Monday, July 22, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 22 July 2013

Poll finds broad public support for Obama’s climate change plan
July 18, 2013 - The partisan political rhetoric has been fierce in the weeks since President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious package of proposals to combat climate change.

But a bipartisan national poll conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council found two-thirds of registered voters approve of one of the plan’s most controversial components, setting limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.

That includes support from 49 percent of Republicans. Almost as many Republicans, 45 percent, oppose carbon emissions limits.

Democratic support for that proposal was 84 percent, while independent support was 56 percent. read more>>>

The case against EPA political bias
7/21/13 - Critics of the Obama administration have gotten a lot of mileage by claiming ideological bias at the Environmental Protection Agency. But a POLITICO analysis of the evidence shows holes in their case.

At the heart of the debate are the fees EPA charges when people or groups request documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The critics allege a shocking disparity: EPA waives fees for liberal groups more than 90 percent of time, they say, while rejecting more than 70 to 90 percent of waiver requests from conservative groups.

News outlets like Fox News have amplified that claim, painting EPA as a rogue agency akin to the Internal Revenue Service, as have Republican lawmakers like Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and California Rep. Darrell Issa. read more>>>

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Drought Dries Up Central Texas Lakes
Jul 22, 2013 - The prolonged drought in Central Texas is leading to historically low water levels in a string of six lakes that were dammed in the 1930s and 1940s to prevent flooding in the Austin area and secure the region's water supply.

While the record absence of rainfall that started in 2008 partly explains why the lakes are drying up, the Austin American-Statesman reported that many residents and Austin city officials blame the Lower Colorado River Authority. read more>>>

Energy companies are paying a heavy price for shunning renewables
The argument for green solutions is not just about climate change – traditional sources of power will soon cost more

21 July 2013 - No wonder the big energy companies are spooked by the green dream. Have you seen their share prices lately?

Witness npower last week, which warned that green policies will drive a 20% rise in energy bills by 2020. Npower is owned by the German utility RWE. In 2008, RWE's shares traded at a whopping €100 each. Today they are worth less than €20. read more>>>

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Rochester Hills OKs tax incentives for energy improvements
July 22, 2013 - Rochester Hills business owners have more reason to be thinking in terms of green.

In a 5-2 vote, City Council has approved a unique financing initiative known as a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE). The tax program gives business owners the opportunity to secure low-interest, long-term loans to finance energy improvements or renewable energy systems.

Bloomfield Hills-based Levin Energy Partners will facilitate the program, dubbed Lean and Green Michigan.

Businesses can use the property tax mechanism to finance their energy improvement, Andy Levin, founder of Levin Energy Partners, told The Oakland Press last month. read more>>>

Closer collaboration for greener growth
2013-07-17 - We have been following with interest the recent debates in China about the relationship between economic growth, creating a better life for all and the need to reduce pollution and enter an era of sustainable development. These discussions are interesting because they are also key questions for us in Europe: How can we create the economic growth we all need and at the same time reduce pollution, secure clean water and reduce the wasteful use of natural resources? To this end, on July 18 and 19 we will be in Beijing to meet with ministers, officials, businesses and civil society to discuss how we can best achieve green growth in Europe and China, as well as globally.

The rise of the world population to more than 9 billion by 2050 and the growth of the middle class globally mean that we will need three times more resources by 2050. read more>>>

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Search for European green capital 2016 gets underway
17th July 2013 - The European green capital cities award recognises those which have risen to the challenge of combining respect for the environment, quality of life and economic growth, writes Karl Falkenberg.

Europe is an urban society, with many environmental challenges to face. We in the European commission have long recognised the important role that local authorities play in improving the environment, and their high level of commitment to genuine progress. The European green capital award (EGCA) is an initiative to promote and reward these efforts and a celebration of cities rising to the challenge of successfully combining respect for the environment, excellent quality of life and economic growth. read more>>>

Burnley bid to be ‘green champion’ of Europe
17 July 2013 - Burnley’s landmark Offshoots Project is bidding to become the green champion of Europe.

The award-winning scheme wants to put Burnley firmly on the international map among the continent’s top “low carbon” initiatives.

The Towneley Hall-based project has been hand selected to compete against Europe’s elite in the “World We Like” competition by the European Commission on Climate Change. read more>>>

ComEd teaching teens benefits of smart grid technology
July 17, 2013 - ComEd is partnering with non-profit After School Matters to provide area high school students opportunities to learn first-hand from industry experts about the benefits of energy efficiency and smart grid technology. In turn, the students will share this information with peers, neighbors and residents at many community events throughout the summer.

"Through the Youth Ambassador program, ComEd is building a new generation of energy advocates, while providing these students with valuable work experience," said Kevin Brookins, ComEd's senior vice president of Strategy and Administration. read more>>>

AIA Approves Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes Training Course
July 17, 2013 - The Green Building Initiative (GBI) announced today that their new Green Globes training course has been approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for continuing education credit. AIA members need 18 Learning Units per year, 12 of which must be in Health/Safety/Welfare (HSW) topics.

AIA members can watch this free 60-minute recorded webinar online and receive one (1) HSW Learning Unit from AIA. The AIA Course Code is GBIGGNCJul13 and the AIA Course Title is "Green Globes for New Construction." The course description and learning objectives are provided below. The course can also be found in the AIA online course directory. read more>>>

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