Peak coal in China means the country's desperate for renewables

China's economic miracle is under severe threat from up to 30 GW in power shortages -- that's more than twice the output of the Three Gorges Dam. Coal plants are shutting down as the cost of fuel outpaces the government-controlled …

The dilemma of growth, as dramatized by the voices in my head

Is continued economic growth inevitable and necessary to drive improvements in the human condition? Or is continued economic growth impossible, constrained by biophysical limitations? I let the two sides battle it out in my brain.

Dissing coal — and the future of West Virginia

When state leaders react to mild criticism of coal like it's an assault on the dignity of all West Virginians, they're doing more than overreacting: They're cheating the Mountain State out of a clean energy future.

Close coal: D.C.-area coal-fired power plant to close

Just a month after Michael Bloomberg used it as a backdrop for his $50 million donation to the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, officials in Alexandria, Va., announced a plan to shut down the plant.

U.S. coal goes to China

OnEarth takes a close look at why exactly Warren Buffett has been sniffing around Wyoming coal mines lately. Short answer: China wants coal. As George Black explains: Although worldwide energy-related CO2 emissions rose more last year than at any time since 1969, …

Taste of things to come: Texas drought to shut down power plants

Hey, you know what's wild about Texas turning into a gigantic desert thanks to climate change? I mean besides the fact that this makes it basically Kuwait-on-the-Rio-Grande? Many of the state's power plants, which rely on fresh water to produce …

Sandstorms of coal ash blanket Moapa River reservation

The Moapa River Indian Reservation is right next to the Reid Gardner Power Station and its coal ash storage ponds. Winds blow the coal ash -- a waste product that contains arsenic, lead, and mercury -- over the reservation. Residents …

How to avoid a train wreck: replacing coal with energy efficiency

Utility regulations don't have to mean higher rates for consumers. Investments that enhance communities by creating more efficient, modern infrastructure result in more jobs and a more robust economy, at a fraction of the cost of upgrading old coal plants

Infographic: What it would take to meet Obama's 2035 clean energy goals?

Obama wants 80 percent of America's energy to come from clean and renewable sources by 2035. But what would that really take? Mostly, it means replacing 2/3 of our coal-fired power plants with power sources that don't depend on fossil …