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What Doesn’t Kill You: Cap-and-Trade Endures

Like global warming, cap-and-trade isn’t going away. The trading system in place in Europe has managed to survive a series of scandals in the last year or so, and the price of a permit to emit one metric ton of carbon has been rising steadily for the last month — despite an oversupply due to … Continued

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US to World – Side With Us on Copenhagen or We’ll Cut You Off

After three days of quarreling, the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, have screeched to halt . . . with US negotiators screeching that any nation that opposes the Copenhagen Accord will not receive any climate mitigation and adaptation aid from the American government.  Finally:  strong words from the United States, backed up by the … Continued

Is Opposing Coal Plant in South Africa Pushing Green Too Far?

By David Abraham The World Bank voted on Thursday to extend a $3.75 billion loan to Eskom, the South African energy producer, to construct a new coal power plant.  But the decision was not an easy one.  A number of American and British politicians, as well as some environmental groups, objected to the deal, saying … Continued

Do Fossil Fuel Disasters Help Renewable Energy?

Twenty-five miners are dead and four more missing following Monday’s explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. Besides being the deadliest mining accident since at least 1984 (maybe earlier), the blast brings a new wave of bad PR to the mining industry, and the company that owns the mine, Massey Energy. The … Continued

Million Dollar Tortoises a Symbol of Environmental Schizophrenia

This may not be a very popular post with some readers, but I feel it is my duty to present the other side of an issue, and maybe help Greens understand why business people and even average Joes sometimes think they’re completely crazy. The Mojave Desert Tortoise is a threatened species that lives in the … Continued

Politics Puts LA Solar Feed-in Tariff in the Shade

The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) could not have chosen a worse time to introduce a feasibility study (PDF) of a solar feed-in tariff for Los Angeles. The study, a joint project with the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, shows how LA could add 500 megawatts of solar power over the next ten years by paying … Continued

Virginia AG to Challenge New Fuel Efficiency Standards in Court

Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli intends to challenge, in federal court, new vehicle fuel efficiency standards released this week by the Obama administration and the EPA. In February, Cuccinelli sued the EPA over its decision last year to regulate greenhouse gases in general, arguing it was based on climate data that was “unreliable, unverifiable and … Continued

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How Will New CAFE Standards Change the Cars We Drive?

How will new fuel efficiency requirements that went into effect last week change the look, feel — and price — of your next car? Experts say expect prices to rise, and smaller, lighter, technologically advanced vehicles to grow in number. First, an overview New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards published last week require most automakers … Continued

D.C.-Area Escorts Offer Free Services to Congress for Vote on Climate Bill

As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, Congress is heating up over debate around the proposed Kerry-Graham-Lieberman Bill, which would establish sweeping federal energy and climate legislation. As tensions rise, high-end escorts in the greater Capitol Beltway area have offered their services for free to any member of Congress who votes in favor of … Continued

Not-So-Cool-Cars: Calif. Board Drops Efficiency Requirement from AB32

After getting heat from police, public safety groups and transportation agencies, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) decided to drop an impending requirement for automakers to incorporate heat-blocking coatings on windows, which decreases the need for air conditioning and makes cars more fuel efficient.  This so-called Cool Cars initiative was to be implemented as part … Continued

Solar Firms Turn to Foreclosed Properties for Land

Finding the land to build a solar power plant can be a headache. Solar plants require a large footprint to soak up the maximum amount of sun’s energy — anywhere from 4 to 14 acres per megawatt of electricity generated. This need for land puts solar firms in direct conflict with a tangle of environmental … Continued

Report: Environmental Cost of Corporations in the Trillions

A recent UN study by the British consulting firm Trucost, as reported in the Guardian, assessed the environmental impact that the three thousand top global corporations inflict. The study clocked this impact at a cost of $2.2 trillion dollars–a sum greater than the national budgets of all but seven countries in the world and approximately … Continued

Geoengineering Conference Contemplates Worst Case Scenario

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. When it comes to global warming, some scientists are taking those words to heart. The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies held last week brought together some 175 scientists from around the world to discuss research into geoengineering, the deliberate manipulation of the environment to slow … Continued

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China Blistering Past US in Green Investment

The Pew Charitable Trusts released a study showing that for the first time, China is leading the United States in green technology investment.  Considering that China is four times the size of US, the study may not be surprising, but the pace at which Chinese investment has increased is certainly shocking.  Five years ago, the Chinese … Continued

Study Finds Transportation Costs Make Most of America “Unaffordable”

A few weeks ago I drove up into the mountains near Los Angeles to go skiing with a friend. We were luckily headed against traffic, but across the median, pointed towards Los Angeles, was one endless stream of cars. I expected it, but it was still astonishing to see: we had been driving away from … Continued