Posts tagged: clean energy

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
19 July 2013, 11:54 AM
Only a great leap forward can succeed against this critical issue
Last year was the warmest year on record for the continental United States. (Boris Ryaposov / Shutterstock)

It took a super-storm, record-breaking heat, rampant wildfires and increasingly dire predictions for the planet, but four-and-a-half years into his tenure, President Obama issued a plan to combat climate change. It’s an important step forward – but, frankly, we need a leap.

Announced on June 25, the president’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) has three aims: cut domestic carbon pollution; prepare the country to face the now-unavoidable impacts of climate change; and enhance U.S. leadership in international negotiations to reduce global carbon pollution. Broadly, these are the right aims, but the details, which have not been disclosed yet, will determine the extent of CAP’s positive impact.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
14 June 2013, 3:47 PM
President Obama's energy mantra echoes the fossil fuel industry
Climate change increases the frequency of deadly wildfires. (U.S. Forest Service Region 5)

In recent weeks we have continued to experience extreme and destructive forest fires, droughts, and floods. The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached new and dangerous levels.

Despite this, President Obama’s pledge to address climate change with meaningful actions has stalled. Since the stirring words of his Inauguration and State of the Union speeches, the EPA has missed its deadline for setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Even simple, non-controversial actions like strengthening the efficiency standards for new refrigerators are marooned inside the White House. This failure to act is completely inconsistent with the president’s promise to lead on climate.

Equally troubling is the president’s continued support for expansive and extreme development of new fossil fuel sources. Drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean, fracking across our public lands, expanding coal mines for export to Asia, and importing dirty, carbon-intensive oil from Canada’s tar sands will all drive climate change to even more destructive levels and will destroy ecosystems and damage people’s health in the meantime.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
11 June 2013, 10:11 AM
World's largest coal mining company is turning to solar energy
A solar array in Pondicherry, India. (ammusk)

You gotta love it when the world’s largest coal mining company turns to solar energy, as a way to cut costs and because it recognizes that fossil fuels are fast going away.

According to a published report, Coal India plans to install solar in its various operations around the country. A company document explains why:

India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on.

View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
19 April 2013, 12:22 PM
DOE releases new distribution transformer standards
Although the electricity used by any one transformer is small, the losses add up on a national scale.  (iStockphoto)

In 2007, we filed a lawsuit challenging the Bush administration's weak energy efficiency standards for electricity distribution transformers, those gray boxes mounted on utility poles that power all our homes and businesses. The results of that lawsuit are new standards from the U.S. Department of Energy that were published in the Federal Register on Thursday. The standards were updated as part of an agreement settling that lawsuit. Along with Earthjustice, parties to the suit include the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and several states.

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View Chrissy Pepino's blog posts
18 April 2013, 4:54 PM
4 ladies take on 1,000 miles to spread the word about climate change
View from the top of Hawk Hill, after a steep climb of 1,100 feet.

In just one month's time, 190 riders will cumulatively bike a total of 60,000 miles to spread the message: climate change is the most urgent problem we face today, and it’s up to us to take action. Our 4-woman team with the alias of “Lean Green Two-Wheeled Machines” will be riding on behalf of Earthjustice, a recently added beneficiary of the fundraising efforts associated with the ride. In December, Earthjustice became one of the 30 teams participating in this 5-day bike journey, thanks to a recent partnership between Earthjustice and Climate Ride. Both non-profits focus on inspiring and empowering citizens to work toward a sustainable and clean energy future.

Throughout this biking journey, we hope to demonstrate that daily changes in our routine can drastically reduce our carbon footprint. By altering our lifestyles, we can make a big difference.

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View Holly Harris's blog posts
10 April 2013, 12:30 PM
Big Oil company won't drill in 2014, following Shell's lead
The Arctic is home to a rich variety of marine life, such as beluga whales. Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

The Arctic Ocean got a reprieve and Big Oil got its latest reality check, today, when ConocoPhillips admitted it's not ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean. After Shell’s summer of accidents and near-misses, a blistering report from the Department of Interior, and now ConocoPhillips’ admission, it is time for the Obama administration to recognize our country’s Arctic offshore oil and gas program was premature. The administration’s “all of the above” energy policy is ignoring the uniqueness of the Arctic region and failing to appreciate the harsh conditions Big Oil will have to be able to endure to drill for oil in Arctic Ocean.

View Jonathan Wiener's blog posts
07 March 2013, 9:01 AM
EnergyGuide and ENERGY STAR labels obscure impact of configurations and features
The addition of a through-the-door ice dispenser can make a big difference in a refrigerator's energy usage.

Would you give ENERGY STAR to a sport-utility vehicle? What about a sport-utility refrigerator?

As with fuel economy for cars, the most important factors affecting a refrigerator’s energy usage include size, design and features. Specifically, the location of the freezer section, the addition of an automatic icemaker, and the addition of a through-the-door ice dispenser can all make a big difference in a model’s energy usage. But the labeling programs designed to promote energy-efficient models instead hide these impacts.

Today’s Energy Guide labels for refrigerators compare energy use only among models that have the exact same configuration and features. ENERGY STAR works the same way, allowing products to carry the mark even if they have the least efficient combination of configurations and features.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
07 June 2011, 3:04 PM
Fresno Board of Supervisors rejects a nuclear-power proposal

The Fresno, California, Board of Supervisors has decided not to endorse a proposal by the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group to build a “Clean Energy Park,” outside town. The park would boast two big, 1,600-megawatt, French-made reactors, a solar-thermal plant, and a water desalination facility.

The account in the Fresno Business Journal doesn’t mention Japan or Fukushima explicitly, but the shadow in the background is unmistakable. And it must send shivers down the backs of people promoting a nuclear renaissance as the cure for global warming—especially as Germany has recently decided to stop building new reactors and to retire existing plants as replacement power comes on-line. Japan is clearly rethinking its commitment to nuclear power as well.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 July 2010, 4:20 PM
Let's not give up on a Senate climate change bill
Sen. John Kerry

<Today (Thur.), I attended a Town Hall meeting in a Senate office building on the need for climate change legislation. Accompanying me was our fantastic summer intern, Trevor Hill, who is here in DC sponging up the politics and legislative procedures within our fight to protect the people, places and wildlife on this planet for an entire summer before he returns to Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

After a huge news day on climate change, it is my pleasure to toss this blog post to Trevor, who writes quite compellingly on the range of emotions the day brought and why he is not ready to give up the fight for national action on climate change>:

Today was quite a rollercoaster ride for those of us following the conversation on comprehensive climate change legislation in the nation’s capital.

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View Florian Schulz's blog posts
10 May 2010, 2:04 PM
In wake of Gulf oil spill we must reexamine offshore drilling in the Arctic
A beluga whale surfaces in the Chukchi Sea. Photo: Florian Schulz, Visions of the Wild

Florian Schulz is a professional nature and wildlife photographer who is currently working with Earthjustice and Patagonia to present“Visions of the Arctic,” a stunning collection of photos showcasing the beauty of the Arctic and the threats the region faces from industrialization and climate change.

As I type this, having just returned from a two-week photography trip to the Arctic, my fingertips tingle, possibly from the lingering cold, or possibly from the trepidation that the tragedy of the Gulf oil spill will someday repeat itself in America's Arctic Ocean. Though President Obama has temporarily halted his plans to expand new offshore oil leasing until federal investigations into the cause of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion are completed, there are plans already underway to drill in America's Arctic Ocean as early as this summer.

Even worse, the government has signaled its approval for Shell Oil Company to begin its exploratory Arctic drilling without fully considering the impacts that an accident like the ongoing Gulf disaster would have on such a fragile ecosystem. What also has not been adequately considered is the increased difficulty of responding to such a disaster in the Arctic, which presents weather conditions incomparable to those found in the Gulf. During my treks through the Arctic wilderness, I encountered shifting ice sheets, bone-chilling temperatures, and areas of snow that were blowing so thick it traveled across the ground like a ghost of fog.