Friday, April 16, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, April 16, 2010

VPR News: Efficiency Proponents Promote New Funding Model
Most property owners would like to make their home or business more energy efficient. But many can't afford the upfront costs. And with the average American moving every five to seven years, many people don't own their homes long enough to realize the benefits of the investment. Community activists and energy efficiency proponents hope a new funding model may provide a long term way around those obstacles.
Bill seeks regulation of Vermont junkyards: Times Argus Online
The state is cracking down on unregulated junkyards but has a lot of work to do, with environmental advocates saying Tuesday that up to three-quarters of the salvage operations are doing business without the required licenses or effective regulation.
Vt. wins federal funds to fight invasive species - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-
Invasive species like sea lamprey are threatening Vermont bodies of water, especially Lake Champlain, but with new money in hand, biologists and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are ready to tackle the invasive species. "We're ready to hit the ground running. Especially with our cooperation with the department of fish and game, it's not going to take a long time," said Parker Hall of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sen. Patrick Leahy delivered more than $700,000 that will help control invasive species that include water chestnuts, sea lamprey and cormorants.
Senate Climate Bill to Be Unveiled April 26 - Green Inc. Blog -
The three Senate sponsors of climate and energy legislation now plan to unveil their proposal on April 26, aides said, a few days later than expected, but in time for potential floor debate before the Senate adjourns for its annual summer recess. Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Joseph I. Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut, have been laboring for months to paste together a comprehensive measure that can win 60 votes.
Worldchanging: Bright Green: How Deep CO2 Reductions Can Help the Economy
Achieving the deep reductions in CO2 emissions that scientists tell us we must achieve to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change will require deep and relatively rapid reduction in energy use in buildings. This can only happen with a huge increase in building energy efficiency and a rapid increase in the use of renewable energy. Greening buildings provides a very cost effective way to achieve both objectives.
Will Forest Carbon Markets Thrive, or Get Lost in the Woods? | Business |
Forest carbon offset projects -- whether planting trees, improving harvesting techniques, or not cutting trees -- have some unique characteristics that may make these assets a unique investment asset class. Investors can make debt and equity investments in forest carbon offset companies while they can also invest in spot and forward transactions of the mtCO2e produced by these forest carbon offset projects.

According to the Department of Energy, U.S. demand alone for forest carbon offsets could grow at least 100 times by 2020, depending on the scenario. And although forest carbon offsets are emerging as a new alternative investment asset class, the market has been stagnant for the past several years.
Growth and Greenhouse Gases - Paul Krugman Blog -
So I’ve gotten some pushback from environmentalists on the proposition in my mag piece that we can afford, at real but modest cost, to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Oddly, it comes from two directions. On one side, there are those who insist that greening the economy is win-win: more jobs, more growth, as well as less carbon. On the other, those who insist that you can only be serious about protecting the planet if you admit that we have to give up on economic growth.
How green are Obama’s potential Supreme Court picks? | Grist
President Barack Obama is reportedly considering about 10 people to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, although popular consensus has quickly settled on just three: Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, and Merrick Garland. A National Journal poll of court-watchers picked Kagan as the most likely, with Wood and Garland as the only close contenders.