The Trouble with EVs

Last month, I joined a group of experienced and highly motivated healthy climate advocates, the MCAT team (Mobilizing Climate Action Together), for a day of lobbying in Salem, Oregon. Our overall agenda included a variety of bills before the legislature, but my personal priority was convincing lawmakers to increase funding for electric vehicles. The money … Read more

State of U.S. Climate Politics, 2024

Three weeks ago, I wrote about President Biden’s decision to “pause” approvals for construction of new liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals on the East and Gulf coasts (Earthward, 8 February). The President announced that the Department of Energy would reevaluate how it looks at these proposed facilities, including their impacts on climate change and … Read more

Natural Hydrogen

Earlier this month, a team of French and Albanian geologists published a short report documenting some unusually strong emanations of gas from a chromium ore mine in Albania. The paper, which appeared in the prestigious journal Science, describes a focused source of hydrogen that had apparently been tapped into by accident, some years ago, as … Read more

Holy Grail

For how long are we going to have to keep talking about the energy transition? Let’s be honest, it can get pretty tiring after awhile – and this has got to be part of why so many people are looking for a quick fix, so we can move on already. “Electrify everything!” is the kind … Read more

Liquefied Natural Gas

To judge by the volume of recent reporting, the number one US climate and energy issue of 2024 might be summed up in three words – Liquified Natural Gas. LNG has been simmering somewhere below the public radar for some time, but its astonishing growth in the past few years has finally attracted the notice … Read more

Greenhouse Gas Regulation

If you ask Americans who pay attention to climate change what they think about our climate policy, it is more than likely that you will get opinions about the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. The IRA gets a lot of press for the very good reason that it is by far the most far-reaching law Congress … Read more

State of the Climate

Greetings! Belated Happy New Year to all, and welcome back to Earthward for 2024. We said goodbye to 2023 on an optimistic note – an unprecedented pledge at the UN’s December COP28 meeting calling for a “transition away” from fossil fuel energy, and new leadership from the US and China that produced a resolution for … Read more


As the hoopla around the latest annual UN climate summit begins to die down, it seems appropriate for healthy climate advocates to set aside a moment to ponder what just happened. The long runup to the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), and the two-week meeting itself, generated some clear breakthroughs yet … Read more

Carbon Dioxide Pipelines

This Fall, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality released an apparently routine notice requesting comments on a proposal to sell ethanol into the state. Like everywhere in the US, almost all commercial gasoline in Oregon is blended with 10-15% ethanol to raise the octane level and (according to the Department of Energy) improve “drivability.” The … Read more

Ocean Iron Fertilization

In the past few years, industrial-scale atmospheric carbon removal has moved from the fringes of respectable discourse to a mainstream part of the climate policy conversation. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, with its tax credits of up to $180 per ton for directly captured and safely sequestered carbon dioxide, was a key driver of this … Read more