The power of the coal lobby

It makes Senate Dems act like wussies

Remarkable: The bill is being circulated by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and the energy bill’s lead author. Until this week, Mr. Bingaman had opposed big subsidies for coal-based fuels, saying that each new production plant would cost billions of dollars and that the economic uncertainties posed risks for taxpayers. But in what could be an effort to fend off demands from coal-state lawmakers for bigger subsidies, Mr. Bingaman’s draft proposal would offer up to $10 billion in direct government loans for coal-to-liquid plants. Unfuckingbelievable. They want to give one of the …

Lobbyists belly up to the energy trough

New energy legislation in Congress debates various terrible solutions

This piece in the NYT is pretty depressing. It’s about the main battles around the upcoming energy legislation. Here are the points of contention: Ethanol subsidies Coal and nuclear subsidies CAFE standards On pretty much all these issues, it’s Big Money lobby vs. Big Money lobby, and every one of them is a distraction — no help at best, a hindrance at worst. Where’s the Big Efficiency lobby when you need it?

Action on federal renewable energy standard

Make your opinion heard

Senator Bingaman is with the majority of Americans in wanting more renewable energy. Accordingly, he has authored legislation that would require utilities to increase renewables in their portfolio to 15 percent by 2020. Senator Domenici is with the craven few who don't want this to happen. Accordingly, he has authored an amendment to redefine qualifying renewables to include nukes and coal. So tricky! But we are on to him. The vote on Domenici's amendment will take place this afternoon. Calls to the following swinging senators by 2 p.m. EDT today could make all the difference. Minn. - Coleman - 202.224.5641 N.H. - Gregg - 202.224.3324 Ark. - Pryor - 202.224.2353 Ark. - Lincoln - 202.224.4843 Kan. - Brownback - 202.224.6521 Ind. - Bayh - 202.224.5623 Ore. - Smith - 202.224.3753 Mo. - McCaskill - 202.224.6154 W.Va. - Rockefeller- 202.224.6472 If you live in or know anyone in these states, consider calling ASAP. Talking points: Hi, my name is XXXX and I'm calling from [city, state]. I'm calling to ask Senator XXXX to oppose Senator Domenici's amendment to the national renewable portfolio standard bill. The amendment would weaken the deployment of truly clean and renewable electricity sources like wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. The renewable standard is intended to promote our development of clean, new energy sources, not give more subsidies to the coal and nuclear industries. The bill provides a way to save consumers like me money on their utility bills by increasing the competition from renewable energy sources and reducing the demand for natural gas Thank you. Action courtesy of UCS

Two presidential ads on global warming

From the candidates with the best plans and least chances

The two Democratic presidential candidates with the strongest energy plans and, um, least chance of winning have come out with new ads based on global warming. Here’s Chris Dodd’s: Here’s Bill Richardson’s: (via Hugg)

CTL stupid compared to plug-in hybrids, say experts, people who can read

A couple of heavy-duty energy wonks from Carnegie Mellon have this to say: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is considering enacting policies to subsidize the production of transportation fuel from coal-to-liquid projects. Tepper School of Business researchers determined plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are a far better and less costly choice. — Generating electricity from coal with carbon capture and sequestration and replacing the fleet with plug-in hybrid vehicles could enhance energy security by reducing 85% of motor vehicle gasoline use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle travel by 70%. — Even the most carbon-intensive scenario using plug-in …

Yet another guide to the candidates on global warming

They just keep coming

Speaking of guides to the candidates’ positions on global warming and other guides to the candidates’ positions on global warming, here’s yet another guide to the candidates’ positions on global warming — this one from NPR. And while you’re there, check out this story about how global warming is playing big in the presidential race.

Another guide to the candidates on energy and climate change

More useful

Speaking of guides to the candidates’ positions on global warming, here’s another guide to the candidates’ positions on global warming — this one is from LCV, and it looks to be a little more specific and concrete than the other one.

MoveOn fights liquid coal

Sign the petition!

I opened my inbox the other day and thought I must be dreaming: the venerable progressive organization MoveOn is taking on coal-to-liquids (CTL). This is from an email they sent to their over three million members on Wednesday: In the next few weeks, Congress could vote to DOUBLE the amount of greenhouse gases America produces from our cars and planes. It’s the greatest single threat to solving the climate crisis in a decade. It sounds crazy. But Congress is rushing through a package that could lock us into liquid coal as our country’s new energy source for transportation. For every …


Oregon Gov. signs tough new renewable standard

Kudos to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who this week signed one of the nation’s toughest renewable portfolio standards: the state’s biggest utilities must deliver 25% of their power from renewable sources by 2025.

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