September 19, 2020

Grassroots Opposition To Big Energy – Clean or Dirty

The New York Times is catching up to the grassroots opposition to big energy projects, clean energy or dirty. Today the paper reported on the developing push back to big oil pipelines, big electrical transmission lines, and other energy transport projects of scale. The dimensions of what needs to be done to push the country from high-carbon energy production to lower carbon production is as vast as anything the nation has attempted. That’s why it’s …

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Boom in Fuel Production Keeps Obama’s “All Of The Above” Energy Strategy Leaning One Way

Four years ago, when he campaigned for the office he now holds, Barack Obama described the urgent need to pursue clean energy development because of a grave and persistent problem. Demand and prices for oil were rising, along with national and economic security risks tied to ever higher imports. Supplies of domestically-produced fuel, meanwhile, were falling. Last night, as the president defined the basic outlines of an “all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source …

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On Keystone Pipeline, White House Blinks

Aware of the growing and visible opposition to the 1,700-mile Keystone Pipeline, much of it organized by writer Bill McKibben and his colleagues at 350.org, the White House today blinked. In a statement, the administration said it would evaluate a new pipeline route from Canada to the Gulf Coast, one that presumably takes it away from sensitive wetlands in Nebraska. Protests there have been so strong that even Nebraska’s Republican Governor Dave Heineman announced his …

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A Hydrocarbon Boom Unfolds While Northern Michigan Fears The Wind

The history of renewable energy, at least the way many in the environmental community imagined it with the election of President Obama, is a straight story line. A courageous young leader, worried about economic and national security, takes on the big energy dogs and begins to shift the United States away from dirty, dangerous, and expensive fossil fuels. Then there is history the way it actually unfolds. Markets and personal values and incomes and public …

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Job One In U.S. and China: Perpetuate The Fossil Fuel Economy

Jay Letto, a friend who oversees the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, wrote to me last week asking for my ideas and participation on a panel in October that looks at U.S. and China clean energy and environmental technology development. Here’s my response: The last year of reporting on energy and environment issues globally has been just about as interesting and engaging as any I’ve done — the China experience in particular. …

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Blue Green Alliance and Apollo Alliance To Merge

Last week the Apollo Alliance and the BlueGreen Alliance,  two of the most important national non-profits supporting clean energy development and good jobs, announced that as of July 1 they would merge. The much larger Minneapolis-based BlueGreen Alliance, a five-year-old collaboration of big green groups and unions, will become the parent of San Francisco-based Apollo, which was founded in 2003 and gained its renown for being the first organization to understand that the transition to …

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Obama’s 80 Percent Clean Energy Goal: Who’s He Kidding?

Arguably the central provision of President Obama’s State of the Union address last night was the proposal to generate 80 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 — including nuclear energy and CCS coal technology. Getting there will take a miracle, the same sort of pie in the sky thinking that allowed our president to also present the daft notion of  giving 80 percent of Americans access to high speed rail …

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Amid Turbulence A Path For Climate Action

Maybe things aren’t as dismaying as we thought a week ago. Or just a little less in the dismay department. In the last few days, two of the prominent names in American politics and business appeared to reach consistent conclusions about governing, technology, and the warming climate. On Friday, Karl Rove told an audience of natural gas developers in Texas that “climate is gone” as a Congressional issue. And this week, in a Rolling Stone …

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Why Can’t U.S. and China Just Get Along in Tianjin? Answer Is They Are

TIANJIN, China — On Monday, two days after the UNFCCC climate conference ended after six days of grudging negotiation, the sky above this busy city turned blue, the sun appeared for the first time in a week, and Tianjin’s angled skyline, not visible previously in the thick smog, appeared like a gleaming glass and steel mountain range. The beautiful warm day not only brought a fresh focus to just how earnest China is in building …

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Talk of Tianjin Climate Conference: China and U.S. Are Electrifying The Car

TIANJIN, China – Whatever the differences that irked delegates from China and the United States during the six days of climate negotiations that ended here on Saturday, divisions principally defined by how each would control carbon emissions and measure progress, the unmistakable conclusion reached by most of the delegates and participants is how closely tied the two nations are to each the other. Lying quietly below the nuanced diplomatic language of frustration and distrust expressed …

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