BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

The following post by John Rogers, senior energy analyst, Clean Energy at Union of Concerned Scientists has been cross posted from The Equation blog. The original post is available online here 

As the eulogistic outpourings of the last few days show, Leonard Nimoy’s death has touched many people in this country and beyond, including those of us with a science bent and a strong affinity for a certain Vulcan. His most famous character says a lot about how to move forward on some issues of monumental importance.

As the New York TimesPresident Obama, and others have eloquently pointed out, Mr. Nimoy’s many interests, talents, and accomplishments helped him reach a range of audiences far outside the field of science. Many of his late-stage tweets were about art, and friends, and other blessings; his second-to-last was one of his poems.

But his role as Mr. Spock, the rational, guarded First Officer/Science Officer on board Star Trek’s starship Enterprise, has meant for decades that he has held a special place in the minds and hearts of science-oriented types…

Posted In: Union of Concerned Scientists
The following blog by Amber Hewett, NWF's Northeast Climate Program Coordinator, has been cross posted from NWF's Wildlife Promise blog. The original post is available online here. 
 
One of many United Kingdom offshore wind farms (credit: London Array Limited)

One of many United Kingdom offshore wind farms (credit: London Array Limited)

2015 will be the year the United States begins constructing its first offshore wind turbines. This major milestone will set the stage for the largest and most scalable clean energy source waiting untapped right next to some of this country’s largest metropolitan regions, such as New York City, Boston and their surrounding suburbs.

Posted In: National Wildlife Federation

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Energy will be a central focus for Michigan’s state legislature as lawmakers consider extending the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. Advocates say the state could easily achieve a higher target than the existing 10 percent target that expires at the end of the year. (MI Biz)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I’m Nick. I’m also in history. We need a union because power concedes nothing without a fight,” said one of many Columbia graduate students pushing to form a union .

WHAT’S TRENDING

Finish in sight – America’s first offshore wind farm is scheduled to begin construction this summer, clearing a final hurdle toward completion. (Inside Climate News)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

The federal government spent $96 billion on infrastructure projects last year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 57 percent of that money was spent on operating expenses and 43 percent was spent on new construction. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Congress should debate whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership promotes the shared values of democracy and prosperity that the United States stands for, as well as sets high standards for countries such as China to follow. Or whether it merely speeds the global race to the bottom," wrote former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

WHAT’S TRENDING

Strong defense – An effort in Colorado to reduce the state’s renewable energy mandate has failed. The proposed legislation would have cut in half the percentage of renewable energy required of large utilities by 2020. (CBS Denver)

This is cross-posted from the The Meeting Point, the blog of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference

Around the country, big and small companies are taking steps to become more energy efficient and produce less of the carbon pollution that drives climate change. These efforts have resulted not just in savings for the companies, but a net benefit for our economy and environment. 

Each year, the EPA honors companies, cities, partnerships and even individuals with its Climate Leadership Awards. The 2015 awardees include the Mayor of Bridgeport Connecticut, as well as companies working to make a difference like UPS and partnerships like the Chevrolet Clean Energy Campus Campaign. 

UPS were one of the recipients under the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management category for setting, and achieving, their goals to reduce the company’s carbon intensity from transportation by 10 percent by 2016. They’ve already surpassed that goal in 2012 and 2013. And, this the second time UPS has received a Climate Leadership Award. 

Posted In: Climate Change

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60 Minutes investigation reveals Chinese laminate flooring sold at Lumber Liquidators mayexceed formaldehyde standards, much it failing to meet California formaldehyde emissions standards. (CBS)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Neither science nor evidence trouble Mr. Inhofe’s benighted complacency. ‘The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful, they can change climate,’ he said in January. ‘Man can’t change climate,’” wrote the Washington Post in an editorial.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Fast tracked – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker commits to signing a fast-tracked Right-to-Work-for-Less bill, passed by the state Senate last week. (Milwaukee Sentinal-Journal)

Not throwing in the towel – Cape Wind—a company trying to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm —is not calling it quits despite hurdles. After failing to meet a construction deadline, utilities cancelled their contracts. (Boston Globe)

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

Protests continue in Wisconsin where Governor Scott Walker—harboring presidential ambitions—and a GOP-controlled legislature continue to push forward a “ right-to-work for less” bill. (New York Times)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1961 speech.

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

Most of the East Coast of the U.S. saw its sea level rise about five inches in 2009 and 2010. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“Kansas, with its bountiful wind and sunshine, is in a unique position to diversify our homegrown energy sources and establish a cleaner, more sustainable energy base. The clean energy sector in Kansas is in a position to be an economic and employment leader while protecting our air and water for generations to come,” said a statement from the Climate and Energy Project at an event at the Kansas Capitol. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

Inefficient infrastructure causes traffic delays and costs money. It hasn’t always been easy to precisely pinpoint the full costs of America’s infrastructure shortfalls, however new data showing five minute delays here and there cost one company, UPS, $105 million per year in added costs. That begins to tell us more about how our well-worn and sometimes worn-out infrastructure is costing companies big time. The backdrop to all of this is that highway and transit funding­, which pays for highway and transit infrastructure investments, is set to run out in under 100 days. And with a Congress that doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to address it, it raises concerns about the immediate and long-term transportation funding future.

At what cost?
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) the cost of crumbling infrastructure could total $1 trillion between 2012 and 2020. That’s not all. Reduced productivity and higher costs could drain $3.1 trillion from the country’s gross domestic product. The data underscores the point that neglecting our infrastructure is taking a bite out of America’s net worth.

In 2013, ASCE gave the nation’s infrastructure a grade of “D+,”  which is a slight improvement over previous “D” grades, and estimated that to get to a grade of “B” would require an investment of $3.6 trillion over the next seven years.

Posted In: Infrastructure