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Keith Schneider's Blog (48)

Obama's 80 Percent Clean Energy Goal: Who's He Kidding?

 

Arguably the central provision of President Obama's State of the Union address last night was the proposal to generate 80 percent of the nation's electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 -- including nuclear energy and CCS coal technology. Getting there…

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Added by Keith Schneider on January 26, 2011 at 21:14 — No Comments

Memo to Hu and Obama: Water and Energy Choke Points Merit Time at the China-U.S. Summit

coal-miner-truck-450

Washington’s foreign policy community is all aflutter anticipating the meaning and outcome of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s three-day summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, which starts today. But while the two heads of state focus on resolving what pries them apart, both nations share a dangerous confrontation within their borders over energy demand and water supply—offering a matchless opportunity for new kinds of cooperation on policy, technology,…

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Added by Keith Schneider on January 18, 2011 at 15:09 — No Comments

Talk of Tianjin Climate Conference: China and U.S. Are Electrifying The Car

tianjin-building-and-smog-450



TIANJIN, China - Whatever the differences that irked delegates from China and the United States during the six days of climate negotiations that ended here on Saturday, divisions principally defined by how each would control carbon emissions and measure progress, the unmistakable conclusion reached by most of the delegates and participants is how closely tied the two nations are to each the other.



Lying quietly below the nuanced diplomatic language of… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 11, 2010 at 13:38 — No Comments

Despite Divide at Tianjin Climate Conference, U.S. and China Cooperating on Advanced Coal Projects



TIANJIN, China - Though Chinese workers this week celebrated the 61st anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, a holiday season as significant as July 4 in the United States, a swarm of

construction laborers at China's GreenGen coal-fired gasification power

plant were busy welding pipes, fitting massive joints, and bending

steel for forms to be filled with concrete.



Since construction on the $1 billion project…

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Added by Keith Schneider on October 8, 2010 at 16:00 — No Comments

Coal Is King In China, And Top Priority For Engineers Determined To Lower Climate Risks



TIANJIN, China – This industrious nation’s allegiance to construction projects of massive scale is as familiar to the world as the 2,500-year-old, 5,500-mile Great Wall of China, which protected the country’s northern frontier, and as imposing as the wide moats and towering red stone walls of the 600-year-old Forbidden City at the heart of Beijing.



Still, international visitors attending China’s first U.N. climate change conference are struck by the immensity of the brand new… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 6, 2010 at 16:00 — No Comments

In Tianjin, China and U.S. Similarities Overshadow Differences

Tianjin construction site



On opposite sides of the Pacific, leaders of the world's two biggest economies and carbon polluters are plainly thinking about clean energy to power up their economies and cool the climate.



In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced their intention to extend vehicle efficiency standards that went into effect in April in order meet a national goal of 60 miles per gallon average fuel economy… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 5, 2010 at 11:30 — No Comments

In Tianjin This Week, Fresh Hope For Climate Progress

Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center



Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center





TIANJIN, China - In a gesture that signaled more urgent engagement to cool the planet, the United Nation's chief climate negotiator today opened this nation's first international climate conference by sealing a symbolic Great Climate Wall of China with an ancient proverb. Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat and climate expert, who in May was named the new executive secretary for the U.N.… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 4, 2010 at 9:55 — No Comments

In China, Where NGOs and Nations Try Again To Make Dent in Climate Change

Tianjin, UN Climate conference

I'm in Tianjin, China today (see pix above) and for the next week to report on the UN Climate Conference, the first ever held in China. I spent much of the day in a Climate Action International meeting with activists from around the planet, though there were many fewer here than attended the UN climate meetings in Barcelona and Copenhagen last year. Everybody is talking about steps forward and preserving the UN negotiating process, a much different message than the big… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 3, 2010 at 17:11 — No Comments

The Next Era of Hydrocarbon Development: Well Underway and Dirtier Than the First



The most direct path to the nation’s newest big oil and gas fields is U.S. Highway12, two lanes of black top that unfolds from Grays Harbor in Washington State and heads east across the top of the country to Detroit.



The 2,500-mile route, parts of which were used by Lewis and Clark to open the American frontier, has quickly become an essential supply line for the energy industry. With astonishing speed and influence, American oil companies, Canadian pipeline builders, and… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on October 1, 2010 at 2:35 — No Comments

In Era of Climate Change and Water Scarcity, Meeting National Energy Demand Confronts Major Impediments



The All-American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, flows through the Imperial Valley, Calif. The U.S. consumes about 100 billion gallons of water a day. Nearly 85 percent is used for crop and livestock production. Of the 16.1 billion gallons that remain, half is devoted to producing energy.
Photo © Brent Stirton / Reportage by Getty Images for Circle of Blue
The All-American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, flows through the Imperial Valley, Calif. The U.S. consumes about 100 billion…
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Added by Keith Schneider on September 29, 2010 at 20:00 — No Comments

Before Big China Climate Conference, New Senate Support For Clean Energy

China nuclear plant

I'll be in Beijing later this week, and then on to Tianjin to cover China's first UN-sponsored climate summit, which begins October 4. Before leaving, though, I wanted to note that on September 22, a group of Republican and Democratic Senators sent a rare bipartisan signal to the world that the United States has not abandoned the hard work of reducing climate emissions and speeding the clean energy transition. The group introduced… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on September 28, 2010 at 17:30 — No Comments

North Dakota's Unconventional Oil Boom and Scarce Water At Risk

Bakken Shale oil and gas development



Over at Circle of Blue, where I serve as senior editor, we've been working on Choke Point: U.S., a series of original articles about the tightening contest between rising energy demand and diminishing supplies of fresh water. In our latest chapter, we explored the big boom in oil and gas production on the northern Great Plains, where… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on September 16, 2010 at 5:30 — No Comments

Copenhagen Fallout: Climate Action Collapses in U.S. Senate

Senate Drops Climate From Energy Bill



Until December 2009, the idea of acting to cool the Earth was on a roll. High points included 2007 Nobel Prizes for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's breakthrough science and for Al Gore's astonishing work to elevate global warming to an international priority, They also included Barack Obama's winning 2008 presidential election, and the formation of global online grassroots activism led by 350.org and… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on July 23, 2010 at 2:23 — No Comments

Science Vindicated as Senate Edges Closer to Climate and Energy Debate

Michael Mann and climate science exonerated and vindicated



The 20-year global campaign to cool the planet, one of the most influential civic movements in human history, was built on two points of reference.



The first is visible evidence on every continent of escalating temperatures, melting ice, more ferocious storms, fiercer droughts, and deadlier floods. The second is the wealth of scientific data that proves Mother Nature's erratic behavior is no accident. It's the result of the combustion of fossil fuels that is… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on July 8, 2010 at 3:13 — No Comments

At Top of the World, New Evidence of Himalayan Melting

Tibetan Plateau & Climate Change
Photo © Aaron Jaffe / Circle of Blue
By Keith Schneider

Circle of Blue




In January, when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that it was wrong in predicting that the glaciers of the Himalayas could be gone by 2035, skeptics of… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on June 30, 2010 at 16:41 — No Comments

At Top of the World, New Evidence of Himalayan Melting

Tibetan Plateau & Climate Change
Photo © Aaron Jaffe / Circle of Blue
By Keith Schneider

Circle of Blue




In January, when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that it was wrong in predicting that the glaciers of the Himalayas could be gone by 2035, skeptics of… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on June 30, 2010 at 16:41 — No Comments

Obama Vows To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Passing and Signing Climate and Energy Legislation

Obama vows clean energy, climate action



Given the emotional reserve of a man whose aides once referred to as "no drama Obama," the president is getting pretty fired up about energy. On Wednesday President Obama concluded an all hands cabinet meeting at the White House by publicly declaring again his resolve to develop a "new energy strategy that the American people… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on June 24, 2010 at 1:00 — No Comments

Massachusetts Study Finds Caution and Optimism in Biomass as Renewable Fuel

biomass_gasification_power_generating_plant



After six months of evaluation, a Massachusetts research center said yesterday that the greenhouse gas-reducing benefits of replacing coal and natural gas with wood biomass for electrical generation are lower than previously thought.



But the study by Manomet Center for Conservation Science also found that specific wood biomass technologies, particularly state-of-the art wood biomass plants that generate combined heat and power, produce less than half of the CO2… Continue

Added by Keith Schneider on June 11, 2010 at 21:05 — No Comments

Murkowski Resolution Vote is Biggest Test of Year for Senate on Climate, Clean Energy

Late last year when Senator Lisa Murkowski announced she would vigorously oppose any effort to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions, environmental leaders in Washington understood the significance of the Alaska Republican's challenge. A loyal ally of fossil fuel developers, Senator Murkowski attracts more campaign financing from the oil and utility industries than all but two other Senate lawmakers, according to federal…

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Added by Keith Schneider on June 9, 2010 at 3:00 — No Comments

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