All posts by Lauren Stanford

CEA Hosts Speaker Series Event on December 16th at 303 Vodka

coalandwindmillOn Monday December 16th, 2013, Clean Energy Action and 303 Vodka will be hosting “Drinks, Music, and the Utility Death Spiral: A Global Warming Solutions Speakeasy,” from 6:30 – 9 pm at 303 Vodka, 2500 47th Street, Boulder, CO 80301.

CEA’s new research director Zane Selvans will introduce the Utility Death Spiral, and talk about why century-old centralized monopoly utilities are failing to meet the challenge of climate change. We’ll also explore how utilities need to evolve if they’re going to successfully integrate efficiency, distributed generation, and demand side resources dispatched over a much smarter grid.

And then, we’ll just hang out and continue the discussion face to face, with some local live music to set the mood.  Drinks will be available for purchase.

A rough program:

  • 6:30 – 7:00pm — Set-up and Mingling.  Get a drink.
  • 7:00 – 7:30pm — Short presentation by CEA’s Research Director, Zane Selvans.
  • 7:30 – 8:00pm — Q&A and structured discussion
  • 8:00 – 9:00pm — Freeform socializing and discussion.  (And maybe another drink…)

If you want to get the most out of the evening, we highly recommend Utilities for Dummies, a blog post series by our friend Dave Roberts at Grist.

You can contact us at for any questions, comments, concerns, or for more information.

Please register through Eventbrite. The event is free and open to the public, but there is a limited amount of space and we need an accurate count of the number of people attending.

Hope to see you there!

Clean Energy Action Crowdfunding Latest Coal Report

The United States is rapidly approaching the end of economically recoverable coal reserves and Clean Energy Action wants everyone to know it. On November 1st, 2013, Clean Energy Action launched a crowdfund through Indiegogo that will raise money to share our latest coal report, “Warning: Faulty Reporting on U.S. Coal Reserves,” with everyone throughout the United States and many throughout the world. Similar reports on coal reserves have been found to cost $15,000 dollars per copy, so we are working to raise $45,000, the price for three copies, to make this information free and open to the public.

indiegogoClean Energy Action’s hard-hitting coal report will reveal to the press, government agencies, organizations, research and financial institutions, and citizens the rough economic change this nation faces if it continues to be powered by expensive coal.

Please consider donating to our crowdfund and sharing it with all of your coworkers, friends, and colleagues. We need to end our dependence on coal now, and you can be a part in the movement towards a safe, clean, renewable energy future.

Cleaning Up America’s Power Plants

By: Stephanie Borsum2013DirtiestPowerPlants

October, 2013

Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the largest contributors to air pollution and climate change and the United States is responsible for the largest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The main carbon emission sources in the U.S. are electricity production and power plant operations. It is necessary to regulate the direct sources of carbon dioxide emissions in order to prevent further irreversible damage to our environment and society. It is time for our nation’s carbon emissions to drastically decline in order to prevent dramatic climate events and destruction to our living environment.

The United States has about 6,000 electricity generating power plants, most of which are coal fired and emit a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These power plants alone account for 41% of the total U.S. carbon emissions. A report by Environment America which ranked the top 100 dirtiest power plants in America, states that about half of those carbon emissions come from the 100 dirtiest power plants. The top 50 dirtiest plants alone produced 30 percent of all power-sector carbon dioxide emissions, but only generated 16 percent of electricity nationwide in 2011, which illustrates the urgency to increase efficiency. The report also states that if the top 50 dirtiest power plants in the United States created their own country, it would qualify as the seventh-biggest polluter in the world. That is just a small fraction of the power plants currently operating in our country. A main reason these coal power plants in the U.S. are exceptionally dirty is because until recently, there have been no federal policies in place to put limits on emissions.

Continue reading Cleaning Up America’s Power Plants

Legal Foundations for New Carbon Pollution Standards Outlined

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently developing carbon pollution reduction standards for new and existing power plants that will be implemented under the Clean Air Act as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), “fossil fuel lawyers are attacking the standards, saying that the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to establish any actual limits on carbon pollution. If the EPA does have that authority, there are no demonstrated measures to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, so any required emission reductions must at most be ‘minimal.'”

In objection to these statements, the EDF released a white paper, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act: The Legal Foundation for Strong, Flexible and Cost-Effective Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants, describing the legal foundations for the EPA to work with states to reduce carbon emissions for existing power plants. Continue reading Legal Foundations for New Carbon Pollution Standards Outlined

Rooftop Solar and the Utility Pushback

Annie Lappé, Vote Solar, Solar Policy Director


Power companies have watched warily as solar panels have sprouted across the nation’s rooftops. Now they are fighting hard to slow the spread, in hopes to avoid the utility death spiral. Please join Clean Energy Action for an exciting presentation by Annie Lappé, Solar Policy Director of Vote Solar, on how local utilities can more easily and effectively incorporate distributed generation, moving away from fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy future.

Background Infoannielappe

Annie leads distributed generation solar campaigns throughout the U.S. and manages Vote Solar’s work on solar permitting. She rejoined Vote Solar after managing government affairs in the Interior West for SunEdison. Mrs. Lappé began her career working on federal renewable energy and energy efficiency policies in Washington D.C. She holds a MA in Environmental Policy from Oxford University and a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in Boulder, CO.

Power Point

Rooftop Solar and the Utility Pushback