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  Trump administration removes links to taxpayer-f...

You paid for U.S. Geological Survey climate data, but the White House is making it disappear. In its relatively short time in power, the Trump administration has made no attempt to hide its disdain for studying, communicating, and acting on the threat posed by climate change. Rather than simply ignore the scientific information and research accessible to the public, however, the administration instead has chosen to remove...

Why the wiring of our brains makes it hard to stop...

Editor’s Note: Why isn’t the public heeding scientists and demanding climate action by politicians that could help deal with extreme storms? Among other factors, write David Victor, Nick Obradovich, and Dillon Amaya, a much deeper force is at work: the way our brains function. Humans aren’t well wired to act on complex statistical risks. We care a lot more about the tangible present than the distant future. This piece...

Ohio coal officials join Trump administration

The idea that the former president of the Ohio Coal Association is now lobbying Congress as an official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not sitting well with environmentalists, Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief Jack Torry notes. Christian Palich, a former aide to Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, works in the EPA’s congressional relations shop. The post did not require Senate confirmation. “We’ve gone from an...

Fledgling Company Awaits Approval for Fracking Was...

A fledgling company, Epiphany Water Solutions (Pittsburgh, Pa.), has obtained a lease to build a fracking wastewater treatment plant along the headwaters of the Allegheny River in Coudersport, Pa. Epiphany has proposed to install an untested distillation process, the first of its kind to be constructed, to take fracking wastewater — a.k.a. ‘flowback, produced water, or brine’ — and produce clean water. That clean water will...

Renewables Are Expanding at an Astounding Pace. Bu...

The pieces of a renewable-forward future are falling into place. Wind, solar, and storage are accelerating. Plummeting costs and greater security in investment mean countries are increasingly looking to renewable technologies as a safe bet. And prices for offshore wind and battery storage are dropping faster than expected. One hitch, though: That renewable future still won’t mean the globe reaches its climate goals. New...

Stunning new analysis reveals just how unprecedent...

Thanks to climate change and Trump’s policies, we won’t have to wait another 25,000 years for the next one. Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Texas was “unprecedented” and “beyond anything experienced,” as the National Weather Service described it late last month. Now scientists are beginning to quantify just how unprecedented it was. A study released Friday by Metstat, a weather-analysis company specializing in...

5 Ways to Take 100% Renewable Energy From Dream to...

Recommendations from 25-year industry veteran Thomas Leyden. At the Intersolar conference in San Francisco this year, I opened a presentation on new solar and storage business models by highlighting recent milestones for the industry: The United States now has an impressive 44.7 gigawatts of operating solar systems, solar became the No. 1 source of new electricity in 2016, and in April 2017, for the first time ever, solar...

U.S. Solar Market Sees Biggest Second Quarter Ever

In the second quarter of this year, the U.S. solar industry installed 2,387 MW of solar photovoltaics – representing the largest total in a second quarter to date, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. Moreover, the report says, this number tops the first quarter’s total and represents an 8% year-over-year gain. Comparatively, the U.S....

Draft environmental report for Lake Erie offshore ...

Environmental studies so far have found little potential impact from a proposed offshore wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland. A draft Department of Energy report shows mainly minor or negligible short-term impacts from a plan to construct and operate six wind turbines approximately eight miles offshore of Cleveland. “Having a draft environmental assessment the public can comment on is a huge milestone,” said Lorry Wagner,...

China’s Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to...

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp. Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move...

Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish...

A new study published by Stanford University suggests that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years – and citizens will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or similar technologies. This is because the cost of electric vehicles – including cars, buses, and trucks – will ultimately decrease, resulting in the collapse of the petroleum industry. Led by Stanford University economist Tony Seba, the report...

What Changes if Climate Changes? – in Ohio

From the panel discussion and audience questions: What can we expect in Ohio? As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds exponentially more water vapor. This will result in more intense rain and increased dry spells. Food production will be more difficult and food security will be more challenging. Air quality will change increasing difficulties for people with asthma and respiratory diseases. It will also have psychological...

America Is Getting Wetter and Hotter, Impacting So...

A review of how weather influenced solar performance in Q2 2017. Continued warm, wet conditions in the second quarter of 2017 brought a departure from normal global horizontal irradiance, the key variable for PV plant production. GTM has partnered with Vaisala, a company that monitors solar performance across the U.S., to give the industry a better understanding of how these weather trends are driving solar performance...

Time to call Lake Erie what it is — impaired

Questions may remain for some about the wisdom of declaring western Lake Erie impaired under the federal Clean Water Act. But reality is knocking at the door. The mayor of Toledo and the governor of Ohio resist this designation. They believe the impaired label will drive away tourists and discourage businesses and people thinking of moving to our region. But what did the move from “clear” to “watch” on the water-quality...

3 Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and How t...

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive...

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Decision Striking Do...

On August 30, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s decision striking down a Fayette County, WV ordinance prohibiting wastewater injection.  EQT Production Company challenged the ordinance—which restricted “storage, treatment, injection, process or permanent disposal” of wastewater within the county, including specifically, the use of injection wells for permanent...

People Furthest Apart on Climate Views Are Often t...

For attitudes on global warming, political identity is a more important signal than academic acumen or scientific literacy. As arguments about climate change heat up, don’t underestimate your opponent. It turns out that people who are the furthest apart in their views on a scientific issue are often the most educated and informed, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of...

China Has Already More Than Doubled Its 2020 Solar...

China has more than doubled its end-of-decade solar power target, with new installations dramatically outstripping expectation, according to the government’s energy agency. By the end of July this year, China’s solar PV capacity topped 112GW, after installing a stunning 35GW in just seven months—more than twice as much as installed by any other country in all of 2016. As a result, total solar PV capacity now...

Oil and gas allies to Trump: Slow down

While the industry has generally cheered the administration’s approach, there are growing worries that its efforts could backfire. President Donald Trump’s aggressive drive to roll back environmental regulations is moving too fast even for some in the oil and gas industry. Publicly, petroleum companies and their trade groups are cheering Trump’s efforts to undo former President Barack Obama’s environmental...

A State Trend Toward Ignoring Trump Emission-Regul...

The Trump administration is abdicating Obama-era climate regulations, but a small — and growing — amount of states are taking matters into their own hands. The weapon of choice? The federal social cost of carbon, developed by the former Obama administration’s interagency working group composed of federal scientists and economists. The way it works is that it monetizes the net damages of carbon dioxide emissions,...