A Time for Reflection and Action

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The violence in our country last week has shocked us all.  Two African American men were killed by police officers, bringing the total of African American men in the US killed by the police since January 2015 to 175 (24 of those men were unarmed).  Women of color are at disproportionate risk of police violence as well. Then, the shooting […]

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Genetically Engineered Trees: A New Frontier or Climate Catastrophe?

By: Kat Battaglia, Fellow, Green America’s Better Paper Project Most consumers in the United States are now aware of genetically engineered foods, but far fewer realize that, beginning formally in 1988, biotech scientists have been working on the next frontier of genetic engineering: trees. While the biotech industry claims GE trees could be a natural solution to deforestation, it’s far more likely that a shift to GE monoculture forests, heavily dependent on chemical inputs, would further pollute our soil, air and waterways, and exacerbate the problems of climate change. Not All Forests Are Created Equal Natural forests are more than a collection of trees. They are rich, biodiverse habitats for millions of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that are essential to life. Forests protect soil and waterways from pollution, and even protect humans from heart and respiratory diseases. Perhaps most miraculously, the earth’s forests also store 289 gigatons of carbon in biomass, making forests one of the greatest contributors to slowing the rate of climate change. Enter genetically engineered trees. The biotech industry is in the process of developing GE trees for a number of aims, including lower lignin content to ease processing. Lignin, a structural component of wood, must be removed from wood pulp before it can be used to make paper. GE trees with lower lignin content stand to save the paper industry a great deal of money by cutting out the expensive removal process. GE trees also […]

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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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Businesses Nationwide Support Methane Regulation

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Businesses nationwide are speaking up in favor of climate regulation.  The US Chamber of Commerce often gives the impression that businesses oppose environmental regulation. But across the country, thousands upon thousands of businesses are speaking out and saying that well-crafted regulations of carbon emissions are good for businesses. There is increasing evidence that fracking for natural gas is harming local communities […]

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Business leaders ask IRS employees to give up coffee buzz for bees

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Businesses and advocates are calling on the IRS to go one day without coffee — which benefits from pollination — to create urgency about a future without pollinators. The EPA’s April 14 deadline for comment for its risk assessment on the neonicotinoid imidacloprid — a leading driver of bee and pollinator deaths — coincides with the IRS’ busiest tax week […]

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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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Taking a Bite Out of Child Labor

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Child Labor prevention programs in the cocoa sector have been slow to start, and insufficient. Our new “Big Chocolate” Scorecard looks in to what’s happening now.   NGOs and news outlets in the West first shined a light on the issue of child labor and extreme poverty among cocoa growing communities in West Africa in the early 2000’s. Since then, major […]

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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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Sustainable Businesses Take a National Stage at 2016 Green Festivals

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Sustainable businesses have never been more important. Going green for businesses has the power to make massive changes in our systems –  from the old ways of consuming massive resources to new ways that address climate change and resource protection. At the Green Festival Expos, businesses come together to show the enormous capacity they have to reduce environmental and social impacts. […]

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