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RFA's Dinneen Offers Blistering Critique of Searchinger Research, Talks Future of RFS Policy Reform

February 18 -- Following the release of a controversial paper by the World Resources Institute's Timothy Searchinger on the land-use and climate change impacts of bioenergy production, the renewable fuels industry is pushing back against the research. During today's OnPoint, Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, gives his take on the efficiency of feedstock production and the impact of biofuels on food costs. He also talks about the ongoing efforts in Congress to reform the renewable fuel standard. >>View Article

Greening the Tea Party

February 18 -- The solar-energy business is booming. The average cost of installing solar panels has dropped by half since 2010, and a new solar electric system is now installed somewhere in the United States every four minutes. The growth extends well beyond the rooftops of American homes and small businesses; last week, Apple announced that it is investing in an eight-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar solar farm in Monterey County, California, which it says will power its operations in the state by the end of 2016. Although solar is still small, supplying less than one per cent of the country’s electricity, its growth has alarmed the energy industry’s old guard—coal, oil, and utility companies. Working primarily through conservative advocacy groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which lobbies at the state level, and Americans for Prosperity (A.F.P.), which was founded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists, this coalition is doing its best to weaken the nascent industry, particularly rooftop solar. In a curious twist, however, ALEC and A.F.P. have found themselves butting heads with—and even losing battles to—tough-minded, pro-solar branches of the Tea Party. >>View Article

Arizona Leads in Solar Industry Jobs, with 7% Growth

February 18 -- Arizona ranked No. 3 last year in the number of jobs in the solar energy industry, the nonprofit Solar Foundation reported Monday.

The industry employed 9,170 Arizonans in 2014. The only states with more employees were California, with 54,690, and Massachusetts, with 9,400. >>View Article

GM Will Soon Use Wind to Power Its Factories

February 18 -- General Motors wants you to know that it’s thinking about the environment.

Today, the big-name car maker announced that it will soon use wind to power its manufacturing operations. GM has signed an agreement with Enel Green Power to procure 34 megawatts of wind power from 17 wind turbines for its 104-acre Toluca Complex in Mexico, the company said in a press release. >>View Article

As Congress Mulls Keystone XL Pipeline, States Champion Renewables

February 12 -- While the House hones in on its flagship energy issue for the new session, attention on the Keystone XL pipeline detracts from a number of other significant developments in our quest toward a more vibrant economy.

Keystone is a symbolic issue for our new Congress, but despite the pipeline’s virtues and vices, the legislation is only one small piece of America’s overall energy strategy. Consequently, as Keystone garners the bulk of recent media coverage, policies with much more impact are quietly being enacted at the state and local levels — policies that truly bolster energy infrastructure. >>View Article

Increasing Hydropower Hits a Bipartisan Sweet Spot

February 12 -- The topic of energy often fuels political debate.

But, as our next report shows, water might be putting out some of those fires. The U.S. Department of Energy says hydropower has the potential to generate electricity for more than four million homes. >>View Article

America Can Boost Role of Wind Energy

February 12 -- America leads the world in wind power — and it’s doing so with one arm behind its back.

Today, 39 states, have utility-scale wind turbines. Combined, these 39 states generate more wind energy than any other country in the world. >>View Article

Congress Needs to Follow the People on Clean Energy

February 12 -- Harvesting power from the wind is about investing in long-term energy solutions that can benefit our families, communities and economy for generations to come.

However, there are some inside the Beltway who talk about renewable energy as if it were merely a pet cause of the left. >>View Article

Electric Cars Benefit State Economy, Studies Say

February 12 -- Less than four dollars.

That’s the cost to fuel an electric car for 100 miles in Georgia. Compare that to the typical cost of driving a conventional vehicle the same distance — about $13.57 last year — and even with gas prices falling, there are big savings awaiting Georgia drivers of electric vehicles. >>View Article

Apple Commits to Landmark Clean Energy Deal with First Solar

February 11 -- Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Tuesday that the company is taking on an ambitious project: an enormous solar farm that will provide enough power for all of the company’s corporate offices, California stores, its forthcoming campus and more.

The project will be undertaken in collaboration with First Solar as part of that firm’s 2,900-acre California Flats solar project. Apple’s portion of the farm is 1,300 acres and will add 130 megawatts of solar power to the California grid, First Solar said in a statement. >>View Article


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