In his address to the United Nations, Pope Francis focused on a variety of issues, but paid special attention to the ecological crisis. He stated, “The ecological crisis along, with the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.” As with his environmental encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis linked the interdependence of humanity with nature (which he frequently referred to as “Creation”). As he put it, “Any harm done to the environment is harm done to humanity.” The harm caused to the environment, as well as to humanity, is a symptom of a “Culture of Waste”, another theme found in Laudato Si stated as a “Throwaway Culture.”
Noticeably absent, Pope Francis did not mention the term “climate change” or “global warming”. But his reference to Laudato Si, which heavily speaks about environmental degradation including climate change, is a nod towards the issue.
On August 3, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan, placing limits on carbon emissions from our nation’s power plants for the first time. Undervalued as carbon-curbing technologies in the proposed draft, the EPA took several steps to strengthen the role that renewables can play in the final rule. That means wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources are well positioned to help states meet their emission reduction targets and accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean, low-carbon economy.
In reflecting on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in a recent blog, our research director pointed out that “TVA’s 20-year plan looks at the ground we stand on, sketches some ideas for tomorrow, but does not really scan future horizons.” So, what should TVA’s Board do to take this plan from sketches to concrete action?
On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the finalized Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first regulations to limit carbon pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets achievable carbon pollution reduction goals for each state, based on the unique energy mix currently serving the power needs of each state.
This historic action will mean a huge boon to public health. Along with reducing climate-change causing carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan will also reduce other harmful pollution from coal plants resulting in prevention of 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children and 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays due to illness.
Clean energy means different things to different people. Some might picture suburban rooftops adorned in sparkly solar panels on a bright summer day. Others might envision an idyllic green-grass, blue-sky pasture framing an expanse of pearly white wind turbines. However, for many Tennesseans, clean energy means a rewarding career with above-average pay. A recent statewide [...]
With the US Environmental Protection Agency poised to release its final Clean Power Plan rule, some utilities have raised alarm about the rule’s cost. Some of those same voices have raised alarms about reliability, but as I wrote in May, cutting carbon pollution won’t make the sky fall. Today we release Cleaner Energy for Southern Company, [...]
A new, peer-reviewed article published in the scientific journal SCIENCE estimates that 3 million hectares of land (that’s 11,583 square miles, or 30,000 square kilometers) have been lost due to oil and gas well pads, storage tanks and associated roads developed in North America since the year 2000. Rangeland and cropland through the heartland have been particularly [...]
This blog is the fourth in a series from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy staff attending the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. During American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2015 conference in Orlando this week we’ve heard about the rise of wind energy in the U.S. energy market and the [...]
This blog is the third in a series from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy staff attending the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. There has been a lot of chatter at WINDPOWER this year about the Southeast’s potential for wind energy development with taller towers and longer blades. Yesterday at WINDPOWER, Energy [...]