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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (4/4/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on April 4th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (4/4/14).

  1. Greentech Media reports: “Starting in June, California’s latest version of its sprawling Title 24 building code kicks in, requiring that a whole host of systems come with some sort of demand response capability. Specifically, they are required to be ‘capable of receiving and automatically responding to at least one standards-based messaging protocol” to receive fast signals from utilities, via broadband or wireless connections.’”
  2. According to Renewable Energy World, “Low-Income Rooftop Solar Program Helping Hundreds of California Families.”
  3. The New York Times reports, “A giant Texas oil company, Anadarko Petroleum, has agreed to pay $5.1 billion for a vast environmental cleanup, a sum the Justice Department said was the largest it had ever won in such a case.”
  4. According to Climate Progress, “TransCanada has doubled down on Nebraska landowners refusing to sign over their land to Keystone XL, warning them that if they don’t accept the current offers by May 14, future offers will be far less lucrative.”
  5. Reuters reports, “Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, has agreed to disclose more information about the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, the process known as fracking.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (4/3/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on April 3rd, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (4/3/14).

  1. Bloomberg reports, “India plans to award licenses for an additional 1,000 megawatts of solar power plants in the next year, about 30 percent more than originally targeted and equivalent to about half the capacity built so far.”
  2. The Sierra Club writes about yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on campaign finance law: “Are you wondering who exactly will benefit and who will they be donating to? Take a look at who the case is named after: Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama Republican activist who made his fortune in – what else? – the coal industry. It’s McCutcheon and other dirty fuel executives like him who wanted to pump even more money into the system – and the Supreme Court has rolled over and let them.”
  3. Gigaom reports: “The U.S. government’s stalled and controversial green car loan program is getting a makeover, which could unleash its remaining $16 billion in allocated funds. During an event Wednesday, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz announced that the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, which allocated loans to green automakers between 2009 and 2011, will be improved in a few key ways.”
  4. According to KPBS: “Nearly 12 million Californians will get a discount on their power bill this month, in October and twice per year next year, too. Utilities bought or were given carbon credits last year under California’s cap and trade system.”
  5. The New York Times reports: “With the wind and solar energy industries well advanced, the oceans are looking more attractive as a new source of clean energy to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. There are obvious pluses: The tides, especially along the coasts of some countries, including Britain, are powerful and more predictable than wind.”
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Gallup: Americans Overwhelmingly Favor Clean Over Dirty Energy; Efficiency Over Production; Environmental Protection

Posted By Lowell F. on April 2nd, 2014

The fossil fuel industry can (and does) spend millions of dollars trying to persuade people that their product’s great, that renewable energy isn’t, and that climate change isn’t real. Unfortunately for the fossil fuel folks, it looks like the American people are a lot smarter than ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, etc. think they are.

Evidence? How about this newly-released polling by Gallup, which finds the following.

  • “57% of Americans say the U.S. should emphasize conservation in its approach to solve the nation’s energy problems, up from 51% in 2013 and 48% in 2011.”
  • In contrast, only “one-third in the U.S. now favor greater emphasis on energy production as the solution.”
  • “64% of Americans prefer an emphasis on the development of alternative energy production, such as wind and solar power, to an emphasis on production of traditional fossil fuels. That is up from 59% in 2013.”
  • Among younger people (ages 18-34), the preference for clean over dirty energy is overwhelming, with 80% preferring clean energy vs. 20% opting for the dirty stuff. That’s the future, and it’s not looking good for the fossil fuel folks.
  • By a nearly 2:1 margin, Americans support “setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry” and “more strongly enforcing federal environmental regulation.”
  • By a 63%-35% margin, Americans favor “imposing mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions/other greenhouse gases.”
  • By a 58%-37% margin, Americans favor “setting stricter standards on the use of techniques to extract natural gas from the earth, including ‘fracking’.”

In sum, it appears that the fossil fuel industry is losing its battle for American public opinion. That’s the good news. The bad news, at least so far, is that the strong preference of the American people for clean energy over dirty energy has not resulted in corresponding policy action by Congress. Perhaps the fact that the fossil fuel industry spends huge amounts of money to keep Congress from acting has something to do with that?

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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (4/2/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on April 2nd, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (4/2/14).

  1. The Guardian reports, “Windfarms have no negative impact on the prices of property within a 5km radius of turbines, and can even push up house prices in some areas, according to an analysis of 82,000 transactions over the past two decades by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.”
  2. According to Inside Climate News, “Now it’s official: ExxonMobil plans to fully reopen its idled Pegasus oil pipeline, including the 1940s-era segment that ruptured and dumped sticky tar-like Canadian dilbit into an Arkansas neighborhood.”
  3. The Hill reports, “A bipartisan group of governors is calling on congressional leaders to pass a multi-year extension of tax credits for the wind energy industry.”
  4. According to Climate Progress, “As President Obama’s decision on Keystone XL nears, opposition from Native American tribes — many of whom have long spoken out against the pipeline — is getting louder.”
  5. Greentech Media reports: “Exelon is fighting renewables because they beat nuclear at new market needs. Xcel and NextEra back renewables.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (4/1/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on April 1st, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (4/1/14).

  1. Bloomberg Businessweek reports: “In a March 7 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that was made public on Monday, more than 200 business owners, venture capitalists, and the odd Stanford B-school professor have asserted that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S. Over its lifetime, the 875-mile extension linking Alberta tar sands to refineries and tankers in the Gulf of Mexico would cost billions more than it brings in, the letter states…”
  2. According to Bloomberg, “A Hong Kong real-estate tycoon has spent the past year accumulating stakes in failing solar companies, piecing together what may become the biggest collection of photovoltaic factories in the world.”
  3. DeSmogBlog reports, “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has called in an epidemiologist to investigate a recent spike in fetal abnormalities in Garfield County on Colorado’s western slope…A map of current drilling activity in the Garfield County area shows the number and concentration of active wells along the busy I-70 corridor between Glenwood Springs and Rifle, one of the areas of interest in CDPHE’s investigation.”
  4. According to The Guardian, “Nick Clegg has blocked a proposal by David Cameron to restrict the construction of onshore windfarms, a Liberal Democrat source has said.”
  5. Greentech Media reports, “A proposed $250 million distributed solar project appears to have held its own in a Minnesota regulatory process that put it in competition with three natural gas options.”
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