Sign In or Create an Account.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Climate

How Worried Should We Be About Hail?
Climate

AM Briefing: The Growing Cost of Hail Damage

On the question insurers are asking, UAW’s Mercedes vote, and childhood asthma

Climate

AM Briefing: Biden’s Coal Lease Crackdown

On the future of coal mining, critical minerals, and Microsoft’s emissions

Yellow
Economy

America’s Entire Energy Story in a Single Oregon Canyon

The Owyhee River watershed is among the country’s largest areas of pristine wilderness. It’s also prime for green development.

Lifestyle

Gas Utility Misadventures in Neighborhood Electrification

Knock knock, it’s your local power provider. Can I interest you in a heat pump?

Blue
Florida’s New Climate Change Law Is About Much More Than Words​

AM Briefing: Florida Erases Climate Change

On DeSantis’s latest legislation, solar tariffs, and brain disease

Yellow
Solar panels.

Biden Takes a Side in the Solar Industry’s Family Feud

The administration is expanding tariffs to include a type of solar modules popular in utility-scale installations.

Yellow
Economy

The U.S. Oil Industry Is Full of Hypocrites

A smooth transition to clean energy will require coordinating on oil prices — just not the way Scott Sheffield was doing it.

A gas station attendant.
<p>Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images</p>

The Federal Trade Commission earlier this month threw sand in the gears of one of several big oil company deals currently in the works, the $60 billion acquisition of shale oil company Pioneer by Exxon. While the FTC didn’t block the sale, it said that Pioneer’s chief executive, Scott Sheffield, could not join Exxon’s board, as proposed in the merger agreement, because of his role in seeking to coordinate oil production and push up prices.

It was yet another Rorschach test of the mid-transition — oil folk saw regulator overreach or pettiness under a Democratic administration, while climate campaigners saw shameless profiteering by the oil industry. What it really reveals is more complex: The illusion of laissez-faire oil markets; the disingenuousness (if not hypocrisy) of the U.S. oil industry; and the need for U.S. policymakers to take a much more interventionist stance in oil markets.

Keep reading...Show less
Technology

Why Is No One Talking About Biochar?

It may or may not be a perfect climate solution, but it is an extremely simple one.

Earth sitting in a pile of biochar.
<p>Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images, Oregon Department of Forestry</p>

Low-tech carbon removal is all the rage these days. Whether it’s spreading crushed rocks on fields or injecting sludgy biomass underground, relatively simplistic solutions have seen a boom in funding. But there’s one cheap, nature-based method that hasn’t been able to drum up as much attention from big name climate investors: biochar.

This flaky, charcoal-like substance has been produced and used as a fertilizer for millennia, and its potential to lock up the carbon contained in organic matter is well-documented. It’s made by heating up biomass such as wood or plants in a low-oxygen environment via a process called pyrolysis, thereby sequestering up to 40% to 50% of the carbon contained within that organic matter for hundreds or (debatably — but we’ll get to that) even thousands of years. Ideally, the process utilizes waste biomass such as plant material and forest residue left over from harvesting crops or timber, which otherwise might just be burned.

Keep reading...Show less