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Energy: Production Tax Credit Helps Us

March 13 -- I am writing a response to the claims made by Thomas Pyle in his Feb. 21 guest column (“Green energy handouts are hurting Montanans”). I’m not sure which Montanans Pyle checked with in saying that the production tax credit doesn’t help Montanans, but as a Toole County Commissioner I can give a response from Glacier and Toole counties. >>View Article

Nation's Largest Grid Operator: Huge Renewables Expansion Won't Be a Problem

March 12 -- PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest power transmission grid organization, announced last week that wind and solar power could generate about 30 percent of PJM’s total electricity for its territory covering the Mid-Atlantic region and part of the Midwest by 2026 without “any significant issues.” That’s engineer-speak for “no big deal.” Even better, we would see more clean power at less cost and with far less pollution than our current mix of coal and natural gas power plants. >>View Article

Attacks on the RFS, No Matter How Well Funded, Don't Stand Up to Scrutiny

March 12 -- It’s been several months now since the EPA proposed to revise the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reduce the amount of renewable biofuels in America’s fuel supply. This proposal is clearly flawed, but that hasn’t stopped entrenched fossil fuel interests from taking this opportunity to intensify their attacks on the RFS.

These well-funded attacks take several forms, but odds are you’ve run across them; the foreboding advertisements at a bus stop, or the slick website with a list of purported “facts” about biofuels. Almost every assault on biofuels and the RFS repeats the same dubious spin. If you’ve seen these ad campaigns, you’ll recognize these three arguments. >>View Article

Hydro, Wind, Solar Resources Have Greatest Electrical Potential

March 12 -- It’s not all about wind, but wind power is part of the solution. Today at the Augusta Civic Center, hundreds of Mainers convene for the Climate Solutions Expo and Summit, a free public event running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with interesting exhibits and presentations about a host of issues, including renewable energy. >>View Article

Our View: CMP Fee Hike Undercuts Renewable-Energy Push

March 12 -- That’s the upshot of a proposal by Central Maine Power Co. now before the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The idea, part of CMP’s five-year rate plan, would force customers who generate some of their own electricity to pay higher monthly service charges. CMP says the increase is necessary to cover the company’s forthcoming capital projects in the face of lagging demand for electricity. >>View Article

New Featured Fact Check: Energy Efficiency

March 11 -- Some claim that energy efficiency measures are too costly and won’t make a difference in how much energy we consum.

However, there is an abundance of studies and reports to support the fact - energy efficiency is a low-cost, job-creating method for significantly reducing U.S. energy demand. >>View Article

California Grid Operator: Solar, Wind More of Mix

March 11 -- Solar and wind are providing an increasing amount of power for California’s electric grid, according to the California Independent System Operator, ISO for short, the nonprofit corporation that keeps the power flowing when and where it’s needed across the state.

The organization sent out a release Monday, loaded with big numbers, noting that both Friday and Saturday, record-breaking amounts of solar power got pumped onto the grid by large-scale and rooftop installations. >>View Article

California Electric Grid Sets Solar Generation Record

March 11 -- California set back-to-back solar power records last week, the state grid operator said on Monday.

The amount of electricity produced from carbon-free solar facilities connected to the grid reached 4,093 megawatts on Saturday, surpassing the day-earlier record of 3,926 MW, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) said in a statement. >>View Article

Guest Opinion: Cleaner Electricity Generators Must Replace Coal

March 11 -- In his Feb. 26 guest opinion, John Roeber praises Montana’s history of “balancing” our love of the land with our extraction of mineral riches. He writes, “That balance is our ‘third way,’ where extremist positions take a back seat to pragmatism.”

A look at Montana’s historic “balancing” shows 16 active federal Superfund sites, including a list of expensive and deadly disasters, such as Butte’s Berkeley pit and Libby’s asbestos mine — extraction accompanied by damage that we all pay for in dollars and health. >>View Article

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