BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

The debate over climate change is getting attention in the 2016 presidential race, with Ted Cruz comparing himself to Galileo and a vast majority of scientists who say the climate is changing to “flat-Earthers.” Meanwhile, other Republican hopefuls have bucked their party and acknowledged that climate change is occurring. (The Guardian)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“It’s not enough to use the latest, best, cleanest technology. We have to re-invest in the people, plants, and technology in order to realize all of the benefits manufacturing advanced vehicles have to offer,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance in a Bloomberg story on the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan program.

The following blog is by Zoe Lipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the BlueGreen Alliance.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs office today announced a $259 million loan to Alcoa to upgrade and expand its Tennessee aluminum mill to produce specialized automotive grade aluminum to reduce weight and improve fuel economy in millions of cars and trucks. For the community in Alcoa, TN, near Knoxville, the project also means adding 200 full-time jobs at the plant in addition to 400 construction jobs carrying out the expansion project.

With this announcement, DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM) is continuing and extending its track record of turning clean advanced vehicle innovation into jobs, manufacturing and growth.

>>Check out DOE’s blog and infographic here

>>BGA partners including the United Steelworkers weigh in on the impact of the new loan and the ATVM program in our press release here

Posted In: Auto, Natural Resources Defense Council, United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers

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Ohio’s General Assembly passed a new measure to clean up pollution in Lake Erie. They hope that the bill will help fight harmful algae blooms, like the one that left hundreds of thousands of people without water for days in Toledo last summer. (Sandusky Register)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"Now we have a time where people are cherry picking science. The science is not political. That's like repealing gravity because you gained 10 pounds last week,” Dr. Neil deGrasse Tysonsaid of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s banning of the terms terms climate change and global warming in his administration.

This post was co-authored by Raya Salter and Mr. Cecil D. Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director/Director of Policy Initiatives with WE ACT for Environmental Justice. It has been cross-posed from the NRDC's Switchboard blog. The original post is available online here

New York State is revolutionizing its electric system - a move NRDC has praised as positive and precedent-setting. The initiative, called "Reforming the Energy Vision" or "REV" will mean big changes for how communities, particularly low- income communities, interact with both energy and utilities. Among the initiative's core principles, described by my colleague Jackson Morris as the "commandments of REV," are addressing high energy bills and reducing carbon emissions.

New Yorkers Face a High Energy Burden

This is critical because according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Yorkers pay the nation's second-highest energy prices. This leads to a crushing energy burden for low-income New Yorkers. According to a 2013 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority home energy costs threaten not only the ability of New York low-income households to retain access to energy services, but also threaten access to housing, food, medical care and other necessities of life. This is true across New York State, in both rural and urban areas. Further, many low income communities, particularly communities of color, need immediate relief from the impacts of dangerous carbon emissions that impact them the most. For these "environmental justice" communities, action on energy prices and clean and renewable power is of primary importance.

New York Utilities Should Be Increasing Engagement with Low- to Moderate-Income Communities on Clean and Renewable Energy Projects

In a landmark February 26 order, regulators outlined a policy framework and implantation plan for the state's energy revolution. New York's new vision means that utilities will build a new platform in cities, neighborhoods and towns across the state to facilitate clean and renewable distributed energy resources. Because the state wants to make sure that customers and private markets invest in distributed energy, utilities won't be allowed, for the most part, to own these distributed resources. Utilities will, however, be able to own distributed energy resources where a project will enable low or moderate income residential customers to benefit from clean distributed power the private market is unlikely to meet the need. Utilities will also be able to own distributed energy resources like solar, batteries and wind (DER) in areas of system need, in new demonstration projects and in projects that involve energy storage. This may start happening soon. In the February 26 order, utilities were directed to file demonstration project plans on July 1.

The following blog by Michelle Miller, graphics: Erik Moe, Research: Bill Borwegen and Eric Frumin has been cross-posted from the SEIU's blog. The original post is available online here

When a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan on March 25, 1911, overcrowded worktables, inadequate and locked fire exits and narrow escape passageways created a fatal inferno for the 146 people–mostly women and girls–who died. 

In the aftermath of the deadly fire that could have been prevented, outraged New Yorkers, lead by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (now Workers United) fought for crucial health and safety workplace regulations that continue to protect us on the job to this day.

Posted In: SEIU

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Virginia is the first state to secure a wind research lease in federal waters. They are planning to erect a pair of 6-megawatt test turbines on the Outer Continental Shelf, about 24 nautical miles ease of Virginia Beach. (Newport News Daily Press)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“A recent poll found that fully 73 percent support the tax credit for investment in new wind farms. Congress should listen. This clean, homegrown energy source has become a symbol of national progress. Extending the Production Tax Credit would keep wind power competitive and generate economic benefits for decades to come,” said James Walker of EDF Renewable Energy in an opinion piece calling for Congress to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit .

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Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch has noticed the huge disadvantage the Badger State has when it comes to clean energy. With all of its neighbors outpacing it, Walker and crew continue to work to stop any progress on renewables. And that’s to the detriment of all Wisconsinites. Fun fact: despite having only about 1/5 of the amount of wind energy as Minnesota, the average cost per kilowatt-hour in Wisconsin is 11 percent higher. (Think Progress)

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Attacks on clean energy continue in Kansas, where lawmakers are trying to freeze the state’s renewable energy standard. In Texas, wind is booming but that isn’t stopping lawmakers from attacking the policies that helped create the boom. (Lawrence World-Journal & Dallas Morning News)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“Harnessing the natural resources available in our area has attracted good jobs, produced local economic benefits, and given us energy security. This wind farm is further proof that Ohioans benefit when we work to attract new investment in our rural communities,” said Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) in a story about how wind energy is helping to provide funding for schools in the state. (Clean Technica)

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Image credit: DYLAN PETROHILOS

Climate Progress launches its own bracketology, putting cute animals threatened by climate change and environmental degradation head to head. Readers have the power to vote for the winning animal. (Think Progress)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a good time to move on solar,” said Carey King, assistant director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute. Georgetown, TX is a town that has decided to go all in on renewable energy,announcing a 25-year deal with SunEdison.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Leading by example – President Obama yesterday signed an executive order committing the federal government will cut emissions 40 percent over the next decade. (Washington Post)

We're excited to announce Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will keynote this year’s Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, April 13 in Washington, D.C.!

If you haven’t registered yet, join us April 13 in Washington, D.C. for the Conference where jobs and the environment meet!

Senator Warren is a national leader with real solutions about how we can address the threat of climate change, create family-sustaining jobs and increase global competitiveness, and protect the environment and secure the economy for generations to come.