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FL:Down in the polls, utilities pump another $3.5 million into Amendment 1 campaign

Florida's largest utilities decided last week that $22 million wasn't enough to spend on Amendment 1, so they pumped in another $3.5 million into the effort, according new campaign finance reports.  Amendment 1, which has been dubbed a "pro solar" amendment by the political committee financed by the utility giants, would inject language into the state Constitution that could be used to keep solar competition out of Florida, making it easier for the utilities to control the solar market and preserve their utility monopolies.

Rocky Mountain Power's Subscriber Solar program nearly sold out

Nearly 20 megawatts of solar energy due to come online in Utah in early 2017 has been sold to residential and business consumers who want to cut their monthly utility bills or become more reliant on clean energy. Rocky Mountain Power's Subscriber Solar program is 95 percent sold out, and officials anticipate the last few blocks of power will be sold by this week or next.

Scientists just completed a census of the creepy crawlies that live in our homes

Do you know the bugs that share your home?  No? Well, pull up a chair and get acquainted. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado Boulder just completed a census of creepy crawlies from hundreds of households across the country and found that creatures from more than 600 genera of arthropods live alongside us in our homes.

Before protest conflict, pipeline builder found artifacts

The company building a controversial oil pipeline north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation failed to immediately notify regulators after finding four stone cairns and other artifacts during construction in Morton County as tensions grew among pipeline opponents, documents show. Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, waited at least 10 days to notify the North Dakota Public Service Commission about an unanticipated discovery in mid-October, a potential violation of the state permit for construction. The company formally notified regulators Oct.

Rural and urban residents have seen this happen time and time again. A building that originally may have been built for a general mercantile store has often housed a restaurant, insurance agency, hardware store, and clothing store over a century of use. I

A judge in Columbus is preparing to hear arguments in a dispute over Ohio’s authority to regulate oil-and-gas operations, including wells disposing of fracking wastewater. Attorneys for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the operator of a Youngstown-area wastewater injection well address Judge Kimberly Cocroft. At issue is the department’s power to take action against the well, which disposes of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing and sits nearby at least 20 small seismic events that occurred in 2014.

Ag production vs widget production

In a theoretical world, one place is as good as another for producing goods. But agriculture is where you find it, and for good reason. That’s just one of the factors that makes the ag market behave differently from the widget market. It’s also why some form of risk-mitigation through government farm programs are a good idea, say two ag-policy analysts. Rural and urban residents have seen this happen time and time again.

NCBA, Farm Bureau among groups filing brief in WOTUS challenge

In a joint release, NCBA and the PLC said the brief details how the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disregarded the statutory and constitutional limits of federal authority, lobbied on their own rule-making, and failed to craft a rule that meets the rigors of the law.

Move Over Solar: There’s New Energy Right At Our Feet

Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are turning wood pulp, a common waste material, into a flooring that generates electricity. The researchers chemically treated the wood pulp nanofibers that the flooring is made out of with two differently charged materials, so that when someone walks across the floor, these fibers then interact with one another, similar to static electricity. The electrons released by this vibration are then captured by a capacitor that is attached to the flooring and the energy is stored for later use.

Solar farms are uprooting agriculture, farmers say

Don't call it a solar "farm" — at least not to a Maryland farmer.  The Maryland Farm Bureau's membership voted in 2014 to oppose appending the word "farm" to the label of any alternative energy-generation plant, including a solar farm facility.  Photovoltaic cells are springing up across the Eastern Shore at an unprecedented clip. Fueled by hefty government subsidies and relatively cheap prices for acreage, utility-scale solar facilities are supplanting one farm after another.

Harched from peanuts, the South's hot new oil

There may be more improbable culinary trails than the one that leads from a red clay road here in the country’s most prolific peanut-growing state to Beyoncé’s plate at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. But as zero-to-hero food tales go, this is a good one.  The star of the story is cold-pressed green peanut oil, which some of the best cooks in the South have come to think of as their local answer to extra-virgin olive oil. Buttery, slightly vegetal and hard to find, Southern green peanut oil is a new entry into the growing regional oil game.

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