April 23, 2014 |
The Koch brothers have a new ploy to protect the traditional energy business that helped make them the planet's fifth- and sixth-richest humans. They are funding a campaign to shackle solar energy consumers who have escaped the grip of big electric utilities. Of all the pro-business, anti-government causes they have funded with their billions, this may be the most cynical and self-serving. On Sunday, a Los Angeles Times story by Evan Halper outlined the Koch's latest scheme. Along with anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, several major power companies and a national association representing conservative state legislators, the brothers are aiming to kill preferences for the burgeoning solar power industry that have been put into law in dozens of states.
April 19, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry. But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent. He was a solar-energy consumer. Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy.
April 17, 2014 |
Sifting through observations from more than 100,000 distant stars, astronomers say they have discovered the first definitive Earth-sized planet that orbits in a habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form - a necessary condition for life as we know it. Scientists don't know whether the planet has water or a protective atmosphere. They don't even know its mass. But they said the landmark discovery gives astronomers great hope that a bumper crop of Earth-like planets is waiting to be found much closer to home, including around temperamental stars that until recently were considered inhospitable to life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 |
INDEPENDENCE, Calif. - One by one, a parade of Owens Valley residents rose at a public hearing Tuesday to assail the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's plan to meet its renewable energy goals by covering 2 square miles of high desert with 1 million solar panels. "We believe in economic development - but this is not the kind we want," Jane McDonald, who helps run a farmer's market, said at the DWP's first public presentation of the project during an Inyo County Board of Supervisors hearing.
April 11, 2014 |
Los Angeles has outstripped San Diego as the city with the most solar installations in the nation, one report says. By the end of 2013, Angelenos installed a cumulative total of 132 megawatts of solar power, according to a report from the Environment California Research & Policy Center. That is about one-third more than San Diego, which previously held the No. 1 spot. "It's been a long time coming," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Assn.
April 7, 2014 |
A solar flare flashed on the turbulent surface of the sun last week - and NASA captured the moment in a video. The agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory watched as balletic lines of light swirled and grew to produce the M-class flare. Solar flares get letter grades to categorize their strength. The weakest ones are A-class; then come B, C, M and finally X class. Each letter class is 10 times stronger than the one before it. Numbers attached to each letter put a finer point on each flare's power.