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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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One year after the West Virginia chemical spill, area residents can attest to new and improved clean water protections. The question remains, have enough lessons of the spill be learned? (West Virginia Gazette)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“There’s a way to do this, and I think we will get there. But it’s going to be hard,” said Todd Stern the State Department’s special envoy for climate change about the Paris climate negotiations.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Model rule – All states that don’t come up with their own way to meet the Clean Power Plan standards will comply with a general, “model rule,” according to EPA. The agency also announced finalization of the plan will be delayed until this summer. (New York Times & Think Progress)

Expanding renewables in CA – The plan outlined by California Governor Jerry Brown this week could help to reinvigorate the state’s solar and wind energy industries. (Los Angeles Times)

What are perovskites? – The use of a new mineral in solar panels has the potential to transform how we harness this kind of energy. Perovskites—the name of the new material—are still years away from being used. (Bloomberg)

Clean energy innovation - The U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued its open funding solicitations to support up to $125 million in funding for clean energy research and development projects. (Argus)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Richmond Times-Dispatch: In Virginia, more clean energy jobs for veterans

Climate Wire: 'Rock-star pope' intends to amplify his climate message

Courier Post: Wind power project near A.C. down, not out, backers say

NBC News: Henry Cisneros: We're Hitting 'Point Of No Return' On Climate Change

Huffington Post: Survey Finds Doctors Concerned About Impacts Of Climate Change On Patient Health

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The Climate Works For All report was released earlier this week by a coalition of 40 groups including the BlueGreen Alliance. The report lays out 10 measures—including updating stormwater protection systems and investing in the electric grid—that if enacted together could create 40,000 jobs per year in New York City and help protect the city from future climate impacts. (Capital New York & BlueGreen Alliance)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The Peru summit made progress, but the road ahead is long — and hot,” written in a Toledo Blade editorial.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Hat trick – The National Hockey League has made a commitment to go carbon neutral. The first sports league to make such a commitment will meet these goals through a combination of slashing emissions and purchasing carbon offsets. (National Journal)

A higher standard - The Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign called on the state’s leadership to increase the state's renewable energy standard up to 40 percent by 2030 and also increase the state's energy savings goal. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

On climate change – EPA head Gina McCarthy urges extreme weather is building the a case for climate action, saying "This is about their own jobs, their own health, their own kids." (USA Today)

In orbit – A satellite that’s been in orbit since July has begun to send back data on carbon emissions. (Climate Central)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

The Hill: House GOP creates energy, EPA oversight panel

Minnesota Star Tribune: Groups lay out their legislative wish lists

Reuters: Climate change could cut world food output 18 percent by 2050

National Journal: White House Floats New Climate Guidelines for Energy, Infrastructure Development

Become a LEEDer: The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation is teaming up with RMC Green Building Training to provide several online Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) courses. To sign up or view the course options, click here .

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Iowa could add about 1,300 more advanced energy jobs next year according to the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. This year, 22,643 workers at 1,427 companies worked in advanced energy fields. (Des Moines Register)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If I'm mayor of Miami, we know about hurricanes, we know about outages and our system has been adapted for it. But if I'm mayor of Philadelphia, I might say, 'Whoa, we need to be doing more about this,'" said power grid researcher Seth Guikema.

WHAT’S TRENDING

$500 million – That’s how much the sale of carbon credits in North America has brought in through auctions in the past month. (Clean Technica)

Primary protection - The White House yesterday issued recommendations to help hospitals cope with climate change. They include plans for power outages and moving emergency rooms further from flood-prone areas. (USA Today)

Worldwide momentum – Next month when President Obama visits India, the leaders of both countries are expected to make some announcements on preventing climate change. (The Guardian)

3.6 degrees – Negotiators in Lima settled on a plan to prevent the globe from warming 3.6 degrees. It represents 2 degrees centigrade above global average temperature at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Where did that number come from? (New York Times)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Reuters: Paris climate summit faces tougher job after modest Lima deal

Think Progress: 9 Things Scientists Did This Year To Ensure A Better Climate Future

Los Angeles Times: California leaders vow to continue climate change action

Energy Wire: Coal-heavy electric cooperatives take hard line on EPA Clean Power Plan

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A majority of voters support efforts to curb methane emissions. According to a new poll, 63 percent of registered voters back standards for methane emissions and action by the administration. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a matter of doing our job, the job that Congress gave us to do. Environmental issues have never been, in the past, partisan issues,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy after the House had passed a budget that cut EPA funding.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Warmer air, warmer water – Slightly warmer air temperatures have had the ripple effect of raising water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay for example. Water temperatures have warmed about 2 degrees in the last 50 years in bay tributaries. (Washington Post)

Successful block – A deal to fund the government from Congress has weakened some of the administration’s energy and environment programs. Democrats successfully blocked some of the worst riders proposed to undercut these initiatives. (U.S. News)

What’s happening in Lima – Yesterday in Lima thousands gathered for a climate march to call for strong action out of the COP20. (TckTckTck)

Community solar – Community solar projects are allowing people to utilize solar power without putting panels on their roofs. Instead, customers can purchase blocks of electricity they produce. (Arizona Republic)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Politico - How Green Is Barack Obama?

Huffington Post: It's Time to Put a Price on Carbon

National Journal: Bill Nye the Science Guy Says James Inhofe Is Not a ‘Climate Skeptic'

Reuters: In about face, Australia PM joins global climate fund

New York Times: Copenhagen Lighting the Way to Greener, More Efficient Cities

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The president’s 2015 budget and the State of the Union will both reflect the growing need to address infrastructure shortfalls and electric grid vulnerability, said senior counselor John Podesta at a smart grid industry gathering yesterday.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The United States is leading by example; now is the time for others to step up. The decisions made over the next few weeks must work to lay a foundation for further international action to significantly reduce carbon emissions and to help keep America’s manufacturing sector on a level playing field,” said Kim Glas, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director about negotiations in Lima this week and next.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Power of the pen – The president and his advisers double down on their commitment to using executive authority to meet carbon reduction goals. (Think Progress)

Textbook tension – Controversy heats up as Texas shapes the future of its climate curriculum and how climate change is taught in classrooms. (National Journal)

Confirmed – Yesterday the Senate confirmed two nominees to fill spots at the Department of Energy. (The Hill)

Watered down – With hopes of progress during the remaining days of the lame duck session, two senators introduce a watered down version of Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill . (The Hill)

 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Washington Post: Research casts alarming light on decline of West Antarctic glaciers

E&E News: Van Hollen to co-chair bicameral warming caucus

New York Times: Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Pares Back Environmental Rules

The Hill: Transportation sector gains 16,700 jobs in November

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As negotiators roll up their sleeves in Lima to map out a worldwide climate action plan, these are the eight climate change indicators guiding the outcomes of Lima and a finalized agreement in Paris. (Climate Central)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The preservation of a clean Lake Erie—and the economic advantages and public-health standards that depend on it—is too crucial to be subject to the standard legislative nonsense during the lame-duck session,” written in a Toledo Blade editorial about legislation to address this summer’s algae blooms in Lake Erie.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Good news & bad news - Yesterday the U.S. House approved legislation to extend a wind energy tax credit. Rather than looking forward, the bill approves the tax retroactively for 2014. The tax package faces Senate scrutiny still. (Reuters)

Super cities – Minneapolis, along with 15 other cities, was named a "Climate Action Champion" by the White House yesterday. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Warm & getting warmer – Preliminary estimates show that 2014 is on pace to be one of the hottest on record. (CNN)

Stormproofing cities – The Rockefeller Foundation moves to prioritize funding for projects that sustainably protect cities in the face of natural disasters. New York City’s subway system—that carries 8.5 million people—is especially vulnerable. (The Guardian & Business Insider)

Dire situation – Toledo’s mayor calls for executive action to help Lake Erie and the city take on the problems that caused an algal bloom. The bloom caused the city to shutdown its water supply for 48 hours this summer, affecting thousands of residents. (E&E News)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

U.S. News & World Report: Obama Wants Kids to Learn About Global Warming

EcoWatch: ALEC Gives Congressional Climate Deniers Their 2015 Marching Orders

Bloomberg: Landrieu Warns Louisiana Not to Let 'Windmills and Alternative Energy' Supporter Rise in Energy Committee

NPR: World Climate Talks In Lima Aim To Move Beyond Kyoto Treaty

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 Photo source: Munich Re America

According to a new poll out by the world’s largest reinsurance firm, national sentiment on climate change has reached a tipping point. Today eight out of 10 Americans believe the climate is changing. (USA Today)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"El mundo nos espera," said Peru's Manuel Pulgar Vidal, the presiding officer at the U.N. climate talks in Lima. "El mundo no espera que fallemos." "The world awaits us. The world does not expect us to fail."

WHAT’S TRENDING

221 – That’s the number of businesses across the U.S. that support the Clean Power Plan. The group includes companies such as IKEA and Nike. (The Hill)

Climate talks – Negotiators in Lima pressure the U.S. to raise its commitment beyond the existing 28 percent emissions reductions. (BNA)

East Coast’s canary – As barrier islands on the Eastern Seaboard see thinning beaches and increasingly vulnerable dunes, Assateague Island in Maryland provides a case study in good preparation. (Washington Post)

Energy mix – Montana’s governor urges the Obama administration to spend more to improve coal plant technologies while at the same time paving the way to expand wind power capacity. (Great Falls Tribune)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Washington Post: Tea Partiers and traditional Republicans are split on science

New York Times: The Next Big Climate Question: Will India Follow China?

The Guardian: Lima climate talks: EU and US at odds over legally binding emissions targets

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Climate change threatens many animal species, especially during the winter. For example a hares’ coat change could eventually be off with the timing of snow melt by as much as eight weeks, making them especially vulnerable to predators. (Time)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This rule has the potential to create and maintain quality, family-sustaining jobs if it is done right. For that to happen, the private sector, including utilities, and all levels of government must work in tandem with communities—and the workers within them—to make the rule a success," said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas in a statement released with our comments on the Clean Power Plan. 

WHAT’S TRENDING

1.6 million – That’s how many comments were submitted during EPA’s comment period on the Clean Power Plan, up until November 18. EPA will also hear state concerns about the plan. Here's what we said about the Clean Power Plan. (MarketWatch, E&E News & BlueGreen Alliance)

Lima – Negotiators in Lima set their sights on hammering out an ambitious draft agreement ahead of the Paris talks in the spring. U.S. officials express support for a plan where nations determine their own voluntary emissions targets. (Houston Chronicle & Los Angeles Times)

Shot in the arm – A new report called Power of Wind lays out the impact of the wind industry on manufacturing and U.S. jobs. (Clean Technica)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

San Francisco Chronicle: It’s time to make California’s chemical warnings meaningful

Capital New York: Slow going, so far, on ambitious state renewables plan

Bloomberg News: George Shultz Gone Solar. Now That's a Sign of Thawing in the U.S. Climate Debate

Scientific American: Rooftop Solar Cost Competitive with the Grid in Much of the U.S.

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