State Department: Keystone XL Pipeline Contributes to Climate Change

  Late in the day on Friday, January 31, 2014 the State Department released its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project. The new report contains the important statement that “The total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed Project would contribute to cumulative global GHG emissions.” This is a crucial, over-due acknowledgement by the State Department and an important one because President Obama has stated that climate impacts will influence his decision-making on the pipeline: “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest, and our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” Unfortunately, the report also states that “approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands….” So advocates both for and against the pipeline are finding support for their positions in the latest governmental report. The report is not definitive in its assessment and is flawed in a number of ways: The report fails to capture the full scope of the climate, environmental, economic and health consequences of proceeding with the Keystone XL pipeline. For a more comprehensive understanding of the […]

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President Obama: “Invest in What Helps, and Divest from What Harms.”

http://www.c-span.org/video/?319976-1/president-obama-university-californiairvine This past weekend, President Obama delivered a commencement speech to UC Irvine, in which he urged the graduating class to take challenges related to climate change seriously. In his address, the President called out members of Congress for resisting efforts to address climate change, asserting that there was really no substance behind some peoples’ rejection of the scientific consensus on the issue. The president used his speech to announce a $1 billion dollar fund, the National Disaster Resilience Competition, to be made available to states having endured a presidentially-declared national disaster between 2011 and 2013 for the purpose of rebuilding infrastructure to better withstand shocks from the environment. He also stated that this graduating class’s generation, the largest age group in the country (22), has many challenges and opportunities in dealing with this issue ahead. “We need scientists to design new fuels. We need farmers to help grow them. We need engineers to invent new technologies. We need entrepreneurs to sell those technologies. We need workers to operate assembly lines that hum with high-tech, zero-carbon components. We need builders to hammer into place the foundations for a clean energy age. We need diplomats and businessmen and women, and Peace Corps volunteers to help developing nations skip past the dirty phase of development and transition to sustainable sources of energy…You need to invest in what helps, and divest from what harms.” The President’s address should serve as a reminder that […]

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Big News: The EPA publishes essential new rules on methane leaks

Breaking: EPA Will Cut Methane Pollution

Today, the EPA published its final rule regarding methane leaks from new, modified, and reconstructed oil and gas sources.  This is an important step forward for the US, especially in light of our climate commitments from the Paris Agreement.  Thanks to the thousands of Green America individual and business members that took action to support the rule. The rule is a […]

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Clean Energy Victory Bonds Gaining Momentum

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Building on growing bipartisan momentum, Green America, the nation’s leading green economy organization, will continue to promote Clean Energy Victory Bonds in Congress. An amendment to the Senate Energy Bill (S. 2012) proposed by Senator Udall (D-N.M.) that would advance Clean Energy Victory Bonds did not achieve 60 votes as needed, but did receive growing bipartisan support yesterday in a […]

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Green Businesses Nationally Support Clean Power Plan

Twenty-five business groups, including Green America, representing a broad range of industries and regions nationwide, announced on March 31, 2016, that they are filing a friend of the court brief (an “amicus brief”) in support of the national Clean Power Plan, the strongest action to-date for addressing climate change. The groups say that unrestrained climate change will burden national, state and local economies with increased costs and business disruptions from droughts, flooding, reduced agriculture productivity, extreme weather, rising seas, and other disturbances. In addition they point out that the Clean Power Plan will boost economic growth by generating new market-based solutions and new jobs in renewable energy. The Clean Power Plan has been challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Given the current vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential for a 4-4 deadlock, the decision of the Circuit Court takes on greater importance. Leading the groups is the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which has a membership network spanning more than 200,000 businesses. Richard Eidlin, Vice President of Policy and Campaigns, said: “This powerful coalition of business organizations believes that the Clean Power Plan is our country’s best current hope for addressing climate change – a major threat to all businesses. It calls for significant reductions of greenhouse gases and wisely provides states abundant flexibility in how to cut emissions. This enables states to take advantage of developing trends, such as in renewable energy and […]

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US EPA to regulate methane from existing oil and gas sources

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President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada made an historic announcement yesterday regarding methane regulation.  The two countries have agreed to reduce methane pollution from their oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent over the next 10 years. For the United States, an important outcome is that the US EPA will begin developing regulations for methane emissions from existing […]

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