Having shipped hundreds of electric vehicle charging stations, and with repeat orders now coming in from Europe, Coulomb Technologies, a privately-held Silicon Valley company, expects to be profitable by the 2010 introduction of the Chevy Volt, according to its chief executive, Richard Lowenthal.
(Mr. Lowenthal appears in the video above, explaining the company’s ChargePoint Network.)
“Our plan was to sell a thousand stations, but we will probably double that,” he told Green Inc. last week after the company secured its third Bay Area order this year. “Our company is structured to be profitable based on early adopters.”
Founded in 2007, Coulomb is looking to crack the chicken-and-egg riddle that bedeviled the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Without a refueling infrastructure, consumers won’t buy vehicles. But no one invested in refueling stations without potential customers on the road.
As the White House releases a report on the devastating impacts of global warming to the United States today, Iowans are still struggling to rebuild from the extreme floods that ravaged their state one year ago. This kind of terrible flood was predicted in the 2000 edition of the U.S. Global Change Research Program report as a consequence of the warming climate in the Midwest. Cedar Rapids took the brunt of the floods, suffering over $5 billion dollars in damage:
Iowa sustained $8 billion to $10 billion in statewide damage from the floods and tornadoes that struck in 2008, according to state estimates. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $517 million in new community block grants for Iowa last week as part of a $3.7 billion package for 11 states. Iowa’s share will help pay for home buyouts, public works projects, business aid and new flood safeguards as well as other needs. The federal government has now sent more than $3 billion to Iowa since the disasters, Gov. Chet Culver said last week in Cedar Rapids. Culver’s $830 million I-JOBS bonding plan, an effort to create new jobs and upgrade state infrastructure, includes nearly $300 million for flood-related projects that include housing assistance and building repairs at the University of Iowa. Culver also signed a $56 million aid package in February that includes forgivable loans, grants and other assistance for home and business owners. — USA Today
Thousands of flood-damaged homes lie vacant in the core of Cedar Rapids, a city of 120,000 hard hit by June 2008 flooding that inundated towns and farms across the Midwestern United States. “Are we satisfied with that progress? No, clearly not,” Cedar Rapids City Manager Jim Prosser said. “A lot of people whose lives aren’t even close to being whole yet have a lot of unanswered questions, bills to pay, and don’t have the resources to recover.” . . . Some 1,300 property owners in neighborhoods that resemble war zones have asked the government to buy them out, but the city cannot act until funding arrives. — Reuters
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shawn Donovan, who was in Cedar Rapids this week, promised that the Obama administration would work to streamline the bureaucratic process. He also announced $500 million in new federal flood recovery funds for Iowa. Some of that money will go toward the long-awaited buyouts. But local officials say much more federal funding is needed, and it may take 10 years or more for Cedar Rapids to fully recover. — NPR
Even as some of Iowa’s elected officials, including Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA), still question the need for strong legislation to halt global warming, their state is dealing with the catastrophic costs of weather gone out of control.
At today’s briefing for the Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report, the authors explained that action must be taken now:
Jerry Mellilo, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole: “The impacts we reported are not opinions to be debated, they are facts to be dealt with.”
Thomas Karl, NOAA : “There are some tipping points that have already been crossed, and sea level rise is a good example.”
Jane Lubchenco, NOAA chief: “I think this report is a game-changer. This report provides the concrete scientific information that climate change is happening now and in people’s backyards. . . . It affects you and the things you care about.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) “told a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee that a cap-and-trade bill is “pain and no gain” without the participation of countries like China.”
As green economy legislation moves closer to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, a number of members continue to express opposition to passing clean energy reform. Republicans and Democrats alike from states across the country are calling for the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) to be weakened or killed.
Rep. John Salazar (D-CO): “Depending on what comes out in the end, we might be able to support a bill. Right now, as it currently stands, I don’t think I could support it.”
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL): “Unfortunately, the reality is this cap and trade plan would slow economic growth, penalize employers, reduce job opportunities and ultimately increase taxes for every single American.”
Mike Pence (R-IN) and Fred Upton (R-MI): “In the midst of a deep recession, Democratic leaders want to impose higher fuel bills on all of us and relocate American jobs overseas in pursuit of an unproven environmental agenda.”
Bob Latta (R-OH): “We could lose manufacturing jobs left and right. It kind of looks like the Obama administration has declared war on Ohio and Indiana.”
Tim Holden (D-PA): “Absolutely not going to vote for it. Besides my concerns about agriculture, I’m from the coal regions of Pennsylvania. I have more cogeneration plants than anywhere else in the country. Even if all this is fixed for our agriculture concerns, I don’t see any way I could vote for it.”
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “You are addressing climate change as if it’s the Holy Grail. What we’re trying to help you with is constituents and taxpayers who are saying someone needs to put some roadblocks, some timelines and checks and balances in this legislation.”
The chairmen of coal-fired utilities Dominion Resources, American Electric Power, and Duke Energy, speaking on behalf of Rick Boucher (D-VA): “In particular, the proposed emission targets for 2020 are too aggressive and outpace expected technologies, and the time of transition to a full auction of allowances should be extended. Boucher agrees that these two elements will greatly control costs without sacrificing environmental gains.”
Fortunately for these representatives from Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, the Environmental Defense Fund has assembled fact sheets on the threat of climate change and the opportunity for clean energy jobs in their states. The EDF fact sheets compile a wide array of resources:
– The EDF Less Carbon, More Jobs national map of clean-energy businesses
– The Pew Charitable Trusts Clean Energy Economy report on clean energy job creation in all fifty states
EDF plans to add more states to its site. One has to hope Congress is paying attention.
Lubchenco says, “This report is a game changer,” Holdren says it’s time to act “after many years of dithering and delay,” plus a new website with full report, summaries, charts, AND a slideshow
The Administration has put together a terrific new website, globalchange.gov, on its landmark 13-agency report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Every possible summary and graphic you could want is there — heck they even have the embed codes for their slideshow:
If you didn’t catch the live webcast, then the next best thing is this liveblogging by Anne Polansky, Sr. Associate for Climate Science Watch, at DailyKos.
I happened to catch a little bit of the pre-webcast, in which Obama’s science advisor John Holdren said this report was the “most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis of the impacts of human caused global warming on the United States. Holdren later said, climate disruption is “already affecting things we value, and will affect every region” of the country.”
Climate Science Watch’s Rick Piltz, whistleblower extraordinaire, explains why this report is even more newsworthy — 8 years of Bush administration climate-science muzzling:
Journalists and bloggers interested in understanding the agricultural impacts of unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases, may be interested in this press call Wednesday, 9:15 am EDT:
WASHINGTON, DC“” As the House of Representatives prepares to debate clean energy and global warming legislation, the vital stake that US farmers and the agriculture economy have in combating global warming is becoming clearer. Today’s new report from the United States Global Change Research Program demonstrates the dramatic impacts climate change will have across regions and industries in the United States.
The Heritage Foundation, the leading think tank of the conservative stagnation, is also a leading source of disinformation on climate science and economics (see “Heritage pushes ‘completely untrue’ attack on clean-energy jobs with a panel bought and paid for by dirty energy“). They are so retrograde that they even oppose energy efficiency. The Center for American Progress’s Daniel Sanchez has an update.
Last Friday Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) published an editorial in Politico criticizing the current House climate and energy bill. He claimed that it would increase energy costs and “kill approximately 1.1 million jobs by 2035.” Issa based this projection solely on a flawed study by the Heritage Foundation that is at best incomplete and at worst a distraction during this most critical period of debate. This is simply one in a series of distortions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) by the right aimed at deceiving the American people and frightening them with cooked numbers, incomplete analysis, and selective economic models which bear little connection to reality.
Memo to White House: The NYT buried the “exclusive” you gave them on the landmark U.S. climate impacts report
The big story featured on the NYT website at 11 am Tuesday ain’t about climate: “With consumers in revolt, it was almost a relief that Tracey Ullman did not shy away from a bit of a roast at American fashion industry’s annual awards night” (see photo below). This is the NYT as People magazine, except today they are focusing on the wrong set of “hot” people. Can you find their “exclusive” climate science story on the front page of nytimes.com? It’s harder than Where’s Waldo? It only made page A13 of the print edition.
The biggest U.S. climate science story in a long time is the US Global Change Research Program releasing its long-awaited analysis of Global Climate Change Impacts in United States.
After all, the Bush administration spent eight years muzzling US climate scientists, stopping them from talking to anybody about U.S. climate impacts, and blocking and burying mandated studies of U.S. impacts (see “The four global warming impact studies Bush tried to bury in his final days“). No surprise, then, that many Americans don’t worry very much about global warming, particularly those who get the news from right wing media (see the deniers are winning, especially with GOP voters or rather only with GOP voters).
Based on media coverage and my conversations with people, I can safely say that it is news to 99.9% of Americans that if we don’t do anything to restrict greenhouse gas emissions we’ll see scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year.
The report is embargoed until 1:30 today, but the paper of record was given an exclusive yesterday. Well, you can look very hard to try to find that story on their website. Their piece, “Government Study Warns of Climate Change Effects,” is buried, and the reporter actually managed to find a serious scientist to downplay the report’s importance:
House Majority Leader Hoyer says, “We’ll get the votes”; Waxman gives himself one more day to finish talks with farm state Dems
We would appear to be closing in on a final deal and ultimate passage of the Waxman-Markey climate and clean energy bill by the House. E&E News Reports (subs. req’d):
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) yesterday said he expected a floor victory, although he added that no scheduling decisions have been made.
“I think we’ll get the votes on energy,” Hoyer said. “But you know how it is, you’ve got to work it and figure out who’s on first, and what triggers this guy to say ‘no’ or triggers this guy to say ‘yes.’”
Waxman and other Democrats from the Energy and Commerce Committee are pressing for a floor debate before lawmakers leave Washington at the end of next week for the Independence Day recess.
As for the key negotiations with the agricultural committee, Waxman expects to wrap that up by tomorrow:
Must-see webcast: White House release of NOAA-led global warming report at 1:30 today with Holdren and Lubchenco
PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE RELEASE OF “GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS IN THE UNITED STATES
A comprehensive scientific report on current and pending impacts of global climate change in the
United States, and why it is important to act now, rather than later, to minimize those impacts.