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Financing Clean Energy: A Cost-Effective Tool for State Compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan

A new UCS report released today shows how clean energy financing programs offer a promising avenue for scaling up investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency that can reap significant economic and consumer benefits, while helping states achieve EPA’s Clean Power Plan carbon emission reduction targets. Read More

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And the Cheapest Electricity in the U.S. Is… Solar?

A Nevada utility and a solar developer have just struck a deal for solar electricity at a price that stands out compared not just to other solar deals, but also to just about any other option for new electricity. Here’s what it and other recent deals say about the future of solar. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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I ♥ the Clean Power Plan: Six Great Reasons You Should Too

It’s July, it’s beautiful out, and all thoughts naturally turn to… the Clean Power Plan! This historic, first-ever nationwide limit on carbon emissions from power plants will be finalized within weeks. Many of my colleagues and I have spent months deep in the weeds of the technical details of the draft proposal. But it’s important to look at the big picture, and think about why we’re doing this. Here are six reasons I really care about this powerhouse of a rule – and why you might too. Read More

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King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 2: Financial Risk and the Economics of Coal

This post continues my series on King Coal’s Stages of Grief, and focuses on more denial—this time about economics. Yesterday the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that the production of coal from mountaintop removal (MTR) mining has decreased by 62 percent since 2008. And last month, Bank of America released its new Coal Policy, committing to phasing out financial support for mountaintop removal coal mining. Read More

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The Evidence For How Fossil Fuel Companies Misled Us For Decades

My parents instilled two core values in me—tell the truth and if your actions harm others, take responsibility for them. These messages were reinforced when I went to law school and practiced law for almost twenty years; honesty and responsibility are bedrock principles in the law, and significant damage awards are often imposed on those who breach them.

Today, UCS is releasing a report titled “The Climate Deception Dossiers.” This report is a sobering exposé of how major fossil fuel companies have failed to abide by these axioms. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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5 Reasons Obama’s New Solar Access Initiative Is Welcome News

The Obama administration has just announced a new initiative to “increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low- and moderate- income communities, while expanding opportunities to join the solar workforce.” Here are five reasons why this effort matters. Read More

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King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 1: Facing the Facts

Coming from a coal mining family, I’m well aware of the seemingly vast coal resource underground and how extracting that resource has helped boost local economies, including the one where I grew up. As the reality of climate change sets in, however, and the impacts of burning fossil fuels become all too real, it’s clear that the status quo is not sustainable. Looking at the recent incredible growth in wind and solar, the boom in shale gas from fracking, and headline after headline full of bad news for the coal industry, I began wondering, How does it feel to be a coal miner right now? And more importantly, how do we ensure the future is hopeful for them as well? It’s a deeply personal question to me. Read More

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Look Ahead Minnesota: There’s Reason for Optimism about Your Clean Energy Future

Minnesota’s legislature might have missed an opportunity to advance the state’s clean energy future during this year’s session, but with Governor Dayton’s support for clean energy and leadership from state agencies, there’s still plenty to be optimistic about. Read More

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Summer, Solar, and an Iceberg of Excuses: Why I Don’t Have Rooftop Solar (and Why I’m Wrong)

I’ve got a confession to make: For all the talking I do about solar and the solar revolution underway, I haven’t thrown my hat in the solar ring. An iceberg-sized collection of excuses stands between me and Solardom, and my homeowner-ship is hesitant to steam past them. But here’s why my excuses might just be hogwash, and how that iceberg might just melt away under the summer sun. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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The Pope Is an Energy Wonk. Engineers Agree with His Assessment.

From the Papal encyclical: “In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.” Read More

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