Wimpy Bush-Era Antitrust Rules To Go

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"China has emerged as a world leader in clean(er) coal."

Today there is a glimmer of hope hanging over China's aggressive build-out of coal-powered fire plants. According to the New York Times, China has emerged as a world leader in clean(er) coal. "While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal-fired power plant that uses extremely hot steam, China has begun building such plants at a rate of one a month," the newspaper writes. Also, China is well ahead of the United States in developing "a new generation of low-pollution power plants that turn coal into a gas before burning it." The progress has surprised even green-policy wonks. "The steps they've taken are probably as fast and as serious as anywhere in power-generation history," Hal Harvey, president of ClimateWorks, told the NYT.

The advances in clean(er) coal come as the once-bright solar industry feels the pain of the global credit crunch. The Wall Street Journal reports that government subsidies and private investment in solar projects has dropped dramatically in the past year. As a result, "sales of the tiny chips that convert the sun's rays into electricity are expected to drop by at least 20% this year," the newspaper writes. Even the Silicon Valley venture-capital community is starting to rethink the promise of green energy. "Venture capital is starting to move away from its infatuation with alternative energy and returning to one of its traditional strengths: applying information technology to improve the efficiency of energy consumption," the NYT writes.

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