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  • Cost, not Japan crisis, should scrub nuclear power

    Please ignore this image.Photo: GlobovisionThe plumes of smoke rising from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor create a visceral reaction. But the crisis should not persuade Americans to abandon nuclear power.  Instead, Americans should abandon nuclear power for its prohibitive and uncompetitive costs. The wildly escalting costs of nuclear plants under construction in the U.S. are […]

  • If President Obama calls it safe, watch out

    Pondering whether “safe” means what he thought it meant.Photo: The White HousePresident Barack Obama is a good fellow at work in a difficult era, to say the least. So this post is not intended to be a slam on the president. Still, it is a good idea for Obama to be much more cautious when […]

  • Polluters have the tech they need to reduce toxic mercury and make Americans healthier

    Listen up, polluters.Photo: sara b.Yesterday, EPA released plans for its long-awaited “utility MACT” rule, which would regulate toxic air pollutants like mercury. I want to address one contested point in particular — the availability of technology to reduce mercury emissions — but first some scene setting. The benefits of making Americans healthier From a health […]

  • German sustainable energy lobby steps up to fill the nuclear hole

    Can we replace fossil fuels without going nuclear? One German company says so. Unlike nuclear power, coal doesn’t have to wait for failed safety features to pollute the groundwater, pollute the air, and make people sick for miles around. So getting off fossil fuels is a priority — but now a lot of people are […]

  • Regional cap-and-trade saves jobs and money

    This post originally appeared at Sightline’s Daily Score blog. I’m not big on parroting press releases, but I’m going to make an exception for Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast’s carbon cap-and-trade program. RGGI is quietly demonstrating that carbon markets can work wonderfully. So it’s too bad no one seems to be paying attention any longer. […]

  • Wind power surges forward around the globe

    Scotland expects renewables to meet all of its electricity needs by 2025.Photo: Kari GibsonFor many years, a small handful of countries dominated growth in wind power, but this is changing as the industry goes global, with more than 70 countries now developing wind resources. Between 2000 and 2010, world wind electric generating capacity increased at […]

  • Behavior change: we’re already doing it [VIDEO]

    Last week, my enormous head and I did a video interview with the energy-focused cable news show EnergyNow! (which incidentally just got a national distribution deal through Bloomberg TV). The topic was behavior change. They’ve split the video in two. Here’s the first bit: And the second bit: As always, I find my performance on […]

  • Con: Nuclear power is expensive, risky, and some of its proponents are kind of annoying

    Today, many outlets report that it’s very likely that the #2 reactor at Daiichi is in full meltdown. There is a strong possibility that rising radiation levels from other sources (such as a pool of spent nuclear fuel rods that is heating up) will force the 50 remaining workers at the plant to evacuate. That […]

  • Pro: Japan’s terrible disaster is no reason to stop building nuclear power

    Japan is now facing a worst-case scenario for its Daiichi nuclear power plant. But that’s no reason to stop building new nuclear power plants, say a bevy of pundits. Their reasons are myriad. Some, like one Wall Street Journal editor, make the economic argument that all human endeavors are fraught with risk, so this one […]

  • What will the Japan disaster mean for U.S. nuclear power?

    The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is several miles from a seismic fault.Photo: MaryaCNN just published an opinion piece that I wrote with Richard Caperton, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Here it is: The recent history of the U.S. nuclear industry suggests that nuclear power can be a safe […]