Climate & Energy

Oil industry barely hangs on, thanks to brave Republican defense of subsidies

You may recall that a couple of months ago, Republicans in the Senate threatened a filibuster to defend about $13 billion in oil company subsidies. In other news, Exxon Mobil just posted the largest annual …

Green groups sue over delay in polar-bear endangered-species decision

Environmental and native groups have sued — as they are wont to do — in an attempt to force the Interior Department to rethink its decision to sell oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Chukchi …

Kansas Republicans against global warming

A prominent Republican Kansas legislator comes out in support of Sebelius and against his ideological brethren on the subject of Kansas coal plants: When every Academy of Science in every developed, industrialized nation agrees, and …

Green fantasy tech one step closer to reality

Lockheed Martin signs exclusive contract with Eestor for energy storage units

Oh! I forgot to pass on some interesting news that came my way recently. Defense mega-contractor Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with mysterious ultracapacitor company Eestor to use its energy storage devices in "military …

Hawaii climate conference ends, scant progress made

The U.S.-led climate talks in Honolulu, Hawaii, ended yesterday without much fanfare and without much progress achieved. By most accounts, it was a closed-door, bureaucratic nothing-fest wherein delegates from the 17 biggest-polluting countries spoke about …

Undriving Miss Daisy

Focus the Nation events aim for interactivity, accountability

This week, college campuses across the country held events for Focus the Nation, a major education and action campaign around climate change. To see what it was all about, I headed to Seattle’s University of …

Carbon-loaded question

Obama parries ABEC

Obama gets buttonholed by a planted ABEC coal shill: Nothing he says here is particularly objectionable. The priority on reducing CO2 emissions is welcome. It is true that if we can figure out a way …

Tonight’s climate-less Democratic debate: Brought to you on behalf of ABEC

I looked through the transcript, and as far as I can tell there wasn’t a single question about climate change in tonight’s Democratic debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is the fourth CNN …

Flipflopping on FutureGen

Bush drops mismanaged ‘NeverGen’ clean coal project

For those remaining seven or eight three or four people who still buy the Bush rhetoric that he cares about global warming and is committed to addressing the problem with new technology, Exhibit 435C for the prosecution is the just-canceled "clean coal" project called FutureGen. [Amusing anecdote for FHA (Future Historians of America): I once had a boss at the U.S. Department of Energy who practiced repeating "clean coal" in front of a mirror so as not to break out smiling when uttering that oxymoron.] Yes, I know Bush said as recently as Monday (in the most vetted of all presidential speeches), "Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions." But he wasn't lying or flip-flopping or anything. He didn't say, "We are funding new technologies ..." or "Anyone who actually meant what they said would keep funding new technologies ..." Give the guy a break. He said, "Let us fund new technologies ..." He was imploring Congress for help in a "Let my people go" vein. Yes, two months ago, "administration officials were calling it a 'centerpiece' of their strategy for clean coal technologies," but centerpieces are largely decorative, no? This is sort of a setback for those who believe coal gasification combined with carbon capture and storage could be a major global warming solution. I say "sort of" for two reasons. First, the program was being horribly mismanaged: "The idea of FutureGen makes complete sense," Dr. Moniz [undersecretary of energy during the Clinton administration] said. However, a study he helped direct concluded earlier this year that the FutureGen project was badly structured, with confusion about whether it was a research project or a demonstration. Among its problems, he said in a telephone interview on Friday, was that it has "a cast of thousands" ...

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