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How to Cut Carbon, Ramp up Renewable Energy, and Rebuild the Energy Sector

To keep temperatures and sea level rise from ruining cities and lives, we need to rebuild our energy system. When we do this, we need to cut carbon emissions, build in savings, and strengthen energy reliability. Read More

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Big Oil, Climate Change, and California’s AB32

As we approach mid-term elections this fall, most folks following politics are interested in how the balance of power may or may not shift in Congress, what new Governors or new legislators may be elected, and what it all may mean for the future of the nation. Many UCS members are particularly concerned about what electoral changes there may be that will influence the future of state and national climate policy. Here in California, we are in the midst of another type of campaign that could have a huge impact in the future of climate policy for the state and region, as well as the whole country: a massive public relations campaign by oil companies to roll back the gains California has made on our groundbreaking climate law, AB32.   Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming, Vehicles  

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Facebook “Dislikes” ALEC’s Climate Change and Clean Energy Deception

It was welcome news last week that social media giant Facebook is “likely” to cease its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) this year, following the lead of Microsoft and Google to become, as The Guardian reported, “the latest tech company to end its support for a controversial rightwing lobby group that works against climate change legislation.” Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Ohio Senate President Stacks the Deck against Renewable Energy

Ohio’s clean energy standards may never get the evidence and science-based review that was promised. Last week, Ohio senate president Keith Faber appointed outspoken opponents of renewable energy and energy efficiency to a committee supposedly intended to do an objective review of Ohio’s clean energy standards. Most disappointing is the inclusion of Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), who has waged a biased and misleading campaign against Ohio’s clean energy standards for the past two years. Read More

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CO2 Model Malfunction: 2 + 2 = 237?!

Back in June, this blog celebrated the work of the grid operator Midcontinent ISO in describing scenarios for future power supply that met projected needs with a tripling of wind energy, 23% reduction in CO2, and almost no higher costs than “business-as-usual.” This week, something bad happened. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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Renewable Energy in California Deserts: New Plan to Guide Smart and Sustainable Development

A draft of the long-awaited Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) will be released any day now. The DRECP is intended to provide a landscape-level assessment of the most appropriate and inappropriate places to build large-scale renewable energy projects in the California portions of the Mojave and Colorado deserts to minimize impacts on wildlife habitats and desert ecosystems. By identifying the most suitable locations for renewable energy projects, the DRECP will bring more efficiency and certainty to the project permitting process and help us meet our clean energy goals. Read More

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The Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force: Still a Chance for Science to Inform Fracking Policy

When news broke last month that the state of Colorado would be creating a blue-ribbon task force to study the impacts and inform regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the state, I wrote about the opportunity for science. In a state that has been ground zero in the fracking debate in many ways, this is a chance, I wrote, for Colorado to take a step back and consider how science can better inform oil and gas development there. Unfortunately, yesterday’s announcement of the task force membership shows this has yet to be the case. Read More

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How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record

The atmospheric CO2 increase of 2.9 ppm between 2012 and 2013 was the largest year-to-year change over the 1984 to 2013 period of record from the World Meteorological Organization.This is sobering news when it comes to what is arguably the most important statistic in climate science. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. Read More

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How Many Homes Have Rooftop Solar? The Number is Growing…

Remember when the most likely place to glimpse solar in action was the little strip attached to a pocket calculator? Well, fortunately solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have come a long way, and now it’s common to see PV panels on residential and commercial rooftops around the country. This dramatic rise in residential solar PV installations is depicted below in UCS’s new solar infographic. From 2006 to 2013, the number of homes with solar grew by more than 1,000 percent.
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Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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