Richard Matthews

The End of Oil Trains?

Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster has awakened the public to the dangers of moving oil by trains - but can it lead to the end of oil trains?

This week people from across North America and around the world are commemorating the one year anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster. There is growing concern about the dangers shipping oil by rail and increased public calls to reign-in oil trains. The environmental and emotional legacy of the Lac-Mégantic disaster On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded killing …

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Seven Reasons Why the Keystone XL may Never be Completed

Despite all the back and forth, there are many reasons why the Keystone XL pipeline will never be built.

Keystone XL – a pipe dream? After a seemingly endless succession of decisions for and against the pipeline, some compelling reasons have emerged to suggest that the Keystone XL (KXL) may not be completed after all. If completed, the KXL would ferry 825,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.  The combination of protest, legal wrangling, an expired permit, President Obama’s climate initiatives, …

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Acting to Combat Climate Change: A Cost Benefit Analysis

We are getting a much clearer picture of the costs associated with climate change and the benefits of action to combat it.  While adding up the costs of a warmer world is no easy feat, economists are increasingly quantifying the risks associated with climate change. The price tag associated with global warming includes the costs associated with extreme weather, declining global food stocks, degraded ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, flooding, sea level rise, …

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The Prodigious Growth of On-Site Solar Energy

The growth of on-site solar energy is rapid

Led by home solar energy, there is a revolution in on-site renewable electricity generation underway in the U.S.  The process of generating electricity from small energy sources is called by a number of names, including distributed generation, dispersed generation, embedded generation, decentralized generation, decentralized energy, distributed energy or district energy. These energy systems commonly employ small-scale power generation technologies, typically in the range of 1 kW to …

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 Implications of the New US Rules Curbing Power Plant Emissions

More renewable energy development will be one result from the new US rules for power plant emissions

The new rules curbing power plant emissions in the U.S. will have far reaching impacts both within the U.S. and around the world.  Curbing emissions from power plants is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan which he announced in 2013. Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed standards to curb U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) from new power plants. On June 2nd of this year, the EPA announced it will restrict …

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A Response to Critics of the Solar Roadways Concept

Solar Roadways

While there is an abundance of positive response to the Solar Roadways concept, there has also been an avalanche of negativity that completely misses the point. As reviewed in a recent Global Warming is Real article, the concept of embedding solar panels into American roadways represents a powerful new approach to green innovation and finance. Without paying heed to the benefits, many critics are focused on what …

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Solar Roadways’ Innovative Sun Powered Technology and Finance

Artist rendition of Solar Roadways interstate.

Solar Roadways is a grassroots company that is a stellar example of a powerful new approach to business. Their business model is a perfect marriage between innovative technology and innovative finance. Solar Roadways are spearheading a new reality that levels the playing field and gives us reason to believe that we will find a way to meet our energy needs without fossil fuels. Solar power was discovered over 170 years ago, but it was only in the 1950s that it …

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