Clean Energy in 2018: Here’s What to Expect

By John Rogers While the year 2017 is one I don’t mind seeing in the rear view mirror (and I’ve got colleagues that would agree ), in the field of clean energy we made a whole lot o’ progress. A new year, if I’ve done my math right, means 12 more months to move the ball forward on clean energy. Here are a few things I’ll be keeping my eyes

4 Key Questions About the Surprising Winter Storm Grayson

By Erika Spanger-Siegfried On Thursday in Massachusetts we were asking ourselves questions that have rarely, if ever, needed asking. What happens when half-frozen seawater suddenly floods onto roadways? Can something the consistency of a milkshake and 3 feet deep be plowed? There’s a large dumpster floating down the street … What depth of water is sufficient to do that? What happens if some of this water freezes in place before it retreats (as I write this, the temps have plummeted to 12 degrees F and

President Just Signed Bill That Says Climate Change a National Security Risk, But Does He Know That?

By Angela Ledford Anderson President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law Tuesday. The act would require the Pentagon to do a report on how military installations and overseas staff may be vulnerable to climate change over the next 20 years. The following language was included in the act: Climate change is a direct threat to the national security

Going From Pump to Plug: How Much Money Can Electric Vehicles Save Drivers?

What would you do with an extra $770 a year? Buy a new laptop? Pay off debt? The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed how much money many drivers could save by switching from a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle . We analyzed the cost of refueling electric and gasoline vehicles in each of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. In every city, there is a rate plan that would save the average EV owner on fuel costs, with a median savings of more than $770 per year. Average savings in your city EVs are becoming more affordable to purchase, especially after federal and state incentives are

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Cheapest in Years, But Are Family Farms Paying the Price?

By Sarah Reinhardt Last week, the Farm Bureau released the results of its annual price survey on the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. The grand total for a “feast” for 10 people, according to this year’s shoppers? About 50 dollars ($49.87, if you want to be exact). That includes a 16-pound turkey

I Am a 30-Year Veteran Scientist From the U.S. EPA: I Can’t Afford to Be Discouraged

By Rita Schoeny . . . And neither can you. Since January, we have seen a continual assault on our environmental protections . The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has put a political operative with no scientific experience in charge of vetting EPA grants, and the agency is reconsidering an Obama-era regulation on coal ash . The well-established

Hurricane Harvey Arkema Disaster: Scientists Say Chemical Safety Risks Were Preventable

By Charise Johnson Halloween is right around the corner, but the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has been a perpetual nightmare to public safety since Administrator Scott Pruitt arrived, sending long-awaited chemical safety amendments to an early grave this year . The Risk Management Plan (RMP) is a vital EPA chemical safety rule that “requires certain facilities to develop plans that identify potential effects of a chemical accident, and take certain actions to prevent harm to the public or the environment”—but delays to the effective date of the long-awaited

Coal Is Going Down, Even Without the Clean Power Plan

By Elliott Negin Last Monday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he will repeal the Obama administration’s regulation to curb power plant carbon emissions, telling coal miners in Kentucky that “the war on coal is over.” The next day he kept his promise, issuing a proposed rule to eliminate the Clean Power Plan . It was hardly a surprise. After

Much to Grouse About: Interior Department Calls for Changes That Could Threaten Sage Grouse Protection

By Charise Johnson That the current administration places very little value on the merit of robust scientific evidence when considering its actions (or inactions) is no longer shocking, but it remains an intolerable practice. In this week’s episode of “How is the Trump Administration Dismantling Science-Based Protections?” we visit the Interior Department’s decision to formally reconsider a widely heralded Obama-era agreement for protections of the greater sage grouse in the West. On Thursday, the Interior Department published a formal notice of intent to rework 98 sage grouse management plans across the quirky bird’s 11 state range.

Why Going 100% Electric in California Isn’t as Crazy as It Might Seem

By Don Anair California’s top air pollution regulator, Mary Nichols, made headlines last week after making comments to a Bloomberg reporter about the possibility of banning gasoline cars in California. Shortly after that, California Assembly member Phil Ting announced he would introduce state legislation to do just that. Skeptics may raise their eyebrows, but if California is going to meet its long term climate and air quality goals then nearly all future cars and trucks must be

Pruitt Guts the Clean Power Plan: How Weak Will the New EPA Proposal Be?

By Rachel Cleetus News articles indicate that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soon going to release a “revised” Clean Power Plan (CPP). It is very likely to be significantly weaker than the original CPP , which offered one of the country’s best hopes for reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump have made no secret about their intent to stop and reverse progress on

Will Pruitt Choose Polluter-Friendly Replacements for EPA Science Advisory Board?

By Elliott Negin A third of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ( EPA ‘s) Science Advisory Board, an influential panel that reviews the science the agency uses in formulating safeguards, could be succeeded by climate science-denying , polluter-friendly replacements when their terms expire at the end of this month. The board, which has been in existence

3 Reasons Why You Should Care About Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Standards

By Josh Goldman Merely typing “vehicle efficiency and emissions standards,” feels like I’m prompting you to click off in search of the latest cat meme or 8,000th story on President Trump . But the next battle in the war for better vehicles looms, and you can help defend against automaker efforts to rollback a program they agreed to not so long ago . Here are the top three reasons why you should care about the U.S.

Exxon Tries to Talk Good Game, While Still Funding Climate Deniers

By Elliott Negin ExxonMobil executives repeatedly claim their company supports a federal carbon tax and the Paris climate agreement. The company’s checkbook ledger, however, tells a far different story. Thursday, the company released its annual list of its “public information and policy research” grantees, which shows that it spent $1.65 million in 2016 on a dozen think tanks, advocacy groups and associations that

What Would JFK Have Said About the Energy Challenges of Our Times?

By John Rogers Maybe it’s because I first started working on clean energy while serving in the Peace Corps he founded, or maybe it’s my years of working on these issues from his home state. But I can’t help thinking about the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth, and connecting his stirring rhetoric to the energy challenges of our times. Here’s what our 35th president might have said about the challenges of energy transition and the opportunities in clean energy: “Change is the law of life. And those

The Elephant in the Room That Smells Like Natural Gas

By Julie McNamara A curious thing happened in the aftermath of President Trump attempting to sign away the past eight years of work on climate and clean energy: The public face of progress didn’t flinch. From north to south and east to west, utilities and businesses and states and cities swore their decarbonization compasses were unswerving; yes, they said, we’re still closing coal plants, and yes, yes!, we’re still building ever more wind and solar —it just makes sense. But here’s why all the subsequent commentary reiterating the inevitability of coal’s decline and cheering the unsinkable strength of renewables’ rise was right in facts, but incomplete

10 States to Thank for Driving the Clean Energy Revolution

By John Rogers Clean energy has been having a really good run in recent years: costs falling, scale skyrocketing, millions of people enjoying its benefits. And the future is looking bright in a lot of ways, with technologies, customers and policies coming together in beautiful harmony for a whole lot more progress to come. When it comes to the role of our 50 states in creating this great

How Far Will Elected Officials Go to Protect One of World’s Biggest Carbon Polluters?

When a handful of attorneys general launched investigations of ExxonMobil for climate fraud, I wonder if…