Florida’s Solar Ballot Initiative War Gains National Attention: ‘This Is Clearly a Bellwether’

The Hill: Solar Battle Rages in Swing-State Florida

Voters in Florida are due next month to consider a constitutional amendment that opponents say is a deceptive attempt to restrict the market for rooftop solar energy systems.

While most are focusing on Florida as a key battleground state that could decide the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, electric utilities, solar companies and their allies are blanketing the airwaves with advertisements regarding Amendment 1.

The ballot question would add a new amendment to the state’s constitution, backed by electric utilities, that supporters say would protect the rights of homeowners and businesses to buy or rent rooftop solar panels, and the rights of local and state government officials to regulate the industry, including through consumer protections.

Fortune: New Study Finds Zero-Emission Cars will Slash Healthcare and Environmental Spending

A study released this month by the American Lung Association finds that, while a gallon of regular gas now averages around $2.22 nationwide, that price does not reflect about $1.15 in healthcare and other costs imposed on taxpayers, healthcare consumers, and businesses when it is used.

The study is based on data from ten states that have adopted California’s aggressive goals for transitioning to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). In 2015, those states — including New York, Oregon, and New Jersey — suffered $24 billion in health-related costs, including 220,000 lost work days, from asthma, heart attacks, and other ailments caused by vehicle emissions.

Handelsblatt Global: The Germans Are Coming for Tesla Motors

Who stole the show at this year’s Paris Auto Salon? Perhaps it was the Mercedes-Benz EQ, introduced to the gawking motor press by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche as one of 10 new plug-in electric cars that the carmaker plans to have on the road by 2025. It might have been the muscular Audi Q6 e-Tron, an all-electric SUV with a range of 500 kilometers that will hit showrooms in early 2018. Or maybe it was the Volkswagen I.D., set for delivery by 2020. Volkswagen says the I.D. will have a powerful 168-horsepower engine, drive almost twice as far as the planned Tesla Model 3 and come at the price of a mass-market Golf.

The message from September’s elite car fest: The Germans are coming for Tesla.

ThinkProgress: Throwing Green Money After Bad

This year’s GOP platform blasts “Democratic party environmental extremists, who must reach farther and demand more to sustain the illusion of an environmental crisis” and pledges to crack down on the Environmental Protection Agency. The party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has called climate change a “hoax” over and over and over. And Congressional Republicans have done just about everything in their power to block attempts at cutting fossil fuel emissions and promoting clean energy.

So when Republican donors like Jay Faison say climate change is a real problem and his party needs to address it, people take notice. Last year Faison pledged $175 million to push the GOP toward climate action through his nonprofit ClearPath Foundation and its political arm, the ClearPath Action Fund. Faison says he wants to shift the focus from climate science to climate solutions  —  namely, clean energy.

Who is on the receiving end of these donors’ efforts to move Republican politicians forward on climate change and clean energy? A ThinkProgress analysis found that many of the incumbents they supported are on the record rejecting or casting doubt on the scientific consensus regarding the reality of climate change and the substantial role of human activity.

The Gazette: Coal No Longer King for Iowa Utilities

South of Alliant Energy’s Prairie Creek Generation Station on the city’s southwest side sits a mound of coal — enough to supply the Cedar Rapids power plant for about three months.

Ultra-low-sulfur coal is shipped regularly from Wyoming to the 3300 C St. SW generation station via railroad and stocked in the yard. From there, coal is carried on conveyor into the plant where it is burned to create the steam that turns the generation station’s turbines and produces power for area businesses and homes.

But all that could change in the near future, as Alliant plans to convert that plant’s largest coal-fueled unit to burn natural gas next year.

from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/floridas-solar-ballot-initiative-war-gains-national-attention

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