Draining the Swamp? Key EPA Appointee Was an Energy Lobbyist This Year, Senators Say

Even without conflicts of interest, is this Appointee really what we need in an already prone group of group thinkers?

Two senators are challenging a Trump EPA appointee, saying her lobbying record appears to prevent her, under Trump’s own ethics order, from doing most of her job.

Source: Draining the Swamp? Key EPA Appointee Was an Energy Lobbyist This Year, Senators Say | InsideClimate News

San Antonio Outshines Other Texas Cities In Solar Energy Capacity

San Antonio is the state's leader in solar energy capacity, according to a recent report assessing local "smart" policies across America.

Within the last decade, growth in the solar energy industry has brought numerous businesses and new initiatives to San Antonio.

CPS Energy, the city's municipal utility, for example, extended $15 million of funding to their solar photovoltaic rebate program in 2015 due to residential demand. Proposed changes to the solar rebate program could be in place as soon as June 1, affecting rules regarding installation, greater transparency for consumers, and a potential 10 cent increase per watt under the rebate.

How accessible are choices like solar panel roofs to citizens? Can solar energy be a viable, affordable alternative for San Antonio residents?

Guests:

Source: San Antonio Outshines Other Texas Cities In Solar Energy Capacity | Texas Public Radio

The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming

  • Oil major Total SA says EVs will drive 30% of car sales
  • Outlook is more bullish on EVs than most forecasters

Electric cars are coming fast — and that’s not just the opinion of carmakers anymore. Total SA, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is now saying EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade.

The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.”

Couse’s projection for electric cars is the highest yet by a major oil company and exceeds BNEF’s own forecast, said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“That’s big,” McKerracher said. “That’s by far the most aggressive we’ve seen by any of the majors."

Source: The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming – Bloomberg

The Cult of Perma – Food and Farm Discussion Lab

Editor’s Note: I stumbled across this piece by Graham some time in 2013, not long after it was published, and it set off more than one lightbulb moment for me. Up to that time I’d considered permaculture an intriguing subculture. I had thought that it might be a place to look for ideas and innovations for building out a better food system, one that is more in sync with nature, treading more lightly on the planet. What I expected was design and engineering insights to more closed loop, steady state modes of living. As you’ll find from reading Graham’s seminal essay that is not what you’ll find on balance from the permaculture movement. – MB

Source: The Cult of Perma – Food and Farm Discussion Lab

Exxon’s Opposition to Climate Fraud Probes Gets Less Sympathy From NY Judge

It will be interesting to see how this all works out…

A New York judge has signaled to lawyers for ExxonMobil that she is skeptical of their arguments to derail climate fraud investigations by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts. Exxon's position had won the support of a judge in Texas whose rulings were heavily weighted in its favor.

Source: Exxon's Opposition to Climate Fraud Probes Gets Less Sympathy From NY Judge | InsideClimate News

Energy is the new new internet

At heart, the enernet is the foundation for smart-city tech, including the “Internet of Things,” distributed systems, interconnected backbones and networking technologies, EV-charging services and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. These technologies will drive dramatic change and force us to rethink our cities, municipal services and sectors like transportation, insurance, real estate and financial services. From the enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an order-of-magnitude smarter, healt

Source: Energy is the new new internet | TechCrunch

Architects Show Leadership in Addressing Climate Change

Architects have a big responsibility for the role the built environment plays in climate change. At the Grassroots 2017 Conference in Washington DC, the AIA, the country’s largest professional association and accrediting body of architects, released a commentary to reaffirm and clarify its existing position on climate change, showing how the Institute is doubling down on its commitment to address carbon emissions in the built environment.

Source: Architects Show Leadership in Addressing Climate Change

eLab Accelerator Projects Sustain Hope for Clean Energy Innovation

Starting yesterday, the 2017 eLab Accelerator teams has convened at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah to accelerate their initiatives with the support of nationally renowned expert faculty and eLab’s specially trained facilitators. At Accelerator and beyond, projects from across the country are continuing to develop solutions for a transformed electricity system that will grow the clean energy economy and grant access to clean energy technologies for untapped parts of the population.

Source: eLab Accelerator Projects Sustain Hope for Clean Energy Innovation

CPS Energy pursues clean energy plans despite Trump environmental order

President Donald Trump’s executive order Tuesday rolling back much of the Obama administration’s climate change policies won’t affect CPS Energy’s plans to reduce carbon emissions.

“We at CPS Energy have been on a steady path to diversify and reduce the carbon output of our generation fleet, which is specifically important for our growing metropolitan community,” CPS’ CEO and President Paula Gold-Williams said in an emailed statement. “It’s a plan that’s been set in motion for almost a decade and one that we believe is the right thing for our customers and our community.”

“The city and CPS are already way ahead of the requirements of the Clean Power Plan in terms of carbon reduction and CPS is still committed to shutting down the Deely plant early in 2018,” said Doug Melnick, chief sustainability officer for San Antonio.

The executive order comes after Trump proposed completely defunding the Clean Power Plan in his budget plan. Regardless of the Trump administration’s plans for environmental regulations Melnick says local governments like San Antonio will continue to act in the best interest of their citizens.

“From what I have seen historically, even during the Obama administration and before, it’s really been local governments that have led the way,” he said. “I don’t think anything has changed.”

Source: CPS Energy pursues clean energy plans despite Trump environmental order – San Antonio Express-News

The First Sustainable Urban Agrihood Brings Healthy, Fresh, Affordable Food to Residents and the Community

Could fresh, healthy, affordable food be the future of urban neighborhood development?

In Detroit, Michigan, “the first sustainable urban agrihood” in the U.S. centers around an edible garden, with easily accessible, affordable produce offered to neighborhood residents and the community.

Each year, this urban farm provides fresh, free produce to 2,000 households within two square miles of the farm. They also supply food to local markets, restaurants, and food pantries.

The concept of agrihoods isn’t new —the Urban Land Institute estimated that about 200 agrihoods had been or were under construction across the U.S. — but this agrihood is unique because it’s the first truly urban agrihood. It plans to operate in a sustainable way, and is more accessible than most other agrihoods.

Agrihoods, also called agritopias or community-supported development, are an exciting concept because they create a remarkable improvement to the dominant food system.

They help tackle food insecurity and other community problems. They make it easy for people in low-income communities to get fresh, healthy food. And they give people a connection with the food they eat, the earth, and each other.

Read all about the first sustainable urban agrihood…

Source: The First Sustainable Urban Agrihood Brings Healthy, Fresh, Affordable Food to Residents and the Community

What is the Social Responsibility of Business?

What is the Social Responsibility of Business?Ever since Milton Friedman famously proclaimed “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” (NYTimes 1970), pundits have pondered whether his purist interpretation was really the only way.Profit is certainly a lot easier to quantify than something like ‘happiness’, but the intangible benefits of good, honest business clearly go way beyond pure finance….Must the word ‘profit’ always refer to money in the strictest sense?Collected on this page are various interpretations of the idea of “social responsibility” and the responsibility of business to take an active, passive or indifferent role in building a more sustainable world.Read on below, or learn more on TriplePundit’s front page.

Source: What is the Social Responsibility of Business?