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Jeff McMahon
Works at Forbes
Attended University of Chicago
Lives in Chicago
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Jeff McMahon

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Just accidentally...
ComEd doesn't deliver any solar energy to its Chicago-area customers, and California-based SolarCity doesn't do business in Illinois, but from distant reaches of the country, and from opposite ends of the power grid, the two companies have come to much the same conclusion about the future of utilities.
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Jeff McMahon

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The energy-storage market will go "ballistic" in the final two months of this year, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday, when the company ramps up production of batteries he promises will be "head and shoulders above anything else Iv'e even heard announced as future plans from other companies."
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Looking for an objective way to measure the presidential candidates' interest in renewable energy, an analyst for the American Council On Renewable Energy searched their websites a month ago for the term.
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Even if the CAFE standards’ impact fall short of estimates, the combined policies compel the industry toward electric vehicles, according to a former GM engineer and mobility expert.
An attendee views the new General Motors Co. (GM) Chevrolet Volt EV electric compact vehicle during the Billington Global Automotive Cybersecurity Summit at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Friday, July 22, 2016. Photographer: Sean Proctor/Bloomberg Hands were set wringing last week when the Environmental Protection Agency announced it [...]
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"Because climate risk is systemic and embedded across a portfolio, investors can’t diversify away from it.”
Almost all U.S. publicly traded companies face risk either from climate change itself or from the changes needed to fend it off, experts agreed Monday at the S&P Global offices in New York—but few companies have warned their investors.
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When 20 automakers announced this spring they would include Automated Emergency Braking Systems as standard equipment in all cars, they effectively standardized autonomous vehicle technology, an expert said in Chicago Monday.
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All the hardware exists to build fully autonomous vehicles, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday, but developers need more precise maps and the artificial intelligence to process them in a computer small enough to fit in a car.
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Put in those batteries already!
Accustomed to conservative planning that can stretch across decades, electric utilities are learning to install energy storage in a matter of months—not just to back up coming renewables, but also leaky gas facilities, shuttered nuclear plants, and because it's a good idea anyway.
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New carpool options that have debuted nationwide this summer may cheaply and speedily close gaps in service that have long tormented transit users, according to a study released Wednesday.
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Fracking Tycoon Harold Hamm is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention tonight on "making America first again," but in Washington D.C. yesterday one of his top competitors had unusually nice things to say about Democrats and carbon taxes.
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It may be another sign that U.S. pollution goals may be more easily achievable than opponents claim.
Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had not conducted a sufficient cost-benefit analysis of its mercury rule, which took effect in 2012. But the court left the rule in place while the EPA conducted that analysis, and most vulnerable coal plants have borne the costs and complied.
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"Yes, you read that correctly: The U.S. could achieve the 2030 emission cuts this year."
A dramatic slump in coal production has pushed U.S. carbon emissions so low that, were the trend to continue, the U.S. would achieve its 2030 emissions goals this year, an analysis of data from the Energy Information Administration.
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Contributor at Forbes, Lecturer at University of Chicago
Introduction

Jeff McMahon covers green technology, energy, and the environment for Forbes. He lives in Chicago and teaches journalism and argument at the University of Chicago.

Bragging rights
Won first place awards in environmental reporting from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Newspaper Association. His column won top honors from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and was twice named the best by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.
Education
  • University of Chicago
    Humanities
  • University of Arizona
    English
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Reporter, teacher
Employment
  • Forbes
    Contributor, 2011 - present
    Jeff McMahon covers green technology, energy and the environment for Forbes.
  • University Of Chicago
    Lecturer and Writing Advisor, 2002 - present
    Jeff McMahon teaches journalism and argument.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Chicago
Previously
Chicago - Tucson - San Luis Obispo
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Jeff McMahon's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Clean Power Plan To Algae Companies: Prove It
www.forbes.com

The final version of the Clean Power Plan includes a carrot for companies that use algae, or other processes, to turn captured carbon dioxid

Fossil Carbon Muddies The New Clean Fuels
www.forbes.com

The burgeoning biofuels industry will do too little too late to help balance carbon emissions if it relies on CO2 drawn from the earth rathe

CEO Tip For Energy Startups: Make Utilities Money
www.forbes.com

Energy startups can increase their chance of success by ensuring they offer a profit incentive to utilities, John Rowe, former CEO and chair

Renewables Cost Twice What Carbon Cuts Might Have Cost: Rowe
www.forbes.com

The United States missed an opportunity to fuel its renewables revolution at a much lower cost, John Rowe, former CEO and chairman emeritus

China Is Quietly Burning A Fuel Dirtier Than Coal -- And Buying It From US
www.forbes.com

China's efforts to reduce air pollution could be negated by its unregulated and unmonitored burning of petcoke, a fuel dirtier than coal, an

3 Ways To Keep Solar and Wind Booming
www.forbes.com

Extending subsidies may not be the best way to maintain the revolutionary growth of renewable energy, the International Energy Agency's poli

$8B-$16B Investment Could Double Solar Market By 2020
www.forbes.com

Almost half of homes and business in the United States are unfit for rooftop solar installation, either because of building structure, credi

America Will Achieve Its Sunshot
www.forbes.com

Solar energy will be cost competitive with fossil fuels by 2020, if not before, the director of the Department of Energy's Solar Technologie

Want To Build A Better Battery? Don't Talk To Battery Experts
www.forbes.com

When MIT Professor Donald Sadoway hires people for his promising battery startup, Ambri, he makes sure they don't have any battery experienc

Mastercard CEO: The Rich Should Ride The Bus
www.forbes.com

Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga wasn't sure why he was on a panel last night with two former Treasury secretaries and a former prime

Did Tesla Just Kill Nuclear Power?
www.forbes.com

It would be almost three hours until Tesla's big announcement, but inside a Northwestern University classroom near Chicago Thursday night, t

China: Electric Vehicle-To-Grid Technology Could Solve Renewable Energy ...
www.forbes.com

China could use an expected boom in electric vehicles to stabilize a grid that depends heavily on wind and solar energy, officials from an i

EPA: We're Not Picking Fuels!
www.forbes.com

Facing a sudden shift from coal to natural gas, the Environmental Protection Agency is most likely to revise its Clean Power Plan to give st

States Ignoring Mitch McConnell, Working On Clean Power Plan: EPA
www.forbes.com

Last month Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged states to ignore the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, but the sta

Forget Global Warming And Climate Change, Call It 'Climate Disruption'
www.forbes.com

People have been trained to deal with change by thinking it's not all bad, but climate change is all bad, according to a research meteorolog

Don't Worry About Methane Hydrates, Government Scientist Says: You Have ...
www.forbes.com

Worrying about methane hydrates warming the atmosphere is like worrying about your house burning down after it's been leveled by a hurricane

Four Sites Where You Can Monitor U.S. Radiation Levels
www.forbes.com

EPA map of U.S. radiation monitoring stations UPDATED with a fourth site, EPA's RadNet Lab Open Data system. Radiation from Japan's Fukushim

Low Oil Price May Stifle Deepwater Drilling And Oil Sands But Not Fracking
www.forbes.com

Saudi Arabia and OPEC may have dropped oil prices to stifle competition from America and other boom time locations, but they didn't drop it

U.S. Fracking Boom Won't Bring Manufacturing Home: Analysts
www.forbes.com

While cheap natural gas and oil is drawing petrochemical companies back to the United States, companies that produce consumer goods are unli