Monthly Archives: October 2010
Tomorrow’s election day will provide some light on how steep our effort will be to fund the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program next year. Climate Communities’ Energy Block Grants Work! campaign is demonstrating that the EECBG program is helping local governments to create jobs, reduce energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Our goal is to get President Obama and Congress to fully fund the program in FY 2012. If the U.S. House of Representatives changes parties as many predict, we’ll see a new group of Republicans taking over key committee posts. Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey would become more central in our effort to urge Congress to provide new resources for the EECBG program. It will be very important to seek strong support from local elected leaders in these states. Divided government would also likely diminish the opportunity for national clean energy and climate policy. I’ll be interested to see who in the 112th Congress takes ownership of these issues. Get yourself a full night of sleep because tomorrow the candle will be burning late!
The Maryland Energy Administration is hosting an EECBG Best Practices workshop on Tuesday, October 26. If you can’t make it to Annapolis on 24 hours notice, it is still worth a visit to the website – they have posted a lot of good resources on navigating the trickier aspects of EECBG grant implementation.
In the final weeks before the November elections, it is nearly impossible to pay attention to all the political news on the airwaves, so for those who missed last week’s Delaware Senate debate, the EECBG program received accolades from New Castle County Executive Chris Coons during this nationally televised event. When asked about the best way for our country to reduce its carbon emissions, Coons cited the EECBG program’s impact on New Castle County and said that EECBG “[has] the most impact of anything you can do that will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
The Brookings Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and the Breakthrough Institute released an interesting report today on ways to spark a clean energy economy in America. For a Congress struggling to find bipartisan energy solutions, this report from respected think tanks situated on both sides of the political aisle is likely to generate some buzz on Capitol Hill. While the report doesn’t get into great detail about policy implementation, it does offer a few unorthodox ideas, including using DoD procurement resources to promote energy innovation. Overall, quite succinct and worth a read.
Brevard County, Florida, has received a $2.9 million efficiency-conservation grant for high-tech roofs, windows, lights and temperature-control systems at taxpayer-owned buildings in Sharpes, Titusville, Melbourne and Viera.These Brevard projects might save 2,597 megawatt-hours of energy and prevent 104,137 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions. Check out the story in Florida Today:
Great EECBG success story out of Huntington Beach, California. Huntington Beach used EECBG funding for catalytic research and consulting that led to the deployment of 2 MW of solar capacity at no upfront cost to the City.
The City of Detroit had a press conference yesterday to talk about how they are spending $9 million in EECBG funding. They expect that these efficiency improvements will produce $30 million in cost savings over the next decade. That’s quite a return on investment!
The New York Times had an interesting article today about how the first customers that have committed to buying Nissan Leafs are being showered with federal/state/local financial benefits and personal attention from Nissan execs. Sounds like quite the deal and really illustrates the future we are working towards! Several communities (including King County, Washington) are using their EECBG funding to participate in “The EV Project” mentioned in the article. Nothing’s going to accelerate EV adoption like investing in local communities!
“The federal energy efficiency block grant program is helping thousands of communities leverage funding for projects that are saving energy, saving money, putting people back to work and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels that pollute the environment and contribute”
— Mayor Roy Buol, City of Dubuque, IA