Climate & Energy

Making the grade

The candidates on clean energy

Politicians will always have an influence on the stock market, through regulation, tax policy, incentives, and more. This truism is only more certain in energy policy, where electricity markets and transport are highly regulated and the next administration is widely expected to enact some sort of carbon regulation, if not a tax. This weekend, I heard the head of the Colorado Governor's Energy Office speak on what the state administration is doing on energy policy (PDF). Our current governor, Bill Ritter, ran on a three-part platform: working to fix Colorado's healthcare, transportation, and energy policies. Last year, the administration mostly focused on energy, and although healthcare and transportation will get more attention this year, there are already several energy bills on the legislative slate. This is because "Nobody is certain what to do about transportation or health care, but we do know what to do about Energy." This scenario may also be familiar to residents of California. Since we do know what to do about energy, do the remaining U.S. presidential candidates? From the news coverage, I have to admit I'm far from certain. My impression has been that most of the Democrats and John McCain among the Republicans have been talking a good game, but repeated mentions of potentially problematic technologies and policies such as "clean coal," biofuels, carbon cap-and-trade, nuclear power, and even coal to liquids, leave me wondering if even the best of intentions might lead to bungled energy policy. If I were president ...

Efficacy of House of Reps’ carbon offsets questioned

Some greens and congressfolk are questioning the efficacy of the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent purchase of $89,000 in carbon offsets as part of their greening the Capitol initiative. “It didn’t change much behavior that …

Global warming in seven words

Here’s your chance to be the Pollan of climate change

Kristina/Jason’s plea for a tagline here reminds me: check out this post over on the NRDC Switchboard blog. It notes the success of Michael Pollan’s already legendary aphorism — "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly …

Notable quotable

“This is something that is very, very important, and I think it’s something the president would sign. We have to have it.” – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, endorsing the fantasy that President Bush will sign …

Mittster attacks McCain on climate

Could Romney’s climate contrarianism come back to bite him in the general?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Republican race is down to McCain and Romney, and they are rapidly escalating their attacks on one another. Romney is now using McCain’s climate legislation against him: In a …

An ominous statement from Shell

Conventional oil will peak within seven years

The oil company with the best strategic planning says the day of reckoning is nigh:

Bubbling up ...

Could alternative energy companies drive the next big market bubble?

In case you missed it, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a violent and exhausting 1,000-point swing the past week, down 450 points on Tuesday before trimming its losses and then tumbling 330 points on Wednesday before rebounding with a 299-point gain. It's not the only financial freefall of late. The housing market bubble was punctured last fall and has been leaking like the Hindenburg ever since. (And long before that, the economy experienced the dual dot-com and technology implosions in the spring of 2000.) Photo: iStockphoto All of which is to say, it's probably safe to assume most Americans are familiar with what a financial bubble looks like when it bursts. But how many of us could spot a bubble in the making? Eric Janszen believes he can. In fact, the president of predicts the next bubble is going to be green -- not as in the color of money, but as in alternative energy companies, suppliers, and technologies. If Janszen's right (and he's got a pretty good pedigree in all things bubbles, having had a front-row seat at the dot-com debacle and now as founder of a website that tracks financial dislocations), it could be the mother of all bubbles.

Senate committee considers mining reform, not all that into it

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing yesterday on mining reform, indicating unwillingness to overhaul 136-year-old U.S. mining policy anywhere near as much as would a House of Representatives bill passed this …

Climate change in last night's GOP debate

McCain’s doubletalk express on global warming

If you think Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a straight-talking, courageous politician on the issue of global warming, watch this jaw-dropping clip from last night's Republican presidential debate: The transcript is online, so we can go through McCain's entire Orwellian answer to moderator Tim Russert. [Note: This was following a question to Giuliani about the global warming threat to Florida and his opposition to mandatory caps, which I'll briefly discuss at the end.] Russert said, correctly: Senator McCain, you are in favor of mandatory caps. And, as you've seen, McCain immediately answers: No, I'm in favor of cap-and-trade. And Joe Lieberman and I, one of my favorite Democrats and I, have proposed that -- and we did the same thing with acid rain. And all we are saying is, "Look, if you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, you earn a credit. If somebody else is going to increase theirs, you can sell it to them." And, meanwhile, we have a gradual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

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