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What’s Hiding in Your Electric Bill? How Utility Customers Finance Risky Investments

, Senior Energy Analyst

Utilities are expected to make investments that are prudent and in the public interest; in return, they get to recover those costs plus a profit. All the utility investments, operating costs, and profits get pooled together and are reflected in customer utility bills. Expenditures that aren’t “prudent” and “in the public interest” (two key terms in the industry) don’t get to be recovered. But many utilities have found a way to get around guidelines and force customers to finance fossil fuel infrastructure, lobbying, and power plants that aren’t even built yet. Read more >

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Photo: John Westrock/CC BY-NC (Flickr)

The EPA, Mercury, and Air Toxics, Oh My!

, executive director

The government may be in the midst of a nonsensical shutdown, but that didn’t stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week from proposing a new formula of calculating the human health benefits of reducing mercury emissions from power plants (or in their words proposing a “revised Supplemental Cost Finding”). Read more >

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Scientists in the Arctic observe the Aurora Borealis. Credit: US Department of Defense

The Miraculous Hope of Climate Realists

, senior analyst, Climate & Energy Program

We’re stepping into a new year in the climate fight. The turning of the year is a milestone both for stoking our resolve, and for noting how deep we now are into climate overtime. In 2018 there was a lot of talk of diminishing odds and despair, and not without reason. So if, like me, you’re heading into 2019 discouraged or even despairing, I have three things to say: you’re not wrong; the fight from here on out is not the one you signed up for; but there’s more to hope, even your own, than meets the eye.

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Feeling Blue About Climate Change? You’re Not Alone.

, senior climate scientist

It’s been a tough year for those of us in the climate change community. Each week has seemed to bring either a fresh report reminding us of how precious little time we have left to try to turn this ship around or a disaster that has climate change’s fingerprints all over it. Friends, family, colleagues, and reporters have all asked whether I’m optimistic or hopeful about our ability to limit the severity of future climate change. And I’ll be honest: I’m not. But that doesn’t mean we should give up—in fact that would be among the worst things we could do. Rather, we need to hold fiercely to a vision of the future we want to see and work like hell to make it a reality. Read more >

Kristina Dahl
Kristina Dahl
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Year in Review: 9 Clean Energy Transition Stories from 2018

, director of state policy & analysis, Clean Energy

Despite the Trump Administration’s ongoing attempts to prop up coal and undermine renewables—at FERC, EPA, and through tariffs and the budget process—2018 should instead be remembered for the surge in momentum toward a clean energy economy. Here are nine storylines that caught my attention this past year and help illustrate the unstoppable advancement of renewable energy and other modern grid technologies. Read more >

Photo: Kim Hansen/Wikimedia Commons
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