Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Utilities  -  June 24, 2017

Weekend reads: Trump slams wind in Iowa; Coal boss sues John Oliver; 100% renewables questioned & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads: 

Trump's putdown of wind energy whips up a backlash in Iowa (The Associated Press): President Trump's putdown of wind energy at his Iowa rally was denounced Thursday across the state, which takes pride in its position as a national leader in wind generation. Trump was talking up his support for coal during his speech in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday night when he said: "I don't want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories." He paused before adding, "as the birds fall to the ground," a reference to birds killed by turbines.

Murray Energy sues John Oliver, HBO over coal-industry story (USA Today): John Oliver, HBO and Time Warner have been sued for defamation for allegedly executing a "maliciously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation" of an Ohio coal company and its boss during a long-form story about the industry on Last Week Tonight's June 18 episode. The piece sought to determine what measures actually help out-of-work miners.

No, Cities Are Not Actually Leading on Climate. Enough With the Mindless Cheerleading (Greentech Media):  The idea that cities are leading on climate change is applauded over and over and over. There’s just one problem. It's not actually happening. Retrofit programs for buildings and homes aren't delivering results. Power distribution remains rooted in century-old thinking and technology. And those cities that claim to be on track to go "100 percent renewable"? Not even close.

Is 100% Renewable Energy Feasible? New Paper Argues for a Different Target (InsideClimate News): Is a goal of shifting the entire U.S. electric grid to 100 percent renewable energy by the 2050s realistic, or is aiming to decarbonizing 80 percent of it a more feasible target? A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers a window into an increasingly lively debate between top energy experts over the most realistic way to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century and slow global warming.

Kemper plant could run solely on natural gas after Mississippi regulatory directive (Utility Dive): Mississippi regulators on Wednesday voted to direct Southern Co. to work up a settlement plan on the Kemper Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant would allow the plant to run solely on natural gas. The plant, originally budgeted at less than $3 billion, was designed to convert locally-mined coal into a synthetic gas. But construction delays and overruns have more than doubled the price tag to about $7 billion, leading critics to call for the gasification portion to be scrapped. 


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