BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

An analysis by the Energy Information Agency says the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would cut power plant emissions to historic lows. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The usual ideologues are making the usual noises about big, intrusive government and job-killing regulations. Some time down the road (or should I say downstream?) when we all end up paying additional billions to treat our drinking water and clean up toxic wetlands and waterways, these same special interests will complain about wasteful government spending,” writes the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute of EPA clean water protections that will be announced today.

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Class action – A class action suit has been filed against a San Diego company claiming that the company been dumping chemicals into the ground that have made people sick. The company, Amertek Aerospace & Defense, is located next door to an elementary school. (10 News) 

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

As the House and Senate put forward their bills to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, the New York Times Editorial Board says both bills lack the thing that would be the most important to the public: speedy evaluations of the most worrisome chemicals among the tens of thousands of chemicals that have never been tested for safety. (New York Times) 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“For a state surrounded by water, Florida should be leading the nation in preparing to adapt to climate change. Yet with Gov. Rick Scott a self-proclaimed skeptic of man-made warming, the state is offering virtually no direction to local communities despite the impact already being felt from Miami to St. Augustine. State and local governments should increase their efforts before rising sea levels pose even greater dangers to public safety, property and the drinking water supply.” – from aTampa Bay Times Editorial.

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Senate passes Fast Track, but unions rallying – After the Senate passed Fast Track Trade Authority late last week, unions and allies are planning protests around the nation during Congress’ Memorial Day recess to call for lawmakers to do the right thing in the House and vote against Fast Track. (Politico)

Split House GOP – A split in the House GOP gives hope to efforts to stop Fast Track. (Politico)

Propping up those that voted wrong – President Obama has created a advocacy organization to prop up those Democratic Senators and Representatives who vote for Fast Track Trade. (Politico)

Transportation patch passes – The short-term fix to keep the Highway Transportation Fundsolvent passed Congress before the weekend. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source

EDITOR’S NOTE: The BlueGreen Source will be off until Tuesday. 

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Worldwide there were 7.7 million people working in renewable energy jobs in 2014. (CleanTechnica)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

In a press release announcing the Vehicle Innovation Act, the BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas said, "Investing in advanced vehicle technology research, innovation, commercialization and manufacturing is critical to position America to lead in a clean, modern, global economy. Enhancing research, development and commercialization of advanced car and truck technology as laid out in today’s bill—together with separate measures to spur manufacturing—will drive growth across the auto manufacturing supply chain, securing current jobs and growing new ones that will continue our manufacturing recovery nationwide. We thank Senators Peters, Alexander and Stabenow for introducing this bill and its contribution to advancing American competitiveness and growth."

WHAT’S TRENDING 

High-risk chemical plants – That’s the focus of a story that looks at high-risk chemical plantsnear a school and other parts of the East St. Louis community. (KSDK) 

$212 million – That’s how much Transocean—the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in 2010 killing 11 workers and spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico—will pay in a settlement of a lawsuit over its role in the tragedy. (The Hill)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Kansas is set to repeal its renewable energy mandate, instead making it voluntary. The measure was passed by the legislature and now goes to the governor’s desk. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We have received over one million comments, and 87.1 percent of those comments we have counted so far—we are only missing 4,000—are supportive of this rule,” said EPA AdministratorMcCarthy to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in March.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Shrug off – Many governors have expressed reluctance about following Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s call to just say no to the Clean Power Plan. (BNA)

100 speeches - Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island yesterday gave his 100th speech calling forclimate action. It’s an effort he’s pursued in order to shine a light on the facts about climate change. (WPRI)

Global agreement – California Governor Brown has indicated he plans to sign a new agreement with world leaders to improve cooperation on addressing environmental challenges. (Los Angeles Times)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

House Republican Rep. Marchant introduced legislation to outright eliminate the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a tax credit that incentivizes the construction of wind energy projects and that's been highly successful. (Clean Technica)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Getting serious about building modern infrastructure has an additional benefit: the chance to drive forward national manufacturing recovery and growth,” writes BlueGreen Alliance Senior Policy Advisor, Zoe Lipman in a New York Times letter to the editor.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Fast Track – House Republicans say they have enough votes to pass Fast-Track Trade Authority in the House later this week. (Yahoo)

Slippery math – The results of the war on workers through right-to-work legislation may vary slightly from state-to-state but the same tired arguments are used every time. (Newsweek)

Posted In: The Source

What do Boston, New York, Indianapolis and Syracuse all have in common? They’re all cities part of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) methane leaks tracking tool. Just this week, EDF unveiled Los Angeles as the latest city to be added to the interactive data map that’s a fascinating bird’s eye view of where the methane leaks are located in a given city. The Google map and data are the latest powerful additions to our arsenal of information better arming cities, states, environmentalists and the utilities and workers—including more than 4,000 members of the Utility Workers Union of America employed at Southern California Gas—doing this work to prevent methane leaks as a potent source of emissions.

Posted In: Infrastructure

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Lawmakers have just days left to act to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from running dry. Lawmakers are working on solutions that could extend the funding anywhere from two months until the end of the year. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Those of us who depend on clean waterways for drinking water and recreation ought to be saying ‘That’s enough!’ to this alarmist blowback about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ‘Clean Water Rule,’” write the editors of the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Payoff – Minnesota firefighters’ tireless advocacy to ban flame retardants is as close as they have ever been to paying off. If passed, it could become the most restrictive law on flame retardants in the nation. (Pioneer Press)

Posted In: The Source

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

The opinion piece, “Let our Cities Move,” in Wednesday’s New York Times by Mayors Bill DeBlasio of New York City and Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City is bipartisan, inter-regional and compelling. They underscore the critical importance of reinvesting in America’s aging, overburdened transportation infrastructure of all kinds as a critical enabler of individual economic opportunity, and our global economic and business competitiveness. Modern transportation infrastructure can also greatly improve quality of life and environmental performance. The mayors also stressed the strong local support for investing in transportation in communities across the country, and the essential complementary role of long term, federal funding to make these major projects possible.

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Is your city one of the top 50 in the country where the combination of pollen, ozone and climate change are making allergy symptoms especially severe? (Washington Post)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Starving rail of funding will not enable safer train travel,” U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D – NY).  

WHAT’S TRENDING

One-fifth – House Republicans last night voted to slash about one-fifth of Amtrak’s budget and fought off attempts to provide money for advanced speed control technology. (Politico)

Posted In: The Source

Climate change and business as usual could threaten 1 in 6 plant and animal species with extinction. Last month a study published in Science by Mark Urban found an accelerating extinction risk due to climate change. Dr. Urban’s study found that as the Earth’s temperatures increase, species will disappear at an accelerating rate, rising with every degree in temperature increase.

2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the landmark Federal Endangered Species Act. The ESA was devised to protect plant and animal species from extinction. Species are put into two categories, “endangered” and “threatened.”

Posted In: Climate Change, National Wildlife Federation