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"Seeking Alpha": Oil Price Plunge Should Have Tar Sands, Shale Oil Investors "Very Very Nervous"

The plunge in world oil prices in recent weeks has been dizzying. As with all major changes in prices, there are winners and losers in this situation. The biggest potential losers, of course, are the highest-cost oil producers -- Canadian tar sands, "tight oil" and "shale oil," etc.  Thus, according to investor website "Seeking Alpha," the ongoing oil price plunge should be making investors in Canadian tar sands "very very nervous." Key points from "Seeking Alpha" include:

NY Times Covers Legal Battle Over Demand Response

If you are interested in electricity demand response, this New York Times article highlights something you definitely want to keep an eye on. The gist of it is that an ongoing legal fight is pitting "companies that own power plants" against "companies that recruit consumers to unplug themselves when electricity use is high, in exchange for a price break."  What happened is that in 2011, "the Electric Power Supply Association sued the [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - FERC], saying that demand response should be regulated by the states, not the federal government because the transactions are retail, not wholesale." The deeper concern by the power companies is that demand response reduces "peak prices on their busiest, most profitable days," and "the producers say, they need that income to survive." This past May, "the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington sided with the association."

Topics: Public Affairs

National Journal Article Explains Why Koch Brothers' War on Clean Energy is Failing in the States

As we know, the billionaire Koch brothers and their fossil fuel allies have been waging relentless war against clean energy for years now. Yet, as this fascinating article in National Journal explains, while the Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has seen some successes at the national level in fighting clean energy, they are larging striking out in the states.  Why is this the case?  A few key points from the National Journal article answer that question.

Topics: Public Affairs

Three Graphs from New GMU/Yale Survey Show Overwhelming Support for Climate Action, Clean Energy

A new survey from George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication and Yale's Project on Climate Change Communication has some encouraging results about U.S. public opinion on climate change and clean energy. Here are three graphs we thought were well worth sharing  The key points are: 1) 67% of Americans support what is, essentially, the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan to limit carbon pollution from existing, coal-fired power plants; 2) Americans overwhelmingly support policies - like Renewable Portfolio Standards, R&D, tax rebates - to promote clean energy; and 3) only 16% of Americans actively refuse to believe the science on climate change. Now, we just need policymakers to translate the wishes of the American people into action.

Topics: Clean Economy

Study Shows Clean Energy Creates Lots of Jobs; Fossil Fuel Industry Allies Hide It

Clearly, fossil fuel forces will go to great lengths to denigrate renewable energy. For instance, we've seen them hype false "scandals," like Solyndra, which turned out to be untrue on every level.  We've also heard their repeated refrains about how clean energy supposedly requires heavy subsidies (in fact, fossil fuels receive many times the subsidies that clean energy get) to be competitive with fossil fuels, even as the costs of solar and wind plummet, to the point where they're now cheaper than new coal or nuclear power plants.

Historic Climate Deal Highlights Extent to Which China is Rapidly Scaling Green Energy

One of the best takes I've read so far today on the U.S.-China deal to rein in greenhouse gas emissions comes from, not surprisingly, Stephen Lacey at Greentech Media. The headline and subheading of Lacey's article really say it nicely: "Historic US-China Climate Deal Is a Sign of Clean Energy’s Growing Political Strength: China’s willingness to adopt emissions targets reflects its confidence in non-fossil energy." That's right; even as climate change deniers and cleantech bashers love to claim that China is doing nothing, in fact it is moving quickly to scale clean energy. How fast? According to the Washington Post article on this historic breakthrough:

Topics: Clean Economy

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (11/11/14)

Here are five recommended reads for today (11/11/14).

Scientists to Gov. McAuliffe: EPA's Clean Power Plan a Great Opportunity for Virginia

I received the following press release earlier today and thought it was well worth passing along. On a related note, I just finished reading Virginia Climate Fever, which makes abundantly clear what's at stake for Virginia - and other states - if we don't take strong action quickly to transition from carbon-based energy to solar, wind, efficiency, etc.

Topics: Clean Economy

President of Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition Demolishes SCC's "Shoddy" Report on EPA's Clean Power Plan

An  op-ed in yesterday's Virginian-Pilot is a must-read for anyone who cares not just about Virginia's energy and economic future, but really about any state in the country. The following are a few key points by Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition (VAEIC) President Francis Hodsoll regarding the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)'s recent "analysis" (using the word loosely) of the EPA's Clean Power Plan. Note that the mission of VAEIC is to "[promote] open markets for clean and secure advanced energy technologies in order to create jobs and position Virginia as a magnet for talent and innovation in the advanced energy sector."

Topics: Public Affairs

Post Carbon Institute: U.S. Oil, Gas Fracking Boom "unsustainable;" EIA Forecasts "extremely optimistic"

According to the U.S. government's latest long-term forecast, the country can expect a "56% increase in total natural gas production from 2012 to 2040," with shale gas production "the largest contributor, growing by more than 10 Tcf" through 2040; and with "tight gas" production also growing sharply over that time period.

A Few Lessons From Rick Berman's "Win Ugly or Lose Pretty" Speech for the Cleantech Industry

The other day, the New York Times broke a fascinating story of a secretly-taped speech by Richard Berman (we've included the audio, edited to include video, images, etc). Berman is a consultant who has, among other things, worked to "undermine his opponents, like labor unions or animal rights groups that have tried to spotlight the treatment of animals at meatpacking plants" - to the Western Energy Alliance, a "Colorado-based oil and gas drilling trade and lobbying group funded by 400 independent natural gas and oil producers, service and supply companies, banking and financial institutions and industry consultants." Here's an excerpt from the New York Times story, followed by a few lessons the clean energy industry might gather from this.