As concerns about reliance on foreign energy resources increase and we try to combat climate change by reducing our emissions and expanding renewable energy use, there has been an increase in talk about public financing of clean energy improvements.
There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
In the search for alternatives to oil, biofuels have emerged as a
promising answer to wean us off our oil addiction. By some estimates,
biofuels could reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year, be cost
competitive with gasoline and provide a major source of revenue for
Portland, Oregon city officials introduced
a bold new plan that would require energy efficiency measures in each
new home built. The plan would impose a carbon fee on builders for each
new home that is not extremely energy efficient and also require an
energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors as part of every
existing home sale. The plan would also pay cash rewards to developers
who built buildings that save at least 45% more energy than the Oregon
building code would require. The City Council will start public
hearings on the plan in January.
To cap off a two day climate change summit, Florida's Governor Charlie Crist
to sign several executive orders into effect that could propel Florida
into the top echelon of states addressing climate change and make it the first
state in the Southeast to take significant action. The plan includes:
As we first highlighted in our Dispatch
last December, renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) are a great
way to stimulate renewable energy development. By requiring that a
certain percentage of a state's electricity come from renewable energy,
RPS jump starts economic development and job creation.
By voting for Proposition 87, California voters have the
opportunity to join a growing number of states in investing in clean
energy. Backing the proposition are more than just environmental
groups. Unions, civil rights organizations, health workers, and many
others have joined in the fight for clean energy. The proposition
would tax companies drilling for oil in California and set aside the
money collected in a fund for loans, grants and subsides to promote
alternative fuels and more energy-efficient vehicles. In addition to
the environmental benefits, it will decrease dependence on foreign oil.