At an international solar convention, companies were optimistic about their future and new products. There are certainly causes for concern in the industry — like a looming controversy over China's subsidization practices — but industry executives point to fast growth and new ideas in the market.
Increasing U.S. coal exports to China doesn't necessarily mean global emissions will rise. As demand abroad drives up coal prices at home, it could prompt U.S. utilities to switch to cheaper and more environmentally friendly natural gas. And that might alter the politics of climate change in the U.S., an expert says.
Plans are afoot to build new coal terminals on the West Coast to ship the lucrative commodity to China. But the mayor and activists in Bellingham, Wash., want to keep the city's green image and move beyond its industrial past.
The oil tanker S.S. Montebello was sunk by a Japanese submarine during World War II off the coast of California. A recent expedition to the wreck found that oil believed to still be in the ship is not there. It's full of seawater. It's the Al Capone's vault of the sea, if you will.
Fuel convoys are expensive and dangerous, pushing the military to seek out new energy sources. That frequently pairs them with alternative energy startups, which some call risky ventures. For the companies themselves, the chance to work with the military means more investment and a chance to expand.
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