Gallup: For First Time, Majority in U.S. Oppose Nuclear Energy

For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in 1994, a majority of Americans say they oppose nuclear energy. The 54% opposing it is up significantly from 43% a year ago, while the 44% who favor using nuclear energy is down from 51%.

In 2011, Gallup conducted its annual Environment poll a few days before the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan, and at that time, 57% of Americans were in favor of nuclear energy. The next time the question was asked in 2012, a similar majority still favored the use of nuclear energy.

And although there have not been any major nuclear incidents since Fukushima in 2011, a majority of U.S. adults now oppose nuclear energy. This suggests that energy prices and the perceived abundance of energy sources are the most relevant factors in attitudes toward nuclear power, rather than safety concerns prompted by nuclear incidents.

New York Times: Once a Darling, Spanish Solar Company Abengoa Faces Reckoning

Announcing government support for clean-energy projects, President Obama hailed a Spanish company, saying its new solar technology would supply tens of thousands of American homes with renewable power, while spurring local employment.

“It’s good news,” Mr. Obama said in 2010, “that we’ve attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America.”

Since then, the Spanish company, Abengoa, has built two American plants, in Arizona and California, supplying electricity to more than 160,000 homes. It is the world leader in a technology known as solar thermal, with operations from Algeria to Latin America.

Bloomberg: $2 Billion Loss for Generators as a Million U.S. Roofs Get Solar

Rooftop solar is casting a $2 billion shadow over power generators across the eastern U.S.

With more than a million U.S. houses set to have solar panels by the end of next month, grid managers serving the eastern U.S. plan to cut the amount of electricity they buy from conventional plants by about 1,400 megawatts, starting in 2019, according to industry consultant ICF International Inc. That’s enough juice to power about 780,000 households.

The result could be as much as $2 billion in lost revenue for generators that are already reeling from lower demand, tight environmental regulation and depressed prices.

Guardian: The World's Greenest Shopping Center

Shopping centers are not the first thing to come to mind when thinking about sustainability. Those palaces of consumerism chewing through water and electricity, while shoppers wander along brightly-lit walkways; always buying, buying, buying.

But what if their energy usage could be slashed and they were transformed into sources of renewable energy, with solar panels on roof space and rainwater harvesting -- all while making more money for retailers?

Earlier this month, the Living Future Institute Australia launched the Brickworks Living Building Challenge Design Competition, a new global design competition that aims to reimagine retail centers.

Vox: How Your Taxes Enriched Coal Executives Who Are Betraying Their Workers

Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is the world's largest private-sector coal company, with operations across the world from China to Germany, and the largest producer of U.S. coal.

A full accounting is beyond the scope of this post, but suffice to say, Peabody has a long history of mutual hostility with environmentalists. It has paid climate skeptics for research and funded climate skeptic organizations. (CEO Greg Boyce, before retiring in 2015, dismissed "climate theory" and its "flawed models.") It has paid prominent lawyers to concoct arguments against Obama's Clean Power Plan, the latest battle in a long war on clean air and water regulations. Lately it's been trying to sell the idea that coal is the only cure for poverty, which organizations like the World Bank and OxFam reject.

All that is well established. Now, two recent items from the news are likely to add fuel to the Peabody-hating fire.