

A national environmental policy?

New paper demands consideration of global warming in federal policy decisions

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Kari Manlove, fellows assistant at the Center for American Progress. ----- The fact that our country has a National Environmental Policy Act means we should have a national environmental policy, and any national environmental policy is bound to take into consideration global warming, right? Wrong on two counts. The U.S. is sorely lacking an updated environmental policy. It's been over a decade and counting. With the EPA as example, and based on its condition as of late (see here and here), the climate's looking grim. As for a cohesive national policy that takes into account global warming's causes and impacts? Think again. States have been infinitely more active than our federal government (and we thank them).

On the Ball: Balls, balls, and more balls

Give this roundup a sporting chance

Ado, ado, ado. It’s been a while since our last sports roundup, so with no further ado: Baseball: Major League Baseball was all about Earth …

Five bucks a gallon?

Goldman says oil ‘likely’ to hit $150-$200 by 2010

Goldman Sachs' Arjun N. Murti said this in a May 5 report: The possibility of $150-$200 per barrel seems increasingly likely over the next 6-24 months, though predicting the ultimate peak in oil prices as well as the remaining duration of the upcycle remains a major uncertainty. That would mean gasoline prices of $5 to $6 a gallon. Unless, of course, we permanently suspend the gasoline tax, in which case gasoline prices would only be $5 to $6 a gallon. Why should we listen to Murti? Well, back in 2005, when prices averaged under $60 a barrel, he was one of the few Wall Street analysts who predicted oil could soon hit $105 a barrel -- or higher if we don't take the right actions quickly:

Straight as a circle

Big Oil’s crooked talk on profits

Has the oil industry borrowed the (laughable) tagline of presidential candidate John McCain? As Fox Business reported last Friday: The American Petroleum Institute took out a full-page ad in USA Today, and other major media were tapped this week to provide "straight talk on earnings." The earnings that need "straight talk": ExxonMobil's $11 billion quarterly profit, and Chevron's $5.2 billion quarterly profit. (Note to Big Oil: When Fox doesn't give your spin favorable coverage, you've definitely become the Britney Spears of industries.)

Big Oil will shell out for groundwater cleanup

Some of the nation’s largest oil companies will over the next 30 years have to pay to clean up groundwater befouled with gasoline additive MTBE. …

Coal moratorium now!

Preventing dirty coal plants is the most urgent climate policy

A livable climate can (probably) survive the burning of almost all of the world's conventional oil and gas -- but not if we also burn even half the coal (see here [PDF] and figure below). So the top priority for any climate policy must be to stop the building of traditional coal plants -- which is why that has become the top priority of NASA's James Hansen (see here). The next priority is to replace existing coal plants with carbon-free power, which could include coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS), as fast as possible. And that means a related priority is to encourage the introduction of CCS as quickly as possible, to see if that is a viable large-scale solution. A climate policy that does not start by achieving at least the first goal, a moratorium on coal without CCS, must be labeled a failure. By that measure, the cap-and-trade system currently being employed by the Europeans looks to be a failure, as we'll see.

How to get people to pay attention to peak oil

I can’t decide if this is horribly crass or effing genius, or both:

Senators both GOP and Dem introduce destined-to-fail legislation

Senate Democrats are trying once again to yank $17 billion in tax breaks away from oil companies that are enjoying booming profits. The Consumer-First Energy …

Mille grazie!

Should we take Italian nuclear waste?

So an industry CEO tells E&E News that nuclear is the only non-carbon baseload power (not!) and that therefore nuclear is our only future and since the United States does such a great job of dealing with low-level radioactive waste, we should become the world's repository. That would be the logic of one Steve Creamer, CEO of EnergySolutions, "a full-service nuclear fuel cycle company" (in contrast to all of those "partial-service nuclear fuel cycle companies," sometimes called electric utilities). Why shouldn't we take the world's low-level radioactive waste? asks Creamer. Other countries take our recycled computers [!], so it's the perfect division of global labor: