In 2007, Republican President George W. Bush signed bipartisan legislation to phase out inefficient incandescent and halogen light bulbs by 1 January 2020. The first tier of standards (phased in between 2012 and 2014) required light bulbs to use 25 to 30 pct less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs. The second tier was due to become effective in 2020, requiring everyday "general service" light bulbs to use about 65 pct less energy.
The lawsuits contend the Trump administration's DoE acted illegally in reversing its 2-year-old rules expanding the types of bulbs required to become more energy efficient as of 1 January 2020, under a law passed by Congress in 2007.
DOE announced this year that it was reversing that decision even though almost 64,000 comments were registered against the rollback, including 37 major electric utilities serving 55 million customers in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Five lighting companies, and their trade association support the DoE's rollback.
(Source: NRDC, Smart Energy, Nov., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Kit Kennedy, Snr. Dir. Climate and Clean Energy Programme, 212.727.2700, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nrdc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC, Earthjusice, Light Bulb Efficiency, Energy Efficiency,
The coalition, led by the Alliance to Save Energy, includes leading manufacturers of windows, air conditioners, insulation and other components alongside environmental and efficiency advocates such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The proposed tax incentives call for broadly supported improvements to the expired 45L tax incentive for high-efficiency new home construction and the 25C tax incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements -- installing insulation, replacing windows, or purchasing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. The improvements include strengthening the efficiency level that must be met to receive the incentives, while also increasing the dollar value of the incentives.
The coalition also called for extending the 179D incentive for efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. (Source: Alliance to Save Energy, PR, May, 2019)
Contact: Alliance to Save Energy, (202) 857-0666, www.ase.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Alliance to Save Energy, Energy Eficiency,
Environmental groups, including to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Biofuelwatch, the Dogwood Alliance, and the Southern Environmental Law Center, have noted that relying on woody biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to achieve climate targets is "misguided" and will prove overly expensive. Biomass power generation reached a record 35.6 TWh in 2018, up by 12 pct year-on-year, according to government statistics.
The environmental organizations say the UK should rely on genuinely zero-emission renewables like wind, wave, and solar power, energy efficiency and conservation, and smart resources like energy storage, rather than woody biomass power generation. (Source: Committee on Climate Change, Renewables,May, 2019) Contact: Committee on Climate Change, www.theccc.org.uk
More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass, Biomass, Committee on Climate Change ,
"Still, lawmakers from coal-producing states and members of the current presidential administration have long attempted to justify their defense of coal on the grounds that it's more than a fossil fuel -- it's a way of life. This has been a reasonably effective tactic, up to a point. If you're trying to neutralize the arguments of those who want to see coal phased out of the U.S. energy diet, the best way to do so is to play the culture card: Point to all the people who rely on the coal industry for a regular paycheck and appeal to their sense of history and heritage.
"But this last line of defense -- 'Renewables may be all the rage in San Francisco or Seattle or wherever, but where I come from, the people still love coal and always will' -- may not be effective for much longer.
Two recently released reports show how public sentiment regarding coal and renewables has shifted dramatically in recent years. One of them looks at attitudes at the national level; the other explores them in the historically coal-friendly state of Ohio. Both spell trouble for the future of an industry that's already, by nearly all accounts, on its last legs.
"The University of Michigan's National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) is a biannual survey of public opinion surrounding issues of climate and energy policy, providing perhaps the best snapshot we could ever hope for in regard to how Americans stand on subjects like coal, renewables, climate science, geoengineering, a carbon tax, and a host of other climate-related topics. Late last year, to commemorate its 10th anniversary of publication, NSEE released a trove of reports that illustrate just how much public opinion has changed on these matters over the past decade.
"One of them in particular should strike fear into the hearts of the coal industry's dead-enders and spark joy in the hearts of the rest of us. It shows that between 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans who strongly support a coal phaseout increased 11 percentage points, from 18 pct to 29 pct. In that same one-year period, the number of Americans who oppose a phaseout fell by the same amount. Remarkably, in states with active coal mines, strong support for a phaseout rose even more: by 13 points. Just as remarkably, this trend seemed to cut across political lines, rising among Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Among the last group, strong support for a phaseout actually increased by 5 percentage points, whereas the number of Republicans who strongly oppose it fell by 14 points.
"Another NSEE report provides a perfect complement. As more Americans announce their willingness to say goodbye to coal, they're also saying hello to the opportunity presented by renewables. This report reveals that 88 pct of Americans are in favor of increasing the use of solar energy in their state, and 82 pct feel the same about wind energy. Here, too, there's real bipartisan buy-in, with 79 pct of Republicans getting behind solar and 72 pct getting behind wind. What's more, the numbers show that a sizable majority of Republican, Democratic, and independent respondents support requiring and/or subsidizing renewable energy production at the state level. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed -- 64 pct -- said they like the idea of a state renewable energy requirement; even more amazingly, 65 pct of them said they have no problem with boosting the nascent renewables sector through subsidies.
"But an even more eye-opening poll is making news too. An organization with a somewhat eyebrow-raising name, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, released the results of a survey last week suggesting that support for renewables is no longer a politically exploitable issue. In a survey of 400 Ohioans who self-identify as conservative, two-thirds of respondents said they believe their state needs to diversify its energy portfolio by having at least half of its energy come from renewable sources. Nearly the same percentage of respondents said they were more likely to support a politician who voted for or otherwise expressed support for renewable energy or energy efficiency legislation. "Ohio, just as a reminder, ranks 11th in coal production among U.S. states, and its coal industry supports about 33,000 jobs. It also ranks fourth among states in coal consumption.
"For too long, it's been too easy for lawmakers and administration officials to claim that by kowtowing to the coal industry's wishes, they were simply doing right by voters. It's getting harder. The gap between the interests of average Americans and the interests of coal-company executives is getting wider every day. And solar and wind are wedging their way in. (Source: NRDC, 22 Feb., 2019) Contact: NRDC,
Jeff Turrentine www.nrdc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy, Coal, NRDC,
The report found that the Voluntary Agreement has reduced national set-top box annual energy consumption by 34 pct since 2012. Year-over-year energy savings increased by nearly 50 pct from 2016 to 2017 as the companies successfully completed their commitment to meet an even more rigorous set of energy-efficiency levels that became applicable in 2017 under the terms of the agreement developed with the energy efficiency advocates and endorsed by the Department of Energy in 2013.
Signatories of the Voluntary Agreement include all of the major multichannel video service providers representing more than 93 pct of the US multichannel video market -- AT&T/DIRECTV, COMCAST and others -- major manufacturers and energy-efficiency advocates such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Consumer Technology Association.
(Source: D+R International, Rapid TV News, 12 Aug., 2018} Contact: D+R International, (301) 588-9387, www.drintl.com
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According to Geneva-headquartered RSB, the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) of 27 airlines endorses AltAir's fuels. SAFUG members have pledged to achieve RSB or equivalent certification. The Natural Resources Defense Council has also issued a recent report encouraging airlines to purchase certified-sustainable biofuels and recommended the RSB framework.
Since January 2016, AltAir has been the only refiner to continually produce biojet for commercial use. (Source: AltAir, Biodiesel, Others, 30 Jan., 2018
Contact: AltAir Fuels, Tom Todaro, CEO, (843) 720-8920, www.altairfuels.com; Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials,
Rolf Hogan, Exec. Dir., +41 22 534 90 50, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rsb.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News AltAir Fuels, Jet Biofuel, Aviation Biofue, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials l,
The NRDC has identified the following key themes it expects to dominate the meetings: (listen to the recording):
According to the report, U.S. solar energy capacity is 450 pct higher than prior EIA predictions for solar energy capacity and 350 pct greater than previously predicted.
Download the full NRDC report HERE. (Source: NRDC, PR, Supra, 7 Oct., 2017) Contact: NRDC, www.nrdc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, Renewable Energy, Clean Energy,
America's Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future HERE. (Source: NRDC, Sept., 2017) Contact: NRDC, www.nrdc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, NRDC,