by David Rickless, Coalition of Alabama Students for the Environment
It's time again for our weekly round-up of the juiciest (relatively speaking) stories in climate and energy politics.
Record-breaking solar power in Germany
First up: German solar power plants set a world record, meeting a third of the country's electricity needs on a workday, and nearly half on a Saturday. Thanks largely to a feed-in tariff and other forms of government support, Germany gets about 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
Romney takes on Solyndra (again); Congress takes on menacing acronyms
Meanwhile, in the US, the House energy and water bill increases R&D funding for coal, oil, and natural gas (finally, some of that!), while cutting renewables and efficiency programs. ARPA-E, which funds innovative energy projects, would face a 27 percent cut. The White House has threatened to veto.
A new Romney ad makes the case for letting China take over the clean tech market. The video attacks Obama's support for green energy, namely the DOE's loan guarantee program. The complaint? "Obama is giving taxpayer money to big donors." A practice entirely foreign to the GOP.
RAN: "Chevron execs are racist."
Rainforest Action Network's Mike Gaworecki had some strong words about Chevron's shareholder meeting:
There is no doubt that if Chevron was responsible for 18 BILLION gallons of toxic oil waste polluting streams and rivers that white Americans rely on for drinking water, the company would never dare deny the existence of the people impacted by its pollution, or call them crooks, con artists, and frauds. I’m sure the higher ups at the company would still pull every legal trick in the book….But they would never, ever dare insult white people the way they have the people of the Ecuadorean Amazon.
For more about the Chevron's human rights crimes in Ecuador, check RAN's Change Chevron campaign.
Young Occupy activists less likely to vote in election
A new report from the Applied Research Center concludes that young progressive activists care about racial justice, class divides, and gender issues. They're worried about widespread ignorance, complacency, and the danger of unchecked capitalism. They also don't have much faith in Obama—or much use for the upcoming election.
It's not hard to see why some young progressives are disillusioned with electoral politics. But voting is still one of the most practical ways to enact change. If Occupiers want to get their agenda in Congress, they need to turn out at the polls this November.
That's all for now. Feel free to share your top stories in the comments.