McCain, Palin Ticket Doesn’t Really Dig Coal

Desperate to score points in a crucial state where they are in the double-digit dumps, the Republican McCain-Palin presidential ticket rolled out their heartfelt support for “clean coal technologies” at a rally in Scranton, Pa., this week. Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin appeared in full throat. Her homage to coal, of course, came despite McCain’s […]

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Loan guarantee gridlock

It’s gridlock on the road to the U.S. nuclear renaissance. Electric companies and consortia – 15 in all so far — are asking the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for combined construction and operating licenses for 24 new nuclear units under the terms of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The companies are all seeking the loan […]

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Iced in by global warming

Folks, this is a true story. We do not make this stuff up. As the late, great comic Steve Allen used to say, “I kid you not.” An NBC television crew, dispatched to the Arctic to show the horrendous effects of global warming – an ice-free Northwest passage – was stalled in the Arctic Sea […]

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The meaning of Kyoto’s failure

Did the now-irrelevant 1997 Kyoto Protocol reduce global carbon dioxide emissions, or even slow the rate of increase? No, according to Global Carbon Project, established in 2001 to measure worldwide, man-made carbon emissions patterns. According to the project’s “Global Carbon Budget,” released Sept. 25, “Anthropogenic CO2 emission have been growing about four times faster since […]

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OBE: Energy policy in Washington

OBE: overcome by events. That’s the story of the nation’s energy policy agenda in the wake of the credit collapse of the past several weeks. In short, there likely will be no new major energy investments in the coming months or years, whether Congress enacts energy legislation or not, or if executive branch agencies implement […]

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“Green” gasoline?

Cellulosic ethanol? How about cellulosic gasoline and diesel fuel instead? A research team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison has come up with what may be an economic way to produce what a UW press release calls “green gasoline” from the sugars in corn stalks and stover and other plant residues that the Department […]

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Where’s Sam Bodman

Where’s Sam? Energy Secretary Sam “The Sham” Bodman has been absent from the discussions in Washington in recent months about energy prices and energy policies. What does this say about Bodman? It says that neither Sam nor the Department of Energy have any influence in Bush administration energy policies. That’s not a bad thing. Energy […]

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Thomas (Malthus) Friedman

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is a Malthusian. That’s clear from his latest book – Hot, Flat and Crowded. As such, he’s a wrong-headed fool, in the camp of Paul Ehrlich (a lepidopterist by training), Lester Brown, and the Club of Rome pessimists. Their view is that the world is running out of resources, […]

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Buffett buys Constellation

The Wall Street financial crisis hit Baltimore’s main street on Thursday, as Constellation Energy Group agreed to be bought by Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings for $4.7 billion ($26.50 per share.) Among the victims in the sale could be Constellation’s attempt to build a new, third nuclear generating unit at its Calvert Cliffs site in […]

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Coal contines to flex its muscles

More evidence that the demise of coal – Al Gore to the contrary notwithstanding – is greatly exaggerated. On Sept. 11, Tulsa-based Alliance Resource Partners announced it will open a new underground coal mine on the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border, digging high-sulfur Pennsylvania No. 8 coal for the utility market. At the same time, the U.S. […]

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