Grist List


The European Union bans battery cages for hens

In the European Union, hens can no longer be kept in tiny battery cages that pack them so tightly they could not walk or flap their wings. The EU voted to ban the cages in 1999 but gave the poultry industry 12 years to implement the switch-over. As of 2012, the use of battery cages is illegal. The new cages give hens more space and must have nest boxes, which animal welfare experts say are key to keeping chickens from stressing out. (They need a little bit of privacy to feel comfortable laying an egg, which is understandable! Would you …

Climate & Energy

Critical List: Republicans still want Keystone XL; Obama ad focuses on energy

The State Department denied TransCanada’s permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama agreed, saying that he was rejecting the permit because Republicans wouldn’t stop trying to force the pipeline forward. Republicans are responding to this by looking into legislation that would force the pipeline forward. They’re also asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to come testify on yesterday’s decision next week. House Republicans ALSO want to promote ethanol derived from … natural gas and coal. And they want to classify it as renewable fuel. What? It’s ethanol!

Energy Policy

Keystone XL shot down, Republicans whine about it

The State Department has recommended that the Keystone XL pipeline application be “determined not to serve the national interest,” and President Obama has agreed — not even because it’s a disaster waiting to happen, but because (just as Dave Roberts predicted!) Republicans just could not sit down and shut up for five minutes.


Biggest output of U.S. oil and gas industry is dirty water

The bad news: “Every day, U.S. oil and gas producers bring to the surface 60 million barrels of waste water, with a salt content up to 20 times higher than sea water and laced with hazardous chemicals,” reports John Kemp of Reuters. In an aging well, as much as 98 percent of the stuff that comes to the surface can be water.


Pop-up Starbucks made of shipping containers

Recycling shipping containers into houses and environmental centers has been the new architectural hotness for a while, but what good are houses and environmental centers when you can’t get coffee? This four-carton Starbucks near Seattle (go fig) offers a recycled alternative to your strip-mall Starbucks.


Clean energy policies create more jobs than Keystone

Obama is poised to reject Keystone XL this afternoon, so brace for a lot of Republican bellyaching about how he obviously doesn’t care about jobs. There is a problem with this line of argument, and it’s that it is nonsense. Don’t believe us? Check out this graph, from ThinkProgress, which shows how Obama administration policies like the much-maligned loan guarantee program and the EPA toxic pollution rule will create many, many more jobs than Keystone construction:

Fossil Fuels

Obama will reject Keystone XL

Politico is reporting that Obama is planning to reject the Keystone XL pipeline this afternoon. Here's a quick roundup of some reasons why that's awesome.


An inhabited apartment inside a subway station

Ad agency Ubi Bene built an apartment for five roommates in the middle of a Paris Metro station.

Green Cars

Almost all U.S. car use is within an electric car’s range

Because it takes longer to fill up an electric vehicle than to fill a gas tank, and because EV infrastructure is still limited, the most common criticism of EVs goes something like “OMG RANGE ANXIETY.” And, sure, no one wants to get stuck in their big metal bucket on the side of a highway until a tow truck can haul your ride to the nearest charger. But two Columbia Ph.D. students have parsed real actual data (from the National Household Travel Survey) to show that, in the daily lives of most people, range anxiety just shouldn’t be a thing.

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