Spruced Down: Going to the Mountaintop and Saving It

A 12-year battle with Big Coal over the future of one of the largest West Virginia mountaintop removal coal mines was resolved this week when the Environmental Protection Agency “vetoed” Spruce Mine No. 1. Since 1998, the Sierra Club along with Coal River Mountain Watch, WV Highlands Conservancy, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Public Justice … Continued

capitol

House Continues to Delay Clean Air Act Safeguards

By Dan Lashof, Director of NRDC’s climate center (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog. Since taking control of the House of Representatives last week, key Committee Chairmen have used heated rhetoric to justify their efforts to block EPA from updating Clean Air Act safeguards with new standards to reduce emissions of life-threatening pollution from power … Continued

downtown Seoul, Korea

Korean Investment in Clean Energy Nears US$1 Billion

While many clean energy advocates and investors around the world laud German innovation and watch China’s surge in the development of technologies such as solar and wind energy, Korea has continued its commitment to boosting its clean energy sector.

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EPA’s “Power Grab” More of a Tiptoe

Under the Bush Administration, greenhouse gases were not considered pollutants. The question was settled in a Supreme Court case in 2007, and whether you agree or not, it is settled law. Now the EPA is enforcing the law. And many denounce this move as a “power grab.”

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Australia’s Plan for a Zero-Carbon Economy by 2020

According to Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan, “a combination of energy efficiency, fuel switching from gas and oil to electrified energy services, then using a combination of commercially available off-the-shelf renewable energy technologies, Australia’s energy needs can be met with 100% renewables,” by 2020 in an economically feasible manner. The study estimates the incremental cost per household to be $8 per week.

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Guardian’s ‘Greenest-Government-Ever’ Meter Priorities

Damian Carrington at the Guardian has it right that the coalition government probably won’t do very well on the “greenest government ever-o-meter.” But probably more for the reasons suggested in the comments of the article than for the factors that Carrington outlines: national forests, flood defense, and high speed rail. While these are important they … Continued

CfA

Code for America: Hackers Helping Municipalities

Evidently corporate America needs to encourage a hacker culture to bounce back, and now local governments need hackers to help them solve their ever-increasing problems using their ever-decreasing budgets. Modeled after Teach for America, Doctors Without Borders and Architecture for Humanity, Code for America (CfA) officially launched on January 5, 2011. The brightest minds on the Internet … Continued

oil-rig

BOEMRE Issues A New Rule For Offshore Drilling

By David Pettit, NRDC (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog). On January 3, 2011, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (“BOEMRE”) issued a new rule affecting thirteen oil companies whose drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico were suspended by the federal moratorium following the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout.  … Continued

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EPA Regulations in GOP Crosshairs

Last year, after successfully being vilified as “Cap-and-Tax,” Cap-and-Trade was defeated. Not that I was particularly upset about it. . . After all, cap-and-trade was a very complex solution to an easily rectifiable problem. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have worked; a similar scheme to cap sulfur dioxide back in 1990 proved successful… Initiated by … Continued

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Is the End of Coal Already Here?

There’s been an implicit assumption that with Peak Oil either already here or arriving soon and our society’s gargantuan (and growing) appetite for energy, and with efficiency and renewables unable to keep pace, that we would be falling back on dirty old coal, sure as a greasy meatball would slip out of the frying pan and into the fire. The facts, however, do not seem to bear that out.

Texas Home Alone: Another Court Rejects Challenge to Coming Carbon Standards

By David Doniger, policy director in NRDC’s Climate Center (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog) Texas just lost another round in its bizarre and solitary quest to block the first carbon pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act, which take effect next week.   The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, rejected the … Continued

Wind Gets Knocked Out of the Pickens Plan

So much for the Pickens Plan. T. Boone Pickens claimes that with the low cost of natural gas in the United States, utilities just will not accept energy generated from wind because of the cost differential. To that end, he is now rallying his 1.7 million Pickens Plans supporters and Congress to pass a new energy plan–without wind a part of it.

EPA Issues Plan for GHG Regulation

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set forth plan to set standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the heaviest polluters. In a landmark announcement, in line with their relatively new jurisdiction over GHG regulations within the Clean Air Act, the EPA announced that they will issue more specific standards in the upcoming year. … Continued