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Wind Power at the Center of the New Energy Economy
Wind turbines are here to stay. They are increasing in numbers every day, and industry figures show that the amount of energy they are able to generate has reached tremendous levels.
“This is the big one, the centerpiece, the dominant source of energy in the new economy is wind,” believes Lester Brown, a world-leading environmental analyst.
Jobs are steadily improving with the wind industry as well. Here’s one uplifting example: Jeff Metz was not a Green. He was a Republican in Michigan, the state hit the hardest in the recession. But he is a clean energy hero. He re-hired someone for every job that was eliminated (during the recession) to work for his wind manufacturing company. He tuned into what the industry needed, and in doing so, brought jobs back to the jobless. Problems with energy subsidies and tax breaks in the U.S. are still disturbing. The wind industry was particularly attacked by Republican congresspeople in the past year or so, despite local-level support for wind power by common Republicans. It’s worth noting that these problems turned this hardworking and enterprising entrepreneur from Republican to something else. He is voting differently now.
Peter Sennekamp, media officer for the European Wind Energy Association, says: “Worldwide installed wind power will exceed 300 gigawatts of power capacity this year.” The projection is based off of data collected by the European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council.
For a little more fun, the following video by Peter Sinclair and accompanying short article by Thomas Schueneman emphasize why wind is becoming an essential agent of change. The “Century of Wind Energy” is upon us. Wind power prices have dropped dramatically. Current prices make it competitive with all sources of energy. As Schueneman, Metz and Brown believe, wind is the cornerstone of the new energy economy.
This is a paradigm shift, and it is also an economic shift capable of bringing jobs and the U.S. middle class back at a highly needed time. And what a great video capturing all that.
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
The last four members of an embattled wolf pack were killed in Washington State Friday, hours before the court order that could have saved them.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Randi Spivak
Slashing two national monuments in Utah may have received the most attention, but Trump's Interior Department and U.S. Forest Service have been quietly, systematically ceding control of America's public lands to fossil fuel, mining, timber and livestock interests since the day he took office.
A new report by Greenpeace International pinpointed the world's worst sources of sulfur dioxide pollution, an irritant gas that harms human health. India has seized the top spot from Russia and China, contributing nearly 15 percent of global sulfur dioxide emissions.
By Sue Branford and Thais Borges
Ola Elvestrun, Norway's environment minister, announced Thursday that it is freezing its contributions to the Amazon Fund, and will no longer be transferring €300 million ($33.2 million) to Brazil. In a press release, the Norwegian embassy in Brazil stated:
Gina Lopez, a former Philippine environment secretary, philanthropist and eco-warrior, died on Aug. 19 from brain cancer. She was 65.