Miami Herald: Big Energy’s Campaign Cash Keeps Solar Down in Florida

Back when Paige Kreegel was a state representative in 2009, he had an idea that he thought simply made sense. Florida, the Sunshine State, should become a model for solar power.

As chairman of the state House’s Committee on Energy, Kreegel was in a position to change Florida laws that have restricted the growth of rooftop solar panels. As a self-described free-market Republican, he wanted to get government out of the way of a growing industry.

But Kreegel soon discovered his fellow committee members wouldn’t discuss solar energy, and the fact that he brought it up made him an outcast. When he walked the halls of the Legislature, other lawmakers would shut their doors.

“You know how Tallahassee has an in-group and an out-group?” said Kreegel, a physician in Punta Gorda who left the House in 2012. “I didn’t know I was on the outside until I went against the public utilities, and then -- holy hell.”

SF Business Times: California Senator Wants to Revoke Tesla Rebate

Should buyers of a $70,000 Tesla get a rebate? It’s a question one California lawmaker is asking, but is it for the right reasons?

Republican California state Senator Ted Gaines has proposed eliminating the $2,500 rebate on electric cars that cost more than $40,000. This would eliminate the rebate for Tesla buyers while preserving it for automakers like Toyota and Nissan, which make electric vehicles for less than the $40,000 price point.

“It’s hard for the average Californian to understand why someone buying a $100,000 car should get a rebate,” Sen. Gaines said in a public statement. “That’s the same question I posed to myself, and it was hard to justify.”

Politico: Is Lindsey Graham Too Green for the GOP?

Lindsey Graham may paint some green onto the 2016 Republican presidential platform. Just don’t call him a moderate.

The South Carolina senator and potential GOP presidential contender is one of the few Republicans left on Capitol Hill to embrace the idea that humans play a sizable role in warming the planet. He spent months negotiating with Democrats on an attempt at major climate legislation during President Barack Obama’s first two years, and he’s received both praise and fundraising help from the Environmental Defense Fund, a centrist voice in the green movement.

That could offer a big contrast between Graham and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who opened his own long-shot White House bid late last month with a message of unabashed conservatism. Cruz later said in an interview that climate activists -- or as he called them, “global warming alarmists” -- are “the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.”

Mashable: Researchers Build Aluminum Battery That Can Be Charged in One Minute

If there's one major issue plaguing smartphones, smart watches and other gadgets we use every day, it's battery life. Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University has built an aluminum-ion battery prototype which offers several improvements over today's ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries, including super-fast charging times.

The team's aluminum-ion battery sounds like a dream come true for gadget manufacturers -- a perfect battery with few flaws.

BBC: The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust

You may not have heard of Baotou, but the mines and factories here help to keep our modern lives ticking. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of “rare earth” minerals. These elements can be found in everything from magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors, to the electronic guts of smartphones and flatscreen TVs. In 2009 China produced 95% of the world's supply of these elements, and it's estimated that the Bayan Obo mines just north of Baotou contain 70% of the world's reserves. But, as we would discover, at what cost?