Green Jobs

Energy Efficiency

A magical meter and friendly competition help one community dial back energy use

The Island Energy Dashboard gives residents a real-time look at how much electricity they’re sucking from the grid. When Puget Sound Energy announced plans to build a new substation to meet rising electricity demand on Bainbridge Island, Wash., in 2009, it apparently didn’t know who it was dealing with. Bainbridge is a well-to-do suburb of Seattle (a 35-minute ferry ride will drop you right in downtown), and home to more than a few techies, computer programmers, and folks who have letterhead with lots of fancy degrees in front of their names. Eric Rehm, a software-engineer-turned-marine-biologist, says that “a mosh pit …

Efficiency standards are the SINGLE BIGGEST CLIMATE DEAL EVER

The U.S. federal government teamed up with all of the major auto manufacturers and hammered out a deal to double the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles on the road by 2025 — to 54.5 miles per gallon. New vehicles sold under the program will save "a total of four billion barrels of oil and prevent two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution," reports Tom Friedman, whose most recent stab at being a cleantech advocate almost redeems all that time he spent misdirecting us on foreign policy.  According to Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign of the …

Green Jobs

By the numbers: The myth of ‘job-killing’ regulations

This post originally appeared at Facing South. 3 — Number of weeks straight last month that Republicans used their weekly radio address to attack government regulations for killing jobs 0.3 — Percent of people who lost their jobs in 2010 because of government regulation 25 — Percent who lost their jobs because of a drop in business demand More than 1,000 — Number of temporary workers hired by energy giant AEP to build a pollution scrubber for one of its coal-fired power plants in order to meet Clean Air Act regulations 40 — Number of full-time employees the plant then …

Green Jobs

How does energy efficiency create jobs?

This post was written by Casey Bell, senior economic analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. With unemployment hovering at a stubborn 9 percent, it is no wonder that job creation has become a hot topic. It is nearly impossible to read the news without encountering an article describing how a policy or industry creates a given number of jobs. Often, job creation is used as a justification for public sector investment in a program, policy, institution, or project. You may also see numbers from the energy industry proclaiming the …

Surprise! Koch-funded anti-Solyndra ad is ‘mostly false’

Here's an anti-Solyndra ad put out by Americans For Prosperity. It is wrong. And it's been viewed 1 million times on YouTube alone, not to mention millions more on television. Which just goes to show you that if you give the people what they want, they will eat it up like delicious candied bacon, because who doesn't like having their completely ridiculous prejudices reinforced at the expense of truth and our country's future economic prosperity? Here are just a few of its by-now-canonical-on-Fox-News lies: The ad says that "friends of Obama" benefited from the loan, but it references a Daily …

Critical List: Emissions jumped in 2010; Japan has created the world’s most efficient solar cell

In 2010, greenhouse-gas emissions increased more than they ever had before in one year. Blame the tepid economic recovery. The EPA's going to release initial results from its fracking investigation next year, but the final report won't come out until 2014. Dig into the dysfunction of the Keystone XL approval process and the fighting between EPA, the White House, and the State Department. Obama wants to cut tariffs on green goods. World's! Most! Efficient! Solar Cell! (It converts 36.9 percent of solar energy into power.) Where are the green jobs and clean energy projects? This interactive map knows.

Energy Efficiency

Regular or unleaded? Are we willing to invest in healthier homes?

Photo: Steven DepoloHey, have you heard? It’s Lead Poisoning Awareness Week! Stop. I know what you’re thinking. “We don’t have a ribbon,” says Beth Bingham, communications director for the national Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. “We get a lot of calls from people wondering what color ribbon they should wear. Everyone else has a ribbon or a bracelet, but we don’t.” Well that takes the fun out of a festive occasion. Ah well. Lead poisoning is ugly business, anyway — a little lead in the blood, especially during childhood, is enough to turn your brain to mush. Exhaust from …

Why does ABC News hate electric cars?

Elon Musk, billionaire founder of Skype, wants to revolutionize the landscape of American cars with his Tesla Motors Model S sedan. He's already got a contract with Toyota, and he's been lauded by every outlet that knows what the hell it's talking about. So why does ABC News want to smear Tesla as the next Solyndra? "The cringe-worthy fail [begins] in the intro, which sets the segment’s tone and frames the subsequent reporting," writes Mike Orcutt in The New Fuelist.  Host Terry Morgan leads with this: Two and a half years ago President Obama pushed a $787 billion stimulus bill …

Election 2012

Jay Inslee, candidate for WA governor, chats with Grist about clean energy and coal ports

  Last Friday, I visited Washington state’s first certified solar PV manufacturing plant with Rep. Jay Inslee (D), who in June declared that he’s running for governor in 2012. Inslee, who has represented Washington’s 1st District for 12 years, is one of Congress’s few true clean energy enthusiasts; he even co-wrote a book on the topic, Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. At the Silicon Energy plant, he kept interrupting the company president’s presentation with questions. Are those single-junction or multi-junction cells? Is the glass fused? Where do the parts come from? How is the state’s production tax credit …