About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.

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Yesterday

Texas leads the US in wind power — and now it’s ramping up solar, too

Texas likes to do things big. The Lone Star State leads the US with the most energy generated by wind power, and now it’s ramping up solar, which is projected to be the fastest-growing contributor to the state’s power grid in the next three years.

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A report sent out by JP Morgan to clients says climate-change inaction could be catastrophic.
  • The Farmers for a Sustainable Future coalition has been formed by 21 agricultural groups.
  • EV software solutions provider Electriphi signs with the largest fleet of e-school buses in North America.

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February 19

Mandy Gunasekara, the self-proclaimed “chief architect of the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord,” is tipped to replace Ryan Jackson, the EPA’s chief of staff, who will step down on February 21. (Michael Molina will be acting chief of staff.) Jackson is to become the top lobbyist for the National Mining Association (yes, really).

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • More towns and cities are buying electricity in bulk — it’s called community choice aggregation.
  • Startup Notpla makes edible, biodegradable pods for beverages and sauces that replace plastic.
  • Fossil-fuel advocate Mandy Gunasekara is tipped to become the next EPA chief of staff.

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February 18

Electrek compiled how three environmental and political groups — The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, Build a Movement 2020, and Greenpeace — grade the presidential candidates on environmental and climate-change issues.

As we previously wrote in Climate Crisis Weekly, The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication reported that among all registered voters, global warming is ranked fifth and environmental protection is ranked eighth as the “most important issue” when it comes to deciding who they’ll vote for.

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion in grants to explore new ways of tackling the climate crisis.
  • The US East Coast’s largest oil refinery is officially, legally dead.
  • Scientists at UMass Amherst are “literally making electricity out of thin air.”

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February 17

How fourth-graders won their campaign for school solar panels

A group of fourth-graders at Big Hollow Primary School in Ingleside, Illinois, completed a writing and science project three years ago on why solar power would be beneficial to the Big Hollow District 38 campus. Their primary school, as well as a middle and high school, make up the campus.

The system will go live next month, and the campus will have enough energy to cover about 85% of the district’s power needs and save about $90,000 a year.

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Wind sets a record of 44% of Britain’s daily energy consumption due to Storm Ciara.
  • How the persistence of fourth-graders in Illinois resulted in school solar-panel installation.
  • Costa Rica aims to reach net zero by 2021, but still has work to do to reduce single-use plastics.

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February 15

  • Scientists on an Antarctic expedition found that chinstrap penguin populations have plummeted.
  • Half of US pollution deaths occur in states where the pollution didn’t start, according to a new study.
  • Globally, air pollution from fossil fuels costs $8 billion per day.
  • And more…

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February 14

Why Wyoming’s coal habit is turning it into an energy dinosaur

The Wyoming legislature proposed a bill this week that would have penalized — yes, penalized — utility companies for using green energy to supply electricity to customers. Fortunately, the bill didn’t receive sufficient votes to advance.

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Delta Airlines spends $1 billion to offset its greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Egypt is building a factory that will turn rice straw into wood.
  • Japan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm has successfully reached financial close.

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February 13

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Transparent solar panels might make greenhouses energy-neutral in the future, says a new study.
  • The House Republicans’ released their big climate-change ‘plan’: Carbon capture and trees.
  • Martha’s Vineyard offshore wind farm is delayed due to federal political wrangling.

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February 12

US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (pictured, with Donald Trump) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Greg Walden (R-OR) introduced climate-change legislative proposals today in an attempt to shift the Republican party’s message on climate change from nothing to something.

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Fossil-fuel giant BP says it will become net zero by 2050.
  • One-third of the US Senate introduces the Clean Economy Act to launch climate action.
  • Virginia lawmakers pass major green energy legislation.

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February 11

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the Clean Economy Act of 2020 today. The act’s purpose is to put the United States on a pathway to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

The bill is co-sponsored by 32 senators — all Democrats — as well as Angus King of Maine, who is an independent.

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To say that Tesla’s performance in extremely cold temperatures is a regular talking point among EV drivers (and those of us at Electrek) is a bit of an understatement. For example, Tesla Model Y prototypes were recently spotted cold-weather testing in Minnesota snow in January, and in December, Tesla started offering anti-ice window treatment after some winter issues.

But Tesla Model 3 owner Thomas Nilsen, who lives in Norway’s Arctic Circle, tells Electrek that his EV performs even better in the freezing north than his previous ICE (no pun intended) vehicle.

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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A new luxury development in Burns, Oregon, will feature 600 homes with solar off-grid microgrids.
  • The US DOJ drops its antitrust investigation against Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW.
  • Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti signs an enhanced Green New Deal plan to stop using fossil fuels.

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February 10

Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget slashes the EPA by 26%

Donald Trump proposed a $4.8 trillion budget plan today that proposes cuts to several programs, including a 26% reduction for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Sweden’s EV registrations triple in a year, from 12.7% to 30.3%.
  • The US EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2020” report is out. Here’s the good news and the bad news.
  • The UK may ban gas boilers in order to reach 2050 net zero targets.

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The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2020” report.

Policy analysts Rachel Fakhry and Robert Harding of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote an expert blog on Friday that summarized the report’s findings.

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