nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?

A new generation of environmentalists is learning to stop worrying and love atomic power. Emma Redfoot stands at a whiteboard in a small conference room, sketching neutrons, protons and nuclei, her voice rising enthusiastically as she explains nuclear fission: A neutron blasted into a uranium-235 atom shatters the atom, releasing energy and yet more neutrons that split other uranium atoms, causing a frenetically energetic...

‘Conceivably the Worst’: Groups, Lawma...

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration’s failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee’s stance...

Analysts skeptical of Trump’s latest play to save ...

The Trump administration is trying to remove a key barrier to constructing new coal-fired power plants in the U.S. — but don’t expect any utilities to actually build them. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed easing Obama-era limits on carbon dioxide emissions from new and modified coal power plants, including a change that would remove a de facto requirement to use expensive carbon-capture technology at...

IEEFA U.S.: A rough week for the American coal ind...

Momentum around declining consumption numbers, utility-company policy, export markets and internal assessments The economic problems facing the U.S. coal industry have been on manifest display this week. On Tuesday morning, the federal Energy Information Administration reported that coal use in the U.S. is on track to fall to its lowest level since 1979, and that by year’s end consumption will be 44% below the 2007 peak of...

Climate change impacts report presents risks, oppo...

Clean energy advocates hope the increased threats highlighted in the federal report will push the state to embrace climate action. Clean energy advocates say last month’s federal report on climate change underscores the need for action in Ohio, which faces increased risks from flooding, heat and pollution, according to the report. “There is dire certainty if we do not act on climate: loss of clean energy investment to other...

Even most Americans in coal-reliant states prefer ...

A large majority of Americans in coal-heavy states favor increasing renewable energy use. Most would also be willing to buy solar panels for their own use, and a plurality would be willing to pay an additional $5 a month to get energy from fully renewable sources, according to a survey from Consumer Reports. The consumer advocacy group spoke with 1,200 Americans, including 400 residents of coal-reliant states: Illinois,...

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on ...

The administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights and rolling back regulations, raising environmental concerns in states like Wyoming. CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. — The parade of trailer trucks rolling through Jay Butler’s dusty ranch is a precursor to a new fracking boom on the vast federal lands of Wyoming and across the West. Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump...

Behind Washington State’s ambitious carbon f...

With support from labor, scientists, doctors, and communities of color, I-1631’s backers hope the initiative will succeed where others have failed. Mt. Baker and the “Sisters” across Bellingham Bay. CREDIT: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images If Washington makes history by becoming the first state in the country to put a price on carbon emissions, it will largely be thanks to the efforts of a diverse...

Exelon CEO: Carbon price preferable to ‘band...

The CEO of the nation’s largest nuclear operator on Monday renewed his call for a price on carbon emissions, saying it would be preferable to current state subsidies for nuclear plants or a federal plant bailout contemplated by the White House. “What we’re doing right now is band-aids,” Exelon CEO Chris Crane said at an event in Washington. “What we need to do is a regional or national...

Why We Can’t Reverse Climate Change With ‘Negative...

In a much-anticipated report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world will need to take dramatic and drastic steps to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. Featured prominently in the report is a discussion of a range of techniques for removing carbon dioxide from the air, called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies or negative emissions technologies (NETs). The IPCC said the...

DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects

CARBON CAPTURE Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn, according to a report yesterday from the Government Accountability Office. The GAO analysis highlights an ongoing debate about carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS). Opponents say...

Trump Administration Prepares a Major Weakening of...

The Trump administration has completed a detailed legal proposal to dramatically weaken a major environmental regulation covering mercury, a toxic chemical emitted from coal-burning power plants, according to a person who has seen the document but is not authorized to speak publicly about it. The proposal would not eliminate the mercury regulation entirely, but it is designed to put in place the legal justification for the...

Appalachia Could Get a Giant Solar Farm, If Ohio R...

AEP’s plan would bring jobs to an impoverished region, but its structure would break the established regulatory mold in a state that has pushed back on renewables. Appalachian Ohio, a region hurt by the decline of coal, may become home to one of the largest solar projects east of the Rockies. American Electric Power submitted a plan Thursday evening to work with two developers to build 400 megawatts of solar in...

Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Floren...

In North Carolina, the #2 solar state, Florence was the first extreme weather test for much of its renewable energy. Nuclear and coal ash had flood problems. North Carolina gets nearly 5 percent of its electricity from solar panels. The state’s solar farms survived Hurricane Florence with little damage. Credit: Duke Energy Faced with Hurricane Florence’s powerful winds and record rainfall, North Carolina’s...

Advocates: Trump’s coal-friendly power plan will h...

Citing the administration’s own analysis, environmental advocates say the Clean Power Plan replacement will ‘make things worse.’ Ohioans likely face more early deaths, more asthma attacks and higher electric bills under the Trump administration’s plan to replace the Clean Power Plan, say environmental groups. Those conclusions come from the Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis of the proposal, they add. And while...