Looking at Fossil Fuels Through Different Lens

Yes, we should continue searching for new energy sources that leave a lighter carbon footprint. But it is not practical — nor rational — to think we can just stop using fossil fuels, which are so completely woven into our daily lives. What we need is thoughtful debate, not reactionary thinking as thin as bumper stickers — which, by the way, use a petroleum-based adhesive.

Inside the War on Coal

How Mike Bloomberg, red-state businesses, and a lot of Midwestern lawyers are changing American energy faster than you think. Beyond Coal is the most extensive, expensive and effective campaign in the Sierra Club’s 123-year history, and maybe the history of the environmental movement. The front lines are not at the Environmental Protection Agency or the Supreme Court.

Inslee Boosts State Climate Goal as Cap-and-Trade Action Stalls

Inslee last week joined leaders of 11 other states and provinces in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Canada in signing an agreement that calls for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases to 80 percent to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. That’s a steeper reduction than envisioned in a 2008 Washington law, which said the state would cut its emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.

Opinion: Chemo for the Planet

So maybe we need to start thinking about coming at the climate-change problem from a different direction. Instead of hoping that humans will start reducing their carbon use, maybe it’s time to at least consider using technology to keep climate change at bay.

The Fossil Fuel Subsidy Red Herring

While fossil fuel subsidies do account for the bulk of historical subsidies, the per-unit subsidization of fossil energy today remains much lower than it is for renewable energy technologies.

Seattle, Like It or Not, Becomes Shell’s Arctic Base

Labor groups representing port workers noted that Foss Maritime is employing more than 400 people already to service the Shell fleet. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, for his part, is strongly against hosting Shell’s fleet, warning that the port could face daily fines because it lacks the proper permit. Those fines would amount to no more than $500 a day for the port — a tiny drop in a very large barrel if Shell, one of the world’s largest companies, manages to recover billions of gallons of oil from the Arctic Ocean. Seattle’s environmentalists, however, have a sense that their time is now.

Join the Fight for an Oil-Free Future

California, Oregon and British Columbia have each implemented clean fuels policies of their own, and are already seeing the benefits of fewer trips to the pump. The Department of Ecology has released a draft proposal for what a CFS would look like for Washington, which is an important first step.

True Costs of Wind Electricity

Wind serves to raise costs, complicate scheduling, destabilize markets, and adversely impact reliability all in a hopeless effort to receive “free” energy that is actually quite costly. It has been hoped that subsidies would make wind self-sustaining in short order, but wind appears no closer to economic viability today than years ago.