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Business Leaders Urge Congress to Extend Renewable Energy Tax Credit — Ceres

Published September 18, 2012 by tweetingdonal

Today, 19 companies, including major consumer brands and several Fortune 500 firms, wrote to Congressional leaders encouraging them to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a key provision supporting renewable energy.

The PTC provides a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of renewable power generated and, if lawmakers fail to act, is set to expire in 2012. Originally signed into law by George H.W. Bush, the tax credit has helped to strengthen energy diversity, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and keep electricity costs low for homes and businesses across the country.

“For consumers of wind electricity, the economic benefits of the PTC are tremendous. The PTC has enabled the industry to slash wind energy costs – 90% since 1980 – a big reason why companies like ours are buying increasing amounts of renewable energy,” the companies wrote in their letter. “Extending the PTC lowers prices for all consumers, keeps America competitive in a global marketplace and creates homegrown American jobs.”

The signatories of the letter demonstrate how a broad cross-section of U.S. companies are increasingly relying on inexpensive and abundant American wind energy to power their businesses. The signers include:  Akamai Technologies; Annie’s, Inc.; Aspen Skiing Company; Ben & Jerry’s; Clif Bar; Johnson & Johnson; Jones Lang LaSalle; Levi Strauss & Co; New Belgium Brewing; The North Face; Pitney Bowes; the Portland Trail Blazers; Seventh Generation; Sprint; Starbucks; Stonyfield Farm; Symantec; Timberland; and Yahoo!. Many of these firms are members of Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), a project of Ceres.

Sprint, a national top 50 green power purchaser, highlighted the PTC’s importance to meeting its renewable energy goals:

“Sprint has committed to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and increase its use of renewable energy sources for electricity,” said Amy Hargroves, manager, corporate social responsibility at Sprint. “That’s why we have been actively working to meet our goal to secure 10 percent of our total electricity through renewable energy sources by 2017.  We support the extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind because it has enabled companies like Sprint to make the shift to abundant, clean, and homegrown wind energy.”

Members of BICEP like New Belgium Brewing also expressed strong support for the PTC:

“New Belgium Brewing has made investing in renewable power a strategic priority because it’s the right thing to do for the environment, for our business, and for clean energy employment,” said Jenn Vervier, director, strategic development and sustainability at New Belgium Brewing. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen clean energy job growth in our home state of Colorado and a vision for building a more resilient power grid by integrating renewables. Extending the Production Tax Credit will help to ensure that those positive trends continue across the nation.”

“The Production Tax Credit helps every business that purchases renewable power: It’s just that simple,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, which coordinates BICEP. “Letting the PTC expire now would increase energy costs for homes and businesses at exactly the wrong time. For Congress, the message from business leaders is clear: Extend the PTC and help us build the economy.”

Navigant Consulting estimates that extending the PTC for four additional years would result in 95,000 wind-supported jobs and $16.3 billion in investment by 2016. However, failing to immediately extend the PTC would result in the loss of more than 37,000 American jobs and $10 billion in investment in 2013.

Bolstered by the PTC, wind energy accounted for 35% of new electrical generation capacity installed in the past five years, and now supplies 20% of electricity in states like Iowa and South Dakota. From 2004 through 2011, non-hydroelectric renewable energy more than doubled and now accounts for nearly 5% of electricity generation in the U.S.

BICEP is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. BICEP is a project of Ceres. www.ceres.org/bicep

Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership.  Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion.

Our Congress is choking on 2.2 cents per kW-hr but has no problem with much larger breaks for the coal companies…

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US Leadership: “Last Place is ‘OK’ by Us… We Don’t Want the US to Succeed if it Makes Obama Look Good!”

Published November 29, 2009 by tweetingdonal

I suppose it was inevitable… the crown for intelligent leadership is shifting to China… the American Leadership seems to be too mired in their own self interest to see the huge opportunities they’re deriding… leading our country into at best a third place position.

WBGU Factsheet 3 Budget Approach

Published November 28, 2009 by tweetingdonal

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has developed an innovative approach to solving the problem of climate change. A key component is an agreement between the community of states regarding a cap, in the form of a global budget, for the total amount of carbon dioxide that may be emitted from fossil-fuel sources up to the year 2050, with a view to avoiding dangerous climate change. As the global budget would be apportioned among all countries in line with fundamental principles of equity, the budget approach can serve as the basis for a new global climate treaty. In its latest special report, “The budget approach” (2009), WBGU demonstrates that global warming must not exceed the 2°C guard rail if dangerous climate change is to be avoided.

Time for plain talk… the Germans are trying to be clear… If you want to read the pdf file, try here: http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_factsheet_3_en.pdf

Looks like the Polar winds couldn’t keep it cool enough: East Antarctica

Published November 26, 2009 by tweetingdonal
The Big Thaw? NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica
11.24.09

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Grace estimate of changes in Antarctica’s ice mass, measured in centimeters of equivalent water height change per year. The study confirmed previous estimates of ice mass loss in West Antarctica, but also found ice mass loss in East Antarctica, primarily in coastal regions (depicted in light blue). Image credit: University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research
› Larger image Using gravity measurement data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) mission, a team of scientists from the University of Texas at Austin has found that the East Antarctic ice sheet-home to about 90 percent of Earth’s solid fresh water and previously considered stable-may have begun to lose ice.

The team used Grace data to estimate Antarctica’s ice mass between 2002 and 2009. Their results, published Nov. 22 in the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the East Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass, mostly in coastal regions, at an estimated rate of 57 gigatonnes a year. A gigatonne is one billion metric tons, or

Once more our optimism take a big hit… more fresh water flowing into the southern oceans, sea rise becoming an issue sooner, and a big giant ???? mark about how this will change the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon gases… “Fasten your seat belts… it’s going to be a bumpy night.”