Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission released a report tracking the progress of the California Solar Initiative. This program, more commonly known as the “CSI,” offers customers of the three largest investor-owned utilities in California—Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric—incentives to install solar panels on rooftops. The CSI is the largest solar program in the country and aims to install 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar generation capacity by the end of 2016. Read More
July 2nd, 2012
June 19th, 2012
I’m not in Rio de Janeiro. I’m in DC now, although as the weather heats up to the 90s today, and maybe up to 100 tomorrow, I’m thinking more and more that I should have found some excuse to go to the Rio+20 meeting. Even on the warmest days the beaches and the breezes, not to mention the great music and culture, make Rio a wonderful place to be. Even if you’re there to try, against all odds, to get the world’s leaders to take the environment seriously. Read More
June 19th, 2012
May 23rd, 2012
Californians will soon have a few more electric vehicle options to choose from. Ford has started shipping the electric Focus to dealers in California, New York and New Jersey this week. And California EV maker Tesla announced last week that its Model S will soon roll off the assembly line, earlier than previously announced. For those who snag an early Model S, a Focus Electric, or any other plug-in EV, charging up at home will impact their electricity bill. And for EV drivers who live in California, choosing the right electricity rate plan can mean the difference of up to $1,000 a year in fuel-cost savings. Read More
May 10th, 2012
May 7th, 2012
Our new report on electric vehicles, State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States, has been out for a couple of weeks now and we’ve gotten a lot of great comments from folks and some pretty exciting media coverage, as well as some interesting analysis of the media coverage. We’ve responded to a number of questions from interested readers on our blog and wanted to share some of the common questions and answers all in one place. So here are the Frequently Asked Questions on State of Charge: Read More
April 30th, 2012
Question: Which U.S. law that protects endangered species, tropical forests, and U.S. jobs is now in need of protection itself?
Answer: The Lacey Act.
For the last 100 years the Lacey Act has protected endangered species within the United States by making it illegal to transport them across state lines. In 2008, the act was amended to include a ban on the importation of illegally harvested timber from foreign countries. Now these amendments are under attack in Congress.
April 26th, 2012
What’s the biggest dietary change you can make to reduce global warming emissions? Eat less meat, especially beef. “But I love steak, chicken, and pork,” you say. “There must be another way to fight global warming!” Actually, there is. According to UCS’ new book, Cooler Smarter: A Practical Guide to Low-Carbon Living, eating less meat is just one of the many choices you can make to reduce your personal global warming emissions. Read More
Charging Electric Cars from the Grid: A Good Choice – or the Best Choice for Lowering Global Warming Emissions?
April 19th, 2012
Electric vehicles, hailed by some as the greenest cars on the planet, have also been dismissed by others as an expensive way to do little more than move vehicle emissions from the tailpipe to a smokestack. So who’s got it right? My colleague, Amine Mahmassani, who works in the Clean Vehicles program at UCS recently co-authored a new report on electric vehicles which clears the air on the issue. I interviewed Amine to see what I could learn about global warming emissions from charging vehicles on the electricity grid. Read More