Oil Industry Ghostwrites Trump’s Deadly Anti-Environmental Policies

, senior writer

In the midst of a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, the Trump administration’s latest spate of anti-environmental actions is maddening—and seemingly inexplicable. Read more >

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Klaus Eppele/Adobe Stock

The Trump Administration’s Assault on Public Health Protections

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

As we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the nation is in the throes of a terrible public health crisis. In these desperate times, we are reminded that the protection of public health is a paramount duty of governments—and that our economic prosperity depends on our government diligently undertaking that responsibility. Read more >

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The Real Reason Behind Coal’s Cycling Woes

, Senior Energy Analyst

Integrating renewables into the current mix of resources sure does get a lot of attention these days. Sadly, the issue has been thrown up as an unnecessary barrier to the development of wind and solar. One of the most pervasive arguments I’ve heard suggests integrating variable resources (like wind and solar) is costly and sometimes physically impossible. But data recently analyzed by UCS adds to the growing body of work that undercuts such arguments. Read more >

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East Boston murals celebrating the community’s immigrant identity.

East Boston and Power: An Environmental Justice Community in Transition

John Walkey, Waterfront Initiative Coordinator, , UCS

En español

This is the first in a four-part blog series on East Boston, a Controversial Substation, and Opportunities for a Clean Energy Transition.  

Welcome to Eastie

Of all the neighborhoods of Boston, East Boston quite literally stands apart: physically separated from the rest of the city by Boston Harbor. Originally a collection of small islands, it was eventually merged into one land mass, and its northern shore was connected to the mainland through a land filling and development process in the late nineteenth century. The character of East Boston has been defined by its waterfront in two main ways: the industries that have thrived along its wharves, and the immigrants who passed from those docks to live in the neighborhood’s tightly packed blocks of triple-decker homes. Now in the 21st century, change is rippling across this waterfront community.

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Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library.
John Walkey
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A chromolithograph print of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago
Bird's-eye view of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 Library of Congress, no known restrictions on publication.

The Current War: Why Did Westinghouse (AC) Beat Edison (DC)?

, Energy analyst

As communities across California face widespread power outages and the debate over how to keep the grid reliable rages on, I decided to go to the movies for some historical context on our electric grid, seeing The Current War: Director’s Cut on opening night. With a big-name cast, my hopes were high, but the movie was just OK.

It’s a shame the movie wasn’t more compelling, because this is a fascinating story that deserves much more attention. The movie portrays the late 19th century “war” between George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison that would ultimately determine which technologies were used to build the foundation of the electric grid we use today. While Edison championed direct current (DC) systems, Westinghouse promoted alternating current (AC) systems, and the competition between the two was fierce.

While walking out of the theater, I couldn’t stop wondering: why exactly did Westinghouse’s AC systems triumph over Edison’s DC systems?

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Library of Congress, no known restrictions on publication.
Creative Commons
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