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California Plans to Offer Free Solar Panels to Its Poorest Citizens

It may not be the “Sunshine State,” but when it comes to responsible solar energy, California is beginning to see the light.

image via (cc) flickr user ucirvine

While the sun may shine on each and every one of us equally, so far solar power has largely been a much less democratic affair. As solar energy panels become more and more efficient, their application, per a 2013 Center for American Progress study, remains mostly limited to middle-class homes with a median income of between $40-90,000. But a new plan in California will bring free solar power to its poorest citizens, saving each of them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electrical costs.

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This $850 Million Solar Plan Will Help Power Everything Apple Does in California

Apple announces plans to spend nearly $1 billion on the largest solar power investment of its kind.

image via (cc) flickr user vladimir.ognjanovic

It was smart of Apple to acquire the iTunes rights for the Beatles song catalog back in 2010. CEO Tim Cook’s announcement this week that the company will be making an unprecedented investment in solar energy should have everyone singing “Here Comes The Sun.”

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How Prepared Are California's Schools for an Earthquake?

When the "Big One" hits, what happened in Japan could happen in the Golden State. The Great California ShakeOut is helping schools prepare.


Japan's devastating 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami has many people wondering if such a disaster could happen in quake-prone California. The short answer? Yes—and that's why since 2008, the state has been educating residents, particularly school children, through a program called The Great California ShakeOut. The program helps Californians prepare for and practice how to respond in the event of an earthquake. So, just how ready are the state's schools for the "Big One?"

Mark Benthien, the Director for Outreach at the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California, is one of the driving forces behind the ShakeOut. He says California's schools, like Japanese buildings, are pretty structurally sound. That's thanks to the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake, which resulted in the Field Act being passed, requiring "schools to be built to higher inspection standards and construction standards."

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