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Closed coal mine in Boone County, West Virginia. WVPB/ Janet Kunicki

Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and Government Jobs Could

It was supposed to be all about jobs. When the president announced his intent to abandon the Clean Power Plan this spring and then withdraw from the Paris agreement this summer, one of the biggest reasons cited was to protect the coal jobs sustaining communities in places like Appalachia.

There's just one problem. Whatever the White House says, coal jobs are in a terminal decline and whatever cynics claim, it's not some cabal of heartless environmentalists to blame. It's the power industry itself, driven by advances in technology and simple market forces.

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Here's How Lakes Could Power the Nation

By Marlene Cimons

When the conversation turns to sources of clean renewable energy, evaporation usually isn't the first thing to come up, if at all.

Yet scientists think evaporation from U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate almost 70 percent of the power the nation produces now. Even better, it could meet demand both day and night, solving the intermittency problems posed by solar and wind.

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Climate
A windpower works in Kutch, India. The Danish Wind Industry Association/Flickr

Renewables Investment Would Boost Economy, Health for Both U.S. and Developing India

By Paul Brown

India and the U.S. would both benefit financially by phasing out coal-fired electricity production and investing in renewables.

Although the two countries are at completely different stages of development, they have both been seen as among the most problematical in matching their needs for electricity with the global attempt to avoid dangerous climate change.

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The Sierra Bonita mixed use housing project in West Hollywood, California is a sustainable building. Patrick Tighe/CC BY 3.0

Cutting Emissions in Buildings Is Critical to Fighting Climate Change

By Pierre Delforge

Reducing pollution from direct use of fossil fuels in buildings—such as burning natural gas, propane, and fuel oil in furnaces and water heaters—is critical to helping us stave off dangerous climate change and cut harmful pollution.

So finds a groundbreaking new NRDC report.

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General Motors to Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind Power

By Greg Alvarez

Last week I predicted it wouldn't be long before we had more news on Fortune 500 wind power purchases. Well, a whole seven days passed before there were new deals to report.

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Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Can Emissions Shrink While the Economy Grows?

What does climate change have to do with economic growth? Canada's prime minister and premiers signed a deal in December to "grow our economy, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and build resilience to the impacts of a changing climate." The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change outlines plans for carbon pricing, energy-efficient building codes, electric vehicle charging stations, methane emission regulations and more.

Is the framework correct in assuming we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy? If not, which should be given precedence?

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Energy
Whitelee Wind Farm. Wikimedia Commons

Scotland Breaks Another Wind Power Record

Scotland is celebrating yet another record-breaking month for wind power, new figures show.

Scottish wind turbines provided 846,942 megawatt hours of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply the power needs of 2.25 million, or 93 percent of, Scottish households, according to WWF Scotland. That's 33 percent more homes than the same time last year, when wind energy provided 629,603 MWh, the environmental group noted.

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World's Largest Chocolate Maker Pledges $1 Billion to Fight Climate Change

Mars Inc., the candy giant and maker of M&Ms, Skittles and Twix, announced it is spending $1 billion on its Sustainable in a Generation initiative to fight climate change.

According to Fortune, the $35 billion chocolate company already has wind farms in Texas and Scotland that power its U.S. and UK operations. Under the new initiative, Mars is pledging to add wind and solar farms to another nine countries by 2018 and is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain by 27 percent by 2025 and 67 percent by 2050.

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Energy

Wind Power Costs Could See Another 50% Reduction by 2030

By John Hensley

Fresh off the first-ever American Wind Week, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new report finding wind energy cost reductions of 50 percent are possible by 2030. That's on top of the 66 percent cost reduction since 2009.

Envisioning the wind plant of the near-future—a "collection of intelligent and innovative machines operating in a highly coordinated way"—NREL expects advancements in wind turbine design, materials and controls to unlock major performance improvements and cost reductions.

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