Solar Battle Continues In North Carolina As Nonprofit Fights Duke Energy

In one of the remaining four states that explicitly ban third-party solar sales, a small nonprofit is continuing its fight against the nation’s biggest utility over the right to sell solar power to churches and other nonprofits without the utility’s involvement.

North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NC WARN), a 28-year-old environmental nonprofit with an annual budget of around $1.1 million, is fighting Duke Energy, a massive energy company that raked in $23.5 billion in revenue in 2015 and is valued at $54.4 billion.

Last year, the nonprofit wanted to clarify state law regarding third-party sales, so it picked a fight with the utility Goliath to spark a test case. NC WARN installed solar panels on the roof of a Greensboro church for free and started selling the energy back to the church at significantly lower rates than Duke Energy would charge. In typical power purchase agreements, customers pay the owner of the solar array less per watt than they’d have to pay a utility company, making residential solar more affordable and thus more accessible for customers.

The energy giant’s lost profits from NC WARN’s arrangement with Faith Community Church are minuscule, yet Duke Energy asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission last October to fine NC WARN up to $1,000 per day for selling energy to the church. At that time, it would have cost the nonprofit as much as $120,000.

On April 15, the utilities commission fined NC WARN $200 per day, amounting to roughly $60,000, and the nonprofit suspended its sales of solar electricity to the non-denominational, largely African-American church pending an appeal.

Momentum Builds for Paris Agreement as US, India and France Set to Ratify Climate Deal 'As Soon As Possible'

PM Narendra Modi meets US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris

India has joined the US in pledging to ratify the Paris Agreement “as soon as possible this year” following talks on Tuesday in the White House between the countries’ leaders.

This comes as France is set become the first G7 and G20 nation to ratify the climate deal as the country’s senate votes today on a ratification bill.

Many hope these moves will encourage other rich nations to follow suit in order to bring the Paris Agreement into effect sooner than originally intended.

The Australian Newspaper Misrepresents Science In Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Editorial, Says Scientist It Quoted

Almost a quarter of corals on the iconic Great Barrier Reef have died because of record ocean temperatures driven by global warming.

Those are the bare facts, according to the Australian Government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

The coral bleaching that swept across the reef system this Australia summer, hitting hardest the most pristine northern section, affected 93 per cent of individual reefs along its 2300 kilometre stretch (1430 miles).

Scientists have pointed out how those corals that survived the bleaching will be weakened and, to recover, they will need all the help they can get. That means big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution.

The news has swept across the globe.  Pretty much every major media outlet in the world has told its viewers and readers about the bleaching and shown them the spectacular and confronting images of bleached white coral. Now, the images show dead coral.

Peabody's Outlier Gang Couldn't Shoot Straight In Minnesota Carbon Case, Judge Rebuffs Happer, Lindzen, Spencer, Mendelsohn, Bezdek

Peabody's Outlier Gang Couldn't Shoot Straight In Minnesota Carbon Case, Judge Rebuffs Happer, Lindzen, Spencer, Mendelsohn, Bezdek

Overview
On 04/13/15, Peabody Energy followed other major coal companies into bankruptcy, and days later lost a battle in a landmark legal war on Minnesota's Social Cost of Carbon (SCC).  The “best” gang1 of climate denial outliers they could hire tried to confuse the court with absurd claims in both science and economics. The Judge was not fooled, and ruled unambiguously, as reported by Bloomberg BNAUniversity of Minnesota Consortium on Law and Values and MPRNEWS:
Updated climate change costs make coal-fired power less attractive:

"Frackopoly": An Interview with Food and Water Watch's Wenonah Hauter on Her New Book

Wenonah Hauter, founder and executive director of the watchdog and advocacy organization Food and Water Watch, has written a new book set for release on June 7. 

Titled “Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment” and published by New Press, the book's title is somewhat of a misnomer. Not because it is false advertising or anything of the sort, but because it is also a rich history of the U.S. energy grid too, particularly as it pertains to natural gas pipelines and electricity.

It is this history, which takes up the book's first 100 pages, that serves as the necessary context and backdrop for the rest of the book as Hauter transitions into meticulously chronicling both the modern hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) boom and the local grassroots across the U.S. that have arisen to fight back against it. It is a story with no shortage of villains, more than a handful of voices of dissent, and a living history that takes us up to the present day.  

Though much has been written about fracking, along with several documentary films about the ecological costs of the oil and gas drilling technique, Hauter's is the first solo-authored, well-researched tome that examines the practice from a critical perspective.

Pages

Subscribe to DeSmogBlog