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May 1 News: North Carolina Legislators Still Trying To Gut Clean Energy Laws

The North Carolina bill trying to repeal the state’s successful clean energy standard that died in the sponsor’s committee is back from the dead. [News & Observer]

Meet the bill with nine lives — and twice as many votes cast against it.

Lawmakers on Wednesday could once again attempt to end a state renewables policy whose proponents say has elevated North Carolina to the nation’s fifth-largest developer of solar farms.

Last week, lawmakers defeated the measure 18–13 in a House committee. At the time proponents of solar power and renewables celebrated a rare victory.

On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Hager, the bill’s sponsor, revived it for another vote. …

The former Duke Energy engineer said he hopes some lawmakers switch votes and others miss the meeting; he won’t decide whether he’ll put his bill to another vote until the last minute Wednesday.

“It’s all about the numbers,” Hager explained. “It’s all about who has the incentive to be there.”

Also today, the North Carolina Senate will vote on a “massive” bill aiming to roll back any local environmental regulations stronger than federal rules. [WRAL]

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Industry and environmental groups call the program that has cleaned up 50,000 high-polluting diesel engines on U.S. roads a success, but funding is slated to be cut 70 percent. [Environmental Health News]

Extreme precipitation has been slamming the U.S., in the form of storms and flash floods, consistent with predictions from climate scientists. [USA Today]

Climate hawk Rep. Ed Markey won the MA Senate primary and will face off against Gabriel Gomez in June. [ABC News]

Status quo: U.S. carbon emissions stay flat and we do not meet our emissions goals. [Washington Post]

Exploration of China’s shale gas reserves has been slow, but they are trying to speed things up. [Washington Post]

Last year’s drought in California has threatened production of staple crops. [Al Jazeera]

Sequester-caused furloughs are hitting NOAA, just in time for hurricane season. [CNN]

Georgia and Alabama utilities are buying more and more wind power from Oklahoma and Kansas. [Equation]

Germany’s energy storage subsidy starts today, helping kick off what a new report says will be an $18 billion increase in the global energy storage market by 2017. [Solar Love]

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Verizon is investing $100 million in solar power and fuel cells across 7 states because of cheaper utility bills, lower carbon reductions, and increased reliability. [GreenTech Media]

Climate change is found to threaten the koala bear in Australia. [Guardian]