Wednesday, January 28, 2009

coal in the Senate stimulus bill, where is renewable energy?

According to the The Charleston Gazette the Senate version of the economic stimulus bill has $4.6 billion for coal. The point I would make with this was made best by Oppenheimer when he's said this bill is cementing into place the wrong infrastructure in the NYTimes today.

Where is the renewable energy in this bill? There are some nice tax incentives in there, but its not even clear if the very meager and modest National Clean Energy Lending Authority called for by several will be included.

I hope this coal money does not count against the ledger of the $150 billion in green jobs promised by Obama.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cape Wind moves to next step?

More in NYT.

Green New Deal?

'Green' energy plan in Obama stimulus may be losing steam - Los Angeles Times

This is a troubling commentary. The only moment in some time that we've seen public support and a open-wallet government, and its losing steam for no good visible reason. No Windfall Profits Tax, No Green new Deal, whats next.

Bush plan for California oil: a parting gift to big oil and gas

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chu warmly received at Senate confirmation hearing

(AP) --

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu promised Tuesday that if
confirmed as energy secretary he will aggressively pursue policies
aimed at addressing climate change and achieving greater energy
independence by developing clean energy sources.

But he also told lawmakers that he views nuclear power and coal as critical
parts of the nation's energy mix and said he was optimistic that ways
can be found to make coal a cleaner energy source by capturing its
carbon dioxide emissions.

Chu, nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to head the Energy
Department, appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee where he received immediate support from both Democrats and


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation

The coal ash pond that ruptured and sent a billion gallons of toxic sludge across 300 acres of East Tennessee last month was only one of more than 1,300 similar dumps across the United States — most of them unregulated and unmonitored — that contain billions more gallons of fly ash and other byproducts of burning coal.

Like the one in Tennessee, most of these dumps, which reach up to 1,500 acres, contain heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury and selenium, which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to be a threat to water supplies and human health. Yet they are not subject to any federal regulation, which experts say could have prevented the spill, and there is little monitoring of their effects on the surrounding environment.

In fact, coal ash is used throughout the country for construction fill, mine reclamation and other “beneficial uses.” In 2007, according to a coal industry estimate, 50 tons of fly ash even went to agricultural uses, like improving soil’s ability to hold water, despite a 1999 E.P.A. warning about high levels of arsenic. The industry has promoted the reuse of coal combustion products because of the growing amount of them being produced each year — 131 million tons in 2007, up from less than 90 million tons in 1990.

The amount of coal ash has ballooned in part because of increased demand for electricity, but more because air pollution controls have improved. Contaminants and waste products that once spewed through the coal plants’ smokestacks are increasingly captured in the form of solid waste, held in huge piles in 46 states, near cities like Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa, Fla., and on the shores of Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River.

more at...

Monday, January 5, 2009

In Silicon Valley, Venture Capitalists Turn Cautious and Focus on the Short Term

from NYT...

CLEAN TECH GETS REALISTIC Venture capitalists are still chasing clean technology. Through September, $3 billion was invested in technologies that create alternative energy and conserve power, up from $1.9 billion the year before, according to the National Venture Capital Association. But big, expensive projects like building factories to manufacture solar panels or biofuels are falling out of favor.

“The economic arguments for those businesses literally went upside down in a year,” said Paul Holland, the general partner in charge of the clean tech practice at Foundation Capital.

Instead, some venture capitalists are looking at technologies that monitor energy demand, like software that tracks and regulates a building’s energy use.