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Federal Agencies Launch Great Lakes Restoration Plan Part II

“The new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan lays out the steps we need to take to get us closer to the day when all Great Lakes fish will be safe to eat, all beaches will be safe for swimmers and harmful algal blooms will not threaten our drinking water supplies,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

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McKinsey Touts Bioenergy as Coal Replacement

McKinsey writers Marco Albani, Nicolas Denis and Anna Granskog assert that biomass-based energy should not be counted out just yet. “Although today it fails to compete on cost with other renewables such as wind and solar, we believe bioenergy not only has the potential to significantly improve but could even become cost competitive with coal.”

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Southwest to Fly with Forest Waste Biofuel

The airline’s recent agreement with Colorado’s Red Rock Biofuels will have a double benefit: The low carbon renewable jet fuel — made using forest residues or remnants — will help reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in the Western United States.

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GE, Nike, BoA Cut from 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

“Both the importance and the understanding of sustainability has grown dramatically over the past decade and a half,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P Dow Jones Index Committee. Over the span the indices have become “the leading benchmark in the field,” he continued.

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How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning

“We can’t predict the next disruption or catastrophe. But we can control how we respond to these challenges. We can adapt to the shocks and stresses of our world and transform them into opportunities for growth,” the 100 Resilient Cities’ site says. While shocks include events like earthquakes, fires and floods, stresses include high unemployment, inefficient public transportation, endemic violence or chronic food and water shortages. The 100 Resilient Cities Challenge aims to help cities be better prepared for adverse events and better able to deliver basic services in both good and bad times.

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Coal Export Terminal Plan Nixed by Oregon Agency

This is the latest in a series of wins for opponents of coal company plans to move coal through the Pacific Northwest on the way to Asian markets. But two major plans in Washington State, out of six original proposals, are still pending.

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China, The Nature Conservancy Work to Curb Pollution

It might seem like a strange partnership between a nonprofit and a huge nation, but it might work. TNC’s Conservation Blueprint project identified 32 regions that the organization and the Chinese government believe are most vital to the country’s environmental future.

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Shrugging Off the Libertarian Fantasy

The point is that the Libertarian view of big government and massive government intervention as the source of all evil is not realistic or grounded in the way a complicated and globalized world works.

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Sponging Up Solar Energy

This new sponge-like structure is a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam, which all works to create a “porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.”

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More Utilities Are Shifting to Renewable Energy

“Renewables — including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, waste heat and small-scale hydroelectric — accounted for a whopping 49 percent of new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2012, with new wind development outpacing even natural gas,” writes Jon Wellinghoff, partner at Stoel Rives LLP and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in the report