There’s Money and Enthusiasm Aplenty for the Smart Grid, But No Standards Framework

The much ballyhooed smart grid might be buoyed by the stimulus bill, which appropriates $4.5 billion in direct spending to modernize the electricity grid with smart-grid technologies (part of the $11 overall for spending related to the smart grid), but that doesn’t mean there’s a clear, easy path to smartening up the grid. That was … Continued

Will Decoupling Derail Efforts to Push Climate Change Legislation?

Most utility companies are encouraging their customers to conserve energy. But from a business point of view, there’s a down side to energy efficiency: selling less power also means less revenue for the utility companies that provide the power. And the less a utility earns, the less it is likely to invest in new, cleaner … Continued

Who Is Responsible for a Better World? Government, Corporations or Us?

Here is a continuation of a conversation I am having with a friend, Melissa, in the CSR department of a major US consumer product good company. The question that we have been grappling is one of responsibility. While the finger can be pointed at everyone, who really is in charge? Government, Corporations or us? Please … Continued

Global Warming Solutions Act Part II: Better Business Practices & Tools

In Part I of this two-part series, we considered California’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, which calls for a statewide greenhouse gas emissions cap for 2020, based on 1990 emissions. Its implementation is afoot. However, regulators are getting resistance from some industry groups who claim it will be too costly. But many … Continued

CICERO: Battles Against Air Pollution and Climate Change Should Merge

Whenever I visit Los Angeles, I consider the sprawl and congestion, but also the amazing vistas and architecture, and think it must have been amazing back in the 1950s. But the book “Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles,” stands as a reminder that well before the famously smoggy 70s, the air there … Continued

Global Warming Solutions Act Part I: Bad for Business or a Pathway to Better Business?

When Governor Schwarzenegger signed California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, in 2006, the move was applauded as a bipartisan victory and as bold, visionary, forward-thinking legislation. But some industry groups are complaining that the implementation of the legislation, which calls for a statewide greenhouse gas emissions cap for 2020, based on 1990 … Continued

Studying The Stimulus: What’s Another Trillion At This Point?

I never really expected to see this latest stimulus plan fly through Congress without some serious debate. After all, this is a lot of money we’re talking about here. And this is on top of what’s already been shelled out to failing banks run by CEOs who still don’t seem to understand why it’s not … Continued

Cap and Trade Legislation: Will California’s AB32 Go National?

Flash back to late September, 2006. In California, the Governator has just signed Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), a Kyoto-style policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, followed by an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. The bill is met with little national fanfare and its implications, if they’re … Continued

Stimulus Plan: Senate Version Adds Funding for Clean Coal

Now that the President’s stimulus bill has moved to the Senate, the clean energy debate is likely to take a different tack, raising the more fundamental issue of what constitutes “clean energy” and who gets to define it. The Senators from West Virginia, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both Democrats, have been pushing to get … Continued

Carbon Tax Versus Cap-and-Trade

On a practical level the advanges of a Carbon Tax appear way more attractive than a cap-and-trade model.

The Obama-Biden ‘New Energy for America’ Plan

The Obama-Biden ‚ÄòNew Energy for America’ plan is heavily slanted towards diversifying the US energy resource base, enhancing efficiency and conservation, and mitigating climate change. It doesn’t rule out making better use of our domestic fossil fuel resources, however.

News Break: Obama Clears Path to Allow California Emissions Waiver and Set Standards for Improved Fuel Efficiency

President Barack Obama today signed a presidential memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency, now under the direction of Lisa Jackson, to reconsider the Bush-era refusal to grant a waiver to California and at least seventeen other states allowing them to set their own standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. Despite former EPA … Continued