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Bush admin pushed Solyndra loan guarantee for two years

Solyndra had backers on both sides of the aisle.Photo: John Martinez PavligaCross-posted from Climate Progress and coauthored by Richard Caperton. It's often claimed that the Solyndra loan guarantee was "rushed through" by the Obama administration for political reasons. In fact, the Solyndra loan guarantee was a multi-year process that the Bush administration launched in 2007. You'd never know from the media coverage that: The Bush team tried to conditionally approve the Solyndra loan just before President Obama took office. The company's backers included private investors who had diverse political interests. The loan comprises just 1.3 percent of the Department of …

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Don’t buy the job-killing hype: Regulations create jobs, save lives

Contrary to conventional wisdom, environmental regulation often creates jobs.Image: truthout.orgWhat's good for job growth, good for the environment, and good for public health? No, it's not a trick question, but it is a reassessment of what passes for conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., these days. The answer is the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other enormously popular environmental regulations enacted in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s with strong bipartisan support. Let's start with the conventional wisdom. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently called for the repeal of 10 "job-destroying" regulations, calling them "costly bureaucratic handcuffs that …

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How Obama kinda completely missed the boat in his jobs speech

Let's you and me sit down and have some RealTalk™ for a minute: President Obama's jobs speech last night was about as good as it could get -- in the absence of any mention of the core driver of our ongoing global economic recession, which, need I remind you, is probably going to go double-dip. Here's what he left out, neatly described in a hip, watchable video produced by the folks at the Post Carbon Institute. For those of you who are already familiar with this territory, it's a discussion of the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, primarily oil, and …

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David Brooks' myth-ridden flip-flop on green jobs

Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks has decided to double down on his paper's widely debunked slam of green jobs with his own piece of nonsense, "Where the Jobs Aren't." Both articles chose to ignore "explosive growth" documented in the sector by a major Brookings report. Brooks' piece is, in some respects, even worse, since just last year he was championing green jobs. Here is what he wrote in January 2010 after a panel discussion that included business executives: I was once again reminded how many business and investment types are thinking quite practically and capitalistically about green, job-creating technologies. …

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Dissing coal — and the future of West Virginia

Can coal ever be clean? Wait, don't answer that. Photo: Nick HumphriesWest Virginia state leaders were in an uproar last week over a remark about coal made by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, elder statesman and one of the longest-serving members of the U.S. Congress. Did he call us inbred hillbillies? Based on the angry reactions politicians like Sen. Joe Manchin and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, you might think so (oh, wait -- that came from coal industry lawyers, as reporter Ken Ward Jr. reminded us in his excellent post about this whole flap). Instead, Conyers simply had the audacity …

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Why do green jobs pay better than other jobs?

Jobs in industries like mass transit and waste management account for nearly 40 percent of the green economy.Photo: Kymberly JanischCross-posted from the Council on Foreign Relations. I've always been skeptical of the oft-heard claim that "green jobs" are "good jobs" -- that is, that green jobs somehow pay better than other ones. A recent Brookings Institution study, though, takes a rather thorough look at the "clean economy," and concludes quite emphatically that green jobs do in fact pay better than the typical U.S. job. That invites an obvious question: Why? A decent part of the answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, lies in …

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Critical List: Conflicts connected to climate; some green collar jobs are also white collar jobs

Conflicts across the world can be connected to climate phenomena like El Niño. Mitt Romney: so wimpy on climate issues, it hurts. Some green jobs require an MBA. Drivers are still cutting down on miles, even though gas prices are creeping downward. An energy consulting group says the EPA and Cornell professor Robert Howarth both made erroneous assumptions that led them to overestimate the amount of methane that hydrofracking releases. The SEC is digging into fracking, too. The financial watchdog wants information about fracking chemicals and environmental impacts. Vermonters want solar projects, not wind projects, which they say would damage …

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Van Jones slams misleading quotes in NYT green-jobs story

Van Jones.Photo: Center for American ProgressIn an email to Climate Progress, green jobs champion Van Jones explains how The New York Times misrepresented his quotes and his views. The story in question is "Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises." I debunked it yesterday for completely ignoring the "explosive growth" documented by a recent Brookings study in the clean energy jobs sector -- even though the article cited the study! I thought that the quotes attributed to Van Jones didn't sound like the passionate, optimistic green jobs guru I have had the good fortune to get to …

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NYT green-jobs story ignores 'explosive growth'

Imagine if, in 1963, two years after JFK's famous speech to Congress, The New York Times had run a story titled "Space program fails to live up to promise." That will give you some idea of how bad a recent NYT story on the clean energy economy was: "Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises." The story is triply terrible: It's incorrect, premature, and misleading. So of course it has been quoted endlessly by the right-wing media. It's sad when the U.S. press isn't any better than the U.K. press. First, the core inaccuracy: A study released …

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Airport beekeeping project is a win-win-win

A buzz-worthy idea.I'm jaded, but sometimes an idea is so good that it breaks through my cynical shell and gives me hope. The Chicago O'Hare Airport apiary is one of those ideas: The project addresses three problems at once and should be immediately replicated by the rest of the airports in the world.  Problem 1: Bee populations are mysteriously dying. Read more about colony collapse disorder and the threat it poses to agricultural production.  Problem 2: Vacant land near airports cannot be used for development. FAA regulations prohibit many economically productive uses because having a plane crash-land on an office …