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What Snow and the U.S. Army Tell Us About Coal vs. Renewable Energy

Winter has a way of showing what engineers describe as margins for error, and contingencies or unexpected events. When the snow on the road makes your car slide before coming to a stop, you lower your driving speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. Read More

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An Energy State in Transition: Pennsylvania Can Be a Renewable Energy Leader

In many ways, the Keystone State is the epicenter of the energy transition underway in this country. Historically an important coal producer, Pennsylvania remains the fifth largest coal-producing state, accounting for 5 percent of the nation’s total coal production in 2013. And the state is on the front lines of the booming Marcellus shale gas production. But how far along is the state in transitioning to cleaner energy, and how much farther could it go in developing renewables? Read More

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Another Day, Another U.S. Solar Record: 5 Great Facts About the Desert Sunlight Project

Solar power is breaking records all the time. This week saw another one, with the dedication of a ginormous solar project in California. Here are 5 great facts about the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm to sprinkle into the conversation the next time you’re chatting at the bus stop or a cocktail party. Read More

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Where Florida’s Electricity Comes From, and How It Can Do Better

Florida has been on my mind lately, as storm after storm has piled the snow up outside my door and relatives have called from the Sunshine State to report on the (rather higher) temperatures they’re experiencing. But the state has also been attracting attention with its electric sector moves—some positive, some less so.

When it comes to electricity, the Sunshine State is still far short of living up to its clean energy potential. Here’s how and why decision makers should fix that. Read More

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President’s Budget Helps Create New Opportunities for Coal Communities

Yesterday was a big day for policy geeks in Washington, DC—the annual release of the President’s proposed federal budget for next year. As reporters and analysts alike pore over the numbers and talking heads comment on the political headwinds, it’s clear that addressing climate change remains a major part of the President’s agenda. It’s also worth emphasizing that the president is making a coordinated and focused effort to invest in coal mining communities. Here’s how. Read More

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Minnesota Scientists, Engineers, Economists, and Health Professionals Support Clean Energy

Guest Bogger

Dr. Lee Frelich
Director, Center for Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN

Minnesota has an important opportunity this year to continue its leadership on clean energy.  I, along with 54 other Minnesota scientists, engineers, economists, and health professionals, support requiring 40 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2030. Read More

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Three Reasons Why the Virginia Coastal Protection Act Is Smart Policy

A Washington Post editorial yesterday called out a new bill in the Virginia state legislature as “the smart way” to go about cutting carbon emissions. Here are three reasons why it’s easy to agree with that take on what my home state might do. Read More

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Dear Chrysler: 5 Reasons Oil Prices Shouldn’t Affect Fuel Economy Standards

Lately, low gas prices have been making headlines across the country. Having dropped by more than $1.50/gallon over the last 6 months, there is certainly reason to be talking about them. So it was no surprise when the topic came up at the North American International Auto Show earlier this month in Detroit. The CEO of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, used the opportunity to call for rolling back vehicle fuel economy standards. This is perhaps not surprising from a CEO who also tells people not to buy his company’s electric cars and who’s company has scored last in 6 out of 7 UCS Automaker Rankings. But his statements on fuel economy appear to be as volatile as oil prices. Just a couple of years ago he stood up with the President and supported the new standards. Read More

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President Obama, India’s Prime Minister Modi, and the Opportunity to Cooperate on Climate Change

When I was growing up in New Delhi, the annual Republic Day celebrations were always cause for great national pride. They commemorate the day this large, vibrant democracy’s constitution came into force, after India secured its independence from British colonial rule. This year President Obama will be a special guest for the Republic Day parade, a spectacular display of India’s rich cultural heritage and military might. What I am keenly interested to hear are the ways in which Prime Minister Modi and President Obama plan to cooperate to address one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: climate change. Read More

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As Michigan Governor Looks Beyond Coal, Now Is the Time to Ramp Up Renewable Energy

Big changes to Michigan’s energy policy could be on the table in 2015. Governor Snyder gave a short peek into his energy agenda Tuesday night in his State of the State address where he stressed the need to transition away from coal as a main energy source in Michigan and announced plans to create a new Energy Agency. Read More

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