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What’s New with NextGrid?

, policy analyst, Clean Energy

Last year, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) launched NextGrid,  a collaboration between key stakeholders to create a shared base of information on electric utility industry issues and opportunities around grid modernization. NextGrid is the Illinois Utility of the Future Study, which is being managed by the University of Illinois and consists of seven working groups comprised of subject matter experts, utilities, business interests, and environmental organizations. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a member of two of these working groups.

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Photo: UniEnergy Technologies/Wikimedia
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A drought-stricken soybean field in Texas

In the Final Stretch of the Farm Bill, Keep an Eye on Crop Insurance. (Crop Insurance?)

, director, Food & Environment Program

You’re not a farmer, but you’re invested in crop insurance.

The chances that you are a farmer are nil. After all, there are only 2.1 million farms in a nation of 323.1 million people. Yet, you are deeply invested in the nation’s farming enterprise. As a taxpayer, you back U.S. agriculture by financing a range of government programs that hover around $20 billion annually. Those tax dollars fund such things as price supports, research, marketing and crop insurance. Read more >

Photo: Bob Nichols, USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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Photo: Johanna Montoya/Unsplash

Hitting 1 Trillion. Think Clean Electrons, Not Stylish Electronics

, senior energy analyst, Clean Energy

You may have heard that Apple just passed the $1 trillion mark in terms of its market capitalization, the first company ever to reach those lofty heights. Less ink has been spilled on a different 1 trillion figure, but it’s one that’s well worth noting, too. According to Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), we just shot past the headline-worthy figure of 1 trillion watts (that is, 1 million megawatts, or 1,000 gigawatts) of wind turbines and solar panels worldwide. And you can bet there’ll be another trillion watts right behind.

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Photo: Johanna Montoya/Unsplash
Photo: PublicSource
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Photo: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons

Rick Perry Rejects Facts in Favor of Coal and Nuclear Bailouts

, senior energy analyst

Much has been written on coal and coal miners since the president began campaigning in earnest in 2016. The president continues to push for a misguided federal bailout of the coal industry—a blatant political payoff to campaign donors using taxpayer money with no long-term solutions for coal workers. As is typical with this administration, substance and science and evidence are inconsequential compared to ideology, and their attempts to bail out money-losing coal and nuclear plants are no exception. Here’s a quick take on how we got here and what to expect next. Read more >

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