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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...

Posted September 30, 2010    

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

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...

Posted September 28, 2010    

North Dakota'sUnconventional Oil Boom and Risks to Scarce Water

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...

Posted September 16, 2010    

Energy Department Blocks Disclosure of Road Map to Relieve Critical U.S. Energy-Water Choke Points

The Illinois River Energy biofuels plant in Rochelle releases plumes of steam at sunrise. The ethanol plant processes over 40 million bushels of corn into 115 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol annually. Earlier this summer my...

Posted September 9, 2010    

Science Vindicated as Senate Edges Closer to Climate and Energy Debate

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...

Posted July 7, 2010    

At Top of the World, New Evidence of Melting in the Himalayas

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...

Posted June 30, 2010    

Energy Independence Is America's Most Elusive Technological Goal

In calling for a new "national mission" to achieve energy independence during his Oval Office address earlier this week, President Obama was clearly seeking inspiration from his predecessors, a number of whom actually achieved the big technological...

Posted June 18, 2010    

What Obama Did Not Say: BP Gulf Disaster Is Biggest Cut In A Bleeding Earth

Day 59. The morning after President Barack Obama called for a "national mission" in pursuit of a clean energy economy the BP blowout gushes oil into the Gulf at the new estimated rate of 60,000 barrels a day. And though the president said "we can't...

Posted June 16, 2010    

Massachusetts Biomass Study Finds Caution, Some Optimism in Using Wood to Replace Coal

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...

Posted June 11, 2010    

Most Important Climate and Energy Vote of Year Tests Senate Direction

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...

Posted June 8, 2010    

Obama Pivots on Gulf Disaster From Cleanup to Policy Action

On June 2, a day before BP announced it had sheared through a leaking pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, one of the very few steps forward in the company's 44-day campaign to staunch the worst oil disaster in American history, President...

Posted June 3, 2010    

The Oiled Dogs of May: Obama's Gulf Crisis

  Day 40. Great gouts of oil still rush from the ruptured BP well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. A frustrated president visits the scene of the disaster to literally dab his finger at a tar ball washed up on the Louisiana beach....

Posted May 30, 2010