Energy & Environment

Seeing through the 'War on Coal' smokescreen

As a retired coal miner, the son of a coal miner, and the father of a coal miner, I’m curious about Congress’ recent attacks on the EPA and claims of a “war on coal.” These claims are nothing but a distraction from the real needs of coalfield communities.

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TR's conservation inspiration threatened by oil boom

A hundred and thirty years ago last month, Theodore Roosevelt arrived in the Dakota Badlands to hunt bison. He was immediately so enchanted with the area’s wilderness and wildlife that he established a ranch there and later started a second one, the Elkhorn Ranch, on the Little Missouri River about 30 miles north of Medora, North Dakota.  Today only the foundation stones of the Elkhorn house remain, but the vistas Roosevelt enjoyed and wrote about are still there—the high, rounded buttes, the sweep of prairie along the snaking river, the whisper of wind among the cottonwoods, the trilling of birds, the silence of star-washed nights.

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Opinion: Superstorm Sandy one year later: A lesson in prevention

As we mark the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we are reminded of the timeless words of America’s most famous fireman, Ben Franklin. His advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true today, as we look back at the devastation wrought by Sandy and seek solutions to make America more resilient to natural disasters.

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Mothers on the march

The nearly twelve thousand professional lobbyists in our nation’s capital are about to face some stiff competition.  This week, moms from across the country are mobilizing to bring the fight against common toxic chemicals directly to the congressional doorstep. They’ll be here up close and in person, asking lawmakers to fix a bad law that leaves our families vulnerable. 

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National security experts agree: Bust up Big Oil monopoly

For decades, the lack of a sensible U.S. transportation fuels policy hampered our ability to develop alternatives to oil’s stranglehold on the market. That all changed when the Renewable Fuel Standard was implemented in George W. Bush’s second term. With the support of the RFS, biodiesel, America’s leading advanced biofuel, has grown from barely a blip to an annual billion gallon market. It is creating jobs, advancing energy security, and reducing carbon and other pollutants – just as the RFS was intended.

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Furloughs over, but energy shutdown continues

While government workers in Washington were temporarily idle, energy production on federal lands was subjected to even greater delays and impediments. During that time, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) halted its processing of permits to drill on federal land. In North Dakota alone, the backlog exceeded 500 applications. But the reality is that the shutdown only served to hammer an even tighter lid onto a federal land permitting embargo that had been in place long before the budget squabble. Sadly, even when the employees of the BLM were reporting for work, the present administration was doing everything in its power to slowdown or outright block drilling access to energy supplies located on federal property.

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Shutdown just another excuse to delay Keystone XL

While some seemed content to have the government closed, such an impasse has only further undermined confidence in our system of government, and in the elected officials whose primary function is to work cooperatively to the betterment of all citizens. According to a recent NBC news poll, nearly 60 percent of respondents believe all members of Congress should be replaced.

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Obama's Climate Action Plan is its own worst enemy

Like most of the federal government, the Environmental Protection Agency has been almost completely shut down.  Not much of EPA’s work had been deemed essential.  Yet while EPA employees were sitting idly by waiting for Congress and the President to send them back to work, industry lawyers were tirelessly working on ways of undercutting President Obama's Climate Action Plan.  And the plan has many weaknesses.  But none as big as the one I'm about to report.

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The irony of the 'Subsidy Summit'

A national energy security summit hosted by Securing America’s Future Energy Foundation (SAFE) and its sister organization the Electrification Coalition took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, to focus on how the United States' rapidly changing energy and transportation markets present an opportunity to end foreign dependence on oil.

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