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In Anticipating EPA Plan, States can Follow Examples of Neighbors

August 13 -- While debate rages on about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas pollution from existing U.S. power plants, it’s important to take a look at what is already working around the country from the standpoint of clean energy deployment. >>View Article

Offshore Wind: The Wave of the Future

August 12 -- A majority of us cannot fathom a world without electricity. For this reason, the means by which we harness energy is imperative. By obtaining energy though sustainable means, such as offshore wind, not only are we reducing carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel burning, but we also advance into energy independence. Reducing our hunger for fossil fuels will also decrease our vulnerability to international crises and conflicts. >>View Article

Message to EPA: Don't Quit While We're Ahead

August 12 -- When I was younger, I competed on a swim team and spent most of my free time training. I learned a lot from that experience, but what stuck with me is that winning or losing began with a good training plan — and sticking to it. Sure, our team had tough three-hour practices and occasional progress plateaus, but executing the plan resulted in more wins than losses.

Americans know how to win because they are not afraid to lead and follow an ambitious plan. A prime example is our long history of leadership in biotechnology. Today, the U.S. is the world leader in the production of biofuels. We are also developing environmentally-friendly ways to produce biochemicals, materials, food and animal feed that use less petroleum and emit less CO2 throughout a product’s life cycle. >>View Article

Destroyed by Tornado, Town Saving Big by Rebuilding All Green

August 12 -- Seven years ago, one of the strongest tornadoes ever to touch down in the United States flattened the town of Greensburg, Kan., population 1,400. Twelve people died when the 1.7 mile-wide twister rolled straight through town, destroying 95 percent of its buildings. >>View Article

IRS Relaxes Renewable Energy Project Tax Credit Rule

August 11 -- The Internal Revenue Service lowered a threshold for renewable-energy projects to qualify for federal tax credits, potentially providing a boon to developers and investors in the wind-power industry who had been uncertain how heavily they could rely on them for financing. >>View Article

Ruben Guerra and Susan Frank: Don't Delay on Clean-Air Law

August 11 -- You may have seen some ads or read The Fresno Bee editorial ("Head off big fuel price hike," Aug. 3) that suggest "special interests" are going to cause gas prices to go up in January as a result of transportation fuels being covered under California's clean energy and climate law, Assembly Bill 32.

We want to set the record straight, as business leaders who have long supported the state's clean-air policies. Perhaps we are "special" in that not only do we represent thousands of California businesses, but we are joined by tens of thousands of workers and residents who continue to voice their support for AB 32 year in and year out. >>View Article

Texas Becomes Ground Zero for Surge in Wind Power

August 11 -- The winds of change are blowing through Texas -- both literally and figuratively.

Home to both vast repositories of conventional and shale oil, the Lone Star State is also a major player in wind power, a new twist on the U.S. energy independence narrative. However improbable, the nation's second largest state has been ground zero for a quiet renewable energy revolution. >>View Article

Blythe Mesa Solar Project Wins Environmental Supporters

August 11 -- As large-scale solar has proliferated across Riverside County, some of the strongest opposition has come from a surprising source: environmentalists. Groups ranging from the Sierra Club to the Center for Biological Diversity have argued that massive solar projects can kill birds, disrupt species and damage other environmental resources.

But those groups have come out in support of the Blythe Mesa project, a 485-megawatt solar plant that would be built on private land in eastern Riverside County. This project, they say, would offset between 400,000 and one million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — without serious environmental consequences. >>View Article

Electric Cars: The Next Smartphone?

August 8 -- When politicians speak of weaning ourselves off gas, they frame their plans across decades. Indeed, it can seem like a stretch to imagine looking at gas stations in the imminent future the way we do at pay phones today. Presently, electric vehicles appeal primarily to those who can pay a premium for expressing their “green” values. Such vehicles are seldom mentioned as the upcoming default for your everyday commuter or local delivery driver.

But what if a clever business model could lower the retail price of a Tesla compact sedan to less than $20,000, or make an extended range option like BMW’s i3 attainable for under $30,000? Could such pricing make electric vehicle adoption a no-brainer for a larger group of drivers? The business model that helped make the smartphone widely indispensable may offer a clue. >>View Article

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