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Environment

Electric Utilities Challenged for Slow-Walking Switch from Natural Gas to Clean Renewable Energy

Even in the gray fog of a pandemic, news about the future of the U.S. power sector has been dominated by a sunny outlook on renewable energy.  In January, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that most new electric power generation in 2020 would come from wind and solar.

Environment

Thirsty Future for American West, as ”Megadrought” Grips Some of the Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities

Western states and their mushrooming municipalities long have grappled with the twin concerns of rapid growth and dwindling water supplies. Now, in the midst of an historic megadrought predicted to last many more years, the issue has grown increasingly urgent. 

Consumer Protection

A Major Player in Solar Energy Leaves Some Customers Seething

This sounds too good to be true, was one of Brenda Ortiz’s first thoughts when a salesman showed up at her front door in Riverside County, California, in October 2018. He was with Vivint Solar, Ortiz recalled him saying, and

Consumer Protection

“Biodegradable,” a Magic Word for Environmentally-Minded Consumers, Isn’t Always a Green Panacea

The ''Biodegradable'' label can be a powerful draw for shoppers concerned about the future of the planet. But they might not be aware of a critical drawback: As biodegradable materials break down in a landfill, which is where they usually end up, they can release methane, a potent greenhouse gas with climate warming effects upwards of 30 times that of carbon dioxide.

Consumer Protection

Pesticides and Produce: Environmental Group Lists Cleanest and Dirtiest Fruits and Vegetables

An environmental advocacy group is out today with its annual report on pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Raisin lovers, take note. Nearly all conventionally-grown raisins have traces of two or more pesticides, according to government test data cited in a new report. That's worrisome, says the environmental group that authored the report, because raisins are such a popular children's snack.

Environment

Curbside Quandary: Who Will Fix America’s Ailing Recycling Programs?

Mike Walker has just finished his lunch in the cafeteria at PCC Community Markets in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle. On the small table in front of him is a plastic sandwich wrapper, a potato chip bag and an energy drink can. Only one of those three is destined for a recycling bin. And even then, there's no guarantee that the can will end up recycled.

Environment

Fields of Waste: Artificial Turf, Touted as Recycling Fix for Millions of Scrap Tires, Becomes Mounting Disposal Mess

With hundreds of fields reaching end of life each year, the artificial turf industry is under pressure to find a sustainable solution.

Environment

Dirty Air and the Human Brain: Does Pollution Poison the Mind?

Air pollution is known to be a serious health risk – a cause of asthma, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and a factor, according to the World Health Organization, in an estimated seven million deaths worldwide every year. A growing body of research suggests air pollution may also be harming our brains. In recent years, new areas of study have opened up into how air pollution might affect our minds and the way we think and feel. Epidemiologists and neuroscientists have found evidence linking long-term exposure

Environment

Frustrated Advocates Increasingly Turn to the Courts to Fight Climate Change

A rising tide of climate-related lawsuits across the U.S. could represent an important new front in the fight to limit harm from a warming planet, and force energy companies to foot the bill for measures to address it. But against the staunch opposition of energy producers and federal agencies also targeted in some of the suits, it's uncertain how much impact the litigation will have.