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March 8, 2013 | By Shan Li
U.S. corporate executives believe American workers lack crucial skills for success. More than half of executives belief their underlings are "average at best" in areas such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication, according to a survey from the American Management Assn. And the number of managers who rate their workers "below average" rose in all four categories: 9.8% believe their employees lack critical thinking skills (up from 6.2% in 2010), 19.7% in creativity (up from 15.6%)
March 5, 2013 | By Shan Li
In the clean energy market, the U.S. trumped China. At least in 2011. U.S. firms held a $1.63-billion surplus in the clean energy trade over China, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That surplus was for 2011, the latest year data is available. It was a rare bright spot in a relationship that had the overall U.S. trade deficit with China hitting $315 billion last year. Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's clean energy program, said the findings highlight the long-term potential for the U.S. to hold its top spot in the clean energy sector.
March 4, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - President Obama picked a chief for the Environmental Protection Agency who has long worked on combating climate change and an Energy Department secretary closely associated with increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy, further signaling his intention to take on global warming, although not as dramatically as some activists would like. "They're going to be making sure that we're investing in American energy, that we're doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change, that we're going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity," Obama said at a White House news conference Monday as he introduced his EPA nominee, Gina McCarthy, and his choice for Energy, Ernest J. Moniz.
March 3, 2013 | By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - When Gov. Jerry Brown called on his fellow governors at a conference in Washington last week to embrace a California-style pursuit of cleaner air, he was doing more than reinforcing the state's image as an environmental trailblazer. He was trying to protect its economy. Brown needs other states and the federal government to adopt key elements of California's environmental agenda, such as reaping more energy from renewable sources and capping greenhouse gas emissions, if those programs are to be successful here.
February 27, 2013 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Situated in the southeastern corner of California, bordering Arizona and Mexico, Imperial County has long depended on agriculture and cash crops that grew from the good earth. But lately the region - which carries the dubious distinction of having the state's highest unemployment rate at 25.5% - is betting its future on a different kind of farm: green energy. Spurred by a state mandate that requires utilities to get a third of their electricity from green sources by 2020, renewable energy companies are leasing or buying thousands of acres in Imperial County to convert to energy farms providing power for coastal cities - bringing an estimated 6,000 building jobs and billions in construction activity to the county.
February 1, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he is leaving the Obama administration, ending a tenure marked by active development of alternative energy that won plaudits from environmentalists and drew attacks from conservatives, especially after the bankruptcy of the federally-backed solar panel maker, Solyndra. Chu said that he planned to stay at least through late February and was prepared to stay longer in order to hand over the agency to a new secretary. A Nobel laureate in physics, Chu oversaw the deployment of $35 billion in stimulus funding, much of it to research initiatives and companies charting new vehicle fuels, advanced batteries for large-scale power storage and  renewable energy.
January 30, 2013 | By Kim Murphy
Hawaii's love affair with rooftop solar energy has turned into a gold rush. In 2012, as many permits for new solar units were issued on the island of Oahu alone as in the entire state over the last decade. That, inevitably, has led to gridlock. Homeowners and businesses in some areas have been required to conduct expensive studies before hooking up new solar power to the electrical grid, which utility operators fear could become saturated with unpredictable do-it-yourself power.
January 23, 2013 | Bloomberg News
Ikea Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, will double its investment in renewable energy to $4 billion by 2020 as part of a drive to reduce costs as cash-strapped consumers become more price sensitive. The additional spending on projects such as wind farms and solar parks will be needed to keep expenses down as the company maintains its pace of expansion, Chief Executive Mikael Ohlsson said in an interview in Malmo, Sweden. "I foresee we'll continue to increase our investments in renewable energy," said Ohlsson, who plans to step down this year after 3 1/2 years at the helm.
January 12, 2013
Reader P.J. Gendell of Beverly Hills, in a letter published Thursday posed a question to journalist and climate-change activist Bill McKibben in response to his Jan. 6 Op-Ed article, "Climate change won't wait": "McKibben is very adamant that 'if we're to slow the pace of climate change, we need to cut emissions globally at a sensational rate, by something like 5% a year.' Considering what a huge amount that is, it would be helpful for...
January 2, 2013
Re "Small-scale solar's big potential untapped," Dec. 29 The story touting the potential benefits of rooftop and other smaller solar power arrays was well written and informative. Now it's time to look under the rocks. The Times reports that the tiny Mojave Desert town of Nipton, Calif., is off the grid. So exactly where does the electrical power come from when it's cloudy and when the sun goes down? Generators? Batteries? What's the (environmental) good, bad and evil of those systems?
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