Photo Credit: Flickr eGuide Travel

Top Execs Receive $24 Billion From Federal Contracts Each Year

New research from think tank Demos has found that the current contracting practices from the federal government pays top corporate executives nearly $24 billion per year. The organization postulates that if these contracting policies were reformed to limit the taxpayer contribution to executive pay at the salary of the U.S. Vice President ($230,700), then full-time workers could potentially receive an annual pay increase of nearly $14,000, with no additional cost to taxpayers.

Solar_install_ODOT_2

Do Rooftop Solar Panels Really Hinder Firefighters?

The recent Delanco, NJ fire in which a deli company’s warehouse burned to the ground because firefighters said that its rooftop solar panels prevented them from accessing the roof and saving the building has raised a lot of questions about the safety of solar panels on roofs.

image courtesy www.sxc.hu

Refreshing Look: Supermarkets Keeping it Climate Cool

This week’s post takes a behind-the-scenes look at exemplary refrigerant management among supermarkets, examining drivers for innovation and highlighting best practices and change. We will profile one leading company, and highlight other innovations in the form of engineering solutions, reconfiguration of refrigerant loops, refrigerant management and use of substitutes with no or very low global warming potential. Cool and refreshing, indeed.

coalpowerplant

EPA Proposes Carbon Emissions Limits on New U.S. Power Plants

Following through on the President’s historic National Climate Change Action Plan, the EPA proposed precedent-setting new rules limiting carbon emissions for new power plants. The EPA isn’t stopping there: work on proposed new rules for existing power plants is already under way.

Bike_share_Roma_Rome_Luca_F

Why Cities are Supporting Bike Sharing Programs

It’s a quiet revolution. More than 400 communities across the globe have endorsed bike sharing programs, and the numbers are continuing to climb. Cyclists can attest to the personal benefits of using a shared biking program, which are numerous. But what’s the appeal for cities? According to two experts we spoke to in Seattle, there is lots.

Trust the process and don't fear the unknown.

Women and Sustainability in Politics: Embrace Crisis and Reframe Shame

The Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future recently hosted a powerful discussion on women and sustainability in politics. Moderated by Darcy Winslow, Managing Partner at Academy for Systemic Change, the panel included Cylvia Hayes, Oregon’s First Lady and Kendall Clawson, Oregon’s Director of Executive Appointments. Two important themes developed during the conversation that should be fueling further and broader discussion in sustainability circles: #1 Crisis equals opportunity, #2 Reframe shame and inspire action.

John Zimmer, CEO of Lyft, and Sunil Paul, CEO of Sidecar, celebrate CPUC ruling

Small Step for Ride Sharing, Big Step for the Sharing Economy

It’s official. As of yesterday, ride-sharing is legit. The State of California passed the first set of rules today to make it safer to operate in the ride-sharing economy.

So what do these new rules actually mean for the ride sharing industry? And what issues remain unaddressed for the sharing economy to flourish in the coming years?

test tube

Policy Points: Renewable Chemicals Industry Reaches Economic Tipping Point

Wherever the first commercial renewable chemical facilities are built, feedstock supply and other infrastructure will soon follow, along with thousands of jobs. If all this happens outside the U.S, so will all of the economic opportunities that go with it. The tipping point is ours for now, but we must seize it now. Otherwise, it will soon be gone.

Tom Steyer launches new TV ad series against Keystone XL Pipeline.

Canadian Pipeline Sheds Light on Ecological Impacts of Keystone XL

If President Obama was looking for data and proof that the oil sands extraction process would affect climate change, he needn’t have looked any further than Vancouver, BC, Canada, where last year, Canada’s preeminent policy think tank, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), published its own report detailing the potential effects of another Canadian oil sands endeavor, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Photo Credit: Flickr Alfredo Mendez

Uber Offers Free Rides to Level Lyft

Mere weeks after securing a staggering $258 million in new funding from Google Ventures and TPG Capital, car-booking service Uber is already training its venture-infused guns on its closest competitor — Lyft. In response to Lyft’s launch in St. Paul, Phoenix and Indianapolis last week, Uber announced that it is offering free rides in these cities from Uberx — the lower-cost version of its premium booking service.

Athabasca_Oil_Sands_Planned_Production_TastyCakes

Sierra Club Climate Change Report Flunks Keystone XL

Sierra Club’s well-packed 17-page report, Fail: Why Keystone XL Flunks the Test, is an expository on the many ways that TransCanada’s south-bound pipeline would worsen climate change, and the risks inherent in supporting the project. But does it go far enough?

Benz flywheel circa 1885

California Moves Forward on Energy Storage

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision this week that will guide power companies towards an increased utilization of energy storage. The proposed framework lays out both a timeline and a set of goals that will, according to Energy Storage North America (ESNA), “jump start the market for energy storage solutions” in this … Continued