Energy
Germany Is Closing Nuclear Power Plants — But What To Do With the Waste For A Million Years?

Germany Is Closing Nuclear Power Plants — But What To Do With the Waste For A Million Years?

Where does one store nearly 2,000 containers of high-level radioactive waste that is absolutely unbreakable and guaranteed to never leak? That is the challenge facing a team of German scientists tasked with figuring out how to safely close down all of Germany’s nuclear power plants by 2031 — and the bar is high — they […]

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Trump Administration Wants to Ditch Energy-Efficient Dishwashers

Trump Administration Wants to Ditch Energy-Efficient Dishwashers

The Trump Administration announced its intention to roll back yet another climate change efficiency standard.  The Hill reported that the Energy Department is planning to allow faster-cleaning dishwashers that do not comply with current energy efficiency standards, which will overturn years of progress on making these appliances energy efficient.

Why This Matters:  Many Americans will give thanks on Thursday for their dishwashers. And most do not object to the time it takes for them to operate – they just want clean, safe dishes. 

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Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Moving full speed ahead on new fossil fuel infrastructure, the Trump Administration’s federal regulators approved permits for three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley and the expansion of another in Corpus Christi, according to the Houston Chronicle.  They do not have financing and final approvals yet, and a coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans, shrimpers, fishers, and communities working under the banner Save RGV From LNG are fighting the  Brownsville projects due to safety and environmental concerns.

Why This Matters:  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with President Trump’s appointees at the helm have sped through 11 LNG projects in the last 9 months alone.

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CA Governor Halts Fracking Permits, NY Governor In Standoff Over Natural Gas

CA Governor Halts Fracking Permits, NY Governor In Standoff Over Natural Gas

Governors on both coasts are going to battle with oil and gas companies over climate change. Continuing his strong environmental protection agenda, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced new regulations putting in place a moratorium on fracking and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in the state, which environmentalists have long opposed.  Meanwhile, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo […]

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Making Microgrids More Accessible

Making Microgrids More Accessible

In the aftermath of the recent PG&E shutdowns, we wrote about the hardships that Californians faced–especially those who didn’t have solar and battery storage available to them.

Fighting climate change means helping ease upfront costs of distributed energy so that it becomes available to low-income households as well as wealthier ones.

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One Cool Thing:  Maine Approves First Offshore Floating Wind Project in the U.S.

One Cool Thing: Maine Approves First Offshore Floating Wind Project in the U.S.

We wanted to end the week on a high note!  We have written about Norway’s big plans for floating offshore wind — now we will have it in the U.S. too, thanks to the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, who finally got the 12-megawatt demonstration project green-lit by pushing through legislation that forced state utility […]

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Oil Spills Across the Americas Threaten Precious Ecosystems

Oil Spills Across the Americas Threaten Precious Ecosystems

Marine scientists in Brazil are closely monitoring a mysterious oil spill from August that has reached the Abrolhos Bank along the central part of the Brazilian coastline–which is the largest biodiversity hot spot in the South Atlantic Ocean.

At the same time, it was revealed last week that the Keystone Pipeline leaked 383,000 gallons of oil in its second big spill in two years. 

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KY Lawmakers Allow Big Coal Hurt Their Poorest Constituents

KY Lawmakers Allow Big Coal Hurt Their Poorest Constituents

The Stats: 9 of the 10 states that emit the most heat-trapping CO2 pollution per person helped block the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have been the largest effort by the U.S. government to limit climate change.

People in those states are facing some of the worst climate-driven extreme weather in the US. 

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Investing in Renewables in the Midwest Yields Big Returns

Investing in Renewables in the Midwest Yields Big Returns

A new study from Harvard has found that the locations where renewable energy sources are built in the U.S. matter as much as, if not more than, the type of renewable energy that’s built there.

Why This Matters: The location of new renewables projects matters because regions that are dependent on coal will reap outsize health benefits from cleaner energy sources than places that already have a grid partly powered by renewables.

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Coal Giant Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy, Miners and Taxpayers May Get the Shaft

Coal Giant Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy, Miners and Taxpayers May Get the Shaft

For the fifth time this year, a major coal company — this time Murray Energy — declared bankruptcy, despite all the President’s efforts to buoy the dying industry.  The company will get to continue to operate even as it restructures is 2.7 billion in operating debt.  But The Washington Post reported that according to its bankruptcy court filings, Murray Energy may seek relief from its $8 billion in pension debt and future payments into a federal fund for miners’ pensions and that relief for Murray would result in the depletion of the retirement fund for all 90,000 miners (most of whom are retired) across the country by 2020.

Why This Matters:  The bottom line is that the coal industry’s success in getting Trump to lift environmental rules did not result in enough savings to make these coal companies solvent.  So everyone (other than coal company executives) loses — the workers, the people who are stuck living near the denuded mess after these mines shut down, and taxpayers who will ultimately pay for both. 

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One Spooky Thing: Beware the Energy Vampires!

One Spooky Thing: Beware the Energy Vampires!

We all have appliances that are using energy even when we’re not home. Read Clean Technica’s, A Room-by-Room Guide To Ousting The (Energy) Vampires Lurking In Your Home and get your spooky spirit on!

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Gas Companies Charging Californians More for Gas, New Analysis Finds

Gas Companies Charging Californians More for Gas, New Analysis Finds

Just as Exxon Mobil is on trial for accounting fraud, California Governor Gavin Newsom asked his attorney general’s office to “investigate whether a “mystery surcharge” on gasoline prices in the state was caused by oil companies “misleading and overcharging” their customers,” according to the SF Chronicle. In a letter to California AG Xavier Becerra, Newsom […]

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