Trump Can’t Stop This: Climate Action in the Southeast

This is a guest post co-written by Kevin Steinberger and Elisheva Mittelman with NRDC. Once laggards on clean energy, cities and states across the Southeast are taking significant steps to develop smart, clean energy plans―with more than 47 Southeast cities and 2 states pledging to accelerate clean energy development to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Smart, Prosperous and Resilient? Memphis Named as 1 of 6 Sites for New Climate, Health and Racial Equity Initiative

High energy burdens, sub-standard housing, pervasive poverty, poor public transportation access, poor access to health care and food deserts are all too common in North Memphis. Large community re-development projects in Memphis have often left communities like North Memphis behind – resulting in more divided neighborhoods and displacement of low-income and minority communities. Many are left asking – when is this ever going to change?

As it turns out, a change may be coming thanks to a novel opportunity known as the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). Memphis, specifically North Memphis, has been chosen as one of six SPARCC sites, along with Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles and the San Fransisco Bay Area. The three-year SPARCC initiative is focused on fostering collaboration and could lead to multi-million investment in community driven projects.

Tar Sands in the Atlantic-Company Behind Keystone XL is Back

This is a guest post was written by Joshua Axelrod, Policy Analyst for the Canada Project of Natural Resources Defense Council, and originally ran on July 26th on the NRDC blog here. In November 2015, President Obama announced the rejection of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The announcement ended a six year fight between environmentalists, Alberta’s oil [...]

Guest Post: Peabody Coal’s Unprecedented Support for Climate Denial

Guest Blog: Researchers recently confirmed that Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, has been funding dozens of climate denial groups, including the “Dr. Evil” mastermind behind a number of vicious, over-the-top attacks against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Power Plan. The latest revelations from Peabody’s bankruptcy court documents show the unprecedented extent to which big polluters like Peabody went to subvert climate action.

As Utilities Embrace Clean Energy, Southeast Needs Smart Policies to Promote Local Renewables Growth

Even utilities in our notoriously coal-dependent Southeast are getting in on the action. Duke Energy, one of the two biggest utilities in our region, in late April announced plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, up by one-third over previous targets. “We’re finding that it’s competitive” on a cost basis, Duke Energy company spokesman Randy Wheeless has said of renewables. “It makes good business sense.” The Atlanta-based Southern Company, parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, intends to exceed its previously announced renewables totals for 2017 and 2018 and just bought a North Carolina company, PowerSecure, that focuses on distributed generation—smaller-scale local power often provided by renewable sources—along with energy efficiency. NextEra Energy, based in Juno, Florida and the parent of that state’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light (FPL), is a national leader in wind power development. “We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,” NextEra Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO John Ketchum said on an April 28th earnings call.

Guest Post: What’s Next for the Clean Power Plan?

On Tuesday, February 9th, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court unexpectedly issued a “stay” blocking the Clean Power Plan – the centerpiece of U.S. action on climate change – until litigation over its legality is finished. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear the case in June, and decide the merits most likely in late summer or the fall. Appeals to the Supreme Court will surely follow. What does the stay order tell us about the Clean Power Plan’s prospects?

Guest Post: Clean Power Plan Can Boost Energy Efficiency Investments in Affordable Housing

Low-income households are disproportionately burdened by exposure to toxins in the atmosphere and the built environment. Climate change compounds these vulnerabilities when unstable weather patterns increase exposure and/or the potency of toxic chemicals in our environment. Additionally, low-income households are often forced to make housing choices in which they rely on inadequate or lower quality housing. Poor ventilation can cause homes to be drafty in winter and allow in moisture in summer that leads to mold and illness. Poor construction and inefficient appliances and energy grid connections leave families unable to safely maintain comfortable temperatures, leaving them further vulnerable to illness or potentially deadly accidents.

Denying the climate change and health connection got them nowhere; polluters try (and fail) to convince Latinos and African Americans that the Clean Power Plan is bad for their bottom line

This post, written by Juan Declet-Barreto, originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard blog on June 11, 2015 and is reposted with permission. Addressing the disproportionate impacts of carbon pollution on the health of low-income and minority communities is one of the most compelling reasons for combating climate change. Many serious and rigorous scientific studies have shown that [...]

Bridging the Clean Energy Divide: Affordable Clean Energy Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to highlight the benefits offered by clean energy resources to vulnerable communities.  In a new set of fact sheets, NRDC lays out how the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan offers serious benefits to low-income and fixed-income households.  Although the fossil fuel industry and its allies [...]

Florida Can Save Money Under the Clean Power Plan

This blog was written by Pamela Rivera at the Natural Resources Defense Council and originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard blog.  You can find the original post here. Earlier this summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its draft Clean Power Plan (CPP) standards for cutting carbon pollution from existing, coal-fired power plants in Florida and other states [...]