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Obama’s first ad focuses on green jobs

President Obama released the first ad of his reelection campaign, and it's about clean energy jobs and oil independence -- plus, it hits back at a Koch-funded attack ad that fudged the facts. This is unusually green (as in actually mentioning green issues) and unusually brass (as in balls)! Let's hope it keeps up.

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Clean energy policies create more jobs than Keystone

Obama is poised to reject Keystone XL this afternoon, so brace for a lot of Republican bellyaching about how he obviously doesn’t care about jobs. There is a problem with this line of argument, and it’s that it is nonsense. Don't believe us? Check out this graph, from ThinkProgress, which shows how Obama administration policies like the much-maligned loan guarantee program and the EPA toxic pollution rule will create many, many more jobs than Keystone construction:

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Beautiful struggle: Martin Luther King and the fight for the environment

Photo: Chris Tank Forty-four years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot dead while supporting sanitation workers in Memphis, his legacy is indisputable. Because of the way he mobilized the poor and the powerful, state-sponsored racial discrimination, a prominent factor in American life for nearly 200 years, is no more. As a result, it’s now hard to imagine a position of prominence in this country, including the presidency, that an African American could not obtain. But Dr. King’s work is not complete. Today, we face continued attempts at voter suppression, attacks on collective bargaining rights, income inequality, a racially …

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Confused with a chance of flip-flop: Mitt Romney’s views on climate and energy

Mitt RomneyMitt Romney.Photo: Gage SkidmoreWhere does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn't have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.

Then

Romney used to be one of the more sane Republicans when it comes to climate change. He would play up uncertainty and use weasel words, but he still acknowledged global warming as a problem.

In his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote:

I believe that climate change is occurring -- the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to factors out of our control.

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How India is winning the future with solar energy

India set a goal to build 20 gigawatts of solar -- an enormous amount -- by 2020. The haters said at first that the country might not make it, but lately India's plan is seeming smarter than anyone imagined. Plus, it's creating jobs -- both in India and in America! What's leading to its success? Government subsidies that are aggressive … but not too aggressive. Subsides are creating both demand and enough competition to keep prices down. Private sector support. Indian banks are beginning to see solar as a desirable investment, since, like toll roads, they're infrastructure projects that offer …

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Critical List: Jaczko reportedly a jerk; Gore flogs ‘sustainable capitalism’

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's commissioners are calling out their boss, Gregory Jaczko, for being a jerk. It's not exactly reassuring when the body that oversees nuclear power can't even get its own house in order. Other countries are taking way better care of endangered species than the United States is. Uh oh, there was a human oil spill outside of John Boehner's Ohio office! Who's going to clean it up? Al Gore's newest thing is "sustainable capitalism." We hear the Chamber of Commerce is totally on board. Totally. The solar industry installed more capacity in the last quarter than in …

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A magical meter and friendly competition help one community dial back energy use

The Island Energy Dashboard gives residents a real-time look at how much electricity they're sucking from the grid. When Puget Sound Energy announced plans to build a new substation to meet rising electricity demand on Bainbridge Island, Wash., in 2009, it apparently didn't know who it was dealing with. Bainbridge is a well-to-do suburb of Seattle (a 35-minute ferry ride will drop you right in downtown), and home to more than a few techies, computer programmers, and folks who have letterhead with lots of fancy degrees in front of their names. Eric Rehm, a software-engineer-turned-marine-biologist, says that "a mosh pit …

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Efficiency standards are the SINGLE BIGGEST CLIMATE DEAL EVER

The U.S. federal government teamed up with all of the major auto manufacturers and hammered out a deal to double the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles on the road by 2025 -- to 54.5 miles per gallon. New vehicles sold under the program will save "a total of four billion barrels of oil and prevent two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution," reports Tom Friedman, whose most recent stab at being a cleantech advocate almost redeems all that time he spent misdirecting us on foreign policy.  According to Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign of the …

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By the numbers: The myth of ‘job-killing’ regulations

This post originally appeared at Facing South. 3 -- Number of weeks straight last month that Republicans used their weekly radio address to attack government regulations for killing jobs 0.3 -- Percent of people who lost their jobs in 2010 because of government regulation 25 -- Percent who lost their jobs because of a drop in business demand More than 1,000 -- Number of temporary workers hired by energy giant AEP to build a pollution scrubber for one of its coal-fired power plants in order to meet Clean Air Act regulations 40 -- Number of full-time employees the plant then …

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How does energy efficiency create jobs?

This post was written by Casey Bell, senior economic analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. With unemployment hovering at a stubborn 9 percent, it is no wonder that job creation has become a hot topic. It is nearly impossible to read the news without encountering an article describing how a policy or industry creates a given number of jobs. Often, job creation is used as a justification for public sector investment in a program, policy, institution, or project. You may also see numbers from the energy industry proclaiming the …