Measuring More than GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) has been the singular measure of a country’s economic health for what seems like forever. But that approach is under pressure, according to a recent New York Times magazine article. The lengthy piece by Jon Gertner, “The Rise and Fall of the G.D.P.,” notes that while “academics and gadflies” for some … Continued


AB32 Goes Beyond American Power Act: A Correction

Last week I reported that a battle over whether to suspend AB32, California’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction legislation, would be rendered “moot” by the passage of the climate bill now being weighed by the Senate, known as the American Power Act. As it turns out, that was an exaggeration, a fact pointed out by both commenters … Continued


Texas Meets Renewable Energy Goals 15 Years Early

Texas has reached its goal of having 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity this year, 15 years earlier than scheduled, thanks to an ample supply of West Texas wind. According to a report (.doc) filed with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Friday, the Lonestar State has 10,367 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, and generated … Continued

Hay: A Common-Sense Solution to BP Oil Clean-Up?

Two men from Florida, with a strong desire to protect the coastline they love, have come up with a common-sense solution to clean-up the Gulf oil spill. Their idea is all natural, puts displaced shrimp boats back to work, adds revenue to farmers, and the waste can be used to create energy. It’s an all around win-win solution that BP and the U.S. Coast Guard have yet to adopt.

Help Send a 3p Blogger to Cover the Amsterdam GRI Conference!

Earlier this week we announced that our friends at JustMeans will give two bloggers an opportunity to cover the Amsterdam Global Reporting Initiative Conference.  The way the competition works is fairly simple:  authors first submit any topic related to CSR or sustainability.  JustMeans looks at the total amount of votes, quality and relevance of the … Continued

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Climate Bill Would Make AB32 Battle Moot

The prospects of the Senate climate bill introduced Wednesday are not great. A plethora of politicians and pundits — in fact, seemingly everyone but co-sponsors John Kerry and Joe Lieberman — have expressed deep reservations that the bill has a shot in the current political climate. But if the American Power Act should pass, it would … Continued


How BP Money Spent on Lobbying and Campaign Contributions Pays Off

The company that markets itself as Beyond Petroleum (BP) spent $16 million in 2009 lobbying Congress and the federal government, and spent $3.5 million on lobbying during the first three months of this year. BP employees have so far donated at least $160,000 to congressional candidates and their political parties. Add campaign donations to political … Continued


What Will the Economic Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Spill Be?

By Ali Chase for the NRDC As the country watches the oil slick licking the Gulf’s shores in horror, residents are looking at something else – their shrinking budgets. The economic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill are beginning to emerge, and the worst may be on the way. Fishermen cut off from their fishing … Continued

Salazar Separates Church and State in Interior Dept.

Amidst Senate hearing and other investigations into the causes and guilty parties linked to last month’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill, the US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Tuesday that he is making some important changes to the Minerals Management Service.  This bureau within the Department of the Interior … Continued

‘American Power Act’ Defangs EPA, Gives States Offshore Drilling Veto

A draft of the American Power Act, the aggressive, official name for what had been called variously “the climate bill,” “the energy bill,” or “KGL” was leaked online Tuesday night, the day before its official unveiling by Senate co-sponsors John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. The draft, which was first available on Joe Romm’s Climate Progress … Continued


Why Using Dispersants In Gulf Oil Spill Is a Tradeoff

“This is the largest, most comprehensive spill response mounted in the history of the United States and the oil and gas industry,” BP chief executive Tony Hayward said. Is it the correct response? BP is using chemicals, known as dispersants, to thin out the oil. These agents break up and “disperse” the oil. Sounds like … Continued


Besieged Climate Bill Due Out Tomorrow

Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman plan to introduce their climate bill tomorrow, three weeks later than first planned and in a political landscape thrown into chaos by the Gulf oil spill, leading many to conclude the bill’s prospects are about as dim as a bad air day in Beijing. The bill suffered its first … Continued

Poll Shows Gulf Spill Bolsters Support for Climate Legislation

The Gulf oil spill has had a profound impact on public support for climate legislation, with 61 percent of Americans now in favor of a bill that would limit pollution “in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like oil.” The Washington Post first reported on the poll (PDF), which … Continued

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Electric Vehicles Could Get a Break at the Port of Los Angeles

Electric vehicles can use all the help they can get to compete with their gasoline-powered brethren, and the Port of Los Angeles is eager to help. Under its newly proposed “ZERO Emission Vehicle Tariff Measure,” the Port would lower tariffs on EVs and other zero-emissions vehicles by 15 percent. The reduction would help the Port … Continued

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US Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy Down Record 7 Percent in 2009

The Energy Information Administration reported this week that US carbon dioxide emissions from energy use were down 7 percent in 2009. The reduction, the largest since the EIA began record-keeping in 1949, was due to both the effects of the Great Recession and longer-term trends in the economy. The EIA figure includes emissions from power … Continued