“Traditional” vs “New”: Olympics and Utilities

As both the Sochi Winter Olympic & Special Olympic games have now drawn to a close, more than a few commentators sniffed about a “disappointing” Olympic games for the USA. Speedskating coach Bob Fenn reportedly said, “It’s like the fall of the Roman Empire.” One newspaper commented, “It’s just not the year the U.S. hoped [...]

Soggy in Sochi: The End of the Winter Olympics As We Know It?

Before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games began, Russia pledged that Sochi would be the greenest Olympic Games in history, promising green building standards for Olympic facilities and a “zero waste” policy, and even going so far as to suggest that Sochi would be the first carbon neutral Games in history. The Russian Olympic Committee did [...]

Daytona Speed Week Drives Toward 100% Renewable Energy

This blog was co-authored by SACE Florida Director Susan Glickman. Susan Glickman and I spent a day at Daytona International Speedway watching Leilani Munter race in the ARCA Racing Series. For those new to the car racing scene, ARCA is considered the “Farm Team” for NASCAR.  This week is ‘Speed Week’ in Daytona – the big [...]

Hold Candidates Accountable on Climate

The Tampa Bay Times ran some excellent coverage last week on the issue of climate change in the special election for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.   While climate change and sea level rise are ever-present issues in coastal Florida, the recent reporting was in response to a newly released study published in the journal Geophysical Research [...]

Dr. Marilyn Brown Reappointed After Unnecessary and Petty Delay

This week we received welcome news that Dr. Marilyn Brown had been reappointed to the TVA Board.  This re-appointment concludes a lengthy process that was delayed by some petty moves by our Tennessee Senate delegation.  If you recall, Dr. Brown was first nominated to the Board in 2010 by President Obama to complete a vacated [...]

Squirrels Are Driving Me And The Utilities Nuts

So I’ve never really thought of squirrels as being a major nuisance (some out there do, see N.A.D.S.: North American Defense against Squirrels) but this summer, my neighborhood squirrels seemed to have it out for my home solar system.   After returning from a week’s vacation I noticed that my solar output had dropped dramatically.  You [...]

Is Pope Francis the New Green Pope?

With the announcement from Vatican City that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a whole bevy of analysis has begun on the newly elected pontiff including his chosen name: Pope Francis. When I heard this, I immediately wondered, is Pope Francis the new “green” Pope?

For folks not following Catholicism, it may have been easy to overlook the green credentials of Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. In 2007, Vatican City became the first carbon neutral country in the world under Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. As part of that decision, a forest was planted to absorb as much carbon dioxide as the Vatican emits annually. Just a year later, over 2,400 solar panels were installed on the Vatican’s papal audience hall. In 2010, the Vatican decided to expand its solar program to 100 megawatts – decidedly making Vatican City the greenest country on the planet. Other green credentials of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI include a publication by the Papal Academy of Sciences noting the dire effects of climate change on glaciers, an entire sermon for the celebration of the World Day of Peace in 2010 titled “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation,” and last but not least, evaluating an all-electric, solar-powered Popemobile.

Scathing report finds Alabama PSC failing to protect ratepayers

A new report from the Arise Citizens’ Policy Project released March 1, “Public Utility Regulation Without the Public: The Alabama Public Service Commission and Alabama Power” [PDF] details ways Alabama’s utility regulatory system leaves customers paying some of the highest bills in the country and Alabama Power profiting far more than other utilities nationwide. According [...]

Inaugural Symposium: Social Justice, Environmental Justice and the Impact on Minority Health

February, Black History Month, is known for the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. As such, it is the perfect month to convene health care professionals and environmentalists to discuss public health disparities from pollution in low income and communities of color. On February 1, SACE, the Atlanta Black Nurses [...]

9/11 and our Energy Future

A decade ago this Sunday, our country was irrevocably changed. We have seen the impacts of this tragic day on a number of fronts, but perhaps the most overlooked impression is to our national energy security infrastructure. The catastrophic repercussions of events, which stemmed from the tragedies of September 11th, resonate through our collective conscious and have dramatically shifted the way we operate as a nation.