U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Mar 22, 2013

Thrifty US truckers wary of pricey natural gas vehicles

LOS ANGELES, March 22 (Reuters) – U.S. truckers considering
natural gas as an alternative to high-priced diesel say the cost
of vehicles that run on the cheap and cleaner-burning fuel is
still too high for them to see a timely payback on their
investment.

A push to run more of the nation’s truck fleet on cleaner,
domestically produced natural gas is rapidly gaining momentum.

Mar 19, 2013

Los Angeles public utility says will be free of coal by 2025

LOS ANGELES, March 19 (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal-owned
utility, will eliminate its reliance on coal-fired power by
2025, the city’s mayor said on Tuesday.

The effort comes as the utility is working to comply with
aggressive California laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gas
emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The LADWP had said last year
that state law effectively prohibited it from buying coal-fired
generation once its current contracts expire.

Mar 14, 2013

Exclusive: Chinese firm puts millions into U.S. natural gas stations

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – ENN Group Co Ltd, one of China’s largest private companies, is quietly rolling out plans to establish a network of natural gas fueling stations for trucks along U.S. highways.

With plans to build 50 stations this year alone, ENN joins a small but formidable group of players — including Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) — in an aggressive push to develop an infrastructure for heavy-duty trucks fueled by cheap and abundant natural gas. Clean Energy is backed by T. Boone Pickens and Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Feb 28, 2013

Analysis: U.S. states race to capture online gaming bonanza

By Deena Beasley and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie this week finally approved online gaming in the Garden State. Now comes the hard part: banding together with other states to attract more gamblers, drive up jackpots and lure players away from offshore websites.

New Jersey is now the third state to approve online gambling, after Nevada and Delaware. The catch, however, is that the new laws apply only to people physically present in the individual states.

Feb 26, 2013

First Solar fails to give ’13 outlook, shares fall

LOS ANGELES, Feb 26 (Reuters) – First Solar Inc on
Tuesday reported a quarterly profit, reversing a year-ago loss,
but the U.S. solar company’s shares fell 8 percent after it
failed to offer an earnings and sales outlook for 2013.

Net income was $154.2 million, or $1.74 per share, compared
with a loss of $485.3 million, or $4.78 per share, a year ago,
when it recorded large impairment charges.

Feb 26, 2013

Tesla team mulls plan to boost image after New York Times review

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc’s top brass, including Chief Executive Elon Musk, this week are considering a strategy to recoup market value and boost demand after a critical review of the automaker’s Model S sedan in New York Times this month.

Musk says that Tesla has lost about $100 million in sales and canceled orders due to the Times story, which said the sedan ran out of battery power sooner than promised during a chilly winter test drive from Washington D.C. to Boston.

Feb 8, 2013

Fired Los Angeles policeman blames LAPD for his troubles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former police officer, accused of a vendetta-driven rampage against law enforcement, blames the Los Angeles police for many woes: his firing from the force, the end of his military career, and racism he says he encountered while employed by the police.

This week, Christopher Dorner’s anger over those perceived slights turned deadly, according to authorities who accuse him of gunning down five people, killing three, and sparking a massive manhunt across a large swathe of Southern California.

Feb 6, 2013

Owner of shut Calif reactor knew of generator problems -lawmakers

LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The owner of a shuttered
Southern California nuclear power plant was aware of problems
with its new steam generators before they were installed, two
lawmakers said on Tuesday, citing a report by the maker of the
equipment.

In a letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman
Allison Macfarlane, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative
Edward Markey said a 2012 document by Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Ltd, maker of the San Onofre power plant’s
steam generators, found that some safety modifications were
rejected by both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and plant owner
Southern California Edison due to “unacceptable consequences.”

Feb 2, 2013

Actress Kerry Washington wins big at NAACP Image Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Kerry Washington was the big winner at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday, picking up awards for her roles in the slavery-era Western film “Django Unchained” and television drama “Scandal,” as well as a special honor for professional achievement and public service.

But on a night that celebrated the successes of artists of color, actor and activist Harry Belafonte struck a somber note when he admonished the black community for failing to speak out in favor of gun control, saying “the group most devastated by America’s obsession with the gun is African-Americans.”

Feb 1, 2013

Energy Secretary Chu is latest Obama Cabinet departure

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize winner who shepherded an effort to help spur a clean energy U.S. economy, will step down after a tenure rocked by the failures of some costly government investments.

Chu’s departure, which was announced Friday and follows similar moves by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and the interior secretary, will allow President Barack Obama craft a fresh team to address climate change.