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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (6/26/14)

Here are five recommended reads for today (6/26/14).

Johnson Controls Forum: Energy Efficiency a Key Building Block for EPA Carbon Rule Compliance

Reported by: Bridgette N. Borst

Topics: Clean Economy

Solar Energy Marketing Expert David Briggs: Solar's Key Challenge Now is to "truly out-compete traditional energy"

David Briggs has long-standing experience in the solar industry, including three years at a cleantech communications firm and three years as Marketing Manager at microinverter manufacturer Enphase Energy. Briggs now works as Director of Marketing at mounting systems provider IronRidge. Recently, Briggs took a few minutes from his busy schedule to talk to us about an important topic for the solar industry: how best to engage and market to your customer base, and ultimately to "truly out-compete traditional energy." We greatly appreciate Briggs' insight-filled responses to our questions.

Topics: Marketing & Communications

Changing the Model for Building Solar and Wind Farms

By Tom Matzzie

Recent Conference Points to Potential Reliability, Renewable Energy Benefits of Microgrids

Recently, the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid’s National Town Meeting in Washington, DC, brought together a variety of players including utilities, policymakers, software developers, and energy writers. The three-day conference kicked off with presentations and group discussions on the hotly debated topic of microgrids.

Yet Another Way in Which Dirty, Toxic Coal Threatens People's Health

We already know that mountaintop removal coal mining poses a serious threat to human health, with "people living near the destruction are 50% more likely to die of cancer and 42% more likely to be born with birth defects compared with other people in Appalachia." As if that's not bad enough, coal-fired power plants "release at least 5.5 billion pounds of pollution into the nation’s waterways every year, " with most "power plant water pollution permits (188 out of 274) hav[ing] no limits on how much
arsenic, boron, cadmium, lead, mercury, and selenium that these plants can discharge." Then there's the nasty air pollution from coal fired power plants leads to " premature death, heart attacks, lung damage, and a variety of other significant health problems" and "$100 billion in annual health costs." Plus, of course, coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, which means that coal-fired power plants are a major contributor to global warming.

Topics: Clean Economy

"Frack Master" and Other Recent Articles Highlight Gap Between Fracking Fact and Propaganda

A few recent news items highlight the absurdity of fossil fuel interests' fight for fracking, and also the media's sometimes less-than-optimal coverage of that fight.

AWEA, SEIA Leaders: Wind, Solar "two affordable, reliable, and business-friendly solutions" to Meet EPA Rules

We just wanted to highlight this morning's op-ed in The Hill by Tom Kiernan and Rhone Resch - the leaders of the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, respectively, about how wind and solar are "two affordable, reliable, and business-friendly solutions" for America to meet the proposed new EPA carbon pollution rules. Here's an excerpt from the op-ed, with which we concur 100%.

Topics: Clean Economy

Koch Brothers Launching New "Seven Figures" Effort to Promote Dirty Energy; Trash Clean Energy and the Environment

Just when you think the Koch brothers can't get any more active in their relentless anti-environment and anti-clean energy efforts, they do just that.

How Little Will It Cost for States to Switch to Clean Energy?

This little.

US Department of Energy Investing $10 Million for Grid Reliability Projects

Good news from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Yet Another Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Action on Global Warming

Another day, another poll showing the same thing: that Americans overwhelmingly want action to combat global warming and are willing to pay to do so.

Topics: Clean Economy

Even the Pro-Fossil-Fuel Washington Post Editorial Page Calls for Tighter Controls on Fracking

Will wonders never cease? Even the generally pro-fossil-fuels Washington Post editorial page is edging towards concern about fracking's negative impact on the environment.

Topics: Clean Economy

New Study: Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax "creates jobs, grows the economy, saves lives, and makes Americans richer"

McCarthy Group Study: "Millennials trust their friends, not advertising"

Ragan PR refers us to a new study by The McCarthy Group which demonstrates, yet again, that word of mouth and social media trump paid ads, particularly for young people.

Opower: EPA Carbon Goals "Achievable," "Huge Opportunity for Utilities"

We recently interviewed Paul De Martini of the Newport Consulting Group about the state of the U.S. smart grid market. According to De Martini: