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Alternative Energy

March 15, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
President Obama coined a new campaign line on Thursday when he said Republican presidential candidates' views on energy policy qualifies them as members of the "Flat Earth Society. " Speaking to a crowd in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, Obama charged that the GOP contenders are dismissive of alternative energy and compared them to those who thought Columbus shouldn't set sail. "We've heard these folks in the past," Obama said. "'Television won't last. It's a flash in the pan.' ... 'The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad.'" While the president riffed on the idea in a joking tone, his speech at Prince George's Community College revealed a very serious undercurrent running through his White House right now. The president has few tools to check the rising cost of gasoline in the short term, and his advisors are acutely aware of the effect this could have on voters.
October 16, 2011 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Federal environmental officials were planning to detonate at least one canister of highly volatile gas at a Sylmar industrial park early Sunday and were set to shut down a portion of the 210 Freeway as a safety precaution. Authorities say that a canister of gas, a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, is too volatile to move. Instead it will be exploded on site at Rainbow of Hope, an alternative energy company at 12349 Gladstone Avenue. An August explosion at the building ripped a hole in the roof and blew two workers onto the street, officials said.
September 24, 2011 | By Ken Bensinger, Stuart Pfeifer and Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
It was the better mousetrap. From Silicon Valley to the White House, Solyndra's unique solar panels left everyone gasping for a piece of the action. Analysts gushed over the cylindrical design, so much more exciting than the dull, flat panels coming out of China. Company executives promised huge revenue, supporting thousands of permanent jobs, while a stream of state and federal politicians toured the Fremont plant, basking in what felt like the glow of the future. Investors, convinced that Solyndra was the big one, the harbinger of a solar boom, poured more than $1 billion into the company, with the U.S. government guaranteeing 50% more in loans.
August 11, 2011 | By Paloma Esquivel and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
The scenes were oddly similar. On June 17, 2010, an explosion at a Simi Valley alternative energy company blew off part of the roof and caused parts of the building to collapse. Employee Tyson Larson, 28, was killed and two others injured. On Tuesday, another explosion rocked an alternative energy company in Sylmar, tearing a hole in the roof and shattering windows of neighboring businesses. This time Timothy Larson, a veteran Los Angeles city firefighter who has been on disability leave for several years, was critically injured.
March 11, 2011 | Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
The latest surge in oil prices may help the renewable energy industry reach a turning point after years of boom-and-bust cycles long dictated by the rise and fall in gas prices. Solar, wind and biofuel investors and analysts said the latest run-up in prices caused by unrest in Libya and other oil-producing nations could lead to lasting interest in alternate sources of energy. They point to several factors converging at the same time that give the industry such hope. Public awareness and worries about climate change, pollution and dwindling resources are at an all-time high.
January 19, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Jobs at clean-tech or alternative-energy companies have flourished in California, with nearly a quarter of them based in Los Angeles, a new study has found. Employers offering jobs in fields such as solar-power generation, electric-vehicle development and environmental consultation added 5,000 jobs in 2008, the latest data available. In all, about 174,000 Californians were working in eco-friendly fields by early 2009, compared with just 111,000 in 1995, said nonprofit research group Next 10. The study, which culled data from government and private reports, was released late Tuesday.
December 18, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
A popular federal incentive program that has helped boost renewable-energy projects has been extended another year. President Obama on Friday signed off on extending the program after it appeared to be in danger of becoming a casualty of partisan bickering in Congress. The 1603 Treasury grant program, which became part of the overall tax package after heavy industry lobbying, cleared the House late Thursday. The program, which covers up to 30% of the cost of alternative-energy projects, would have expired by the end of the year.
November 25, 2010 | By Kevin Canfield, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Fans of John McPhee's 1981 book "Basin and Range" will remember Kenneth S. Deffeyes, the longtime Princeton professor who helped guide the reader through what was then called the "New Geology. " "Deffeyes," McPhee wrote, "is a big man with a tenured waistline. His hair flies behind him like Ludwig van Beethoven. He lectures in sneakers. " Deffeyes doesn't lecture anymore — he retired in 1998 — but his hair still tends to get unruly. Likewise, the findings in Deffeyes' latest book might cause oil executives — even those not affiliated with BP — to go gray overnight.
November 5, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
The clean-tech industry got a bit of a spark ? and a jolt ? from the elections this week. While most in the industry cheered California's election results, with the defeat of Proposition 23 and Jerry Brown's gubernatorial victory, many said they were worried about the shifting makeup of Congress, where many advocates for climate-change legislation lost their seats Tuesday. FOR THE RECORD: Green tech: In an article in the Nov. 6 Business section about the results of state and national elections on the clean-tech sector, a company name was inadvertently changed during production.
November 4, 2010 | By Tom Hayden
During the campaign season, it was easy to dismiss the idea of a green energy future for California as mere campaign rhetoric. But with the second coming of Jerry Brown, the reelection of Barbara Boxer and voter endorsement of state policies to curb global warming, California really is poised to lead the country to a greener future. FOR THE RECORD: California: A Nov. 4 Op-Ed about Jerry Brown and California's green future said voters passed Proposition 187 in 1984. It passed in 1994.
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