Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
In another display of the sea change that has occurred at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the current, Obama administration, a new report was issued yesterday regarding indicators of climate change. The report, “Climate Change Indicators in the United States,” measures 24 separate indicators showing how climate change affects the health and environment of U.S. citizens.
The report represents another step in a series of actions and statements taken on the climate change by the EPA. This EPA has proved to be more active than during previous administrations on this issue. It has labeled CO2 as a gas that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act as a significant greenhouse gas.
New vehicle emissions standards have been established as well as greenhouse gas standards for such vehicles. On April 15, the EPA published the National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The Climate/Energy Bill currently working its way through the Senate has been heavily influenced by EPA actions and consultations. And now a report is issued regarding the indicators of climate change. (more…)
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Today President Obama travelled to Iowa and visited Siemens Energy, Inc., where he received a tour of the facility and saw the creation of blades that are capable of generating enough power for hundreds of homes. The President said that each employee of Siemens “Is helping stake America’s claim on a clean-energy future.”
The President discussed the future of clean energy in America, calling energy security “a top priority for my administration since the day I took office.” He explained that the Recovery Act made the largest investment in clean energy in the nation’s history- an investment expected to create or save 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012 and double America’s capacity to generate renewable electricity from sources like the sun and the wind: (more…)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
It’s been a busy Earth Day at the White House and around the administration. Yesterday Vice President Biden kicked off the Administration’s Earth Day Celebration by announcing $452 million in Recovery Act funding to support a “Retrofit Ramp-Up.” This program will create thousands of jobs and allow these communities to retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses while testing out innovative strategies that can be adopted all over the country. President Obama also issued a Presidential Proclamation on Earth Day calling on Americans to join in the spirit of the first Earth Day forty years ago to take action in their communities to make our planet cleaner and healthier.
This afternoon, Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, hosted a live chat on WhiteHouse.gov to answer your questions about how the Administration is working to improve the environment and build a clean energy economy that supports the jobs of the future. This evening, the President hosted an Earth Day reception in the Rose Garden at the White House where he discussed some of the challenges that lie ahead in achieving a clean energy economy: (more…)
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
On President Obama’s second Earth Day in office, how far have green jobs come toward fixing unemployment and environmental ills? The administration aims for 5 million green jobs to grow in the next 10 years. Should Americans still believe the “hype?” Here’s the latest in green jobs news from around the Web:
The White House early in 2009 announced $500 million for efforts to train green workers, and this January it described job-training grants worth $100 million of that package. But that’s not nearly enough cash for an effort that should be as big as the Space Race, says pundit Jesse Jenkins. And contrary to conventional wisdom, green jobs are already being exported beyond U.S. borders.
For now, “fewer than 200 factories in the United States are devoted to green production, employing no more than 15,000 workers.” Companies can apply for new, federal tax credits to boost U.S. manufacturing, but an economist finds that “fewer than 500 applications have been filed so far for the tax breaks, and if all were approved they would add just 75,000 green manufacturing jobs.”
(New York Times)
Yet, 10 percent of employers have added new, green jobs in the past year, according to a CareerBuilder poll of 2,700 hiring managers. Among the green occupations described as earning more than $60,000 on the job Web site are hydrologist, solar energy system designer, waste management engineer and urban planner. (However, CareerBuilder’s GoingGreenJobs site was kaput on Wednesday.)
(press release) (more…)
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Many moons — and political news cycles — ago, I was very critical of the Obama administration’s “Cash for Clunkers” program, as much on green (environmental) impact as on green (cash) grounds. Later, I briefly became a darling of the Republican right when I was similarly skeptical of the “Cash for Refrigerators” appliance rebate proposal (they subsequently boomeranged on me when I questioned the relevance of ClimateGate).
But this is not about me. It is about the future of the “Cash for Stuff” model. Even as odds of getting a comprehensive energy and environment bill wane in this congressional session, a “Cash for…” proposal worth supporting has emerged.
And to the delight of bloggers and wordsmiths everywhere, it is as alliterative as it is promising. I give you “Cash for Caulkers.” (more…)
Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Four Democratic U.S. senators have asked the Obama administration to stop investment in wind power and other renewable energy projects until the government ensures that the projects primarily use U.S. labor and materials.
The senators, led by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, introduced legislation requiring that economic stimulus funds only be spent on clean-energy projects that use materials made in the United States and that create a majority of jobs in America.
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
The Obama administration is creating an office to coordinate and report the latest climate change data, a unit analogous to the National Weather Service that officials hope will help planners, businesses, and the public better understand and prepare for the effects of global warming.
The office, which will be part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will assemble about 550 scientists already working on climate issues under one roof. All data will be accessible on a website, www.climate.gov. (more…)
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
The U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, and a leading senator predicted that Congress will make good progress on climate legislation — and may even pass a bill — before a meeting in Copenhagen in December to forge an international treaty to slow global warming.
The remarks by Chu and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California were markedly more optimistic than those of President Obama’s chief climate and energy adviser, Carol Browner, who said 10 days ago that a U.S. climate bill would not be passed before Copenhagen.
Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Slow down, high-speed rail seekers. In the race for stimulus money, the Obama administration has received applications from 24 states requesting $50 billion for high-speed rail projects, reports The New York Times.
That’s more than six times the amount of money designated. Joseph Szabo, head of the Federal Railroad Administration, told the Times that the selections will be merit based, and will be made this winter.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Sen. Bob Bennett is involved in a fickle love affair with stimulus money. Two days before the Republican senator voted against the nearly $800 billion package – which he said would only stimulate the national debt – Bennett wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking him to pay special attention to a few projects in Utah. He wasn’t alone, reports the Tribune. All four of Utah’s Republicans in Congress voted against the bill, before using congressional stationery to try to nab a portion of the stimulus package for their state. (more…)
Friday, August 7th, 2009
Some automotive entrepreneurs are feeling like when it comes to getting DOE funding, it’s who, not what you know.
The $2.4 billion in federal funding for advanced battery and vehicle electrification announced this week boosted battery manufacturers that had prior relationships with the DOE, while some lesser-known innovators were left with hat in hand.
Matt Mattila, a consultant in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Mobility and Vehicle Efficiency Practice says the money “went to the old guard” and left out new EV companies such as Aptera where “$100 million could make or break them.”