Politics

Storage in the spotlight

Congress finally pays attention to energy storage tech

I missed this when it happened, but (via Hill Heat) it’s nice to see that the House science committee recently held a hearing on energy storage technology. It’s a woefully underappreciated piece of the energy puzzle and overdue for some concerted attention. In the context of the hearing, the Subcommittee also discussed draft legislation entitled Energy Storage Technology Advancement Act of 2007, a bill soon to be introduced by Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). "Energy storage is also critical for the next generation of vehicles, which will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower greenhouse gas emissions," added …

Group will do organic lawn care outside Capitol

Nonprofit SafeLawns.org has received permission to use organic gardening techniques on a portion of the National Mall for a two-year trial period. Can environmentally friendly soil treatments be embraced at the site of battling over a Live Earth concert? You could cut the tension with a spade.

Sustainable energy blueprint

A strategy for a no-nuclear, low-carbon, highly efficient, sustainable energy future

This came my way several weeks ago, but I ran across it again while hacking my way through my inbox and I thought it was worth sharing, particularly in light of the long list of endorsements. It comes from the Sustainable Energy Network, “a network of 450+ organizations, businesses, and individual advocates promoting aggressive deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies as a strategy for phasing-out nuclear power, eliminating energy imports, and making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.” —– The following statement outlines an ambitious but doable strategy for dramatically reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out nuclear …

Obama introduces ambitious energy plan

Barack Obama unveiled the details of his energy policy proposal in a speech in New Hampshire today, and he’s swinging for the fences. At the center is a cap-and-trade system that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Notably, Obama is the first major presidential candidate to propose that 100 percent of the initial emission permits be auctioned rather than freely allocated, a policy favored by analysts but not so much by the polluters that were looking forward to free credits. Auctioning the permits would raise a considerable amount of money, which Obama would spend on energy R&D, “green …

Court rulings are appealed left and right

Automakers are appealing a court decision that allows states to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles. Green groups are appealing the U.S. EPA’s decision to issue a permit for a new coal-fired power plant in Utah. W.R. Grace & Co. is appealing reinstatement of charges that it knowingly concealed dangers associated with asbestos mining. And Jake Gyllenhaal is just appealing. Yum.

Pessimistic prognostications

Two insiders say climate legislation unlikely while Bush is president

I think this Reuters article is password protected [Update: here's a free version], but the gist is that two fairly knowledgeable sources — Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, and Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch — said last week that climate legislation is highly unlikely to be passed in this session of Congress, mainly because Bush would almost certainly veto it. Bingaman: Major climate change legislation “is less likely than not” with Bush as president “given the position that he’s taken in opposition to any mandatory limits on greenhouse gases,” Bingaman told the Reuters Environment …

Obama energy thoughts

Thoughts and reactions on Obama’s bold new energy proposal

Staying with the Monday Is Obama Day theme, here are a few thoughts on Obama’s energy plan. (Full plan here; speech introducing the plan here.) Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised — even shocked — at its quality. It’s a deft mix of good politics and strong, substantive policy. Here are what I see as the three headlines: 100% auction of cap-and-trade credits. This is a home run, a real act of standard-setting boldness (the kind that Obama always promises but rarely delivers). The green community should immediately use it to push Clinton and Edwards into making the same commitment, insuring that …

Obama's speech

The full text of Obama’s energy remarks

Obama is delivering his energy speech right now. Here it is, as prepared for delivery. —– Remarks of Senator Barack Obama Real Leadership for a Clean Energy Future Monday, October 8th, 2007 Portsmouth, NH Two weeks ago, representatives from some of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases were invited to Washington by the President for a global conference on climate change. For a brief moment, there was a hope that maybe this conference would be different — that maybe America would finally commit to the steps that nearly every scientist and expert believes we must take; that maybe the …

Obama energy fact sheet

The details on Obama’s just-released energy plan

Ah, here we go. Via the Obama campaign, I’ve got the fact-sheet on Obama’s just-released energy plan. The PDF is here, which I’ve translated to HTML for your reading pleasure, below. —– BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN TO MAKE AMERICA A GLOBAL ENERGY LEADER Our nation is confronted by two major energy challenges — global climate change and our dependence on foreign oil — both of which stem from our current dependence on fossil fuels for energy. America’s 20 million-barrel-a-day oil habit costs our economy $1.4 billion a day, and nearly $500 billion in 2006 alone. Every single hour we spend $41 …

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