fact check

Claim: Renewable energy tax credits just aren’t worth it. Besides, other sources of energy don’t get tax incentives.

Fact: Clean energy tax incentives like the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) have spurred intense job creation and cost reduction in the renewable energy industry, providing benefits that far outweigh the tax revenue lost. Other industries have been claiming -- and continue to claim -- similar tax incentives. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy is just as harmful to the environment as fossil fuels.

Fact: Renewables yield significant environmental benefits when compared to fossil fuels, even when resource acquisition and land use are taken into account. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The advanced biofuels industry will never significantly contribute to our fuel supply. Plus, advanced biofuels are no better for the environment than gasoline.

Fact: Despite intense policy uncertainty, advanced biofuels reached an inflection point in 2014, spurring sustainable economic growth and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Department of Defense shouldn’t be investing in renewable energy. It costs taxpayers money and doesn’t improve warfighting ability.

Fact: The Department of Defense has clearly stated that its reliance on fossil fuels is a threat to installations and troop security. DOD knows that renewable energy will save lives and money, and make our military more secure. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind energy has nothing to offer the U.S. It’s too expensive and it doesn’t help the economy. Europe regrets its investments in offshore wind.

Fact: Offshore wind energy in the U.S. has immense potential to spur job growth and power a significant amount of the country with cost-effective electricity. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Businesses know renewable energy is a bad investment.

Fact: More companies and investors are investing in clean energy than ever before, and significant cost reductions have ensured they’re getting more “bang for their buck.” Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The EPA’s new Clean Power Plan limiting power plant carbon emissions is unnecessary. It will raise electricity rates and hurt our economy.

Fact: The EPA’s Clean Power proposal will create jobs, deliver significant health benefits, and reduce electricity costs. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind power isn’t a significant part of America’s energy portfolio.

Fact: Wind power has proven itself, generating more gigawatts than ever and delivering low-cost energy to consumers across the country every day. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Distributed generation and net metering policies harm utilities and provide no benefits to ratepayers.

Fact: Distributed generation and net energy metering provide economic, environmental, and technical benefits to both utilities and ratepayers. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Government support for renewable energy is costly, ineffective, and more significant than support for conventional fossil fuels.

Fact: Fossil fuels have received far greater government support, over a much longer period of time, than renewables have. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency measures are too costly and won’t make a difference in how much energy we consume.

Fact: Energy efficiency is a low-cost, job-creating method for significantly reducing U.S. energy demand. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The renewable energy and clean tech industries don’t create jobs.

Fact: Renewable energy and clean tech industries have spurred significant job creation in the United States. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Renewable Fuel Standard is a drain on the economy and its goals cannot be met without running into the “blend wall.” The EPA is correct to propose reducing it for 2014.

Fact: The Renewable Fuel Standard creates jobs, lowers gasoline prices, and fights climate change. The EPA’s proposal to lower biofuel volume requirements will harm a thriving American industry. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: 2013 was a tough year for renewable energy.

Fact: Renewable energy is cheaper, more popular and powering more of America than ever before. Here are the top 13 facts of 2013.

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Claim: Only liberals support renewable energy.

Fact: Renewable energy enjoys strong bipartisan support from conservatives, liberals, and independents alike. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Northeast doesn’t have much renewable energy. It’s too costly to develop and the weather in the region isn’t suitable for wind or solar.

Fact: The Northeast has reaped many benefits from renewable energy sources, and the region is well-positioned to rely on renewables more heavily. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Electric vehicles are inherently unsafe and prone to battery fires. The three recently-reported Tesla Model S fires are proof of this danger.

Fact: Electric vehicles are just as safe as traditional gas-powered vehicles, if not safer, as many tests show. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: California’s push for renewable energy has failed, leading to some of the highest electricity prices in the country and hurting the economy.

Fact: California is leading the nation in numerous clean energy categories and the costs are negligible. By embracing renewables and energy efficiency, CA built an attractive business environment to draw billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs. Get the Facts

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Claim: Distributed generation (DG) is a niche market for rich, “off-the-grid” enthusiasts. DG increases costs for all ratepayers while also making the grid unreliable.

Fact: Distributed generation – electricity produced and consumed onsite – is growing quickly. In many places, rooftop solar, geothermal and other technologies are providing power to property owners and lowering costs while increasing the resilience of the electric grid. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind is far too expensive to develop and it would never provide enough power to justify the investment.

Fact: Today, 12 countries across the world are already generating offshore wind energy. Offshore wind represents one of America’s greatest untapped energy resources, even as the costs are coming down rapidly. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency is unproven and expensive to implement, and forcing companies and individuals to enact energy efficient practices is bad policy.

Fact: Energy efficiency can save billions of dollars and is already creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Energy efficiency programs have massive potential benefits for the economy and improvements to how we use our energy.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Power companies don’t like renewable energy because it’s bad for business. They stick to fossil fuels to provide power to their customers.

Fact: Many electricity companies around the U.S. are big fans of renewables. Right now, millions of customers are powering their homes and businesses with clean, inexpensive renewable energy. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Renewable Fuel Standard is costly, mandates unrealistic fuels and takes away the incentive for biofuel producers to lower costs and grow the industry.

Fact: The Renewable Fuel Standard supports a rapidly expanding biofuels industry, producing modern fuels that lower gas prices, lower carbon emissions and produce jobs and economic investment. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Solar is a niche energy market that’s only good for powering off-the-grid homes. It’s too expensive and solar companies are completely bankrupt.

Fact: Solar is growing incredibly quickly, the costs are dropping and millions of homeowners are enjoying the benefits of distributed solar. And, solar is proving to be a smart business investment. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The only energy innovators that matter are in the fossil fuel sector. Renewables aren’t innovating and that’s why they’re so expensive.

Fact: Innovation is everywhere in the renewables sector and is driving down costs to reach cost parity with old and new fossil fuel technologies. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind energy can’t provide enough power to keep the lights on and will always remain a niche industry that the private sector has no interest in.

Fact: Wind is already powering millions of homes around the U.S., providing thousands of American manufacturing jobs and continuing to attract private investors – all while becoming the largest source of new power in 2012. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Fisker Automotive, Solyndra and other struggling green energy companies backed by Department of Energy loans are evidence that the government wastes money trying to pick “winners.”

Fact: The DOE loan guarantee program is an overwhelmingly successful program that played a critical role in the development of new renewable energy technologies by offering long-term capital when private financing was not available. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: With cheap, abundant natural gas and coal, expensive renewables are unnecessary. Utilities should stick with these fuels instead of having to deploy new, more expensive renewable resources.

Fact: Natural gas costs have a history of high volatility while renewable prices are continuing to decrease, allowing for long-term pricing. The prices of renewable energy resources are already starting to beat coal prices and utilities are trading coal for renewables across the country. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy subsidies prop up an otherwise economically-unviable industry. We should “level the playing field” by removing clean energy handouts and let renewables compete with fossil fuels.

Fact: All energy production in the U.S. receives significant federal support, dating back to the first oil subsidies in early 20th century. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The environmental benefits of renewable energy are wildly overstated.

Fact: Renewable energy technologies are by far the cleanest source of power on the planet, even accounting for environmental impact costs. As more renewables power the grid, our energy supply becomes less polluting and everyone benefits. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy only represents a tiny bit of our power supply and will never be able to meet America’s power needs. Renewables will always be a fringe technology, only powering a handful of cars and off-the-grid homes.

Fact: Renewable energy is already a mainstream industry that is powering millions of American homes and businesses while employing thousands of workers. Many renewable sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth and continue to lower costs for consumers. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: State Renewable Portfolio Standards are job-killing government mandates that offer no economic benefits and cause skyrocketing electricity rates.

Fact: State RPS policies are currently driving over 1/3rd of new renewable energy development across America in a cost-competitive manner that protects American consumers. Repealing these policies will risk billions in private investment and threatens hundreds of thousands jobs in 29 states plus the District of Columbia. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Biofuels are too expensive for military use, bad for cars and will never be produced in large enough quantities for consumer use. The Renewable Fuel Standard encourages the use of food for fuel and should be ended.

Fact: Biofuels are too expensive for military use, bad for cars and will never be produced in large enough quantities for consumer use. The Renewable Fuel Standard encourages the use of food for fuel and should be ended. . Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy is unreliable and must be continually backed up by fossil fuels for times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Fact: Renewable energy is more than capable of providing steady, reliable electricity for consumers in a variety of scenarios. As storage technology advances, any remaining challenges with constant output will soon become a thing of the past. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Investment in renewable energy is in a downward spiral and major banks and institutional investors are cutting back their clean tech portfolios. Private investors do not believe in renewable energy.

Fact: Investment in clean and renewable energy is at record levels across the private sector. Clean technology is the leading venture capital category and many major Wall Street banks have dedicated, multi-billion dollar clean tech portfolios.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Electric Vehicles (EVs) are unpopular, unaffordable and unsafe.

Fact: EVs are selling fast, saving consumers money, creating jobs and are just as safe as the average gas-fueled vehicle. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The PTC is a government subsidy that doesn’t really help the wind industry grow and hasn’t resulted in jobs or economic activity since its inception.

Fact: The PTC is a credit used by businesses to expand their renewable electricity generation capability and provide jobs and expand the market for renewable electricity.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Energy efficiency standards do not result in significant energy savings or lower costs for certified buildings.

Fact: Rigorous, market-based standards such as the LEED program have achieved significant energy, water, and cost savings in buildings. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: America doesn’t need improvements to our electric grid; we have one that works just fine and new transmission drives up electrical bills. We are also “overbuilding” to help renewables that aren’t even in service yet.

Fact: The current grid is outdated and new transmission will increase efficiency, open access to cheaper renewable energy and ultimately save consumers money.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: People near wind turbines suffer from headaches, sleeplessness, and other negative side effects.

Fact: No credible medical source has verified these affects, and sound experts have criticized such claims.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy technologies use just as much water as traditional energy consumption and are unsuitable for drier regions.

Fact: On the whole, renewable energy uses far less water than traditional energy sources, and mainstream wind and solar PV technologies use little to no water. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable Portfolio Standards will not help our energy needs and puts an undue burden on the taxpayers.

Fact: State RPS policies are widely credited with lowering costs, bring better renewable energy tech to the market and opportunities for local businesses.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy development decimates wildlife and will lead to the extinction of endangered species.

Fact: Renewable energy development is environmentally friendly and less damaging to wildlife than traditional energy.Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Even with massive subsidies, renewable energy technology cannot survive. Renewables have been getting subsidies for years now; they should be able to stand on their own.

Fact: All energy production in the U.S. receives significant federal support, dating back to the first oil subsidies in early 20th century. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy is too expensive and drives up electricity and fuel prices.

Fact: Renewable energy is reducing Americans’ energy bills from coast to coast – at home and at the gas pump. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind farms are a threat to bird populations – and their harmful effect on bird populations is only getting worse as more wind farms are built.

Fact: Wind energy has been shown to be responsible for less than 3 out of every 100,000 bird deaths caused by humans and household pets like cats. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: Wind energy is too expensive and can’t compete with other sources of electricity.

Fact: Wind is one of the most cost-effective sources of new electricity generation in the United States. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The stimulus bill’s support for clean, renewable energy sent jobs overseas.

Fact: The stimulus has supported tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in investment for renewable energy technologies. Click here to get the facts.

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Claim: The Obama administration is forcing the U.S. Navy to use unproven biofuels.

Fact: The Department of Defense's biofuels initiative began in 2006 and our nation's military leaders have said these fuels are critical to strengthening the military's energy security. Get the facts.

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Claim: Offshore wind energy is too expensive and can’t compete with traditional power sources to help meet our energy needs.

Fact: Studies that show U.S. offshore wind production has large untapped potential, could create more than 40,000 jobs, and that projects like Cape Wind would lower the wholesale price of power. Get the Facts.

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Claim: The Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program is wasting taxpayer money. Abound Solar’s bankruptcy is proof of that.

Fact: The Program was created with bipartisan support, has outperformed expectations, and driven a new wave of private investment in solar. Get the Facts.

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Claim: Renewable energy doesn’t create jobs and raises electricity costs.

Fact: Get the facts on jobs, costs and key policies.

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Claim: No one is investing in renewable energy.

Fact: In 2011, more than $48 billion was invested in renewable energy in the United States. Click here to learn more about investment in renewable energy.

The Daily Update

Global Wind Energy Installations Grow By 42% In 2014

CleanTechnica— March 31st, 2015

Navigant Research has published its 20th edition of the annual World Wind Energy Market Update report, and it shows that worldwide wind power installations grew by 42% in 2014.

The report, which covers developments in the wind energy sector throughout 2014, also highlights the importance of China, Germany, and the United States in the global wind industry’s “remarkable comeback in 2014,” thanks to “policy-driven acceleration of installations.”

Rich Nations’ Fossil Fuel Export Funding Dwarfs Green Spend-Documents

Reuters— March 31st, 2015

Rich nations provided around five times as much in export subsidies for fossil-fuel technology as for renewable energy over a decade, according to OECD data seen by Reuters.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) figures on export credits are central to a debate on targeting funding ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris at the end of the year.

Will State Policies Adjust to Attract Renewable Energy Investment?

Our Energy Policy— March 31st, 2015

In lieu of consistent energy policy at the federal level, businesses and power providers are increasingly looking to state legislatures for the right signals to invest in energy. The result? States are stepping up, leading to an increase in renewable energy use, particularly by some of America’s largest companies.

The EPA Defends the Clean Power Plan

Wall Street Journal— March 31st, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out an ambitious Clean Power Plan to get states to cut their carbon emissions. And it has run up against a chorus of critics charging the agency with vast overreach.

To get an inside look at the fight, Wall Street Journal Editor in Chief Gerard Baker spoke with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

Blue-Collar Solar

Slate— March 31st, 2015

Green, energy-saving technologies are essentially luxury products. Solar rigs and energy-efficiency upgrades require big upfront investments in equipment that may not pay off for many years. Spend $40,000 on solar panels for your roof, and you won’t get your money back in lower electricity bills for a dozen years or more. You’d have to drive a hybrid car tens of thousands of miles to recapture the extra costs in the form of lower spending on gasoline. As a result, going green has historically only been an option to those who can afford to make conspicuous displays of virtuous consumption—not the 1 percent, perhaps, but certainly the top 25 percent.

Why is a Liberal Professor Helping Mitch McConnell Fight for Coal Companies?

New York Magazine— March 26th, 2015

Mitch McConnell, who is leading the fight to stop the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, pointed out last week that he has a surprising ally: “Iconic liberal constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe — who was President Obama’s constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School — said he agrees.” The lawsuit to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the greenhouse gas emissions of existing power plants would, if successful, close out the sole realistic channel that might allow the United States to comply with its international climate commitments, and thus likely doom any international agreement to limit the effects of climate change. The endorsement of Tribe, a famous liberal law professor, has become the right’s favorite talking point. Last December, The Wall Street Journal devoted an entire editorial to extolling this smackdown of Obama from an unimpeachably favorable source. “Professor Tribe delivered a constitutional rebuke this week to the Obama Administration,” the Journal gloated, “that is remarkable coming from a titan of the liberal professoriate.” Reason, the Daily Caller, Jonathan Adler, among others, have likewise touted Tribe’s defection to their side.

Maui County Islands Can Attain 100% Renewable Energy, Mayor Says

Pacific Business News— March 26th, 2015

Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, is sticking to its ambitious goal of becoming the first islands in the United States to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

Why This Wind Energy Farm’s Record Year is Good News for America

The Daily Caller— March 26th, 2015

In Franklin County, Maine just a few miles from the Canadian border is Kibby Mountain. Over 3,600 feet above sea level, the mountain is home to hiking and snowmobile trails and beautiful evergreens. And today, the remote mountain is also home to the largest wind farm in New England.

With 44 turbines all standing nearly 300 feet tall, the Kibby wind facility has the capacity to generate enough power to meet the needs of approximately 50,000 homes – or every home in Franklin, Oxford and Summerset Counties in the state of Maine.