January 31, 2012
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific) Focus Meeting read more >
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Eastern) Focus Meeting read more >
Saturday, July 20, 2013 (6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern) SpecialEvent read more >
Advocacy, Publications, and Events
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E2's agenda for the coming year
Members meet with key State Legislators to protect landmark bill
Topics to include health costs, water, efficiency and transportation
Chapter Director, New England E2
Remembering one of the founding members of E2
Network, Learn, and Discuss E2's Issues with Other Members
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| E2 Members meeting with Speaker Perez || |
The defeat of Prop 23 - the “Dirty Energy Initiative”- at the end of 2010 set a positive tone for 2011. But despite the resounding victory, California’s budget deficit and a lingering national recession provided challenges for the 2011 legislative session while California’s Agencies made great progress. In California, E2 was focused on supporting the clean energy economy in order to drive California’s economic recovery. We focused on areas with the largest impact - legislation and regulatory efforts that helped create jobs and helped business grow, and opportunities that benefited clean air, clean energy, and economic growth. We also worked to establish a relationship with newly elected Governor Jerry Brown and his administration.
E2 worked closely with NRDC and a broad coalition to pass a landmark bill to increase California’s renewable energy portfolio standard to 33% by 2020. E2 focused on successfully getting Republican votes for the bill. E2 also supported SB454, Senator Pavley’s bill to improve the enforcement of and compliance with California’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards.
E2 was represented on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) review committee. As mentioned in the December 2011 newsletter, the Air Resources Board strengthened the requirements to distribute low carbon transportation fuels under the LCFS. During the year-long process, E2 identified additional economic policies that we will pursue in 2012.
Two bills that E2 supported will continue into 2012 - SB 791 (Steinberg), the regional congestion reduction fee bill, and SB 843 (Wolk) Community-Based Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program.
Priorities for 2012
2012 promises to be an interesting year - the perfect storm of redistricting, open primaries, and term limits will present more competitive races than California voters have seen in 20 years. Governor Brown is anxious to get a tax measure on the ballot to help resolve the state’s fiscal woes. The 2012 election and California’s legislative session will occur in a tough economy with a state budget facing serious challenges. Many candidates and legislators will make unsupported economic claims to undermine our environmental laws. Against this backdrop, we aren’t likely to see huge new environmental legislative gains. However, we will still see a lot of action that will have an effect on how California’s air, water, and coastline fare.
We anticipate much discussion about how to spend the expected billions of dollars of revenue to be generated by California’s cap-and-trade regulation. E2 will be monitoring the $11 billion water bond scheduled to be on the November ballot. E2 will also partner with NRDC’s legislative team on pending toxics legislation aimed at getting chemicals out of household furniture.
E2 will continue to actively support SB 843, which will be heard in the California Assembly Utility and Commerce Committee sometime this Spring. SB 843 expands the number of electricity customers that can participate in renewable energy self-generation programs to include renters, people living in multi-family units, small business, public entities, and people who lack sufficient credit or do not have an appropriate roof for roof-top solar. It accomplishes this through market competition without any state subsidies. Electricity customers can move and have the benefit applied to their new location since there is no equipment required at the electricity customer’s site.
We also anticipate that the oil industry and its allies will take their attacks on the low-carbon fuel standard to the legislature. In light of a recent ruling that California’s low-carbon fuel rules violated the Interstate Commerce Clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside of California, E2 is assisting the Attorney General’s office in building the economic case for the LCFS.
E2 is working on a long-term, low carbon fuel purchase program for California public entities. The proposed program would create long-term arrangements between California public entities such as cities, state government and schools and low-carbon fuel producers and is based on a similar program implemented in Hawaii. The goals of the program are to help public entities have a stable, affordable source of low-carbon fuels and to provide a firm contract allowing fuel providers to structure private debt financing.
California E2 members will be meeting on February 3 to finalize our advocacy priorities for 2012 in our first-ever state-wide event.
E2 is ramping up its efforts to protect the Massachusetts’ Green Communities Act (GCA). Despite the economic, energy, and environmental benefits the Act is providing, there are efforts to gut this law and erase its gains. Opponents of the Act say they want to save money, but really they threaten to cost our state jobs and economic development while making us more dependent on imported energy.
The Green Communities Act is Working
Thanks to the Green Communities Act, Massachusetts is increasing the amount of its electricity coming from clean energy sources. Solar panels and wind turbines are going up and private investments are coming into Massachusetts’ clean energy economy. Massachusetts companies have brought in the 2nd largest concentration of private venture capital in clean energy in the country. Clean energy is taking its place alongside biotech and information technology as a pillar of the Commonwealth’s innovation economy. In addition, electricity rates and bills have dropped since the bill was enacted in 2008.
Opponents Cite Costs But Ignore Benefits
Influential opponents have been complaining about the cost of the bill while ignoring its benefits. They are promoting the concept of including large scale Canadian hydro and energy efficiency as part of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), claiming that this will provide the same amount of renewable energy at lower cost.
However, a deeper analysis shows that this major revision to the bill would simply result in business uncertainty; windfall profits to the developers of Canadian Hydro; and no net increase in the amount of energy efficiency investments. Hydropower from Canada is expected to play an important role in the State’s energy mix without the need for additional subsidies.
E2 Meets with Key Legislators
On January 17, E2 members Tedd Saunders, Dave Miller and Berl Hartman met with Representative Frank Smizik, Chair of the Massachusetts House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change and his legislative assistant, Laurel Schwab. Chairman Smizik told us that he is in the process of forming a ‘Green Economy Caucus’ in the House to “promote legislation and policy that encourages economic growth and job creation based on sustainable development aimed at improving economic, environmental and social well-being.”
We discussed the looming threat to major provisions of the GCA and encouraged him to proactively reach out to other legislators in support of the current provisions of the bill. We left behind a brief presentation that highlights the benefits of the GCA and provides facts to rebut the opposition’s arguments.
The following day, another group of E2ers met with Senator Marc Pacheco, Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, as well as his Chief of Staff, Charles Basler. Senator Pacheco was the primary author of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act or 2008 and has been a strong champion on environmental issues.
E2 Members Make the Case Via Personal Experiences
E2 Director Tedd Saunders, who is Chief Sustainability Officer of The Saunders Hotel Group, described the positive impact of the GCA on the hotel industry. Incentives for energy efficiency are helping hotels reduce costs while also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
E2 member John Rosenthal is President of Meredith Management, a large real estate development and management business, and also manages Here Comes the Sun LLC, a clean power provider specializing in solar energy. John cited the benefits of the bill in supporting solar development that helped his company provide solar energy to customers at a lower rate than the grid in many cases.
E2 Director Dave Miller is Executive Managing Director of the Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG), an angel investment group focused on early stage clean energy technology companies. Dave related the story of one of CEVG’s portfolio companies, Next Step Living, a residential energy efficiency company that provides home energy diagnostics and improvements. Thanks in part to efficiency investments stimulated by the GCA, the company is helping local residents take action and increase the efficiency of their homes. Next Step Living is also an excellent example of clean energy job creation, having grown from 8 employees in 2008 to over 200 today.
If you are interested in participating in meetings with legislators or have a Green Communities Act success story to tell please contact Berl Hartman at email@example.com. Also, if you have a close relationship with someone in the Massachusetts’ legislature please let us know. We will contact you via email about future E2 initiatives on this issue.
After a successful EcoSalon on the military use of biofuels last fall, the E2 San Diego Chapter is gearing up for a series of EcoSalons in 2012. First on the list is a discussion about the potential costs to businesses from increased health costs incurred by employees exposure to environmentally degraded conditions. Are the costs significant? Are the correlations clear? Panelists will discuss.
Upcoming topics also will include water (including stormwater issues), building efficiency, and transportation. Stand by for more news from San Diego.
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| Dianne Callan || |
Dianne Callan is an E2 New England Chapter Director with over 30 years of professional experience, most recently as Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary for NMS Communications Corporation, a publicly-held telecommunications solutions provider, and as Deputy General Counsel for Lotus Development Corporation for 10 years. She is also a founding member of Green Pro Bono, an organization which assists climate-change driven non-profits to define their legal needs and to access the pro bono legal network. Dianne co-authored “More Than Meets the Eye: The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Climate Policy in Plain English”, published by ELI and WRI in July 2011. She has recently taken graduate law courses in Energy Regulation and Environmental Law.
Dianne Callan was first introduced to E2 in 2005 at a luncheon and quickly realized that it was a great place to learn and network. “E2 provided interesting learning opportunities and engendered a lot of respect in part because of its affiliation with NRDC.”
E2 has given her exposure to a lot of New England’s most pressing issues. She has worked extensively on wind turbine siting issues and, with other business and environmental advocates, she has worked to improve the RGGI (New England’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative aiming to limit pollution and creation of greenhouse gases). Dianne views energy issues as of primary importance to New England. “I find the economics and business ramifications of energy and climate policies challenging and compelling. E2 has given me the opportunity to participate in important state and federal political advocacy work.”
Dianne speaks with pride when she talks about the accomplishments of E2 in the passage and implementation of important Massachusetts legislation, including the Green Communities Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act and otherwise providing an independent business voice on critical environmental issues in New England.
|Alan Buder |
Early this month, E2 lost one of our founding members, Alan Buder, after an extended illness. Alan and his wife Barbara were eager to be part of building E2 in the fall 2000 as we were just getting started. E2’s very first legislator meeting was with Joe Canciamilla in December 2001. Mr Canciamilla was the Assembly Member representing Alan’s district and an important vote on the 2002 Pavley “Clean Cars Bill” (AB 1493). Alan volunteered to lead the meeting (that was good as he was the only member in the district) and the rest is history!
Alan was an enthusiastic entrepreneur and lived at the intersection of financing, technology and the arts and was employee number five at the startup Tri-Star Pictures in New York. After seeing Vice President Gore’s climate talk in 2005, he formed a team that founded the organization “Climate Cartoons”. Alan’s memorial page can be found at alanbuder.virtual-memorials.com. We will miss him.
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