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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

Categories: Energy  

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How Green is your Data? Tech Companies and Energy Use

Tech companies may be savvy innovators, but the electricity they need to power their businesses can also make them energy hogs. The giant data centers that store all of our e-mails, process our search requests, and stream our favorite movies rely on whopping amounts of electricity — often generated by coal and natural gas. Cloud computing may be making our lives easier and more entertaining, but it’s taking a toll on the planet. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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More Progress for Offshore Wind: DOE Awards and Whale Protections

With yesterday’s release of the latest National Climate Assessment fresh in our minds, we see offshore wind readying itself for the what-we-can-do-about-it piece. Two announcements today touch on important aspects of the path forward for offshore wind: funding and wildlife impacts.

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Half the Oil, Not Crude-by-Rail: Lynchburg Oil-Train Accident is Fifth in Ten Months

The CSX train carrying crude oil that derailed and burned in Lynchburg, Virginia on April 30 was the fifth major oil-train accident in the last ten months. At the same time that the world’s leading climate scientists are warning that we need to leave the vast majority of fossil fuels reserves in the ground, the shale oil boom has dramatically boosted shipments of crude oil by rail, most of it from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to faraway pipelines and refineries. While 9,500 tank cars of crude were carried by North American railways in 2008, that number jumped to nearly 234,000 in 2012 and an estimated 400,000 in 2013. This increase went relatively unnoticed until July of last year, when a catastrophic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec killed more than forty people. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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The National Climate Assessment and Opportunities to Cut U.S. Emissions

Today the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the third National Climate Assessment. While the report serves as a sobering stock-taking of how climate change is already affecting our lives and raising future risks, it is also an opportunity to point out that we still have choices in how we respond. Read More

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The Koch Brothers Can’t Switch Off Renewable Electricity

Despite relentless legislative attacks funded by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel special interest groups, state renewable electricity standards are holding their own and continue to drive investments in clean energy resources. And as long as legislators remain committed to well-informed policies that represent the will of the people instead of a few powerful special interests, renewable energy can continue to look forward to a bright future in the U.S. Read More

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How Much Could Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) Lower the Cost of Renewable Energy Projects?

Allowing renewable energy technologies to be eligible for MLPs would expand the investor base and lower the cost of financing projects by 40 percent or more, according to a new analysis prepared for UCS by Meister Consulting, Inc. (see paper and presentation here).  Read More

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Michigan Needs a Stronger Renewable Energy Standard

Guest Bogger

Dr. John Patten
Professor and Chair, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, and Director, Manufacturing Research Center, Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

The idea of switching over to renewable energy really came together for me during the oil embargoes of the 1970s, while I was in college and working at General Motors. I could not get gas for my car and we could not get enough oil for lubricants, cutting fluids and hydraulics at work. These events put me on a 40-year career path working in clean energy, starting with studying solar energy at the University of Florida and Oakland University, to working as an energy engineer, and I’ve been practicing and implementing what I learned ever since. Read More

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Supreme Court Decision in Favor of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule Is a Major Win for Public Health

Today’s Supreme Court ruling reinstating limits on sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from coal-fired power plants, as required by the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), is a significant victory for our public health. Read More

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When Should Nuclear Power Pay for Risk? Is Never Good For You?

In a secret negotiation result reported by Hannah Northey, E&E News, the nuclear industry passed along another risk to the U.S. public. An expected $300 million loan fee for building the new Vogtle nuclear plant, was negotiated down to zero by the plant owners. This was one of two nuclear power issues that came out of the shadows of secrecy and unaccounted costs this week. Read More

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