This year offers a rare historical opportunity for our nation to marry energy and agricultural policy objectives. The new 110th Congress will be revisiting the 2005 energy bill and reauthorizing the 2002 farm bill, giving congressional leaders the chance to link increased rural prosperity and energy security. Two reports released today will be useful guides.
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A recent column by David Morris published on Alternet provides a review of George Monbiot’s new book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. The book picks up where Al Gore left off on global warming, offering real solutions without sugar-coating the large personal sacrifices they will require.
Our January 2007 report, Lessons from the Pioneers: Tackling Global Warming at the Local Level looks at ten of the most visible and successful cities involved in global warming solutions and finds that reducing GHG emissions below 1990 levels will be a major challenge.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a group that has long been been tracking state-level developments related to net metering and distributed generation interconnection activities, has released its first monthly summary of state-level activities required under the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005).
Biofuels won’t single-handedly solve the climate crisis, nor will they deliver energy independence. But a base of widely dispersed, farmer- and citizen-owned biofuel plants can displace significant amounts of fossil fuels — while also building local economies. ILSR’s recent column in Grist Magazine outlines a federal energy and agriculture strategy to move us in the right direction.
A modest tax incentive proposal in Boulder, Colorado, creates a solar renewable energy fund from local sales tax revenues on solar energy equipment. About one third of the revenues will go for partial sales tax rebates and the other two-thirds will go to upgrade and fund new solar projects in the city at low income and nonprofit organization sites.
One of the first orders of business for the new Congress should be to eliminate a single sentence in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The language was added in the waning hours of the conference committee negotiations. According to ILSR, if it does not, the commercialization of ethanol made from cellulose could be delayed.
The article below by David Morris provides and overview of the mess.
Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that 610 projects have been given the authority to issue Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to help finance renewable energy development across the country. State and local governments and municipal and cooperative utilities were eligible to apply.
In September 2006, the Whatcom County Council (Washington) voted to use $62,000 out of $85,000 in projected energy efficiency savings for purchasing a block of renewable energy for a $0.01 per kWh premium. The renewable energy credits from Puget Sound Energy will cover 100 percent of the electricity used in county operations in 2007.
Last night, across the county, citizens’ cast their votes on ballot initiatives ranging from renewable energy portfolio requirements to increasing taxes to fund global warming programs. The results were mixed. Note: Most of the vote totals below are those that I found on the morning after the election on the respective Secretary of State web sites. The vote totals could change but the results are not expected to change.