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E2 Year in Review - Highlights of 2007 and goals for 2008
E2 Year in Review
Environmental Entrepreneurs experienced a remarkably successful 2007. We expanded our efforts in the states, provided business support for energy and climate legislation in Congress, added new capabilities through NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation and grew membership to over 850 people. In this article, we discuss some of the highlights of 2007 and our plans for 2008.
NATIONAL ACTIVITY IN 2007
Since E2’s first trip to Washington in May 2002, we have met with a Congress that demonstrated little interest in environmental progress - especially regarding energy policy and climate. With a new Congress installed in January, this was the first year that the emphasis was not just on stopping bad environmental legislation, but on moving an agenda of energy efficiency, clean energy and curtailing global warming pollution. E2 promoted this agenda with:
Congress had two major accomplishments:
Notably missing from the bill are the extensions of the financial incentives for renewable energy, a national renewable energy standard, and the removal of some subsidies for the oil and gas industry. The failure to extend the incentives for renewables is especially troubling as it creates serious risk for investors in an industry that is critical to meeting our long-term electricity needs and our need for zero-emission energy.
Coal Loses its Grip
An important national trend in 2007 was the decline in proposed new electricity generation from coal. At the start of 2007, California banned new long-term contracts for coal-based electricity unless the generator produces no more greenhouse gases than a modern natural gas facility (see SB 1368 - Perata). This trend against coal continued during 2007 as TXU, the largest utility in Texas, announced it was canceling plans for the construction of eight conventional coal plants. This was followed by a decision in Kansas to deny the license for a coal facility. In December, PacifiCorp, a Portland-based energy company, announced that it had backed away from plans to build any new coal plants within the next 10 years, conceding that coal no longer can overcome tightening regulations and environmental opposition.
The message in 2007 from Wall Street is that coal is a risky investment.
STATE-BASED ACTIVITY IN 2007
California Climate Regulations: E2 focused our efforts on the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). The E2 Climate Campaign (E2C2) was formed to focus on building a broad business coalition to support and propose policy, particularly to the Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC). The ETAAC draft report includes many ideas developed initially by E2C2 and then advanced by the committee. (In January 2007, Bob Epstein was appointed Vice Chairman of the committee).
California Clean Cars Bill: California was the first state to enact global warming legislation when, in 2002, it authorized greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger vehicles. The bill, AB 1493, was authored by then-freshman Assembly Member Fran Pavley (D - Agoura Hills) and was E2’s first major advocacy effort. Working hand-in-hand with Ms. Pavley, E2 overcame opposition by the auto industry and demonstrated that the bill would both lower the cost of ownership for passenger vehicles (and that was based on gasoline costing less than $2/gallon) and expand consumer choice. The bill has subsequently been adopted by 13 other states. During 2007, the regulations established by AB 1493 were upheld in Federal court in Vermont, the right of EPA to regulate greenhouse gases was upheld by the Supreme Court in April, and most recently, a federal court in California upheld the regulations. While the court decisions all were in our favor, the U.S. EPA denied approval leading to one more law suit (see below).
Clean Energy and Global Warming: E2 dramatically raised its profile in Massachusetts this year, becoming widely recognized as an important player on Beacon Hill and a strong business voice to support environmental initiatives. In 2007, E2 New England members held nearly 20 meetings with individual legislators and members of the administration, testified and submitted written comments at 15 different hearings, and worked cooperatively with a wide range of other groups to achieve results. Those results include helping to shape a landmark energy bill that is expected to pass early next year (see below for further detail); garnering support for global warming legislation; and helping to shape the implementation of innovative regulatory initiatives such as decoupling (making profits unrelated to electricity sales so as to eliminate the disincentive towards energy efficiency or other demand-side management technologies) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Thanks in part to our efforts, including an action alert on decoupling and an op-ed in the Boston Globe, clean energy and global warming are now recognized as important issues on the economic landscape of Massachusetts and New England .
In addition to climate and energy, E2 New England also weighed in on issues that included safer alternatives for toxic chemicals, ocean sustainability and a green jobs initiative. E2 New England also played a significant role in the formation of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC), an industry stakeholder group dedicated to accelerating New England ’s clean energy economy and building a world-class cluster of clean energy companies. E2 New England Chapter Leader Berl Hartman is serving on the governing board of the Council and as co-chair of the Council’s Policy Committee.
Vehicle efficiency and incentives for the purchase of hybrids or high-efficiency vehicles: E2 New York focused its 2007 advocacy trip on three bills: the Hybrid and High-Efficiency Vehicle Sales Tax Exemption Bill (S3947-A and A7626A), which the Senate passed by unanimous vote and was introduced in the House and referred to committee; the Clean Vehicles Incentive Program (A9003), which was introduced in the Assembly but failed to pass out of the Environmental/Ways & Means committee and was not introduced in Senate; and, the Tire Efficiency Bill (S5982-A and A8718-A), which was passed in the Senate and introduced to the Assembly and then referred to the transportation committee.
In 2007, E2 supported NRDC’s work in Latin America beginning with a fact-finding trip to Costa Rica in June. Prior to the trip, Costa Rica declared its intention to be the first carbon neutral country. The trip resulted in a project between Costa Rica and NRDC/E2 to improve energy efficiency through the distribution of compact florescent lighting (CFL). The pilot project was launched in the town of Aquiares, where free bulbs were distributed in November. The electricity bills from August through October will be compared with January through March 2008 to determine the benefit and the acceptance of CFLs. The national utility (ICE) is meeting with distributors to discuss a national efficiency program, starting with CFL deployment. ICE is currently focusing on developing a "seal" that would be put on nationally approved CFLs, in addition to promotion and education about efficiency. NRDC and E2 are working with a former Minister of Finance and Trade to explore possible financing mechanisms to reduce the upfront costs to consumers to complement ICE’s work on promotion and education about CFLs.
Environmental Entrepreneurs grew as an organization during 2007 thanks to expanded volunteer leadership, the creation of NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation (CMI), and the hiring of dedicated staff to support our California climate work.
NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation (www.marketinnovation.org) became E2’s new partner program, and Rick Duke, the Center’s Director, is now a part of E2’s Leadership team. The CMI works with the business community to create a new dynamic in the marketplace, one that encourages clean and profitable solutions to environmental challenges. The CMI is a natural fit for E2’s role as the "Business Voice for the Environment." E2 is showcased within the CMI website, which also highlights NRDC’s ongoing successes in the business world. In 2008, Rick Duke will be visiting the E2 chapters to discuss opportunities for collaboration. E2’s fulltime manager, Christine Luong, reports directly to Rick.
The E2 Climate Campaign (E2C2) was created in 2007 to work on the details of implementing the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). The goal is to support a strong implementation but also to make sure the knowledge gained from AB 32 implementation finds its way into other states and into the national effort. The campaign has two full-time staff and several graduate students and is generously funded by the Energy Foundation, Google.org and several individual donors.
OUTLOOK FOR 2008
Global warming will be a major priority for E2 on the national level. E2 can play a very important role in shaping global warming policy by highlighting the economic opportunities in a carbon constrained world. As the business voice for the environment, E2 can help show that implementing effective global warming policies can make a positive economic impact in the U.S. The newly released McKinsey & Co. report, Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost?, strongly emphasizes that policy, rather than technology itself, is the key to moving cleaner, more efficient solutions off the shelves, out of the labs and into the marketplace. The report was produced by NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation.
E2 expects the Senate to bring the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act to a floor vote and the House to bring its own climate legislation forward. E2 will continue to work with NRDC to push for a national renewable electricity standard and extension of the financial incentives for renewable energy.
In 2008, E2 will continue its involvement in state efforts in California, New York, New England, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains . With the addition of an NRDC Midwest office in Chicago, E2 will start E2 membership and activities in Chicago .
E2 members in the Rocky Mountains region have been working with Ned Farquhar, Senior Air & Energy Advocate at NRDC, on the strategy, focus areas and actionable issues in 2008. The issue of Clean Cars has been chosen as a top priority for a variety of reasons, including opportunities to replicate and scale E2’s earlier success in helping California pass the original Clean Cars regulations (AB 1493) and to demonstrate that, in addition to support from the ski industry, wide support exists in the business community for clean cars. The Rocky Mountains chapter is working with Environment Colorado, the lead organization on this issue, to produce an E2 support letter.
On global warming, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s team has released its Climate Action Plan. Heidi VanGenderen, Senior Policy Analyst on Climate Change, Policy & Initiatives in Governor Ritter’s office, and key E2 ally, says: "We are looking to our business community for innovations that should be considered by the state of Colorado to achieve the mutual aim of climate protection and bringing forward in Colorado a thriving new energy economy." At Heidi’s request, E2 members introduced Ritter’s staff to leaders at CalPERS and CalSTRS to learn more about their programs for public investment in cleantech, particularly to see how those programs might be used to accelerate the creation of a new energy economy in Colorado.
E2 is actively seeking new members in the Rocky Mountain region. If you are interested in joining our efforts in this region, or have any referrals, please contact David Readerman (303-454-5624) or Andrew Currie (303-448-1951).
E2 California will continue to focus on the implementation of AB 32. We will work to get our ideas incorporated into the Air Resources Board proposed regulations (called the "scoping plan"). Several important bills that will carry over from 2007 into 2008 include:
See the October 2007 newsletter for a description of the bills. We expect new bills to be introduced on water efficiency and accelerating renewable energy development.
E2 New England is optimistic that a strong energy bill will pass into law in the early part of the year, helping to move Massachusetts to a competitive position on clean energy. E2 will advocate for policies to support the New England clean energy economy by supporting the Global Warming Solutions Act; advance the preservation of a healthy ocean ecosystem through the Massachusetts Oceans Act; and raise the importance of oceans as an economic and environmental issue. The group will continue to supplement NRDC’s support by working cooperatively with other regional groups such as the New England Clean Energy Council, Environment Northeast and the Conservation Law Foundation. By capitalizing on the progress made in 2007 in Massachusetts, E2 New England hopes to expand its efforts throughout New England and help to jump-start more aggressive action at a regional level.
E2 New York will focus on putting the Clean Vehicles Incentive Program in a good position for 2009; advocate for NY Ocean Policy to make sure that the Council’s tasks are completed in a thoughtful and timely manner with a strong public response during the public comment period; support solar net metering to 2MW from 10 KW; and influence legislation on electronics recycling.
We thank our members for your support during 2007. We have seen a significant increase in member participation and on the acceptance of E2 as a trusted entity for ideas and support on policies that promote economic and environmental benefits.
New York Event to Launch McKinsey Global Warming Study
On Dec 12, E2 and NRDC members and guests gathered for a discussion with Rick Duke, Director of NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation (see main article above), on McKinsey & Company’s comprehensive assessment of carbon reduction investment opportunities within the U.S. NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner started the discussion by highlighting the impressive progress in addressing global warming in leading States. He also noted that the creation of the Center for Market Innovation will help to build on NRDC’s track record of business engagement to harness the power of the marketplace for positive environmental change, and emphasized that E2 will be an important part of the equation.
Rick Duke followed by presenting McKinsey’s findings, which showed that the U.S. can cost-effectively address global warming – doing our part to avoid potential adverse climate impacts estimated to range as high as 20 percent of GDP – if we act immediately and comprehensively to start redirecting capital from old polluting infrastructure to clean solutions. Building, vehicle and appliance efficiency will play a critical role – generating net economic benefits that roughly pay for more expensive measures needed to clean up energy supply. Lastly, Rick emphasized that to enable businesses to scale up solutions, we urgently need three kinds of policy innovation: 1) measures to overcome non-price barriers to energy efficiency, e.g. smart regulation to ensure utilities can profit from delivering efficiency; 2) an effective cap on carbon emissions that puts a price on greenhouse gas pollution; and 3) incentives to develop and deploy emerging low-carbon solutions.
NRDC Founding Director John Adams wrapped up the evening by reflecting on the growing momentum to address global warming pollution in Congress during the past year. He’s hopeful that 2008 and 2009 will be the years the U.S. finally passes decisive climate and energy bills that will help set us on the right path to solving global warming.
Updates on Federal Energy and Global Warming Bill
E2 thanks Bain & Co. for graciously hosting the Palo Alto Focus Meeting.
Boston Event Brings Green Power to the People
A December 4th E2 New England event gave a whole new meaning to the famous rallying cry of the 60’s: “Power to the People.” E2 members and guests gathered at the offices of Foley Hoag LLP to hear from three pioneers, each of whom in their own way is working to make energy efficiency and green power a reality.
Carter Wall is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PowerOptions, the single largest purchaser of power in Massachusetts. The company represents an energy-buying consortium of non-profit organizations and government agencies. Carter’s presentation focused on the barriers to buying green power. She noted that for large organizations, building their own renewables is more attractive financially, but transmission is the short-term key and, until new technologies are available, access to renewable resources wherever they are found is the best hope of meeting regional goals.
Ed Krapels described in vivid detail all the green power just waiting to be tapped – if only we could get to it. He described the project he has proposed to develop the Green Line, an underwater transmission system that could carry renewable power from Main to downtown Boston.
Finally, Lori Ribiero, a consultant with BlueWave Strategies, described the hurdles she had to overcome in revitalizing the town of Brockton by converting a former blighted manufacturing facility to a “Brightfield” using solar energy technologies. With its’ 425-kilowatt array of 1,395 solar panels, the Brockton Brightfield was the largest solar array in New England when it was completed in the fall of 2006. Lori described the innumerable layers of regulatory problems that she overcame in the project, including two home rule petitions passed by the legislature. The six-year project took less than three months of actual construction.
E2 New England Update
E2 members Jay Baldwin, Berl Hartman, Chris Kaneb, Dave Miller, Don Reed and Jim Sweeney participated in meetings with Senators O’Leary, Pacheco, Tarr and Galluccio to advocate for our position.
NRDC's View on Bali Climate Convention
Daniel R. Tishman to Become NRDC Board Chair
Green building pioneer Daniel R. Tishman has been selected as Chairman of NRDC’s Board of Trustees. Dan has been a member of the NRDC board for 10 years, and currently serves as a Vice Chairman of NRDC. His election as chairman became effective on December 6. Dan is a fourth-generation owner and leader of the well-regarded national builder and real estate developer Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc., founded in 1898 in New York City. Dan earned a degree in Wildlife Ecology from Evergreen State College in Washington State and began his post-college life as a professional environmentalist working with the National Audubon Society. He helped develop the National Audubon Expedition Institute, which is now a fully accredited environmental program of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Almost two decades ago, Dan joined the company his great-grandfather founded and has since then become a major force in propelling the green building movement to the forefront of the real estate and construction industries. He is Chairman and CEO of the firm’s building arm, the Tishman Construction Corporation.
"Dan Tishman has had a lifelong commitment to a safe environment, healthy communities and robust protection of wild lands. He is a proven leader in environmental protection, philanthropy and business. I am confident that leadership of NRDC’s board will be in very strong and capable hands," said Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., NRDC’s chairman for the last 17 years.
Update on California Clean Cars Bill
On December 12, a U.S. District Court judge in Fresno ruled that California can enforce limits on auto emissions of greenhouse gases, and that it would not be in conflict with federal jurisdiction if it did so. This ruling was a significant victory in the effort to implement the Clean Cars bill (AB 1493), but on December 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied California’s request for a waiver from federal laws to impose its tough tailpipe emissions standards. In a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger, EPA Administrator Johnson denied the waiver claiming the greenhouse gases are global and not local to California. The Governor’s response states California’s intention to sue to overturn the decision.
This rejection was the first time the EPA has denied a waiver request by California under the Clean Air Act. The law gives California special authority to set stronger standards because the state has a long history of smog and other air-quality problems that predates the Federal Clean Air Act. According to an article in the Washington Post, "In a PowerPoint presentation prepared for the administrator, aides wrote that if Johnson denied the waiver and California sued, ’EPA is likely to lose suit.’ If he allowed California to proceed and automakers sued, the staff wrote, ’EPA is almost certain to win.’" The article continued: "The technical and legal staffs cautioned Johnson against blocking California’s tailpipe standards, the sources said, and recommended that he either grant the waiver or authorize it for a three-year period before reassessing it."
Diesel Exhaust Threatens Health of Truck Drivers
On December 4, NRDC and the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports released "Driving on Fumes: Truck Drivers Face Elevated Health Risks from Diesel Pollution," a report finding that truck drivers who haul containers in and out of the Port of Oakland face increased health risks from breathing dangerous levels of diesel exhaust fumes. The amount of diesel particulate matter found inside the truck cabs was double the level considered acceptable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and up to 2,000 times greater than the level typically considered acceptable by state and federal environmental protection agencies.
Drivers are often forced to idle for hours in long lines, causing them lengthened exposure to old polluting trucks, as well as other polluting sources at the port, such as cargo equipment and ships carrying freight. Diesel engines emit a toxic brew of pollutants, causing adverse health impacts. But, according to the report, many drivers can’t afford health insurance for themselves or their families because they are misclassified as independent contractors, and are paid only for the loads they deliver each day, not the time spent waiting. Independent contractor drivers lack protections and earn about $30,000 per year, and are responsible for buying and maintaining their own trucks. After paying for operating expenses, they often make no more than $8 an hour. On December 7, the California Air Resources Board adopted a rule that requires approximately 18,000 heavy-duty trucks to be retrofitted, replaced or otherwise upgraded by 2009. The new rule is an important first step, according to the report’s authors, but there also needs to be other measures taken, including reducing waiting times at port terminals, limiting pollution from other port sources, shifting the cost of retrofitting to shipping companies and retailers, and transitioning drivers to employee status.
Calendar of Events
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (5:30 PM - 7:00 PM PST) SpecialEvent
NRDC Green Sports Panel: Greening the World Through Sports
Please join us to hear our distinguished panel on NRDC's work with partners to green the U.S. sports industry, and the unparalled potential for this work to raise consciousness about energy efficiency, healthy food, recycling and other environmental challenges. For more information, contact Andri Tai-Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 875-6197.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST) EcoSalon
Charging Ahead: Is There an Electric Vehicle in Your Future? (Boston)
Are electric vehicles the next big thing – or just the Betamax of cars? With CO2 levels passing the 400 ppm mark this month, should we all go out and buy one right now? Can EVs become a distributed source of energy to power our homes and the grid? What about the infrastructure and the up front costs?
Please join E2 New England for a small, exclusive roundtable discussion with Mark Sylvia, Commissioner at MA Dept of Energy Resources (DOER); Daniel Frakes, Manager Advanced Techology & Vehicle Fuels Policy at General Motors; Steve Morgan, product specialist at Mirak Automative Group; and Luke Tonachel, Senior Vehicles Analyst at NRDC, to discuss these and other issues involved in this exciting new technology.
This event is open to E2 members and their invited guests only. Invitation have been sent. Contact email@example.com with questions.
Saturday, July 20, 2013 SpecialEvent
NRDC Local Sea to Table Dinner Hosted by Chris and Patty Arndt (Montauk, NY)
SAVE THE DATE
Please Join NRDC’s Ocean Team for a Local Sea to Table Dinner
By Chef Sam Talbot
Hosted by E2 and NRDC members Patty Jen Arndt and Chris Arndt at their Home
July 20, 2013
Invitation to follow
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thanks for your support. Comments, questions and introductions to possible new members are always welcome! Learn how to join E2 at how to join. To learn more about the leaders of E2 please read about the E2 co-founders.