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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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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

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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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