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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Green Highway Snow and Ice Control Cuts the Chemicals

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Xianming Shi with the industrial size mixer he uses to concoct green deicers and ice-free pavement. (Photo by Rebecca Phillips, University Communications)

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications, Washington State UniversityPULLMAN, Wash. – Ice-free pavement. “Smart snowplows.” Vegetable juice ice-melt. Cold-climate researchers at Washington State University are clearing the road with green alternatives to the salt, sand and chemicals typically used for highway snow and ice control.As a nation, “we are kind of salt addicted, like with petroleum, […]

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Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Figure ES-1. Solar Electricity Technical Potential Compared with Electricity Consumption

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA
Nationally, solar PV capacity increased at a rate of 77 percent per year from 2010 to 2013. If solar installations continue to increase at less than one-third of that annual rate of growth (22 percent) between 2013 and 2030, America would have enough solar energy to generate 10 percent of its electricity.

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Climate Change & Resilience: Recommendations to the President

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
High tide flooding in Broward County, Florida. Photo Credit: Paul Krashefski.

PRESIDENT’S STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE PREPAREDNESS AND RESILIENCE
At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks.

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Rising Waters, Rising Threat: How Climate Change Endangers America’s Neglected Wastewater Infrastructure

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
The frequency of extreme precipitation events in the United States is increasing

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
As climate change strains aging sewer systems around the country through increasingly severe weather and sea-level rise, the resilience of wastewater infrastructure is becoming a critical public and environmental health issue for communities and municipal and state governments.

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Clean Economy Rising: Wind Powers Michigan’s Energy Industry

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Renewable Electricity Power Plants, More than 1 Megawatt Capacity

THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
Michigan’s 2008 Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act established a renewable portfolio standard, which requires electricity providers to generate 10 percent of their sales from renewable resources by 2015. The standard also allows electric utilities to use energy efficiency and other advanced energy technologies to fulfill part of the requirement.

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Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment

Monday, October 27th, 2014
FIGURE 1. ASCE Grades, Annual Investment, and Investment Needed, Billions

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE
Much of the physical infrastructure of the United States is in a state of disrepair. As documented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in their 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, our roads, transit systems, dams, and airports need billions of dollars of investment to return them to adequacy. Our water, air, and land are threatened by aging systems designed to provide safe drinking water, handle hazardous waste, treat wastewater, and manage our solid waste. Half of our schools were built to educate the generation that is now retiring, and our electric grid is widely recognized as being incapable of meeting the needs of our changing energy system.

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Strengthening the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
FIGURE 1. The EPA’s Renewable Energy Targets under Its Proposed Clean Power Plan Are Modest

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This brief outlines a better way to make the most of renewable energy in the Clean Power Plan, and to strengthen its state renewable energy targets as the cost of sources such as wind and solar power decline. The UCS proposal builds on the EPA’s approach while utilizing the latest available market data, demonstrated rates of growth in renewable energy, and existing state commitments to deploy renewables. Using our recommended modifications, the EPA could nearly double the amount of cost-effective renewable energy in their state targets—from 12 per-cent of total 2030 U.S. electric sales to 23 percent (Figure 1, p. 3).

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Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Natural and nature-based features at a glance.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
This report represents a collaborative effort of the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company, and Earth Economics to address the mounting risks of flooding and hurricanes to U.S. communities. Specifically, this report focuses on the U.S. coasts and coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and the nation’s extensive network of rivers and streams –places where millions of Americans live and work. It asks whether federal, state, and local officials are paying enough attention to the growing threats of floods and hurricanes across the country and whether they are using the policy tools at their disposal to protect people and property endangered by these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards.

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Automobiles, CO2 and Fuel Efficiency: Trends From 1975 to 2014

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Adjusted C02 Emissions by Model Year

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYOverview of Long-Term TrendsWhile the most recent annual changes often receive the most public attention, the greatest value of the Trends database is to document long-term trends. This is because: 1) year-to-year variability can reflect short-term trends (two examples are the Cash for Clunkers rebates in 2009 and the impact of the tsunami […]

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Interactive Map: Climate and Energy by State

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy

Curious how your state stacks up when it comes to sustainability, renewable energy or climate-friendly policies? The Georgetown Climate Center’s new interactive map includes all these parameters (and much more) in its colorful, easy-to-read interface. With the center’s proprietary State Energy Analysis Tool as the engine, this map offers insight into a wide range of data that’s otherwise hard to come by, from Electricity Market Regulation to Energy Exporters and Importers. State profiles offer an in-depth analysis of each state’s energy/climate breakdown.

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