Racial justice is climate justice

Author: Liz Havstad       9/20/2020           Hip Hop Caucus


Racial justice is climate justice. And the current administration’s aggressive efforts to open drilling in Coastal Plains of The Arctic Refuge is a complete violation of both.

The Arctic Refuge is not just one of our nation’s most pristine ecosystems, it is also the sacred home to the Gwich’in people. Drilling in these lands wouldn’t just be dangerous for our rapidly warming climate. Drilling is an assault on this community’s long held way of life.

On our newest The Coolest Show podcast episodes, Rev Yearwood gets together with the Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, Bernadette Demientieff, Gwich’in Steering Committee Youth Council member, Isaiah Horace, and Soul River Inc. founder, Chad Brown. They each sit down with Rev. Yearwood in our three episode series called “Protect the Arctic” to discuss why we must stop arctic drilling, the power of the Indigenous peoples’ movement, and the impacts of the climate crisis on front line communities.

This Sunday, listen to this three-episode series and take action to protect the Arctic Refuge!

Each Friday we release The Coolest Show podcast It and can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, everywhere else you may listen to podcasts, and at thecoolestshow.com.

We’re so honored to share this platform with the climate movement.


Liz Havstad
Executive Director
Hip Hop Caucus

Hip Hop Caucus

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Listen to Emerald Cities Dr. Denise Fairchild Testify at Climate Change Subcommittee

Author: Dr. Denise Fairchild             published: 9/15/2020               ECC


Tomorrow: ECC Testifies at the Congressional Hearing on 100% Clean Economy

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) announced today that the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee will hold a fully remote hearing on Wednesday, September 16, at 10 a.m. (EDT) on the need for an ambitious economic recovery plan that is centered around climate action. The hearing is entitled, “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Opportunities for an Equitable, Low-Carbon Recovery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our economy.  Families across the country are hurting and in desperate need of new, good-paying jobs that won’t get shipped overseas or disappear out from under them,” Pallone and Tonko said. “This economic crisis demands a strong federal response — one that takes care to improve the well-being of all communities across the country and creates a cleaner, more equitable and just economy.  Recovery measures should put the United States on the path to a low-carbon future.  Economic growth and climate action go hand-in-hand, and we look forward to discussing the benefits of fostering a low-carbon economic recovery.”

This hearing will take place remotely via Cisco Webex video conferencing. Members of the public may view the hearing via live webcast accessible on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website. Please note the webcast will not be available until the hearing begins.

Additional information for this hearing, including the Committee Memorandum, testimony and the live webcast will be posted HERE as they become available.



The EV news you need to know

Author: Electric Auto Assoication        Published 9/7/2020       EAA

If 25% of cars electrify, the US would save billions. Plus news on Hyundai, Ford, Lucid, Fikser, and Citroen.

Hyundai IONIQ

The US economy

Billions could be saved with 25% EVs

A new study shows that billions of dollars in climate and health spending could be saved if just a quarter of active vehicles in the US were to be electric.

Kandi K23

Kandi K23


Brand new and $13,000?  How’s that?

Including the $7,500 federal rebate, a new Kandi will cost $13,000 when it is released in the US by the end of this year, the Chinese automaker confirmed.

Lucid Air

Lucid Air


San Diego to San Francisco on one charge?

The production version of the Lucid Air, with a 517 mile range, is expected this month, with customer deliveries scheduled in early 2021. The impressive range is met by its just as impressive 300 kW peak charge rate.

Lucid home charging

Lucid home charging

A car your home can depend on

The new Lucid Air will feature bi-directional charging with the potential to be connected to your home grid.

Fisker Ocean

Fisker Ocean


The Ocean 3 to get new siblings

Fisker, already planning to release the affordable Ocean 3 in 2022, announced that it will expand its electric car line-up in 2025 with the release of a pick-up, a sports sedan, and a second crossover.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford (and more)

You can still hear the roar of the engine

Authentic sounding engine noise will now be an option on the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Other electric vehicle (EV) companies are experimenting with sound, too, in order to meet new federal requirements taking effect this month.

Hyundai IONIQ

Hyundai IONIQ


IONIQ: Updated and soon in triplicate

Hyundai is expanding its IONIQ brand with a CUV, a sedan, and a large SUV.

Karma Revero GTE

Karma Revero GTE

Forbes Magazine

The best for 2020

The magazine names its picks for the 10 most exciting EVs.

Citroen e-C4

Citroen e-C4


The French are coming. With the usual style.

Featuring what the company calls a “hushed, cocoon-like” interior, the new e-C4 compact hatchback is launching soon.

The 10th annual National Drive Electric Week is this month!

The 10th annual National Drive Electric Week is this month!

Author: Guy T. Hall         Published: 9/14/2020    ELECTRIC Auto Assoication

With a mix of online and in-person events around the country, it will be an remarkable year.

National Drive Electric Week 2019

National Drive Electric Week 2019

National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) is coming up fast Sept. 26 – Oct. 4. Electric Auto Association chapters and electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts are planning 200 virtual or physical events across North America. As many know, most events have expanded into the virtual space, and this is an exciting opportunity to share our knowledge, passion, and expertise to a broader audience.

With so many virtual events you can now attend National Drive Electric Week events on the other side of the continent. Live in Oregon? Attend Rhode Island’s “Ask an EV Owner” discussion.

Download the PDF program here of all sessions, with updates made every day.

Teams are pulling in speakers from across the world to provide an entertaining and informative virtual EVerything, including: History, New Models, Solar, Technology, Diversity, Policy and Advocacy, Road Trips, Incentives, and Performance. Several teams are engaging local or regional talent for community EV showcases.

Depending on local requirements, some locales will continue to provide in-person events that are held outdoors with social distancing and enhanced safety precautions. They include meet-ups at a drive-in or in-your-car driving events.

  • Get involved today by signing up to attend an event or volunteering: Visit driveelectricweek.org and register for your events today.

  • Pass the word onto friends, neighbors, and family by posting the website on social media.

  • Sign up to help. Even virtual events require assistance to create a cool session.

  • Recruit speakers. Do you know someone with  compelling EV knowledge who can participate in a virtual event? Contact Guy Hall now.

  • Create your own virtual EV event. It’s as simple as registering and setting up a Zoom meeting. We can help.

More events will be added over the next few weeks, so remember to continue visiting driveelectric.org for updates.

Join us too for the National Drive Electric Week Kick-Off virtual event on September 24 hosted by the Electric Auto Association, Plug In America and Sierra Club as we give a sneak peak into what the week holds.

NCAA rules allow White students and coaches to profit off labor of Black ones, study finds

Author: Christopher Ingraham  Published: 9/7/2020    Washington Post

Though sports revenue nearly doubled during the study period, the players ‘risking their health and safety’ have not seen a comparable increase in benefits, data show

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s long-standing policy prohibiting profit-sharing with college athletes effectively allows wealthy White students to profit off the labor of poor Black ones.

That’s the stark conclusion of a new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper uses revenue and expense data for college athletic departments to trace the flow of billions in annual revenue generated by NCAA sports, particularly basketball and football.

The NCAA prohibits college athletes from being compensated for their labor. The rule is rooted in the concept of the “student-athlete,” a term the association’s first executive director coined “to help the NCAA fight against workmen’s compensation insurance claims for injured football players,” as Jon Solomon, editorial director of the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program, puts it.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 college football season is still pressing on. Here’s where we’re at. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

In the 1950s, the widow of college football player Ray Dennison sued for workers’ compensation death benefits after Dennison, a student on the football team at Fort Lewis A&M, was killed in a football game. The NCAA argued Dennison was ineligible for benefits because he was a student-athlete, rather than an employee of the university. The Colorado Supreme Court agreed, and the term has been the cornerstone of the NCAA’s defense against profit-sharing ever since.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 college football season is still pressing on. Here’s where we’re at. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

In the 1950s, the widow of college football player Ray Dennison sued for workers’ compensation death benefits after Dennison, a student on the football team at Fort Lewis A&M, was killed in a football game. The NCAA argued Dennison was ineligible for benefits because he was a student-athlete, rather than an employee of the university. The Colorado Supreme Court agreed, and the term has been the cornerstone of the NCAA’s defense against profit-sharing ever since.

But college sports today bear little resemblance to their amateur origins. “We’re talking about athletic departments with $100 million budgets,” said Craig Garthwaite, lead author of the study. “That’s a commercial enterprise. It is a modern business endeavor and we thought we should analyze it that way.”

To do that, Garthwaite and his colleagues collected revenue data for all 65 athletic departments in the Power Five conferences, home to the NCAA’s top Division I football and basketball programs, from 2006 to 2019. They also assembled data from student rosters across all sports in those departments in 2018, including data on the players’ ethnicity and hometowns.

The data yielded a number of preliminary findings. First, the revenue generated by those athletic departments nearly doubled during the study period, from $4.4 billion to $8.5 billion. Nearly 60 percent of that revenue was generated by football and basketball teams, much of it derived from the increasingly lucrative sale of broadcast rights to major television networks.

Over the study period, the average annual salary of football coaching staffs nearly doubled, from $4.8 million to $9.8 million. Non-coaching administrative salaries nearly doubled as well. But financial support for the athletes — primarily tuition aid, room and board — grew 47 percent.

“It’s morally bankrupt,” Garthwaite said. “The NCAA wants it to be ‘amateur’ for the athletes but none of the rules of amateurism to apply to all the other people in the system.”

The NCAA did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Much of the money generated by football and basketball programs is spent on salaries for coaches and administrators and on the construction of lavish facilities for the teams. But millions of dollars also flow each year to such “nonrevenue” sports as tennis, sailing and crew, which don’t generate substantial revenue and hence are reliant on the substantial profits from football and basketball to sustain them financially.

The net result: White athletes and coaches profit off the labor of Black athletes, who receive no additional compensation for the considerable revenue they generate.

“We’re the first to empirically document the regressive nature of it in a systematic way,” Garthwaite said.

“The subsidy that predominantly Black male athletes provide to others is a missing feature when we talk about equity in college athletics,” said Trevon D. Logan, a professor of economics at Ohio State University. “Although some other scholars have noted this, the paper does a nice job of linking this all together.

Garthwaite cautions that fixing this inequity isn’t as simple a matter as taking away revenue from squash and baseball and giving money back to football and basketball players. The revenue-generating sports play a major role in funding the women’s sports programs mandated by federal Title IX legislation, for instance.
But Garthwaite says the finding that “money is generated from one group that has traditionally been disadvantaged in society and it flows to a group that has not been disadvantaged” requires rethinking how we talk about “equity” in college sports.

“In my opinion, no convincing argument has been made that players should not be compensated far more than they currently are,” said Richard Borghesi of the University of South Florida, an economist who has studied compensation in college sports.

His prior research found that if college athletes were fairly compensated for the value of their work, they would earn “more than double the value of tuition and other aid, and this new study provides additional support for that prior work.

Leaving Markets is No Easy Answer to FERC Orders that Undercut State Clean Energy Commitments

Author: Jeff Dennis,Prusha Hasan,and Caithlin Marquis     Published: 9/9/2020         AEE

FRR Question-745

Frustrated by recent decisions from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and dismayed to see their policy objectives undermined by wholesale market rules, a growing number of states are considering taking matters into their own hands. Specifically, in response to FERC’s rulings disadvantaging resources that benefit from state clean energy policies, some states in PJM Interconnection and ISO New England, along with New York, are considering alternatives to centralized capacity markets – including leaving these markets altogether. An AEE background paper released last week cautions that leaving an independently operated capacity market is no quick fix for the curve balls FERC has thrown at states. Rather, leaving centralized capacity markets is a fraught choice that should be pursued only if all other potential pathways have been thoroughly exhausted. Make no mistake – the current FERC majority is attempting to undermine clean energy and state choices. Even in the face of that threat, though, states would be better off working with RTOs/ISOs and other stakeholders to identify reforms to energy, ancillary services, and capacity markets to align them with state clean energy policies, rather than undermine them.

FERC’s recent expansion of the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) in PJM has elevated the profile and urgency of concerns that also exist in ISO-NE and NYISO. When FERC issued its controversial decision in December 2019, it required PJM to set an artificial price floor for state-subsidized generation (such as wind and solar). FERC’s intent was to reverse “price suppression” caused by state policies. What the MOPR will actually do is limit the ability of advanced energy resources to participate in the nation’s largest electricity market and undermine state policies that are explicitly intended to promote advanced energy deployment.

States are now looking for solutions, and many are considering directing their utilities to leave the capacity market altogether, an option called the Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR) in PJM. Through the FRR, a utility would withdraw from PJM’s capacity market and be responsible for procuring  capacity resources to meet its share of the region’s resource adequacy requirements. In PJM, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has initiated a formal investigation into this possibility and scheduled a technical conference on September 18. Less formal discussions are underway among legislators and regulators in Illinois and Maryland, among other states.

Outside of PJM, the New York Public Service Commission and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, like the NJBPU, have also initiated formal investigations and held hearings on alternatives to RTO/ISO centralized capacity markets. (New York may have gotten a further push in this direction by an order from FERC issued late Friday rejecting a NYISO proposal to modify its “buyer side mitigation” rules – its analogue to MOPR – to recognize that capacity resources that align with that state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires 70% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030, were more likely to get built than proposed fossil-fuel power plants.)

The appeal of FRR is clear: By allowing states, and not FERC, to set the rules for meeting resource adequacy requirements, it would avoid the harm of MOPR. But the option comes with uncertainty and a host of risks. For starters, the FRR is likely to balkanize the regional market into smaller submarkets. It also leaves unanswered questions about how states will procure the capacity needed to maintain resource adequacy. States will have to create new procurement structures from scratch (since few have any kind of structure in place today), and developing these markets and deciding which resources can participate will take time. If states decide to put regulated utilities back in control of generation development, clean and emerging technologies can be excluded or put at a disadvantage. In short, FRR could result in a drastically less competitive market – and once a utility chooses this route, it is locked out of the capacity market for at least five years.

Advanced energy companies are concerned that FRR-based responses to MOPR will erode the benefits of regional competition, limit access to a diverse array of advanced energy technologies on a regional basis, create new barriers to market participation, and increase the costs of meeting clean energy goals. Large, independently administered markets have historically opened up more opportunities for advanced energy developers while lowering prices for customers. This is why AEE, in concert with other clean energy trade organizations, has been continuously warning of the uncertainty and unintended consequences of FRR.

Sitting by while MOPR disrupts and delays achievement of state clean energy policies is clearly not a good option, either. So what should states do? AEE’s background paper, “No Quick Fix: Why Fixed Resource Requirement is Not the Best Way for States to Protect Their Energy Choices,”  offers three steps states can take before resorting to FRR. First, states should work with RTOs/ISOs and stakeholders to develop reforms that would better align market rules with state policy objectives. There are a number of proposals worthy of consideration and further development—from a forward clean energy market to improved price formation to various capacity market reform options—and stakeholders in both PJM and ISO-NE have begun these discussions. Second, states should pursue new or expanded carbon pricing mechanisms, which would better align markets with state policies while also partially counterbalancing the harmful effects of MOPR. Third, states should consider expanding direct environmental regulation of polluting power sources. This option lies firmly within state jurisdiction, and would help to shift the economics of the resource mix into better alignment with state policy targets.

Consideration, design, and implementation of these three recommendations will take time. The urgency of addressing the harm of MOPR in PJM hinges at least in part on how FERC rules on PJM’s compliance filing; if the Commission accepts the filing largely as is, it will take a few years for the worst effects of MOPR to kick in. That means that states have time to develop the right solutions rather than jumping quickly into the most readily available solution, with its considerable risks. Likewise, there is time for measured consideration of the best path forward in New York and New England states if the discussions already started move at a pace that matches the urgency of the challenge.

While a lot of the focus is on what actions states could or should take, the advanced energy industry also has a responsibility to engage with states and RTOs/ISOs as discussions continue and reforms are discussed. And to be sure, FERC – and potentially Congress – will be key moving forward. If FERC continues to escalate its attacks on state clean energy objectives and stands in the way of market reforms to align wholesale markets with those objectives, Congress may need to intervene.


Authors: Ronald Bethea and Will R. Shirley      Published: 9/11/2020      National Association of Blacks In Solar  T/A  Blacks In Solar



September 29, 2020 – 10:00 am  Est.


The current coronavirus crisis has destroyed millions of American jobs, including hundreds of thousands in clean energy. As Congress  in the first week of July started deliberating and debating economic stimulus support for the energy industry, a new analysis of unemployment data shows the biggest part of America’s energy economy – clean energy – lost another 27,000 jobs in May, bringing the total number of clean energy workers who have lost their jobs in the past three months to more than 620,500. It has exacerbated historic environmental injustices. And with all this, we need millions of construction jobs, skilled trades, and engineering workers to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy. These jobs will create pathways for young people and for older workers shifting to new professions, and for people from all backgrounds and all communities.

A recent press release by the Biden Campaign is titled, “THE BIDEN PLAN TO BUILD A MODERN, SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE AND AN EQUITABLE CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE”. If Biden is elected in November, his administration will make a $2 trillion accelerated investment, with a plan to deploy those resources over his first term, setting us on an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands along with the following events taking place now:

1. The cost of shifting the U.S. power grid to 100 percent renewable energy over the next 10 years is an estimated $4.5 trillion, according to a new Wood Mackenzie analysis.

2. Amazon Launches US$2 Billion Climate Pledge Fund Amid Reputation Crisis

3. Microsoft’s bold new environmental sustainability initiative and 1 billion Climate Innovation Fund along with Sol Systems and Microsoft  just announced  they will work together on a portfolio of 500 megawatts of U.S. solar projects as well as investments in communities on the front lines of climate change.

4. Chicago launches $200M RFP to power city facilities by renewable energy

5. New York’s $701 Million Program for EV Charging, By the Numbers

6. Wells Fargo makes a $200 billion sustainable finance commitment through 2030, with at least 50% going toward renewable energy and clean technology projects. Wells Fargo also provides $5 million in seed funding to create the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund with the nonprofit GRID Alternatives to support solar projects in tribal communities.

7. Wells Fargo announces a renewable energy transaction that will power 400 Wells Fargo properties in Texas from a new utility-scale solar installation in the state.

8. With commitments of  160 cities, more than ten counties, and eight states across the U.S. have goals to power their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy in total, over 100 million people now live in a community with an official 100% renewable electricity target.

9. Thirty-six years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court examined a toenail on this question—answering it mostly negatively.   In  1976 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the “NAACP”) vs Federal Commission 425, .US 662 1976 (“FPC,” FERC’s predecessor) to issue a rule prohibiting utilities from discriminating against their employees based on race. Their proposed rule would have required the Commission to “(a) enumerate unlawful employment practices; (b) require regulatees to establish a written program for equal employment opportunity, which would be filed with the Commission; and (c) provide for individual employees to file discrimination complaints directly with the Commission” (as summarized in Chief Justice Burger’s concurring opinion). Citing the Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act, the NAACP argued that (a) the FPC’s substantive statutes declare the businesses of selling electricity and natural gas to be “affected with a public interest,” and (b) racial discrimination by utilities conflicts with the public interest.  The FPC therefore was both authorized and obligated to bar racial discrimination by its licensees.

The question becomes where is the Green Economic Development Plan for Black America? Many of our southern states are regulated markets, with no  public policy and legislation. The lack of Renewable Energy Standards in many of our southern states make many of the large-scale megawatt solar projects non bankable for solar companies. This was recently the case for Will R. Shirley, E.M.Sc. President/CEO Sundial Solar Power Developers, Inc. of Jackson, Mississippi, the only African American owned solar company in the state of Mississippi. In a recent letter to his solar farm clients, he communicated the following:

“Dear Sir: Sundial Solar Power Developers, Inc. (Sundial Solar), has, over the last 3 years, experienced serious setbacks, and roadblocks in getting projects like yours off the ground. In your case Sundial Solar has explored every way possible to make your project a bankable endeavor, however, your family and other families like yours are being shout out of a 25-year, generational economic opportunity. In our estimation, the main cause of these setbacks and roadblocks is the lack of Renewable Energy Standards in the State of Mississippi. As a result of Sundial Solar’s efforts to service Mississippi landowners like you, we can deliver anecdotal evidence that families like yours have been denied several hundreds of thousands of dollars based on unfair and immoral state policy that economically discriminates against Mississippi landowners”.

This is not just a Mississippi problem, but this is a national problem in regulated markets. This is not an issue for African American Solar design, installation, and workforce development companies but all companies doing business in the United States.

Looking at the data recently put out by the 2019 Solar Foundation Diversity, we have a little over 9,000 solar companies doing business in the United States. But we have been able to confirm only less than 20 African American Solar companies doing business in the United States.

The South, Southwest and East Coast and major cities and urban markets across the United States where the large percentage of the African American population reside, makes it almost impossible to increase market share for African Solar Design, Installation, and Work Force Development companies to increase their market share.

When we take a look at the Solar Foundation 2019 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study, the diversity shortfall is not unique to the solar industry. The Government Accountability Office found that as of 2015, women represent only 22% of the technology workforce and African American workers represent only 7%, figures that remained virtually unchanged over a decade (See Below).

As we look at third-party recruiters which are independent recruiters contracted by solar companies to uncover, vet, and hire, the question is how many of the third-party recruiters are African American contracted to look for talent from our HBCUs.

When we also take a closer look at upstream solar firms that engage in manufacturing, sales and distribution activities, other solar firms provide finance, legal services, research, advocacy. not for profit education activities. The African American presence in these areas are nonexistent. after 12 years of the solar industry being the fasted growing industry for job growth in United States.

 The Case for a National Organization that supports Solar in our Neighborhood

National statistics concerning black people in the solar industry are disappointing as we can see on the following charts.


In the above chart we can see that Black Solar Worker Demographics does not even compete with Latino demographics.


Our concern is that we need to prepare our people for full participation in the New Renewable Energy Economy Revolution. If we do not ORGANIZE NOW, our future in the renewable solar energy economy will continue to be relegated to the Consumer Class with low ownership positions and exceptionally low economic benefit for our schools, HBCUs, municipalities, counties, and businesses.

There are many more specific problems that the black owned solar companies face nationwide. These more specific problems can only be addressed and only be solved by a nationally structured, systematic 25 YEAR PLAN to alleviate solar discrimination and injustices that are prevalent in the solar industry today.

The list of disparities, when it comes to national, state, and local solar policy development for the black community, is unacceptable going forward into the 21st century. Aside from the challenges listed above, below is a list of specific on-going problems that cannot and will not be addressed by the status quo.

  1. The list of the “solar uninformed” in the Black community includes: K-12 school administrator, Black businesses leaders (small and large), HBCU presidents, Black Mayors, Black county supervisors and administrators and non-profits leaders.
  2. No HBCU strategy exists that will produce:
  3. New solar business owners
  4. HBCU student solar associations
  5. 25 years of electric utility savings thereby, creating a savings fund (or similar approach) that can be utilized to help address the priority financial issues of each HBCU.
  6. No concerted strategy that re-focuses Workforce Development resources in Black communities. There is no mechanism that associates workforce development dollars in Black communities to solar job training for young black men and women. Question – with no concerted strategy in the black community, how can black solar professionals be created, thrive, and fully participate in the world’s fastest growing industry
  7. No “Solar-Based Economic Development” strategies exist that delivers effective, long-term solar policy for the Black community. Just as in the case of “Technology-Based Economic Development” that changed the process of how industries, governments, and communities used technology to prosper, so can “Solar-Based Economic Development” change the process of how Black communities, governments, educational entities, and businesses can begin to develop strategies that will produce short and long-term economic benefits. If the status quo remains in place for the next 10 years, Black people in America will be totally shut out of the economic benefit, prosperity and affluence that is being realized by others in the solar industry. We as Black people need to use solar power as an economic development tool that will drive high paying jobs in the new green economy
  8.  No targeted job training exists in America that focuses on preparing young Black men and women for careers in the solar industry. As one can see, national solar workforce       numbers reveal an unsustainable future. Black owned solar companies in America represent a disappointing percentage of the total amount of solar companies in business         today. This percentage reflects badly on black participation in solar, from an ownership position, in the world’s fastest growing industry. This number also reflects badly on       future generational participation in the Industry. National Association of Blacks in Solar Initial Organizing Document July 2020
  9.  No “means of production” of solar equipment exists in the Black community. When the world is going solar, how is it that there is not one single solar panel manufacturing         company, owned by a consortium of Black owners, that can produce full panels or sub-panel components
  10.  Black owned solar companies face a double-whammy when it comes to supply chain issues – first, no Black means of production exist (mentioned above) and no purchasing coop/organization is in place that can negotiate pricing on large scale solar panel purchases for Black owned solar companies. Most economists recognize the power of group purchasing opportunities. If the few Black owned solar companies that exist today had an opportunity to buy solar panels at deep discounts via coop purchasing agreements, great advances could be made in the supply chain that favorably addresses a growing black-owned solar company population in America.
  11.  No national solar consultancy exists to support black institutions in America realize the prospects of “Solar-Based Economic Development”. NABS will address this serious issue by establishing a process for evaluating social, political, economic environments and priorities in the development of an individualized long-term solar strategy for HBCUs, Black municipalities, Black county governments, the Black business community, and Black non-profits.


HBCU Five- Year Green Economic Development Sustainability Plan

 Ronald Bethea, President and Founder of Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC. Our cooperative is presently serving as advocate, marketing and funding raising and research. Our organization, working with Lilia Abron, Ph. D, P.E., BCEE President PEER Consultants has developed an HBCU Five- Year Green Economic Development Sustainability Plan.

This power point presentation is an action plan template drawn up by PEER to serve as a starting plan for colleges and universities interested in making their campuses more sustainable. Please understand the goals, actions, and measures within this sustainability plan are tentative and can be tailored specifically to meet the needs of college and universities after their input. Goals are as follows:

  • To provide a blueprint for economic self-reliance for the solar and renewal energy companies both large and small, along with increasing market share for African American Solar design, installation, and workforce development companies.
  • To address the economic effect of high energy cost for HBCUS.
  • To utilize Black American owned farmlands and HBCU campuses to develop capacity and initiatives for solar installation projects to bring down the numbers of unemployment, under employed young black men and women.
  • Educating the black community locally and nationally about the economic impacts of climate change and the need for environmental education in the black community through black talk radio programs such as “Solar Now and The Future with Its Economic Impact on Black America”.

The proposed National Association of Blacks in Solar shall be organized based on the premise that the Black Community, in every state of the union, is being left out of major solar policy decisions that concern the specific needs of the Black community. NABS will be organized to fill these policy gaps in national, state, and local solar policy development. These problems persist and will continue to persist unless there is a nationally based organizational structure created that can start the process of rectifying the problems listed above. Again, there exist NO Solar Policy Initiatives that support any of our black institutions in a sustainable, long-term basis – the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN SOLAR will begin the process of delivering effective solar planning, policy development and policy implementation for our people.

Charter members of National Association of Blacks in Solar:

Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative                            PEER Consultants, P.C.




Helping college students affected by COVID-19

Author:  Wells Fargo        Published: 9/3/2020     Wells Fargo

A young man is sitting and smiling at something off camera. He wears glasses, a grey hooded sweatshirt, and a jean jacket over that.

The Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarship will provide $5,000 scholarships for the spring 2021 semester.


September 3, 2020

Helping college students affected by COVID-19

Wells Fargo is launching the Student Impact Scholarship to provide $1 million in scholarships for students and families who need financial assistance due to COVID-19.

As families prepared to send their children to college for the fall 2020 semester, almost 70% polled this spring said they were worried about paying for their education because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNBC. To help students and families who unexpectedly need financial assistance because of the pandemic, the Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarship is launching to provide $1 million in scholarships.

The back of someone’s head is shown in front of a laptop with the top of the screen saying: Wells Fargo and Student Impact Scholarship.
Applications for the Wells Fargo Student Impact Scholarship are being accepted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2.

“Amid the uncertainty and confusion of the current state of the world, students remain some of the key drivers of change,” said John Rasmussen, leader of Personal Lending for Wells Fargo. “They are rising to the challenges they are facing and working hard to provide much-needed support to their families and communities. Wells Fargo wants to support those who are making a difference in their community and help them continue their educational journey.”

Wells Fargo’s Student Segment Marketing team is working with APIA Scholars, the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of college scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, to provide $5,000 scholarships to a wide range of applicants. The application period begins Sept. 14 and will run through Oct. 2.

“Amid the uncertainty and confusion of the current state of the world, students remain some of the key drivers of change.”— John Rasmussen

The scholarships, which will be distributed for the spring 2021 semester, will be awarded to students who have taken action toward uplifting and empowering their communities in 2020. Students must also:

  • Intend to enroll or continue enrollment as a degree-seeking undergraduate student at an accredited U.S. college or university in spring 2021.
  • Have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and have demonstrated financial need.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the U.S., or a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are also eligible to apply.
  • Have completed the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, if legally applicable.
The headshot of John Rasmussen shows him smiling at the camera while wearing glasses, a dark blazer and tie, and a white, collared shirt.
John Rasmussen

“We believe a post-secondary education can be an important tool in building long-term financial health of communities and individuals, and are thus committed to supporting students and families in their pursuit of higher education,” Rasmussen said. “During this time of crisis when diverse populations are being disproportionately affected, it is critical that we support the ability of students to stay on their educational path — not only for their benefit, but for that of their wider community.”

To provide students with support and tangible skills, Wells Fargo will also offer leadership training and ongoing guidance, using the Beyond College webinars on the company site CollegeSTEPS®.

“During this time of crisis when diverse populations are being disproportionately affected, it is critical that we support the ability of students to stay on their educational path — not only for their benefit, but for that of their wider community.”— John Rasmussen

Continued support

Wells Fargo has a history of providing significant scholarship support for underrepresented students. Since 2010, the company has provided more than $49.4 million to support programming and scholarships for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the United Negro College Fund, with more than $87.8 million provided across all higher education programs and sponsored events. Wells Fargo Talent Acquisition Strategy and Targeted Programs Team also recruits and hires interns and full-time employees and provides online training modules for students and recent graduates through its Beyond College Webinar Series.

Wells Fargo is committed to helping its Education Financial Services customers who are experiencing hardships. Customers affected by issues related to COVID-19 should speak to their client service consultant to explore payment assistance options and visit Wells Fargo’s COVID-19 information center.

A thin yellow line divides the page.

4 tips for college students from Wells Fargo’s Student Segment team

Take care of yourself.

Focusing on your health, with activities like regular exercise or meditation, or on areas such as money management and productivity can be excellent ways to use the potential additional free time you have.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and let the school you’re attending know.

If you have not completed the FAFSA, you still can, even if your financial situation has changed since filing your most recent individual income tax return. Once you have signed and submitted your FAFSA form, you can only update basics such as your contact information, the number of people in your household, your marital status, and which schools you want to have access to your form.

Explore virtual opportunities for jobs, internships, and volunteer work.

Your go-to job might not be possible this year, but you may still be able to earn money for college by working virtually and leveraging your interests, skills, or hobbies. Some possible online jobs include managing social media for local businesses or nonprofits, proofreading, or taking online surveys. Remote internships and volunteer opportunities may also be available.

Know what resources are available to you.

There are financial resources potentially available to help with food, housing, health care, and other needs triggered by the pandemic. Emergency cash grants may also be available.

Take care of yourself.

Focusing on your health, with activities like regular exercise or meditation, or on areas such as money management and productivity can be excellent ways to use the potential additional free time you have.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and let the school you’re attending know.

If you have not completed the FAFSA, you still can, even if your financial situation has changed since filing your most recent individual income tax return. Once you have signed and submitted your FAFSA form, you can only update basics such as your contact information, the number of people in your household, your marital status, and which schools you want to have access to your form.

Chicago launches $200M RFP to power city facilities by renewable energy

Author: Katie PyintheSky            Published: 9/4/2020          Utility Dive

Dive Brief:

  • The City of Chicago has released a $200 million request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to procure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings.
  • Under the contract, all city-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities would run on renewable energy starting in 2022 and lasting at least five years. Supplier applications are due Nov. 6, and the city intends to choose a vendor in January.
  • This RFP supports Chicago’s stated goal of running all city-owned buildings on 100% renewable energy by 2025 and transitioning the entire city to renewable energy by 2035.

Dive Insight:

Chicago is leveraging its economy of scale purchasing power with this RFP, said Brendan Owens, senior vice president at the U.S. Green Building Council. The city’s procurement work also could encourage neighboring municipalities to forge similar agreements to reap the benefits of renewable sources added to the regional energy pool.

“[Chicago is] a huge purchaser of bulk rate electricity and may have the ability to go out and do procurement to create renewable energy that previously was not on the grid,” Owens said. “There’s a win-win across all the value chains that the city is interested in.”

The renewables contract could shape how Chicago renegotiates its power purchasing agreement with electric utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), which expires at the end of this year. Last year, nearly two dozen aldermen requested a feasibility study on cutting ties with ComEd and created a municipal utility. The study results came out last week indicating it would cost the city about $8.8 billion to sever ties with ComEd and create a municipally-owned utility. The average electric delivery rate would be 43% higher in the first year of a municipal system, and it would be higher to varying degrees through 2039. Chicago consequently halted exploration of municipalization.

The cost of renewable energy has come down significantly in recent years, experts note, meaning switching to renewables could provide Chicago with energy savings in the long term.

“Renewable energy specifically, and energy efficiency as well, are well-proven to save money for anyone — private or government sectors,” said Liz Beardsley, senior policy counsel at USGBC.

Switching to renewable energy can also reduce pollution, leading to positive public health benefits —  with critical implications during the pandemic considering scientists have found links between higher levels of air pollution and higher COVID-19 death rates.

Power generation intermittency is a challenge with renewable energy. Solar generation peaks during the day, and wind peaks at night. Chicago could overcome reliability challenges with each type of individual energy source by using a blend optimized to when and how buildings use the energy, Owens said. For example, city buildings could employ a strategic blend of solar and wind-use based on their optimal usage times.

The renewable energy RFP is the latest in a string of actions Chicago has taken over the past several years to reduce the carbon footprint of its built environment, which the city said accounts for 72% of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions. The city launched a building energy rating system last summer to rate large buildings’ energy efficiency and make the information public. Chicago achieved LEED for Cities platinum certification in 2018 for its work toward sustainability goals.

More than 160 U.S. cities have committed to using 100% renewable power. Now there’s a push for cities to lead sustainability efforts by example with their municipal facilities, as is the case in BostonCincinnati and Seattle.

“Cities have been making climate commitments, leading them to focus on their own operations and their impact to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint,” Beardsley said.

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Call for Separation of Maryland HBCUs From State System Could Be Endorsement of Inequity

Author: Jarrett Carter                  Published: 9/3/2020      HBCU DIGEST


Leaving Regional Power Market is ‘No Quick Fix’ for States That Support Clean Energy

Author:   Monique Hanis           Published:   9/3/2020    AEE NEWS

In new background paper, AEE argues that the “Fixed Resource Requirement” should not be first choice for states seeking to defend their clean energy commitments against FERC order they see as undermining state policies

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3, 2020 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a background paper arguing that pulling out of regional capacity markets should be a last resort for states to defend their energy choices. In “No Quick Fix: Why Fixed Resource Requirement is Not the Best Way for States to Protect Their Energy Choices,” AEE details the ways that the so-called Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR), which some states are exploring in response to an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) they see as undermining their policy commitments to clean energy, carries with it risks and costs, and that they would be better off prioritizing other options which could bring them closer to achieving their clean energy goals.

“The FRR option has received significant attention from states and clean energy advocates because it appears to provide a quick and immediate solution to the problems created by the FERC order. But in reality, FRR is not a clear or simple path and it presents many new risks for clean energy developers and buyers,” said Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel at AEE.

In December 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a controversial decision, called the Minimum Offer Price Rule,* directing the nation’s largest regional grid operator, PJM Interconnection, to apply an administratively set minimum price to any new (and some existing) resources eligible to receive financial support from state programs that participate in PJM’s annual capacity auction. That requirement could potentially keep new renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and demand resources from clearing the auction for capacity payments, making these resources more expensive for states that have chosen to support them, and forcing ratepayers to pay for additional capacity that’s not needed for reliability if those resources are in place. As a result, some states have begun to consider directing utilities to pull out of PJM’s regional capacity market altogether, through the FRR mechanism. Under FRR, states themselves would take responsibility for ensuring adequate capacity to meet electricity demand.

While states that have made commitments to clean energy should consider all possible options to avoid the negative impacts of the FERC-imposed rule, advanced energy companies are concerned that FRR could have unintended consequences on competition, access to the most cost-effective advanced energy resources across the region, and ultimately the ability to finance and develop new clean energy resources needed to meet state goals. Similarly, large buyers of advanced energy resources, such as commercial and industrial customers with ambitious sustainability goals, fear that FRR will undermine their ability to access cost-effective renewable energy projects across the PJM region, and increase costs to consumers generally.

In “No Quick Fix,” AEE argues that states should pursue other potential options, and consider FRR only as a last resort. AEE offers three steps states should take now:

  1. Engage with PJM and other regional grid operators to reform their markets and align them with state policy goals,
  2. Pursue new or expanded carbon pricing mechanisms, and
  3. Expand direct environmental regulation of polluting power sources.

“Rather than rush into an FRR-based alternative, states should use this time to advocate for reforms that would prepare power markets for a future where advanced energy resources like wind, solar, energy storage, demand response, energy efficiency, and distributed energy technologies, are the majority of resources on the system. States should seek to continue to capitalize on the benefits of competitive regional wholesale markets, and consider FRR only as a last resort,” said Dennis.

*AEE offers free, complimentary access to its PowerSuite online platform tracking all federal and state energy legislation and regulatory filings to credentialed media. Sign up for a free trial and contact Monique Hanis (mhanis@aee.net) for permanent access.

About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and in more than a dozen states around the country, including New York, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.6 million U.S. workers. Learn more at www.aee.net, track the latest news @AEEnet.







Real estate developer earns $30 million before the age of 30

Author: Wells Fargo                                  Published: 9/3/2020          Financial Health

Meet Patrick Jeune, a real estate developer who got his start as an entrepreneur when he was in college, with the help of Wells Fargo.

Patrick Jeune is smiling and standing in a building that is under construction.

Real estate developer Patrick Jeune got his start as an entrepreneur with a line of credit from Wells Fargo when he was in college. Today, at 30, he’s flipped more than 30 homes and made over $30 million dollars developing real estate in downtown Philadelphia. He also empowers other young professionals through mentorship.

Jeune was the first entrepreneur featured in Wells Fargo’s Empowerful campaign, a cultural engagement platform that launched in 2019. Empowerful celebrates successful individuals in diverse communities who inspire others to achieve their goals.