Renewable Energy Certificates: What They Are and What They Can and Can’t Do

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When it comes to clean, renewable energy, the language can get confusing. In the tradition of Salt-N-Pepa, here I will attempt to break things down. Without further ado, let’s talk about RECs, baby! By Kegan Gerard Investing in renewables makes sense. From an economic standpoint, Bloomberg is now forecasting that wind energy will become the cheapest new energy globally by 2026, […]

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Environmental Costs Outweigh Corporate Profits

The 2015 State of Green Business report was just released, detailing the environmental performance of large companies around the world. The report, produced by GreenBiz and TruCost, illustrates the true costs of pollution, ecosystem depletion, and health impacts of unsustainable natural capital consumption by corporations and the alarming rate at which they are growing. According to the report, environmental costs, like greenhouse gas emissions and water abstraction (removing freshwater from the natural water cycle, and thus preventing its future use), would render most businesses unprofitable if they were responsible for paying for the impacts. The report found that environmental costs tallied up to $1 trillion (or 6.2% of GDP) for companies in the US, and $3 trillion worldwide. The authors state, “Over the past five years, the proportion of company profit at risk consistently exceeds 100 percent of their profit… This means that, on average, companies would be unprofitable if they had to pay the actual costs associated with the commodities they consume and pollution they generate.” It’s not all bad news, however. The report finds that the level of sustainable investment has been growing considerably in recent years. According the 2014 Trends Report published last November by US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, cited in GreenBiz’s report, sustainable assets totaling $6.57 trillion represented almost 18% of the $36.8 trillion in total assets under management, a 76% increase over 2012. Social investors, joined by non-profits and growing consumer […]

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Obama: Taking on Fracking?

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The Obama Administration has taken its first federal action to regulate fracking.  Unfortunately, the new rule won’t do much to address the growing problems that fracking causes. The Bureau of Land Management issued the rules on Friday, March 20th.  The new rules only apply to fracking on federal lands, and would institute the following: New well-construction requirements to ensure the […]

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Green America Raises Concerns Around Natural Gas Export Facility

Today, Green America filed the following comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in regards to a proposed natural gas export facility in Oregon, Jordan Cove.  Like the many other gas export facilities proposed around the US, Jordan Cove will contribute to increased climate change and fracking, and will endanger the local community. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel (its growth impedes the growth of true clean energy), and when we frack for natural gas and then export it abroad, we are damaging our communities and risking our future for energy that Americans are not even using. February 12, 2015 Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur, Commissioner Philip D. Moeller, Commissioner Tony Clark, Commissioner Norman C. Bay, Commissioner Colette D. Honorable Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20426 Re: Jordan Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects (Docket Nos. CP13-483-000 and CP13-492-000) Dear Commissioners: Green America is a national non-profit organization with 180,000 individual members and 3,500 business members nationwide, and several thousand individual members and over 100 businesses in Oregon.  Our green business network is the largest network of certified green business in the United States.  Green America is also a member of the American Sustainable Business Council, which represents over 150,000 businesses nationwide. On behalf of our members, we are expressing concerns about the possible environmental impacts of the proposed Jordon Cove Liquefaction and Pacific Connector Pipeline Projects. We are also concerned that FERC’s […]

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