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Fully 31 states will be more than halfway toward meeting EPA's 2020 benchmarks for emissions reductions, representing 73 percent of U.S. GDP.

The Surprising Facts About the Clean Power Plan: Most States Are Already On Track to Meet 2020 Benchmarks for Reducing Carbon Emissions

A new analysis released today by UCS shows that most states are already making progress toward cutting carbon emissions from power plants by shifting from coal-fired power to cleaner generation sources like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas. As a result of recent decisions and state laws that predate the proposed Clean Power Plan, 31 states have already made commitments that would put them more than halfway toward meeting the 2020 benchmarks set out by the EPA, and 14 of those states are already on track to meet or exceed them, including some unlikely suspects. Read More

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School Lunch: What’s the Cost of Noncompliance?

Today, the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on the costs of improved nutrition standards for school meals introduced under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA). This bipartisan Act put more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and less salt and fat, on student’s lunch trays. Some say the law’s price tag has been too high, but the way I read the research, the price tag for not providing healthier lunches is much higher. Read More

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The New Electric Car from KIA: Review of a 2015 Kia Soul EV Test Drive

If you’re looking for a new car, you’ve got to test drive an electric vehicle (EV). Just do it. Sure, you can read about how EVs provide instant torque, are cleaner and cheaper to drive than gas vehicles, and can fit the needs of 42 percent of American drivers, but the best way to understand the allure of an EV is to go drive one.

I recently took the 2015 Kia Soul EV home for lunch, and was amazed at how much I enjoyed driving on electricity. I’ve previously driven several EVs, but never alone, and never for an extended period of time. Having the Soul EV for a couple hours allowed me to better understand what, exactly, it would be like to own an EV – and I loved every minute of it. Read More

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8 Ways Science Can Save Gas On Your Summer Road Trip

With the end of the school year upon us, no doubt many of you are embarking on one of my favorite activities: the road trip. Even with gas prices under $3 per gallon, the prospect of shelling out well over $100 in fuel will have anyone trying to use a few gallons less. Here at UCS, we are always thinking about ways to save fuel. Having driven cross-country a number of times—and worked as a physicist and vehicles analyst—here are a few tips I use to save fuel: Read More

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Summer, Solar, and an Iceberg of Excuses: Why I Don’t Have Rooftop Solar (and Why I’m Wrong)

I’ve got a confession to make: For all the talking I do about solar and the solar revolution underway, I haven’t thrown my hat in the solar ring. An iceberg-sized collection of excuses stands between me and Solardom, and my homeowner-ship is hesitant to steam past them. But here’s why my excuses might just be hogwash, and how that iceberg might just melt away under the summer sun. Read More

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The Pope Is an Energy Wonk. Engineers Agree with His Assessment.

From the Papal encyclical: “In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.” Read More

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