Author: DOE Published: 4/6/2020 Info@positivechangepc.com
Author: DOE Published: 4/6/2020 Info@positivechangepc.com
Author: D. Kevin McNeir Published: 3/25/2020 Washington Informer
First of a two-part series
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) continues to convene teleconferences with the Black Press, elected officials, nonprofits and other interested African Americans providing updates on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of the Black community and what the future may hold.
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), CBC chair, led the most recent conversation March 20 which focused on the stimulus bill (estimated to be a package totaling $1-2 trillion) which Congress hoped to approve in the coming days, the Census and the 2020 vote.
“We’re in crisis across the nation but we cannot lose momentum,” Bass said, referring to the importance of African Americans to reply to recently-mailed questionnaires from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as registering to vote and preparing for the general election in November.
“We really want to hear from you so you can tell us how the pandemic and economic crisis are impacting the Black community in the District and across the U.S.,” she said.
She further acknowledged what remains prominent among the challenges facing Blacks and others including the elderly, the homeless, the incarcerated and the infirm who routinely find their issues placed on the back burner in America — their health.
“Naturally, our folks want to know, quite simply, how they can keep themselves safe from the coronavirus,” she said. “But members of the CBC remain committed to making sure that as the third stimulus package becomes fine-tuned and approved, that the bailout helps those who clean our airports or provide services as hourly employees first before any financial assistance goes to the airlines.
“If Congress doesn’t protect the most vulnerable members of our society, then we’re prepared to vote against any proposed legislation,” Bass added.
Coronavirus: Far More Contagious, Deadlier Than the Flu
Two associate professors at the University of Virginia School of Medicine [UVASM], both Black, joined the teleconference to answer questions and clarify misconceptions about the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family with each strain as far reaching as the common cold,” said Dr. Ebony J. Hilton, UVASM, Anesthesiology Dept. “But it’s this newest strain spread mostly through air droplets, which no one has been able to secure an immunity, which is highly-more contagious than the flu and which since its emergence has proven to be far deadlier than any we’ve ever experienced.
“The infection rate for COVID-19 is 2.5 times higher than that of the flu which causes about 56,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control estimate the death rate from coronavirus could be from 200,000 to as high as 1.7 million Americans by year’s end. We hope we can steer people to realize just how deadly this virus is,” Dr. Hilton said.
Dr. Hilton said beliefs about coronavirus being more dangerous for the elderly remain misleading if not inaccurate.
“While those 80 or over represent 20 percent of the nation’s population more likely to die from coronavirus complications, 40 percent of the hospitalized in the U.S. are under 50 years old — 20 percent of those requiring hospitalization between the ages of 20 and 44 years old,” she said.
Should Americans follow recommendations related to the practicing of social distancing? Dr. Hilton says, “definitely,” especially if you live in highly-populated areas.
“In the U.S., we face both a health and a financial crisis, especially in urban areas which are highly-populated by Black and brown residents — 22 million, or 80 percent of the American population, represent urban dwellers — that equates to between 160 and 200 million Americans becoming infected,” Dr. Hilton emphasized.
“Without adhering to social distancing and being diligent in checking for symptoms and getting tested — all ways to better contain the virus — we may see as many as 1.7 million Americans not living to see 2021.”
Dr. Taison Bell, UVASM, Infectious Disease and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, answered questions about how the coronavirus is impacting Blacks. So far, he said, data released from the CDC has been highly objective and not indicated if Blacks, who already represent the top tier from among eight-of-thirteen leading causes of death in the U.S., despite representing less than 14 percent of the total U.S. population, represent greater numbers of those infected by or succumbing to the coronavirus.
“We cannot say whether Blacks are being tested at rates equivalent to whites,” Dr. Bell said.
“In most areas, what we’re seeing is three criteria that tend to raise one’s chances of being tested, particularly given the inadequate number of test kits currently available: wealth, white and womb-less [a woman without children]. We’re still hoping that both the CDC and the W.H.O. will make the testing rates and related information more transparent,” he said.
In his comments about testing, Dr. Bell further noted frustrations for health care providers and hospital systems being further stymied due to the delay of America in recognizing the severity of the coronavirus.
“At this point, we’re in different stages of the virus — we’re well beyond the ability to contain it and have now entered mitigation — that’s advising maintaining a distance of six feet or more to help flatten the curve and slow the capacity. Still, it’s spreading rapidly in urban centers (New York City has now become the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S.),” he said.
“Also, we’re still in high flu season which puts additional strain on our hospitals which are already at an inadequate capacity for beds,” Dr. Bell said. “Now we’re focusing on access to resources, access to care and the unique characteristics of the virus which collectively make this such a highly-contagious and fast-spreading virus.”
In part two of this series, we will look at the issues raised by the Black business community and leaders including words from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) and how the pending stimulus package (which was still being vetted as this edition went to press) will benefit African Americans, manly of whom work in the service industries or are part-time employees. Comments and questions will further address food and water deserts in the nation as well as concerns about housing shortages and the challenge Black families continue to face in paying utility bills or securing the Internet.
Author:William J Ford Published: 3/27/2020 Washington Informer
President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the state of Maryland amid the coronavirus pandemic, the White House announced Thursday.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pushed for the federal declaration, which allows the state, local governments and some nonprofit agencies to receive federal assistance to combat the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
“This declaration will help provide much-needed funding for state and local governments and nonprofits, and it will be another important step in Maryland’s aggressive and coordinated response to COVID-19,” Hogan said in a statement.
Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association, also reiterated his requests made March 19 to the president and vice president that include providing at least 50 percent of supplemental funding to the states, increasing access to masks, test and extraction kits and extending the deadlines for both the census and Real ID.
The state health department announced Thursday its highest one-day jump of confirmed coronavirus cases with 157, bringing the statewide total to 580. As of that day, the state recorded four deaths, including two in Prince George’s County, one in Baltimore County and one in Montgomery County.
The state Department of Education posted a statement on its website Thursday that all child care providers must close by the end of the day.
During the state of emergency, only those approved by the state can serve children of parents and guardians who are essential personnel who work in fields such as health care and public sector, information technology and food and agriculture. A list of the approved businesses that can remain open and those who work for them is available
For licensed child care centers who want to remain open Monday to only serve children of essential personnel, <a href=”https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/OLC-Interpretive-Guidance-COVID19-04.pdf “>on the governor’s website</a>. must apply to its regional licensing specialists before serving eligible families and conduct “a thorough cleaning.” The statement doesn’t explain what constitutes a full cleaning.
The centers will provide care to the children at no cost.
Eligible programs are slated to be posted at earlychild.marylandpublicschools.org, but those labeled “essential personnel” can only have access to locate which centers are available. People can also call 877-261-0060 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Meanwhile, the state Board of Elections held a teleconference meeting Wednesday with a recommendation for voters to mail in their ballots for the June 2 primary due to the coronavirus.
A special general election for the 7th Congressional District will be conducted by mail only April 28 for the vacated seat of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Hogan issued an executive order on March 17 to postpone the primary election previously scheduled for April 28.
Four organizations — Common Cause Maryland, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Maryland PIRG and ACLU of Maryland — requested some recommendations in a March 18 letter such as allowing same-day registration and receiving absentee ballots for the April 28 primary and allowing some voting centers to remain open June 2.
“We are also concerned at the possibility of disenfranchising thousands of eligible voters during the 7th Congressional District special general election,” according to the letter. “With both elections only being a few weeks away, we need to continue taking action to ensure all eligible voters are able to exercise their right to vote without putting their health at risk during this critical time.”
Author: Tom Deyo Published: 3/25/2020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Shelley Cohen Published: 3/24/2020 DCSEU
EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITY | March 2020
Author: GoDaddy <email@example.com 3/22/2020
This website has resources, inspiration and connection to other everyday entrepreneurs with creative solutions to keep their businesses open, even if their doors are closed due to COVID-19.
Display the #OpenWeStand badge on your website, Instagram story, Facebook profile or wherever you want people to see that you’re open for business even though your doors are closed — or that you’re actively supporting these businesses.
Author: firstname.lastname@example.org 3/22/2020 FRONTLINE
“Covering Coronavirus: Seattle, Washington”
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, FRONTLINE has launched a new audio miniseries about our related reporting called “Covering Coronavirus.” This audio series will take you inside the stories our documentary film teams are exploring as they investigate this historic moment — offering new reporting and insights from producers who are covering the unfolding coronavirus story from Northern Italy, to rural Ohio. Listen wherever you get your podcasts, or via The FRONTLINE Dispatch feed.
Facing Coronavirus, “Food Pantries Are Already Feeling the Pinch”
Producer Jezza Neumann reports from Athens County, Ohio, on how the outbreak is reshaping efforts to feed an increasing number of children and adults in need.
A Message About FRONTLINE’s Coronavirus Coverage from Our Executive Producer, Raney Aronson-Rath
“Especially in times of uncertainty and fear… it’s our duty as journalists in public media to bring you reporting that is clear-eyed and trustworthy,” says Aronson-Rath.
MORE FROM FRONTLINE
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
Up Next on FRONTLINE: “NRA Under Fire”
The NRA once dominated America’s conversation about guns. But as the 2020 election approaches, it faces internal strife – and opposition from a new generation of gun control advocates. FRONTLINE investigates in NRA Under Fire. Tune in or stream.
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Author: Willie Phillips Chairman DC.PSC 3/22/2020
Author: Larry Gilmore,CMP, AMP 3/22/2020 ClearBlu Capital Group
We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, customers, and associates very seriously. Like you, we’re closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THROUGH SBA?
GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS:
We are all in this together. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so we can continue to support our customers as needed.
Always feel free to reach out to a ClearBlu Capital Group team member if you have general questions or need assistance in any other area.
Author: Michael Harriot Published: 3/16/2020 The Root
Maryland state senators voted to send more than a half-billion dollars to four majority-black institutions of higher learning, settling a 13-year-old lawsuit in which federal courts repeatedly found the state guilty of systematically discriminating against historically black colleges and universities.
On Sunday, the Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland’s state Senate unanimously passed a bill sending $580 million to Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore over the next 10 years. House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones’ funding proposal had already passed the state’s House of Delegates by a veto-proof 129-2 margin.
The Sun reports:
The money would help the schools create academic programs, expand scholarships, recruit faculty and market the schools.
The legislation is designed to force the state to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleges Maryland’s government made decisions that harmed the viability of historically black colleges and universities.
Sen. Obie Patterson, a Prince George’s County Democrat, called the legislation “a great, great compromise bill.”
”Certainly, there will be some who say we didn’t go far enough or we didn’t get as much as we could,” Patterson said, before adding that he had spoken with leaders of the schools. “They assured me they were pleased with the progress we made.”
So what was the dispute all about?
The very essence of the legal claim was about cultural appropriation, segregation and flat-out racism. The lawsuit (which again, the state lost) claimed Maryland’s funding practices created and perpetuated “sophisticated as well as simple minded modes of discrimination.”
Like most states, each of Maryland’s state-supported schools fulfills a different “mission” for residents seeking higher learning. Some colleges are dedicated to educating teachers while others focus on science and math. Of course, during the days of Jim Crow, the state’s HBCUs, which now operate under the University System of Maryland, offered black students their only chance for a college degree because…segregation.
In 2006, a coalition of black college alumni alleged that the state had essentially created an unequal playing field by stealing innovative educational techniques from black universities and duplicated them at white colleges (Or, as America calls it, “inventing”). The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education—a group composed of HBCU grads — filed a lawsuit after the Maryland attorney general warned that the state was “vulnerable legally” for its treatment of HBCUs.
The historically black institutions had created some of the state’s first programs for green sustainability studies; computer sciences; aging studies; and health care facilities management, many of which were later duplicated by Maryland’s white state schools.
For instance, Bowie State offered the only Master’s of Science in computer science as a state school until Towson introduced the exact same program in 1994, causing the Bowie’s enrollment to drop “from 119 in 1994 to 29 in 2008, while Towson’s enrollment skyrocketed from 23 in 1994 to 101 according to the suit.
Morgan State University, the state’s “urban research institution,” created a groundbreaking program that offered an accelerated Master’s of Business Administration…Until the University of Baltimore and Towson University both replicated the program. Morgan State had even offered to expand its MBA program, arguing that it was unnecessary to have two of the exact same programs in the three different state schools within a 15-mile radius.
Maryland did it anyway.
The Coalition argued that duplicating these programs not only violated the missions of state colleges, but the practice also kneecapped the HBCUs by giving white colleges more money for the exact same programs that had been pilfered from black schools.
However, the state’s attorneys insisted that the black programs received less money because the HBCUs had fewer students. In response, the Coalition explained that the HBCUs had fewer students because Maryland essentially undermined their ability to compete with better-funded white schools. Plus, if every school was supposed to have a different purpose, the Coalition countered, there could only be one reason that the state allowed this duplication:
White people don’t want to go to college with black people.
In 2013, a federal judge ruled in favor of the HBCUs, finding that the state’s “unnecessary duplication influences student demographics” at black colleges adding that HBCUs
will not be able to increase their non-black enrollment if their offerings continue to be unnecessarily duplicated.”
“The controlling question is not whether the state has done ‘enough’ to integrate its institutions of higher learning,” wrote District Judge Catherine Blake. [R]ather, it is whether the state has “le[ft] in place policies rooted in its prior officially segregated system.”
Blake ordered the parties to work out a settlement but Republican lawmakers and the state’s governor repeatedly lowballed the HBCUs with offers that ranged from $100 million to $200 million. Meanwhile, activists, education advocates and the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus have rejected lower offers to repair the disparities.
But now they’ve finally reached an agreement.
Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, called the new legislation a “major victory in our fight for equitable treatment of HBCUs.”
Author: Credit Sesame Published: 3/17/2020
While your health is of the utmost importance, we understand that many of you are also anxious about your finances and how you and your family can weather this unprecedented time.
In addition to monitoring your credit and helping you improve it through our app, we’ve also compiled this list of useful tips on how to stay financially afloat and maximize your available cash and credit. It contains useful information on companies that offer flexible payment options during this time to help you prioritize your payments. We are continually updating the list, so please check it regularly for any updates, and feel free to share it with family and friends.
Other tactics to consider stabilizing your near-term needs include:
We’re hopeful that this information can help stabilize your finances during this time. Please let us know if you have any comments below. And most importantly, please stay safe and healthy.
Author: William Brent Published: 1/20/2020 Power for All
January’s arrival started the countdown on the last decade to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which also means that it is once again time for the annual Power for All list of the top trends we expect to see in the coming year. You might also get a kick out of seeing how we did in our predictions for 2019 (by our count, we got 8 of 10 right, missing the mark on blockchain and small-scale wind).
One megatrend continues to be that our sector — the decentralized renewable energy sector in emerging markets — is scaling. While this is not “news”, it’s worth remembering. The markers of sector maturity are there (companies failing, increased merger & acquisition activity, etc), and this should be welcomed, not feared.
So, in no particular order, here’s what to look out for in 2020.
Author: Jim Stinson Published: 3/11/2020 Utility Dive
Roger Nielsen, DTNA CEO, said he is serious about providing battery-electric Class 6-8 trucks, which he said will one day replace diesel-powered trucks.
Last April, speaking at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California, Nielsen declared DTNA was on the side of battery-electric trucks, eschewing hydrogen fuel cells, which create electric power and have zero emissions.
“The road to emissions-free transportation is going to be driven with battery-electric vehicles, ” Nielsen said on April 24. “I believe the future is electric.”
The problem is working out the kinks. As the industry found out with hybrid diesel-electric trucks, unforeseen mechanical consequences can pop up. Many fleet owners prefer to test the vehicles out before making a large purchase.
Almost a year after Nielsen’s proclamation, Richard Howard, the DTNA senior vice president of on-highway sales and marketing, said the testing done by real fleets will add continuous feedback that contributes to ongoing design and innovation of the trucks.
The news follows Nikola Corp.’s recent reverse merger with VectoIQ, a publicly traded acquisition company. The two agreed to create a company focused on the development of zero-emission trucks. The new company will be known as Nikola Corp. and is expected to remain NASDAQ-listed under the new ticker symbol “NKLA.” Nikola said it will accelerate production of battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles in the Class 8 truck market and sell to fleets eager to produce zero emissions as they transport goods.
DTNA’s Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative, joining the all-electric Saf-T-Liner eC2 Jouley school bus, the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.’s MT50e and the FUSO eCanter in North America.
Author: Allen Burriss Published: 3/9/2020 Earth’s Natural Force
The mission of Earth’s Natural Force (ENF) is to reach and teach our youth, at a very young age, about their responsibility to care for and protect the environment. Our goal is to heighten the consciousness of young people to take care of their neighborhoods, schools and communities.
We will accomplish the above objectives by encouraging our youth to stop littering, recycle trash and give them a clear understanding of how their positive actions can maintain and even improve their communities. We will also teach them how these good practices can positively affect their health and that of their fellow “Earth-Mates”. It is clear that our youth are the next line of defense against negative environmental changes, therefore, it is our goal to teach young people between the ages of 5-12, step-by-step approaches to maintaining clean neighborhoods, promoting clean air and water, and sharing the principles of collective participation with their schoolmates, friends and family.
We want our young people to understand they can be a force for good and they have the power to save the planet by being responsible citizens of the Earth. They are “Earth’s Natural Force!” Earth’s Natural Force (ENF) is dedicated to ensuring our youth are given every opportunity to thrive in their neighborhoods and communities, develop good habits that will help them maintain healthy bodies and minds and show them how their actions – or lack thereof – can positively or negatively affect their environment and those who share it with them.
Author: Matthew Bandy Bandyk Published: 3/6/2020 Utility Dive Wikimedia Commons
Author: Jamie L. LaReau Published: 3/04/2020 Detroit Free Press
General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra addresses the gathering Wednesday at an event detailing GM’s electric vehicle technologies and upcoming products at the Tech Center campus in Warren. (Photo: Steve Fecht, Steve Fecht for General Motors)
General Motors wants to do better at telling the story of its electric vehicle development.
So GM leaders invited about 150 journalists to an “EV day” Wednesday, showing 11 future EVs in its Design Dome at the Warren Technical Center. GM did not allow any photographs of the vehicles or provide any to the media.
The upcoming GMC Hummer pickup hulked in one corner of the dome and the Cadillac Lyriq, a futuristic SUV, was shown across the aisle.
“We want to put everyone in an EV and we have what it takes to do it,” GM CEO Mary Barra said.
What it takes is technology that GM said it’s inventing to dominate other electric car companies such as Tesla.
For example, GM said it has developed new battery modules, called Ultium, that will reduce the cost to make the batteries and help consumers afford EVs. GM has devised a flexible global platform, too, that allows it to make a variety of powerful EVs to meet all customer needs. They will have better charging time and give more vehicle range than current EVs do.
The goal of all of this is to make sure the EVs are profitable for GM. Barra worked to assure investors the strategy will create new revenue.
Author: Warren Leon Published: 3/05/2020 Utility Dive
RREAL The following is a contributed article by Warren Leon, Executive Director at the Clean Energy States Alliance
There is increasing interest in solar PV projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households.
State governments, community groups, environmental justice advocates, philanthropic foundations, utilities and the solar industry have all embraced the concept of using solar technology to reduce economic inequality and to build wealth in LMI communities. Some players in the solar market have also sought to prevent a loss of public support for solar if it were to become perceived as benefiting upper-income residents at the expense of those less well off.
Because of the declining cost of solar and growing desire for a more inclusive clean energy economy, many efforts are underway to accelerate LMI solar adoption. But will those initiatives succeed? Can solar projects bring tangible economic assistance to LMI communities? This sometimes seem unlikely, because there are significant obstacles that need to be overcome, including:
Attempts to expand LMI solar have sometimes shown that overcoming these obstacles is even harder than it might appear at first glance. For example, subscriptions to shared solar arrays (what the solar industry calls “community solar”) initially seemed to be an easy way to reach large numbers of LMI renters, but LMI participation in such programs has generally remained low. Special policies, incentives and consumer protection measures are required to boost participation. Moreover, energy equity advocates and community leaders in LMI communities have argued that a passive subscription to a large solar project in a distant location does not necessarily provide the solar visibility, local jobs and sense of community empowerment that LMI communities need.
There is also increasing awareness that typical solar financial arrangements will not work well for LMI households. People who purchase or contract for solar are highly likely to save money, but there is a small chance that a rare technology failure, a change to utility rate structures, or an unexpected electricity price swing could cause a financial loss. Well-to-do households can easily accept that modest financial risk, but LMI households have little ability to withstand a financial setback. Solar for LMI customers should therefore either provide guaranteed savings or allow customers to easily withdraw from the contract at any time. This often requires state or municipal governments to create special policies and incentives.
Although the challenges to LMI solar adoption are great, some strategies have proven successful. The nonprofit Clean Energy States Alliance assembled and worked recently as part of a diverse team with representatives of Jackson State University, the Partnership for Southern Equity, PaulosAnalysis, the University of Michigan, The Nathan Cummings Foundation and The Solutions Project.
We examined what has been learned over the past few years about implementing solar in ways that provide meaningful benefits to LMI households and communities. Augmenting the team’s collective experience, we interviewed nearly 100 energy experts and community leaders from across the country. We gave special attention to the perspectives of leaders of frontline organizations in LMI communities, because their voices are often missing from solar policy discussions and we wanted to make sure that our findings would meet the needs of those communities.
The investigation identified specific programs and projects that can and should be widely replicated, including Connecticut Green Bank’s program for LMI single-family homeowners, the Sunset Park Solar cooperatively-owned solar project in Brooklyn, the Kresge Foundation’s credit enhancement guarantees for resilient power projects, and investment firm Sunwealth’s bundling of LMI and non-LMI projects into attractive investment pools. These and other successful programs have resulted in thousands of solar installations in LMI communities.
The resulting report, Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market, emphasizes that partnerships with trusted community organizations are crucial to success. Those organizations are well placed to know how to engage and communicate with the local community. Their involvement in collaborations with other stakeholders involved with LMI solar — from government agencies and philanthropic foundations to investors, solar advocates, utilities and the solar industry — leads to more equitable programs that are responsive to the needs of LMI communities and can help overcome the distrust that many residents of those communities feel towards utilities, energy companies and the solar industry. Although it takes time and financial resources for community organizations and other players in the solar market to work in partnership, it ultimately leads to greater efficiency and a reduced chance of program failure.
Solar installations for community institutions deserve special attention. Because the projects are often highly visible, many people can see and learn about them, so they serve an important public education function. That makes it easier to develop additional solar projects. In addition, such projects create a sense of participation in the solar economy. When a church with 300 congregants installs solar panels on its roof, all 300 people benefit from it and feel that they are helping their community move towards clean energy. ‘
By reducing the energy costs for institutions that serve large numbers of people, solar can provide valuable economic assistance to the community. Given some of the challenges to developing residential solar installations that benefit renters and residents of HUD-supported housing, institutional projects can be an assured way to ensure that cost savings from solar remain in the community.
Our research led to many other recommendations that are specifically aimed at state governments, foundations, community organizations and the solar industry. Because the obstacles to LMI solar remain significant and the need for equitable solar remains great, it is important that all these stakeholders devote significant attention to LMI solar. Success will not be easy, but solar can work well for LMI communities.
Author: Catherine Morehouse Published: 3/05/2020 Utility Dive
Many in the energy industry are excited to see the Senate pushing through a substantial energy legislative package, introduced last week by Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ranking Member Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
The legislation, which includes almost 50 bills introduced in 2019, many of which received bipartisan support, is Congress’ best bet to make a dent in federal clean energy policy under the Trump administration, according to some experts.
“This is harvesting the low-hanging fruit that is often discussed,” said Tonko. He said his support for the bill doesn’t mean he’s given up on more aggressive climate legislation, such as the CLEAN Future Act, which he introduced in draft form in January.
“I want to move our nation into a clean energy future as quickly as possible. That means being ready to enact major legislation at the earliest opportunity, and trying to pass achievable bills in the near term,” he said. “We know many of the new and big ideas [of the CLEAN Future Act] won’t be enacted by this Administration.”
But barriers in the House still remain, said Tonko, who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and chairs the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. Amendments extending tax credits and updating the building code will be needed to secure his full support and likely the support of other House members, he said.
“I would think that there’s an ability to go forward in this session, but … it depends on how well it’s received in the House,” he told reporters.
Wyden’s tax extenders would expand electric vehicle tax credits and extend them to fuel cell vehicles; extend the investment tax credit and production tax credit for solar, wind and renewables; expand the ITC to include standalone storage, offshore wind and waste fuel; and extend credits and deductions for energy efficient homes and buildings.
But Wyden, Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee who led a taskforce focused on tax credit extenders in 2019, doesn’t see it getting in the package, despite its support in the House.
It’s “too soon” to tell if the exclusion of the buildings codes and tax credits will be a deal breaker for House committee members, said Tonko.
One barrier to including tax extensions in the bill is the fact that revenue measures have to begin in the House, “so adding the tax amendment … could kill the bill,” Chris Conlin, who serves as tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee majority, said during the ACORE conference.
“Maybe there are procedural ways to get around that. But at the least, it would clog things up,” he said.
Deployment is the number one thing the renewable energy industry is concerned about and incentives are critical to deployment, according to renewable energy industry officials.
“We think it’s really critical at this point that any energy legislation emerging from Congress do more than promote research and development,” ACORE CEO Gregory Wetstone told Utility Dive. “Even productive research and development is not going to pay off for many years. Really, we’re looking for provisions that will incentivize the deployment technologies available today.”
The Senate voted 90-4 on Wednesday to begin debating the bill.
Author: Jason Plautz Published: 3/2/2020 Utility Dive
Photo by Mike C. Valdivia on Unsplash. (N/A). “Mike C. Valdivia New York skyline photo” [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://unsplash.com/photos/kZokA2VTKn4.
Large buildings are the city’s greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, especially with an aging building stock that is less energy efficient. The city has increasingly targeted both new and existing buildings in its bid to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The sweeping Climate Mobilization Act that passed last spring set an ambitious goal of requiring all buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut climate emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, and in the fall the city selected nine facilities for “deep energy retrofits.”
“New York City is leading the nation in our fight against global warming,” said de Blasio in a statement. “Our new energy code will ensure that buildings — our city’s biggest polluters — are held to the highest standard of sustainability and efficiency.”
The new energy code is part of a suite of construction rules that is being updated by the Department of Buildings. It uses the 2020 New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NYStretch Energy Code as a floor, but has tougher efficiency requirements.
It also comes as cities across the country are taking a closer look at rules to clean up their buildings. Boston is requiring that all new cities have a carbon-neutral design, and other governments have updated their own codes to meet carbon reduction goals. Berkeley, CA was the first city to ban natural gas hookups for new low-rise residential buildings in July 2019, and other cities like Brookline, MA have followed suit. Seattle is also considering its own ban.
Opponents to such a ban have included the Arizona legislature — backed by major utilities and homebuyers group — which is set to preempt local buildings from banning natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.
De Blasio announced earlier this month that New York would aim to phase out the use of natural gas and heating oil by 2040, but is not expected to move a ban similar to Berkeley’s, reports S&P Global.
lead to more reductions.