Environmental Entrepreneurs and evangelical group support EPA plan to curb coal pollution

Coal-fired power plants are the biggest single category of carbon pollution emitters. The EPA wants to tighten coal power emissions standards, and these two groups, one composed of business enterprises and the other a large evangelical group support the EPA’s move. Find out why.

Wind energy subsidies blew away with 2013; will anyone bring them back in 2014?

Congress’ on-and-off romance with wind energy is back off. Tax credits for wind expired – again – with the close of 2013. This isn’t the first time the industry has broken up with its Congress. Every year or every other year for the past decade lawmakers have acted like a reluctant fiancee, extending a hand but always holding back on a full-fledged support for the wind industry.

Non-factory farmers say they’re producing healthier food by ‘working with nature’

As factory farming has taken over livestock production in the U.S., some small farmers are bucking the trend, vowing to maintain their family tradition of raising livestock humanely and healthfully.

These farmers are producing organic milk and grass-fed meats that they and many consumers believe are healthier for human consumption.

Commerce action to protect U.S. solar manufacturers from Chinese ‘dumping’ gets mixed reviews

The U.S. Department of Commerce decision to hit Chinese solar panel makers with significant import tariffs has shaken up the solar community. Bonn-based SolarWorld, which maintains the largest U.S. solar manufacturing plant and had asked for an investigation of Chinese “dumping” of solar panels, was pleased with yesterday’s ruling. The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy fees announced by the government will help level the playing field between U.S. and Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and panels, a company official said.

Poll: Voters strongly support solar power

A survey of likely 2012 American voters has found that they overwhelmingly support solar power, with nine out of 10 saying the U.S. should develop more solar power.

The survey, conducted by Hart Research in early September, also found that 85 percent of voters view solar power “favorably” or “very favorably;” and 78 percent said that the government should support the growth of solar power with incentives.

New York approves enviro-friendly B Corps; Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Illinois could be next

B Corps, or benefit corporations, have arrived in the state of New York.
Earlier this month, the legislature passed, and Gov. Cuomo signed, a bill (S.79-A) approving this new type of corporate structure in which companies promise to have a positive impact on the environment and watch out for the rights of workers and communities.
State officials then immediately registered 13 companies as B Corps on Feb 10, the same day the law was enacted.

US trade commission: Imported Chinese solar panels are hurting American solar manufacturers

The U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed with SolarWorld Industries America that Chinese imports are hurting the U.S. solar manufacturing industry, and will continue to investigate this issue.

The commission announced its ruling on Thursday/Friday, to the delight of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., which had asked for an inquiry into alleged Chinese dumping of solar panels and modules into the U.S. market.

Eat More Kale gets under Chik-a-fila’s skin

is forever. Got milk? Just do it. Eat mor chikin!

Bo Muller-Moore, independent T-shirt shop owner.

There are a few choice ad phrases that rise to the top and become part of the common consciousness. Headline writers and jokesters come up with variations. Sometimes, the companies or causes that started the ditty get whiplashed with a new version. Got Milk morphed into a series of headlines about the dangers of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, used to make cows produce more milk, in the early 2000s. Got rBGH?

U.S. to review SolarWorld’s complaint about alleged unfair PV panel imports from China

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it will investigate SolarWorld’s charge that China is unfairly dumping cheap illicitly subsidized solar panels into the U.S. market.

Should investigators find that the allegation has credibility, it could impose duties or import fees on Chinese-made photovoltaic panels. That could level the playing field for the U.S. manufacturers of solar panels and components, such as Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America. But it could hurt companies that depend upon those lower priced Chinese solar panels to keep afloat their businesses installing solar systems.

A non-partisan idea to help the economy — make it easier to invest in local businesses

Michael Shuman

I personally support the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, especially the spotlight it has cast on the shocking level of inequality in our country. But the movement oddly conveys a very mainstream message that Wall Street can and should be fixed. Just clean up our existing financial institutions – make them more accountable, honest, transparent – and all will be well. Really?

CAFO: The story in pictures

CAFO pulls back the curtain on industrial agriculture.

CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories (Earth Aware, 2010) takes no shortcuts as it squires us on an uncomfortable walk through the ways of modern meat production. It’s a grimy, grisly world and while much is immediately apparent, it’s important to stay for the entire tour so you can appreciate all the connections, redundancies and stupidity in the system.

This isn’t easy. There are pictures — and text — that are pure horror show; glimpses of the slaughterhouse where you can almost smell the stench. But stay on the walk, so you’ll understand. That’s important, because in the end, this is not about a more efficient system that’s brutal but necessary to feed the world, but about a super-controlled corporate game that’s out of control.

Great Lakes Wind partners with BlueGreen Alliance to create more U.S. jobs

GLWN, also known as the Great Lakes Wind Network, has teamed up with the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation to help bring more small and medium manufacturers into the developing U.S. wind energy business.

The partnership will help these smaller firms build capacity so they can supply parts for North American wind turbines, and in turn, strengthen growing U.S. wind markets.

Part of the money for this joint project will come from the National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s (NIST) Clean Energy Manufacturing Center, which is trying to help U.S. manufacturers find a place on the production chain for wind power.

Green advocates say loss of PACE financing has slowed pace of green jobs and building

Slapping a solar panel on the roof sounds so alluring. You can produce your own energy, slice your carbon footprint in a big way and not have to fret so much about vacillating energy costs. You’re home free.
Except that solar panels are far from free. While the cost of solar photovoltaics has come down considerable, a solar rooftop array remains in a rarifed price household category, right up there with cars. It will run in the ballpark of $15,ooo-$20,000, maybe more, even with home energy tax credits.

Biochar: Panacea or peril?

Biochar has emerged over the last couple years as a ray of hope on the otherwise bleak horizon of the planet’s environmental future. It has been hailed as a possible solution to climate change, world hunger, and rural poverty — though doubts are being raised in some quarters.
Last year, some of the world’s most eminent biochar experts gathered for a biochar conference at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to discuss this ancient technology that is getting a new look by scientists, governments and investors. To the packed audience, this promising technology sounded like a panacea for a whole host of problems. Biochar, the speakers said, could soak up large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, supercharge soil fertility to feed the world’s hungry, promote jobs and economic opportunities for farmers, safely get rid of animal and plant waste, heat buildings greenly, and slash the kind of fertilizer use that is creating vast dead zones in coastal waters from nitrogen runoff.

California sues mortgage companies over PACE loans

California Attorney General Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. is suing mortgage companies over their refusal to allow PACE funding for clean energy improvements on homes.
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) money allows homeowners to finance energy efficiency projects like solar panels through their property taxes. Cities that offer the plans can sell bonds to generate the money for PACE loans, which are then attached to a homeowners’ property tax bill. The plan provides homeowners with the upfront money they need for big improvements, and allows them to stretch out their payments over 20 years, making large capital improvements like solar arrays possible.

Wind and labor leaders unite to push for jobs and clean energy

Clean energy advocates and labor leaders are calling on the U.S. to step up its commitment to wind energy and wind-related manufacturing — or risk losing thousands of jobs to China, Europe and India.

American wind urgently needs strong supports, such as long-term investment tax credits and a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), to show investors and domestic and global companies that it believes in the sector, the leaders said at a Monday news conference. A RES would signal that the U.S. wants to incubate developing firms and build everything it needs — from wind towers and blades to the highly evolved nacelles that keep the turbines turning.

Oil disaster could destroy Gulf of Mexico fishery, natural areas, tourism

As thousands rushed into action on the Louisiana coast on Friday to deal with the millions of gallons of oil heading for shore, the region’s largest environmental advocacy group issued a statement to illustrate the magnitude of the biological fallout. The BP oil spill quite simply could destroy the most productive fishery in the world, said Mobile Baykeeper, a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. The coastal Gulf region, stretching from the Mobile Bay Estuary to Galveston Bay, produces 69% of all domestic shrimp and 70% of all domestic oysters, the group reported.

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