Climate & Energy

Coal agit-prop heats up

Coal front group pouring millions into targeted disinformation campaign

Speaking of reasons climate legislation is going to be impossible this year: It’s good to see the Washington Post pick up on the coal industry’s massive lobbying effort. The focus is Americans for Balanced Energy …

Clean-tech and wind power both soaring

Investment in clean-tech companies rose 44 percent from 2005 to 2006, and jumped an additional 44 percent from 2006 to 2007, soaring to $5.18 billion, according to the Cleantech Group LLC. Last year in clean-tech, …

Absolut greenwashing?

Vodka maker launches global cooling campaign

In a partnership with Live Earth (yes, they’re still doing stuff), Absolut Vodka has launched a Global Cooling campaign that "encourages consumers to reduce the effects of global warming by offering simple steps they can …

Dingell: Climate legislation 'impossible' this year

House energy committee not primed to rush through climate bill

John Dingell says getting climate legislation done this year will "verge on impossible" (sub rqd), what with the compressed schedule and the presidential and Congressional elections. Oh, and also because Republicans are gearing up to …

Coal lobbyists step up their game

A group called Americans for Balanced Energy Choices is waging a $35 million campaign urging Americans to make one choice in particular: coal. As U.S. activists step up their protests against coal plants — and …

Act two

Second ‘major economies meeting’ this month in Hawaii

You know, there’s something I don’t get about these kabuki “major economies meetings” Bush is holding. Obviously, in reality it’s about creating the illusion that Bush is doing something on climate. But usually when something …

Can the environmental economy dodge a recession?

As economic indicators trend downward, the clean-tech sector is still looking up

As one key economic engine after another -- housing, finance, autos, retail -- sputters and stalls out, the fledgling eco-economy is purring right along, fueled in no small part by venture capital firms hungry for new opportunities in industries that promise outsized returns on their investments. In the first three quarters of 2007, VCs poured $2.6 billion into alternative energy and clean-tech firms, more money than they invested for the whole of 2006. The new year promises to be another record breaker. And it's not only the Silicon Valley sharpies that are on the prowl: GE is promising to plow $6 billion into renewable energies by 2010, double what they were projecting only last year; Germany's Schott Solar is plunking down $100 million to build a plant in New Mexico, and predicts its investment will grow to $500 million when the facility is completed; and as 2007 drew to a close, Morgan Stanley made a $190 million investment in a clean-tech venture. Morgan, by the way, estimates the global renewable energy industry has a market cap in the neighborhood of $170 billion. Certainly not all is rosy in the clean-tech patch. Tesla Motors and Imperium Renewables, once considered high fliers, have been dealt setbacks -- and as a result, have trimmed employee rolls. And alternative energy stocks are starting to look positively bubble-ish to some on Wall Street (the subject of a future post). Recessions don't play favorites, for the most part. When U.S. consumers snap their pocketbooks shut, it creates a drag on the overall economy and everyone -- including governments that depend on tax receipts -- feels the pinch. The eco-economy probably won't be immune. But with the hundreds of millions of dollars streaming through the doors almost weekly, it's not a bad place -- and better than most -- to ride out the storm.

Plowing up the Amazon

Scientist says biofuel boom endangers world’s largest rainforest

A fifth of the Amazon rainforest — the world’s biggest carbon sponge — has disappeared since the 1970s. The Brazilian government has succeeded in recent years in slowing the deforestation rate, but its efforts have …

Coal is the enemy of the human race: Goliath, meet David edition

Google invests in solar thermal company eSolar

Today, Google announced it’s investing $10 million in eSolar, a solar thermal company, as part of its RE<C project. (Speaking of the latter, we’ve got an excellent interview on it coming up soon.) Here’s what …

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