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NRDC Fighting DoE Lightbulb Standards Rollback (Reg. & Leg.)
NRDC,Earthjustice
Date: 2019-11-06
The NYC-headquartered Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others have filed suit against the US DoE for its rollback of established light bulb efficiency standards in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. According to the NRDC, the "DOE's latest rollback follows a pattern of repeatedly delaying, stalling, and weakening energy efficiency requirements."

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, nrdcinfo@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Earthjusice,  Light Bulb Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency,  


Coalition Seeks Renewed Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives (Ind. Report)
Alliance to Save Energy
Date: 2019-05-03
The Alliance to Save Energy and a coalition of manufacturers, advocacy groups, and trade associations representing millions of American workers has called for Washington to modernize and extend expired energy efficiency tax incentives. If so enacted, the updated incentives that would sharply reduce US carbon emissions. create employment and cut millions of dollars in energy bills.

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,  


Ending Woody Biomass Power Gen. Subsidies Urged in UK (Int'l)
Committee on Climate Change
Date: 2019-05-03
In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and other environmental groups are calling for an end to the government's multi-billion pound subsidy programme for wood-fired electric power generation on the grounds that woody biomass does not fit the government's net-zero GHG by 2050 plan.

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 ,  


NRDC Calls Coal vs. Renewables Political Divide Fake News (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NRDC
Date: 2019-02-25
The following is from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): "New polls show that all Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike -- want to close the book on our dirtiest fossil fuel. From a political standpoint, defending coal consumption is harder than ever. Coal is far and away the dirtiest fossil fuel there is in terms of carbon emissions and regular old air pollution (and its messy mining practices certainly aren’t helping its reputation). And when you factor in health care costs, environmental costs, and costs to local communities in the form of reduced tourism and property values, coal is also a real loser economically speaking -- especially in relation to natural gas and renewables like wind and solar.

"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,  


Notable Quote
Natural Resources Defense Council.
Date: 2018-12-12
"All in all, rural renewable energy projects are laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that meets the needs of local communities and provides clean and affordable energy throughout the (mid-western) region. Federal leaders should increase funding for clean energy research, development, and demonstration projects that will continue to bring down the costs of clean energy and allow more people to gain access." -- -- Arjun Krishnaswami, Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  


STB Agreement Sees Major Energy Savings in 5 yrs. (Ind. Report)
D+R International
Date: 2018-08-13
A recently released report from independent auditor D+R International notes consumers have saved $3.5 billion, and more than 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been avoided, as a result of the voluntary set-top box (STB) energy conservation agreement among pay-TV providers.

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

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


AltAir Biojet Fuel Producer Awarded RSB Certification (Ind. Report)
AltAir Fuels,Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials
Date: 2018-01-31
Seattle-based AltAir Fuels reports its 40 MMgy biojet fuel production facility in Paramount, California, has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) to produce biojet fuel, renewable diesel and naphtha. AltAir Fuels has been a member of the RSB since 2014.

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, info@rsb.org, rolf.hogan@rsb.org, www.rsb.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News AltAir Fuels,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofue,  Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials l,  


NRDC Identifies Expected COP23 Trends (Int'l. Report)
COP23,COP21,Paris Climate Agreement
Date: 2017-11-06
The upcoming COP23 -- the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC -- round of international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, will set the tone for how leaders will come together during the TU.S. Trump administration and how they will take action on climate change during the Trump era, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

The NRDC has identified the following key themes it expects to dominate the meetings: (listen to the recording):

  • U.S. climate action continues despite President Trump -- While President Trump has announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, NRDC says it has witnessed a resounding revolt in the U.S. to against Trump's decision by Governors, Mayors, business leaders, and citizens. States are committing to expand renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner transportation. Mayors are committing to go to power their cities with 100 pct renewable energy and are finding ways to use energy more efficiently. Business leaders are committing to power their companies with 100% renewable energy and to ensure that their supply-chains are helping solve climate change, not make it worse. In short, Trump may be trying to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, but we are still in and committed to helping deliver on America's climate targets.

  • Countries are acting at home -- Key countries are showing that they aren't waiting to implement new actions to reduce their emissions and meet their Paris targets. While not all countries are yet on track to meet their targets, noticeable progress has been made in some of the world's biggest emitting countries.

  • Paris Agreement "rulebook" matters a great deal -- The Paris Agreement established the essential foundations for how the world is going to advance international climate action for decades to come. Critical to its continued success will be ensuring that the "rulebook" for the Paris Agreement helps to ensure that countries meet their targets and creates incentives for countries to beat their targets. Countries agreed to finalize the details of the Paris rulebook next year, so this year's meeting needs to ensure strong progress towards building a system of strong rules to help ensure that the promise of the Paris Agreement is translated into reality in the years ahead.

  • While significant progress is being made by many key countries to meet their Paris Agreement targets, stronger action will be needed in the coming years if we are going to be on a safer climate trajectory. The Paris Agreement created a dynamic process for countries to adopt more aggressive commitments starting in 2020. Countries will need to be prepared to announce even stronger targets in the years to come. There are emerging positive signs that some key countries will be in a position to deliver even greater ambition than they promised in 2015, according the NRDC. (Source: NRDC, Blog, 2 Nov., 2017)Contact: NRDC, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NRDC,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  COP21,  Paris Climate Agreement,  


  • America's Clean Energy Revolution (Ind. Report)
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Date: 2017-10-09
    The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its Fifth Annual Energy Report America's Clean Energy Revolution highlighting the increase in capacity of both solar and wind energy over the past 10 years.

    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 -- NRDC Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    NRDC
    Date: 2017-09-27
    The attached Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) recently released America's Clean Energy Frontier: The Pathway to a Safer Climate Future. report outlines measures the U.S. could take to increase renewable energy power generation and cut greenhouse gases 80 pct by 2050. The report aims to identify the cleanest, most cost-effective way to cut carbon pollution by 80 pct from 1990 levels by 2050 -- the necessary U.S. contribution if the world is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

    Download the 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,  


    Groups Seek FHA Clean Air Standard Reinstatement ( Reg & Leg)
    U.S. PRIG,Federal Highway Administration,NRDC
    Date: 2017-08-02
    In the nation's capital, the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. PIRG -- a public interest advocacy group, and the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of Clean Air Carolina, report they have taken legal action against the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) for illegally suspending the Clean Air Standard this year, and are seeking its immediate reinstatement.

    The suit claims the Trump administration ignored requirements under the federal Administrative Procedure Act when it suspended the transportation greenhouse gas standard which was intended to curb transportation sector climate-changing emissions. The suit asks the court to invalidate the suspension, meaning that the standard would go into immediate effect and thus help slow climate change and reduce ground-level ozone and other harmful pollutants . (Source: U.S. PIRG, PR, 31 July, 2017) Contact: NRDC, Jake Thompson, 202-289-2387, jthompson@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org; SELC and Clean Air Carolina, Claudine McElwain , 434-977-4090, cmcelwain@selcva.org, www.selcva.org; U.S. PIRG, Matthew Casale, 617-747-4314, mcasale@pirg.org, www.pirg.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Federal Highway Administration,  Clean Air Act,  NRDC,  


    Accelerating the Global Adoption of Energy-Efficient Lighting -- Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    United for Efficiency (U4E)
    Date: 2017-06-21
    The recently released United for Efficiency (U4E) organization recently published Accelerating the Global Adoption of Energy-Efficient Lighting report provides guidelines to countries on how to promote energy-efficient lighting in their respective national markets. The report maintains that following the guidelines will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate significant economic benefits, and enhance energy security.

    The report encourages countries to follow an integrated policy approach consisting of: defining standards and regulations; establishing policies to achieve public acceptance (awareness campaigns, labeling schemes); finance and financial delivery mechanisms (utility contracts, bulk procurement, partnerships); monitoring, verification and enforcement (product registration, testing); and environmentally sound management of lighting products (hazardous substance standards, end-of-life policies).

    The U4E is a public-private partnership comprised of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility , the United Nations Development Programme, the International Copper Association, CLASP, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and others.

    Download the Accelerating the Global Adoption of Energy-Efficient Lighting report HERE. (Source: U4E, June, 2017) Contact: UN Environment, (U4E) Economy Division Energy, Climate, and Technology Branch, +33 (0)1 44 37 14 50, u4e@unep.org, www.united4efficiency.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficient Light,  


    NRDC Will Sue as Trump Threatens Dismantling of Methane Pollution Protections (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Date: 2017-06-02
    In Washington, the international not-for-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports it will go to court to block the Trump administration from withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and rolling back protections against dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

    NRDC Climate and Clean Air Program Director David Doniger issued the following statement: "On the heels of news reports that the U.S. will walk away from a global commitment to combat climate change, President Trump is sabotaging headway the U.S. has already made. The Trump administration is giving its friends in the oil and gas industry a free pass to continue polluting our air. EPA is continuing to put thousands of people in communities near these facilities at increased risk for asthma attacks and cancer. We will fight Trump's latest polluter giveaway in court." (Source: NRDC , PR, 31 May, 2017) Contact: NRDC, Kate Slusark Kiely, (212) 727-4592, kkiely@nrdc.org, www.nrdc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Natural Resources Defense Council,  Paris Climate Agreement.Methane Rule ,  


    Bldg. Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive Stressed (Ind. Report)
    Regional Economic Models Inc
    Date: 2017-05-26
    According to a study by Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI), 77,000 or more new design and construction jobs would be created annually over 10 years -- along with almost $7.4 billion more in annual GDP -- if Congress and the Trump Administration continue an important energy efficiency tax policy, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction (Sec. 179D). The deduction allows qualifying building owners and businesses to receive up to a $1.80 per square foot tax deduction for certain energy efficient improvements placed into service during all open tax years.

    The REMI study documents job creation and GDP growth under three scenarios that continue energy efficiency tax policies:

  • Modernizing Section 179D, including increasing the deduction to $3 per square foot and making certain other reforms to strengthen it, generates significant job creation -- on average 76,529 per year during its first decade.
  • A long-term extension of the deduction at its current $1.80 per square foot level creates an average of almost 41,000 jobs per year over 10 years.
  • A long-term extension at $1.80 per square foot, extension of the deduction to hospitals, schools, and other non-profits and to tribal community facilities, and an increase in the energy efficiency requirements creates almost 40,000 jobs per year over the next decade.

    The study was co-funded by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Alliant Group LP, Ameresco, Blue Energy Group, Concord Energy Strategies, Energy Tax Savers, Energy Systems Group, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).(Source: Regional Economic Models Inc., Proud Green Building, 25 May, 2017) Contact: Regional Economic Models Inc., www.remi.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Energy Efficiency Incentive,  


  • Trump Challenged on Energy Efficiency Inaction (Ind. Report)
    Trump
    Date: 2017-04-05
    A coalition of environmental NGOs -- including the Consumer Federation of America, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club -- along with the state of California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, New York City and Pennsylvania, have launched a broad legal challenge against the Trump administration's "illegal suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency of ceiling fans, portable air conditioners and other products." The challenge comes on the heels of the DOE's delayed standards proposed under the Obama administration to reduce air pollution and operating costs associated with the products.

    The coalition plans to sue the DOE in 60 days for the agency's stalling of proposed standards for air compressors, commercial boilers, portable air conditioners, power supplies, and walk-in coolers and freezers. Implementation was delayed after the Trump White House directed federal agencies to put new regulations on hold until the Trump appointed new leaders could review them. The Obama administration issued a similar directive in 2009. (Source: YubaNet, Common Dreams, Reuters, Various Media, 3 April, 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


    St. Louis Joins City Energy Project Benchmarking (Ind. Report)
    City Energy Project,St. Louis
    Date: 2017-02-06
    The city of St. Louis Board of Aldermen reports it has approved the implementation of an energy benchmarking requirement for certain commercial properties located primarily in the city center.

    St. Louis is one of 20 cities nationwide to be selected for the benchmarking initiative, known as the City Energy Project. A joint venture of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, the City Energy Project provides funding and technical support for tracking energy usage in large buildings, giving them the tools to save power and money. The program aims to enable $1.5 billion in annual energy savings nationwide by 2030. (Source: City Energy Project, St.Louis Post Dispatch, 3 Feb., 2017) Contact: City Energy Project, www.cityenergyproject.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Benchmarking,  City Energy Project,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  

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