Why Google Gave Up on Green

Hoping to apply the smarts they showed in the online world, in 2007 engineers at Google decided they would save Mother Earth from global warming. The company concluded that renewable energy was the path of the future and created RE<C, a moon shot approach to make renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. In 2011, Google quietly [...]

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Pielke Writes the Book on Climate and Disasters

Roger Pielke, Jr. has written the book on the relationship between climate change and weather disasters. Literally. His new book – Disasters & Climate Change – became available last week. The slim text (114 pages) is the best, clearest exposition yet of why the claims that particular weather events – droughts, floods, Superstorm Sandy and [...]

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What’s FERC Got to Do with It?

Fractivists and climate campaigners have besieged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of late, charging that the independent agency is erecting barriers to combating global warming by granting approval for new natural gas pipelines and LNG export terminals. Activists have appeared at FERC’s normally dry-as-dust monthly public meetings to make their claims that the agency is [...]

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Will GOP’s Wave Revive Yucca Mountain?

The crash of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate following this month’s elections and the unseating of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada as majority leader has supporters of the Department of Energy’s stagnant Yucca Mountain storage site for spent civilian nuclear fuel singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Is the refrain premature? Former Democratic Sen. [...]

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Green Greenbacks Fail to Sway Elections

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer was demonstrably a heck of a hedge fund investor. But as an investor in partisan politics, he’s a bust. Steyer, the green equivalent of the Koch brothers on the right, reportedly poured $76 million of his personal holdings into his NextGen Climate Action PAC. Steyer’s political action committee is on [...]

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GOP Sweep Impacts Power at State Level

Tuesday’s sweeping Republican electoral triumph likely will see its greatest impact on the power industry at the state level, where governors often appoint state regulators and set state policy on many energy and environmental topics. What happened Tuesday in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in gubernatorial races illustrates the point. In Pennsylvania, one of the few highlights [...]

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With Macfarlane Out, Wither the NRC?

President Obama named Allison Macfarlane to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and appointed her chairman in July 2012 largely to restore some calm to the chaos that reigned at the NRC under the chairmanship of Greg Jaczko, whose patron was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Her expertise in nuclear waste issues – a geologist, she [...]

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Bob Fri, Energy and Environmental Policy Guru, Dies at 78

Robert W. Fri, long a major figure in environmental and energy policy in Washington, although better known to the public as a director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, died October 10 at Sibley Hospital in Washington. The Washington Post obituary said the cause was lung cancer. He was 78. As an [...]

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Beyond Common Sense

The Sierra Club’s frequently silly “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign just got a whole lot sillier. Last week, the New Jersey chapter put out the claim that repowering an old coal- and oil-fired power plant in Cape May with natural gas would hurt area reliability. If that sounds like an odd statement from an environmental group, [...]

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Love, War, and Politics 2: Coal and Kentucky

If you judge that West Virginia’s coal politics are slimy this electoral season, take a look at Kentucky. In an earlier blog posting, I took exception to the way Republican-oriented outside groups were sliming the West Virginia Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Natalie Tennant. Now it’s time to turn the tables, look at neighboring [...]

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