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INFOGRAPHIC: The Koch Bros, Getting Richer While the World Burns

Click to embiggen: Click to embiggen. You may repost this infographic PROVIDED that you do not alter it in any way. Download SOURCES: 1. FORBES  2. SMITH (NOAA) & Katz (NCAR) 3. POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE 4. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING WORKSHOP 5. GREENPEACE 6. CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY 7. THE HILL, NEW YORK TIMES This post also appears on Huffington Post and Republic Report.

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Youth Climate Activists Deliver a Memo to Interior Secretary Jewell: #ActOnClimate, Keep Our Coal in the Ground

Department of Interior staff were greeted during their lunch break today by youth climate activists distributing memos from a made-up government agency, the “Department of Climate Action,” to highlight that the federal coal leasing program is undermining President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Earlier today, several national, regional and local organizations sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell underscoring the urgency of a federal coal leasing moratorium in light of the Bureau of Land Management’s recent announcement that it intends to sell 148 million tons of publicly-owned coal at the Maysdorf II North coal lease by application on August 21. The Maysdorf II lease sale announcement comes …

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Is Solar Cheaper Than Grid Electricity? Yes. And No.

The word "parity" is to the solar advocate as the word "abracadabra" is to the magician.  Through it, all things are possible.  But there's really two kinds of solar parity with electricity prices, and the difference is significant. Take this article from Renewable Energy World last month.  It claims that solar installations in New Mexico are at grid parity – i.e. the cost of solar is equivalent or less than the cost of grid electricity – for schools that are buying solar electricity instead of electricity from the power company. It's true, for these schools and many consumers, the price …

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Activist Profile: National Christian Denomination Stands Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

One of the best parts of my work is that I get to be inspired, every day, by the stories of people who are taking action – and taking leadership – to rein in coal pollution and move America to clean energy. Heather Moyer is one of those inspiring people, and she is also a writing partner with me on my columns every week. I’m so excited to hand the blog over to her today for a guest post, to share some great news about an important recent victory she lead in the struggle to end mountaintop removal coal mining. …

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Kelloggs killing last Sumatran tigers for cheap processed snack food

The Sumatran tiger is awesome. It's one of the most beautiful creatures in the world, and there are less than 400 left in the wild. To give you an idea of how fast this creature is being wiped out, I remember only a couple of years ago writing that there were only 500 Sumatran tigers left. Now there is less than 400. The Sumatran tiger is being killed by poachers to a certain degree, but the much bigger problem lies in the cereal you eat and those shitty little processed snacks that just make us all fatter. No kidding, these tigers …

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Speaking Out for Clean Water Protections

Today was a great day for clean water. We saw more than 100 activists turn out at an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing to support strong water pollution standards. We heard personal stories of families living in the shadow of coal plants who have been directly affected by toxic water pollution from power plants.  We listened to community leaders from across the nation make moving, powerful requests of EPA to finalize strong, meaningful standards that will protect their health, their families, and their homes. Believe it or not, for decades, power plants have been allowed to dump toxic pollution into …

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Peak Water: What Happens When the Wells Go Dry?

Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water. We drink on average four liters of water per day, in one form or another, but the food we eat each day requires 2,000 liters of water to produce, or 500 times as much. Getting enough water to drink is relatively easy, but finding enough to produce the ever-growing quantities of grain the world consumes is another matter. The world is seeing aquifer …

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Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision Course

With the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. 1 The chart compares the cost of a residential solar installation to the cost of electricity for a residential property. The numbers are national averages, and do not reflect the wide variation in the cost of electricity (from $0.067 per kWh in Seattle to over $0.170 per kWh in New York City, for …

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Infographic: Piling up Keystone XL’s petcoke

In the President’s recent speech on climate change, he said “our national interest will be served only if [Keystone XL] does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” There are many reasons that the Keystone XL pipeline will clearly exacerbate the problem of climate pollution…but one that is often overlooked (at our peril) is theproblem of petroleum coke (aka “petcoke”). Petcoke is a refining byproduct of tar sands oil, and when burned is substantially dirtier than coal and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas pollution. Read below to see just how significant Keystone XL’s petcoke problem would be…with enough petcoke to …

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Major Norwegian Pension Fund Drops Tar Sands Investments

Citizens and community leaders converging this weekend in Northern Alberta for the annual "Tar Sands Healing Walk" will likely be quite happy with news that another major European financial institution is dropping their investments in Canada's tar sands. Norwegian financial services giant, Storebrand, issued an update saying that the company has divested it's financial interests in 13 coal extractors and six companies heavily involved in oil sands extraction. This follows on the heels of Dutch bank Rabobank announcing four days ago that they have instituted a "no-loan" policy to any company involved in so-called "extreme" fuel extraction, mainly tar sands …

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