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Gina McCarthy, the Power Plant Carbon Standards, and Reducing the Risk of Power Outages

The EPA’s new power plant carbon standards are a potential climate game changer for a whole lot of reasons, given how much fossil-fueled power plants contribute to global warming. And in her speech unveiling the proposed standards on Monday, in talking about what global warming means for the power sector, rather than the other way around, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy nailed it. Read More

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Another Reason Ohio Senate Bill 310 Is a Bad Idea: It Hinders Efforts to Comply with New Carbon Emissions Standards

Need another reason (besides the economic, environmental and public health impacts) for why Ohio Senate Bill 310 – which freezes for two years the state’s requirements for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy – is a terrible idea for Ohio? How about the fact that it hurts the Buckeye State’s ability to cost-effectively meet the newly proposed federal carbon standards for existing power plants. Read More

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EPA Carbon Standards Announcement: A Potential Climate Game Changer

Today I was fortunate to attend and hear EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s stirring speech announcing the EPA power plant carbon standards. And then dived into reading the 645-page rule plus numerous associated documents. I’m not quite done, but here are some first impressions.  The bottom line: the draft rule has many promising elements and there are opportunities to strengthen it as it moves toward finalization next June. Read More

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Court Protects California’s Largest Program for Clean Energy Research and Development

California’s track record as a leader for developing cutting-edge clean energy and energy savings technologies was not created overnight.  For over a decade, a nominal charge on monthly electricity bills has funded research and development efforts to bring technologies to the marketplace that have helped Californians save electricity (and money on our electricity bills) and improve the ways in which we generate electricity from renewable energy resources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Read More

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How to Cut Power Plant Carbon by 50%: New EPA Climate Rules Can Create a Foundation for Real Global Warming Solutions

On Monday, June 2, the EPA is expected to release a draft standard to limit carbon emissions from existing fossil-fired (primarily coal and natural gas-fired) power plants. New UCS analysis shows that a strong standard provides an opportunity to cut our power sector emissions in half by 2030, with renewable energy and efficiency playing a significant role in driving the emissions reductions. Those reductions can be achieved cost-effectively and reliably by ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the overall benefits of a transition to cleaner energy far outweighing the costs. Read More

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Five Things You Should Know about the EPA Power Plant Carbon Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to release draft carbon standards for existing coal and natural gas power plants on June 2. Here are five things you should know about why they could be a climate game changer if they are strong: Read More

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Too Good to be True? New WSPA Report on Oil Industry Highlights the Good, Omits the Bad

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) recently released a report that tries to sell the oil and gas industry in California as a big — ­really, really big ­— benefit to the state. The report, sponsored by WSPA and written by economists at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), tallies up jobs associated with the oil and gas industry, the industry’s share of state GDP, and the taxes paid by oil and gas consumers and producers, with the clear implication that the larger the numbers, the better. A closer look tells a different story. Read More

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Renewables and Efficiency: Opportunities in the Federal Carbon Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to release the first-ever carbon standards for existing power plants in early June. Since the electricity sector is responsible for about 40 percent of our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, these standards are a critical component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—a series of actions the administration is taking to address the impacts of climate change, which are happening now and getting worse. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are swift and cost-effective ways to achieve the deep cuts in carbon emissions needed to tackle the climate crisis, and can provide a multitude of benefits to states and communities. Read More

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How One State Cut its Carbon and Created Jobs

Last week I started as the new President of UCS, and this week I’m starting as our newest blogger. I couldn’t be more excited. I spent the last seven years as a public official in Massachusetts, including the last three as the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. So it is only natural that my “inaugural” blog will focus on my experience in Massachusetts and, in particular, my state’s remarkable success in cutting carbon and growing a clean energy economy at the same time. Our track record in Massachusetts holds important lessons for the nation. Read More

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Governor Kasich Should Stand with Ohio and Support Clean Energy

Governor Kasich bowed to pressure from utility and fossil fuel interests last week when he endorsed the latest version of Senate Bill 310 (SB310) that would effectively dismantle Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. The current bill, released just hours before its late-night passage in the Ohio Senate, is an unnecessary setback for Ohio’s clean energy future. Read More

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