Archives for November, 2012

For many cities, car sharing has presented a compelling solution to public transit crowding and traffic snarls (see related story: “Car Sharing Widens the Lanes of Access for City Drivers“). Services such as Zipcar and Car2go offer the opportunity to cut the number of cars on city streets, but a price for hosting those services’…

With two of its cars among the five finalists, Ford took the Green Car of the Year Award for its 2013 Fusion on Thursday at the LA Auto Show. The newly redesigned, midsize sedan is offered with three different engines: gas-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and gasoline. The base model starts at $21,700, while the gas-electric…

What should have been a landmark natural gas deal for Ukraine has devolved into a bizarre and embarrassing debacle, as it became apparent this week that the $1.1 billion agreement the government signed Monday was not legitimate. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yurly Boyko presided over a live televised signing ceremony for…

Clean Coal Turnabout?

A clean-coal lobbying group talks of a “shared … commitment” with the Obama administration on the environment. Hmm.

Just hours before bidding opened on leases for new oil and gas development on 20 million acres of the western Gulf of Mexico this morning, U.S. environmental officials announced that BP would be temporarily suspended from contracts with the government, effectively barring BP from being awarded any leases in the sale. But by the time…

After decades of getting electricity from faraway pollution-and-greenhouse-gas-spewing coal-fired power plants, Los Angeles is looking out of state for less toxic forms of energy. An example: The city council this week approved [PDF] a 25-year power purchase agreement with K Road Moapa Solar for up to 250 megawatts of power from a solar power plant on tribal land of…

Whether you view the six-week stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day as a license for gluttony or as a treacherous onslaught of health-jeopardizing temptations, you’ll find no shortage of media advice on how to make the most (or the least) of the season. That advice, particularly in America, typically revolves around food. But as…

One of the great frustrations to the climate science and environmental stewardship research community is that the steady advance of solid scientific consensus about the risks of climate change warrants very little coverage.  On the other hand, disasters— mega-story Sandy, heat waves, fires, and drought— get a lot of attention, even if the risk assessment…

Energy independence is a lot like the extravagant Christmas present you wished for all year as a child. For Americans, it’s been the equivalent of a pony, or a Red Ryder BB gun  – we hoped for it, we yearned for it, but we never completely believed we’d get it. Now that it’s potentially within…

United States predicted to be world’s leading oil producer. Warning: Claiming lower carbon emissions while exporting fossil fuels can lead to cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance, according to Merriam-Webster, is “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” Dustin Lynn, an admissions counselor at Vanderbilt University, writes that it is “the tension or even…

Advocates scrambling to extend subsidies for renewable energy have wind back in their sails after the re-election of President Barack Obama and Congress’ return to Washington. The renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) gives wind power producers an income tax credit of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour. Without it, wind energy can be too expensive…

As China selects its new leadership this week, jobs, energy, and international relations will be very much on the minds of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.  Over the past decade China has transformed its economy into the leading manufacturing power in the clean energy sector.  This is a tremendous achievement, and one that…

Iraq vaulted to second place this year among the largest oil producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and is poised to ramp up its already robust output even further. But the country’s severe water scarcity could be the Achilles’ heel of its oil production. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new…

Iceland is famous for its breathtaking scenery, its geysers, its Blue Lagoon—and for using its abundant renewable energy, and especially for tapping the volcanic roots of the island in developing its geothermal resources. Iceland today generates 100 percent of its electricity with renewables: 75 percent of that from large hydro, and 25 percent from geothermal.…

As Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. Northeast, refineries and harbors were shut down, effectively disrupting nearly all fuel deliveries to the area. As a result gasoline stations have run out of petroleum and shut down, and those that remain open see customers lining up for hours to get to the pump. According to the AAA…

Solar is getting its due from the Energy Information Administration, which is now reporting customer-sited photovoltaic capacity, in addition to the utility-scale PV total. Earlier this year we reported on research by Michael Mendelsohn, a market and policy impact analyst at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, that revealed that EIA reports on the state of U.S.…

For residents of the states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, there’s a new headache in the storm’s aftermath: miles-long lines for gasoline. The problem has been worst so far in New Jersey, but some residents of New York and Connecticut have had to wait in lines for hours, too. Analysts stress that there’s not a…