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Adam Browning's Posts

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Delaware passes a state Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard while Congress passes the buck

While Congress was busy breaking our hearts and hopes for a clean energy future, guess what was happening in Delaware?  Progress, that's what. Yesterday, Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed into law a suite of clean energy bills, including a state Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requiring 25 percent renewable energy, and some excellent solar-specific policies. It would be very nice if Congress would take care of this on a national level, but in the off chance that they don't, it can be done state by state. It's where most of the action has taken place to date, and, well, unfortunately I …

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World Cup open thread

I'm enjoying the World Cup, blind refs, vuvuzelas, flops and all. But my friend Matthew -- who actually plays the game -- not so much. He argues that the game needs updating. He's got a point. Sports constantly change and innovate to increase dynamism and broaden appeal. Basketball, for example, adopted the 3-point line; football, the forward pass; baseball, steroids. Why not soccer, indeed? Matthew's proposal is to widen the goal. Personally, I think that's a bad idea: instead of increasing scoring, teams would retreat into a more defensive posture; you'd see defensive lines 6-8 strong.  My solution? Two balls. …

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Plan B

Oil spill got you down?  Worried that Congress seems utterly incapable of rising to the challenge of climate change?  Does the steady stream of big problems and limpid solutions have you seriously worried about the future viability of life on Earth?  Well, good news, my friend: scientists have discovered Plan B.

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Got a clever solar slogan? Tell us!

The New York State Legislature has been debating a big solar program -- the New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act would add 5 GW of solar to the state's energy mix -- but we're getting to the homestretch on the legislative calendar, and it's do-or-die time in Albany. We'd like to send them a sign. A really big sign. Literally. We, at Vote Solar, got space on an electronic billboard on the I-787 Interstate -- practically the driveway of the Capitol. Can you help think of some chuckle-worthy messages that might generate a pro-solar buzz? To get your juices …

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We should totally nuke the oil spill

According to a Miami Herald opinion writer, one thing that's getting in the way of stopping the oil spill is our emotional attachment to the Gulf ecosystem.  And food.  So we should nuke it.  Which is kind of like microwaving, but safer, because the Russians do it all the time.  Or so says an expert.  Anywhoo, stupid environmentalists.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Now is a very good time to impose a severance tax on oil production in California

California is in the midst of a historic budget crisis threatening public services from Calexico to Yreka. California, alone amongst major oil-producing states, charges no severance tax on oil production. This is fair why?  Discuss.

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Solar: not as expensive as the WSJ thinks

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article called "Test Your Solar Power IQ," that cites the cost of solar power at 25 cents/kWh, or more than double the cost of natural gas or coal. Solar is actually a lot cheaper than that. It's not the reporter's fault. She got the figure from a national lab. And she's not alone. If I had a nickel for every similar news account, well, our fundraising worries would be solved. There's a good reason for the lack of good, current information about solar's costs. Solar used to be expensive. And from 2004 to …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Gulf oil spill and Florida politics

There's been a lot of discussion about what the Gulf oilspill means for federal clean energy legislation.  The same thing has been happening at the state level as well. Take Florida.  The Florida Legislature has debated clean energy legislation in the last several sessions, and has come heartbreakingly close to passage several times, only to have the process derailed in the 11th hour.  This year was no different, when the session closed about a week after the spill began, with no clean energy progress. With the tragedy unfolding off the coast, Governor Crist has indicated that now may be a …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Globama

I got one word for you: Globama. You can't not click the link.  Try and resist--it's impossible. There's actually a pretty funny history there.  My friend and mentor Steven Strong did the current install on the pool house.  Word is, he waited until George was out of town, then gave the paperwork to Laura for sign-off.  Once approved, he screwed that thing down so tight it's never coming off.  Reagan-proofed it, as it were.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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SF keeping PACE

The built environment is responsible for something like 72% of electricity use and ~36% of greenhouse gas emission in the US.  How to get at that chunk of embedded carbon? On Monday, the City of San Francisco launched Green Finance SF, the country's largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.  The bonding capacity is up to $150 million, though actual size of issuance will depend on property-owner interest.  Both residential and commercial property owners are eligible. The program finances energy efficiency upgrades, water conservation measures, and solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems.  In fact, program participants will have to …

Read more: Climate & Energy