Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Energy Policy

Comments

so long and thanks for all the asthma

Pacific Northwest sends coal a Dear John letter

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial; color: #1f0199} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #1f0199} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline} span.s3 {color: #000000} Dear Coal, We've been together a long, long time, but I'm sorry, I'm leaving you for another. Don't try to argue: like it or not, I need you to move out by 2025. My friends at the Sierra Club have been pushing hard for this for a while, what with the lobbying and their Beyond Coal campaign, and I finally have to concede they're right. You might as well know there's …

Comments

I have just one word for you: China

Why climate change is now irrelevant to clean energy

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #1f0199} Clean energy isn't about climate change any more, it's about China. So says cleantech investor Alex Taussig. That's his takeaway from last week's summit of ARPA-E, the government agency tasked with funding energy innovations so crazy or with such far-off payouts that no private company would ever touch them. "It used to be that the [three] legs of the cleantech stool were Economics, Security, and Environment," Taussig blogs at GigaOm. But in an uncertain political and economic climate, the environment has taken a back seat to a …

Comments

Got 99 Problems but jobs ain't one

Unemployment down; now we get to care about the environment again

The department of labor's February jobs report is out, and unemployment dropped 1 percent in just three months, to 8.9 percent. It's the biggest drop in 28 years. The inverse relationship between unemployment and public concern about the environment means Grist readers have even more reason to celebrate. Now that people don't have to worry about whether they'll still have a home next month, they can start worrying about whether they'll still have a planet in 50 years. Image: Pew Pretty much every study on the subject ever says that when the economy recovers, Americans turn their attention back to …

Comments

The nukes of hazard

Wall Street Journal poll: Most popular spending cut is subsidies for new nuclear plants

It is no big surprise that Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or K-12 education. But the new WSJ/NBC poll does have some surprises: The survey found that the most popular potential spending cuts were subsidies to build new nuclear plants, with 57 percent support…. Of course, nuclear is absurdly over-subsidized (see “Nuclear Pork—Enough is Enough“). In fact, a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies (the source of the chart below), finds: Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in …

Comments

fred the inhaler

Fred Upton’s bizarre war on 24 million Americans with asthma

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is teaming up with House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to introduce a bill to allow America's biggest polluters to continue dumping unlimited amounts of carbon emissions into the air. It's not that surprising that Inhofe is pushing this in the Senate. After all, Inhofe has always prided himself on being a little "out there" in a distinctly Charlie Sheen "wild man" kind of way. But what is going on with the formerly-known-as reasonable Rep. Upton? Just about every major health group in the United States is …

Comments

25 percent Lawyers by 2025

Can states keep clean energy jobs at home?

Photo: GreenforallCan a state with a renewable energy mandate require green jobs to stay at home? Litigation has made states into tepid defenders of their job rights, but states have the legal ground to go great lengths to keep more of the economic development from their renewable energy industry inside their borders. No renewable energy mandate passed a state legislature without the promise of thousands of new jobs, but many states have shared the recent experience of Massachusetts: the state’s largest solar manufacturing plant announced that it is moving production to China. Evergreen Solar is moving despite the state’s commitment …

Comments

a no-bull market

The Clean Air Act’s incredible economic benefits

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Times were great in the 1990s real estate market: If you got in right before the market took off, and cashed out just before it crashed, you could have made a whopping 75 percent return on your money. But ... it was all paper; chances are high the house wasn't 75 percent nicer. And, for most people, returns were lower than 75 percent, some punishingly negative. It all depended on when you bought and sold. But what if you found out you could get a guaranteed real return over 2,400 percent in one year? And …

Comments

The people want to topple the old energy regime

Schwarzenegger calls for Tunisian-style green revolution

Hasta la vista, air pollution.He's back. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday all but called for a Tunisian-style revolution to overturn the United States' old energy order. "It is breathtaking to see: people by the hundreds of thousands who want change ... who want to throw off the old order and subvert the status quo. It is fascinating to me how rapidly the debate in the Middle East shifted from -- could the people rise up to could the rulers hang on?" Scharzenegger said at the United States Department of Energy's ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in National Harbor, Md., according …

Comments

situation womb

Upcoming congressional hearings at which a fetus should testify

Source photo: Lunar CausticThe Ohio state legislature is preparing to hear testimony from a 9-week-old fetus, which I assume will actually be a lawyer making a squeaky voice from behind a picture of an ultrasound. The fetus is testifying about whether it should be able to freeload off a woman's organs while it's waiting to turn into a person, but we think there are a lot of other bills a fetus should have a say in. Like the ones covering pollution, climate change, and oil. Here are some of this week's committee meetings that we think would benefit from the …

Comments

your pain, their gain

Big Oil gains from higher prices while families pay the price

Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress. Political instability in the Middle East over the past month has driven parallel unrest in world oil prices. The drive for political freedom in the Middle East has rightfully captured the world's attention, but it has also roiled oil markets. Governments across the globe are worried that sustained unrest will escalate oil prices past $100 per barrel on their way to $120 or more, choking the struggling economic recovery in the United States, Europe, and …