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  • 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 […]

  • Students are leading the way in moving beyond coal

    Penn State students successfully moved their campus off coal.Photo: Sierra ClubNationwide, young people are working to move their college campuses and communities beyond coal to clean energy solutions — and they are winning. In the past few weeks we’ve seen three colleges decide to move beyond coal on their campuses, showing yet again that students […]

  • Solar gardens to bring small-d democratic solar power to Colorado

    Colorado is the first U.S. state to follow in Canada’s footsteps democratizing solar power.This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project. Want to go solar but you have a shady roof? You rent? You don’t have $40,000? Last year, Colorado passed the first state […]

  • Me, heading to Germany to learn about distributed renewable energy

    This week, I’m going to be traveling to Berlin under the gracious auspices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, a German progressive nonprofit that does work on clean energy. Exciting! It’ll be my first time in Germany. Aside from saying the words “schnitzel” and “spätzle” as often as possible (schnitzel! spätzle!), I’m going to be attending […]

  • Paris to be powered by body odor

    Okay, not quite. But the City of Lights is fast becoming the City of Innovative but Slightly Bizarre Energy Solutions, including new ways to harness the heat you might otherwise not want to touch. Sewer water: French children are probably too classy to be delighted by this the way American children would be, but last […]