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Asheville Votes to Move Beyond Coal

Chicago. Los Angeles. Austin. Asheville. Wait, what? That's right, Asheville, North Carolina, can now join the ranks of cities that have chosen to move beyond coal. On Tuesday night the city council voted UNANIMOUSLY to move the city from coal-fired electricity toward a clean energy future. I was just in Asheville in July with my new friend Ian Somerhalder (of TV's "Vampire Diaries" fame) to speak at a rally where hundreds of people gathered to urge the city to invest in clean energy. Here's video from that rally... ...and now look at the fantastic results! This move by the city …

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Three reasons why Germany is kicking our arsch on solar

solar in small german town
Shutterstock
Franconia, Bavaria.

Germany is racing past 20 percent renewable energy on its electricity grid, but news stories stridently warn that this new wind and solar power is costing "billions." What is often left out (or buried far from the lede) is the overwhelming popularity of the country's relentless focus on energy change (energiewende).

How can a supposedly expensive effort to clean up the energy supply be so popular?

1. It's about the cost, not the price

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Koch brothers could make $100 billion on Keystone XL pipeline deal

A new study released Sunday concludes that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is given the go-ahead by President Obama.

The report, titled "Billionaires' Carbon Bomb," and produced by the think tank International Forum on Globalization, finds that David and Charles Koch and their privately owned company, Koch Industries, own more than 2 million acres of land in Northern Alberta, the source of the tar-sands oil that will be pumped to the United States via the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Celebrating the 1,000th Sierra Club Solar Home

It's been more than two years since my husband and I installed solar panels on the roof of our home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As the months have passed, I've enjoyed watching the ticker continually rise on the amount of solar power our panels have generated. I love knowing that our home is more powered by the sun, and less by dirty coal mined by blowing up the beautiful mountains in Appalachia. And across the U.S, I'm not alone! Rooftop solar power is expanding exponentially, and the Sierra Club just celebrated our 1,000th solar home as part of our Solar …

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Cold justice: Alaska Supreme Court hears college kid’s climate case

Should the atmosphere be considered part of the public trust, a resource essential for our collective survival? That’s one question currently being considered by the Alaska Supreme Court, which earlier this month traveled to the northernmost town in the United States to hear arguments for a climate change lawsuit brought by six youth plaintiffs. On behalf of the youth, attorney Brad De Noble argued that the atmosphere itself should be considered a legally-protected resource under the state’s constitution. The plaintiffs, who live throughout the state, initially sued the Alaska Department of Natural Resources last year, and that lawsuit was dismissed by …

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Why is WGBH Legitimizing David Koch’s Climate Change Denial?

Last Wednesday, more than 50 people gathered outside of WGBH — Boston’s public television station and the largest producer of national PBS television content — with 119,000 petition signatures calling on the station to drop David Koch from its board. Even Elmo was there (well, a local climate activist dressed up as Elmo), to say that a man who has spent millions spreading lies about climate change doesn’t belong on the board of an institution that seeks to enrich “people’s lives through programs and services that educate […]” WGBH spokespeople were quick to respond that as a board member, Koch has no impact on their programming. …

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Norway’s massive oil wealth could be invested in renewables, “change the world”

Norway has more money than it knows what to do with. And while leaders figure out how they want to manage the nation's roughly $790 billion public pension fund going forward, there's real potential for an "unprecedented shift" in renewable energy investment. Norway's enormous pension coffers, fat off the country's offshore oil wealth, could ironically prove a total game changer for development of renewables and global action on climate change. The fortunes are locked up in the nation's massive Government Pension Fund, formerly the "Petroleum Fund of Norway" and the world's largest such sovereign fund, which owns over 1-percent of the world's …

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Ontario Kills Coal, But Local Renewables Program Falters

It was one of the most ambitious renewable energy programs in the world when it launched in 2009, committing the Canadian province to buy power from thousands of new renewable energy systems.  It was open and accessible to the average person, and it was committed to buying power only from projects that were "made in Ontario."  And it was part of a plan to kill off coal-fired power generation by the end of 2014. Coal's exit is still on schedule, but the rollout of renewables has been as rough as the Canadian Rockies. The bottom line is that the Feed-In Tariff …

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How long did the North Dakota oil spill remain undetected?

A major oil pipeline spill in North Dakota remained undetected by Tesoro for days 20,600 barrels of crude oil spilled from a six inch pipeline owned and operated by Tesoro Logistics, according to the company, spreading over 7 acres of a North Dakota wheat field until a farmer discovered it on September 29. But information about this major spill wasn’t made public for another 11 days - and only after the Associated Press asked the North Dakota Health Department about it. The oil spill is raising questions about the company’s leak detection and response efforts, as well as the adequacy …

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Building a Culture of Mass Resistance to Climate Disruption

Without question, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was an organization essential to the Southern-based civil rights movement of the 1960’s. If SNCC had not come forward, that movement never would have won the victories that it did. SNCC was youth-based and youth-led. It was the most uncompromising, most risk-taking, most participatory and democratic and most radical of all of the civil rights organizations working in the 1960’s in the deep South. SNCC grew most directly out of student sit-ins at segregated public restaurants in early 1960; most of the local groups which came together at its founding conference in …

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