Boulder and the Spread of Community Choice Utilities

By Roy L Hales

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Boulder Colorado’s election results are being heralded as yet another “solar victory,” in a string that stretches back to the Louisiana and Idaho Public Utilities Commissions decisions earlier this year. The relevant questions on the ballot, however, pertain to Boulder’s attempt to join more than 1,300 American communities that have formed their own utility.

Question 310 would have required voter approval before the city issued bonds to pay for Xcel’s equipment and run its own utility, was defeated by a 2:1 margin (21,100 to 9,543).

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Tesla’s West Coast Supercharger Corridor Opens

By Roy L Hales

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Tesla’s West Coast Supercharger Corridor is now open. Two Model S owners left the San Diego, on October 30, on a 1,500 miles trip to Vancouver BC. They utilized Tesla’s Super Charger stations, now strung out every 200 miles along the I-5, in a leisurely 5 day drive to Vancouver.

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California Cruise Ships: An Environmental Report Card

The ECOreport uses  Marica Keever’s 2013 Cruise Report Card to evaluate California Cruise Ships: an Environmental Report Card

By Roy L Hales

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According to a report released three days ago, Cruise ships dumped more than 1 billion gallons of sewage in the ocean last year, much of it raw or poorly treated. More than 40% of the 162 ships in the 2013 Cruise Report Card“still rely on 30-year-old waste treatment technology, leaving treated sewage with levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants harmful to aquatic life and people.”

“It’s time for cruise ships to stop using our oceans as a toilet!” said Marcie Keever, author of the Friends of the Earth report.

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America’s Net Metering War

By Roy L Hales

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There is an undeclared energy battle being waged in America. As installation costs drop, rooftop solar is spreading throughout the US and, while reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, it also cuts into corporate profits. Despite three resounding setbacks, utility companies are fighting to hold on to their monopolies. They are doing this by trying to limit net metering, the cornerstone policy that gives solar customers credit for the excess energy they put back on the grid.  The Alliance of Solar Choice (TASC) says two of the hottest battles are currently being fought in Arizona and Colorado.  This was America’s Net Metering War.

The tide of rooftop victories started on June 26 of this year, when the Louisiana Public Utilities Commission voted 3-2 to maintain the payments utilities must make to solar owners.

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