Climate & Energy

Is Obama's climate plan missing something?

The Washington Post lamely attacks Obama’s climate ideas

Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby, in an absurdly titled column, "Obama's Missing Ideas," proves once again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Obama's ideas about climate solutions are probably the very last place one can find something missing. Obama has a terrific climate plan, full of winning ideas, as I have blogged many times. Yet Mallaby claims that "good ideas are actually quite scarce. Just take a look at climate change." Mallaby's "case" is based on two climate ideas many people have always thought were lame (which he never actually bothers to link to Obama), one climate problem that is pretty straightforward to solve, and one idea Mallaby thinks is new that is in fact quite old, is not really a climate idea, and as such has limited climate benefits. First he says, "A couple of years back, ethanol was touted as a good answer to global warming." Uh, no. Corn ethanol, which is what he attacks, was not considered a "good answer to global warming" by any energy or climate expert I have ever met. To the extent climate advocates even tolerated the fuel, it was strictly as a bridge to cellulosic ethanol. To the extent that corn ethanol was supported on policy grounds by politicians [as opposed to support for the farmers or a desire not to offend Iowans], it is primarily from people who are concerned about our dependence on imported oil, not global warming. Does Mallaby even know that Obama supports "a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard," which would block any fuel that increases greenhouse-gas emissions -- or that he supports accelerating the development of cellulosic (i.e., low-carbon) ethanol? These are good ideas. Next Mallaby complains about "carbon trading with developing countries":

Alaskan village sues Big Fossil Fuel over link to climate change

The tiny village of Kivalina, built on a barrier reef in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against 24 oil, coal, and power companies, …

Governors drink the Kool-Aid

State govs embrace the range of ‘alternative fuels,’ from nukes to clean coal to biofuels

The National Governors Association has linked up with “a team of Wal-Mart energy experts” to “green the capitols.” That’s fantastic — and I’m sure it …


Aside from being substantively misleading, this is just really, really awful. Doesn’t CEI have enough money to hire a video editor?

Wildcatting the wind in Texas

Conventional energy vs. renewable energy

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- As all eyes turn toward Texas this week in advance of the Democratic primary, we will see a state that is beginning its transition to a new energy economy. Texas is grappling with a shift the entire nation faces -- and as usual, it's doing it on a big scale. When it comes to energy and to carbon emissions, Texas is a place of superlatives and contrasts. It has more solar, wind, and biomass resources that any other state; but it's also No. 1 in total carbon emissions. It is the ancestral home of Big Oil, but it also hosts the world's largest wind farms. It has a very successful renewable energy portfolio standard, but it also has two nuclear power plants in the pipeline to provide power to its rapidly growing population. A year ago in a watershed deal, a private equity firm working with environmentalists arranged a $45 billion buyout of the state's largest power producer, TXU. As part of the deal, eight of 11 planned new coal-fired power plants were cancelled. However, as many as nine new coal plants remain in the pipeline. In Texas, we see a contest between conventional and renewable energy resources, and between the past and the future.

Notable quotable

“So when it came time to vote on Dick Cheney’s energy bill, I voted no, and Senator Obama voted yes.” — Hillary Clinton, Ohio Democratic …

Notable quotable

"We’re going to have to invest in infrastructure to make sure that we’re competitive. And I’ve got a plan to do that. We’re going to …

Solar photovoltaic cells are quite eco-friendly, says research

Are photovoltaic cells truly easy on the earth when manufacturing is factored in? If the question’s been keeping you up at night, rest easy: According …

Large water utilities form climate alliance

Eight of the largest water agencies in the U.S. have formed the Water Utility Climate Alliance to strategize about dealing with climate change. Together, the …