Thursday, October 31, 2013

Interview: Texan Julia Trigg Crawford’s Valiant Effort to Stop TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline

From Senator Durbin

October 31, 2013
Dear Mr. Stafford:
Thank you for contacting me regarding a long-term extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy. I appreciate hearing from you and share your support for greater stability in the wind industry.
I cosponsored the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act in the last session of Congress. This bill would extend tax credits for the production of electricity from wind resources and for investment in wind facilities through 2013. Unfortunately, the bill was not passed by the Senate. I remain hopeful that the PTC provision will be included in another measure.
The PTC was established in 1992 as part of the Energy Policy Act, which included a provision to promote energy production using renewable resources. Congress was able to pass a three-year extension of the PTC as a part of the economic recovery package that President Obama signed into law in February 2009. The production tax credit is an important incentive for wind energy producers in Illinois and across the country. The PTC provides a two-cents-per-kilowatt-hour benefit for the first ten operating years of a renewable energy facility. The extension of the PTC is important to the continued success of those companies working to reduce our nation's dependence on fossil fuels.
I strongly support the development and expansion of the wind industry.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

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October 27, 2013
Concern Grows Over Fracking Public Lands

On May 16, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced new rules for fracking - or hydraulic fracturing – on public lands that environmental groups say do not go far enough to protect public health. There are more than 1 million fracked wells across the U.S.…

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Are Lawns Worse than Corn Fields?

Which emits more carbon dioxide emissions—the nation's corn fields or residential lawns? Turns out lawns trump corn fields according to findings from researchers at Elizabethtown College. David Bowne, assistant professor of biology, led the study in Lancaster County,…

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Using Grocery Delivery Services May Cut CO2 Emissions

Engineers at the University of Washington have found that using a grocery delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store. According to their analysis, trucks filled to capacity that deliver to…

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A Greener Blue Lagoon

As the sea plane banks to the right and I look down through the open window, sunlight glints off one of the largest solar arrays I've ever seen, and the next thing I know we are splashing down in the turquoise waters of Fiji's fabled Blue Lagoon. The pilot cuts the…

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Clueless about Food and Agriculture?
Why Everyone has a Stake in the Farm Bill Fight

Outside of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to urge kids to exercise more and eat better, this administration remains largely indifferent to the disaster that is the country's outdated food and agriculture policy. U.S. Department of Agriculture…

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Food Is the New Tobacco
It's Time to Confront the Corporate Giants that Are Hurting Americans' Health

Recently Michael Moss in a New York Times Magazine cover story—"The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food"—examined how food companies have known for decades that salt, sugar and fat are not good for us in the quantities Americans consume them, and yet every year…

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Free Range Fish
The Environmental Promise of Open Ocean Fish Farms

When Neil Sims was working as a marine biologist in the Cook Islands—an idyllic scattering of white sand and blue lagoon islands halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii—he couldn't help but notice something about the islanders' traditional fishing, in this case,…

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Reducing Waste in Retail Store Operations

Dear EarthTalk: I work for the Gap and know firsthand the amount of waste that's produced at my store. Can you suggest ways retail stores can reduce waste? And how can I get a conversation started with the people upstairs about recycling and being less wasteful?


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May/June 2013

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