Archives for February, 2012

Comments Off on First Nuclear License in 40 Years: A Step Forward, Backward or Running in Place?

Sometimes the decisions we make are less decisive than they seem. Last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued its first license for a new plant in forty years. But that decision, significant though it is, doesn’t do anything to settle the major questions we face on energy. Here’s three points to consider when you think…

For the first time in 34 years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission cleared the way for licensing of new nuclear reactors in the United States. It’s not the first step for the addition to the Vogtle site outside of Augusta, Georgia, which four years ago began what was supposed to be a streamlined approval process.…

For almost six years, a dam project in the Aysén region of Chile (map) has provoked a battle over whether it is the best way to help meet the country’s growing energy demand. The HidroAysén would construct five hydroelectric dams in the Baker and Pascua rivers, delivering an estimated 2,750 megawatts of power to a…

Comments Off on Maldives President and Climate Advocate Forced at Gunpoint to Step Down

Maldives leader Mohamed Nasheed, called the “world’s most environmentally outspoken president” because of his calls for drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, was forced to resign—at gunpoint, he claimed. He had used stunts such as an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight his island nation’s vulnerability to sea-level rise. His resignation followed weeks of protests and was apparently motivated by internal politics unrelated to…

Steady as we go with energy but definitely not on our climate target. Presidential Disconnect? A little more than two years ago in Copenhagen President Obama committed the United States (in a non-binding pledge) to work with the international community to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above…

Comments Off on Super Bowl Evades Indiana’s Coal Power Blitz

It could easily have been one of the most fossil fuel-intensive Super Bowls ever. Not only did the New York Giants and the New England Patriots face off in Lucas Oil Stadium, named for a petroleum motor lubricant company, but the facility’s bright stadium lights, signature retractable roof and giant screens all draw energy from…

Following on last week’s State of the Union address that supported hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in shale gas deposits, President Obama called the U.S. “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” and unveiled a new proposal to provide tax breaks to boost the use of natural gas as a fuel for trucks. But the market has…

On March 31 last year, a region in northern Spain quietly granted a concession of land, dubbed Arquetu, for natural gas exploration. In Cantabria, the Arquetu traditionally was known as a mythological traveler who carries a coffer full of gold coins and lives an extremely simple lifestyle. Having disappeared from Cantabria’s folklore, now the Arquetu…

Comments Off on Solar Energy Trade Battle Heats Up Again

The group fighting SolarWorld’s bid for duties on Chinese-manufactured crystalline photovoltaic cells and modules on Monday released a report that claims protectionist measures would result in between 14,000 and 60,000 fewer American jobs than would otherwise exist by the end of 2014—but that wasn’t the only news in the solar trade battle. SolarWorld claimed a…