Energy
General Motors Announces Huge Investment In EV Plant in Michigan

General Motors Announces Huge Investment In EV Plant in Michigan

General Motors announced big plans to invest $2.2 Billion in a plant in Detroit in a plant that will build only electric vehicles including the company’s first all-electric pickup truck and the first of multiple electric truck models (reportedly including a Hummer) and an autonomous vehicle they will build the plant in the coming years.

Why This Matters:  They are not wasting any time — GM’s first all-electric pickup is expected to begin in late 2021.

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Arizona’s Largest Utility Commits To Be Carbon-Free By 2050

Arizona’s Largest Utility Commits To Be Carbon-Free By 2050

In a surprising turn around, Arizona Public Service (APS) pledged on Wednesday to achieve carbon-free (not just neutral) power by 2050, with an interim target of 65 percent clean electricity by 2030, and by 2031 APS will achieve 45 percent renewable energy as well as close its coal power plants.  Ironically, in 2018, APS spent nearly $40 million dollars to defeat a ballot initiative to switch to renewables in the same time frame that Democratic Presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s organization NextGen America was working to get passed, according to The Washington Post.

 

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One Cool Thing: The First Electric Plane Flight

One Cool Thing: The First Electric Plane Flight

Forget biofuels for aviation.  A small Canadian airline, Harbour Air, made a huge leap forward earlier this month by making the first commercial airline flight powered by an electric engine.  It only remained in the air for a few minutes but that was long enough for the 63-year-old seaplane to claim this important first.  The […]

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New Poll Explains Consumer Reluctance To Buy EVs

New Poll Explains Consumer Reluctance To Buy EVs

According to a new Ipsos poll, Americans want to take individual actions to combat climate change, but only 30% were willing to buy an electric vehicle.  According to a larger global survey on battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the reasons for the lack of consumer uptake were concerns about the higher cost of BEVs, their limited […]

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Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Numerous progressive utilities such as Xcel, which have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, are struggling to get there without expanding the use of natural gas and this is fueling a broader and divisive debate around gas’s future, according to Inside Climate News.  The plan drawn up by Xcel, which serves 3.6 million customers […]

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In A Major Step Forward For Environmental Justice, Court Rejects Pipeline Permit

In A Major Step Forward For Environmental Justice, Court Rejects Pipeline Permit

In a case we have been following, there was good news yesterday when a three-judge federal Federal Appeals Court panel in Virginia invalidated a state air pollution permit for a natural gas compressor station planned as part of a 600-mile natural gas pipeline project because the state permitting board failed to consider the disproportionate health effects on Union Hill, a predominantly African American community nearby.

Why This Matters:  This is not the end of the line for the pipeline — the Court threw out the permit but the state will now get a do-over.  Still, the fact that the Court specifically decided the case on environmental justice grounds is a huge step forward. 

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New Study Finds Shutting Down Coal Plants Saved 26,000 Lives

New Study Finds Shutting Down Coal Plants Saved 26,000 Lives

A new study published this week in the Journal Nature found that the switch from coal-fired power plants to natural gas plants during the 11 year period from 2005-16 coincided with a huge reduction of 26,000 deaths and a significant increase in agricultural productivity nearby the plants.  These changes in power plants (combined with advances […]

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Oil Prices Rise — Could This Be the Last Decade of Oil and Gas Industry Growth?

Oil Prices Rise — Could This Be the Last Decade of Oil and Gas Industry Growth?

Oil prices spiked last Friday after the U.S. airstrike last week, finishing the week up 3.6% globally according to MarketWatch, and sparking fears that it could reach $80 a barrel (currently it is at $69/barrel).  But even before this latest price increase, industry experts were beginning to wonder whether “the oncoming 2020s may well go down in history as the decade when the world’s demand for crude peaked for good,” the Houston Chronicle reported.

Why This MattersEnergy analysts see the handwriting on the wall — that, as one put it, “[y]ou can paint a pretty bearish picture that oil demand is going to plateau before 2030.”

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Top Stories of 2019: The Need for Microgrids

Top Stories of 2019: The Need for Microgrids

Northern California’s wildfires in 2019 forced the nation’s most populous state to reevaluate the role that electric utilities will play in a future plagued by more wildfires. Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s largest utility, not only declared bankruptcy but was found liable of starting the deadly Camp Fire of 2018. In addition, the City of […]

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Renewable Energy Tax Breaks – Clean Energy Left Out, Biodiesel Back In

Renewable Energy Tax Breaks – Clean Energy Left Out, Biodiesel Back In

This week, as part of its annual spending bills, Congressional negotiators worked out a narrow package of tax breaks for some types of renewable energy but purposely left other clean energy sources out of the money.

Why This Matters:  The final spending bill was not good for conservation and climate change and environmental groups are not happy. 

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California’s Million Panel Milestone, Will Batteries Be Next?

California’s Million Panel Milestone, Will Batteries Be Next?

Yesterday, former California Governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated a big milestone for their state: the installation of 1 million small-scale solar systems. As the LA Times reported, Schwarzenegger, in 2005 set a statewide target of 1 million solar installations and launched a program that would ultimately set aside more than $3 billion for […]

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General Motors’ Massive “COP” Out

General Motors’ Massive “COP” Out

On Tuesday, while governments struggled mightily to deal with the climate emergency at the UN Climate Meeting and U.S. stakeholders tried to make lemonade out of the U.S. pullout of the Paris Accord by proclaiming that U.S. Governors, Mayors, and major corporations are “Still In,” back in Detroit, General Motors rolled out their largest SUV ever — adding 7 full inches to the Tahoe truck. 

Why This Matters:  Transportation accounts for 23% of carbon emissions globally according to the IPCC.  As long as gas is cheap, car companies will keep making gas guzzlers and the public will keep buying them.

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