Climate & Energy

House Party

U.S. House works on energy bill, passes Interior appropriations bill The House of Representatives is gettin’ jiggy with eco-legislation this week. On Wednesday, it passed a bill declaring that — gasp! — global warming is a “reality,” and mandated funding for climate research. The House hopes to pass comprehensive energy legislation by July 4; proposals on the table include tough efficiency standards for lighting and appliances, smart-grid incentives, expansion of biofuels research, and funding for carbon capture and storage (shockingly, and wonderfully, not applying to coal-to-liquid technology). However, the various proposals exclude any mention of fuel-economy standards or biofuel production …

The promise and perils of public investment in energy

Voters like it, but how to do it well?

There’s a big problem facing climate and energy advocates, one they seem to be more or less shutting their eyes to at the moment, hoping it will go away: regulations capping carbon and mandating emissions cuts are likely to raise energy prices for consumers in the short term. This is a problem because polls and surveys show fairly consistently that consumers are extremely sensitive to these prices. I think it’s going to be frighteningly easy for right-wing demagogues to pull on climate legislation the same thing they did on healthcare legislation back in the early ’90s: tell consumers that Democrats …

Pre-vacation link dump

So much good stuff, so little time to blather about it

Dear readers, as of tomorrow, I’m on vacation, visiting my ancestral homeland (the American South), not to return until July 9. My plan is to test physiological limits: just how much sleeping can one person do in nine days? There were about a gazillion things I wanted to write about before leaving, but obviously coal ate up all my time (damn you coal!) and I won’t be able to get to them. So here are some quick hits: Robert Bryce has a great article in Slate pointing out what all of us already know: corn ethanol’s a stupid scam, and …

Everything's on the table, even nukes

A guest column from K.C. Golden

This is a guest column from KC Golden, Policy Director for Climate Solutions, a Northwest-based nonprofit focused on tackling global warming (though not yet tackling its own website’s frames-based layout, which was awful in 1998 and still is … but I digress). It originally ran in Methow Valley News. —– These are the early days of an economic revolution: our weaning from fossil fuels. Most of what we know and expect about how we make and use energy is up for grabs. Myths, taboos, sacred cows — all will be skewered. Here are some soon-to-be unsafe assumptions about energy: "Cheap" …

Coal is the enemy of the human race: Robert Murray can kiss my ass edition

Coal exec whines about regulations on his ability to destroy the earth and his workers

This is not helping me keep my blood pressure down. Poor, poor coal executive feels persecuted: A senior coal company executive on Wednesday lambasted U.S. lawmakers for proposing caps on emissions blamed for global warming, saying the Democrats were out to destroy America’s coal industry. Robert Murray, chairman, president and chief executive of Murray Energy Corp., also blasted the federal government’s mine safety agency for “outrageous” new fines that he warned could put some miners out of business. [Deep breaths] … [More deep breaths] … OK, the deep breaths aren’t working. Hey, Murray, screw you, and screw your corrupt, vicious, …

California is no longer leading the pack on wind energy

Last year, California suffered the ultimate indignity in its quest to be the “greenest state.” It was passed by red Texas — the oil heartland — for the title of state with the most wind-power generating capacity. The numbers get even more depressing. Last year, California’s wind capacity grew at a slower rate than any of the other top 10 wind-producing states. Texas’s wind production grew at a 39 percent clip and (What’s the Matter With) Kansas’ grew by 38 percent; California managed relatively meager 10 percent growth. That still leaves the Golden State as the No. 2 wind producer …

Greenpeace mischief

Big Gav pointed me to this, which is awesome:

That sinking feeling

You ever have that nightmare where the lifeline becomes a deadly snake?

India's emissions may be higher due to dams:

Planktos president responds to environmentalist critics

In an op-ed, Russ George claims his company has been unfairly maligned

A company called Planktos has taken some lumps on our site, so when their president, Russ George, sent this response along, I agreed to run it. (It ran originally in the Ottawa Citizen.) Your responses are welcome, but please, keep them civil. —– As someone who has committed most of my waking life to caring for the planet, recent misleading reports on the foundations and future of my current company’s work have led me to reflect on some large and important questions. Let me start with a bit of personal history to provide some context. My career on behalf of …

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