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Efficiency Gets Credit for Milestone Drop in Midwest Demand

February 20 -- Clean energy advocates are pointing to recent reports on electricity use in the Midwest as clear evidence that state efficiency programs and technological advances are paying dividends in the region and fundamentally altering the landscape for utilities, regulators and consumers.

One example is a recent projection from the Midwest’s grid operator that showed electricity demand in the region is expected to decline almost 1 percent annually through 2016. >>View Article

POET-DSM says Iowa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Running by June

February 19 -- An Iowa ethanol plant that will be one of the first producers of biofuels made from crop waste will be operating by June, a general manager of the plant said in an interview on Tuesday.

POET-DSM, a joint operation between leading U.S. ethanol maker POET LLC and Dutch food and chemicals group DSM, will be among the largest to make so-called advanced biofuels on a commercial scale. >>View Article

Operation Free says the Military's Investment in Clean Energy will Keep America Safe

February 19 -- It's tempting to think of Operation Free as a David challenging the U.S. military's Goliath.

The group of vets and national security experts formed in 2009 as a campaign of the Truman National Security Project, to raise awareness of, and advocate for, legislation that encourages investments in clean technology, with emphasis on protecting and expanding the military's investments in green tech.

But the organization's Brett Hunt, a 33-year-old former Army captain who served in the invasion of Iraq, says the military doesn't need to be convinced of the benefits of clean energy — it's already on board. Rather, he says, Operation Free spends most of its time convincing legislators that clean energy saves lives and protects the country. >>View Article

Atkinson, Brack: Energy Efficiency Yields More than Lower Utility Bills

February 19 -- Improving the energy efficiency of your home saves you money on your utility bill.

But there are broader benefits that accrue as consumers and businesses weatherize and retrofit their homes and buildings.

For example, using less energy in the home reduces the need for government fuel subsidies, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a federal program that helps pay for home heating and cooling for the most vulnerable and low-income residents. >>View Article

Ditch Dirty Energy

February 19 -- During his State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to taking action to fight climate disruption. And in many respects, the president has already accomplished quite a lot: stronger fuel standards, increased energy efficiency, a doubling of solar and wind installations, curbing toxic pollution from coal plants, and beginning the process to establish carbon-pollution standards.

Unfortunately, as President Obama himself surely knows, when measured against what is actually necessary if we want to save our lands, forests, oceans, rivers, and children's future, those accomplishments still fall well short of the mark. That's not entirely his fault. He has challenges -- most notably a hostile Congress -- that are beyond his control. >>View Article

Google Makes Huge Investment in Clean Energy

February 18 -- When you conduct a search on Google, your query goes across the Internet, hits a server, gets processed and is sent back to you in microseconds. You would be surprised how much energy is consumed in that process.

In its latest quarter, Google spent $2.25 billion on data center and infrastructure spending, a huge area of costs for the company. That's one of the reasons the company is aggressively moving to solar, wind and other alternative energies to power its data centers and banks of servers scattered around the world. >>View Article

Conservatives Care About the Environment, Too

February 18 -- Late last year, Gov. Rick Snyder laid out his energy goals for the state, which include using more renewable energy and becoming more energy-efficient. His announcement came after holding forums across the state and releasing several drafts and final reports on energy-related issues, such as efficiency and renewables in 2013. >>View Article

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