Join the Fight for Clean Air

Last week, Lydia Rojas told her story about her daughter, Steph, who she tragically lost to an asthma attack. Lydia asked us to stand up to the big polluters and to make sure the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hears from the public that we want clean air; we want less soot that can trigger deadly asthma attacks and we want them to save lives.Share Lydia’s story with your friends and ask them to take action against soot pollution.

Thank you to those who have joined Lydia’s fight for healthy air by sending in your comments to EPA, asking them to set the strongest health standards possible to clean up soot pollution. Because of you and thousands of others who also sent in comments, we delivered a strong message to EPA to set the strictest limits on dangerous soot pollution. Continue reading “Join the Fight for Clean Air”

In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel?

 Drought has taken a toll on corn this year, and as a result, a growing number of ethanol plants have closed.

Enlarge Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images

Drought has taken a toll on corn this year, and as a result, a growing number of ethanol plants have closed.

August 30, 2012 from MPR

Standing outside the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op in Little Falls, Minn., there’s not a lot going on. The pungent smell of fermentation that typically hangs in the air here is absent. And trucks piled high with corn are nowhere to be seen.

They’re idled in part because of high corn prices. And it’s unclear when that will change.

“Most of the industry is just breaking even in terms of profitability or actually running at slightly negative margins,” says Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.

Cooper says since the start of the summer at least seven ethanol plants are now idle in states like Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and Kansas. Including shutdowns from past years, Cooper says about 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants are now offline. Others, though still operating, are running at 75 percent or 80 percent of capacity. Continue reading “In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel?”

One Million Americans Lead Grassroots Effort for Clean Energy Agenda

 

Photo by Stefan Falke.

Environmental Working Group

Fed up with the undue influence of the energy companies, utilities, lobbyists and other interests that are making it impossible for Washington to move forward decisively in achieving America’s clean energy future, 36 citizen organizations with more than 1.1 million combined members are joining forces to advance a nine-point “American Clean Energy Agenda” and to push for a serious renewable energy agenda no matter who is the next president or which party controls Congress.

The American Clean Energy Agenda is available online by clicking here.

As crafted by the groups, the new American Clean Energy Agenda calls for a number of bold steps, including: phasing out nuclear power, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass in favor of efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources; opposition to a “clean energy standard” that includes coal, nuclear, oil, gas and unsustainable biomass; retooling federal “loan guarantees” to make smarter investments in renewable energy; greater emphasis on renewable energy and energy efficiency programs; and avoiding a future in which Americans suffer the consequences of mountaintop mining for coal and fracking of shale gas that is then exported for use in other nations. Continue reading “One Million Americans Lead Grassroots Effort for Clean Energy Agenda”

Envisioning how Obama or Romney would address energy and climate issues

Submitted by Manik Roy | 08/28/2012

I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, “What do the energy and environment policies of President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney bode for the country?”

You can read more on the original blog post and other responses here.

Here is my response:

What do the energy and environmental policies of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney bode for the country? C2ES recently published a nonpartisan voter guide on the candidates records and statements. Based on our findings, we would expect the following. Continue reading “Envisioning how Obama or Romney would address energy and climate issues”

Solar Energy in the Central Valley and the Chicken and Egg Challenge

Carl Zichella’s Blog

Solar Energy in the Central Valley and the Chicken and Egg Challenge

Posted August 27, 2012

Over the past several years thousands of megawatts of renewable energy projects have been approved for construction on both public and private lands in California.  The main development areas have been the Mojave Desert and Carrizo Plain areas of the state.  But another region of California with great potential – the San Joaquin Valley – is still largely undeveloped, awaiting a commitment from state planners and regulators to prioritize the building of the transmission line needed to make development in this area feasible.  The first San Joaquin Valley area project, known as the Westlands Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ), has huge potential to contribute clean energy to meet California’s carbon reduction goals but it has encountered regulatory roadblocks.  Continue reading “Solar Energy in the Central Valley and the Chicken and Egg Challenge”

A Look at Rural Clean Energy Solutions for Climate Change Impacts

Grace Gill’s Blog

A Look at Rural Clean Energy Solutions for Climate Change Impacts

Posted August 23, 2012 in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

The word Punjab is derived from Persian, meaning five (panj) rivers (ab).  It is named so for the five rivers coursing through the arable land, like veins through a body, providing the essential nourishment to cultivate the land.  As a child, I grew up amidst tall fields of lush, swaying crops of wheat that stretched for miles and perfumed the air. Our livelihood was dependent on the harvest and environmental balance.        Punjab

Today, that way of life is under threat, from an increasingly warmer atmosphere and its impacts on the ground.  The electricity outage in India, the largest in world history, coupled with the severe drought, has shed light on the region’s vulnerability and lack of preparedness but has also opened many doors for discourse and implementation of clean energy policies and solutions that can help mitigate the effects of climate change. Continue reading “A Look at Rural Clean Energy Solutions for Climate Change Impacts”

Senate Tax Bill Supports Clean Energy, Needs Improvement

Cai Steger’s Blog

Senate Tax Bill Supports Clean Energy, Needs Improvement

Posted August 20, 2012 in Moving Beyond Oil

Before adjourning for August recess, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee reported a tax extenders bill addressing the fate of over $200 billion in tax extensions.  Among the 55 tax provisions were 13 energy-related tax extensions, that combined will help shape the growth of our clean energy economy.  While the bill still has a long, uncertain journey  before becoming law, it’s worth examining several of the more important energy provisions related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transportation fuels.  Before final passage, Congress should take pains to chart a consitent course away from the dirty fuels of the past toward the clean technologies of the 21st century. Continue reading “Senate Tax Bill Supports Clean Energy, Needs Improvement”

Should Wind Tax Credit Stay or Go?

Submitted by Eileen Claussen | 08/10/2012

I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, “Should Congress extend the production tax credit for wind energy or let it expire at year’s end?”

You can read more on the original blog post and other responses here.

Here is my response:

Yes, for the time being.

The production tax credit (PTC) has played a critical role in building the U.S. wind energy industry, offering clean electricity and jobs, and positioning U.S. manufacturers for a growing global market. It is well worth continuing for the time being, particularly at a moment when plentiful natural gas threatens to discourage investment in wind energy and other renewables.

One of the keys to clean, reliable, affordable electricity is maintaining a diverse supply.  Indeed, rather than competitors, wind and natural gas should be viewed as important complements, helping to balance price and supply.

Energy subsidies have played an important part in America’s economic success, fostering growth in the coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power industries. In fact, Department of Energy subsidies for horizontal drilling and associated technologies have led to the current production boom in the natural gas industry. Continue reading “Should Wind Tax Credit Stay or Go?”

Big Oil is “Sorry” for the Inconvenience

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Last night, the third-largest oil refinery in California suffered an explosion and fire, sending toxic clouds across the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are thankful that refinery workers and the brave first responders suffered only minor injuries — but more than 350 residents have been treated for respiratory problems and vomiting.

A Chevron spokesperson said they’re sorry for “inconveniencing our neighbors.” Yet this is not the first time something like this has happened at the Richmond refinery — it is at least the fifth. 1, 2

It’s time to move beyond oil. Will you let your friends know that you’re sick of Big Oil’s spin machine, and share this image on Facebook and Twitter? If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, forwarding this email to your friends and family will make the same impact. Continue reading “Big Oil is “Sorry” for the Inconvenience”

U.S. Military’s Big Plan For Renewable Energy Projects

U.S. Military’s Big Plan For Renewable Energy Projects

A solar project at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to open up 16 million acres of its land for renewable energy development, which it hopes will create a boom of solar, wind and geothermal projects and provide clean power to military bases, the department announced Monday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on promoting renewable energy generation projects on public land that has historically been restricted for military uses. About 13 million of those 16 million acres are located in western U.S., where a lot of solar, wind and geothermal power development already has been taking place on private and other types of public land. Continue reading “U.S. Military’s Big Plan For Renewable Energy Projects”