May 29, 2020

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

Memo to Hu and Obama: Water and Energy Choke Points Merit Time at the China-U.S. Summit

Washington’s foreign policy community is all aflutter anticipating the meaning and outcome of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s three-day summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, which starts today. But while the two heads of state focus on resolving what pries them apart, both nations share a dangerous confrontation within their borders over energy demand and water supply—offering a matchless opportunity for new kinds of cooperation on policy, technology, business, and trade. The collision between rising energy …

Read More

In Tianjin, China and the U.S. Look A Lot Alike

On opposite sides of the Pacific, leaders of the world’s two biggest economies and carbon polluters are plainly thinking about clean energy to power up their economies and cool the climate. In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced their intention to extend vehicle efficiency standards that went into effect in April in order meet a national goal of 60 miles per gallon average fuel economy by 2025. President …

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

Copenhagen’s Fallout: Senate Drops Climate Action From Energy Bill

Until December 2009, the idea of acting to cool the Earth was on a roll. High points included 2007 Nobel Prizes for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s breakthrough science and for Al Gore’s astonishing work to elevate global warming to an international priority, They also included Barack Obama’s winning 2008 presidential election, and the formation of global online grassroots activism led by  350.org and TckTckTck, a project of the Global Campaign For Climate …

Read More

Obama To Visit Holland, Michigan For Battery Plant Groundbreaking

President Obama will be in Michigan on Thursday for the groundbreaking ceremony of a new LG Chem-Compact battery plant, which will make the power sources for the Chevy Volt, expected to be introduced later this year. The plant is one of 17 new manufacturing facilities in Michigan connected to battery production for electric vehicles. On May 26 ModeShift published a full account of the federal and state-financing that leveraged the more than $6 billion total …

Read More

Climategate Is Over, The Moment to Act on Warming and Energy is Here

As cities on the East Coast sweltered in the sort of dispiriting record-breaking heat that climate scientists accurately predicted, the Obama administration’s lawyers were in a federal appellate court in New Orleans today to reinstate the moratorium on deep sea oil and gas exploration the Interior Department issued in May. Last month a federal district judge with investment interests in the energy industry struck down the temporary ban on new drilling. It’s been that kind …

Read More

On Climate and Energy, Pressing For Inevitability

Following a 90-minute White House meeting Tuesday on climate and energy legislation with a bipartisan group of senators and President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid emerged to issue this assessment: “The President led a spirited, productive discussion this morning about how to move forward on clean energy legislation. Our caucus is energized on this issue and our resolve to act on energy legislation this summer remains strong.” In holding the meeting, the president and …

Read More

Obama Vows To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Passing and Signing Climate and Energy Legislation

Given the emotional reserve of a man whose aides once referred to as “no drama Obama,” the president is getting pretty fired up about energy.  On Wednesday President Obama concluded an all hands cabinet meeting at the White House by publicly declaring again his resolve to develop a “new energy strategy that the American people desperately want.” “It is time for us to move to a clean energy future,” the president said, adding that “the …

Read More

Energy Independence Is America’s Most Elusive Technological Pursuit

In calling for a new “national mission” to achieve energy independence during his Oval Office address earlier this week, President Obama was clearly seeking inspiration from his predecessors, a number of whom actually achieved the big technological goals they’d pursued. At various inflection points in the nation’s history, presidents managed to cross the country with a unified rail line, developed the powerful bombs in the Manhattan Project that ended World War Two, and sent men …

Read More