February 20 -- The Bee published a commentary on Feb. 14 by Tom Tanton titled "Making Ethanol is Wasting California's Water." The premise of the opinion piece was that the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that sets a minimum level of renewable fuel to be used in America should be done away with because ethanol consumes too much water in California. That opinion doesn't square with reality and the facts.
The RFS has reduced gasoline demand, decreased our reliance on foreign oil and improved our environmental impact. On a cumulative basis, ethanol has accounted for 8 out of every 10 barrels of new liquid fuel from U.S. sources from 2005 to 2011. >>View Article
February 20 -- Tesla Motors Inc. had a wildly successful run as a niche auto maker over the past year, capped by fourth quarter results that exceeded its projections. Now, Chief Executive Elon Musk must navigate the even trickier road to becoming a high-volume, global player. >>View Article
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
February 20 -- In his column, Thomas Pyle (Feb. 5) uses debunked claims purported by special interest groups to disparage wind power.
Wind power is a reliable source of electricity, and Alabamans are already well acquainted with its affordability. >>View Article
February 20 -- Federal officials have announced the approval of two solar energy projects on public lands in California and Nevada.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday the plants are expected to supply 550 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes. More than 700 jobs will be created.>>View Article
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
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
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
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