What About Pollution

What are YOU going to Do!

‘Conservation’

New Electronics Gifts for the Holidays? Make Simple Fixes So They Don’t Cost You Year-Round

Pierre Delforge, Director, High Tech Sector Energy Efficiency, San Francisco If you’re the lucky recipient of the latest electronic gadgets this holiday season—or live in the same household—you may soon discover that gift comes with a price  because today’s TVs, computers, video game consoles, and other devices can generate Santa-sized drains on  electricity all year long. Fortunately, a few simple changes can help trim your energy costs. Not only will you save money on your utility bill, you’ll also prevent the generation of unnecessary electricity and the millions of tons of pollution when power plants make it. Here are some easy tips on how to minimize the electricity use of your devices. The right settings for your TV: Although… Read More

Energy Efficiency and Renewables Are Lowest Risk/Cost Investments for Utilities

Sheryl Carter, Co-Director, Energy Program, San Francisco A new report by utility and finance experts contains positive news for the environment, our air and our (and our utilities’) pocketbooks — the economics of electric power resources have made zero-emissions energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies the most financially attractive options to meet the nation’s future energy demands. The report by the nonprofit organization Ceres, entitled “Practicing Risk-Aware Electricity Regulation: 2014 Update,” says energy efficiency, distributed (onsite) energy, and renewable energy (whose costs, in some cases, have come down dramatically since 2012) are enticing investments for utilities because they bring lower risks and will cost less than traditional energy sources used to generate electricity. And almost without exception, the report… Read More

A landmark plan for conservation and renewable energy

Helen O’Shea, Director, Western Renewable Energy Project, San Francisco Today, when the Department of Interior and the California Department of Natural Resources released a draft of the long-awaited Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), the agencies set the stage for a first-of-its-kind project … in more ways than one. Not only does the DRECP have the potential to serve as a blueprint for conservation and clean energy development in the California desert, it could become a model for how federal, state, and local agencies can work together … and how those collaborations are better overall for everyone involved. ‘Smart from the Start’ Planning The DRECP is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management, the… Read More

The cheapest way to cut climate pollution? Energy efficiency

By EDF Blogs This blog post was co-authored by Lauren Navarro, California Senior Manager, Clean Energy and Kate Zerrenner, an EDF project manager and expert on energy efficiency and climate change. On June 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made a historic announcement that will change how we make, move and use electricity for generations to come. For the first time in history, the government proposed limits on the amount of carbon pollution American fossil-fueled power plants are allowed to spew into the atmosphere. There are two clear winners to comply with the plan while maintaining commitment to electric reliability and affordability: energy efficiency and demand response. We’re already seeing pushback from some of our nation’s big polluter states, such as West Virginia and Texas. But… Read More

Hundreds of Thousands Support Standards to Ensure a Healthy Low-Carbon Future

By Mandy Warner This is a fact that always stuns people: There are currently no national limits whatsoever on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants, the single largest source of this pollution in the country. But last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal that could change that fact for future power plants. EPA’s proposal would set America’s first-ever national carbon pollution standards for future power plants – a major victory in the fight against climate change. The Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants are an absolutely necessary, common sense step toward limiting the pollution emitted through our country’s power generation. These standards will help protect our children from harmful smog, curb respiratory problems, and shield our… Read More

Trucks delivering six miles per gallon won’t work in the long haul

By Jason Mathers Here’s something to think about next time you are stuck in traffic next to an 18-wheeler: The average tractor-trailer can travel only six miles per gallon of diesel. These heavy trucks travel a lot too; averaging more than 120,000 miles a year or 20 roundtrip drives between Boston and San Francisco. Freight trucks are on the road for one primary purpose: to get goods to all of us. In fact 70% of U.S. freight tonnage is moved by tractor-trailer trucks. Over the coming years, demand for freight services is expected to grow even more. And this is driving up fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. A call for strong fuel efficiency standards But it is possible and… Read More

Architecture, public responsibility, and the art of listening

Kaid Benfield, Special Counsel for Urban Solutions, Washington, DC I’ve been mulling this one for a few days.  I seem to know a lot of people who do a lot of complaining about the architecture profession, particularly its alleged preoccupation with making artistic statements rather than, the charge goes, serving people.  I think it’s a fair point to a degree, but for a lot of reasons I’ll try to work through here, I’m having a hard time figuring out to what degree, exactly.  A related issue is the extent to which architects should, and do, listen to the people their buildings and places are supposedly serving. Has architecture lost touch with people? The issue was brought into clear focus… Read More