BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

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Check out The Ally from the BlueGreen Alliance — news through a BlueGreen lens. 

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Cleveland Conference focuses on "Making it Here." Making it Here in Cleveland, OH on July 11-12 will focus on how we can build a cleaner energy future right here in America. Whether you are a clean energy advocate, business owner interested in expanding into the clean energy supply chain, a student, or a legislator or staff, don't miss this exciting and informative event today! Sign up today and use discount code BGAF to get a special, discounted rate of $375 for both days (this price excludes the optional dinner cruise). Register now.

BGA UPDATES

A Call for safer chemicals. It’s time we put people first, it’s time we put public safety first. Read more.

Unemployment numbers should drive movement in Congress. This is a warning sign that gridlock in Congress over job creation initiatives cannot continue. Read more.

BGAers testify in favor of greenhouse gas limits in new power plants. While some try to say that there has to be a choice between having a clean environment or jobs, this is simply not the case. Read more.

Time to get transportation bill done. It has been 959 days and counting and nine short-term extensions since Congress last passed a long-term transportation solution for America.Read more. 

BGA BLOGS 

Karl Rove said what? In a rare show of bipartisanship, political advisor Karl Rove came out in support of the Production Tax Credit for the wind industry, “We need conservative Republicans, who can say, ‘This means jobs to my district...’” Read more.

American jobs at stake if Production Tax Credit not renewed. Every day of uncertainty for the (wind) industry is causing more delayed projects and more layoffs.  Read more.

Green schools around country recognized. When students at 78 schools return to school next fall, they will see a new plaque in the award case. Read more.

A lot has happened since 2005. Since the passage of the transportation bill — which has now been extended in the short-term 10 times by Congress — a lot has happened. For example, Nicholas Cage has acted in 19 movies since 2005. Join our Twitter crusade by pointing out other nuggets of information and using the hashtag #stillwaiting.  Read more.

Labor victories.  Recapping Labor’s victories so far and the many important stories yet to be told.  Read more. 

TAKE ACTION

Tell The EPA You Support Greenhouse Gas Standards for New Power Plants
President Obama and the EPA recently proposed a pollution standard for new power plants, which requires them to be built cleaner and more energy efficient than existing plants. Submit a comment to the EPA supporting this new standard.

LEGISLATIVE NEWS 

House threatens transportation alternatives. It doesn’t make sense to take away the tiny portion of transportation dollars that trickle to local governments.  Read more.

The gridlock won’t stop. Consistently, this Congress has taken weeks or months to pass even simple, common-sense proposals – proposals that would previously have passed in minutes.  Read more.

Obama administration pans House energy and water bill.The administration said last week that increases in the (Energy and Water) bill would have to be offset by unacceptable and deeper spending cuts elsewhere.  Read more.

Shortsighted view of green jobs tally. Unfortunately, this committee seems more intent on challenging the methodologies used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics rather than helping the people back to work.  Read more.

What’s in your child’s shampoo? In the case of lindane, the cure is worse than disease.  Read more.

Time to reform our toxic chemical laws. It’s shocking that toxic chemicals end up in everyday consumer products, and in our bodies, without anyone proving that they are safe.  Read more. 

ADMINISTRATION NEWS 

An effort to brighten bulb company’s future. The investments announced today will help expand lighting choices for consumers, reduce the nation’s energy use, and drive down costs for American lighting manufacturers.  Read more.

Clean coal promoted. Advancing the development of clean coal technologies is an important part of President Obama’s strategy to develop every source of American energy.  Read more.

Reducing waste. Standards also encourage refineries to recover gas that can be used as fuel to power equipment at the refinery.  Read more.

U.S. imposes duties on Chinese wind turbines. The Commerce Department announced duties on towers for wind turbines. Read more.

East coast could be home to offshore wind energy surge.The area off of Massachusetts has tremendous energy generation potential.  Read more.

Strengthening advanced manufacturing. A new administration challenge further bolsters our efforts and builds on the momentum we have seen in the manufacturing sector in recent months.  Read more.

PARTNER NEWS

USW: What’s at stake when we choose a restaurant?  Read more.

NWF: The Deep Cuts in the Budget Control Act. If this bill were to become law, it would be a major step backwards both for America’s economy and its wildlife.  Read more.

CWA: The one percent can reach into just about every aspect of our political lives. And that must be stopped.  Read more.

Sierra Club: House Republicans will tirelessly rehash ways to put the agenda of big polluters before the needs of their constituents.  Read more.

NRDC: Despite a statutory mandate to ensure the safety of animal drugs, the FDA has done shockingly little to address these risks.  Read more.

Union of Concerned Scientists: Corporations' increased ability to influence policy should come with an increased responsibility to let the public know how they are doing so. Read more.

BGA on AFT: Training today is preparing students for 21st century jobs tomorrow.  Read more.

BGA on AFT: How AFT is Teaching Sustainability.Read more.

CLEAN ENERGY NEWS

The relationship between fine particulate matter pollution and premature mortality is well established.  Read more.

Smart meters have changed the way we interact with our customers.  Read more.

Mass transit is up, it's nationwide and ridership is soaring.  Read more.

 Along with an increased use of renewables, efficiency and growing self-generation are driving corporate energy strategy discussions.  Read more.

CLIMATE CORNER

If current trends continue, if current patterns of production and consumption of national resources prevail and cannot be reversed and 'decoupled', then governments will preside over "unprecedented levels of damage and degradation.  Read more.

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BGA Updates

BlueGreen Alliance to testify in EPA rules hearing
Representatives from the BlueGreen Alliance will be present to testify in support of the newly-introduced Environmental Protection Agency New Source Performance Standard (NSPS), setting the first ever carbon emissions standards for newly built power plants. The hearings will take place on Thursday, May 24; keep on eye out for BGA updates on the proceedings! 

BlueGreen Alliance emphasizes clean energy and manufacturing in ‘To-Do” list
President Obama announced the Administration’s 'To Do' list for Congress to complete before summer recess. Among the critical policy measures are extending clean energy and advanced manufacturing tax provisions vital to maintaining the job growth from those industries. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance urges SF transit to support American jobs
In an effort to put Americans back to work and improve the city’s public transportation services, the BlueGreen Alliance sent a letter to San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors in support of Alstom Transportation’s bid to provide 775 new cars. BART moved foward with the bid from another company that had less American content. Read more. 

Good Jobs, Green Jobs pulls into the finish line at Detroit
The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference wrapped up its fourth and final 2012 regional event in Detroit, Michigan. Check out the highlights here

BGA Blogs

Responsible Private Equity Investors Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing
Green Files: Chevy Cruze - Creating Good Jobs in Ohio
Congressional Transportation Conference Committee Begins - watch the first hearing here
A Revival Is Afoot In American Manufacturing
From NRDC: Musicians, Forest Industry, Labor, and Environmental groups take stand against bills to undercut U.S. efforts to address illegal logging
From Sierra Club: Club Teams Up With Labor & Faith Groups for Pennsylvania May Day Rally
From AFT: AFT Members Preparing Students for Renewable Energy Careers at Madison College
From CWA/SpeedMatters: New Report Touts Broadband as the Backbone of Business and Economic Recovery 

Take Action

Protect the Environment, Create Economic Growth
Time to Hit the Gas on Transportation Reauthorization
Tell Congress to Pass Clean Energy Tax Credits
Support Workers and the Environment: Oppose the USDA's Poultry Inspection Rule 

Partner News

CWA: Real Rules Reform Needed in US Senate
NRDC: 'Going Green' Awards celebrates leaders and innovators in the field of sustainable food and agriculture
UCS: UCS Launches the Center for Science and Democracy
USW: USW Blasts House Bill for Weakening DOE Worker Safety
UAW: Statement by UAW President Bob King on President Obama's 'to do list' for job creation 

Clean Energy News

Cleveland.com:  Cuyahoga County is creating jobs while saving energy
Governors Wind Energy Coalition: Leaked memo on anti-wind campaign disputed
MarketWatch: Alcoa Groundbreaking Launches $90 million Aluminum Lithium Operation
Environmentalleader.com: International Paper Expects to Meet 12 Sustainability Goals by 2020
Site Selection: Napoleon's Solar Campaign 

Legislative News

May 17 – Senate committee considers Clean Energy Standard
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, an effort to promote low carbon technologies and electricity generation from a market-based approach. Read more here

May 15 – Senate approves Export-Import Bank reauthorization
The Senate passed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the lending authority responsible for promoting the sale of US goods and services abroad and supporting 290,000 export-related jobs. Read more. 

May 15 – IL Senator calls for TSCA reform
In light of a report uncovering the use of purposeless and toxic flame retardant chemicals in household products, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin pointed to the importance of a modernized Toxic Substances Control Act and consumer protections found in the Safe Chemicals ActRead more. 

May 10 – Congressmen introduce fossil fuel subsidy repeals
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison unveiled the End Polluter Welfare Act aimed at saving over $110 billion dollars in federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Read more here. 

Administration News

May 18 – Administration announces tariff on Chinese solar panels
The Department of Commerce announced new tariffs on Chinese made solar panels after the Administration found that companies were flooding US markets with government-subsidized products. Read more. 

May 14 – EPA and Commerce create new green tech job portal
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Commerce have joined forces to launch an environmental technology initiative aimed at connecting companies with US government support activities in this growing field. Read more. 

May 14 – DOI takes next steps on Atlantic offshore wind backbone
The Department of Interior announced a “no competitive interest” finding for the Atlantic Wind Connection, the proposed offshore wind transmission backbone off the eastern seaboard. The project must pass an environmental review before being granted a ‘right-of-way’ for construction. Read more. 

May 10 – EPA updates Clean Air Standards for gas stations      
As newer energy efficient engine technologies penetrate the market place, emission-capturing technologies employed in gas station terminals have been rendered obsolete. The Environmental Protection Agency has removed the regulation on gas stations, projected to save thousands of dollars each year. Read more. 

Climate Corner

G-8 Leaders reaffirm climate change and the need for immediate action
Representatives from countries comprising the “Group of Eight” — the major eight economies of the world — met at Camp David to discuss the European debt crisis among other current economic and political issues. Agreements on the importance of man-made climate change and the effects of extreme weather were a major outcome in the meeting’s declaration. Read more.

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BGA Updates 

BlueGreen Alliance presses transportation bill benfits in light of March job numbers
In April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 115,000 jobs were created, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.1%. The BlueGreen Alliance is urging swift passage of the Senate version of the transportation reauthorization bill, a two-year bill that will put millions back to work.  Read more. 

Good Jobs Green Jobs fourth regional conference revs its engine in Detroit
The final of four regional Good Jobs Green Jobs Conferences will take place this week in Detroit, focused on creating good jobs that are good for our environment.  Read more and find out how to get involved here!

Take Action!

Protect the Environment, Create Economic Growth Support the Clean Air Standard Today

Tell Congress to Pass Clean Energy Tax Credits

Support Workers and the Environment: Oppose the USDA's Poultry Inspection Rule

Pass the Senate Transportation Bill

BGA Blogs

Oregon's Smart Choice

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Lineup Behind Production Tax Credit

A Day to Celebrate Working People

Starting a Ruck.US at BlueGreen Alliance

Workplace Fatalities Up in 2010

We all want the same thing here; now, let’s find solutions

How We’re Producing Blue Ribbon Students in Green Ribbon Schools

End the Delays Deadly to Workers

From UFCW: The Nation: New Rules Mean New Hardship for Poultry Workers

From NRDC: Getting into the Green Zone: New York City Adopts Zoning Amendments to Further Promote Green Buildings

From Sierra Club: President Obama Puts Clean Energy At the Top of the List

From National Journal: Debunking a false premise

From CWA: FCC Backs Rural Internet Connectivity with $300 Million Fund

From SEIU: We Remember The Dead And Fight Like Hell For The Living!

Partner Updates

NRDC: Ambitious Solar Program in India Driving Prices to Impressive Lows

UCS: Logging and the Law: How the U.S. Lacey Act Helps Reduce Illegal Logging in the Tropics (2012)

UAW: It's time for action on Workers Memorial Day

ATU: Highway bill enters congressional homestretch

Clean Energy Business News

MarketWatch: IP Announces 100% Recycled Paper for North American Customers

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities: Green Roof Industry Aggressively Grows 115% in 2011 Washington DC First Time Market Leader

Reuters: South Korea approves carbon trading scheme

Recharge: US governors add support for extension of wind tax incentives

Mass High Tech: Maine utilities commission OKs tidal energy contracts

Renewable Energy World: Latin America Report: Mexico Climate Law Takes Shape

AOL Energy: 'Clash of the Titans': California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Battle

Car and Driver: Eight Automakers Working with SAE on Combined Charging System to Consolidate All Types of EV Charging

Legislative Updates

May 3 ­– Congressman Markey requests Arctic climate change hearing
In response to well-documented loss of sea ice in the Artic circle due to climate change, Representative Ed Markey sent a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, urging a hearing on national security concerns over economic expansion into the region. Read more.

April 27 – Democrats introduce clean energy, manufacturing bill
House Democrats introduced the Incentivizing the Production of American Clean Energy and Technology (IMPACT) Act, aimed at ending subsidies for large oil companies and preserving integral tax programs supporting clean energy and advanced manufacturing. Read more.

April 26 – Senate committee holds hearing on weatherizing the national grid
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on securing America’s electrical grid and transmission capabilities against severe weather threats. Read more.

April 26 – Transportation bill set to be conferenced
Having passed two very different transportation reauthorization bills, the Senate and House of Representatives scheduled the first meeting to hopefully combine the two into an effective, job-creating package. Read more.

April 26 – Senate committee passes new farm bill
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, consolidating conservation programs and funding for rural energy and biomass programs. Read more.

April 25 – 2013 energy and water budget passed
The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY13 annual funding for the Department of Energy and other related agencies and programs.  The bill cuts funding for major clean energy programs and is $965 million below President Obama’s requested funding levels. Read more.

April 24 – Senate rejects anti-union Defense of American Workers Act
The Senate defeated a measure making unionizing efforts more difficult and overturning a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.  Senate Democrats unanimously defeated the bill. Read more.

Administrative Updates

May 2 – New natural gas techniques unlock reserves in sea-beds and underground arctic
A joint effort between the U.S. and Japan has proved successful in recovering methane hydrate, a crystalline water structure capturing methane molecules, found in numerous geological formations around the world. Read more.

May 1 – EPA takes next steps in implementing 2008 ozone standards
The Environmental Protection Agency announced it was working to identify areas that do or do not meet standards for ground level ozone pollution, also known as smog. Areas identified in 2008 as below standard are almost all meeting the 75 parts per billion standard. Read more. As the 2012 summer smog season gets under way, check out these tools from the EPA on staying safe 

May 1 – EPA to monitor unregulated contaminants in water supply
The Environmental Protection Agency will partner with approximately 6,000 national public water systems to monitor contaminants not listed under the Safe Drinking Water Act between 2013 and 2015, identifying 28 chemicals and two viruses on which it will be collecting data. Read more.

Climate Corner

Rising sea levels and shrinking coastline mean drastic steps – lessons to be learned from Alaska
Climate change is inducing higher and higher sea levels, threating coastal communities.  For the inhabitants of Newtok, Alaska, that prospect has become a reality. Lacking government support for adaptation and relocation measures, the community organized its own relocation effort. This sort of displacement has been dubbed: “Climigration”.  Read more.

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BlueGreen Alliance Updates

BlueGreen Alliance congratulates Green Ribbon Schools
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley today announced the Department of Education’s first-ever Green Ribbon Schools at an elementary school in Washington, D.C. Read more.

BlueGreen Alliance breaks down EPA’s new carbon rules
The standard will require new plants to emit fewer greenhouse gases, or carbon pollution, into the air when they operate. This means new plants will be built cleaner and more energy efficient than current plants. Read it here.
 

Take Action

Tell Congress to Pass Clean Energy Tax Credits

Support Workers and the Environment: Oppose the USDA's Poultry Inspection Rule

Pass the Senate Transportation Bill 

Interested in volunteering at Good Jobs Green Jobs in Detroit, Michigan?

The final Good Jobs, Green Jobs Regional Conference is happening in Detroit May 10-11. Read more about opportunities here.

BGA Blogs 

Two Years Later (Read more on the Deepwater Horizon Spill Anniversary here and here)

USDA's Game of Chicken

AFL-CIO’s Housing Investment Trust (HIT) Creating Competitive Returns and Thousands of Jobs

Partner News

April 19 – ATU urges maintaining key Senate transportation bill provisions

April 18 – Sierra Club applauds new EPA natural gas, clean air protections

April 18 – NRDC on the second anniversary of BP explosion and progress thus far

April 17 – SEIU rallies on tax day, demand all pay their share            

April 12 – UCS report on electric vehicle emissions savings

Clean Energy News

Cogeneration: International Paper, Green Wood develop biomass plantation in Poland

Brookings: Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech On a Path To Subsidy Independence

Sacramento Bee: Report: Q1 Clean Energy Announcements Could Lead To 46,000 Jobs In 42 States 

Legislative News

April 19 – House passes next transportation bill with eyes on Senate conference
The House of Representatives passed the tenth extension of current transportation policy, allowing a long-term reauthorization of federal transportation programs to move forward. This newest House version is intended to be conferenced with a bipartisan Senate transportation bill, but contains controversial items such as a preventing the EPA from regulating coal ash and lax environmental review processes. Read more

April 18 – Senate Committee addresses rising sea levels
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee convened a hearing on the impact on energy and water infrastructure from rising sea levels due to climate change. Read more. 

April 18 – House looks at economic, efficiency benefits from waterway transport
Witnesses from the Army Corps of Engineers and transport and commerce groups testified on how waterway investments increase efficiency and economic competitiveness. Read more. 

April 17 – Democrat introduced debt reduction, increase gas tax
Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad has initiated a markup of the Bowles-Simpson plan, prescribing long-term debt reduction, including among other provisions, a 15-cent increase in the price of gasoline beginning in 2013. Read more.

April 16 – Buffet Rule fails in Senate
Senate Republicans voted down the “Buffet Rule,” otherwise known as the Paying a Fair Share Act, aimed at closing tax loopholes. Read more. 

Administration News

April 22 – The White House on Earth Day
A Presidential Proclamation was issued on Earth Day celebrating the advances in environmental stewardship and conservation since the first Earth Day more than 40 years ago. Read more.
 
April 18 – EPA updates rules for oil and natural gas
The Environmental Protection Agency updated its achievable air pollution standards for oil and natural gas, specifically fractured gas, which is aimed at reducing implementation costs of proven, effective control technologies for natural gas. The EPA reports that these technologies are already in use in around half of current facilities. Read more. 

April 18 – Obama calls for crackdown on oil price speculation
President Obama urged Congress to provide an additional $52 million in funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to increase oversight of oil speculators linked to inflating the price at the pump. Read more.

April 16 – EPA publishes National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
The Environmental Protection Agency released its report of total emissions for 2010, showing a 3.2 increase in overall emissions. Read more.

April 16 – FERC approves LNG export facility in Louisiana
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the construction and operation of a facility in Louisiana, sparking a debate around the consequences of export infrastructure for liquid national gas (LNG), including the exporting jobs, inflating prices of domestic natural gas, and reaching an energy export goal set by the President. Read more. 

April 13 – White House issues Executive Order for natural gas production
The Obama Administration announced an Executive Order promoting interagency collaboration for the safe, efficient and responsible development of natural gas resources in the United States. The initiative received considerable support from natural gas industry groups.Read more. 

April 13 – Greenhouse Gas emissions standards published in Federal Register
The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency were published in the Federal Register, setting off the sixty-day comment period. Read more.
 

Climate Corner

New research shows U.S. recognition of extreme weather and climate change
A study performed by George Mason University and Yale University revealed that more and more Americans are “connecting the dots” between unusual and increasing destructive weather patterns and climate change.  Read more here.

Posted In: The Ally

BlueGreen Alliance News

BlueGreen Alliance on March jobs numbers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 120,000 jobs were added in March, including 37,000 jobs in manufacturing, with the unemployment dropping to 8.2 percent. While these numbers are promising, the need for long-term investments in the clean economy that add critical jobs is still very real. Read more.

BlueGreen Alliance on the passing of Mark Ayers
AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark H. Ayers passed away, leaving behind a legacy as a proactive labor leader and tireless supporter of the clean economy. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance rallies support for carbon emissions rules in Pennsylvania
Joined by members of environmental and labor leaders around the state, as well as Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, the BlueGreen Alliance touted the benefits for Pennsylvania of limiting carbon emissions from new power plants. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance admonishes House to stop transportation bill delay, create jobs
The House of Representatives opted for a short-term extension for a surface transportation reauthorization and passed the FY13 budget plan introduced by Congressman Paul Ryan. But both plans fail to actually help create jobs and increase our nation’s competitiveness. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance applauds new clean air protections
The Environmental Protection Agency announced its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), regulating carbon emissions from new power plants, a measure the BlueGreen Alliance stands behind and believes will move our country in a more efficient direction. Read more.

BlueGreen Alliance leads Michigan transportation infrastructure discussion
Jobs21! Co-chair and former Michigan Congressman Mark Schauer led a round table on the economic benefits, specifically construction job creation, of transportation in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance: “Jobs of the clean economy are critical to our nation’s prosperity”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a new analysis of green jobs for 2010, reporting 3.1 million jobs were associated with the production of green goods and services. Read more. 

Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference makes its third regional stop in Philadelphia
The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference continues its cross-country tour highlighting the latest in the dialogue surrounding our nation’s green economy. Read more. Check out green jobs numbers for Pennsylvania.

BlueGreen Alliance Blogs

Mass Transit’s National Day of Action Exposes Congressional Inaction on Transportation

A Sad Anniversary for American Workers

How Dow Chemical Could Avoid Laying Off 900 Workers

Lessons from Germany

Restoring Worker Equity in the U.S. Economy

A Star-Studded Lineup at Good Jobs, Green Jobs East in Philly

Investments in Infrastructure & Clean Energy Yield Solid Returns

Clean Energy Business News

Policy Matters Ohio: County Council approves Emerald Cities partnership: Energy efficiency, workforce opportunities among goals

PR Newswire: Most People Oppose Bailouts, but a Sizable Plurality of the Public Believes that the 2009 Bailout of the Car Industry Helped the Economy

Center for American Progress: Taking Action on Clean Energy and Climate Protection in 2012

Offshore Wind Wire: Maryland Offshore Wind Bill Dies In Committee

MarketWatch.com: International Paper Named to 2012 World's Most Ethical Company List for Sixth Straight Year by The Ethisphere Institute

Bloomberg: Germany Cuts Solar Aid to Curb Prices, Panel Installations

E&E News: E.U. carbon trading continues to drown in allowances

Reuters: Total's battle to plug gas leak hit by rough seas 

BGA Partner Updates

March 30 – NRDC: The FDA “has failed to protect our health and safety”, BPA

March 29 – ATU: House punting transportation reauthorization for “spring break”

March 27 – Sierra Club applauds new EPA regulations

March 27 – NWF: “This is a milestone in the fight to rein in climate change”

March 27 – UCS points to lower emissions and more jobs through EPA rules

March 27 – SEIU calls for support for Progressive Caucus FY13 budget

March 26 – USW announces "Union Co-Op" model

March 21 – UAW opposes Ryan budget attack on middle class 

Legislative Updates

April 5 ­– House Dems Committee looks into gas prices
The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee convened a hearing on the role of oil speculators on Wall Street driving up prices for Main Street. Read more. 

March 30 – Obama signs 90-day surface transportation reauthorization extension
After the House failed to act on a Senate-passed, two-year extension for transportation and infrastructure project funding, a brief extension was passed quickly by both houses before recess and signed in time to keep current projects funded. House GOP members however continue to delay any long term, productive solution. Read more. 

March 29 – Senate votes down end to oil and gas industry subsidies
A bill to end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies failed in the Senate 51-47, short of the 60 votes required for passage. Read more. 

March 28 – House committee holds hearing on gas prices and energy
The House Energy and Commerce Committee discussed GOP legislative approaches to lowering gas prices through drilling and deregulation. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy defended the agencies New Source Performance Standards and other public health protections. Read and watch more. 

Administration Updates

April 8 – USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood notes record transit ridership as gas prices pinch people’s pocketbook, and what the department is doing to respond to increased demand for transit options. Read more. 

April 6 – DOE to provide funding for bio-based fuel additives
The Department of Energy announced up to $15 million in funding for biologically-derived supplements to petroleum as part of the Administration’s effort to reduce the volume of imported foreign oil as well as create innovative American jobs. Read more. 

April 5 – EPA and Marathon Petroleum join forces
The Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with Marathon Petroleum Company, based in Ohio, to implement state-of-the-art emissions controls utilized in its refinery flares. The initiative is projected to reduce 5,400 tons of pollution and produce savings for the company's bottom line.Read more.

March 30 – Administration initiative to develop offshore wind in Great Lakes region
The Obama Administration reached an agreement with five states bordering the Great Lakes region to develop policies to streamline wind generation siting along the “fresh coast”. Read more.

March 27 – EPA announces first ever carbon pollution standard
The Environmental Protection Agency took a landmark step in releasing rules for the allowed emissions of new power plants. The New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) follows a 2007 Supreme Court ruling mandating carbon reduction under the Clean Air Act. The measure also spurs innovation in American-made emissions reductions technologies and illuminates a path forward for companies to continue using coal. Read more.  

March 22 – President announces funding for advanced materials
Speaking at The Ohio State University, President Obama announced $14.2 million in new funding for the development of lightweight, high-strength materials for vehicle applications. In addition, $35 million in pursuit of advanced biofuels, bio-products and bio-energy was also announced. Read more here and here. 

March 21 – White House releases USA-made energy fact sheet
The Obama Administration outlined its focus on American-made energy, putting support and funding behind infrastructure, biofuels, advanced materials and smart grid policies. Read more. 

March 20 – EPA proposes limit to new uses for harmful chemicals
The Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed requirements for companies to disclose new uses for chemicals categorized as potentially harmful, under the Significant New Use Rules (SNUR), a component of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Read more. 

Climate Corner

March 27 – Food supply one more factor in climate change debate
The New York Times reports on necessary measures to adapt to global food shortages as a result of climate change, as well as resulting increased prices. Climate change and warming seasons have been linked to the supply disruption, which, along with waste management, consumption patterns and agricultural sustainability, among others factors, need to be addressed. Read more.

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BlueGreen Alliance Updates

BlueGreen Alliance applauds Senate passage of transportation reauthorization
A long awaited transportation bill has finally passed the Senate and awaits House consideration. The bill provides $109 million in funding over two years and maintains important transit and environmental programs. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance disappointed in clean energy tax extension failure
Hoping to find a home in the ever-changing transportation bill, a package of tax extenders vital to ensure growth of clean energy industries was voted down in the Senate. Read more. 

BlueGreen Alliance encourages further transition to fuel efficient American vehicles
Remarking after President Obama’s visit to a Daimler truck plant in North Carolina as a part of the “EV-Everywhere” challenge, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster called for furthering supportive government policies. Read more. 

Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference comes to Los Angeles
The BlueGreen Alliance touched down in California for the second of four regional Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conferences, bringing together leaders in the green economy such as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Representative Xavier Becerra. Read more on the conference and green jobs numbers in California. 

Passage of Safe Chemicals Act in Congress would create jobs, save lives
USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton on how passing the Safe Chemicals Act would create jobs in Michigan and improve protections for workers and families. Read more. 

BGA Blogs

New Report Shows Solar Industry Growth is on a Breakaway

How the Senate Bolstered Buy America Provisions

The Week in Congress: The Transportation Bill is Back from a Short Detour

Failing to extend clean energy tax incentives threatens our economic recovery

Manufacturing Plays Pivotal Role in Export Strategy

Atlanta Mayor Joins Heartland Forum to Urge Investments in Sustainable Economy 

Connect with us! Twitter, Facebook  & YouTube 

Partner News

March 14 – ATU applauds passage of strong transportation bill, urges House to follow suit

March 13 –
USW backs Administration’s efforts to end China’s illegal rare earth export restraints

March 13 –
NRDC praises passage of bipartisan Senate transportation bill

March 9 – SEIU: “
Job growth in this country will not be the product of partisan bickering” 

March 8 – Union of Concerned Scientists makes a compelling case for addressing climate change 

March 7 – Obama visits UAW Freightliner plant in North Carolina, highlights growth in industry 

March 6 – AFT Members Swap Strategies for Green Schools 

Clean Energy News

LA Times: Senate OKs transportation bill with help for L.A. area

MSNBC: 80 years in, Empire State building still sparkling

NY Times Green Blog: Slicing Silicon Thinner to Cut the Price of Solar Cells

Offshore Wind Wire: Maryland Offshore Wind Legislation has Broad Support, Uncertain Future 

Legislative Updates

March 15 – Bipartisan PTC extension introduced

In an on-going effort to secure support for renewable energy projects in the United States, a bipartisan bill providing an extension for the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) was introduced. Both the wind industry and Members of Congress have urged passage of this measure to prevent an unnecessary job loss and industry disruption. This bill would provide a two-year extension. Read more. 

March 14 – Senate passes surface transportation reauthorization
A transportation reauthorization bill achieved bipartisan support in the Senate, moving the effort to pass a fully-funded transportation package to fund vital infrastructure projects that would improve transit  and put American workers back to work. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged  Republicans to deliver on the package in the House. 

March 13 – Clean energy tax extenders vehicle fails to pass
The Senate missed an opportunity to ensure the extension of vital clean energy tax programs, voting down an amendment introduced by Senator Debbie Stabenow preserving the 48c manufacturing, wind investment and renewable energy production tax credits as well as the 1603 treasury program grant. Read more.  Here is a guide to how they voted. 

March 13 – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds hearing on DOE loan program report

Also: New Government Accountability Office report on the loan guarantee program.  

Administration Updates

March 15 – EPA celebrates 20 years of the Energy Star program, saving Americans over $230 billion 

March 15 – The White House provides some interesting infographics on gas prices and the administration’s energy policy 

March 15 – Secretary Chu puts wind incentives on the table
Clean energy tax program extensions have been a flash point in Congress yet remain a necessity for sectoral job growth. Following their exclusion from the transportation bill, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and representatives from the wind industry discussed the future of those incentives and interestingly, their potential phase-out. Read more. 

March 13 – USTR launches rare earth export restraints case against China
The United States Trade Representative has initiated World Trade Organization action to resolve illegal restrictions on necessary rare earth materials for many advanced manufacturing sectors, including batteries and wind turbines. These supply chain disruptions threaten American economic growth and jobs. Read more.

March 12 – Administration releases energy security progress report

The White House released Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, a progress report on the Obama administration’s effort on efficiency, energy independence and expanded domestic production from all energy sources. Read more. 

March 8 – EPA releases 2011 report showing fuel economy trends rising and emissions dropping 

March 5 – DOE announces Veolia, others, opt in to clean vehicle partnership 

Climate Corner

In a letter to President Obama, Nobel Prize-winning economists urged him to support the European Union system for aviation fuel emission credits. Read it here.

Posted In: The Ally