May 29, 2020

Ohio’s Fossil Fuel Boom Dims Wind and Solar Development

The story of American energy used to be we use too much. There’s not enough. And a technical breakthrough in clean alternatives will save us. How 20th century. The new narrative – really, it’s true — of American energy is this: We’re using less. A national boom in oil and gas production, engulfing 12 states from California to Pennsylvania and North Dakota to Texas, is showing we have much more than we thought. And the …

Read More

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 …

Read More

For Climate Activists, Nowhere To Go But Forward

There’s nothing like confronting the big fist of climate denial in Congress to decide new tactics are needed to cool the planet. In the past week, U.S. climate activists shook off the national election’s punch to the gut and began delivering a few jabs of their own. This week in California, outgoing Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the formation of a clean energy financing program to commercialize technologies, reduce carbon emissions, and generate renewable energy. …

Read More

U.S. Election Casts Long Shadow On Climate Action

Tuesday’s election wasn’t a complete rejection of climate action and the promise of the low-carbon economy. Indeed, in the decisive defeat of California’s Proposition 23 and the re-election of Senator Barbara Boxer, both ideas have salience in the nation’s largest state. Nevada Senator Harry Reid was re-elected and his party retained control of the Senate with several races still undecided. In deciding to outspend the oil industry by a three-to-one margin, investors and executives in …

Read More

Michigan’s Unsung Clean Energy Success

Given the dearth of new economic strategies that make sense and actually work, it’s appropriate to again take note of what’s happening here in my home state of Michigan around clean energy development. The more you think about it, the clearer the significance of what Governor Jennifer Granholm (with the president in pix above at July 15 groundbreaking of a new lithium-ion battery plant in West Michigan) has accomplished becomes clearer and clearer. In short, …

Read More

Michigan’s Building Boom in Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing

HOLLAND, Mich. — In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which among other things provided $2.4 billion to encourage development of a domestic industry to make lighter, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles. Two weeks ago, on July 15, the president flew to this small city on the shore of Lake Michigan to attend the groundbreaking for a $303 million, 650,000 square-foot battery plant operated by Compact Power, …

Read More

Oiled Dogs of May: Obama’s Gulf Crisis

Day 40. Great gouts of oil still rush from the ruptured BP well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. A frustrated president visits the scene of the disaster to literally dab his finger at a tar ball washed up on the Louisiana beach. Television news, enlivened by easy-to-get pictures, sets its stand-ups in strategic positions, broadcasting the drama of competition between spreading pollution and technological limits to a nation that clucks about the …

Read More

Michigan: Where New U.S. Efficiency and Emissions Rules Really Count

On Friday, May 21, President Obama gathered in the Rose Garden the chiefs of his transportation and environmental departments to take the next big step to leverage federal climate policy and clean energy investment to spur new job growth. The president directed Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to draw up new rules that make heavy trucks much more fuel-efficient and produce less global warming gases. “This standard will …

Read More

Obama Makes Progress on Climate But Environmental Community Divided

President Obama on Friday directed the EPA and the Transportation Department to develop a national policy to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks in time for the 2014 model year. The action comes almost exactly one year (May 19, 2009) after President Obama set new fuel and emissions standards for new cars and light trucks sold in the United States beginning with the 2012 model year. The 2009 …

Read More

All Eyes To The Future: The American Power Act’s Imperiled Pragmatism

Over 70 years ago, in the General Motors-sponsored Futurama exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, an estimated 10 percent of all Americans were transported across a landscape of innovation, creativity, and optimism that became the economic and cultural foundation of the great American century. The Futurama exhibit was a huge diorama of a highway-heavy, congestion-free, car-dependent, time-efficient, leafy green urban and suburban all American pattern of civilization that no one had ever seen …

Read More