Wisconsin utility WE Energies recently proposed a hike in electricity rates on consumers, singling out residents who have opted to generate their own electricity through solar panels. The extra charge on residents who sell their excess power back to the grid has incited outrage at local and national levels. The utility claims the charges will cover the operating costs to the grid for customers with solar panels who aren’t paying the traditional rates, but all of the evidence surrounding the proposal suggests that this plan is little more than a reactionary measure from a company whose business model is in serious trouble. The proposal would raise the fixed charge on all residents’ power bills from $9 to $16 per month, and impose an additional fee for those who sell their excess electricity back to the utility through a policy known as “net metering.” A Wisconsin solar installer stated, “The demand charge of $3.80 per kilowatt (kW) per month works out to about $220 per year for a 5 kW system, a deterrent for potential solar customers and an unfair penalty for those who have already chosen to go solar.” A spokesperson for WE Energies said the company is seeking modest increases for the purpose of improving and modernizing their grid and complying with environmental standards. The company believes that it is unfair for those who generate their own electricity to use the grid without paying the same portion of the […]
You may have taken our “carbon food-print” quiz and wondered how well it reflects your personal level of “green-ness.” The truth is, not very. In the quiz we focused down on the biggest indicators of your carbon food-print – mainly the type and quantity of the animal products you eat. Yet there are so many other choices we make that influence […]
Green America is pleased to serve as a convening organization of the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, to be held in Washington, DC, Feb. 10-11, 2014. There will be more than 1,000 participants representing academia, labor, the environmental movement, sustainable business, community organizations, and more! Exciting news! We just learned that EPA G she has worked at the federal, state, and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.
Today the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans”. This beautiful ad shows better than anything we could write why this name needs to go away for good. In addition, you can read our article on “Native American Marketing Images” for more ideas on how to support justice and respect when it comes to using these images and mascots–or not using them. It was written quite some time ago, but the advice is still sound.
Today Green America and more than 80 allies, including environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals, sent a letter to Lisa Jackson, VP of Environmental Affairs at Apple. Jackson is the former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. At the EPA, Jackson monitored benzene levels in the water and air to ensure no one was exposed to dangerous levels of this known human carcinogen and championed toxins-reduction in the environment. Our letter calls on Jackson to use her expertise and influence within Apple to make worker health and safety a priority in her second year at Apple. You can read the full text of our letter and view all signers here>> To send your own message to Apple executives, use our new mock “app”: Want to end smartphone sweatshops? Here’s the App for that!
Guest blog post and graphic by Allison Stewart of our Better Paper Project. I was at a Sustainability in Packaging conference earlier this spring, and it hit home for me that we need better product and packaging development. If we develop products that have no further opportunity for re-use, then we are intentionally making unsustainable products and packages. If we […]
Fair Trade Campaigns will host a Midwest and Mid-Atlantic one-day gathering for all fair trade town and university campaigners and anyone interested in joining the movement. These workshops are free and you are invited! These events are taking place on April 5th in Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Green America has served on the steering committee of Fair Trade Towns for four […]
Today, I spoke at an EPA hearing in support of rulemaking to limit emissions from new power plants. The rules would be an important first step in regulating power plants, the largest stationary source of carbon emissions in the U.S. The pro-coal lobby was at the hearing in full force, arguing that they could not implement technologies to mitigate carbon pollution from new coal plants that would meet the EPA’s limits. Of course, these are the same industries that have been touting carbon capture and sequestration technology as a solution to lowering carbon emissions for years. While Americans firmly support regulating carbon emissions, we are badly outspent in Washington. That’s why it’s essential that all Americans voice their support for carbon regulation. You can take action with Green America online here: http://action.greenamerica.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12768 Following are the comments I delivered to the EPA: Thank you for hosting this public hearing to receive comment from Americans on the important issue of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. My name is Todd Larsen, and I serve as the corporate responsibility director of Green America, a national non-profit organization with 170,000 individual members and 3,500 business members nationwide. 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, Green America strongly supports the EPA’s […]
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been hosting a listening tour across the country to gain feedback from citizens and organizations about proposed regulations of carbon emissions from existing power plants. Green America has already supported the EPA’s proposal to regulate emissions from new power plants. Now, the EPA is proposing to regulate existing power plants — a far greater source of carbon emissions in the US — particularly emissions from coal-fired plants. At a number of listening sessions, the coal industry has presented testimony that EPA regulations of coal-fired power plants will harm the U.S. economy. However, all of the evidence demonstrates that the opposite is true.The continued reliance on coal as major source of electric power in the U.S. is harming our economy and preventing job growth. On behalf of Green America, I presented the following remarks at the listening session in Washington DC today. Thank you for hosting these listening sessions across the country to receive input from Americans on the important issue of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. My name is Todd Larsen, and I serve as the corporate responsibility director of Green America, a national non-profit organization with 170,000 individual members and 3,500 business members nationwide. 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 […]
The University Alumnus: Kyuwon Kim(Interview conducted by Martha van Gelder, associate editor of the Green American magazine) “Universities are very sensitive to how they are portrayed.” Kyuwon Kim and two recent university graduates, Elysia Petrone and Yasmin Parodi, are attempting a unique method of pressuring universities to divest from fossil fuels. The three friends are asking Maclean’s Magazine, a current affairs publication that annually ranks Canadian universities, to add an “ethical investment” ranking to its report. Green America/Martha van Gelder: How did you get involved with the divestment movement? Kyuwon Kim: I met Elysia and Yasmin at a workshop in Toronto that was run by the Sierra Youth Coalition back in October. The three of us had a big interest in the divestment campaign because we came from different 350.org chapters, which inspired us to take action. Green America/Martha: How did you get the idea to use the universities’ rankings as a way to encourage them to take action? It is such a unique approach! Kim: At the end of each year, Maclean’s publish a universities issue in which it ranks Canadian universities based on class size, funding, reputation, student support, etc. Most Canadian high school students use it when they search for universities. I used it myself! We noticed that there was nothing that mentioned ethical investment, so we started a petition asking Maclean’s to include information in its university rankings that reference the ethicality of their endowments. Green […]