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2019年2月1日 星期五

Morning Volt for 02/01/2019

02/01/2019
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Morning Volt

Clean Energy: A Future for Hydropower?

Bob Sack, PMG
This is the third in an occasional series of articles about what Lake Oswego resident Bob Sack calls "underappreciated, carbon-free sources of energy that are under development right here in Oregon." Sack's first "snapshot," about geothermal energy, appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Review; "Blowin in the (offshore) wind" was featured in the Jan. 3 issue. Today's installment: hydropower.Did you know that Lake Oswego has its own hydroelectric power plant?

Scientists Plan to Counter Climate Misinformation?

Scott Waldman, SA
President Trump has mocked and dismissed climate science. Now researchers seem increasingly inclined to correct the record.NOAA, the federal agency that studies the Earth, tweeted what appeared to be a rebuttal to Trump's assertion Monday night that cold weather disproves long-term warming on a planet that's seen average global temperatures rise about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900.Not only are severe snowstorms possible in a warming climate, they may even be more likely, NOAA officials wrote in a tweet that appeared to challenge the nation's top executive.

NOAA's Brilliant Response to Trump's Climate Tweet

Trevor Nace, Forbes
Trump's recent tweet on the polar vortex and global warming has caught the eye of one of his government agencies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had a perfect response for President Trump pointing out that just because the average temperature of the planet is warming doesn't mean we won't experience cold temperatures.The president tweeted on Monday "In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can't last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going...

Extreme Cold Straining Xcel Energy's Natural Gas System

Staff, CBS Minnesota
Xcel Energy is advising residents in parts of central Minnesota north of the metro to turn down their thermostats and reduce their natural gas use.According to the energy provider, the extreme weather conditions have resulted in a significant strain on Xcel Energy's natural gas system.

Coal's New Era in 2019

Terry M. Jarrett, Salem News
For those who follow energy policy in the United States, these are intriguing times. A number of significant changes are under way, with natural gas occupying a newfound prominence in electricity generation. Some older coal plants are being retired, too. And more utilities are exploring wind and solar even as nuclear power continues to recede from consideration.

Hitachi Ends $20 Billion UK Nuclear Plant

Daniel Shane, CNN Business
Hitachi has shelved plans for a $20 billion nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom, raising questions over future energy supplies in the country.The Japanese conglomerate said in a statement Thursday that it has stopped work on the project in Wales after failing to reach a deal with the British government.Horizon Nuclear Power, the company's UK nuclear division, said the decision was made after several years of negotiations over financing with UK authorities failed to yield results.Hitachi is the second big Japanese company to back away from the UK nuclear energy industry in recent months.

Gov. Abbott, Let Us Help You Understand Climate Change

Andrew Dessler, DMN
Gov. Greg Abbott recently said it is "impossible" for him know whether human-made climate change is contributing to natural disasters in Texas because he is not scientist.Yes, climate change is complex. But my colleagues and I are here to help. With the start of the 2019 legislative session, 26 climate scientists and experts, including me, offered to brief Gov. Abbott on the hard evidence that the climate is changing, humans are primarily responsible, and if we don't act soon, Texans may suffer mightily.

Oil Rises on Tighter US Supply, Venezuela Sanctions

Retuers, CNBC
Oil prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by U.S. government data that showed signs of tightening supply, as investors remained concerned about supply disruptions following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry.U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended Wednesday's session up 92 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $54.23 per barrel, its best closing prices since late November.International Brent crude oil futures were up 43 cents at $61.75 per barrel around 2:30 p.m. ET.

Rick Perry Braces for Outages From the Polar Vortex

John Siciliano, WE
Energy Secretary Rick Perry spoke with top energy security officials Tuesday as a deep freeze gripped the eastern half of the United States.Perry tweeted that he received an update from Karen Evans, the assistant secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, known as CESER, on the department's readiness to "respond to the polar vortex hitting the country from the Midwest to the East Coast."

This Polar Vortex Doesn't Disprove Global Warming

Keith Matheny, BH
It's a question on many blue lips this week, as the Midwest braced for below-zero temperatures for its daily high on Wednesday: How can global warming be true when it's so cold?Even President Donald Trump, in a tweet late Tuesday, seemed to question the coexistence of climate change and an arctic chill over much of the U.S.In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can't last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we...

Companies Fighting Back on Shareholder Activism

Lydia DePillis, CNN Business
A standoff is brewing between investors, corporate boards and federal regulators as shareholders prepare to vote on resolutions that concern human rights, corporate governance, and climate change.Bolstered by more industry-friendly federal regulators, corporate trade associations are lobbying for constraints on activist shareholders and so-called "political" resolutions. They also want to stymie proxy advisory firms, which many shareholders rely on for research and recommendations on how to vote.

Record Cold Forces Rethink on Global Warming

Tom Harris & Tim Ball, PJ Media
Headlines around the world are reporting exceptionally frigid conditions and unusually high levels of snowfall in recent weeks. They tout these events as records, but few people understand how short the record actually is -- usually less than 50 years, a mere instant in Earth's 4.6-billion year history. The reality is that, when viewed in a wider context, there is nothing unusual about current weather patterns.Despite this fact, the media -- directly, indirectly, or by inference -- often attribute the current weather to global warming. Yes, they now call it climate change. But that is because...

Meet George Jetson: Smart Future, Smart Homes

Jerry Rogers, RCP
You may not know it from watching cable news or browsing your Instagram or Facebook feeds, but we're truly living in the days of "miracles and wonders." An age of innovation and human achievement where today's energy-efficient, smart homes are more like the Jetson's space-age residence than the iconic Brady Bunch house.I watched a lot of television growing up as a kid (we didn't have Snapchat), and never honestly thought that a "Jetson home" would be a reality, not my reality anyway. In our neighborhood, all my friends had a "Brady house," some with a microwave and a little less orange...

Tesla Offers Lower-Priced Model S, X

Lora Kolodny, CNBC
Tesla has begun selling lower-priced versions of its Model S and Model X electric vehicles equipped with 100 kWh battery packs.The company faces mounting debts and other challenges as it aims to take its Model 3 sedans mainstream and to manage a greater number of deliveries and service appointments than ever before.Now that Model S and Model X vehicles will all have 100 kWh battery packs with their range and other features differentiated through over-the-air software updates it may be easier for Tesla to make and deliver these cars to customers.

'Green New Deal' Tests AOC's Clout

Ari Natter, Bloomberg Quint
Hundreds of young activists stormed Nancy Pelosi's office after Democrats won the House in November, inspired by the new hero of the left, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who briefly joined them in a live-streamed protest to demand passage of a radical plan to fight climate change. More than two months later, political reality is setting in.

It'll Cost $45 billion, but Germany to Eliminate Coal

Megan Geuss, Ars Technica
On Saturday, a German commission made up of federal and state leaders as well as industry representatives, environmentalists, and scientists agreed on a proposal to close all of Germany's 84 remaining coal plants by 2038. The proposal is expected to be adopted by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, according to the Los Angeles Times.Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018The closures would be compensated with 40 billion ($45.7 billion) in government aid, which would be directed toward communities hardest hit by coal closures. Currently, coal is a major...

Germany Shouldn't Rush to Abandon Coal

Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
Policy decisions about climate change are among the toughest a government can make: Any change in direction is practically guaranteed to displease the stakeholders. A commission set up by the German government to work out how the country will phase out coal called for ending the fuel's use by 2038. Energy companies, labor unions and environmentalists are all unhappy.The Growth, Structural Change and Employment Commission, known simply as the Coal Commission, announced its plan on Jan. 27. Its report came in at 335 pages, and not just because German policy documents tend to be long and...

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