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Wind Power Monthly: "Wind 'competitive with gas' in US"

The decline in the cost of wind power has been impressive over the past few decades, and it's continuing. As this graphic by the American Wind Energy Association demonstrates. the cost of wind power in the U.S. has fallen from around 55 cents per kilowatthour in 1980 to less than 10 cents per kilowatthour today.  The result is that wind power is rapidly becoming cost competitive with natural gas-fired electricity.

Fracking Companies Force Landowners to Accept Oil and Gas Drilling on Their Land

When it comes to natural gas fracking companies - and the politicians who do their bidding - subtlety and respect for peoples' rights has not exactly been their calling card. For instance, earlier this year, we read about "Vera Scroggins, an outspoken opponent of fracking, [who] is legally barred from the new county hospital.," as well as "the Chinese restaurant where she takes her grandchildren, the supermarkets and drug stores where she shops, the animal shelter where she adopted her Yorkshire terrier, bowling alley, recycling center, golf club, and lakeshore." Crazy, right? Must be an aberration?

Video: The Daily Show on the "Benefits of Fracking"

Here's a bit of humor to end your workweek. Have a great, hopefully fracking free, weekend!

So, Utility Execs: "Do you want to be the disruptor or do you want to get disrupted?"

The headline of this article comes from NRG Energy chief executive David Crane, quoted in the Washington Post story, "Grid parity: Why electric utilities should struggle to sleep at night."

British Columbia Provides Yet More Evidence that Revenue-Neutral Carbon Taxes Work

Recently, we wrote about a new study which found that a revenue-neutral carbon tax would actually boost the economy while slashing fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Now, another article - British Columbia Enacted the Most Significant Carbon Tax in the Western Hemisphere. What Happened Next Is It Worked. - provides yet more evidence proving this point.

Topics: Clean Economy

Will TransCanada's Cloddishness Kill Keystone?

Cross-posted from the Huffington Post

Video: "Super energy-efficient German village makes money from surplus power"

Very cool: "Bloomberg Television's David Tweed visits Feldheim, an energy self-sufficient village in Bavaria that produces four times the electrity it needs - and makes a profit from selling the surplus." Hopefully, this idea will be coming soon to a village - or city - near you!

Video: Willie Nelson Music Video Depicts Devastation of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Courtesy of NRDC: "Country music legend Willie Nelson is joining the fight in Congress to protect Appalachian communities from the impacts of the devastating mining practice of mountaintop removal. In a new music video that depicts mountaintop removal operations in Appalachia and their ruinous consequences, the American icon sings "America the Beautiful" to highlight opposition to giving coal companies free rein to blast the tops off mountains and dump dangerous pollution into surrounding streams and creeks."

Topics: Clean Economy

Fossil-Fueled Climate Consequences "immediate and very human"; Clean Energy the Answer

Given renewable energy's plummeting cost, its job-creation abilities, its water-saving potential, and its massive advantage over fossil fuels in terms of human health impacts, it's not like we really need any more strong reasons to support it.  But heck, why not: here's yet another strong reason to be in favor for clean energy.

Topics: Clean Economy

Video: SEIA Webinar Provides Key Tips on Content Marketing for Solar Companies

Here are a few key points from this excellent webinar, presented earlier today, by SEIA on content marketing for solar companies.

Topics: Marketing & Communications

"Smiley Faces" for Energy Conservation, "Frowny Faces" for Water Conservation?

A year ago, we wrote about Opower's finding that peer pressure was highly effective in persuading people to use energy more efficiently.

Camera Strapped to Tree Captures Year's Worth of "Dangerous" Coal Ash Wastewater Dumping into Ohio River

File this one under the "we're not surprised" category.

Topics: Clean Economy

Elon Musk: If You Believe NJ Banning Tesla Sales Was About "consumer protection," Gov. Christie "has a bridge closure he wants to sell you!"

After reading "To the People of New Jersey," I think it's fair to say that Elon Musk deserves to win a prize for best blog post - not to mention best one liner! - of the week. Check it out.

Video: Dr. James Hansen Explains Why He Opposes Keystone XL

Here's video of Dr. James Hansen, climate science expert and former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testifying yesterday at a U.S. Senate hearing, and explaining why he opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.

Topics: Clean Economy

Fossil Fuel Flacks Try - and Fail - to Link Alex Sink's Defeat to Climate Change

In their latest departure from reality, the fossil fuel industry's flacks are now attempting to spin the defeat of Florida Congressional candidate Alex Sink on Tuesday as somehow related to the issue of climate change.  Case in point: James Taylor, "senior fellow for environment policy" at the fossil-fuel-funded, climate-science-denying Heartland Institute, writes at Forbes:

Katie Fehrenbacher: Silicon Valley Cleantech Becoming "Leaner," "Savvier," "More Sober"

Katie Fehrenbacher "launched GigaOM’s greentech channel in 2007 and closely tracks energy entrepreneurs and investors," so she's definitely got her finger on the pulse of the industry,  particularly in Silicon Valley.  Which is why her take-down of the meme that "Silicon Valley doesn’t seem to be creating anything meaningful anymore" is worth highlighting. Fehrenbacher makes  a few key points.

Turning Sunshine Into Fresh Water Sounds Like a Good Idea to Us

Using sunlight to produce clean water? Sounds like a great idea to us.

Recent Keystone XL Polling Finds 5 Major Falsehoods Pushed by Oil Industry

Recent polling has indicated strong support by the American public for approving construction of the Keystone XL Canadian tar sands export pipeline. Yet this support is based on a series of falsehoods, spread by the very people who stand to benefit from the pipeline's approval (go figure!).  Here are five of those falsehoods, and our explanation as to why they're false.

CNBC Article Highlights Why Utilities' "Own and Control" Mentality Needs to Change

There have been numerous articles written about the possible future for electric utilities in a world of rapidly growing distributed power, including David Roberts' three-part series in Grist. Here are a few key paragraphs from that article (bolding by me for emphasis).

ProPublica Highlights "The Latest in Fracking Health Studies"

ProPublica consistently digs into issues to a greater extent than most of the corporate media tends to do. This article, "Drilling for Certainty: The Latest in Fracking Health Studies", is a perfect example. As ProPublica notes, "[t]he studies included [in its review] are by no means a comprehensive review of the scientific literature," but it's at least "a survey of some of that work." Here are a few highlights:

Topics: Clean Economy

Can Tar Sands by Rail Substitute for Keystone XL? Myth vs. Fact.

One of the key debates over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is whether rail can be an effective substitute/equivalent for pipelines. If, for instance, rail cannot substitute for Keystone XL, then pipeline supporters and opponents alike can plausibly argue that deep-sixing Keystone XL might significantly slow the expansion of Canadian tar sands production. If, on the other hand, rail can substitute for Keystone XL, then whether or not this project is approved might ultimately not have much impact on how rapidly the tar sands are developed.

Is There "One Good Reason Obama Should Approve Keystone XL?"

The short answer, according to Bloomberg Businessweek executive editor Brad Wieners, to the above question is "no." Actually, heck no. Here are a few key points from Wiener's article.

Topics: Clean Economy

For Wind Power, a "Big Empty Space Down South"

Over at Earth Techling, writer Pete Danko explains why a map of U.S. wind turbines shows a "big empty space down South." There are three main obstacles to bringing wind power to the southern U.S.  First, there's the wind resource itself.

Alpha Natural Resources Slapped with $27.5 Million Fine

Good news, albeit just the tip of the iceberg.

Topics: Clean Economy

Joseph Desmond of BrightSource Energy: Ivanpah a Model for Future CSP Projects

A bit earlier today, Joseph Desmond of BrightSource Energy appeared on EETV to talk about how the recently-inaugurated Ivanpah concentrating solar power (CSP) facility is not only "relevant," but a model for future projects. Asked whether "a project of this nature is no longer relevant or would no longer to be relevant to be built new starting today," Desmond responded:

Canada's National Energy Board Audit: TransCanada Didn't Comply with Hazard ID, Risk Assessment, etc.

File this article in the "not surprising yet disturbing nonetheless" category.