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  • Wind farm sizes suggest bigger is no better

    This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Have wind developers hit a financial sweet spot above which more turbines results in disproportionate land acquisition and lease costs? Are crane and construction economies of scale no greater? Are NIMBY concerns mitigated with a smaller […]

  • America has way more ‘disturbed’ land for wind power than it needs, says report

    Yes, renewable energy is more living-thing-friendly than fossil fuels, but given a choice, animals would probably prefer that we take our damn opposable thumbs and go back to living in caves. Wind turbines don't sully a hilltop the same way mountaintop-removal mining would, but they do have a footprint. That's why a new study published […]

  • Quote of the day: Obama on America’s future

    "A 70% cut to clean energy. A 25% cut in education. A 30% cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That's what they're proposing. These aren't the kind of cuts you make when you're trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings […]

  • Meet the woman leading the charge to green America’s schools

    Recently I was at a climate conference dominated by Baby Boomers, mostly white men, droning on about the nigh-insurmountable challenges of climate change and laying out their ponderous academic theories for how to change things. In other words, a typical climate conference. Into this dolorous atmosphere came something different: a young woman, bright-eyed and quick-witted, […]

  • Three ways to make nuclear power compete on the free market

    Even in France, nuclear power isn’t perfect.Photo: Gretchen MahanThis post is coauthored by Cutler Cleveland, Bruce Cooperstein, and Ida Kubiszewski. It’s a condensed version of an article in the April issue of the Solutions journal, based at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. As the Japanese nuclear disaster shows, the cleanup costs […]

  • First tar-sands mine approved in U.S.

    They’re on their way.Photo: ShellThe Canadian tar-sands industry is invading the United States. Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources has won all necessary permits to excavate tar-sands oil from a 62-acre site in Uintah County, Utah. And that’s just the start. Earth Energy has 7,800 acres of Utah state land under lease and plans to acquire more. The company estimates […]

  • This is what mountaintop-removal mining looks like

    This series of photographs from NASA's Landsat 5 satellite, taken over 26 years from 1984 to 2010, shows the toll mountaintop-removal mining takes on a landscape. You can watch the bombed-out area expand, and see that the "restored" scars never look quite the same. For a close-up look at the effects of mountaintop removal mining, […]

  • Get ready for GOP baloney on gas prices

    Politico is reporting this morning that House Republicans are gearing up to blame high gas prices on Obama. His offshore drilling moratorium, they say, is to blame for pump costs rocketing towards $5 a gallon. The GOP hasn't specified yet whether this is not intended to be a factual statement, but: This is not a […]

  • Japan could rebuild faster with renewables, says report

    In the wake of severe natural disasters, how is Japan going to get its electrical infrastructure back online? The Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability has an answer, and it's anything but business as usual. By deploying a mix of renewables and energy efficiency technology, they argue, Japan's need for electricity could be met three […]

  • Fukushima raised to Level 7 nuclear disaster — how much should you panic?

    The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has leveled up to a 7, or “major accident,” topping out the International Nuclear and Radiation Event scale. That puts it in the same category as Chernobyl, the only other level 7 event in history. Does this mean it's time for us all to put on our […]