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Time for Leaders To Lead on Climate

December 11 -- The shift to a clean energy economy is inevitable -- it's no longer a matter of if, but when.

Elected officials can accelerate this transition or they can impede it. We can address climate change while we still have a chance to contain it, or we can wait until the costs will be far higher and the consequences more dire.

Last week, more than 150 world leaders came to Paris to forge a global climate agreement, the largest gathering of its kind in history. All of them urged the world to take action -- and none of them denied the reality of how our world is changing. >>View Article 

Md. Lawmakers to Propose Boosting State Levels of Renewable Energy Use

December 11 -- Maryland Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next year to increase the state’s use of renewable energy and boost both training for and development of clean-energy jobs, with a particular focus on helping women and minorities.

State Senate Majority Leader Catherine E. Pugh (D-Baltimore) and Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), who plan to co-sponsor the forthcoming bill, said the
renewable-energy program would be the largest of its kind in state history, with $40 million allocated for worker training and business development.

They announced the proposal at a news conference in Annapolis, as world leaders continued to meet at a global climate-change summit in Paris. >>View Article 

Why It’s Time for Congress to Stand With Solar

December 11 -- As world leaders converge on Paris to discuss climate change, there is a negotiation occurring in Washington, D.C., that may have a more tangible and immediate impact. In the next two weeks, Congress will decide whether or not to continue to support the solar industry, one of the fastest growing industries in the nation. At risk are more than 100,000 jobs, and inaction will slow one of the most promising economic revolutions this country has seen in the last half century.

With a tax extenders package on the horizon before year-end, Congress has the opportunity to keep solar on its growth trajectory through the extension of the investment tax credit (ITC), or wipe out the last decade of growth for an American success story. >>View Article 

There’s a ‘Sea Change’ of Opinion on Climate Change: EPA

December 11 -- Concerns on whether proposed air pollution regulations in the U.S. are 'fatally flawed' have been dismissed by the organization who backs them.

"We are alive and well, and there is no fatal flaw," Gina McCarthy, administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told CNBC Tuesday.

"The Clean Air Act has been very good for 45 years in driving down 70 percent of the pollution we've emitted, while we've tripled our GDP (gross domestic product). It's because we do it right, we have the information, we show the cost benefits, we prove that you can keep improving the environment while you grow the economy." >>View Article 

RFA to EPA: New Gasoline Volatility Regulations Needed

December 11 -- In a letter submitted Dec. 8 to the U.S. EPA, the Renewable Fuels Association urged the agency to take immediate administrative action to eliminate an arcane regulatory barrier that is impeding growth in the use of E15 and other higher-level ethanol blends.

“Many gasoline retailers have rejected E15 because EPA’s current gasoline volatility regulations make it nearly impossible for them to sell E15 to EPA-approved conventional automobiles year-round,” said Bob Dinneen, RFA President and CEO. “Most gas stations are unwilling to dedicate storage tanks and dispensing equipment to a fuel that they can only sell for part of the year.” >>View Article 

Sanders Bills Aim for 10 Million Clean Energy Jobs

December 11 -- A pair of bills from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) seeks to create millions of new jobs in clean energy fields through tax changes and worker training.

Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, is proposing a permanent extension of tax incentives for wind and solar energy and $41 billion in new programs to help workers in the fossil fuel industry get new jobs.

“Currently the United States wastes huge amounts of money providing corporate welfare to coal, oil and gas corporations that are destroying our planet,” Sanders said in a Tuesday statement. “It is time for us to invest in technologies that are cutting greenhouse gas emissions and in the long run will be more cost-effective.” >>View Article 

How India’s Solar Ambitions Can Become Reality

December 9 -- At the Paris climate talks, now in their second week, the spotlight is on India’s ambitious—very ambitious—commitments toward cleaner energy. The most significant: New Delhi’s pledge to increase the amount of solar power that can be generated in the country to 100 gigawatts by 2022. That’s more than 20 times India’s current solar deployment. It’s also more than all of Europe’s solar capacity, and more than half the world’s, as of the end of last year.

How can India pull it off?

In a new paper published by Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, researchers Varun Sivaram, Gireesh Shrimali and Dan Reicher outline a roadmap. >>View Article 

Pennsylvania Focuses on Renewables in Latest Energy Plan

December 9 -- Pennsylvania’s path to a lower carbon future will include a significant expansion of renewable energy; fewer methane leaks from natural gas pipelines and coal mines; more efficient use of energy to power homes and businesses; new forest preserves; and more waste made useful as energy.

That vision, described in a new draft update to Pennsylvania’s climate change action plan, is a compilation of dozens of steps the Department of Environmental Protection says the state can take to help limit the damage caused by rising global temperatures, which the report calls “one of the most serious issues facing the world.”

Pennsylvania is the third largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide in the country. DEP is updating its strategy for reducing the state’s share of greenhouse gas emissions as representatives from around the world meet in Paris to reach a climate deal on the broadest scale. >>View Article 

Military Takes Clean Energy Seriously, and It’s Not Alone

December 9 -- Clean energy isn’t just for tree-huggers anymore.

Once upon a time, folks who talked about the environment fit a stereotype: they wore Birkenstocks, had long hair and smelled a … shall we say, particular way. They were very nearly cartoon characters imagined by those opposed to clean energy or unconcerned about climate change; they were unserious, and often championing pie-in-the-sky causes.

As a veteran of the Army, I don’t exactly fit that stereotype. And neither do an increasing number of Americans, all across the country, who are seeing the dangers of climate change and the benefits of clean energy. >>View Article 

Oregon Should Reap the Benefits of Offshore Wind Power

December 9 -- Oregon must be strategic in plotting steps for how we can best prepare our state for the economies of tomorrow. Like the rest of the world, our state is changing and we must leverage opportunities presented by the new economy to benefit our state's jobs and industries. As representatives from both labor and business communities, we sometimes have differing viewpoints on how to best approach our economy. But there is one area in which we are in clear agreement: Opening our energy market to the innovative offshore wind industry is a smart move our state should take now, to create clean, renewable energy for Oregon's future and support a strong job economy for Oregon workers. >>View Article 

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