Energy

Energy Policy.  So-called "clean" coal.  Nukes.  Wind.  Compressed air.  Batteries.  What's Watt!

Gore Challenges US Grid to get off the Fossil Fuels by 2018

A Tale of Two Democrats

Al Gore has called for the US to wean its electrical grid off fossil fuels in 10 years. Essentially he's declared that the coal industry should die in a decade. NY Times has the story.

It makes an interesting contrast to KY Governor Beshear's energy manifesto, which was coming up with new and creative ways to pollute with coal.

NYTimes: American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot

How did we get to $145/barrel oil wrecking our economy? Read "American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot". It includes a history of gasoline taxes and CAFE fleet milage standards at the national level.

Hansen Comes Out Slugging Against Coal

Famous Global Warming Scientist basically gives up on the world's remaining oil. "Oil is going to get used and it's going to get in the atmosphere . . . and it doesn't really matter much how fast we burn it" because it'll all be burned soon anyway. But: "Coal is the one that we could prevent, so I think the most important near-term thing is to say let's have a moratorium on coal." Read the whole article at the Washington Post.

Ceiling Fans Go Counter-Clockwise in the Summer, and Other Stuff I Learned During My LG&E Energy Audit...

Haven't gotten an LG&E Energy Audit yet--what are you waiting for? You can sign up at http://www.eon-us.com/rsc/lge/dsm_home_audit_application.asp or call 1-800-251-7808 to schedule an appointment. The audit costs $15 but pays for itself quickly if you make the recommended improvements, which range from ceiling fan adjustment and new lightbulbs to installing more insulation. 

NYTimes Op-Ed: Hooray for High Gas Prices

This article is from a year ago in the New York Times, but it is still a good overview on why low gasoline prices are bad for America and the world.

For a long time I have felt the price of gasoline in the United States was way too low. Pretty much all economists believe this. Greg Mankiw blogged back in October about the many reasons why we should raise gas taxes.

The reason we need high gas taxes is that there are all sorts of costs associated with my driving that I don’t pay — someone else pays them. This is what economists call a “negative externality.” Because I don’t pay the full costs of my driving, I drive too much. Ideally, the government could correct this problem through a gas tax that aligns my own private incentive to drive with the social costs of driving.

Read the whole article....

Gas Hits $11.49/Gallon! (In Germany)

Personally, I don't buy gas, but with all the buzz from the media and whining from my friends, I know that gas is above $4 a gallon and people are angry.  This story from the Associated Press, however, puts the price we pay for gas into perpsective.  Many people pay way more for gas than we do: Germany tops the list at a stunning $11.49 per gallon.  However, some pay less:

Venezuela, too, is a gas-guzzler's wonderland. A gallon costs just 12 cents and consumers are snapping up SUVs even as Americans are shunning them. Thanks to long-held government subsidies and plenty of oil, Venezuelans see cheap fuel as a birthright.

"...see cheap fuel as a birthright."  Sound familiar?

A First for Solar

Fly-by-night: A First for Solar

Near Zurich, Switzerland, an international team of scientists, engineers and specialists are approaching a significant milestone in one of the most outlandish projects in the history of aviation.

Brookings Inst: Louisville, Lexington are Global Warming Villains

The Brookings Institute unloads on Louisville, and the C-J is tabulating the fallout:

Residents of Louisville and Lexington are among the worst contributors to climate change, according to a study of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas.

Researchers with Washington's Brookings Institution blame factors such as sprawling development that encourages driving rather than walking, biking or mass transit, and the cities' reliance on cheap, coal-fueled electricity.

Its list — which measured carbon emissions per resident based on per capita emissions from residential and highway energy use in 2005 — puts Lexington at the top of a list of offenders, and Louisville fifth.

While the ranking could be a public relations issue for leaders trying to attract industry and new residents, Louisville has made strides in recent years to improve air quality, add cycling lanes and begin a detailed study of the city's carbon output, said Bruce Traughber, the city's economic development director.

TARC Shocker: Demand Up, Raising Fares, Cutting Service

ridetarc.org news release:

The TARC Board of Directors today gave tentative approval of a $68 million budget for Fiscal Year 2009 that includes a combination of fare increases and service reductions. The board considered several options for making up a $4 million shortfall resulting from rising gas prices and other costs before giving tentative approval to the budget proposal.

Under the proposed budget reviewed today, the base fare of $1.25 would increase by 10 cents and $1 million in service would be cut. The board recommended considering an increase to 25 cents and reducing the amount service that would be cut. If the fare increases to $1.50, about $500,000 in service cuts would be made.

“We don’t like increasing fares and we don’t like cutting service. It’s not the direction we want to go in,” said TARC Director J. Barry Barker. “But when you don’t have enough revenue, you have to do something.”

CART To REACT,

Developing...

 

WaPo editorial: Ethanol's Failed Promise

Good editorial at the Washington Post.

[W]e call upon Congress to revisit recently enacted federal mandates requiring the diversion of foodstuffs for production of biofuels. These "food-to-fuel" mandates were meant to move America toward energy independence and mitigate global climate change. But the evidence irrefutably demonstrates that this policy is not delivering on either goal. In fact, it is causing environmental harm and contributing to a growing global food crisis.

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