Growing up in eastern North Carolina was a great experience. Wayne County was my home, and I spent many weekends fishing for bass and hunting quail with my father on the family farm in nearby Bladen County. The time outdoors was great for character building, and visiting with relatives, friends, and elders in the community was equally important for understanding my heritage and the challenges my parents overcame.
You see, Bladen County is classified as a “persistent poverty county” by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, meaning the poverty rate has exceeded 20 percent of the population for the last 30 years. More than 25 percent of Bladen residents live in poverty. My family, friends, and elders were no exceptions. Despite the struggles, the personal connection to the land, water, and wildlife nourished and empowered the farming community.
When I joined Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) eight years ago, I seized the opportunity to find inclusive solutions to environmental problems. I started hunting for two different kinds of game: first, diversifying the traditional definition of environmental leadership and second, increasing access to clean, affordable energy for everyone. The two go hand-in-hand. Let me explain. Read More
Cities and universities know the value of saving a dollar and saving a kilowatt, and EDF Climate Corps gives them a plan to do so in a just few, short months. This summer, EDF Climate Corps is celebrating its fifth year in action with even more energy efficiency savings for cities and universities around the United States. Joining EDF Climate Corps are returning and newcomer hosts who are eager to pair environment stewardship with smart business practices.
Newcomer host organizations for EDF Climate Corps include the Smithsonian Institution, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Port of Oakland, San Diego State University – Imperial Valley, City of Los Angeles, City of Cleveland (Ohio), Envision Charlotte (North Carolina), Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, City of Atlanta, and Texas A&M University – Kingsville. Returning hosts include the New York City Public Housing Authority and Howard University (D.C.).
2011 NYCHA EDF Climate Corps Fellows
Since its inception, EDF Climate Corps has recommended energy-saving opportunities and developed custom energy efficiency investment plans that could save $1 billion in net operational costs over the project lifetimes, and avoid over $1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
It’s not too late to host an EDF Climate Corps fellow – the application deadline for 2012 summer hosts is February 23. Cities and universities are encouraged to apply at edfclimatecorps.org. For more information and a list of 2012 hosts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDF helped write another chapter in the history book on polluting coal generation this week. Along with our partners, we announced a settlement with North Carolina-based Duke Energy that will legally require the utility to retire more than 1,600 megawatts of coal-fired generation.
The retiring plants represent about 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 30,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and over 5,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) annually. People who live near or downwind of one of those plants have reason to celebrate.
Retiring the oldest, dirtiest and least efficient facilities requires Duke Energy to head toward cleaner generation and modernization of its fleet. That's good news for everyone, considering Duke’s proposed merger with Progress Energy will create the largest utility in the country.