User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-Independent
Category: Conservation and Efficiency
Last updated: Mar 23 2015 18:42 IST RSS 2.0
 
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The Emergence and Importance of President Obama's Climate Policy 23.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
In a quiet and low-key move last week, President Obama took what may turn out to be one of the most significant steps he has ever taken to reduce greenhouse emissions. As reported by Julie Hirschfeld Davis in the New York Times , the president signed an executive order directing: ...federal agencies over the next decade to cut their emissions by an average of 40 percent compared with their levels when he won office in 2008, and to increase their use of electricity from renewable sources by 30 percent. This move is wholly within the president's power as the nation's chief executive and will have a significant impact on the market for energy efficiency and renewable energy goods and services. The federal government is the nation's largest organization. It employs more people and buys more goods and services than anyone else. It is also a powerful role model for the private sector. As Ms. Davis observes: ...because the federal government is the largest user of energy in the United States economy -- ...
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A Word to States: Question Senator McConnell's Climate Advice 20.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Future home to the first solar project ever approved by the PSC in Senator McConnell's home state. Photo courtesy of Daniel Boyd. Written by Sarah Saylor, Senior Legislative Representative for Earthjustice The EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan is a turning point for our nation in tackling climate change. Its goal? Cut climate-altering carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030. The plan gives states the flexibility to achieve pollution cuts in a variety of ways by switching to less carbon-intensive sources, using more renewable energy like wind and solar and improving energy efficiency. However, owing to a misinformation campaign by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY ) -- who recently used debunked industry claims in advising states to forgo developing their own implementation plans -- there seems to be some unnecessary confusion about what states, including his home state of Kentucky, have to gain by crafting their own plans. First, Inhofe's snowball, now McConnell's ...
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How to improve energy efficiency while cooking 19.3.2015 TreeHugger
Picking the right cooking method and tools for the job can reduce the amount of wasted energy, while saving you money.
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Italian energy giant to phase out coal, go carbon neutral before 2050 19.3.2015 TreeHugger
In the future, we'll be buying energy from utilities that look very different than what we are used to.
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Is This a Blip or a Tip in Humanity's Onslaught on the Climate? 19.3.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Energy efficiency and renewables: the cheapest, smartest way for states to cut carbon pollution 18.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
States will have a lot of flexibility in crafting plans to cut carbon pollution from power plants. And when it comes to making those cuts, energy efficiency and renewable energy are the best path forward. This is made clear in a new series of NRDC analyses that illustrate how expanding renewable energy and cutting energy waste are the cheapest, smartest ways for states to cut carbon pollution and meet their Clean Power Plan targets. So despite the recent call from Senator McConnell , states should "just say yes" to moving ahead with plans to cut carbon pollution. Climate-related disasters in 2012 alone cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion. We see the effects of climate change throughout our country in violent storms, floods and droughts. It is past time to have strong limits on carbon pollution from fossil-fuel-burning power plants - the nation's biggest source of the pollution that drives climate change. And that is what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doing with its Clean Power ...
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Michigan Clean Energy: Lessons Unlearned in Lansing 12.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Michigan has long seen the value of renewables and energy efficiency to attract investment and buoy its economy -- something that continues to pay dividends, as the state was 4th in the nation in adding clean energy jobs last year . A big chunk of that success is a direct result of the state's energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. Those policies have resulted in huge economic gains: The renewable standard has resulted in $2.9 billion in investment in the state and over 8,300 new jobs. Studies by the Michigan Department of Economics, Labor, and Growth and Michigan Conservative Energy Forum found similarly impressive impacts from the energy efficiency standards adopted in 2008 with $736 million in investments and over 25,000 new jobs. But those positive lessons are being unlearned in Lansing where an odd effort is afoot in the statehouse to repel that sort of growth. A bill has been introduced in the legislature to roll back the very clean energy standards that have made Michigan into an ...
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Changing the Climate Narrative 25.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the prospects for achieving an international climate agreement this December in Paris. The first three posts can be found in the author's Huffington Post archive . If we wonder why the international community has labored for 20 years without reaching a final agreement to confront global warming, we might consider what the dominant narrative has been. It has been mostly about constraining progress and apportioning limits. It is time to change the conversation. It should be about a race to the future - a 21st century global Marshall Plan that builds the capacity of nations to achieve sustainable prosperity. Before going into this idea further, let's unpack the invalid logic chain that has been implicit in climate negotiations so far. It goes like this: 1) Controlling climate change requires dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions; 2) dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions require dramatic cuts in fossil fuel consumption; 3) less fossil fuel consumption ...
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Lesson: For a successful grow-op, invest in energy efficiency and LED lighting. 11.2.2015 TreeHugger
As Yogi Berra said, "You can observe a lot by just watching." Our roofs have stories to tell.
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When Less Means More Jobs, More Money And More Opportunity 11.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Roughly $230 billion dollars each year -- that's what Americans pay utility companies to provide their homes with electricity and natural gas. Lower-income residents are often hit the hardest, spending between 17 percent and more than 50 percent of their incomes on energy, significantly more than other households' average of just 4 percent. Take Audrey Spann, for example. Spann still lives in the same 100-year-old row house in Philadelphia in which she was raised. Due to its age, her home lacked the modern upgrades necessary to keep the winter chill at bay. Before Spann applied for significant, essential upgrades through Habitat for Humanity of Greater Philadelphia, she was boiling water in her kitchen and carrying it upstairs for her bath. With support from a grant from the Department of Energy, Habitat partnered with Spann to make numerous energy-conserving improvements to her home, leading to lower water, electric and gas bills. Spann is just one of many homeowners to benefit from weatherization and ...
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How to Finance an Energy Revolution 30.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It seems impolite to talk about Barack Obama's legacy just yet. It also seems premature because he clearly is not done building it. The latest evidence is the collaboration the White House has just announced to stimulate the flow of grassroots capital into clean energy technologies. Some background is in order. As I have written in the past, one of the biggest disconnects in dealing with climate change is that the problem is permanent but our leaders are temporary. Public policies tend to change every few years when new presidents and congressional majorities take power. A second problem is that we cannot depend on government programs alone to deal with climate change and its impacts. Political leaders disagree about the proper role of government in energy markets and, again, government programs are vulnerable to changing leadership. Even if that were not the case, governments alone do not have the resources to adequately capitalize America's transition to clean energy. The redirection of today's fossil ...
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Who Will Win Super Bowl XLIX: A Showdown In Energy Efficiency Between New England And Seattle 30.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Who's to say who will win Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday? When trying to predict the victor, should we consider the skills of the quarterbacks or the strength of the defense? Maybe it'll all just depend on the weather in Phoenix, or the size of the footballs . Here's one interesting way to compare the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks: energy. And we don't mean fan enthusiasm . Opower , a software company that helps utilities improve the customer experience, analyzed how the two teams' home cities compare in terms of energy efficiency and innovation. In a matchup that Opower calls the Efficiency Bowl, the company examined the two regions across 11 diverse categories, with a focus on technology, utility customer engagement, clean energy and transportation. It then determined which team was the top performer. See how they stack up in the infographic below: From the data, it's clear that both regions are leaders in efficiency and energy innovation. In fact, Boston and Massachusetts are ranked as ...
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Can Whole Foods' Responsibly Grown certification change mainstream farming? 26.1.2015 TreeHugger
From energy use to labor rights, Responsibly Grown helps broaden our idea of responsible farming—even for organics.
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Doubts Over Fracking Jobs Claims as New Report Says 24,000 Jobs in Clean Energy for North West 19.1.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Life with a Nest smart thermostat: week one 13.1.2015 TreeHugger
It's pretty. It's easy to use. And it's pretty darned expensive. But will it make a difference in my energy use? Let's find out.
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Senate Energy Efficiency Bill, We Hardly Knew Ye 12.12.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan pair of senators is making a last-ditch effort to pass a scaled-back version of their energy efficiency bill before the end of this Congress. But it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have been trying to pass their energy efficiency legislation since they first introduced it in 2011 . They reintroduced it in 2013 and it passed in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May of that year with bipartisan support. But then it got bogged down repeatedly in Senate fights over unrelated measures like the Keystone XL pipeline and Obamacare. Last week, Shaheen and Portman introduced a pared-down bill . The new version mirrors a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that passed in the House in March , from Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) that creates a voluntary system for rating the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. The proposal is much like the government's Energy Star program for consumer ...
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EPA Releases New Energy Star Tool for Homeowners 9.12.2014 Environmental News Network
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its Energy Star Home Advisor, an online tool designed to help Americans save money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes through recommended, customized and prioritized home-improvement projects.
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Small Business: The 'Neglected Middle' of Climate Change 9.12.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
One week after graduating college, I started a summer internship at an energy auditing firm in the DC area. On my second day, I asked my boss why the firm never took on small businesses as clients. It was a logical thought in my head: they use energy and there are millions of them! His response was simple. "They're just too small to be worth anyone's time." He went on to lecture his naive intern that small businesses don't use enough energy, don't have big enough footprints, and don't care enough about energy efficiency to be worth our or anyone's time. My boss couldn't have been more wrong. His response was speaking solely to the financial feasibility of the firm, but it reflects a larger misconception regarding small businesses and climate change. Individually, a small business might use less energy than a 50-story office building. But cumulatively, small businesses in the U.S. alone contribute roughly $60 billion in annual energy costs and nearly half a billion metric tons of annual carbon emissions ...
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NYC's de Blasio Administration and the Path to 80 Percent Greenhouse Gas Reductions 8.12.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Although it took almost a year to get there, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has put in place the third critical piece of the city's sustainability leadership. Last week, he appointed Nilda Mesa , an experienced sustainability professional, as the first director of a new Office of Sustainability. Nilda ran sustainability operations at Columbia University for six years and had extensive environmental experience in Washington prior to that. She joins Emily Lloyd, another superb environmental professional, who is serving as the city's Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and Dan Zarrilli, a talented and dedicated public servant, who is director of New York's Office of Recovery and Resiliency. The sustainability goals and policy designs of the de Blasio administration are well known and now in place. They include an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the implementation of a path-breaking green buildings plan, and a range of specific objectives in PlaNYC2030, New York City's ...
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Rise and Shine: Haiti’s Bright Energy Future 24.11.2014 Worldwatch Institute
PRESS RELEASE | Contact GAELLE GOURMELON | For release: Monday, November 24, 2014 Pour la version en francais, cliquez  ici . Notes to Editors:  Download the full press kit. For more information: To download a free copy of the Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap visit here  or contact Gaelle Gourmelon at  ggourmelon@worldwatch.org .  About the Worldwatch Institute:Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. Worldwatch Institute delivers the insights and ideas that empower decision makers to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs. For more information, visit www.worldwatch.org .   New Worldwatch Institute Roadmapoutlines challenges and opportunities for a sustainable energy future in Haiti Washington, D.C.—Haiti’s electricity sector stands at a crossroads. Haiti depends on imported petroleum for 85% of its electricity generation, diverting 7 percent of its annual gross domestic product to ...
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