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Utility says nuclear greener than solar – for their shareholders

xcel bullshit value of solar 3.001

Two weeks ago, I listened – incredulously – to Minnesota’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, suggest that solar energy offers its ratepayers no value as an environmental hedge against carbon emissions or as a price hedge against natural gas fuel price fluctuations. See and share the infographic related to this post But just three days later, Xcel was singing a different tune [docket pdf] to the state’s public utilities commission.  In fact, the utility was touting the benefits of its nuclear power capacity, because (in the words of James Alder of Xcel Energy): “It provides the Company and its customers a …

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2014 Climate Movement Strategy

What should be the objectives of the US-based climate movement in 2014? Over the past few years, since the death in 2010 of cap-and-trade legislation in the US Senate and the emergence a year later of a broadly-based noKXL movement, there’s been an upturn in successful working unity among many of the groups that make up the overall climate movement. This is hopeful, and it makes possible some significant strides forward, it seems to me, between now and Election Day 2014. Election Day next year is a key marker, and I would argue that this is true whether you’re a …

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Democracy in action: 300 enviros, unionists and locals “town hall” together on proposed LNG export terminal

The first town hall meeting concerning the risks of the proposed Cove Point LNG export terminal in Maryland was held Tuesday night, October 23. It was a big and rousing success. At least 300 people attended, most of them local residents. It was held at the Southern Community Center in Lusby, Md. in Calvert County, just a few miles from where Dominion Resources wants to build an industrial terminal to export fracked natural gas -- piped in from Appalachia -- and ship it to India and Japan. The $3.8 billion facility would chill the gas to 270 degrees below zero, …

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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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