BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

313,000 jobs. That’s what our latest report with the AFL-CIO says can be created and sustained by moving up the timeline of repairing and replacing America’s natural gas pipelines from its current 30-year rate to a 10-year schedule. In addition, we’d stop 81 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted, save consumers an additional $1.5 billion, and grow the U.S. Gross Domestic Product by over $37 billion.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Good ruling for workers – While the legislative fight over right-to-work (for less) law in Indiana is long over, opponents of the misguided measure got some hope with a court ruling last week that the law is unconstitutional. The court ruled it “null and void,” and that the state cannot enforce it. The state’s Attorney General is requesting a delay in putting the decision into effect. (Northwest Indiana Times) 

Struggle for clean water – The EPA has faced obstacle after obstacle in its attempt to ensure Americans get clean water. (The Hill) 

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

The AFL-CIO and the BlueGreen Alliance are releasing a report today called Interconnected – The Economic and Climate Change Benefits of Accelerating Repair and Replacement of America’s Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines. In it, we examine how moving up repairs to our natural gas distribution lines can have a tremendous impact in terms of jobs created and sustained, millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases avoided, cost savings from consumers not paying for lost gas, and growth in our nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

After 11:30 a.m. ET, make sure to head to www.bluegreenalliance.org/interconnected to check it out!

WHAT’S TRENDING

Testify – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy went before a Senate committee yesterday. The results were predictable, with one Senator accusing the EPA of “trying to run the country” and other Senators praised the work of the EPA on the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Renewable energy was 56 percent of the energy capacity added in the U.S. in the first half of this year. Of the 3,529 megawatts (MW) installed, 1,965 MW came from renewable sources. A third of that was solar. (The Energy Collective)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Hearing from the people – Yesterday, officials in Minnesota hear public testimony on the Clean Power Planto limit carbon pollution from power plants. (MinnPost)

Black lung – Federal officials are contacting coal workers to ask them to re-apply for black lung benefits after their claims were initially denied. (The Hill)

Climate impacts the Windy City – Chicago residents are feeling the impacts of climate change and they aren’t pretty. (Washington Post)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

 

Wildfires are raging throughout the Northwest U.S. Over 3,500 people in fire crews are battling the fires in Washington and Oregon alone. Cooler, damp weather may be on the way, to the relief of those battling the flames. (New York Times)

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Source: Human Dynamics of Climate Change

From shipping routes to population density, to airports, fishing cyclones and more, new global maps are helping to illustrate climate change’s impacts on our daily lives. (The Carbon Brief)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Under the microscope – Senators will grill Environmental Protection Agency Administrator McCarthy this week in a hearing on the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

Highway Trust Fund – The onus is on the Senate to renew funding for the Highway Trust Fund this week now that the House has approved its own measure. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Source: ACEEE

They didn’t just win the World Cup, Germany came out on top of new energy efficiency rankings of the world’s major economies. The U.S. comes in at number 13 of 16 in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) scorecard. (ACEEE)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Climate compendium - Average sea surface temperatures in 2013 were among the 10 highest on record. This and other data has been compiled and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (New York Times)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

Here’s 10 things you should know about renewable energy investmentsincluding that business is leading the way and poll after poll shows a majority of people support renewable energy investments. (The Guardian)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Acting on climate – The president is taking many comprehensive steps to address climate change while Congress stands by. Here’s our statement on the big steps he announced yesterday. (National Journal)

Clean Power Plan – This piece focuses on making sense of what exactly the Clean Power Plan asks of states with diverse energy portfolios. (Washington Post)

Posted In: The Source

Ken Kimmell

The following blog by Ken Kimmel, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists was originally posted in The Equation blog. The original is available online here

Dear Governor Christie:

I read today that you plan on formally pulling your state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nine state “cap and trade” program that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Your actions today follow through on steps you took three years ago to take New Jersey out of the program.

As the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists and former chair of RGGI, I urge you to re-consider. I know you like straightforward, no-nonsense communication, so let me be as direct as I can.

Posted In: Union of Concerned Scientists

The following blog post by Kate Thomas was originally posted on the SEIU blog. The original post is available online here

One thing we know about workers in America today: they are resilient. And no matter the hurdles, workers will continue to find a way to innovate and come together to have a strong voice for good jobs and better wages and benefits in the workplace.

MIT professor Thomas A. Kochan's recent piece on Fortune.com delves into what unions like SEIU and emerging labor groups like the ROC and USAS are doing to restore labor's rightful and necessary place in America.

Posted In: SEIU

Congressional gridlock will spell out real traffic headaches for commuters unless Congress approves federal funding for the Highway Trust Fund before it officially runs out September 30. Luckily, this hard deadline and a looming August recess where lawmakers will leave DC and will have to defend what they’re doing to solve transportation problems in their home districts, has finally motivated some lawmakers to go for broke to prevent the trust fund from running out.

The Short-Term Fix

Senator Wyden from Oregon has emerged as a leader on those efforts, having brokered an agreement with Republicans on a plan that would provide almost $11 billion in funding for the Highway Trust Fund—which is enough to keep it up and running until May 2015. Last night showed signs of progress as the House of Representatives approved a measure that funds the Highway Trust Fund for one year, similar to the agreement Senator Wyden hammered out. Now the measure awaits Senate action.  

Posted In: Transportation, Infrastructure