Weekend reads: Unicorn fart power; GE responds to Trump's climate order; clean energy bills & more - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  April 1, 2017

Weekend reads: Unicorn fart power; GE responds to Trump's climate order; clean energy bills & 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: 

Elon Musk’s Cryptic Art Suggests Unicorn Fart-Powered Teslas (Gizmodo): Enigmatic entrepreneur Elon Musk has no shortage of hobbies: sometimes, he makes cars. Other times, he likes to do a space thing or play Martian overlord. But now, the 45-year-old billionaire is turning his attention to the arts, as evidenced by a series of cryptic drawings he created using Tesla's new sketchpad feature, which is accessible once users download the 8.1 software update for the car's touchscreen. More impressive than the art itself, however, is the fact that Musk is using it to hint at the next wave of Tesla technology: unicorn fart-powered vehicles.

In Rebuke to Trump Policy, GE Chief Says ‘Climate Change Is Real’ (The Wall Street Journal): General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt defended efforts to reduce emissions and fight climate change, after President Donald Trump reversed rules that pushed U.S. utilities to use cleaner-burning fuels. In a blog post to employees Wednesday, Mr. Immelt highlighted the administration's move and said climate change "be addressed on a global basis through multinational agreements" such as the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Trump Closely Watching Troubled Nuclear Plants That Obama Funded (Bloomberg): As Southern Co. opens a review of its troubled nuclear reactors following a bankruptcy filing by contractor Westinghouse Electric Co., the Trump administration has 8.3 billion reasons to be worried. Southern is financing the reactors with $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees approved under President Barack Obama's initiative to build the first new nuclear plants in the U.S. in 30 years. Now, following delays and cost overruns, financial troubles at Toshiba Corp. unit Westinghouse have put the taxpayers’ interest at risk, along with the fate of the projects.

Hundreds of Clean Energy Bills Have Been Introduced in States Nationwide This Year (Inside Climate News): Lawmakers in state legislatures across the nation have proposed hundreds of bills this year relating to clean energy. While many propose to grow alternative energy resources, others work to impede them, creating a chaotic map of countervailing efforts. State politicians have introduced measures to dramatically expand renewable electric power in nearly a dozen states in the first three months of 2017, some as ambitious as aiming to run entirely on renewables within a few decades; some would launch smaller-scale community solar ventures, like a pilot in Virginia; others would add tax breaks for solar users in South Carolina and Florida.

Op/ed: These bills target wind energy with ham-fisted 'fixes' based on baseless claims (Dallas Morning News): The wind energy industry has long had some lawmakers gunning for it. The latest rear-guard action is a disingenuous effort to portray the industry as a threat to military preparedness. State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, and Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, have emerged as the faces of wind-energy opposition using the proximity of wind projects to military bases as a pretext to take away all-important tax incentives for clean energy. They've introduced companion bills, SB 277 and HB 445, to deny tax incentives to developers of new wind turbines within 30 miles of a military airfield. 


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