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July 11 News: Barry Goldwater Jr. Fights For Arizona Solar Power

Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the conservative senator, is fighting to keep solar energy in Arizona. [Mother Jones]

The name Barry Goldwater is practically synonymous with conservatism in America. That’s even more true in the late politician’s home state of Arizona, which he represented for five terms in the US Senate. Now his son, Barry Goldwater Jr., is putting the family name behind an effort to protect solar energy’s growing share of the electricity market — a struggle that has pitted him against entrenched utility interests and a right-wing dark-money group.

Goldwater, 74, is the chairman of Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed (or TUSK, for short), a group launched in March to fight the state’s largest electric utility, Arizona Public Service, on solar power. APS has been campaigning to get the state utility commission to change regulations dealing with net metering, a policy that allows homes and businesses with their own solar power systems to send excess energy they generate back to the grid and make money off of it. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have a net-metering policy in place.

Arizona has had net metering since 2009, which has helped make it the second-ranked state in the country in installed solar capacity. But APS has called for an overhaul of the state’s net-metering policy and plans to unveil its proposal to the regulators on the Arizona Corporation Commission this Friday.

The IEA projects that oil supply will outstrip demand in the next 20 years. [Bloomberg]

The explosion of an oil train in a small town in Quebec probably will not change the rate at which oil is shipped throughout North America by train. [Boston Globe]

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Oil prices in the U.S. spiked past $106 per barrel, which is the highest they have been in almost a year and a half. [Wall Street Journal]

U.S. petroleum shipping via rail jumped up 40 percent in the first 6 months of 2013, from the same period in 2012. [Today In Energy]

U.S. coal power generation is back up again this year as natural gas ticks down. [LA Times]

In Southern California, fish populations dropped 78 percent in 40 years, which experts say can’t be related “to anything other than a regional oceanographic climate effect.” [LA Times]

As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, some trees may be taking up less water, a new study has found. [New York Times]

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The Sichuan Province in China faces massive floods after the worst rainstorms in five decades killed more than 50 people and disrupted 2 million. [New York Times]

The House voted last night to pass the Department of Energy spending bill, which cuts the agency’s budget by $2.1 billion, including millions from renewable energy programs and research. [The Hill]

Climate change will cause more blackouts and other energy disruptions, according to the Department of Energy. [New York Times]

Negotiators for the U.S. and China have agreed to target tighter pollution standards on heavy trucks and increase building energy efficiency. [Washington Post]

Senators Shaheen and Portman hope to bring their bipartisan energy efficiency bill to the floor of the Senate soon, in what could be the first significant energy legislation passed in the chamber for six years. [The Hill]

Efforts in California to promote rooftop solar installation have been so successful that some are saying the program is no longer needed. [San Jose Mercury News]

What can climate activists learn from LGBT activists? [The Daily Beast]

Want to join a social or environmental movement? It’s easier in neighborhoods where walking is easy. [Grist]