AZ Republic: Arizona Regulator Chastises Rooftop Solar Industry

The outgoing chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission on Monday warned the rooftop-solar industry to tone down its rhetoric at a ceremony swearing in two new members of the utility regulatory agency.

Bob Stump, who was replaced as chairman Monday after two years in the position, said that industries that have business at the commission "need more intellectual honesty."

The regulators have grappled in recent years with how much, if at all, utilities should subsidize renewable energy sources such as solar, and how electric companies can continue to operate when rooftop solar proliferates and cuts into their revenues.

ThinkProgress: Nissan Leaf Set an Electric Car Sales Record in 2014

Americans bought more than 30,000 Nissan Leafs in 2014, a yearly sales record that’s never before been reached by an electric plug-in vehicle.

In all, 30,200 Nissan Leafs were sold in the U.S. last year, a 33.6 percent increase over the number sold in 2013. That’s a small chunk of the approximately 1.3 million total vehicles sold by Nissan in 2014, but it’s still the highest number of plug-in electric vehicles sold in the U.S. in any one year so far.

SF Gate: Owners of BMW Electric Cars Get Paid Not to Drive

Some Bay Area drivers of the BMW i3 electric hatchback may soon qualify for an odd perk -- getting paid to delay recharging their cars.

Drivers who participate in the German automaker’s new i ChargeForward program will receive up to $1,540 in return for letting BMW delay the recharging process whenever California’s electricity grid faces a heavy strain. The delays are expected to last no longer than an hour.

The experimental program -- developed by BMW and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. -- will test one way to ensure that electric vehicles don’t burden the grid as their popularity slowly grows.

Slate: 2014 Was the Hottest Year Ever Measured on Earth

Last year, 2014, was the globe’s hottest year ever recorded by thermometers, and likely the hottest in the history of human civilization.

This week’s data comes from Japan’s Meteorological Agency, one of the four primary record-keeping organizations that routinely plot the now familiar upward bend in Earth’s surface temperature.

The new record amounts to yet another warning sign on the civilizational superhighway toward a worst-case climate scenario.

Lawrence Summers Op-Ed: Oil’s Swoon Creates the Opening for a Carbon Tax

The case for carbon taxes has long been compelling. With the recent steep fall in oil prices and associated declines in other energy prices, it has become overwhelming. There is room for debate about the size of the tax and about how the proceeds should be deployed. But there should be no doubt that, given the current zero tax rate on carbon, increased taxation would be desirable.