Brookings Institution Essay: Advanced Nuclear and the Battle Against Climate Change

What, after a 30-year drought, is drawing smart young people back to the nuclear industry? The answer is climate change. Nuclear energy currently provides about 20 percent of the electric power in the United States, and it does so without emitting any greenhouse gases.

Given both the competitive threat from China and the potentially disastrous global effects of emissions-induced climate change, the U.S. government should be leaping back into the nuclear race with the kind of integrated response that it brought to the Soviet threat during the Cold War.

But it isn’t, at least not yet. Through years of stagnation, America lost -- or perhaps misplaced -- its ability to do big, bold things in nuclear science. Our national labs, which once led the world to this technology, are underfunded, and our regulatory system, which once set the standard of global excellence, has become overly burdensome, slow, and sclerotic.

The New York Times: Solar Rises in Malaysia During Trade Wars Over Panels

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation with just 30 million people, is the biggest winner in the trade wars that have embroiled the solar sector. As Chinese companies have been hit with American tariffs and European quotas, Malaysia has increasingly attracted multinationals with its relatively low labor costs, lucrative tax breaks, warm relations with the West and abundance of English-speaking engineering talent.

Malaysia is now the world’s third-largest producer of solar equipment, trailing China by a wide margin but catching up rapidly with the European Union. And Malaysia’s role in the global solar trade is only likely to increase in the coming months if the American government broadens tariffs on panels made in China next Tuesday as expected.

Politico: Where Coal Is King

To understand Kentucky politics, you have to understand this: When it comes to coal, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. There is no red Kentucky or blue Kentucky. There is only charcoal black. And Kentucky politics is a coal miner’s daughter.

With roughly 61,000 jobs directly or indirectly linked to the industry and some $4 billion in annual revenue, the state’s devotion to coal is all but carved in stone. One law in the state, for example, allows energy companies to cap renewable energy to 1 percent of production, saving the remaining 99 percent for coal.

Huffington Post: Senate Energy Efficiency Bill, We Hardly Knew Ye

A bipartisan pair of senators is making a last-ditch effort to pass a scaled-back version of their energy efficiency bill before the end of this Congress. But it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have been trying to pass their energy efficiency legislation since they first introduced it in 2011. They reintroduced it in 2013 and it passed in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May of that year with bipartisan support. But then it got bogged down repeatedly in Senate fights over unrelated measures like the Keystone XL pipeline and Obamacare.

The Guardian: Lima Climate Talks Agree on Just One Paragraph of Deal With 24 Hours left

Negotiators working on a deal to fight climate change have agreed on just a single paragraph of text, casting a shadow over the prospects for a strong outcome in Lima.

The talks -- scheduled to end at noon local time on Friday after ten full days -- are intended to provide a clear blueprint for a global agreement to fight climate change by the end of next year.

But while negotiators descended on Lima in a positive mood, buoyed by recent commitments from the U.S. and China, the talks have fallen into a rut.

BBC: Peru Moves to Sue Greenpeace Over Nazca Banner

Peru says it will sue activists from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace after they placed a banner next to the Nazca Lines heritage site.

The activists entered a restricted area next to the ancient ground markings depicting a hummingbird and laid down letters advocating renewable energy.

Peru is currently hosting the U.N. climate summit in its capital, Lima.