American Clean Energy & Security Act: Sending the Wrong Signals

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 shaping up in the US Congress does indeed address the latter. Unfortunately the effectiveness of King Coal and Big Oil massive lobbying and public PR campaigns has turned the bill into a “Subsidize Oil and Coal” as opposed to “Clean Energy and Climate Change” legislation.

Richmond, CA, Living a Green Economic Revolution

California has had 4 “rushes”. First was the Pioneer land grab, followed by the gold rush, then the information rush of the dot-com era, and now, finally, the green rush. I’m thrilled to say it’s not confined to Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and Silicon Valley. Last week, I wrote about the city of Richmond, California, … Continued

Climate Change: Developed and Developing Nations Share the Burden of Change

On Wednesday, The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released a first draft of a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol (1997) which is set to expire in 2012. This new 53 page document is considered to be the basis for the agreements to be made in the international climate talks scheduled for December … Continued

Pedestrian Plaza Reclaims Pavement for People

It’s been popular in New York and other places where open space is at a premium, so San Francisco figured, “eh, why not?” The first reclamation of street space to create a pedestrian plaza opened last week on San Francisco’s famous Castro Street at the intersection with 17th St. It’s a small space, maybe 1000 … Continued

Cruising’s Dark and Dirty Not-So-Secret

All those brilliant white cruise ships steaming on the world’s oceans carry a lot more than vacationing passengers. They also carry loads of pollution. The international ocean environmental group, Oceana, reports that pollution from cruise ships is a growing problem. That’s an understatement. One example: Except for California and Alaska, “lax state and federal anti-pollution … Continued

A Head Start on Climate and Energy – On the Ground in Germany

Part one in a series of reports looking at Germany’s energy and climate policies, and how they might serve as a model for the U.S. and internationally I spent last week in Germany as a guest of the German Foreign Ministry. Part of an international group of 12 other writers, television broadcasters, journalists, and bloggers, … Continued

PR Battle Over Cap-and-Trade Reaches a Fevered Pitch

Oil and coal companies — the most vocal opponents of US cap-and-trade climate legislation — have spent more than $76 million over the last four months on public relations and mass advertising trying to to defeat the climate bill now before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. When you combine that incredible sum with money … Continued

What Is the Best Way to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

When President Obama released his budget, he included a “cap-and-refund” proposal that strictly limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and would auction emissions permits to large companies. The price of fossil-fuel based energy will increase. However, Obama’s plan also includes giving refunds to taxpayers which will come from the auctions. Seventy percent of state regulators surveyed … Continued

Will China Initiate a Carbon Tax?

China’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environmental Protection have requested research from a regional think-tank to develop preliminary proposals for a national carbon tax. The proposals, which are due for publication within the month, may one day become a part of the Chinese government’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. International governments have pressed … Continued

Governor Sarah Palin Rejects Federal Funding for Renewable Energy

Alaska governor Sarah Palin has rejected $28.6 million dollars in federal stimulus money for Alaska’s State Energy Program. However, Gov. Palin did accept all other federal stimulus money that her state is eligible for ($930 million). Palin’s rejection of the funds is founded in her opposition to strengthening state building codes and making energy efficiency … Continued

REEM ’09: The Convergence of Technology, Policy and Markets

California Businesses Seek to Form Renewable Energy Partnerships in Emerging Markets Emerging market countries offer fertile ground for the growth of renewable energy projects. They have ample supplies of renewable energy resources (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc) matched by a rapidly growing demand for energy. But what they often lack are the government policies, technology … Continued

The City of Brotherly Love Goes Green

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced today their comprehensive Greenworks Philadelphia plan – which highlights their environmental efforts and strategy towards sustainability – with the goal to make Philadelphia “The Greenest City in America” by 2015. Greenworks Philadelphia is the culmination of 10 months of work with contributions from city employees, nonprofit organizations, civic and business … Continued

Another Earth Day Rant

Watching all the Earth Day coverage yesterday was pretty exhausting. Let’s face it: Most of those talking heads on television are only repeating what one of their researchers likely found on the internet. They are not the experts, and they don’t often seek out the real experts when it comes to reporting on the environment … Continued

CA to Secretary Salazar: No Offshore Drilling, More Renewable Energy

Last week, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, hosted the last of 4 public forums around the country to gather input on offshore drilling and offshore renewable energy development. Choosing to end in San Francisco means he is going back to Washington with a resounding “No” in his ears. “No” to offshore drilling and “Yes” … Continued