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


San Francisco Extends Producer Responsibility to Pharmaceuticals

By Susan Hopp There is a saying among keen, long-time observers of social and cultural change, “Everything starts in San Francisco!” In keeping with this sentiment, SF’s Board of Supervisors last week (12/14) set in motion a truly groundbreaking movement. The “Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance” passed the Board with a vote of 7 to 4. … Continued

photo copyright DECC, Crown Copyright; reproduced w permission

UK Energy Market Reform Too Good To Be True? Probably.

The UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne announced the biggest energy reform “in decades” on Friday. The reform package includes: a carbon price floor “increasing the cost of fossil fuel based generation, and strengthening the carbon price for UK electricity generators.” two Feed in Tarrifs: standard and premium contracts under which … Continued

renewables system

Wave Energy Technology Signals New Approach to Renewable Sector: Systems Thinking

The governments’ signals to markets and businesses is clear from Cancun, ‘don’t wait for us, get greening on your own.’ In a market that’s still ‘risky’ and under-capitalized and receiving conflicting signals from the government, it’s important to look at the market with respect to systems thinking. This is the position of Aquamarine, a wave … Continued


California to Create the Nation’s First-of-its-Kind Carbon Market

“The King is dead! Long live the King!” I never really understood what that phrase meant – until now. Supporters of carbon markets witnessed the death of any potential for a climate bill in the US, at least until after the 2012 election. The Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary emissions exchange platform built as the … Continued

San Jose Bans Single Use Plastic Shopping Bags

The San Jose City Council banned single use plastic shopping bags and prohibited retailers from giving away paper bags this week in a 10 to one vote. The ban will take effect on January 1, 2012. In 2012, retailers will have to charge 10 cents for a paper bag, and 25 cents in 2013. San … Continued

A Bad Year in UK Clean Tech

This time last year Britain’s commitment to cleantech was inspired, the outlook optimistic. It didn’t matter that there wasn’t an effective agreement on climate change as government plans looked to be more than sufficient to provide for a low-carbon future Britain. But it’s not been a good year for cleantech in Britain, from the financial … Continued


Bolivian President Morales’ Stance on Capitalism too Simplistic

Boyd Cohen, Ph.D., CEO CO2 IMPACT “O muere el capitalismo, o muere la Madre Tierra,” Evo Morales proclaimed at the recent UN COP16 in Cancun, Mexico.  The position that either “capitalism dies, or mother earth dies,” is certainly shared by many around the globe. And with good reason.  It is hard to argue that capitalism … Continued

No Fracking Way part 2: New York Moratorium Signed

As reported last week, the state of New York was considering a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for natural gas exploration. Over the weekend Governor David Patterson signed a seven month moratorium on the most potentially destructive methods of horizontal fracturing, although many climate hawks would have preferred a more … Continued

CanCun COP16 Dispatch #2

The following is our second dispatch from COP16 in Cancun by Sean Kidney. Kidney works for the Climate Bonds Initiative, a group seeking to finance major climate projects thorough bonds. Kidney has been kind enough to share his notes with us. He offers the following from the last few days of activity…. As the Cancun … Continued

GDP GWG fig1

Why California Should Adopt a Global Warming Gas Emission Fee

By: David A. Bainbridge Failed states are growing in number–Somalia, the Congo, Afghanistan, Iceland, Greece, Ireland, and California? If California can’t eliminate its structural deficit and get expenditures and revenues to match, the future is likely to be very grim. Governor-elect Brown faces an enormous challenge – but brings a breadth of experience and wisdom … Continued