Ogunquit, Maine, photo by Leon Kaye, August 2011

Maine Commits to Reduce Oil 30% by 2030

With future energy efficiency concerns an issue, Maine’s Republican-dominated legislature passed An Act to Improve Maine’s Energy Security earlier this year.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Would Candidate Michele Bachmann Approve Her Own Record on the EPA?

It’s never boring with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) around. I’m sure both fans and non-fans of the Republican presidential candidate would agree. One thing they might not agree on so much is her integrity. Critics especially like to point out major differences between the record of Representative Bachmann and the rhetoric of candidate Bachmann when … Continued

Nissan Leaf Will Power Homes in Japan

This week, automaker Nissan  announced a two-way charging system that will allow the new all-electric Nissan Leaf  to not only charge up, but also to reverse the flow of electricity to allow the car to power the home for brief periods during power outages or shortages. Considering the recent calamity in Japan’s power generation system, … Continued

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Can Innovation Lead Us to Growth (and Happiness) With Less Consumption?

I recently came across an article called, “How Can Innovation Decouple Growth and Consumption” I was intrigued by this as I’ve been wondering for some time if such a decoupling is possible. The piece describes a number of ways “to constrain consumption that do not continue to stress, deplete, degrade or waste our natural resource … Continued

A Soup Company and a Sporting Goods Manufacturer Walk into a Bar…

What does a Massachusetts-based soup company have in common with a global sporting goods manufacturer?  Industrial facilities – spaces where they both need to understand energy consumption and improve energy efficiency to operate optimally. 

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Why the U.S. Debt Crisis is Just the Tip of the Melting Iceberg

Boyd Cohen, Climate Strategist As many of this column’s readers know, I am from the U.S. and have lived in Europe and most recently Canada for the 10 years since getting my Ph.D. at the University of Colorado.  While I am no economist (my Ph.D. is in business), I believe that the recent U.S. debt … Continued

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“Last Stand” Against Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam Raises “True Cost” Questions

Opponents of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam system in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon are mounting a “last stand” attempt to halt development in the wake of the government awarding the contract to Norte Energia and the start of construction. Opposition groups say building what would be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric system would be a “folly” of epic proportions on economic, technical and environmental grounds.

SUNPATH, a new program of the SunShot initiative, to manufacture solar panels in U.S.

SunShot: $50 Million Closer to Cheap Solar Power and Green Jobs, Too

The Obama administration has been focusing on federal solar energy policies that create new green jobs, and the new SunShot initiative could turn out to be a major twofer for U.S. businesses. First, the program is designed to advance solar technology research that will make clean solar energy as cheap as, or cheaper than, fossil … Continued

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New CAFE Standards: Is 54.5 MPG by 2025 Really Enough?

Last week, the Obama administration made a dramatic announcement that unfortunately got lost in all the hoopla over the debt ceiling and the political maneuverings thereof. They announced a new set of ambitious fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that will make a significant dent in our dependence on oil and our carbon … Continued

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Renewable Energy 2010: 16% of Global Energy; Nearly 11% in the US

REN21’s “Renewables 2011″ Global Status Report is a remarkable one, particularly in light of the lasting effects of the “Great Recession” and all that took place in 2010. The REN21 report shows that renewable energy growth was strong last year. Renewable resources wound up supplying 16% of global final energy consumption and showed strong growth … Continued

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Trade War Looms Over Airlines’ Refusal to Comply with EU Cap-And-Trade Law

In June, I wrote about whether the US was right to seek an exemption from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for US airlines. The cap-and-trade scheme, designed to curb CO2 emissions, is being vigorously opposed by the American Air Transport Association, and a month on, it seems things are no less fractious, … Continued

CAFE

How will Citizens Ever Afford 54.5 MPG?

Remember the old days when the auto manufacturers would line up in lockstep opposition to any fuel economy (CAFE) standards? Even the unions would oppose it, concerned about job losses. And lord knows…there was probably a gushing river of oil industry money flowing through the halls of congress to prevent America from moving in sustainable … Continued

food stamps

The Surprising Economic Value of Food Stamps

While the fight in Washington over the debt ceiling seems to be over, it is not clear yet what cuts will be made in the food stamps program. Although food stamps would be exempt from the automatic cuts, they still might be subject to cuts coming from the special bipartisan committee that would be established … Continued

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Is Raising the Debt Ceiling Economically Sustainable?

Yesterday, an agreement was made between the President and Congress to raise the debt ceiling. It is expected to pass both Houses and get the President’s signature.  The question remains, is it really sustainable to raise the debt ceiling? If we hold true to the definition of sustainability as to “meet the needs of the present … Continued