Climate & Energy

VRB Power accquired by Chinese Prudent Energy

Back in early January, I mentioned it was bad news that VRB, the makers of large-scale, long-lasting vanadium flow batteries for storing electricity, was going out of business. Well their assets have been acquired by Prudent Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary …

Reducing emissions isn’t an economy killer

I am a little boggled by this comment in the New Yorker, by David Owen. It’s written from the perspective of someone who seems to be bothered by the threat of climate change, but who repeatedly makes the exact argument …

Cap-and-rebate is more robust in the face of carbon high prices

The other day, I used the fanciful example of $50,000-utility bills to illustrate how cap-and-rebate schemes can inspire energy efficiency and conservation. The numbers were deliberately exaggerated, but they highlight one of the features of cap-and-rebate that I like: the …

WRI’s Pershing named deputy climate negotiator for Clinton

Dr. Jonathan Pershing became the new Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week. Pershing will work under U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, appointed by Clinton in January as Obama’s lead …

George Monbiot cautions against grasping for environmental miracle cures

George Monbiot is the best environmental writer in English. On biochar: Whenever you hear the word miracle, you know there’s trouble just around the corner. But however many times they lead to disappointment or disaster, the newspapers never tire of …

The ocean does represent a major source of energy, just not the one you’re thinking of

In the minutes after midnight on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez poured 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The spill turned pristine spruce-lined waters into a sticky death trap for countless animals, including a quarter …

We need responsible planning for electrical transmission lines

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of activity surrounding new transmission lines. With hearings and legislation in Washington, D.C. and multi-state transmission corridor projects on the drawing board, there are a lot of questions. Are they needed? Can …

Twenty years after the biggest oil spill in the U.S., we still have a lot to learn

The Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, March 1989. Tuesday marks 20 years since the Exxon Valdez dumped nearly 11 million of gallons of crude oil into Alaskan waters, resulting in the most severe impacts on the environment of …

A veritable flood of climate and energy bills in Congress

There’s been a deluge of bills on climate and energy introduced in Congress in the past few weeks. But the most notable news is that Congress is likely to omit a climate program from the budget resolution. President Obama’s budget …