For the third year, SACE has joined #Giving Tuesday- a first of its kind effort that aims to harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners – charities, families, businesses and individuals – to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.
Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kick-off of the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday reminds us that this is the time to pay it forward. It inspires us to take collaborative action now, to help ourselves and help our communities improve quality of life throughout the country.
During the most generous season of the year, #GivingTuesday is an excuse to give back in better, smarter ways to the causes you support, in order to help create a better world.
On December 1st, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, you can join others around the country and encourage spending with a purpose. Be part of the movement to change the way we produce and consume energy in the Southeast by supporting the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
If you are reading this blog, most likely you are already helping to create a better world by staying up to date on critical energy issues that are affecting you and this region. We are thankful for everything you do to support responsible energy choices that will lead to a cleaner, safer and healthier world. Thank you for being a voice for clean energy.
Buy Clean Energy T-shirts this Holiday Season…& Support SACE!
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is excited to announce that this year, there’s a couple of colorful, socially-conscious and environmentally-sustainable options you can purchase for anyone on your list. And guess what…you don’t have to wait in long lines at the mall! Shop online and with a few clicks of the mouse, you can check that special someone off your list!
Mountainspiration Apparel, an apparel company based in Asheville, N.C., has launched a new line of Chari-Tees shirts made from 100% organic cotton or an organic cotton-recycled PET polyester blend, so they’re soft, comfortable and eco-friendly. If those aren’t good enough reasons to purchase one, then perhaps this is: 100% of the proceeds will support our work promoting clean energy here in the Southeast! In addition to this generous program, Mountainspiration also offers all customers the option to choose SACE or any other western North Carolina nonprofit to receive 5 percent of the proceeds from any purchase during the check-out process. Read more…
This is the last post in our year-long climate series, “Prelude to Paris,” providing updates and analysis on climate actions and policies in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference starting in Paris next week. Other posts in the series are available here.
Next week, leaders from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris for the United Nations Climate Conference, or more specifically: the 21st annual session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Despite the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, there have been positive developments in the lead up to these climate negotiations. Notably, many of the world’s top-polluting countries (including India, China and the United States) have already submitted climate pollution reduction goals to help drive a binding and universal agreement on climate. Earlier this summer, Pope Francis‘ encyclical Laudato si’ was released and stressed the moral imperative of “swift and unified global action” to reverse the trends of environmental degradation which include climate change. A group of 154 faith leaders followed suit in October, by issuing a proclamation urging strong action in Paris to fulfill humanity’s duty to steward creation and take care of fellow people, especially those vulnerable to climate impacts. Meanwhile, dozens of the world’s largest companies, such as Nike, Kellogg’s, IKEA, have made a business case for urging world leaders for a strong international agreement in Paris. And this fall the People’s Climate Movement organized hundreds of marches and rallies across the United States to demonstrate to leaders that a growing base of citizens support policies that will take aggressive action on climate change.
Yesterday, South Carolina reached a major milestone in advancing potential offshore wind energy development in years to come. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal regulator that oversees offshore wind development, announced plans to publish two major documents that close in on eventual offshore wind leasing. The two documents are a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Call for Information and Nominations (“call”) on certain areas preliminarily identified as potentially good areas to develop offshore wind energy. These documents are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, and will show four areas identified for potential wind development, totaling 1,167 square nautical miles.
The identification of the “call areas” has been years in the making, largely informed by South Carolina stakeholder meetings of local, state, and federal agencies and groups. These meetings have been going since at least 2010 under the direction of the State of South Carolina and since 2012 under the direction of BOEM. Through this process, the groups representing broad interests from local town officials and chambers of commerce to the Department of Defense and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, sought to identify the areas that balanced high suitability for wind development and potentially conflicting uses, such as artificial reefs, areas of high boat traffic, military activity, and areas of high bird activity like Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and around Winyah Bay. Read more…
Es tiempo de dar gracias y en esta semana tan señalada queremos darte las GRACIAS por tu ayuda en todo lo hecho para decir “no” al potencial disparate de FPL de construir dos nuevos reactores nucleares en su planta de Turkey Point cerca de Homestead, Florida ~ a 25 millas de Miami. Esta semana de Acción de Gracias también nos ha dado la oportunidad de compartir dos de nuestros memes favoritos.
Que como habéis ayudado a frenar los planes de FPL? Bueno, pues recientemente la Comision Reguladora Nuclear (NRC), la agencia que revisa la concesión de licencias federales para este tipo de reactores, anuncio que había recibido tantos comentarios del público y otras agencias, casi 11.000, que decidía extender el periodo de revisión de su Informe de Impacto Medioambiental (EIS) para considerar todos esos comentarios. EL NCR cree que se necesitaran por lo menos 7 meses más. Así en vez de finalizar el EIS en Febrero de 2016 lo hará en Octubre de 2016 como mas temprano. ¡Así que gracias por asegurar que todos somos escuchados en este proceso!
As we offer up our thanks during Thanksgiving week, we wanted to THANK YOU for all that you’ve done to help say “no” to FPL’s ill-advised pursuit of possibly building two new nuclear reactors at their existing Turkey Point plant near Homestead, Florida ~25 miles from Miami. This turkey-themed holiday also gave us another opportunity to share two of our favorite memes!
How have you all helped thwart FPL’s plans? There have been many ways over the years but most recently the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the agency overseeing the federal licensing of these reactors, announced that they received so many substantive comments from the public and other agencies, nearly 11,000 (wow!), they were extending their review of the environmental impact statement (EIS) to address those comments. They anticipated this would take at least an additional 7 months: instead of finalizing the EIS in February 2016, the NRC now estimates October 2016, at the earliest. So thank you for ensuring that concerned voices are being heard! Read more…
With the Southeast’s heavy reliance on coal power, the emissions benefit of electric vehicles (EVs) has been brought into question in recent years. Not only that, but what about the associated emissions from manufacturing and disposing of EV batteries? In the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) new report, Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave, they answer those questions – providing both an update to their 2012 State of Charge report and analysis of the overall lifecycle emissions from both gasoline vehicles and EVs. The new report also includes a handy new feature offering zip code searches to find out how clean driving an EV is wherever you live or charge.
They found that the production and the manufacturing of batteries for an EV produces significant global warming emissions, but when you compare the overall emissions over its entire lifecycle to that of gasoline cars, EVs are more than 50% cleaner than comparable gasoline vehicles. Lifecycle global warming emissions examined in this report include everything from the raw materials to make the cars and gasoline (extraction, refining, delivery) to manufacturing, driving, disposal and/or recycling of parts.
Between the climate talks about to start in Paris and the EPA hearing on aspects of the Clean Power Plan in Atlanta this week, there’s been a lot of talk about climate and carbon. But whether you think limiting carbon emissions is important or not, there are plenty of other reasons to phase out Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond, a medium-sized coal plant in the northwest corner of the state.
The evidence is stacking up for shutting Plant Hammond down. First, on November 4, the Georgia Water Coalition named Plant Hammond one of the 2015 Dirty Dozen threats to Georgia waterways. Then, a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis showed that the plant is both running less and costing more, while Georgia Power has many alternatives that are both cleaner and cheaper. And a front-page investigation by the Atlanta Journal Constitution found that coal ash, at Plant Hammond and elsewhere, continues to pose a toxic threat to neighboring areas. Read more…
Duke Energy, Southern Company, and NextEra Energy Inc. are reportedly planning to invest billions of dollars in solar and wind energy in the near future – only those investments will be outside their own Southeastern territories and will be carried out primarily by their unregulated subsidiaries. According to an article published last week by Kristi E. Swartz in the subscription service EnergyWire and available publicly here, even potential changes to federal investment tax credits for wind and solar aren’t expected to reduce the companies’ appetite to add these resources to their portfolios.
SACE, which has worked for years to get these companies to increase the amount of renewable energy on their electric systems that serve customers in our region, finds it ironic that they see the value of investing in these resources in subsidiaries that operate in a competitive marketplace when they have been resistant to doing so in their monopoly territories. But it’s not so difficult to understand when you consider that monopoly utilities make their money by investing in infrastructure – and the more capital they are able to deploy, the higher the returns to shareholders.
Right now, SACE is intervening in a proceeding in Florida to challenge NextEra’s wholly-owned subsidiary Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) plans to build a massive new 1,052 megawatt (MW) combined cycle natural gas plant. Read more…
As the Environmental Protection Agency works towards finalizing a few components of the Clean Power Plan, the agency will host public hearings over two days in Atlanta on November 19-20. The hearings in Atlanta are the final opportunity for the public to provide verbal input on the plan. Other hearings are being held in Pittsburgh, PA, Denver, CO, and Washington, DC.
The Clean Power Plan, released in August and officially published in October, is EPA’s historic effort to finally curb carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.
The Clean Power Plan sets emission reduction goals that each state must meet by 2030, based on that state’s historic generation and unique energy portfolio. States are given a wide range of compliance options and ample time to craft state specific compliance plans that are flexible, economically viable and protect grid reliability.
The hearings are an opportunity for the public to provide verbal input to EPA on several key parts of the Clean Power Plan – the Proposed Federal Rule and Model Training Rules and the Clean Energy Incentive Program. The official public comment period for these pieces ends on January 21, 2016, but EPA is hosting public hearings early for those who want to provide input before the deadline.
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