10. Google Electric Co? Search Giant Wins Approval to Buy, Sell Electricity (9,914 pageviews) In February, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a request from Google, Inc. to buy and sell electricity, granting Google "market based rate authority." At the time, Google announced no immediate plans to do anything with its newly-gained authority. But by July, Google announced its first foray into the utility sector with the purchase of 114 megawatts of output from an Iowa wind farm.
9. Obama Orders BP to Build $360 Million Barrier Islands (10,265) The layers of political stories coming from the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are enough to fill a tome of substantial heft. But one story, which is still unfolding, are the sand berms that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and others lobbied the federal government for to stop the encroaching oil. As it turns out, the berms didn't do much to stop the oil.
8. Boom Town Troubles: Sexual Predators Drawn to Energy Towns (10,440) In February, we reported on a study in the journal Conservation Biology that the number of sex offenders grew at a rate between two and three times faster in areas reliant on energy development.
7. Finally! US’ First Offshore Wind Farm OK’d by Interior (13,476) After an eight-year legal, legislative and permitting battle, Cape Wind, the nation's first offshore wind farm won final regulatory approval from the U.S. Government.
6. BP Ignores Order to Pay for Barrier Islands, Drops $50 Million on Oil Spill Ad (32,730) Arguing that the sand berm "barrier islands" were little more than a thinly-veiled attempt to get BP to pay for a "hurricane relief project," for the state of Louisiana, BP dragged its feet on agreeing to pay for the project, instead investing millions on a PR campaign featuring BP CEO Tony Hayward promising to "make it right."
5. The 7 Most Ridiculous Things Rush Limbaugh has Said About BP’s Oil Spill (35,312) From suggesting environmentalist wackos blew up the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in celebration of Earth Day, to wondering, "When do we ask the Sierra Club to pay for this leak?" Rush Limbaugh doled out blame to to all of his regular targets. We're just surprised he didn't find a way to tie in George Soros and the ACLU.
4. Stunning Animated Time-Lapse Map of Red-Blue America 1920-2008 (45,117) We're glad this one scored near the top because it does a fantastic job of visually displaying the changing political tides of party politics in the United States. Big hat tip to David B. Sparks, a PhD candidate in political science at Duke for working this one out. Add a timeline to contextualize the changes and this map would be even cooler.
3. Westboro Baptist Church Gets Out-Protested in West Virginia (60,425) Following the explosion and mine collapse at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia that took the lives of 25 miners and captured the attention of the entire country (at least until the Deepwater Horizon explosion two weeks later), attention-seeking radicals from the Westboro Baptist Church arrived in Charleston, West Virginia to spew hatred and celebrate the death of the miners. But the locals were ready and waiting.
2. 7 Things Glenn Beck Doesn’t Know About US Public Lands Policy (66,132) We were pleased that this one turned out to be popular, particularly considering we got the opportunity to apply some actual knowledge of U.S. environmental policy to discredit Glenn Beck.
1. Officials Say Photo of Bear Chasing Bison in Yellowstone is Authentic (73,396) We're not exactly disappointed when any post brings 73,000 pageviews, but this one was definitely outside the normal, sometimes wonky, scope of ecopolitology's purview. This amazing photo, shot by a U.S. National Park Service employee, brought in visitors from all over the world, including large numbers from Sweden and Spain.
Thanks for making 2010 a great year and here's to a bigger, better, and most importantly, brighter 2011.
Photo: Patrick Hoesly