fossil fuels


How Saving Water Could Help Keep the Lights On

Water and electricity do mix

Wind is one of the few energy sources that requires virtually no water.

The Gordian knot of interdependence between water & power (not the political kind — that’s another story) has been getting a lot of attention lately as the “water-energy nexus.” A new report from Oakland’s Pacific Institute warns that as population grows and a changing climate further wrings water out of the West, “These trends will intensify water resource conflicts throughout the region.”

Oh, goody. Just what the West needs; more water conflicts. Continue reading

Yergin: Tar Sands Opposition is Misguided

The energy guru weighs in on dirty oil, fracking and California’s energy leadership

One of America’s foremost energy experts says Canada’s controversial oil tar sands are getting a bum rap.

Daniel Yergin, who became a go-to guy for energy wisdom after winning a Pulitzer Prize for his 1990 oil tome, The Prize, appeared on KQED’s Forum program today to promote his latest book, The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World.

When host Michael Krasny asked Yergin about the Canadian tar sands boom and a plan to construct a pipeline to bring it into the US for refining, Yergin said the project “has become a huge symbolic target.” Indeed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal has been a lightning rod for demonstrations at the White House and a target of ongoing protests across the country. But Yergin said he thinks the risks of importing tar sands oil from Alberta have been overblown. Continue reading