From Romney running against the wind in Iowa to a solar opponent’s lost election in Florida, clean energy has overcome some heated political battles this week. Send us your favorite stories on Twitter using the hashtag #SmartReads.
NPR: Obama Backs Wind Energy, Romney Favors Coal — President Obama was in Iowa Tuesday, touting the electric potential of wind power. Republican rival Mitt Romney was in Ohio, talking up coal. Each candidate accused the other of standing in the way of the rival energy source. [August 15, 2012]
POLITICO: Cliff Stearns Concedes in GOP Primary — The outcome in Tuesday’s election was an unexpected fall from power for Stearns, who had used his chairmanship of a key House Energy and Commerce subcommittee to put the White House on the hot seat over Solyndra and help trigger this year’s Komen-Planned Parenthood blow-up. [August 15, 2012]
The New York Times: Mine Plan Puts Two Kentucky Fixtures on Collision Course — The signs begin around Girl Scout Road, yellow placards dotting yards and affixed to trees along Route 231 here. “No Coal Trucks” they say, or, more to the point, “Stop Strip Mining.” [August 14, 2012]
Bloomberg: Solar Company to Create More Than 300 Jobs in NC — A designer and manufacturer of solar power mounting systems plans will set up its U.S. headquarters in Shelby, N.C. and create more than 300 jobs at a production and distribution facility.[August 14, 2012]
PhillyBurbs.com: Unemployed Get Chance at Green Energy Industry — Through a $306,265 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the state Energy Sector Partnership, BCC’s corporate college is offering qualified residents a tuition-free green-energy technology training program. [August 13, 2012]
We’re in the heat of summer and SmartReads is keeping it cool with the latest clean energy and energy efficiency news. Take a look at this week’s top energy stories and tweet your favorites to @SmartPower_org using the hashtag #SmartReads!
Fairfield Daily Voice: Program Offers Solar Power Discount To Fairfield - Fairfield homeowners now have the chance to add more solar-powered electricity to their homes for cheaper prices. Fairfield is one of four towns chosen to test-run Solarize Connecticut, a new green energy program. [July 24, 2012]
Westport News: Westport Chosen for Solar Program - ”This is to bear proof to the markets that aggregating customer demand for residential PV installation will result in real cost savings,” authority spokesman David Goldberg said. [July 26, 2012]
Department of Energy: All Eyes on Eastport: Tidal Energy Project Brings Change, Opportunity to Local Community - In Eastport, Maine, people are gathering to celebrate a project that will harness the power of the massive tides of Cobscook Bay to generate clean electricity. [July 24, 2012]
Knovel: Transparent Solar Cells Could Make Windows Into A Power Source - Over the past few years, the U.S. has already become a growing player in the solar energy industry, with states like New Jersey and California seeing solar panels cropping up on rooftops from houses to warehouses. [July 24, 2012]
POLITICO: Things Are Looking Up for EVs — "Plug-in electric vehicle sales continue to increase, with sales growth outpacing that of gasoline hybrid electric vehicles when they were first introduced. We expect to see this trend continue, as several new vehicle models were introduced earlier this year, providing additional choices for consumers considering electric drive vehicles." [July 26, 2012]
The New York Times: Money Helps Miss. Colleges Cut Energy Usage - Three Mississippi universities will share in a $725,000 Department of Energy grant to develop programs to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020. [July 26, 2012]
The Wall Street Journal: EU Solar Firms Seek Tariffs on China - European solar-panel makers on Tuesday filed a confidential complaint with European authorities seeking import tariffs on Chinese-made panels, opening a new front in the battle between the West and China over trade in renewable-energy products. [July 24, 2012]
The New York Times: Save Energy, Win a Prize - With temperatures hovering near a sweaty 100 degrees in recent weeks, the nation’s electric utilities have been taking to Facebook and Twitter, urging customers to conserve energy in the hopes of avoiding blackouts and other strains on the system. [July 23, 2012]
Catch the latest in this week’s clean energy and energy efficiency news, and share your favorite energy articles with us on Twitter using the hashtag #SmartReads.
POLITICO: Greens, automakers hail greenhouse gas ruling - In a surprisingly sweeping win for the Obama administration’s climate policies, a federal appeals court said Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency is “unambiguously correct” in the legal reasoning behind its regulation of greenhouse gases. [June 26, 2012]
The New York Times: Cities Get So Close To Recycling Ideal, They Can Smell It - Portland will be experiencing its first summer of biweekly garbage pickup. The change to every other week, introduced in cool weather last fall along with a weekly collection for food scraps, has reduced the amount of garbage that this progressive city is shipping to landfills by 44 percent. [June 27, 2012]
The Wall Street Journal: An Index Worth Laughing About - In what league does Iraq beat Britain, Haiti beat the United States and Afghanistan beat Denmark? Political corruption? Violent crime? Temperature? No, welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Happy Planet Index. It is a little window into the way many environmentalists think. [June 26, 2012]
The Olympian: Feds announce 1st major solar plant on tribal land - Federal officials have approved a solar plant on an Indian reservation outside Las Vegas, marking the nation’s first commercial-grade solar energy project on tribal land and new territory for the Obama administration’s renewable energy agenda. [June 25, 2012]
Bloomberg: Tariffs On Solar-Gear Imports From China Raised By U.S. - The U.S. Commerce Department determined that Chinese solar-product imports should be subject to additional tariffs to offset government subsidies, according to an agency document. [June 26, 2012]
Earth Techling: Solar Energy’s Future To Be Found In Nano Technologies? - Researchers from North Carolina State University claim they’ve found a way of creating much slimmer thin-film solar cells, without compromising the cells’ performance. [June 28, 2012]
Reuters: Tesla CEO sees EVs being as popular as gas-powered cars - Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, an entrepreneur known for his outsized ambition, last Friday made a stunning forecast: battery-powered cars will likely match the internal combustion engine in popularity by the middle of the next decade. [June 23, 2012]
Fast Company: Inside the Tesla Model S - It’s here. The new Tesla—much more affordable than the electric vehicle startup’s first offering—made its debut Monday. Here’s a report from the test drive. [June 25, 2012]
SmartReads is a weekly summary of all the latest clean energy and energy efficiency news. Be sure to stay on top of what’s green and clean this Earth Day by reading this week’s Earth Day edition!
As always, send us your tips on Twitter using the hashtag #SmartReads.
New York Times: Lead By Example, Clinton Tells Sustainability Forum – “Chill out – sometimes this stuff takes years.” That was Bill Clinton’s wry observation on Thursday as he addressed a sustainability conference in New York City, expressing frustration over how long it is taking for the country to move forward on clean energy and energy efficiency. [April 19, 2012]
New York Times: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Headed Up Again – After dropping for two years during the recession, emissions of the gases blamed for global warming rose in 2010 as the economy heated up, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. [April 16, 2012]
USA Today: New energy-efficient light bulb goes on sale Sunday – How much would you pay for an amazing, state-of-the-art light bulb? Shoppers will be asking themselves that very question at Home Depot and other outlets starting Sunday – Earth Day – when the bulb that won a $10 million government contest goes on sale. [April 16, 2012]
The Bay Citizen: Berkeley Couple Create Lifesaving ‘Solar Suitcase’ for Hospitals – The week before last, the city of Berkeley took time to honor two of its citizens. Laura Stachel and her husband Hal Aronson were issued with a proclamation and words of praise from Mayor Tom Bates…because they are literally helping to save people’s lives on a regular basis, and are doing so through a combination of smarts and sheer determination. [April 16, 2012]
Bloomberg: Electric Cars Cost $1,200 a Year Less to Run, Study Says – Drivers of electric vehicles such as General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf may save as much as $1,200 a year compared with operating a new gasoline-powered compact car, scientists studying improved fuel economy found. [April 16, 2012]
Arizona Daily Sun: Hybrid, electric cars see record sales in March – Americans are buying record numbers of hybrid and electric cars as gas prices climb and new models arrive in showrooms, giving the vehicles their greatest share yet of the U.S. auto market. [April 15, 2012]
POLITICO: Opinion: Stop bashing electric cars – It’s not often that you hear national elected officials and media pundits rooting against a growing American industry — especially when it’s reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil. It’s also unusual for them to argue against job creation, global competitiveness, even against innovation. [April 19, 2012]
Washington Post: $4 gas reinforces trend toward lower U.S. fuel consumption – Are American motorists finally changing their gas-guzzling ways? As prices have neared and in some cases topped $4 a gallon, drivers have cut their consumption of gasoline to its lowest levels in a decade, driving less and buying cars that are more fuel-efficient. [April 17, 2012]
POLITICO: Political races run hot on energy – Soaring gasoline prices have members of Congress and their opponents running scared all across the country — and trying to seize the advantage. [April 15, 2012]
Forbes: Hive Lighting: Energy-Efficiency For Hollywood – Lights set mood. Moviemakers know this. Hence the painstaking efforts that are made to ensure that the right tonality is chosen for each picture. That said, movie and TV sets can use thousands of kilowatts per production. [April 16, 2012]
SmartReads is a weekly summary of all the latest clean energy and energy efficiency news. Send us your tips on Twitter using the hashtag #SmartReads.
Arizona Republic: APS to use state land for solar plant - The Arizona State Land Department will earn $10 million during a 35-year lease for its first solar power plant, a Yuma project that will power Arizona Public Service Co. [April 4, 2012]
NREL: Solar Leases Attracting New Demographic – The sun is shining on homeowners in less affluent neighborhoods who are discovering they can afford solar energy after all — by leasing rather than buying the panels on their roofs. [April 3, 2012]
Grist: Blown away: Wind power growing faster than other top electricity sources – A new picture is emerging in the U.S. power sector. In 2007, electricity generation from coal peaked, dropping by close to 4 percent annually between 2007 and 2011. Meanwhile, wind-generated electricity grew by a whopping 36 percent each year. [April 4, 2012]
Bedford-Katonah Patch: 66 Local Leaders Take Action to Reduce Emissions and Save Homeowners Money – The Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (NWEAC) hosted the 2012 Regional Leadership Summit, bringing together an influential group of more than 200 municipal and community leaders for an evening dedicated to advancing regional sustainability initiatives. [March 31, 2012]
Green Car Reports: Plug-In Car Sales Soar In March, Led by Chevrolet Volt - Car sales overall continued their upward trend last month, but sales of plug-in cars soared in March to more than 3,800 units. The bulk of those sales came from a resurging Chevy Volt, which logged its highest-ever single-month sales figure. [April 3, 2012]
NPR: Oil Scare Turns FedEx On To Energy Efficiency – The rising cost of oil isn’t just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. [April 2, 2012]
POLITICO: Gas prices fuel congressional campaign rhetoric – President Barack Obama isn’t the only candidate who has to worry about gasoline price spikes. Take a look at members of Congress and their challengers, who are going all out to express concern about the plight of American motorists — often with personal stories of their own sticker shock. [March 30, 2012]
Huffington Post College: Green Lethargy Among College Students? Not So Fast! by SmartPower’s Brian F. Keane - As we begin Earth Month, it would seem that we’re seeing conventional wisdom turned on its head. I’m talking, of course, about the widespread assumption that college students are spearheading the renewed green movement across our nation. [April 6, 2012]
Bloomberg: Buffett Says Shortcuts on Environment Can Risk Profits – Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said companies won’t last if they fail to consider the impact of their businesses on the environment. [April 2, 2012]
Southern California Public Radio: NBA tips off Green Week 2012 – NBA Green Week is the latest initiative in the NBA’s ongoing push for sustainable lifestyle changes. [April 3, 2012]
GreenBiz: Just Undo It: Nike, NASA partner on waste innovation challenge – Nike is joining with NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State to identify 10 “game changing” innovations that transform waste systems in both developed and developing countries. [April 2, 2012]
The New York Times: On Facebook, Some Friendly Energy Rivalry – So, would you stop washing your clothes in warm water if your best friend tried doing it in cold and said her jeans were coming out clean? Would you be more likely to weatherize your house if your college roommate said that it had cut her heating bill by 30 percent? And if your mom got one of those power strips that turn off devices that suck electricity in the middle of the night, would you do the same? [April 3, 2012]
We opened up our daily POLITICO Playbook email today expecting to find the news of Steve Jobs’ death in the headline. What we did not expect to find was this: “Steven Paul Jobs, who made the world more efficient and enjoyable.”
While Mike Allen was likely referring to efficiency in the organizational and professional sense, we couldn’t help but think of the revolution in green product design and implementation that Jobs inspired at Apple and beyond.
Before Apple, few companies talked about their environmental impact — especially tech companies. Electronic products are natural energy hogs. Even the “greenest” electronics aren’t all that great for the environment.
Apple has become an easy target for environmental groups because they identify themselves as energy-aware, yet their products still require loads of energy for production, distribution, use and recycling.
But the point that critics are missing is that Apple has inspired companies to be conscious of their energy use and receptive to efficiency opportunities. As one of the first companies to start talking about their environmental footprint, Apple opened the door for sustainable solutions:
In 2009, we became the first company in our industry to report comprehensive calculations of our total carbon footprint — including environmental reports for every product — giving the public an opportunity to judge our efforts and track our progress in detail.
Steve Jobs has left a legacy of innovation, both in technology and efficiency. We think it’s safe to say he would not have been a leader in one without being a leader in the other.