washington post

Mon, 2011-01-03 15:20Brendan DeMelle
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Future of Coal Dims Further in 2010, But Dying Industry Still Killing and Polluting

2010 was a dark year for the dirty U.S. coal industry, with the deaths of 48 coal miners – the deadliest year in nearly two decades – and widespread recognition of the threat posed by hazardous coal ash waste to waterways nationwide. 

2011 hasn’t started off very well either, with a New Year’s Day article in the Washington Post noting the industry’s failure to begin construction on a single new coal-fired power plant in the United States for the second straight year.

An excerpt from the Post story:

“Coal is a dead man walkin’,” says Kevin Parker, global head of asset management and a member of the executive committee at Deutsche Bank. “Banks won’t finance them. Insurance companies won’t insure them. The EPA is coming after them… . And the economics to make it clean don’t work.”

Not only are the coal barons failing to build new plants, but their aging fleet is also facing a huge wave of coal-plant retirements thanks to new and emerging EPA regulations, as Grist’s Dave Roberts summarized last month. 

Nevertheless, the coal industry’s best efforts to flood Washington with lobbyists and dirty PR tricks seem to have crippled President Obama’s campaign pledge to end mountaintop removal and stalled out EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s momentum towards regulating coal ash as the hazardous waste it surely is.

Wed, 2010-12-01 12:06Chris Mooney
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How Partisan is Climate Denial?

It was the chief environmental narrative of the 2010 midterm elections. The field of Republican Senate and House challengers, charged bloggers, were a bunch of “climate zombies.” Tea Party backed insurgents were knocking off GOP moderates who took climate science seriously—like Delaware’s Mike Castle—and it was becoming harder and harder to find a good Republican who did accept the scientific consensus on climate change.

Then, when Republicans swept into the House of Representatives, fears about the party’s denialist tendencies compounded further. There was word of “ClimateGate” hearings, aimed at prying loose additional emails and documents from mainstream global warming researchers. Whether or not such hearings actually take place, a vision of today’s U.S. Republican Party as monolithically in denial about what we’ve been doing to the planet has clearly taken root.

It was all, apparently, more than the stalwart Republican moderate Sherwood (“Sherry”) Boehlert could take.

Fri, 2010-05-14 14:58Brendan DeMelle
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Nature Pens Scathing Editorial On Virginia A.G. Cuccinelli Witch Hunt of Michael Mann

In a scathing rebuke of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s witch hunt relating to the work of climatologist Michael Mann, the highly-regarded journal Nature this week published an editorial called “Science subpoenaed” that condemns the latest political attack on a climate scientist and calls into serious question Cuccinelli’s motives.

AG Cuccinelli, a former Republican state Senator, earlier this month launched a ridiculously over-the-top inquiry demanding that the University of Virginia turn over a massive number of documents and personal communications related to Professor Mann’s work and government contracts.  Cuccinelli demands to see eleven years’ worth of Mann’s emails and other correspondence with climate scientists, and all available documents, computer code and data relating to Mann’s research on five different state and federal grants.

Echoing The Washington Post, which published a similar editorial lambasting Cuccinelli’s “witch hunt” of Professor Mann, the Nature editorial similarly slammed the AG.

Thu, 2010-04-29 18:17Brendan DeMelle
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Washington Post Teams with Dirty Coal Front Group ACCCE on PostPolitics.com Launch

The Washington Post this week launched a new politics homepage, PostPolitics.com, with a helping hand from the dirty coal industry.

According to the press release announcing the launch,
“The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is the Washington Post’s exclusive launch sponsor of PostPolitics.com.”

While PostPolitics.com itself is an exciting new tool for fans of political news, it is unfortunate that the Post had to partner with coal polluters to fund the launch.

Tue, 2010-01-12 13:49Brendan DeMelle
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Tucker Carlson’s 'Daily Caller' Website Bankrolled by Climate Change Denier

The primary funder of Tucker Carlson’s new website ‘The Daily Caller’ is climate change denier and GOP bankroller Foster Friess, and Carlson has reportedly lined up sponsorship from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and Southern Company, all major opponents of meaningful action to curb climate change.

Friess donated $3 million to Carlson’s site, which is run out of an office a “stone’s throw from the White House” by a 21-person staff.  ‘The Daily Caller’ is the brainchild (if you can call it that) of Carlson and his college roommate Neil Patel, a former Dick Cheney aide.  The site’s opinion editor is former RNC press secretary Moira Bagley, immediately calling into question Carlson’s insistence that ‘The Daily Caller’ won’t cater to the right-wing crowd.

Wed, 2009-11-25 16:40Richard Littlemore
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Hacked emails: They're trouble, serious trouble, but not BIG trouble

“Climate scientists should not let themselves be goaded by the irresponsibility of the deniers into overstating the certainties of complex science or, worse, censoring discussion of them. “

This is one of the annoying voices of reason currently dampening what the denial industry is lauding as “climategate.”

The story, for those catching up, is about a series of emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. They are embarrassing, sometimes humiliating evidence that climate scientists - even really, really good ones - are human and are apt to make mistakes or write intemperately when they think they aren’t being watched.

The quote above comes from the Washington Post editorial today, and it regrets that in a “climate of denial,” certain “researchers show how not to respond to global warming skeptics.” Basically, the Post says that denial of denial should be based on evidence, not on counter tactics. Then, the editors conclude that, yes, the actual climate change deniers have had a couple of good days of chortling, but: “None of it seriously undercuts the scientific consensus on climate change.”

Wed, 2008-04-16 10:10Kevin Grandia
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Strike three on climate change for the Bush White House?

President Bush is set to make an announcement on climate change today.

Will it be a third strike for Bush?

Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin thinks so:

Bush's trick on climate change is to wait until others are about to embrace mandatory limits on greenhouse gases, then make a major speech about goals and process, without any specifics on measures or penaltiesHis planned speech this afternoon recalls his two earlier attempts to muddy the debate and buy time.”DeSmog writer Chris Mooney is monitoring the announcement and will weigh in with his analysis later today.

UPDATE: And Strike Three, you're out Mr. President

Joe Romm at Climate Progress writes: Bush/Nero speech: “Technology, technology, blah, blah, let's fiddle until 2025

Dave Roberts at Grist writes: Same as it ever was

Andrew Revkin at the New York Times Dot Earth Blog marks up Bush's speech with his insights.

Mon, 2007-01-15 10:05Ross Gelbspan
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Six senators back mandatory greenhouse gas cuts

And the coal industry rushes 150 new plants into construction. Story from the Washington Post

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