Senate unveils new climate and clean energy legislation

Today, Senators Kerry and Boxer kicks off the Senate’s efforts to pass a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill by introducing the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act. Many climate advocates have applauded today’s introduction as a crucial next step for Congress to pass national legislation that reduces global warming pollution, creates jobs and [...]

Department of Energy approves Tennessee Solar Initiative

The Department of Energy approved Tennessee’s State Energy Plan on September 14th, marking a big step forward for the developing solar markets in Tennessee.  The final plan, known as the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, focuses on two projects: a 5MW solar farm to be located in west Tennessee and the development of a Solar Institute [...]

When Power Interest and Public Interest Collide in Florida

It has been a great disappointment but not a surprise to watch the veil of utility regulation pulled back in Florida. The Florida Public Service Commission is the state agency entrusted with regulating Florida’s largest electric utilities. This responsibility requires that they balance the desire of the regulated utilities to maximize their shareholders profit with [...]

The Road to Copenhagen with Climate Week in the USA and Beyond

As the name implies, global climate change is an issue impacting the entire planet.  While scientists have reached consensus about the importance of drastically reducing global warming pollution, government leaders have yet to reach consensus about the policy solutions that will get us there.  In the coming days and months, opportunities will abound for negotiators [...]

Lessons from the Road in Coastal North Carolina

In late August, I embarked on a trip to coastal North Carolina to meet business-owners, citizens and local decision makers to involve them in the regional climate and energy work that we do through the Southeast Coastal Climate Network.  This Network, that SACE hosts, represents concerned citizens from Maryland to Louisiana and among other things, [...]

Climate Change and Peak Oil, Two Problems with One Solution

While reading about peak oil recently, it became clear to me why peak oil advocates and climate action advocates should be natural allies.  While the challenges of peak oil may be different than the challenges of climate change, the solution is the same — redefine our energy policy to promote greater energy efficiency and diversification [...]

Clean energy competitiveness, by the numbers

If reason drove the national energy and climate debate, we wouldn’t need more studies about costs and jobs. It seems fairly obvious that if you invest in a lower cost energy resource (such as energy efficiency), it will save consumers money. And if that lower cost resource depends primarily on American workers, rather than buying [...]

Choosing Sides in the Climate Debate

While many Americans and most of the media remained focused on the issue of health care policy, corporate giants are quietly and not-so-quietly choosing sides in another national debate: energy and climate policy. Although some energy titans are predictably on the defensive as Congress crafts a new energy policy, others are emerging as unlikely allies [...]

Will Florida choose a high-cost energy future?

August 2009 was busy in Tallahassee for Florida utilities. With lots of attention from the media, early in the month, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet approved new nuclear reactors for Progress Energy. There are now four such nuclear reactors proposed for the state, and the expansion of Plant Vogtle involves both Gulf Power (via [...]

Don’t Sell Florida Beaches to Big Oil

The debate for opening up waters to offshore drilling within 10 miles of the Florida coast continues in full fervor.  In fact, it is likely that the Florida State Legislature will consider this issue again during a special session next month.  You might recall that Florida’s leadership failed to pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard this [...]