It’s not every day that you’ll find me agreeing with an executive from BP, but Katrina Landis, the CEO of BP’s Alternative Energy division, was exactly right when she said last month that it would be a mistake to allow the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) to expire at the end of this year: “It’s a really compelling case of the government incentivizing (more…)
Here’s environmentalist Bill McKibben at his best, pointing out that we should shelve the resentment and cynicism that we feel for corruption in Congress, and start to show how we truly feel: Angry. He writes, “We’ve reached the point where we’re unfazed by things that should shake us to the core.” (more…)
Breaking into the automotive business can be relatively easy; making a success of it is pretty damned near impossible, regardless of what type of (more…)
As the last days of the year wind down, Congress scurries around to finish its unfinished business, almost always with "surprises" for the regulated community.
The House appropriations committee issued a final version of the 2012 Omnibus spending bill last week. It has, of course, significant implications for energy (more…)
The results of political compromise — maybe by definition — are seldom satisfactory to anyone. But hasn’t this whole process recently gotten worse than ever before? The ultimate version of the healthcare reform that the Obama administration put through was the product of a hammer and tongs fight from the (more…)
Will the political change in Washington spell doom for meaningful progress in clean tech? That’s the question being asked by many since the mid-term election swept a Republican majority into power in the House of Representatives. With deficit reduction as the rallying cry of the legions that have taken half of Capitol Hill, the survival prospects for clean energy legislation (more…)
Lucky for Americans, information technology doesn’t appear to be owned by any one political party. If it were, Congress would still be squabbling over whether or not to support the Internet and you’d be reading this on paper rather than online.
Not so for energy. Generally speaking, Republicans tend to be pro-fossil fuel, while Democrats typically come down on the side (more…)
The Obama administration, faced with the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation before global talks in Copenhagen next month, may endorse a more limited interim agreement and defer stronger U.S. commitments until next year, according to the Washington Post.
While the scaled-back agreement would fall short of what European leaders wanted from the U.S., administration and congressional leaders say it will at least prevent the global talks from being seen as a failure.
With just a month remaining before the Copenhagen climate summit, delegates from 192 countries are meeting this week in Barcelona to attempt to lay the groundwork for a climate treaty, with some influential figures saying the United States must be prepared to make firm greenhouse gas reduction commitments if Copenhagen is to be a success.
Connie Hedegaard, the Danish minister for climate and energy, who is hosting the Copenhagen meeting, expressed the hopes and frustrations of European Union members when she told delegates, “We have gotten used to the fact in World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the fight against terror, that the world could count on the U.S. to deliver on huge challenges,” she said. “I believe they have to deliver on this challenge. And if we don’t reach agreement in Copenhagen, who will lose the most? One of the most defined losers is American business.”
Does that headline grab you? If not, these numbers should:
If that has not grabbed your attention yet, consider that in January of this year, Continental Airlines completed a test flight using a biofuel mixture, which included fuel derived from algae. The test flight yielded a 1.1 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to a jet engine using traditional jet fuel.
That isn’t exactly a great leap forward, but achieving incremental increases in fuel efficiency coupled with the latest engine technology, as well as use of new materials in aircraft production, such as the Boeing 787, could signal a dynamic shift for the airline industry. (more…)