State of the Union 2012

The Green Side of the State of the Union: Obama Wants to Have His Cake and Eat it Too

President Obama made his energy vision very clear, explaining that “this country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.“ Under the definition of American energy he included natural gas, offshore oil and clean energy sources like solar and wind, letting us to believe that for him these are all important parts of the energy future of the U.S. In a way, he wants to have the cake and eat it too. Is it possible? I doubt.


Opposition Grows as Citizens United Turns Two

This week marks the second anniversary of the landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee decision in which the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to fund political campaigns. Opposition to Citizens United has been building, but the anniversary is a pertinent one as the country is currently bearing witness to the impact of this decision on the outcome of the Republican presidential race.


Increasing Labor Productivity: A Mixed Blessing?

Increasing labor productivity is generally hailed as a positive outcome of technological innovation.  The production of more goods and services with fewer hours worked allows for both higher standards of living and decreased inflationary pressure, since wage increases can result from increased productivity and are not translated into higher costs for goods and services.


Reading the Tea Leaves on President Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

President Obama issued a solid “no” on the Keystone XL Pipeline application in a brief statement yesterday, an announcement that regular followers of TriplePundit probably anticipated. We’ve previously noted that the Keystone project is a textbook case of stakeholder fail, that alternative job-creating initiatives in the energy sector are already providing far more benefits to … Continued


Online Freedom Rings: SOPA Stopped

Those of us who were gearing up for all-out rants and protests against misguided and unworkable proposals to stifle online freedom can breathe easier now that Congress has backed off – at least for the moment. The two congressional bills — the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House’s even more offensive Stop Online … Continued


India Emerges as Solar Energy Hotspot

A growing host of India’s business conglomerates is leveraging the Indian government’s national solar energy program and investing in the sector, that latest being the Bhanshali group’s Talma Chemical Industries. Talma’s Visual Percept Solar Projects intends to invest in building 100-MW of solar energy generation capacity.


California Renewable Energy Off to a Good Start in 2012 with Five Big Projects

Renewable energy is getting off to a good 2012 start in California with the approval of 5 renewable energy projects that will bring more than 1-GW of clean electrical power and more than 2,900-GWh per year of clean energy on-line. California’s Public Utilities Commission approved investor-owned utility contracts for three SunPower solar, one NextEra Energy wind and one Pattern Energy wind energy project with Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric.

Ryanair Passes on Carbon Tax to Passengers

Beginning on January 17, Ryanair will charge a €0.25 fee on every seat to cover what the company says will be a €15 to 20 million bill. And the airline is complaining loud and clear.

EPA logo

No More Hiding: EPA’s Carbon Emissions Database Goes Live

As promised by the EPA, the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions are now mapped for all to see, and it’s not a pretty sight. The online emissions database displays 2010 GHG emissions data from more than 6,700 large facilities and suppliers. The data includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large … Continued


Scotland’s Ambitious 100% Clean Energy Target by 2020

One country that is really galvanizing wind energy to increase its renewable energy profile is Scotland. 2011 was an epic year for Scottish energy companies. The Department for Energy and Climate Change released figures recently demonstrating that the renewable energy sector saw more than £750 million of investment last year. Currently seven gigawatts (GW) of renewable … Continued


MIT’s New Perspectives on Energy Innovation

When MIT spends three years studying something, it’s probably worthwhile to pay close attention to the results. In this case the university is calling for a new framework for spurring innovation in how energy is produced, delivered and used. Basically put, think regionally for solutions because the federal government is “structurally unable” to be the … Continued