The Latest On: energy efficiency
And here I thought the bankruptcy of General Motors might start to spell the end of outrageous profligacy. That is to say, news reports that GM would shut down its Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer divisions and start up a new high-mileage, low-emission model sounded like steps in the right direction. Especially as regards the Hummer.
But wait a minute. An Associated Press story June 3 reports that Hummer is being bought by a Chinese company that heretofore has made only cement mixers and tow trucks. And the small company is not equipped to actually manufacture the gas-guzzling behemoths (the Chinese name of the Hummer is "Bold Horse," according to the AP) in China, so will keep production in the U.S.
That seems like a pretty crazy idea, especially with gas prices zooming upward again. Will the world ever wake up? Let's just give the Hummer a dignified funeral (OK, undignified would be just as welcome) and get on with it.
By now, we've all heard the same merry-go-round arguments about why the U.S. can't afford aggressive measures to develop clean energy and tackle climate change. And most of those arguments revolve around that other behemoth-of-a-superpower: China. We can practically roll the stats off our tongues: China's now the #1 emitter of greenhouse gases. China is building one coal-fired power plant a week. If China doesn't clean up its act, why should we?
Last November, as Barack Obama won the election, we recommended a list of "easy things" the new president could immediately do to cement his promises about being a pro-environment president. This is our second update on how he's doing.
Talk about a great Earth Day present! Florida Power and Light and Kitson & Partners made a stunning announcement April 9, saying they plan to build the nation's first solar-powered city—a cluster of homes, offices and factories less than 20 miles from Fort Myers on Florida's Gulf Coast.
With a stroke of his pen today, President Obama endorsed a keystone element in Earthjustice's national push for energy efficiency.
Obama signed a presidential memorandum calling upon the Department of Energy to adopt energy efficiency standards for dozens of common household appliances. This marks a huge step towards the energy savings and independence he promised during the election, Obama said:
Jan. 8 was a sweet day in Florida, and I’m not talking about the weather.
On that day, the state's Public Service Commission voted for a new energy mandate: the state will get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—wind, solar, hydropower, or biomass—by 2020.
"We want to be a leader in this country in solar and wind," Public Service Commission Chairman Matthew Carter said. "We want to establish a dynamic and vibrant marketplace."
I just finished a year-long appointment on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. We released a blueprint that, if put into action, would make Florida one of America's most aggressive states in tackling climate change.
We studied the gamut: alternative energy sources, vehicle emissions, landfill gases, forestry practices, building construction, electricity demand you name it.
The result is an ambitious set of reforms which we believe would cut Florida's greenhouse gasses 34 percent by 2025.