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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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Proposal to Dismantle Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards Based More on Science Fiction than Fact

The proposal to dismantle Ohio’s clean energy standards remains on the table as the Ohio legislature takes a recess until May. The rationale behind this proposal, however, doesn’t hold water and Ohio legislators should reject it when they return to Columbus. Read More

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How to Celebrate Earth Day: Go Treasure Hunting with the Kids

Spring has finally sprung in these parts: blossoms bedizening the trees, smiles bedizening people’s winter-worn faces; birds migrating north, gloves and scarves migrating toward long-term storage. For my family, spring is also our preferred time for “treasure hunting” in celebration of Earth Day. It’s an easy (and free) way to get the kids engaged in sprucing up the neighborhood, to create some teachable moments about earth stewardship, and to maybe burn off some of the energy they’ve accumulated over months of being trapped indoors. Here are the how and why. Read More

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Earth Day Ideas: Looking for Air Leaks in all the Right Places

Still looking for an impactful Earth Day activity? You could do a lot worse than enlisting the family to spend a few hours finding and sealing up air leaks in and around your home. While often considered a fall-time endeavor, air sealing now can make a discernible difference with the hot summer months right around the corner. It’s one of the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to lower your carbon emissions and get a little Cooler and Smarter in the process. Here’s the why and how. Read More

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Power Outages, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change: How Smart Energy Choices Will Help Keep the Lights On

Our nation’s aging electricity system is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events — including flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires — which often cause power outages. Today UCS released a new report called Power Failure, which describes how extreme weather events are likely to increase in the future as global temperatures continue to rise, with major consequences for the electricity sector. Read More

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We’re Going on a Vampire Hunt: Standing Up to Standby Power on Earth Day

Yesterday we talked about 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family, save money, and cut your carbon emissions. Here’s a deeper dive into two of them: how to find and get rid of phantom loads or energy vampires, in ways that engage the kids.

You can pitch your Earth Day adventure to the kids as an updated version of the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (easy-listening video version here). Fun for the whole family. But without the mud, the river, or the long swishy-swashy grass.

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Cashing in on Earth Day: 10 Activities to Kick-start Low-Carbon Living and Save You Money

With Earth Day just a week away, there is no better time to be thinking about steps you and your family can take to protect the environment and our climate. And the most impactful steps are often the ones that cut your carbon emissions and save you money. Read More

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