BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

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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)

Interestingly – A new report says that the states that have filed suit and are trying to stop the Clean Power Plan moving forward—like Texas and Oklahoma—are some of the states who would gain the most from its implementation. For example, wind power in Texas continues to grow stronger as more wind farms go live. (New York Times)

Clean energy fund – Illinois will have a new clean energy fund to help clean energy businesses grow. The fund will give startups up to $500,000 in convertible notes in areas like smart-grid technology, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and next-generation transportation. (Sustainable Business)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

National Journal: The Obama Administration Safety Agency At War With Itself

Los Angeles Times: As Washington fires spread, threat of flash flooding rises

The Hill: Green group targets Latinos in clean energy push

Los Angeles Times: Some bumps in the road on the way to a bike-friendly L.A.

Wichita Eagle (KS): Brownback’s office clarifies position on renewable energy standards

Deseret News (UT): Renewable energy advocates decry proposed surcharge for solar panels

Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN): Delay in alerting public to dangerous Williston toxic chemical fire raises concerns

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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 Plan to 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)

No surprise – A global survey on climate change shows that Americans are more divided and doubtful about the issue than people in other leading countries. (CBS News)

Task force – Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Fort Collins, Colorado Mayor Karen Weitkunat talk about the work of the Obama administration’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. (The White House blog)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

New York Times: Washington Mudslide Report Cites Rain, but Doesn’t Give Cause or Assign Blame

Los Angeles Times: Brown signs bill lifting ban against light-rail in San Fernando Valley

The Hill: Climate change hits all Pentagon operations, official says

The Hill: Sen. Murkowski blames Obama for drop in federal land energy production

The Hill: Industry to EPA: Climate rule 'not workable'

Rock River Times (IL): Renewable energy featured at Aug. 23-24 fair in Oregon, Ill.

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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)

Energy star – One manufacturer has asked Congress to ban class-action lawsuits against Energy Star rated products. (New York Times)

Protecting historic sites – Bostonians work to protect sites of historic importance vulnerable to sea level rise and more. (WBGH)

Carbon tax – One Oregonian argues to bring back the carbon tax because it’s the most effective way to combat climate change. (The Oregonian)

Charleston, WV settlement – Attorneys have reached a $2.9 million agreement with Freedom Industries, the company responsible for a chemical spill that contaminated area drinking water for 300,000 residents. (The Hill)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Los Angeles Times: Lake Morena caught in crosshairs of San Diego's water policy

The Guardian: Great Barrier Reef 'in worst state since records began'

The Sentinel: Midstate Profile: Perry County man revamps truck to run solely on electricity

The Sydney Morning-Herald: Climate models on the mark, Australian-led research finds

The Guardian: Missed targets: when companies fail to keep their key sustainability promises

Engineering.com: Students Build Record-Breaking Solar Electric Car

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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)

Nice, Minnesota – Minnesota has emerged as a clean energy leader now as a state that gets more of its power from wind than only four other states. (New York Times)

Water quality – EPA has awarded $2.1 million in grants to 37 organizations to improve water quality in urban settings. (The Hill)

“Secret science” – Eight GOP senators have introduced a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from using undisclosed scientific studies—what they call “secret science”— to justify regulations. (The Hill)

3-D mapping – As part of President Obama’s efforts to arm communities with both the data and the resources to protect against the threat of climate change, he’s announced a new 3-D mapping tool that would help identify flood risks and more. (USA Today)

Lost ground – The Senate in Sydney, Australia voted to repeal the carbon tax, making it the first country to reverse progress on climate change. (New York Times)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

New York Times: U.S. Raises Threat of Quake but Lowers Risk for Towers

WBEZ : In Dayton, Ohio an economic comeback is in the water

Union of Concerned Scientists: Brilliance from Sea to Shining Sea: Which States are the Clean Energy Superstars?

Clean Technica: India Targets 35% Renewable Energy Share In Installed Capacity Mix By 2050

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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)

$2.4 trillion – That’s how much climate-related disasters have cost globally since 1971. (Climate Central)

Undercutting clean water – Yesterday a House committee approved two bills that will weaken EPA’s clean water protections. (The Hill)

Global emissions – A leader in carbon pollution, China is expected to release its own climate protection plan early next year. (UPI)

Banking it – Last year New York launched a “green bank,” a state-run $1 billion fund to help get renewable energy and energy efficiency investments up and running. Now more states are considering similar measures. (National Journal)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

On Earth: Hawaii: Climate Wipeout

The Guardian: The carbon tax is dead and there is nothing credible to take its place

City Lab: The U.S. Has Quietly Made Some Remarkable Advances in Fuel-Efficiency

EcoWatch: How Your Tax Dollars Fund Climate Change Denial

The Hill: Scientists Take Issue With Rupert Murdoch’s Remarks on Climate Change

Science 2.0: What Google Trends Reveals About Republican And Democrat Climate Change Concerns

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Source: Think Progress

Capping off three straight record-breaking months, last month has been recorded as the hottest June globally in the 120 years that have been tracked according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. (Think Progress)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Out of the House – Passed 367-55, members of the House of Representatives last night voted to approve a measure to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from expiring, at least for another year. (The Hill)

Climate change – Today President Obama will be in Montana to announce climate initiatives that will improve the efforts of local cities and towns to protect residents from the effects of climate change. (New York Times)

Case for science – Prominent Florida scientists yesterday attempted to take their case for climate action directly to Governor Rick Scott. (Tampa Bay Times)

Clean energy boom – Globally, clean energy investments have increased to $ 63.6 billion in the second quarter. (Bloomberg)

Selling the farm – Northern states like Michigan are benefiting from a longer growing season by planting record amounts of corn and soybeans. (Michigan Radio)

Green business – Microsoft has expanded its green footprint by announcing its largest ever wind energy purchase, a 175 megawatt facility 60 miles outside of Chicago. (EcoWatch)

Not really a polar vortex – Temperatures up to 25 degrees cooler are blowing through many states this week. (Climate Central)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Texas Tribune: In DFW, Little Traction on Improving Air Quality

USA Today: Taking to the pulpit against climate change

Huffington Post: World Bank Environmental, Social Protections In Need Of Updating, Review Finds

New York Times:When Climate Change Floods Your Heart

The Guardian: History will condemn climate change denialists

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Key: Dark blue = floods. Light blue = mass movement wet. Green = storms. Yellow = drought. Magenta = extreme temperature. Orange = Wildfires Photograph: /WMO

Climate change has already made the world around us five times more dangerous than it was in the 1970s. During the first decade of the 21st century there were 3,496 natural disasters as compared to 743 during the 1970s. (The Guardian)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Clean Power Plan – An independent analysis concludes states are uniquely positioned to take on the policies to limit carbon pollution laid out in the administration’s Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

No long-term transportation plan, but a short-term fix – Senator Wyden reached a deal with Republicans that would prevent the Highway Trust Fund from expiring in a few weeks. (The Hill)

Wildfire funding – Three Republican senators introduced a bill to increase funds for wildfire prevention and firefighting. (The Hill)

It’s electric – China has mandated electric vehicles make up 30 percent of vehicles purchased by the government by 2016. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Auto parts workers – In Selma, Alabama more and more auto parts workers are showing signs of upper respiratory illness such as chronic coughing and asthma. (NBC News). 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Bloomberg: Offshore Wind Deal Boosts Clean Energy Investments by 9%

Time: Global Warming Is Coming, but Climate Hysteria Doesn’t Help Anyone

The Hill: IEA’s van der Hoeven applauds EPA climate rule

Los Angeles Times: Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies

Alaska Dispatch News: Laine Welch: In Prince William Sound, remote-controlled gliders measure ocean acidification

New York Times: Our Bees, Ourselves

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A interim United Nations Climate report shows the worst is not inevitable and the world can keep climate change within acceptable limits. Expanding the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will be key to that success. (ABC Environment)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Funding infrastructure – President Obama and administration officials this week launch an all out campaign this week pressuring Congress to make a deal on the Highway Trust Fund before it expires. (Politico)

Year of action – As part of the president’s “year of action,” he will announce several executive actions this week to better prepare communities to face the impacts of climate change . (The Hill)

Fuel efficiency – Consumer groups call for automakers to include Environmental Protection Agency mileage ratios in ads. (The Hill)

Export-Import Bank – Environmental groups lined up against Senator Manchin’s bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, citing a provision that would undermine the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

Oenophiles note – Australian winemakers adjust their grape-growing traditions as the climate shifts. (New York Times)

Washington State – A wildfire in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has burned 34 square miles and is now 25 percent contained. (USA Today) 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Los Angeles Times: Editorial How California can best fight climate change

New York Times: Envisioning Profit in Environmental Good Works

The Texas Tribune: Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

The Guardian: Seafood guide says five of top 11 species 'unsustainably managed'

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Photo credit: NOAA

It was the hottest May ever . The combined average temperature of land and ocean surfaces was 58.6°F across the world. (Time)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Risk assessment – A bipartisan report gives a big picture view of what might happen to the U.S. economy if we don’t act on climate change. (New York Times)

Trade-off – Senator Harry Reid will hold a vote on blocking EPA’s Clean Power Plan only if a 2015 appropriations package is passed. (The Hill)

Fuel efficient – Consumers with 2014 model cars are estimated to spend $300 less on gas per year than cars made in 2008. These fuel efficient vehicles are selling as fast as ever. (The Hill)

Ruling – In a good ruling issued yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution. (New York Times editorial & Los Angeles Times)

Renewed energy – The Obama administration is renewing efforts to raise awareness about the need to act on climate change. (The Huffington Post)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

The Hill: US mayors pass climate change resolution

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Battery technology grows to meet demands of renewable energy

WUNC: BPA May Make Breast Cancer Cells Resistant To Treatment

Midwest Center: Experts foresee shortages as the nation’s freshwater supply dwindles

Fresno Bee: EDITORIAL: Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility

Time: Illinois Has Slapped a Ban on All Cosmetics Containing Microbeads

New York Times:A Sunken Kingdom Re-emerges

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A new report in North Carolina shows the health benefits of environmental protections to clean up our air. The graphic above shows some of the economic benefits we've seen from reducing pollution since the Clean Air Act was introduced. (Charlotte News Observer)

WHAT’S TRENDING

Climate crash – In a New York Times oped, Henry Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, explains how it’s only a matter of time until climate change causes the next economic recession. (New York Times) 

U.S. mayors – Mayors from across the country are coming together in Texas. They will consider a resolution to call for cities to fight the effects of climate change. (Washington Post)

Energy strategy – In the GOP’s weekly address, Rep. Fred Upton unveiled an alternative energy strategy to President Obama’s efforts to limit carbon pollution. (The Hill) 

Transportation bill – House Speaker Boehner lowers expectations on a Congress doing its job and passing a fully funded transportation funding bill by suggesting a nine to twelve month extension. (The Hill) 

Waters of the U.S. – proposed rule to better protect clean water in ponds, lakes and streams eight years in the making receives opposition from farmers and lawmakers. (The Hill) 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Washington Post: Our survival depends on the health of the oceans

Clean Technica: 100% Renewable Electricity Will Be Achieved In German State Soon

New York Times: At School, Turning Good Food Into Perfectly Good Compost 

Raleigh News and Observer: Duke scientists report air pollution controls linked to lower NC death rates

Nature: Air quality to suffer with global warming

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