Articles With "Government" Tag

The Month in Review: January 2013

Here are some of the top stories in eco news for the month of January, 2013.

Fiscal Cliff Deal in United States Extends Biofuel Incentives

In Green Car News, the United States Senate signed off on a budget agreement that was designed to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and has been the center of debate. For the biofuel industry and green vehicle proponents, the good news is that biofuel initiatives from the 2008 Farm Bill will be extended, which should help to save jobs and reduce dependency on foreign oil. Read more »

President Obama Explains Proposed HOMESTAR Retrofit Program

Official-president-homestar

Yesterday, President Obama toured a training facility at Savannah Technical College and took the opportunity to outline more detail on the proposed HOMESTAR Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program.  The program has been called "Cash for Caulkers" due to similarities with Cash for Clunkers, but we're going to stick with the HOMESTAR terminology.  Here's some additional detail. 

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Colorful Wavy Solar Transit Shelters

Geary-street-solar-bus-stop

This is a story about an interesting collaboration of five different organizations: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., Lundberg Design, 3Form, and Konarka.  San Francisco needed to replace its existing transit locations, and the SFMTA selected Clear Channel for the contract based upon a transit shelter design by Lundberg Design.  So far, the first five of roughly 1,200 new, sustainably designed transit shelters have been installed, and ~400 of the total will be powered by roof integrated photovoltaics.  The shelters have wireless internet, NextMuni, and Push to Talk capabilities. 

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The Waxman-Markey Building Energy Performance Labeling Program

NewarkWetlands side-1

There's been a lot of talk about various green building provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454 or "ACES"), but there's one specific section of ACES that deserves more attention.  Section 204 needs to be included in the green building discussion, because this is where the Building Energy Performance Labeling Program is.  With this program, as we predicted with our Seven Green Trends, the federal government could lay the foundation for true and legitimate building environmental impact labels.  Let's talk about this unprecedented policy, with a little background discussion. 

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California Finds the Missing Piece of the CO2 Emissions Puzzle

California Sprawl - SB375

This article was written by Charles Lockwood, a green real estate authority and consultant based in southern California and New York City.  His articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Barron’s.

California—the state that invented freeways and suburban sprawl—has become a trendsetter again, and not a moment too soon in our new age of global climate change.  In October 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB375, which was supported by environmentalists, homebuilders, and cities and counties.  SB375 will limit the state’s CO2 emissions by curbing suburban sprawl and increasing transit-based development through various incentives. 

If a community plans walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented growth that reduces automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions, for example, it gets moved to the front of the line for state and federal transportation funds.  If a proposed building is located near a transit line, it will have an easier environmental review process.  Why is SB375 important?

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STAR Community Index, Like LEED But For Cities and Local Governments

Portland Cityscape

Keep your eyes out for the newest tool designed to rate cities in their efforts to push environmental stewardship.  The STAR Community Index is like LEED, but it’s designed to rate local governments.  With myriad green city rankings and websites trying to calculate the sustainability of local governments,* it’s high time for a highly respected, standardized formula for measuring a community’s sustainability.  According to ICLEI, the STAR Program will create a process, not unlike LEED, to bring in leaders in the field toward the goal of establishing shared measures and processes for greening communities.  STAR will have tiered levels, with the aim to accomplish the following:

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