BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

America can nearly quadruple renewable energy investments in the next 15 years, according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report uses the gains states have seen in renewable energy over the last five years as a starting point. (Clean Technica)

WHAT’S TRENDING

53 storms in 2 days – During June, scientists witnessed a five-tornado supercell. A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows tornado clusters like this are becoming more frequent. (E&E News)

Climate assessment – The United Nations releases its final report on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. The report confirms Australia is increasingly affected by climate change. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Ohio is racing towards earning the hapless distinction of being a place where success doesn’t matter—at least when it comes to renewable energy. It is the home of both one of the most successful renewable energy programs in the country but also ground zero for draconian efforts to stunt the growth of renewable energy policies in the future. As the state’s politics work to undercut economic growth, its low-income and working families will feel the consequences of the governor and state legislators’ actions.  

One example is Ohio’s Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). It is a successful effort to improve energy efficiency while at the same time working to save low-income families 20 percent or more on energy bills. That is important because according to an analysis by Policy Matters Ohio and the 2013 Home Energy Affordability Gap Report, “…more than 300,000 Ohio households pay over 30 percent of their annual income just on their home energy bills alone.”

Posted In: Ohio, Clean Energy

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Photo: A view of the toxic algae bloom near Toledo, OH earlier this summer. 

A new study says climate change and invasive species helped fuel the growth of large algae blooms in Lake Erie earlier this year and urges action now to protect the lake. (Detroit News)

The following blog by Ed Osann, NRDC Senior Policy Analyst, Santa Monica, was originally posted in NRDC's The Switchboard blog. The original post is available online here

Kudos to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for proposing ambitious new water-saving goals for the city.  Hizzoner aims for dramatic reductions in water use over the next two years.  L.A. has already made impressive strides -- water use today is comparable to the 1970s, even with over a million additional residents.  That said, the city still uses a heck of a lot of water – well over 500 million gallons each day – much of it outdoors. 

There are compelling reasons for L.A. to curb its demand for water.  First, we don’t know how long the current drought will last.  Second, we don’t know how soon the next drought will arrive (but it most certainly will).  And third, climate change will affect both the demand for water and the availability of water supplies in ways that could send the cost of water service through the roof.

Posted In: California, Natural Resources Defense Council

The following blog by Maggie Yancey, Water Resources Campaign Coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), was originally posted in NWF's Wildlife Promise blog. The original post is available online here

The Clean Water Act protects many of America’s most majestic waters and provides the opportunity for millions of Americans to fish, swim, hunt, play, and drink clean water. Over 42 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. is still struggling to protect waters both upstream and downstream. Inspired by a recent rule proposal that would restore historical protections for two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands, here’s a look at a few videos that demonstrate why we should continue to support the Clean Water Act.

Posted In: National Wildlife Federation

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

Ohio’s weatherization program is one of the best in the nation, resulting in home savings of more than 20 percent. But, this year the governor and legislature put a freeze on the state’s clean energy and energy efficiency efforts, and a push continues to repeal this successful program. View the full report here. (Dayton Daily News & Policy Matters Ohio)

WHAT’S TRENDING 

World climate agreement – Ahead of next year’s climate change summit in Paris, the U.S. climate envoy is optimistic that an agreement will be reached. (The Hill) 

Clean and affordable – A new report finds that when you factor in the health and climate change costs of traditional energy wind and solar energy are cheaper. (Grist) 

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By 2040, renewable energy could make up 45 percent of the energy mix in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA report projects a scenario where growing renewable energy installations could result in the region getting 45 percent of its electricity generation capacity from renewable energy power plants.

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

A new infographic by The Master of Public Administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill summarizes the last 10 years of hurricanes and the toll it has taken on communities. Check out the full infographic here. (Washington Post)

WHAT’S TRENDING

325 - A letter signed by 325 sporting groups including Trout Unlimited and the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance was sent to the president in support of efforts to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. (The Hill)

A new climate economy – An event today will tout the findings in the recently released New Climate Economy report. The report highlights the economic returns Americans are seeing while reducing emissions. (World Resources Institute)

Posted In: The Source

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A new tool that tracks states’ progress on addressing climate change has California up on top, but how some of the other states are doing in renewable energy generation may surprise you. (USA Today)

Recently, the Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released their National Solar Schools Census, the most extensive database of it’s kind, that catalogues all solar-powered K-12 schools in the U.S.

The goal of the database is to serve “as a starting point for sharing ideas and best practices between schools experienced with solar energy and those seeking to join their ranks.” And from the looks of it, they’ve already got a head start.

According to the report, there have been more than 3,700 solar systems installed on U.S. schools, which in turn powers the education of almost 2.7 million students each day. But that’s just a small fraction of solar’s potential in education. An estimated 72,000 schools -- that’s 60 percent of all schools nationwide -- can still cost-effectively go solar. To put that into perspective, that would be the equivalent of taking one million vehicles off the road.

And that number is expected to continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

In the last six years alone, solar’s rate of installation at schools has jumped by 110 percent, and over the past four years, the cost of installation has fallen by more than 50 percent. If this trend continues -- and experts predict that it will -- we can expect a sunnier future for our students.

Posted In: Sierra Club