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In Chicago yesterday, President Obama designated the Pullman area—a site rich in labor and civil rights history—as one of America’s newest national monuments. Our statement praising the designation is online here. (New York Times & BlueGreen Alliance)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The financial benefits to tackling climate action are becoming clearer by the day,” write Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever in CNN.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Block and tackle – A Kansas Senate committee works to advance a bill that would delay, and possibly even prevent, action on the Clean Power Plan. (Lawrence Journal-World)

Hot and cold – So far winter has taken to the extremes on both ends of the spectrum with record cold in one half of the country and record heat in the other. (AP)

Unwelcome examination – American diplomats test foreign air quality around embassies abroad. Not everyone likes this idea much. (Washington Post)

Forward and backward – Illinois legislators introduce a bill to expand the state’s renewable energy standard by requiring 35 percent of energy consumed in the state to be generated by clean renewable sources by 2030. Meanwhile in New Hampshire, lawmakers voted against investing carbon tax profits back into energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News & NHPR)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Washington Post: Solar and wind energy leaders to push for renewable energy

National Journal: Dietary Panel: Eating Less Meat is Better for the Environment

CBS: Rising seas could cause largest ever human exodus

Newsweek: WHO Fears Climate Change Will Accelerate Spread of Some Tropical Diseases

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Despite the uptick in home size and number of homes, energy efficiency improvements have successfully delivered energy savings. Improvements in energy efficiency reduced energy intensity enough to offset more than 70 percent of the growth in both the number of households and the size of dwellings. (The State Journal)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"You can see the impact of coastal erosion in the village," Interior Secretary Jewell said during a tour of an eroding Alaska village. "You can hear the fear in people's voices about what's happening with climate change. Things are changing up here, and that's part of what I'm on this trip to learn about."

WHAT’S TRENDING

Double down – Citigroup has doubled its previous commitment to environmental projects with the announcement of $100 billion for renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions and sustainable transportation projects over the coming decade. (CNBC)

All in on renewables – Kaiser Permanente announced it will invest in wind and solar energy. "Our primary motivation is that climate change is also a health issue," said Rame Hemstreet, Kaiser's chief energy officer. (San Jose Mercury News)

Windfall – Wyoming’s wind energy production tax generates $2.6 million for the state. (Casper Star Tribune)

Right-to-work for less – Last week in Missouri the state house passed right-to-work legislation. It’s headed to the Senate now, but some lawmakers express doubt the governor will sign it. (Missourinet)

 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Reuters: Indiana House panel advances measure to add solar power fees

Washington Post: Greening the faith in the Washington area

Climate Central: California Water Becomes Scarce and Energy Hungry

Rolling Stone: US Navy Reacts To Blockbuster Rolling Stone Climate Change Story

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The New York City Panel on climate change finds that the city is expected to see sea levels rise11 to 21 inches by the middle of the century and up to six feet by 2100. (Huffington Post)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It is time Congress and President Obama took a stand on behalf of the American worker and openly negotiate trade deals that are worthy of the nation they are elected to serve," writes Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Two sides of the same coin –Making the argument that addressing climate change is also an essential part of our national security strategy. (The Hill)

States of renewable energy – State officials from across the political spectrum in 18 states convene find key areas of agreement on efficiency and renewable energy—unlike those in Washington, D.C. (Midwest Energy News)

Clear need for change – As Ohio lawmakers move to strengthen clean water regulations, advocates urge a key regulation be made permanent. (Columbus Dispatch)

Transportation hotspot – Silicon Valley emerges as a hotspot of transportation development. (Detroit News)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Wall Street Journal - Endocrine Disruption and BPA Use

U.S. News & World Report: Energy Report to Examine Cyberattack, Global Warming Threats

Huffington Post: Feds Direct $8 Million To Native Communities To Address Effects Of Climate Change

National Catholic Reporter: Catholic group launches global climate-focused Lenten fast 

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After Ohio passed a law putting a two-year freeze on meeting renewable energy targets, several wind farm projects have been put on hold. (The Oklahoman)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The 2015 climate negotiations are off to a promising start,” said Jennifer Morgan, head of the climate programme at the World Resources Institute. “Much hard work remains.”

WHAT’S TRENDING

By the thousands – Solar energy is providing jobs in Arizona by the thousands. The state now ranks third in the nation for solar jobs behind California and Massachusetts. (EcoWatch)

Key players – State regulators gather in Washington, D.C. this weekend in the hopes that they’ll come away with a clear understanding of what it means for states to comply with the Clean Power Plan. (E&E News)

Teaching science – The Board of Education in West Virginia weighs issuing new standards about how teachers educate students about climate change­—including additional language that casts doubt on climate change. (WV Public Broadcasting)

Bipartisan consensus – Energy-efficient buildings are a model of bipartisan consensus writes Rogers Platt, President of the U.S. Green Building Council. (The Hill)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

New York Times: Hurricane Sandy Victims Say Damage Reports Were Altered

Newsweek: Climate Change Poised to Make Infectious Disease Outbreaks More Frequent

USA Today: San Antonio takes different tack on solar energy

Sydney Morning Herald: Australian scientists make fresh attempt at explaining climate change

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Cities’ daily low temperatures are changing. Check out this new tool from NRDC to find out how your city’s winter temperatures will change by 2100. (NRDC)

Image source: NRDC

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"By the end of the year, Michigan will have reached its renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS)—10 percent by 2015," said MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush. "The RPS can be credited with over 1,450 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy projects becoming commercially operational since PA 295 took effect."

WHAT’S TRENDING

Left, right and power – A close look at what drives San Diego residents to adopt the use of solar energy reveals a divide amongst conservatives and liberals. (Washington Post)

Untested chemicals – Only 25 percent of the chemicals in consumer products have been fully tested thanks to an outdated and ineffective law called the Toxic Substances Control Act. The law is expected to be updated this spring. (The Guardian)

Unprecedented drought – According to a new study released by NASA, global warming could have a severe impact on California, the Midwest and Southwest by 2050. (New York Daily News)

$252 million – That’s how much removing Georgia’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Tax Credit would take away from the state’s economy. (Clean Technica)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Yahoo: U.S. companies pledge to build 20 GW of renewable energy in India

The Hill: What can tobacco teach us about climate change policy?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania vs. climate change

The Hill: House Dem wouldn't put climate change, terror in 'same sentence'

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Three maps compiled with research by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index rank 175 countries from most to least vulnerable to the effects of climate change. (Washington Post)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Just as today’s education must to be aligned with what students need to succeed in the 21st-century global economy, mid-20th-century school facilities that are falling apart, filled with environmental hazards and unable to support modern technology just won’t do,” wrote AFT President Randi Weingarten in an opinion piece about  deteriorating public school buildings.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Over half – Solar and wind represented 53 percent of new electricity capacity last year. (Clean Technica)

Renewable repeal – West Virginia’s governor approved a repeal of a law that would have required 25 percent of electricity produced and consumed in the state to be something other than coal by 2025. (The State Journal)

Clean Air Act targeted – A key House of Representatives committee chair announces plans to overhaul the Clean Air Act next year. (E&E News)

Extra credit – An Illinois state agency doubles down on solar through the purchase of $30 million in solar energy credits. (The State Journal-Register)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Business Standard: India needs to pad up to deal with climate change, says expert

The Hill: Major Chinese cities failing on air quality

ABC News: Norway to Cut Climate Pollution by 40 Percent by 2030

RTCC: UN climate change talks and the Paris deal – a guide

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Data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review reveals 2014 could be the year that the most renewable energy ever was produced in the U.S. (Energy Digital)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The overall warming trend is more important than the ranking of an individual year,” said UN World Meteorological Organisation secretary-general Michel Jarraud. “2014 was nominally the warmest on record, although there is very little difference between the three hottest years.”

WHAT’S TRENDING

All in – The president’s proposed budget introduced yesterday goes all in on taking climate action, dedicating new resources across several federal agencies. (National Journal)

Navigating clean energy – The Business Renewables Center launched this week in order to better connect business with clean energy. (Reuters)

Wind fans – According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind installations grew more than four-fold in 2014. (Inside Climate News)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Washington Post: New research suggests climate ‘skeptics’ and believers really, really don’t like each other

New York Times: A Fresh Look at the Watery Side of Earth’s Climate Shows ‘Unabated Planetary Warming’

E&E News: Obama seeks to hire more lawyers to fight legal challenges

Desert Sun: Developers, local lawmaker look to 50% clean energy goal

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Source: Center for American Progress Action Fund

 

A new map highlights where every governor in the country stands on climate change and clean energy. (Think Progress)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"'I'm not a scientist' won't be a winner in the presidential field," - Republican strategist Ford O'Connell of the now common response Republican lawmakers and candidates about climate change. (Reuters)

WHAT’S TRENDING

In the courts – The Obama administration told an appeals court that 12 states should not be allowed to preemptively challenge the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

Worse blizzards – Climate change may drive blizzards to be far more severe in the future. (Washington Post)

2014 was hot – British scientists confirm U.S. findings that 2014 was a truly hot year—tied for the warmest on record. (New York Times)

$48 million – That’s how much Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Heisting-Simons family have invested in a Clean Energy Initiative that will fund local, state and national energy stakeholders. (North American Windpower)

Fast Track – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will testify before both houses of Congress today and will push for Fast Track trade authority. Leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance will hold a press call today to talk about why this is a bad idea for workers and the environment. (The Hill)

BLUEGREEN LINKS

Newsweek: Puberty Comes Earlier and Earlier for Girls

Minneapolis Star Tribune: As Midwest warms, its economy will suffer

The Guardian: We should not surrender to climate change

Houston Chronicle: BP witness says spill hasn't caused long-term illness

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The Obama administration today announced its plan to reduce methane emissions by up to 45 percent in the U.S. by 2025. This is an effort we and our partners have been deeply engaged in, including writing a letter to the president, publishing a full-page ad in the Washington Post, and releasing a report about the benefits of tackling methane emissions now to our economy and environment. (Politico)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Our Executive Director Kim Glas applauded the action to set a methane standard saying, “Methane is a potent source of emissions, and taking steps to reduce emissions is a substantial opportunity to put American workers squarely at the forefront of developing, manufacturing, and implementing these technologies—providing high-quality jobs and stimulating local economies. Achieving the reductions announced in this proposal would be a significant step toward realizing the vast potential American workers and technology can deliver to move the U.S. to a clean energy economy.”

WHAT’S TRENDING

Who would've thought? – The freeze on Ohio’s clean energy and energy efficiency law is having a predictably chilling effect on investment in clean energy in the state. (Buscyrus Telegraph-Forum)

Steyer – Climate activist Tom Steyer says Washington needs to be shaken up so the next generation of Americans can get a fair shake. (Huffington Post)

Oil spill cleanup – The EPA has proposed changes to regulations for chemicals used to disperse oil spills, citing lessons learned by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

All in – The solar law passed by Minnesota’s Legislature in 2013 is having a big impact. The latest news is that Ecolab, Inc. will be signing a deal to acquire enough solar energy to offset the electricity used in its Minnesota business operations. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

BLUEGREEN LINKS

The Hill: Obama moves to regulate methane emissions

E&E News: In Wis., renewable energy advocates reluctantly take on underdog role

The Hill: Steyer ‘will decide soon’ on Senate run

The Hill: Obama environmental adviser to resign

The Hill: Greens say House bill would destroy pollution rules

 

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(Yellow icons indicate schools using solar energy) Photo source: SEIA

Across the country, almost 4,000 schools are saving around $77.8 million a year on utility bills through the use of solar energy. (Sustainable Business)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If we look at global temperatures, it is really just eastern North America that is experiencing these colder temperatures during 2014," Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, said during a press call. "So, we really are the exception to the rule across the globe."

WHAT’S TRENDING

Infrastructure boost – Senator Inhofe hints he’s willing to raise the gas tax in order to pay for infrastructure updates. (The Hill)

Sunshine state power play – Solar energy proponents launch a ballot measure for 2016 that would reinvigorate the solar industry and make renewable energy more accessible to consumers. (Tampa Bay Times)

Rolling back renewables – Colorado on the other hand, launches an effort to roll back the state’s renewable energy mandate. (Pueblo Chieftain)

Senate run? Climate activist Tom Steyer mulls over a run for senate after Senator Boxer announced she will not run in 2016. (National Journal)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Reuters: Experts warn governments to plan for climate change migrants

The Oregonian: Oregon needs to adopt a carbon tax: Guest opinion

Albuquerque Journal: Caught wearing the wrong color: Climate change or adaptation?

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