Las Vegas Sun: Switch Sues PUC, NV Energy for $30 Million, Permission to Leave Utility

Las Vegas-based data company Switch filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that Nevada utility regulators failed to treat the company equally when it denied the firm’s application last year to cut ties with NV Energy and purchase renewable energy independently. It is asking for at least $30 million in damages. It is also asking to leave NV Energy and purchase power on the open market.

In federal court, Switch alleges a violation of its 14th Amendment rights. Despite denying Switch’s application, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada has allowed three large gaming operators to leave NV Energy’s service and purchase power from alternative electricity providers.

Bloomberg: The Fake Factory That Pumped Out Real Money

The biodiesel factory, a three-story steel skeleton crammed with pipes and valves, squatted on a concrete slab between a railroad track and a field of storage tanks towering over the Houston Ship Channel. Jeffrey Kimes, an engineer for the Environmental Protection Agency, arrived there at 9 a.m. on a muggy Wednesday in August 2011.

He’d come to visit Green Diesel, a company that appeared to be an important contributor to the EPA’s fledgling renewable fuels program, part of an effort to clean the air and lessen U.S. dependence on foreign fuel. In less than three years, Green Diesel had reported producing 50 million gallons of biodiesel. Yet Kimes didn’t know the company. He asked other producers, and they weren’t familiar with Green Diesel either. He thought he ought to see this business for himself.

New York Times: As U.S. Investigates Fatal Tesla Crash, Company Defends Autopilot System

Even as federal safety officials step up their investigation of the fatal crash of a driver operating a Tesla car with its Autopilot system engaged, the company continues to defend the self-driving technology as safe when properly used.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday released a detailed set of questions for the carmaker about its automated driving system, particularly the emergency braking function.

The Autopilot system has been the subject of a federal investigation since regulators revealed in late June that the driver of a Tesla Model S sedan, Joshua Brown, was killed on May 7 when his vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer in Florida.

ABC: Solar Power Industry Drives Up Silver, Lithium Prices

The consumer-led power revolution driving a rapid uptake of rooftop solar panels and lithium-ion batteries to store electricity is creating new uses for metals that have long languished in the doldrums.

Silver and lithium have so far been the star performers, with both experiencing big price jumps in recent months.

Peter Strachan from StockAnalysis said the solar industry was providing a modern-day large-scale industrial use for the metals.

"They print the circuitry for photovoltaic cells using nanoparticles of silver; it is a very good conductor," Strachan said.

Washington Post: Republicans Just Escalated the War Over ExxonMobil or Climate Change

Call it a tit for tat over subpoenas, one that escalates an ongoing spat over what the biggest U.S. oil company knew and when it knew it.

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) said Wednesday his committee was issuing subpoenas to the New York and Massachusetts state attorneys general, who have issued their own subpoenas as part of probes into whether ExxonMobil misled the public and investors about what it knew about the dangers of climate change decades ago.

ExxonMobil and its defenders have asserted that the company has merely been exercising its free speech rights with respect to climate change.