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Taking a More Comprehensive Look at Coal Subsidies

Earlier this month, Robert Murray, President and CEO of coal giant Murray Energy Corporation, sparred with Tesla founder Elon Musk on the issue of subsidies. Murray called Tesla a “fraud” for failing to achieve a profit despite benefitting from consumer-facing electric vehicle tax credits, and then Musk lobbed back that EVs get “pennies on the dollar” compared to coal. Continue reading “Taking a More Comprehensive Look at Coal Subsidies”

Obama Administration Announces Extensive National EV Charging Network

p091316ps-0088Today, the White House announced a plan to establish 48 national electric vehicle corridors on major highways across the country.

These corridors, located on 48 interstates, will cover nearly 25,000 miles across 35 states. They will also serve as the foundation for an even larger network of “alternative fuel” corridors.

In the same way highways currently alert drivers of nearby gas stations via roadway signs, the electric vehicle corridors will have signs highlighting nearby charging stations. According to the plan, drivers can expect charging stations every 50 miles.

Responding to the announcement, Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council said:

“This all-in approach exemplifies the sprint-to-the-finish attitude we’ve come to expect from someone who promised us hope and change. Eight years later, President Obama has done more than his 43 predecessors combined to protect Americans and future generations from the ravages of climate change.”

For more on President Obama’s initiatives to scale up adoption of electric vehicles, read this fact sheet.

Image credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The Doubt Machine: Documentary Reveals How the Koch Brothers Wage War on Climate Science

The Koch brothersattack on clean energy solutions is just one prong of their war on anything that threatens the dominance of fossil fuels. While funding fights against renewable energy policies at the federal and state levels, the Koch brothers have also been using their vast wealth to sow the seeds of doubt about the science of climate change.

This week, the Real News Network released “The Doubt Machine: The Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science,” a documentary that explores how Koch-funded entities attacked and threatened climate scientists like Michael Mann and journalists like Jane Mayer. Both Mann and Mayer feature prominently in the documentary, which is narrated by Emma Thompson. You can watch it right here, and it’s well worth your half hour:

Learn more about The Real News’ Global Climate Change Bureau. The Real News Network

Mann, as the film reveals, was dragged through the “Climategate” faux-scandal” and then subjected to subpoenas, harassment, and even death threats. The whole senseless (and seemingly endless) attack on Mann and his climate science colleagues was well documented on DeSmog in real time.

Yes, the climate change denial movement has been well chronicled in Merchants of Doubt, Climate Cover-up and elsewhere, but The Doubt Machine definitely adds some useful personal context from Mann and Mayer, and also draws the clear connections from the denial-sphere to the Koch brothers.


U.S. Electric Vehicle Market is Heating Up

In case you haven’t heard:  the U.S. electric vehicle market is charged up and getting hotter.

What exactly does this mean? We’ll tell you.

  1. More than 45,000 electric vehicles were purchased in the third quarter of 2016. This is a 60% increase from the third quarter of 2015.

  2. Growth is happening despite low oil prices and the limited availability of EVs across the country. Even with low gas prices, it’s still cheaper to drive on electric fuel.

  3. Sales will likely increase with policy shifts on the horizon. On the whole, EVs are not readily available outside of California. Thanks to the California Zero Emission Vehicle program, automakers are required to sell electric cars and trucks within the state. Starting in 2018, nine other states will adopt similar policy: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

  4. Automakers are investing in and rolling out new electric models, big time. Here’s a short list of what’s in the pipeline: Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, Toyota Prius Prime, Hyundai Ioniq, and Audi’s yet-to-be-named electric SUV.

The Union of Concerned Scientists have captured these developments in more depth and visually through some great charts. See them here: The State of the Electric Car Market in 4 Charts and Graphs

Image: Toyota Prius Prime