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49ers' rooftop garden, solar energy propel Levi's Stadium to LEED gold status

July 23 -- Pedestrian bridges decked out in solar panels and a living roof ready for private parties and photo ops might not scream professional football.

But those green design elements and others at the San Francisco 49ers' new $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium on Tuesday helped land the team its long-sought LEED Gold certification at the Santa Clara venue, which officially opened with a ribbon cutting last week. >>View Article

Florida must face future and think solar

July 23 -- Re: "Solar power too costly for taxpayers," A. John Birkle, July 17. It goes without saying that Mr. Birkle's strong opinion about the cost of solar energy and about Babcock Ranch trying to maintain its right to run its own electric utility was shaped from a career spent in the fossil fuel based utility industry.

To be upfront about where I stand on the Babcock issue, I proudly lay claim to the fact that utilizing solar energy as the primary energy to create electricity for the new Babcock Ranch community was an idea I brought to the planning table while working for Syd Kitson. Since the economic downturn in 2007, I no longer work there nor do I work in the solar industry. >>View Article

Lou Cannon: Renewable Energy on Track Despite Setbacks

July 23 -- The relentless march of the states to greater use of renewable energy has hit some bumps on the road.

The biggest bump occurred in Ohio, where the Legislature last month approved a law delaying the state’s commitment to obtain 25 percent of its energy use from renewable energy by 2025. The Ohio measure was the latest battle in a regional assault on renewable standards by Republicans, who contend that green energy mandates are expensive and threaten economic growth.

In the Kansas Legislature, a measure to revise clean-energy standards was narrowly defeated, but proponents vow they will try again. In April, the Indiana Legislature took the dramatic, if largely symbolic, step of eliminating the state’s energy-efficiency standards.

The Ohio measure is “clearly a setback” for renewable energy, said Dick Munson, director of Midwest Clean Energy for the Environmental Defense Fund. But he does not see it as a lasting defeat. Munson observed that many other states are adhering to commitments to increase use of renewables or expanding these goals. >>View Article

Legislative Attempts to Block EPA Standards Harmful to Small Businesses

July 22 -- Once again, lawmakers are playing party politics with clean energy standards, and they’ve put small businesses—our nation’s biggest job creators—smack dab in the middle of the debate. In the latest attempt to block proposed standards that would limit carbon pollution from power plants, lawmakers have filed legislation that would stop all regulations being developed by the EPA and require a review of all its current policies. They claim these standards would hurt small businesses and middle class Americans. But what do real small business owners think about the proposed EPA standards? >>View Article

NHL Outlines Plan to Fight Climate Change

July 22 -- Climate change is impacting the next generation of hockey players directly, according to a report released Monday by the National Hockey League.

The report, the first of its kind produced by a professional sports league in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, details a plan for the NHL to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. >>View Article

The Sensible Swedes Burn a Lot of their Garbage. Why Can't We?

June 22 -- Sweden, from which I’ve recently returned, is impressively functional, efficient, and rational. The air is clean; the ferries run on time. I spent a few days on the island of Gotland attending Almedalen, the weeklong festival of ideas where all the political parties gather together to mingle and debate. The super-fast train that whisks travelers from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm Central Train Station takes a mere 20 minutes and is powered by renewable energy. Despite its proximity to coal-rich Poland and Russia, Sweden doesn’t use any of the dirty black stuff to create energy. In fact, the country’s electricity supply is largely emission-free, with 44 percent derived from hydro, 40.5 percent nuclear, some wind, and less than 1 percent coming from coal. >>View Article

We Must Not Let Big Oil Bully Biofuels

July 22 -- It's vacation season across America. That means family road trips are under way and travelers are paying even closer attention when they pull up to the pump. America's road warriors have long cherished affordable gas prices. Today's drivers also value clean-burning fuel choices that help the environment and boost America's energy independence. >>View Article

Mark Ruffalo feels right at home bringing renewable energy message to NASCAR crowd

July 21 -- Mark Ruffalo had a big smile on his face as he signed ticket stubs and posed for pictures at Chicagoland Speedway. A steady stream of fans approached the actor from all angles, but he made it look as if it was a small party with a bunch of old friends.

Ruffalo felt right at home at his second NASCAR race.

"This culture is really familiar to me," he said. "These are like my people. I grew up an hour and a half away from here in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So this is my kind of family. This is what my people are like." >>View Article

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