Archives for July, 2011

Clean energy could be among the hardest-hit sectors if the U.S. government does not raise the debt ceiling and then defaults on the national debt. If there is a default, it could hurt in direct ways, by stopping payments for cash grants and loan guarantees that support many renewables projects. It could also hit innovation,…

Comments Off on A Move to Capture “Fugitive” Natural Gas Emissions

Natural gas drillers in the United States would have to take steps to rein in “fugitive” greenhouse gas emissions under proposal unveiled today by the Obama administration. The emissions that escape during drilling, transporting or storing of natural gas have stirred widespread controversy, forcing a rethinking of whether natural gas is as environmentally friendly as…

Cleanup and assessment efforts continue in Montana after a July 1 pipeline rupture that sent crude oil gushing into the Yellowstone River. On Tuesday, Montana’s environmental agency said that oil was found on 60 percent of the inspected shoreline. The state also said that the spill released 1,200 barrels into the river, up from Silvertip…

Hillary Clinton is in the tar sands hot seat. Is she asking the right questions? The U.S. State Department is in the rare position of having to decide on an environmental issue. TransCanada wants to expand an existing pipeline to bring tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. Because it’s an international project, the…

Comments Off on Who Will Win the 2011 Solar Decathlon?

Can a liberal education prepare you to compete in the Solar Decathlon? In the spirit of Emerson, “Self Reliance,” from Middlebury, will be the only submission from a liberal arts school to the Department of Energy’s architectural competition on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23-Oct. 2, 2011 (Follow on Twitter…

Comments Off on Japan, Germany Struggle With Nuclear Power Slowdown

With a large share of their nuclear power plants down at the moment, both Japan and Germany are scrambling to meet energy demand and figure out how to get by without nuclear in the future. Two-thirds of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors are currently down, most of them for maintenance and testing. To cope with the…

Comments Off on Heat Wave Drives Up Energy Demand in U.S.

More than 30 states are under heat advisories and warnings this week as triple-digit temperatures stretch across the Midwest, East Coast and parts of the South. Some states reported deaths potentially linked to the heat, while others reported widespread power outages. Parts of Detroit lost electricity, leaving thousands of residents with no air conditioning in…

Energy poverty cripples development prospects. Where people don’t have access to modern energy services, like reliable electricity, their ability to earn a livelihood is sabotaged. That’s why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called — admirably — for “a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all” in 2012, designated the International Year of Sustainable…

Across America, people are standing up for clean water. On Saturday, thousands gathered in nearly 60 cities as part of the Green The Block “National Day of Action,” which focused on the nation’s water crisis. From California to New York, people came together to demand clean water for their children and communities. Right now, Americans…

Comments Off on Good News from the Gulf Coast

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with dozens of leaders from all over the Gulf Coast who are working on some really innovative clean economy projects. I’m not one to get overly sentimental, but the commitment of these local leaders to rebuilding sustainable and economically diverse communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and…