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Wind Power Creates 30,000 Texas Jobs, Generates $85 Million in Taxes

April 9 -- The boom in West Texas wind-powered electricity generation has delivered a major economic boost to the region, including creation of over 40 new businesses and 30,000 construction jobs in 57 West Texas counties since 2001, according to data collected by Public Citizen’s Texas office.

The 40 new manufacturers and businesses make everything from wind turbine blades and steel towers to electronics, according to the data. Wind farms also generate over $85 million in taxes annually in rural Texas counties and more than $9 billion in new taxable assets in the last 14 years. >>View Article

California Needs Cleaner Energy Future

April 9 -- California’s energy future experienced a tidal shift toward smart, clean power planning last month in a below-the-radar proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency that regulates electricity across the state and determines the mix of resources in the state’s energy portfolio. >>View Article

Green Energy Goes to War: Renewables Set to Test Resilience for NATO

April 9 -- Starting in June, defense companies including Thales SA and Multicon Solar AG will join NATO to test the military’s ability to use renewable power in combat and humanitarian operations.

About 1,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization soldiers will spend 12 days deploying wind turbines, solar panels and self-contained power grids in Hungary, according to Susanne Michaelis, the group’s action officer for smart energy. >>View Article

Coal Jobs Decline As Renewable Jobs Increase

April 9 -- A new study out of Duke University has shown that during the four years following the 2008 recession, the US coal industry lost more than 49,000 jobs, while at the same time the natural gas, solar, and wind industries across the country created nearly four times as many jobs as coal lost. >>View Article

Time to Transition to a Cleaner Energy Source

April 8 -- Recently, state officials from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission held a hearing in Silver City on a proposal by our utility company, PNM, to continue burning coal at the dirty, expensive San Juan Generating Station for years to come and lock our communities into other dirty, expensive fuels.

Rather than putting local ratepayers first, who want clean, affordable, reliable energy solutions like wind and solar, PNM instead wants to force ratepayers to cover the costs of their dirty, expensive coal-fired power plant. PNM is not only risking the health of families by continuing to burn coal, but it's threatening ratepayers here in Silver City and throughout the state by locking us into expensive fuels when cheaper, safer clean energy solutions are available. >>View Article

The Clean Energy Revolution Is Ahead of Schedule

April 8 -- The most important piece of news on the energy front isn't the plunge in oil prices, but the progress that is being made in battery technology. A new study in Nature Climate Change, by Bjorn Nykvist and Mans Nilsson of the Stockholm Environment Institute, shows that electric vehicle batteries have been getting cheaper much faster than expected. From 2007 to 2011, average battery costs for battery-powered electric vehicles fell by about 14 percent a year. For the leading electric vehicle makers, Tesla and Nissan, costs fell by 8 percent a year. This astounding decline puts battery costs right around the level that the International Energy Agency predicted they would reach in 2020. We are six years ahead of the curve. It's a bit hard to read, but here is the graph from the paper. >>View Article

Jacobson: Virginia and the Clean Power Plan

April 7 -- The nation’s electricity sector is undergoing a sweeping transition that is providing consumers with far more choices in the way they buy and consume energy. Through a combination of exciting new technologies, changing consumer behavior and smart public policies, these choices not only provide more options for affordable and reliable energy, but they also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Virginia is poised to be a leader in embracing this changing landscape. Already, the commonwealth has moved a significant portion of its traditional energy sources to cleaner-burning natural gas. It can build upon this promising start by beefing up its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency. >>View Article

Editorial: President Sees Utah's Renewable Future, Even If We Don't

April 7 -- President Obama really should have visited Utah more often.

If he had, then the attention surrounding his visit to Salt Lake City and Hill Air Force Base last week — his first and perhaps only as president — might have been placed more directly on what the man was saying, rather than all on the fact that he was here at all. >>View Article

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