Selected category: Military

Solar Ready Vets Trains Veterans for Jobs in Booming Solar Industry

ga_los-angelesBy: John A. Nicholson, Col., USMC (Ret), and EDF consultant

Veterans Day is a time for our nation to recognize and thank all those who have served in the military in peace and war. Moreover, it is a day to reflect and recommit to honoring the service of veterans.

But consider this: Five years ago, the unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans was 12 percent. About 12 percent of veterans between the ages of 18-34 lived below the poverty level. One in seven homeless people were veterans.

These startling statistics prompted a national call to action in 2011 from the White House and others for employers to hire veterans and their spouses.

Enter Solar Ready Vets, a Department of Energy program aimed squarely at training veterans to work in the rapidly expanding solar energy industry, in which jobs have grown more than 20 percent in each of the last three years. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Climate, Jobs, Solar Energy| Read 2 Responses

Clean Energy: An Emerging Path for Latino Communities

chciBy: Andy Vargas, EDF Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Public Policy Fellow

Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing! It has also been a welcome way to kick off my placement with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Public Policy Fellow. Each year, CHCI marks Hispanic Heritage Month with a Public Policy Conference elevating the issues most important to Latino communities. This year, I had the pleasure of representing both CHCI and EDF, introducing a panel on an emerging and critical topic for Latinos: clean energy.

Clean energy is key to protecting Latino communities from disproportionate impacts of climate change and pollution. At last week’s conference, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) highlighted that half the U.S. Latino population currently lives in the country’s most polluted cities. NHLA also noted that asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more prevalent in inner city Latino communities near carbon-producing power plants.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Equity, On-bill repayment, Solar Energy| Comments are closed

“We Don’t Do Green”

NC Heros Fund

John A. Nicholson, Col., USMC (Ret), and EDF consultant (fourth from left), pictured with fellow Board members of the NC Heroes Fund, which provides grants to service members and their families who are experiencing financial difficulties as they transition from active duty back into civilian life.

By: John A. Nicholson, Col., USMC (Ret), and EDF consultant

I cringed when I read this quote, attributed to a senior military representative in Scientific American. I understood what he was trying to say, but the sound bite could easily be misinterpreted.

The Department of Defense (DoD) most certainly “does green,” and it has for some time now. At the highest level of leadership, there is recognition that energy and environmental conservation is important. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have reinforced and brought to the forefront the importance of energy planning and, more importantly, its use and integration by our deployed forces. Furthermore, improved energy planning and use has played a significant role in reducing costs and improving the efficiency, resiliency, and security of military bases, facilities, and other installations that prepare DoD forces for their missions. Read More »

Also posted in Energy Efficiency, North Carolina, Solar Energy, Wind Energy| Read 2 Responses

2016 Starts With Growing Momentum To Cut Oil And Gas Methane Pollution

Logo_PDD_2016.svg (1)We’re less than a month into 2016, and there are already signs that this could be the year the United States finally gets serious about addressing methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Some strong first steps in 2015 got the ball rolling, and now attention-grabbing events like the massive methane leak in Southern California and the announcement that 2015 was the warmest year on record are opening people’s eyes to the urgency of tackling this potent climate-forcing pollution.

Great Strides Made in 2015

Many important first steps to curb oil and gas methane pollution were taken in 2015, most notably, the Obama administration setting a goal of reducing this pollution 40 to 45 percent by 2025. To help achieve this goal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August proposed a national methane emissions standard for newly built oil and gas sources. Read More »

Also posted in Natural Gas| Comments are closed

A Big Climate Opportunity for Mexico in Dealing with Methane Now

4842884636_c8570c28d7_zMexico is getting good news today about a strategy it can use to help meet its 25% greenhouse gas reduction pledge by 2030. A new report conducted by energy research firm ICF International found that by using available and low-cost technologies, Mexico can cut 54% of its methane emissions from the oil and gas sector for less than one peso per ton of carbon dioxide. Not only does this keep a very potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere, methane is 84 times more powerful than CO2 in intensifying warming, but by capturing it, methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, Mexico wastes less energy.

The Mexican government showed leadership in recognizing the importance of reducing short-lived climate pollutants like methane in its climate pledge to the UN Climate Change Conference. And ICF’s study suggests that reductions in oil and gas methane emissions can be a valuable tool as Mexico considers how it will implement policies to meet its goal. Read More »

Also posted in General, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

Cameras, Drones and Lasers: How They're Tackling Oil and Gas Pollution

DroneWaPo2Dr. Jason Gu was still a graduate student when he developed the technology behind SenSevere, a start-up that creates laser-based gas sensors for use in heavy industry and power plants. Today, he’s working to apply this technology to methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, making him one of the many entrepreneurs developing solutions to tackle the problem. His fascination with innovation isn’t just making his clients more efficient—it may also be saving the planet.

The hidden cost of methane

Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a powerful pollutant responsible for a quarter of the global warming we feel today. The oil and gas industry releases 7 million tons of it into the atmosphere every year through emissions from oil and gas fields and associated pipelines, resulting in over a billion dollars’ worth of wasted American energy resources. And, toxic chemicals like benzene, a known carcinogen, can accompany methane emissions, posing a potential threat to public health.

“The industry is beginning to become more sensitized to the fact that methane is an aggressive greenhouse gas,” said James Armstrong, president of Apogee Scientific, a Colorado-based methane mitigation company. For more than 15 years, Apogee has manufactured a methane detection system that uses a vacuum and infrared sensors and can be mounted to trucks, ATVs and helicopters to identify leaks in the field. “If you find the leaks and repair them, you’re not only helping the environment…you’re extending the resource.” Read More »

Also posted in Natural Gas| Comments are closed
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