Archives For politics

climate change president talkLeading up to last week I was excited about the prospect of getting excited about the President’s new climate change plan. Given the level of secrecy and surprise that created all of the build-up to the plan that would map out the environmental goals of the administration’s second term, I was waiting eagerly for a chance to help spread the seeds of environmental progress around the digital ecosystem.

And then it came and went. Continue Reading…

DC inauguration 2013In his inauguration speech, President Obama dedicated some time to addressing the environmental contingent that was left out of the gamut of the election. In all of the months of campaigning and formal presidential debates, the topic of sustainability was a no-show, with both candidates staying away from a subject that could probably do little to help either of them when it came to the polls. While it was nice to see that the environment is still on the President’s radar screen, the pressures on the country’s budget and other issues currently claiming the main stage could still breed a healthy amount of skepticism for how much environmental legislation we will see in the President’s second term. Continue Reading…

As the campaign season for the 2012 elections nears its final hour, a look backward shows that the environment did not make its way onto the list of important topics of debate. Actually, environmental issues hardly came up at all as both candidates focused more on economic plans for the country. In discerning why sustainability got the short end of the stick this time around, there is a tendency to draw the conclusion that Americans don’t think about the environment or even that Americans simply don’t care. A look at the dynamic of this election cycle and the current economic backdrop points to the low profile of environmental issues as an intentional, and perhaps unsurprising move by both presidential hopefuls. Continue Reading…

Bill Clinton InitiativeRegardless of your opinions of former President Bill Clinton, the guest list of the Clinton Global Initiative is nothing to sneer at. Those in attendance comprise a who’s-who at the international level from foreign dignitaries to business bellwethers. Yet despite being surrounded by some of the greatest minds in economics and political governance, President Clinton kicked off this year’s CGI gathering of his by tapping the design population for finding solutions to world problems. Continue Reading…

drilling for petroleumDespite history of bountiful production, we are no longer a country know for making very many things. One thing that we do have a talent for producing, perhaps better than anyone else, is “hype”. With its contagious force, 100% pure American-made hype can surge from coast to coast and beyond. Hype allows for a select few topics to rise above the countless other bits of information that are all struggling to reach us via a thirty-second sound byte. A key goal of successful hype is eliciting the strongest response from the greatest number of recipients. Historically, one of the topics that has been consistently successful in the world of hype is oil, particularly its relationship with gasoline prices. Amidst the rising tide of the upcoming presidential elections (a prime breeding ground for hype), gas prices have re-emerged to claim valuable reporting time as the average price for regular gasoline approaches $4 a gallon even before the surge of summer driving. Continue Reading…

As one of the nation’s largest producers of pollution and carbon emissions, the vastness of coal’s contribution to the nation’s power supply has left them a champion of the economic and political realm with a lot of weight to throw around. Not long ago the EPA stopped dancing around the ring and decided to throw some weight behind an overdue advance on the coal industry. It is easy to forget that the EPA’s prime function is neither research nor public awareness (though both are important). It provides “protection” as an agency of enforcement. Continue Reading…

Solar Power Costs Money[tweetmeme source=”intercongreen”]To date, the success of renewable energy production in the U.S. has been intrinsically tied to the availability of subsidies that help to make the younger and cleaner forms of power more financially competitive. As we near the end of 2011 the industry players are becoming antsy as the future of subsidized aid for renewables comes into question once again. An increasing public focus of trimming an ever-growing federal deficit, a stagnant job market and the financial woes of European economies on the other side of the Atlantic make for a challenging backdrop for the next phase of clean power. Will renewable energy fall into another trough of its historical boom-and-bust cycle or has its recent, successful years helped to cement itself into necessity in the greater American economy?

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[tweetmeme source=”intercongreen”]As Republican presidential candidates have amassed to begin the gauntlet of debate leading up to the bid for the next conservative challenger to the White House, the environment, or specifically global warming, has gotten its fair share of frontage. Almost unanimously, the GOP candidates’ attacks at the authenticity of climate change have been as adamant as they are consistent. However, new polling suggests that the air time they have afforded environmental topics could be working against them, actually increasing the percentage of Americans that believe the earth is warming. How carefully do the candidates have to tread in order to navigate through a populace that feels more comfortable supporting the idea of climate change? Continue Reading…

[tweetmeme source=”intercongreen”]Once again we have arrived at a familiar place of rising oil prices and once again we can see the momentum building behind the line of oil companies as the discomfort for high gas prices sets in. Only days ago the House of Representatives passed a bill to expand offshore drilling and expedite new permits with proposed legislation right behind it to open access to new reserves in ANWR and the Outer Continental Shelf.  These familiar conversations also have familiar anticipated repercussions that all point to new drilling wells having no affect on short term pricing and the expanding of drilling outside of current federal areas having miniscule long term affect on price and supply. Continue Reading…

[tweetmeme source=”intercongreen”]There are times when sustainability takes the back seat in political address, earning only brief glimpses amidst purportedly grander plans for our country’s direction. Tonight was no such occasion. President Obama made sustainability a fixture in his State of the Union address to the country, touching on numerous points as priorities for how we should utilize sustainable goals to strengthen the economy and improve our quality of life. Though some of the mentioned goals were admittedly very tenacious, it is encouraging to see that the White House is willing to put sustainability center stage. Continue Reading…