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Category Archives: Energy

More than 120,000 US sites feared to handle harmful PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals

The Guardian: “The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 120,000 locations around the US where people may be exposed to a class of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with various cancers and other health problems that is a frightening tally four times larger than previously reported, according to data obtained by the Guardian. The list of facilities makes it clear that virtually no part of America appears free from the potential risk of air and water contamination with the chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Colorado tops the EPA list with an estimated 21,400 facilities, followed by California’s 13,000 sites and Oklahoma with just under 12,000. The facilities on the list represent dozens of industrial sectors, including oil and gas work, mining, chemical manufacturing, plastics, waste management and landfill operations. Airports, fire training facilities and some military-related sites are also included. The EPA describes its list as “facilities in industries that may be handling PFAS”. Most of the facilities are described as “active”, several thousand are listed as “inactive” and many others show no indication of such status. PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals” due to their longevity in the environment, thus even sites that are no longer actively discharging pollutants can still be a problem, according to the EPA. The tally far exceeds a previous analysis that showed 29,900 industrial sites known or suspected of making or using the toxic chemicals…”

The Power of Electric Bike Libraries

Bloomberg: “Climate-friendly e-bikes are a key part of plans to decarbonize urban transportation. To speed adoption, more cities are offering lending programs that can expose more riders to this new mode…With U.S. sales growing 145% in 2020 — boosted in part by Covid-19 shutdowns and an explosion in outdoor recreation — e-bikes are steadily becoming more familiar sights… Continue Reading

The thorny truth about socially responsible investing

Vox: “It’s easier than ever to invest ethically — or, at least, to be told by marketers you are. Whether you’re actually doing it is harder to figure out. Investors have become eager to put their money toward good in recent years. In 2020, assets under management using sustainable investing strategies in the United States… Continue Reading

If 100 companies are responsible for 70% of emissions, what can you do?

Fast Company: “Corporations and governments have known about the risk of climate change for about half a century. It first appeared on Exxon’s radar in 1981. Two years prior, a group of scientists had created the Charney Report, which assessed the effects of rising amounts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (and correctly predicted how… Continue Reading

65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn’t Pay For

Via the Washington Post article – Consumers’ Checkbook – 65 Things You (Probably) Shouldn’t Pay For – “Let’s face it: We often waste money on stuff we don’t really need. Five-dollar lattes. Top-of-the-line appliances and granite countertops to plate up takeout and microwave frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. Golfing gear. Home theaters. Designer clothes, shoes, and… Continue Reading

Google launches new features to help users shrink their carbon footprints

The Verge: “Google announced a suite of new features that it says will help people who use their platforms make more sustainable choices. The new services focus on reducing planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions and are primarily found on Search, Maps, Travel, and Nest. But before we get into the details of how their new tools… Continue Reading

Massachusetts is Pouring Billions into a Gas System that Will Be Obsolete

New Report Uncovers Opportunity to Fund Energy Transition – Boston, MA — “Today the Gas Leaks Allies release the first in-depth analysis of a massive Massachusetts program—the Gas System Enhancement Program (GSEP)— to accelerate the replacement of leak-prone gas pipes. The report, GSEP at the Six-Year Mark: A Review of the Massachusetts Gas System Enhancement Program, finds… Continue Reading

New study shows that drought could shut down the biggest US Hydro Plants in the next few years

“According to newly-released projections from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamations, there’s a significant chance that both Lake Powell and Lake Mead — the largest hydroelectric power sources in the country — will stop working in the next few years.”  “Five-year projections of future conditions, currently through 2026, in the Colorado River system are typically updated… Continue Reading

Regeneration Banking & Finance Fossil Fuels

Banking on Climate Chaos – Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2021: “This report analyzes fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest commercial and investment banks — aggregating their leading roles in lending and underwriting of debt and equity issuances — and finds that these banks poured a total of $3.8 trillion into fossil fuels from… Continue Reading

They Knew: How the U.S. Government Helped Cause the Climate Crisis

Yale Environment 360 – “James Gustave Speth has been calling for action on climate since serving in the White House in the 1970s. In an e360 interview, he talks about his new book, which chronicles how successive U.S. administrations repeatedly failed to act in response to scientists’ increasingly dire warnings. Few people have followed the… Continue Reading

Solar Energy Could Power 40% of US Electricity by 2035

Energy.gov: “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing the nation’s power grid. The study shows that by 2035, solar energy has the potential to power 40% of the nation’s electricity, drive deep decarbonization of the grid, and employ as much as… Continue Reading

New State of the Climate report confirmed 2020 among three warmest years in records

“…New high temperature records were set across the globe. The report found that the major indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers such as sea level, ocean heat content, and permafrost once again broke records set just one year prior. Notably, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the… Continue Reading