Archives for September, 2011

Former U. S. President Dwight Eisenhower was particularly fond of the saying, “plans are nothing; planning is everything” to describe his desire for teams in his administration to carefully describe what they hoped to achieve, and how far and fast they were moving to actually achieve those goals. The analytic tools were useful, but what…

Comments Off on Ending Oil Tax Breaks Could Pay For New Jobs—and Some May Be Green

President Obama unveiled a new job creation plan in a major speech to Congress last week and follow-up speeches this week, in which he called for an end to tax breaks for oil and gas companies to bring in an additional $32 billion over 10 years to pay for increased government spending. Earlier this year,…

Comments Off on Mojave Solar $1.2 Billion Loan Guarantee Done

The Obama administration has given another boost to big solar in California, finalizing the $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for Abengoa Solar’s 250-megawatt (MW) Mojave Solar project. The financing, which had been conditionally set in June, joins a host of loan guarantees closing before the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Section 1705 program for renewable…

Comments Off on Terps Charged Up for the Solar Decathlon

As others have noted, Obama said very little about green jobs in his jobs speech last Thursday.  But when he proposed to pay for his new plan, he targeted the subsidies we give to the oil and gas industry and allocated $40 billion in cuts from these very, very profitable companies to partially pay for…

The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to bring Canadian tar sands to U.S. refineries, is being billed as a make-or-break moment for energy: Will America place its bets on fossil fuels, or we will turn instead to more reliance on renewable energy? It’s an important debate, but one crucial point that’s often missed…

Comments Off on Can the United States Meet Its Emissions Reduction Target?

It is not widely discussed, but the United States does, in fact, have a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. In the heady days of January 2010 after the Copenhagen Climate Conference, many nations put pen to paper and wrote to the UNFCCC pledging to reduce emissions by 2020 relative to some baseline. This was a…

Today, America relies on oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear to power our country. But our aging infrastructure demands refurbishment to meet 21st century needs. As Amory Lovins explains in his upcoming book, Reinventing Fire, efficiency and renewables can end our addiction to fossil fuels, create the core industries of the new energy era, generate…

Solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which recently filed for bankruptcy, got special treatment from the Obama administration, some have alleged, since the company’s $535 million in federally guaranteed loans had much lower interest rates than those of other green energy companies, according to an investigative report. The FBI raided Solyndra’s Fremont, Calif., offices Thursday, although it…

Comments Off on Backing Down on Smog Standards Is Bad for America

What’s the moment at which sick children and premature deaths from asthma become the priority? Earlier this summer, the EPA presented the president with a proposal to reduce the amount of ozone–a key contributor to smog–that’s allowed in our air. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had referred to the existing smog standard as “legally indefensible.” Last…

Obama: A No-Go on Ozone

A tactical retreat or an abdication? It’s a scant 14 months to the 2012 elections. The economy’s in the tank, as are the president’s poll numbers. (See here, here, here and here.) The pundits tell us (for instance here and here) that Obama will pivot to jobs, jobs, jobs in an effort to rehabilitate his…