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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (7/28/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on July 28th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (7/28/14).

  1. Bloomberg reports, “JA Solar Holdings Co...expects solar-panel prices in China to recover as developers scale up projects and government measures encourage developments.”
  2. The Guardian has an op-ed which argues: “Energy efficiency – insulation of homes, for one – is cheaper than any energy-producing or generating option (which is why the Treasury cuts in the UK’s Eco energy efficiency budget are such folly). For once, Europe’s greens can make common cause with Europe’s securocrats: cutting gas demand makes sense both to protect the planet and to punish Putin.”
  3. According to DeSmogBlog, “Congress has less than a week left to finish delivering promises for their donors before they head out for a month-long August recess undoubtedly filled with campaigning, and members aren’t wasting any time in their attempts to suck up to the dirty energy industry.”
  4. The New York Times reports, “Even as regulators continue to wrestle with the protracted trade conflict with China over solar panels, the case has already started to reshape the industry, lifting manufacturers based outside China while also raising prices of panels for developers.”
  5. According to The Guardian, “Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in ‘exceptional circumstances’.”

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (7/25/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on July 25th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (7/25/14).

  1. DeSmogBlog reports: “Last month, Terry Greenwood, a Pennsylvania farmer whose water had been contaminated by fracking waste, died of cancer. He was 66 and the cause of death was a rare form of brain cancer. His death drew attention from around the globe…”
  2. Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media explains “Why Residential PACE Is Growing in Spite of Opposition From Federal Housing Lenders.”
  3. Grist reports, “Drilling in Pennsylvania has damaged the water supply 209 times in last seven years.”
  4. According to Climate Progress: “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback expressed support for gradually phasing out the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RPS) during an impromptu meeting with reporters on Wednesday morning. Later that afternoon the Republican governor’s office said he wasn’t actually proposing to phase out the clean energy policy, but meant to refer to the federal energy production tax credit (PTC), which expired last year.”
  5. Reuters reports, “More than 70 percent of China’s coal firms are making losses, the head of the coal industry association said on Thursday, with prices eroded by falling demand growth, a worsening supply glut and a war on smog.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (7/24/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on July 24th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (7/24/14).

  1. Greentech Media reports: “Back in May, Google announced its Little Box challenge, a $1 million prize for technology that can radically shrink the size and weight of inverters. This week, it opened the contest to applicants, announced the IEEE as a partner, and clarified just how small it’s hoping to get with the next-generation power conversion technologies.”
  2. According to DeSmogBlog: “The Department of Transportation released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking today for the transportation of crude oil and ethanol by rail. With the release of the proposed new regulations, a public comment period now begins before the rules will be finalized. The proposed rules offer a wide variety of options for the public to comment on with the weakest proposals essentially being the status quo, as is the case for the rail tank car recommendations.”
  3. reports, “The state’s appeal of a ruling that struck down the law used to route the Keystone XL pipeline will be argued Sept. 5 before the Nebraska Supreme Court.”
  4. The New York Times reports, “Texas Is Wired for Wind Power, and More Farms Plug In.”
  5. According to Greentech Media, “Commercial solar system interconnections might actually provide a net benefit to ratepayers.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (7/23/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on July 23rd, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (7/23/14).

  1. Climate Progress explains “How The South Portland City Council Foiled Big Oil’s Plan To Sneak Tar Sands Out Of Canada.”
  2. According to Green Car Reports, “If you own an electric car today though, the price you’re paying for electricity is equivalent to about 75 cents per gallon.”
  3. The Conversation makes the case that “Affordable batteries for green energy are closer than we think.”
  4. According to RenewEconomy, “A new Australian start-up solar company believes that the Australian market for rooftop solar leasing for the residential and commercial sectors could reach $100 billion in the next decade.”
  5. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports, “The high cost of production in Central Appalachia, which also includes West Virginia, rules out a big rebound in the coal industry, no matter who is in power in Washington and even if scientists figure out how to burn coal without compromising the climate or environment.”
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InsideClimate News: Koch Brothers Built Their Fortune on Super-Dirty Tar Sands Oil

Posted By Lowell F. on July 22nd, 2014

In light of the attacks on Tom Steyer from sources linked to the Koch Brothers, InsideClimate News posted a story the other day providing a detailed account of how the Koch brothers made their money. To put it mildly, it’s not a pretty picture.

Steyer’s turnaround took moral courage, they argued, and asked: What about the Koch brothers? What is their history with global warming emissions?

It turns out the Koch brothers built their first fortune on the particularly dirty form of oil mined in Alberta’s tar sands, where they have been major players for 50 years, and remain deeply invested.

The key moment came in 1969, when Charles Koch secured full ownership of a heavy oil refinery in Minnesota that his father had a stake in.

In his 2007 book Charles Koch called that acquisition “one of the most significant events in the evolution of our company.” The refinery was a doorway that permitted Koch Industries “to enter chemicals and, more recently, fibers and polymers,” he said.

If you want to know more about the Koch brothers and how they built their fortune, InsideClimate News has a helpful timeline with detailed information. It’s well worth checking out, just so we all know exactly what we’re up against with these folks.

Posted in Fossil Fuels, Oil
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