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Green China & the Clean-Tech Race
A U.S. delegate walk past solar panels on display outside a Future House, a clean energy resident development project in Beijing, China, on July 16, 2009. (AP)

A U.S. delegate walk past solar panels on display outside a Future House, a clean energy resident development project in Beijing, China, on July 16, 2009. (AP)

On Capitol Hill today, the Senate introduces a bill meant to slow global warming. Meanwhile, back on the windfarm, American entrepreneurs are taking the problem seriously — as an environmental threat but also as the next great economic prize.

In China, the government says it’s determined to become a green superpower — or risk drowning in its own pollution.

Some say the next great global race is on — the clean-tech race — and that China’s entry is a “Sputnik moment.”

Has America heard the wake-up call? Is there a clean-energy race to be won or lost? This hour, On Point: China, the U.S., and the clean-energy future.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from London is Fiona Harvey, environmental reporter for The Financial Times.

Joining us from Santa Clara, Calif., is Michael Splinter, CEO of Applied Materials, a California-based company that builds the machines and the factories that make solar panels. He was recently profiled by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

From San Francisco we’re joined by Barbara Finamore, China Program Director for National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She has worked for nearly 20 years with provincial and federal government officials in China to advise them on how to build a greener economy. She is also a founder and board member of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance.

And from Shanghai, we’re joined by Charlie McElwee, Shanghai-based partner in the American law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. He is an expert on energy and environmental issues in China and author of the blog China Environmental Law.

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  • Anthony

    There are some big advantages to a command economy, and clean energy is one.

    Look at our system: a new president with plenty of political capital and a Congress full of people that owe their election to him cannot get his healthcare policies through a committee dominated by his own party and despite his pronouncement that he would not sign a bill with a lot of pork in it, members of his party are sending him a defense bill loaded with unwanted earmarks. This is one of the big weaknesses in our democracy. Next time let’s vote in a president whose not afraid to do what he says and rattle come cages.

  • Cory

    Didn’t I read somewhere that China has a new coal-fired power plant coming on line every couple of days? They aren’t even included in the regs created by the Kyoto Accords/Protocols. Gonna be tough to reign in an economy growing 8% a year with the pressure of a billion people behind it.

  • Ellen Dibble

    On the plus side, to the extent I know a few Chinese from a few provinces, it doesn’t seem they are (yet) infected by the American Dream to have a house, the biggest house money can buy, sacrificing never on size and style, but (in America) sacrificing costly energy efficiencies like those solar panels seen above. The Chinese I know and their families are fine with reasonable apartments. I don’t know if the Chinese are building geothermal apartment blocks in the burgeoning cities, but I’m listening.

  • PM

    China is still very much a communist money starving plutocracy….who wants power. Period. Human rights, freedom, truth are not in their motivation, lexicon or activity.
    Going ‘green’ is all about bucks for them. Nothing else. America and other countries would be wise to be highly circumspect in their dealings with this machine.

  • Edith

    Good for China. They are obviously looking toward the future. Meanwhile, in the US guys like Senator Inhofe (Republican, Indiana) are saying global warming isn’t real because God exists.

    Well, I say, thank God the Chinese are showing an interest in green power. This is a good thing on so many levels, from avoidance of conflict over oil to the cosideration of China’s massive population and their potential for energy consumption. Maybe this will give the US that nudge it needs to start taking this issue more seriously. I look forward to the show!

  • Ellen Dibble

    PM, I quote Tom Friedman, New York Times, 9/16/09, “{The world is on track to add another 2.5 billion people by 2050, and many will be aspiring to live America-like, high-energy lifestyles. In such a world, renewable energy — where the variable cost of your fuel, sun, or wind, is zero — will be in huge demand. // China now understands that. It no longer believes it can pollute its way to prosperity because it would choke to death. That is the most important shift in the world in the last 18 months.”
    he begins by saying other countries have “certainty of price, connectivity, and regulation on a national basis.” (If you get solar panels, the supplier is required to connect you to the grid; anyone is allowed to generate solar.) All Splinters factories are overseas. We’ll be importing solar panels instead of oil, Friedman suggests.

  • Putney Swope

    Cory this is true but at least they are very serious about getting away from using coal or at least reducing their consumption by substantial amounts.

    They are going to lead the world in new technology while we are sitting around arguing what to do.

    Why on earth are we not using the billions from the bailouts and so called stimulus to at least start to retool our manufacturing sector into this area is beyond me.

    I read somewhere that one of the largest producers of wind turbines in this country is now focusing on China, why because they are inviting them and they are backing it up money.

    As Tom Friedman has said, and it pains me to agree with him, China is going to clean our plate with this.

  • http://www.new-standards.net heather white

    Please try to balance some of the hype about CHina leading the world with reality.
    The Washington Post recently reported that a supplier to the leading solar panel maker Suntech Power dumped poisonous silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of polysilicon manufacture, onto fields in Henan Province in China, rather than recycling it.
    Also don’t forget that China is a dictatorship where transparency in corporate governance and reporting is nearly non-existent.

  • Christopher James

    Good interview. Barbara Finamore is excellent.

    The interviewer and most Americans and Europeans do miss a fundamental point behind the growth in China’s CO2 emissions. A significant portion of it is driven by westerners wanting cheap goods. “We” want inexpensive clothes and other products, and China is able to produce them for us, at a fraction of the cost. So, to say that the US should wait for China to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (as some in the US Congress, certain business interests and many Americans say) is simply disingenuous. Wal-Mart alone is responsible for about 10% of our trade with China.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I read in Monday’s forum about Wall Street that Wall Street traders were hunting around for places to invest, and they decided to build on a fantasy, ever-rising home values, because of lack of places to invest.
    Why didn’t solar panels and high speed rails etc. show up as promising investments?
    Regulations/policy not sufficient to encourage it (see Friedman’s article), and therefore (I suppose) inadequate investment. Again, the regulations are designed for the old “brown” economy.
    Let’s lean on the lawmakers to fix that.

  • Ross Gregory

    President Obama has made a mistake in prioritizing health care reform instead of seeking to make the U.S. the global leader in the Green Revolution. Encouraging a sea change in our attitude toward green energy would literally energize and revitalize the country; Tom Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded makes it clear that we are at a Sputnik moment, and our current attitude will ensure that we lose to China.

  • Shawn

    China can by its very nature, never compete with the US when it comes to “being green”. With an enormous population and rising middle class that alone puts it at a disadvantage. Also, being the world’s factory (providing low cost manufacturing to much of the world) will continue to pollute both the air and its own soil on massive levels.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the production of green technology (batteries, photovoltaic cells etc) also produces significant pollution during its manufacturing process which means that countries like the US who do not want the negative effects of the manufacturing of such technologies on their own soil may in fact make China the leader of manufacturing of such technologies much they way they are the leader or other types of manufacturing. I feel that if China becomes the major manufacturer of such products, it will also be the major beneficiary of pollution as a result.

  • pm

    Ross…’lose to China’. Lose what??
    Putney….’China’s going to clean our plate with this…’ Clean our plate?? What is that?

    Ellen, again…I very much question their motivation…regardless of what Friedman posits. And our country won’t do what’s necessary until the powers that be free themselves by the vested interests of a selfish past. If we as a country cannot act nationally for the global good…things look bleak indeed. (But don’t get me wrong..I actually do have certain hope, and nor am I a socialist)…

    Heather and Christopher…I think you’re right on track.

  • Putney Swope

    Heather White makes a very important point which is not being addressed at all so far.

    I recently watched a documentary on how China is recycling huge amounts of electronic equipment and the conditions of these areas is scary, horrific. They are illegally taking the worlds computers which are supposed to be recycled locally and turning it into a chemical nightmare.

  • Putney Swope

    pm China will be the leading manufacturer of the products needed to develop green technologies and then sell it back to us. We will develop it and they will build it.

    Clean our plate means they will leave us in the dust.
    Our unemployment will go up and up. We will be sitting around wondering why the Chinese are the leaders in this area.

    We should be doing this, this is the engine for our country to start making things again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjKMhtyI3L8 Kash Hoffa

    Yo! Science… what is it all about? Tekmology… what is that all about? Is it good, or is it wack?

  • natalie

    Perhaps it’s naive, but why can’t America just do the right thing and lead this revolution? We’re rich, we’re powerful, we’re strong. We should do what’s right: use our talents and treasure to make the future possible.

    What could the govt do in this environment to support those doing it?

  • Ellen Dibble

    pm, I don’t know about the government in China, but the people in China, to the best of my acquaintance, have an imperialist streak, a very long and proud past (distant past), but feel quite disillusioned post Mao Tse Tung. My feeling is they are more realistic than we are, and know it.
    Would they threaten us? Not if it served their interests better to cooperate with us. (Jane Clayton referred to, is this like a three-legged race, versus a sputnik moment? Is that a better analogy?)

  • Bill James

    How refreshing to hear Charlie McElwee’s comments! One of the few people I’ve heard with any real perspective on the issues. You need more guests who think critically, not just people who have or take a position, and then build their story around it.

    I particularly agree with his comments about Tom Friedman’s position.

    His comments about “Plan A”,”Plan B”, etc. are right on point.

  • Nicholas Bodley

    One indication of progress over the decades is that a century ago, illustrations of a company’s factory prominently featured an obligatory tall chimney with a big, dark plume of smoke.


    I also worry whether we collectively have the attitudes needed to take our place in green-energy manufacture.


    I didn’t notice much comment (if any) about storing energy at night or when the wind is low. It seems to be monumentally difficult to find out how to make compact, long-lasting, truly high-capacity batteries. Other schemes seem to have significant drawbacks.


    As to pronunciation of “turbine” — It seems to me that people who have an oral tradition of working with them (steam, gas and water turbines) say “tur-bin”, accent no the first syllable.

    The word has not been a common word in most people’s daily vocabulary, however. Literate people who read the word before hearing those who have worked with turbines follow phonetic principles (understandably) and say “tur-byne”, roughly equal stress on both syllables.

    Consider “vine + yard” , then “vineyard” as in Marthas Vineyard, for a linguistic parallel.

    (At least, we don’t often call them “windmills”! We don’t grind grain with wind power, these days.)


  • pm

    Ellen, they’ve already threatened us…big time…(i.e. ghostnet)…and are poised to do with us whatever they wish (i.e. they basically OWN all our debt).

    Putney, again you state it as if we’re in competition with them and that there is some sort of ultimate winner and loser. I think this is a significant waste of energy and focus, this sort of context/paradigm. If we just focus on funding the means (which already exist)….and create jobs here we automatically heal….and once fiscally more stable THEN we can play with our world neighbors and family.

    Shawn…right on.

  • Nicholas Bodley

    Sorry — should have been “…accent on the first syllable.”

    (A preview, using a different font, would be welcome!)

  • pm

    Natalie…it hasn’t happened because of emotional conflict.
    Those with the power and means to make it happen cannot agree between themselves….ego/insecurity will always thwart bigger consensus benefits until it does not….while precious time is wasting away.

    Bill, everything is a story, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Putney Swope

    pm so all those jobs that have gone to China over the last decade don’t’ mean a thing to you? They sure do the people who lost them.

    To say we are not competing with the Chinese is naive.
    We have lost almost all our manufacturing sector to China.

    Where do think Walmart has most of the stuff they sell made?

  • pm

    Putney, it’s American companies who have made that choice. No one threatened them to move to China. It’s also their prerogative to bring them back here….
    This ‘competition’ is created, sustained, and dissolved by no one but us.
    There’s some sort of sweet irony is this, is it not?
    We need only decide to do something different….therefore I question your stand as if ‘they’ can ‘clean our plate’. We direct our own situation. No one else.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The US debt that China owns is a two-way hammer. They can’t afford for us to fail; they can’t really afford to lose our market. Economists can express this better than I can, but they always have that rejoinder. China pressures us to flourish because they need us to do so.
    I don’t know about ghost.net, but I hear so much about how the US wired the Chinese leader’s plane, I guess for audiorecording), sleuthing I never heard denied by the US that proved to the Chinese the evil intentions of the USA. They suspect us of evil intentions in several ways and manners. The bombing in Iraq that hit the Chinese embassy apparently convinced most of China that we targeted their people in that embassy, with no other reason than to show off.
    This reminds me of Democrats and Republicans to some extent.
    But for China and the US, larger shared concerns more or less came uppermost at the time of the economic meltdown in 2008. I’m waiting to see what happens. Of course, the stronger America is, the better. I’ll sign on to that. But let’s not have it in mind to then “play with” the world!

  • Ellen Dibble

    pm, the discussion to some extent revolved around the fact China can “decide” without waiting for consensus, either of the corporations or of the people. After all, they are a different sort of nation. Whereas, in the USA, hey, FEEL FREE TO PERSUADE CONGRESS to make the kind of progress we need a viable “choice.”
    If you didn’t hear what the solar developer/manufacturer (Splinter) said in that regard (he was pretty circumspect), see Friedman’s article, or google Michael Splinter. He is laying out exactly why this country seems stuck in the mud. He knows.

  • bob letcher

    I don’t think that it is possible for US to remedy even its own part of the world’s green problem unless US citizenry is somehow persuaded that THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. Consider Mancur Olson’s logic of collective action

  • Anthony

    Structurally the US is predisposed to doing the wrong thing. Look at biofuels, especially ethanol. Replacing mtbe is one thing, but the US’ decision regarding ethanol mandates is extremely shortsighted and driven by politics not logic or economics.

    When it comes to energy, China is doing a lot of everything: solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, coal, natural gas, oil … It’s long-term and it’s economics-based. Our politicians are feeling global pressure to clean up, and the resulting policies are likely to create a bonanza for Chinese manufacturers.

  • millard-fillmore

    “Also don’t forget that China is a dictatorship where transparency in corporate governance and reporting is nearly non-existent.”


    Just like Cuba and Myanmar. Yet, somehow, Myanmar and China raise most people’s ire but Cuba slips under the radar. Why such double-standards and inconsistent approach to dictatorships, human rights abuses and lack of freedom? Perhaps ‘On Point’ should discuss this as a separate topic some day.

  • Cory


    I like how you think. The problem is the gap between doing what is right and doing what is profitable. Business ethics are optional in America. We WILL get involved in next gen energy sources… when it is more profitable in the short term than any other option (and not any sooner than that).

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’m just wondering, looking at Cory’s post, if we are looking at the profitability of green askew. Do we really know if the costs of (a) supporting Israel to the extent we have; and of supporting Egypt, secondly; and (b) the costs of our incursions in Kuwait and Iraq; and (c) the costs of our incursions in Afghanistan (and in supporting Pakistan) — do we know if those costs would remain if we had true independence from foreign oil?
    In other words, we are not free agents in the world, with resources to use with discretion, as long as our energy is not renewable. And the costs in terms of our foreign policy, in terms of our defense spending, should really be added to the cost per barrel.
    The hidden costs. It’s been said so many times, but it has to be not only most profitable to go green, but also to be extravagantly obvious that it is more profitable. Right now we have a sort of wizard of gas hiding behind the curtain, raining down expenses in many disguises.

  • bob

    I only heard some of this show. I heard the remark where both US and China will do well from China’s expansion into the green market. Where have we heard this before? The labor needed to do green in China costs 10% of the labor to do it in US and the engineering is at least 1/5th the cost of US engineering so “here we go again”. Corporations will do bottom-line share-holder value and the employment picture in US will continue to go nowhere with this new revolution. I know all about US unemployment. I’m an unemployed engineer along with many others I’m constantly networking and job-searching with. One would have to be a real idealistic dreamer to say that engineering job opportunities in the global US/China green handshake will beneficial for US employment.

  • Marek

    It is imperative we change legislation to enable profitability of our own work. China is a platform for profitability for big cooperation’s with current global business model, its cheap labor and billions of dollars waiting to be invested. Yet we must remember that clean technology is developed and continually innovated in the US, utilizing our expertise, talent and expiriences. And it is proclaimed to be the fastest means of recovery from economical down turn. US political leaders continue to market renewable and clean energy yet are not making attempt to create opportunities in their own country. This is the time to change the world, to maintain the American dream, legacy.
    Give our children healthy environment to live and financial means to survive….

  • http://www.perceptiveconcepts.com Todd Vriesenga

    China manufactures cant seem to produce good quality consumer products that are copy cats of American / World originals.

    Its very doubtful they can get green energy right without creating even more polution in their pursuit of craptacular solar panels that can barely power a flashlight.

    Their Sputnik will crash for sure.

  • http://www.perceptiveconcepts.com Todd Vriesenga

    I here a lot of people asking why we are not leading in green technology.

    As a designer and developer of automated special machinery I have looked at green technology very closely. I am located in West Michigan. There is a lack of market and vast technology resources.

    The problem: There is not a strong enough market. If I build a wind turbine sytem that costs 20k to save a rural home owner $800 a year its not a good business model. A turbine would never get pay-back.

    Some say the government should throw money at it. Bottom line is you cant tax and spend your way to a healthy market. There has to be resonable value in green energy and it just not there yet.

    Nukes are the best plan we have.

  • http://www.HighwayGlider.com wilbur

    We have to be smart on conservation, before we get into “alternative” hype.

    Batteries in transportation = Dead Weight

    If you can get X amount of energy from one lb of gasoline, you neex 12 lb of batteries to store that kind of energy.

    If we want to find solution to our energy problem, we have to have the national courage of increasing Energy Tax or tie it to an international index.

    Outside of this, the only people who will make money on the Green stuff, will be people who make deals and write books, like Tom Friedman.

  • pm

    Living in manner that doesn’t harm our planet is up to each individual. The choices we make as consumers have direct impact in our world. When we live a life that purifies and protects the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space, it makes it easier for others to do so as well. Every choice counts….and the more individuals who realize this and put it into action, the more the powers that be will be able to manifest policies that support our lives and the life of our planet, rather than destroy them.

  • Anonymous

    Envy, ignorance, and all other human frailties lead to fear, loathing, and vitriol. Wanted: Kant’s rational man in the world’s most advanced country before this degenerates into hate.

  • Joe Risko

    The Chinese are a bunch of Chinkimals, gonna scorch the earth down to its last patch of brown straw to earn the foreign dollar to make another cheap plastic Christmas cat to hang on some fat white trash Benton, Ark, mother’s faux evergreen Xmas tree.

  • Golden Sun

    The good news is that this is a race where humanity wins.

  • InfiniteEMF

    I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but the roots of the answer to this question run deep enough that several paragraphs DO constitute “brevity”; a complete exploration would run several hundred pages.

    “Natalie” asked, “[W]hy can’t America just do the right thing and lead this revolution?

    First, and foremost, the answer is that most Americans remain unconvinced about what “the right thing” is. In fact, most Americans are still not convinced that there even exists a problem about which “the right thing” needs to be done.

    America, by design and by Constitution, is not — nor ever will be — a totalitarian state; we are a representative republic comprised of free and interdependent individuals. As such, a substantial portion of the population has to be convinced that “Plan X” is “the right thing” before it gets enough traction in the halls of government to become legislation. Then, another substantive chunk of the people have to believe that “Plan X” is “the right thing” before their Representatives are convinced that they have a mandate from their constituents to vote in favor of “Plan X.” So, the onus is always upon the early believers in “Plan X” to prove that it is “the right thing,” because the poeple have to be convinced, first; any push to implement “Plan X” has to come from the grass roots. The American form of government does not work well at all in driving initiatives from the top down, as the present healthcare battle should more than adequately demonstrate. Even with the Fourth Estate firmly in the tank with him, Obama has failed to convince most of Main Street that centralized healthcare is “the right thing.” Worse for the President, as more and more people discover what’s in the House version of the legislation, fewer and fewer of them believe that the proposed plan is “the right thing.” Those who believe that a centralized healthcare system is “the right thing” have compeltely failed to effectively demonstrate that to the mass of individuals; they mistakenly assumed that their post-election dominance in Washington D.C. gave them such power that they didn’t need to. They were, and always will be, wrong.

    The same goes for proposed changes to U.S. energy policy; “cap & trade,” etc.

    The vast majority of Americans — despite years of dog-and-pony shows, PowerPoints, and arm-waving by Al Gore et. al. — still find it too much of a stretch to believe that Man-made CO2 — a vanishing 0.0025% of the Earth’s atmosphere, and a scant 3.4% of all atmospheric CO2 — has a greater impact on global climate than that barenaked 865,000 mile-diameter, thermonuclear fusion reactor parked just 93 milllion miles away. It’s almost as if the fact that it’s 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface, and a toasty 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core gives it the power to directly influence the thinking of the average American man-on-the-street in a way that Al Gore can’t. And, too, it doesn’t help at all that the Earth has actually been cooling for the better part of the past decade; hence the shift from “OMG we’re gonna die from global warming” to “OMG we’re gonna die from climate change.”

    “Why can’t America just do the right thing and lead this revolution?” Because most Americans still do not believe that any such revolution is necessary, and they are getting really irritated at efforts to drive things through Washington from the top down in spite of them. If you think they are wrong, prove it to them. Get out of Washington, and get busy at kitchen tables around the nation demonstrating mano-a-mano why they are wrong. Just about everyone would take more extreme action to save the planet if they really believed it was necessary. If the facts are on your side, you’ll find that Americans are remarkably ready to get on board with you.

    “Why can’t America just do the right thing and lead this revolution?” Because you, and others who believe such a revolution is necessary, haven’t invested enough “shoe leather” in proving it to the American people, and that is YOUR fault, not theirs.

  • Norm Rhett

    If the sun’s 10,000 degrees is so significant, how did life ever survive? Because it is far away. Similar offsets apply on varying timescales to all factors that influence climate: water vapor, clouds, oceans, photosynthesis, etc. This balance has kept Earth’s climate in a life supporting range for hundreds of million years. There have been significant long term variations such as ice ages within the last tens of thousands of years, possibly due to Earth’s orbital variations. There has been no past warming comparable to the present for at least 5000 years, as demonstrated by Oetzi, the Ice Man found in the Alps a few years ago. The facts are that the world is warming and there is no plausible cause of sufficient magnitude other than anthropogenic green house gases.

    Scientists who study climate are saying that change is coming faster than predicted a few years ago. Nearly all glaciers have receded dramatically. The Arctic ice cap will soon be gone. At the current rate, Greenland will melt this century, inundating major population centers. And still, skeptics choose to ignore the compelling science, I think, because they don’t want to give up their wasteful habits and toys or, to be a little less judgemental, their employment and investments. Unless we drastically reduce CO2 emissions, probably our children, and certainly their children won’t have skepticism to hide behind. The human race will be migrating by the tens of millions and at war over diminishing arable land and fresh water. We can prevent this cruel legacy but we must start now. Our leaders have the chance in Copenhagen but might not unless we tell them so. I’ve called my senators.

    More on topic, China’s leaders know the risks of climate change and, rightly or wrongly, don’t have to argue with skeptics. Decisions to build wind, solar, and nuclear generators have already been made. Chinese electric cars are being manufactured. If America doesn’t move fast enough to wean itself from fossil fuels, we will have wasted our best chance to lead the world into a sustainable future.

  • Frank the Underemployed Professional

    Am I the only person who finds it amazing that the big N-word, Nuclear Power, is always completely ignored these alternative energy conversations? Apparently the anti-nuclear activists have done such a great job of scaring Americans that the possibility of nuclear power never even appears in people’s minds anymore.

  • Frank the Underemployed Professional

    It’s fashionable to cavalierly claim that green energy will save our nation’s economy and create jobs, but the reality is that our nation’s fundamental economic problem is not an energy problem, but rather an international trade problem called Global Labor Arbitrage.

    Perhaps it would make sense to develop green energy in place of eeevil nuclear power, but it’s not going to save the U.S. economy. Rather, our nation’s economic problems call for an economic solution. All of the green energy in the world will not save us from foreign outsourcing, foreign work visas (such as the H-1B and L-1) that displace Americans from knowledge-based jobs, and mass immigration (legal and illegal).

    Saying that developing a green energy industry will save or significantly improve our nation’s economy sounds good and it’s a touchy-feely, warm-’n’-fuzzy notion, but that doesn’t make it so.

  • think about it

    So, by your economics, you build a turbine you will save a rural home owner $800 a year, you are assuming that the cost of energy will remain constant for the next 25 years? Your assumption is obviously incorrect as we are seeing energy prices rising every day.

    Nukes are absolutely not the best plan we have. They require too much government money to maintain and keep them safe from annihilating us all.

  • Warren Buffet

    The US is behind in the clean energy race with China because the Republican led government spent 2 billion a week for the past several several years in failed Iraqi oil subsidies and we have no money left for renewable energy investments.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

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Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

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Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

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