Enacted in 1997, the Oregon law requires any new power plant to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions 17 percent below the level of the best existing combustion-turbine plant anywhere in the United States. The standards are periodically updated as more efficient power plants are built in other states. Continue reading
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In an extremely challenging economic climate, independent retailers are outperforming many chains, a national survey has found. Continue reading
In January 2007, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)adopted an interim Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Performance Standard(EPS) in an effort to help mitigate climate change. The standard is a facility-based emissions standard requiring that all new long-term commitments for baseload generation to serve California consumers be with power plants that have emissions no greater than a combined cycle gas turbine plant. Continue reading
Californiais the only state empowered under federal law to pass stronger air pollution standards than those set by the federal government. Other states can then choose California’s standards, but cannot be the first to surpass those set by the federal government. Thus, the passage of a California law leading to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from cars eventually could spark changes in the design of automobiles sold across the country. As of 2009, at least 16 other states had passed legislation adopting California’s "clean cars" standard (pending waiver being granted by the EPA). Continue reading
Abandoned big-box stores, dead and dying strip malls and empty storefronts are about to join foreclosed houses as one of the defining features of the American landscape in 2009. It will be tempting to blame the weak economy for all of this wreckage. But the recession has merely been the trigger. This avalanche of vacant retail, much like the mortgage crisis, has been a long time in the making. Continue reading
Forinstance, in major cities facades of buildings as well as whole buildings are plastered with a single ad. The Gap and other stores project advertisements from lamps onto sidewalks at night. Public beaches are imprinted with adveretisements for iced tea and television shows.
Many proposals addressing climate change advocate for a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or carbon content of fuels. The limiting and lowering of carbon or GHG emissions will create a new market value for carbon. Many agree that there should be a 100 percent auction of carbon permits, and estimates indicate that carbon allowance auctions could raise $50-$200 billion annually at the national level. However, there are many different opinions as to how this money should be used. We believe that carbon cap with universal dividends on a per capita basis is the best solution and be the most politically acceptable solution. It will inspire substantial investment in clean energy technologies while protecting tens of millions of households from the impact from potentially steep increases in energy prices resulting from the cap Continue reading
In December 2004 the Washington, DC adopted the Department of Motor Vehicle’s Reform Amendment Act, which is intended to encourage the use of hybrid cars and discourage the use of SUVs. Underthe new Act, owners of hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles are no longer required to pay an excise tax and their registration fee is cut in half. Heavy passenger vehicles, on the other hand, must pay an increased excise tax of 8% (up from 7%) and an increased registration fee.
Green pricing requires a few customers to pay a substantial premium for relatively little power. A much better way for consumers to increase the supply of renewable energy is to exercise "green citizenship." If a significant majority of the customers of a given utility vote for green energy, the utility can purchase a larger amount of renewables and spread the costs over its entire customer base. Often 10 times the amount of green electricity can be purchased at a fraction of the cost for an individual household. Continue reading
In May 2002, New Hampshire became the first state in the country to adopt rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. The new law establishes a multiple pollutant reduction program. In addition to CO2, the final version of the new law (HB284, NH Laws of 2002, Chapter 130) establishes caps on emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by existing fossil fuel electric power plants and also requires a reduction in mercury pollution. This law permits the banking and trading of emissions reductions credits to achieve compliance with the caps. The NH Department of Environmental Services is directed to establish an integrated strategy to reduce emissions, including the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The new law went into effect July 1, 2002. Continue reading