Politifact: Koch-Backed Group's Claims About Solar Are 'Pants on Fire'

A group backed by the Koch brothers is arguing a proposed constitutional amendment that would change Floridasolarenergy regulations will lead the Sunshine State down a dark path.

Is it true that energy regulations in Georgia -- often cited as a leader in implementing new solar policies -- have made electric rates go up?

The statement is completely wrong. We rate it Pants on Fire.

Renewable Energy World: Ex-Employees Accuse Ormat of Lying to Receive 1603 Cash Grant Awards

Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have qualified for such grants.

The subjects of the complaint are the geothermal projects known as Puna and North Brawley. North Brawley is located in Imperial County, California, and Treasury paid Cash Grants of over $136 million with respect to it. North Brawley was designed and built to have 50 megawatts of generation capacity; however, it is functioning at approximately half of that capacity. Puna is an 8-megawatt project co-located within an older 30 MW project. Puna is located in Hawaii, and Treasury paid a Cash Grant with respect to it of over $105 million.

If both projects are found to have received all of their Cash Grants as a result of false claims to Treasury, that would be over $241 million in actual damages, which, after treble damages, would amount to over $723 million.

Reuters: Automakers Race to Double the Driving Range of Affordable Electric Cars

Global automakers are readying a new generation of mass-market electric cars with more than double the driving range of today’s Nissan Leaf, betting that technical breakthroughs by big battery suppliers such as LG Chem Ltd will jump-start demand and pull them abreast of Tesla Motors Inc.

At least four major automakers -- General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Volkswagen AG -- plan to race Tesla to be first to field affordable electric vehicles that will travel up to 200 miles (322 km) between charges.

That is more than twice as far as current lower-priced models such as the Nissan Leaf, which starts at $29,010. The new generation of electric cars is expected to be on the market within two to three years.

Chicago Business: Illinois Seizing Clean-Energy Funds to Balance Budget

For several years, renewable-energy advocates have pushed to overhaul the state's clean-energy law to release more than $100 million collected from ratepayer charges to pay for new wind and solar projects.

They failed, and now the state appears to be snatching most of that money to address its budget crisis for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

The Illinois Power Agency, which controls the fund, has been unable to spend that money because of flaws in the state's clean-energy law that environmental advocates have tried in vain to fix for three years, largely due to opposition from the state's largest power generator.

Climate Progress: Neil deGrasse Tyson Has Choice Words for Anyone Who Votes for a Climate Denier

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had choice words for the state of Florida Monday, saying he was “astonished” by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration’s alleged ban on using the words “climate change.”

Speaking as part of a lecture series in Sarasota, Florida and at a press conference before it, the renowned scientist and science communicator said that he thought that the U.S., as a country, was above using science as a political debate. Tyson also said voters held responsibility for electing lawmakers like Scott, which points to the need to better educate voters about issues like climate change.

“I don’t blame the politicians for a damn thing, because we vote for the politicians,” he said. “I blame the electorate.”