On July 28, French President Emmanuel Macron landed in Tahiti and said that France owed a “debt” to French Polynesia. The debt was related to approximately 200 nuclear tests France conducted in the 118 islands and atolls that comprise this part of the central South Pacific, which France has controlled since 1842. These tests were conducted between 1966 and 1996. Macron did not apologize for the environmental and human damage caused by these tests. He remained stoic, acknowledging that the tests were not “clean.” “I think it’s true that we wouldn’t have done these same tests in the Creuse or in Brittany,” he said, referring to parts of territorial France. “We did it here because it was farther away, because it was lost in the middle of the Pacific.”Continue reading
Washington, DC— More than 650 national advocacy and grassroots groups sent a letter today calling on Congress to develop a truly clean, renewable and just energy standard for electricity as part of an evolving infrastructure package.
To meet its climate goals, the Biden administration is expected to back a national Clean Electricity Standard, or CES, which some advocates argue can pass under existing budget reconciliation rules.
But existing CES proposals from prominent Democrats allow for filthy and false solutions such as fracked gas, carbon capture and storage, and factory farm biogas, warn the groups, which include Indigenous Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Oil Change International and The Democracy Collaborative.Continue reading
Something new is happening this Thursday, February 18 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A person will be chairing a FERC Commissioners meeting who has written publicly that he appreciates why some consider FERC to be a rubber-stamp agency.
Richard Glick has done more than this in his three-plus years as a FERC Commissioner. He has openly opposed and written strong dissents, primarily but not only on climate grounds, to majority decisions approving new gas pipelines, LNG terminals and compressor stations. Those dissents likely helped lead the DC Court of Appeals to strike down last year, FERC’s “Kafkaesque” (their words) decades-long abuse of…Continue reading
It seems like nearly every day another hopeful article touts the potential of using hydrogen as a fuel to tackle climate change. What’s known as “green hydrogen” — which relies on renewable power for production — is getting the bulk of that attention.
In December, ABC News ran an article with the headline “Why green hydrogen is the renewable energy source to watch in 2021.” And as Bloomberg has reported, Airbus is betting big on hydrogen as a fuel for its planes. Meanwhile, South Korea’s SK Global just announced an investment in U.S. hydrogen fuel cell producer Plug Power; in the past year, the company’s stock value has increased ten-fold.Continue reading
You could say that the Green New Deal died when the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations came through, or perhaps that was the moment we knew that the Jemez Principles and the principles of a Just Transition had been abandoned more than a year before? Perhaps they were abandoned shortly after John Washington’s straight forward, perfectly articulated warning to New Consensus? Or perhaps they were abandoned as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey prepared the Green New Deal resolution with it’s “clean” and “net zero” language replacing the language of fossil fuel phase outs and 100% Renewables?Continue reading
In this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the criticism and censorship of Michael Moore’s film Planet of the Humans with the director, Jeff Gibbs.
“Perhaps it’s a form of denial to actually instead of understanding the – this civilization, the industrial civilization, the human species – we’re hitting limits and we’re gonna crash. We’re instead hoping that this fantasy will save us. And as I discovered, and I’m not saying that all environmental leaders are on the take, but one of the things our critics ignore is that the shocking list of things that you when you divest from fossil fuels and you invest in supposedly sustainable, you wind up investing in Big Ag, you wind up investing in mining and banks and all this – that part of the film was hardly talked about.Continue reading
While giving fossil fuel companies access to relief funds ostensibly meant for small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration on Monday slapped solar and wind power firms with retroactive rent bills dating back two years.
The Interior Department is demanding rent payments from renewable energy companies operating on federal lands, two years after it suspended rent for the operators as it investigated whether the Obama administration had charged too much.
The administration plans to collect $50 million in rent this year from 96 companies operating on federal property—the same amount of money that a recent report showed is going to fossil fuel companies in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).Continue reading
When a staple commodity collapses to negative value it signals that something is clearly amiss in the global economy. When it is a global energy source like crude oil, it does not just signal pain in the oil patch, but an economic dislocation evocative of the Great Depression. Rare is the time when a commodity over which nations have fought wars in the past presents itself as something that traders would literally pay you to take it off their collective hands.
To be sure, there are good technical reasons why U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI), the underlying commodity representing the NYMEX’s oil futures contract, actually traded negative in the second half of April, and continued to stay low (even though the June contract has now turned positive).Continue reading
A few days ago, Emily Atkin posted a reaction to Michael Moore’s latest film, Planet of the Humans (directed and narrated by Jeff Gibbs), in which she began by admitting that she hadn’t seen the film yet. When writers take that approach, you know there’s already blood in the water. (She has since watched the film and written an actual review. Full disclosure: I’m in the film, included as one of the “good guys.” But I don’t intend to let that fact distort my comments in this review.)
The film is controversial because it makes two big claims: first, that renewable energy is a sham; second, that big environmental organizations—by promoting solar and wind power—have sold their souls to billionaire investors.
I feel fairly confident commenting on the first of these claims, regarding renewable energy, having spent a year working with David Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to assess the prospects for a complete transition to solar and wind power.Continue reading
This is a very effective but flawed film, which already has been seen on YouTube by 2.5 million when I saw it on April 26. To sum up my review, it combines a very welcome biting critique of “green” capital-driven renewable energy creation and big capital funding/influence on the agendas of major U.S. environmental groups with a reactionary message calling human population growth the driver of an unsustainable planet.
The film’s conclusion is that there is a “human presence far beyond sustainability”. It argues that scientists all agree, at least the ones interviewed, that overpopulation is at the root of our environmental crisis. Well, I am a scientist among many others who strongly disagrees with this conclusion, rather that the “cancerous form of capitalism” identified in this film is the root cause.Continue reading
Native activists and youth are shaping a clear vision for the transition necessary to guide us toward an environmentally just future — and there are more of them coming. Nationally, the Sunrise Movement and Indigenous environmental justice groups are overtaking entrenched political power with a breath of fresh air. Democrats are even talking about it.Continue reading
LONDON, 19 February, 2020 − Virtually all the world’s demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century. This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups with a total of 91 authors that have been brought together by Stanford University in California.Continue reading
Washington, DC – On February 20, members of the climate justice group Beyond Extreme Energy held a sit-in inside the offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Seven activists disrupted FERC’s monthly commissioner’s meeting, calling for FERC to be replaced with the ‘Federal Renewable Energy Commission’ (FREC). An additional five BXE members sat down blocking a staircase, before being forcibly removed.
Members of the group sang and unfurled banners reading “FERC Permits Climate Crimes” and “FREC sustains communities and the earth.” They sat peacefully in the FERC headquarters until forcibly removed by building security. BXE member Jerome Wagner said the action was necessary because, “Under the Trump administration, FERC has become even more rogue, brazenly prioritizing fossil fuels over renewables and continuing to serve as a rubber stamp for natural gas infrastructure expansion.”Continue reading
A last-minute push from U.S. investors on wind in response to the Production Tax Credit winding down, as well as bullish investments from Europe and China on offshore wind, led to a surge in investments at the end of 2019, momentum that’s anticipated to carry through 2020, according to BloombergNEF. “What was looking like quite a quiet year really kind of changed in the last few months with all these offshore wind deals coming through,” Chief Editor at BloombergNEF Angus McCrone told Utility Dive.Continue reading
Washington, DC – Members of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) spoke out at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing for James Danly, who was nominated by President Trump to be the third Republican commissioner at FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. BXE members unfurled a banner reading “Reject Danly” and yelled “FERC: No more fossil lovers! Wind and solar now!” before being arrested. The Danly nomination has been controversial because the Republican Danly was not paired with a Democrat nominee, as has been the norm at FERC for years.
Danly is not qualified to be a FERC commissioner. Let us count the ways:
He just graduated from law school in 2014. He had no regulatory experience when he was appointed by Pres. Trump in 2017 to be general counsel at FERC.Continue reading