Trump's Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet

Source: International Trade Commission, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Source: International Trade Commission, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

"Just the threat of tariffs shook solar developers in recent months, with some hoarding panels and others stalling projects in anticipation of higher costs. The Solar Energy Industries Association projected 23,000 job losses this year in a sector that employed 260,000."

Read the full article from Bloomberg.

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NYC Sues, divests from oil firms over climate change

Image above: Martin Meissner, File/Associated Press

Image above: Martin Meissner, File/Associated Press

"'We’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits,' the mayor said. 'As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.'”

Read the full article from The Washington Post.

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Love solar power but got no rooftop? "Shared solar" is coming for you.

(Image above:  Sketch of a shared solar project in Seattle.  (Stephanie Bower, via Seattle City Light) )

(Image above:  Sketch of a shared solar project in Seattle. (Stephanie Bower, via Seattle City Light))

"To date, solar power has mostly been available to utilities (as big power plants) or individual home and business owners (as rooftop panels).

Left out has been ... well, everyone else, those of us who are not utility executives and do not have the money, wherewithal, or suitable rooftops to install solar ourselves. That's a lot of people who love solar power but have no way to get directly involved in it.

Happily, that situation is rapidly changing, thanks to the growth of shared solar. Shared solar refers to small-scale solar installations that multiple individuals co-own, or that divide their power output among multiple "subscribed" individuals. It's a way for all those non-rooftop folks to directly support clean energy, while also supporting local jobs and economic development."

Read the full article from Vox.

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Learn more here.

"What can I do about climate change?"

"Often people ask me “What can I do about climate change?” Well madams and sirs, this Earth Day, just talk about it. Talk about climate change. Earth Day’s purpose was and is to raise awareness, to get people fired up. We are living in an extraordinary time. The climate science is clear, yet many of our leaders succeed in denying it."  - Bil Nye in a piece he wrote for Earth Day Initiative in 2015 for our collaboration with Metro Newspaper.  

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Earth Day Initiative rings the NYSE Closing bell

Our team rang the closing bell at the NYSE on Friday to mark the launch of our Count to 50 campaign, counting down to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by switching people over to clean energy.  Executive Director, John Oppermann, was joined by Earth Day Initiative staff and supporters to mark the occasion.

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The left and right agree: Fox News destroyed EPA chief Scott Pruitt over climate change

"Wallace noted that the EPA, under Obama's administration, had set a number of health milestones attainable by 2030 — if the Clean Power Plan were implemented. Those included 90,000 fewer asthma attacks, 300,000 fewer missed work and school days, and 3,600 fewer premature deaths per year.

“Without the Clear Power Plan, how are you going to prevent those terrible things?” Wallace asked Pruitt."

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Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined

"In the United States, more people were employed in solar power last year than in generating electricity through coal, gas and oil energy combined. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector's workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent. It's a welcome statistic for those seeking to refute Donald Trump's assertion that green energy projects are bad news for the American economy.

Just under 374,000 people were employed in solar energy, according to the report, while coal, gas and oil power generation combined had a workforce of slightly more than 187,000. The boom in the country's solar workforce can be attributed to construction work associated with expanding generation capacity. The gulf in employment is growing with net generation from coal falling 53 percent over the last decade. During the same period, electricity generation from natural gas increased 33 percent while solar expanded 5,000 percent.

Fuel production and electricity generation together directly employed 1.9 million workers last year, according to the report, with 55%, or 1.1 million, working with fossil fuels. The DoE identifies another 2.3 million jobs associated with energy transmission, distribution and storage.

Solar energy added 73,615 new jobs to the U.S. economy over the past year while wind added a further 24,650."

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Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’

M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

"A supervisor at the Energy Department's international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases "climate change," "emissions reduction" or "Paris Agreement" in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.

Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama's climate regulatory initiatives. Officials at the State Department and in other DOE offices said they had not been given a banned words list, but they had started avoiding climate-related terms in their memos and briefings given the new administration's direction on climate change.

The Office of International Climate and Clean Energy is the only office at DOE with the words "climate" in its name, and it may be endangered as Trump looks to reorganize government agencies. It plays a key role in U.S. participation in the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation, two international efforts launched under Obama that were designed to advance clean energy technology."  

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Photo credit:  M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO


American Academy of Pediatrics opposes roll back of Clean Power Plan

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians and specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.  This is what they had to say about the roll back of the Clean Power Plan.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the Executive Order issued today that rolls back critical protections for children's health. The Order would stop all work to defend the Clean Power Plan, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule limiting carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. These power plants generate approximately one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, a leading contributor to climate change. Without this rule in place, our children, who are uniquely vulnerable to changes in the environment, will disproportionately bear the burden of dirty air, increased incidence of vector-borne illnesses, increased natural disasters, heat-induced illness and death.

"According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of the current health burden resulting from the changing climate occurs in children younger than five years old. Children breathe faster than adults, spend more time outside and have lungs that are still developing, meaning any environmental changes will have a more significant impact. For children who suffer from asthma, poor air quality can turn outdoor activity into a real risk to their health.

"As pediatricians, we know it is impossible to separate the status of our environment from its impact on our patients' health. The Clean Power Plan took significant steps forward for children by addressing the public health issue of climate change and by helping to improve air quality. Clean air should not be a luxury, and it should not be determined by ZIP code. We urge President Trump and his administration to support policies that ensure a safe environment for children and families across the country, rather than those that undo the gains we've made."

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Green your lifestyle in minutes this Earth Day!

This spring we're rolling out a broad-reaching campaign that will count down to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  It's aimed at satisfying all the demand we see out there for simple ways for people to make a green impact.  Join our campaign by switching over to clean energy in a matter of minutes and stay connected as we roll out new green actions you can take each season.