February 29, 2012
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern) EcoSalon read more >
Saturday, July 20, 2013 SpecialEvent read more >
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- E2's first ever state-wide event
- E2 members meet with Governor, Attorney General and Senate President
- E2 and Massachusetts Governor tour E2 Director's Net Energy Home
- Water supply and quantity can be improved through green infrastructure
- Get to Know E2 San Diego Chapter Director Carl Nettleton
- March 15 event: Mission Critical Clean Energy and the U.S. Military
-Update on E2's Linked-In Group
In our first ever state-wide Advocacy Roundtable, we connected members at four locations - San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Diego, and Santa Monica - with members on the phone to discuss upcoming policy issues in CA. We heard from E2 and NRDC experts on four issues: AB 2197
, a bill to modernize an ineffective California flame retardant standard; SB 843, the Community-Based Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program
; the California Fuel Purchase Program
; and AB 32 Implementation and Auction Revenues.
Each location prioritized the issues differently, but the general consensus was for E2 to work on all four issues this year. In addition to the issues discussed at the Advocacy Roundtable, water issues continue to be a priority for California, and we will follow relevant policy items closely.Modernizing California’s flame retardant standard
Formally introduced on Friday, February 24, Assembly Bill 2197 (Mitchell) will modernize Technical Bulletin 117 or TB 117, an ineffective California flame retardant standard that has led to the use of chemicals in foam for furniture and other products throughout the country. Studies show that toxic fire retardant chemicals are now found in the bodies of nearly all North Americans, with Californians and children having the highest levels. AB 2197 is strongly supported by a large coalition of firefighters, scientists, businesses, consumers, and public health advocates. The bill will modernize TB 117 to maintain fire safety without the use of toxic chemicals. Current fire safety science and years of research by the federal government indicate that non-toxic alternatives are viable and safe.
TB 117 was developed in 1975 and has led furniture manufacturers to use toxic and untested chemicals in their products in order to meet the standard. With AB 2197 in place, CA-based furniture manufacturers will save money and be able to meet increasing customer demand for non-toxic alternatives. The bill also spurs innovation in eco-friendly furniture design, which has the potential to create more jobs in California.Community-Based Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program
E2 will continue to actively support SB 843, which 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. Electricity customers could subscribe to a renewable energy generation system such as a solar farm. Subscribers receive a credit on their monthly utility bill equal to their share of the power generated by the system. 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.
SB 843 has the potential to lower utility bills for consumers, create local construction jobs, and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power generation. By allowing local governments, schools, utilities and private developers to build off-site community renewable energy installations, SB 843 can dramatically increase the availability of renewable energy in California.California Fuel Purchase Program
As discussed during the policy roundtable, E2 is also working on a California Fuel Purchase program for advanced biofuels. The program would pool existing fuel demand by public entities and source some of this fuel from domestic, low carbon sources. The program targets renewable diesel and gasoline, which are perfect chemical substitutes for their fossil fuel counterparts. The goals of the program are to:
- Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the State’s transportation fuels
- Help the low carbon fuel industry scale production
- Provide more predictable fuel prices to public entities
- Create supply and demand for domestically produced fuel
E2 is working with the Energy Commission, Air Resources Board, and the Governor’s office on this initiative. We are also looking for cities, counties, and transit authorities to jointly participate. So far we have secured interest from a consortium of school districts, Cities of San Francisco & San Jose, Los Angeles County, and Alameda County.
Next, the E2 project team will be writing and issuing a Request for Information from a State agency to assess the prices and quantities of fuel procured. With this additional information, we will campaign to get as many public entities on board as possible to drive lower contract prices.
AB 32 Implementation and Auction Revenues
California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32, has generated intense scrutiny and litigation since its inception. We anticipate that AB 32 will continue to be challenged in 2012. E2 will continue to monitor any new developments and take action as needed. In addition, since the release of Governor Brown’s budget, there have been a lot of questions about how much revenue could be coming from auctioning emission allowances under California's cap and trade program. For more information on auction revenues, please read this blog by Kristin Eberhard, NRDC’s Legal Director, Western Energy and Climate Projects.
E2 will participate in auction revenue discussions guided by two overarching principles: to achieve AB 32’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target as cost-effectively as possible, and to strengthen California’s clean energy economy by creating new investment and jobs.
If you are interested in working on a specific advocacy issue or are interested in engaging in E2’s policy work more broadly through our E2 CA Policy Committee, please contact Christine Luong, E2 Manager, at Christine@e2.org.
E2 Joins Broad Coalition to Protect Green Communities Act
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| ||Governor Deval Patrick |
With Massachusetts’ landmark energy bill, the Green Communities Act (GCA)
, under attack by powerful opponents, E2 has been working to defend the law and also make important improvements. During the past months, E2 joined with a broad coalition of over 20 different groups and businesses -- including the New England Clean Energy Council, CERES, Conservation Law Foundation, Health Care Without Harm, the Progressive Business Leaders Network and many others to work together to preserve the best features of the GCA, while recommending a few improvements to ensure that the Act reaches its full potential.
Governor Patrick Reiterates Clean Energy Commitment
On February 22nd leaders of the GCA coalition, including E2 New England Director Berl Hartman, met with Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick to discuss the threat to the GCA and other pressing environmental and energy challenges. Our primary goal was finding ways in which the coalition and the administration could work more closely together on shared objectives.
After thanking the Governor for his leadership on clean energy and climate, the group pointed out that powerful interests were still pushing to roll back many of the state’s forward looking policies. We asked for the Governor’s renewed leadership on the GCA as well as other key issues: robust implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act; reducing the cap on emissions in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); and holding the line on funding for public transportation. The Governor was very receptive to our suggestions and asked Rick Sullivan, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, who attended the meeting, to follow up these issues and find ways to keep the coalition involved on a regular basis.
NSTAR-NU Merger Agreement Aligns with State’s Clean Energy Goals
We also discussed a recent breakthrough agreement that the administration reached with the electric utility NSTAR to allow their proposed merger with Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities (NU). As part of the agreement, NSTAR agreed to enter into a 15-year contract to purchase 27.5 percent of the electricity output from Cape Wind, the offshore wind energy project planned for Nantucket Sound. This should allow the project to move forward. NSTAR also agreed to support the Commonwealth’s climate change goals with a public outreach campaign in support of policies in the Green Communities Act, including renewable energy, solar power development, and energy efficiency.
We are hopeful that this agreement will not only further the state’s renewable energy and efficiency goals, but also diffuse some of the opposition to the GCA.
In addition to this meeting, E2 hosted a net-zero-home event on February 9th featuring Governor Patrick and attended by his senior energy and environmental team. See the article below for more details.
Attorney General Concerned About Renewable Energy Costs
Several leaders of the GCA coalition, including E2 Director Tedd Saunders, met with Attorney General Martha Coakley. Opponents of the GCA have found a sympathetic ear in the Attorney General, who testified at a legislative oversight hearing that “the costs of the GCA programs are projected to be in excess of $4 billion over the next 4 years and will cause the total delivered cost of electricity to rise an estimated 1 to 2 cents per kilowatt hour or 7 percent over the next 4 years.”
The coalition pointed out that the law will actually save ratepayers nearly $6 billion over the next four years when the nearly $10 billion in benefits are factored in. While an average 700-kilowatt per month customer might pay an additional 1.1 cents per kilowatt-hour or $7 per month in 2015, that increase would be offset by benefits of $14 per month in net present value terms, double the cost, for a net benefit of $7 per month.
E2 Director Tedd Saunders, who is Chief Sustainability Officer and Co-Owner of the Saunders Hotel Group, noted that his company’s energy costs are coming down in their Massachusetts’ hotels because of the energy efficiency measures made possible by the utility incentives here, which make the payback time on investments reasonable.
In stark contrast, their hotels in other states, where there are little if any efficiency incentives, have not been able to implement many of the same efficiency opportunities because the ROIs don't make financial sense without a state focus on efficiency.
More recently, the Attorney General testified at a hearing held by the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committees. She again cited her concern with the cost of renewables -- without citing a specific figure this time -- but still neglected to mention the benefits.
Senator Pacheco, a member of the committee with whom E2 met recently, questioned the Attorney General on the issue of GCA benefits. He specifically mentioned statistics on renewable and efficiency benefits from the Act, citing data from E2.
Senate President Concerned About Electricity Costs and Competition
In another key meeting, members of the coalition, including E2 Director Tedd Saunders, met with Massachusetts’ Senate President Therese Murray. President Murray has been a strong supporter of clean energy and climate legislation. However, she has also expressed concern about the cost of energy and its impact on ratepayers. Once again, the coalition made its case that the benefits of the GCA far outweigh the costs, especially considering the potential of clean energy to blunt the impacts of fossil fuel price swings. E2 Director Tedd Saunders re-iterated the point that their Saunders Hotel Group is able to do much more at its Massachusetts’ hotels in terms of energy efficiency than in other states, thanks to the efficiency programs put in place via the GCA and other state efficiency programs.
Suggested GCA Improvements
Though our efforts have been largely defensive, E2 and others in the GCA coalition believe that the bill should be improved in several areas: accelerating and extending the procurement of long-term renewable energy contracts; increasing the allowable percentage of energy generated via net-metering; and sponsoring a study to determine the costs and benefits of a Clean Energy Standard.
Extend Long-Term Contracts: We propose that legislation should accelerate the current 3% requirement for long-term renewable energy contracts from mid-2014 to the end of 2012; set a new target of 7% by the end of 2014, and 9% by the end of 2016; and allow contracts for up to 25 years. These changes will increase the cost-effectiveness of the GCA in encouraging diversity of energy supply, which will enhance energy security, promote economic development and reduce the environmental impacts of energy production.
Increase Net-Metering Limit: The current cap on renewable projects participating in the net metering program soon will be met if all of the projects that have applied for interconnection are developed, stagnating development of distributed renewable power in Massachusetts. E2 believes that the net metering limit should be increased to a total of 6% of a distribution company’s historic peak load.
Study the Impact of a Potential Clean Energy Performance Standard: Though we are strongly opposed to inclusion of mature technologies like large Canadian Hydro in the current RPS, we recognize that technologies such as large scale hydro and advanced storage could play a significant role in helping the state meet its GHG objectives. We recommend that the State undertake a study of the costs and benefits of such a program that would be overseen by a Citizen’s Advisory Board.
State Policies Bring Tangible Economic Benefits
Massachusetts’ climate and energy policies are among the strongest in the nation. In addition to the Green Communities Act (GCA), Massachusetts boasts a Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) that sets the nation’s strictest GHG limits; and a Green Jobs Bill that has enabled important clean energy investments.
This suite of policies is bringing tangible results. Massachusetts recently garnered the #1 rank among US states in energy efficiency; its clean energy sector grew nearly 7 % over the past year; and the State reaped over $2.5 billion in cleantech VC investment since 2005. E2, working together with the GCA Coalition, is working to preserve and extend this record of progress.
 Written Testimony of Attorney General Martha Coakley, Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Oversight Hearing: The Green Communities Act of 2008; November 9, 2011
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| ||Gov Patrick and Dave Miller |
E2 New England Director David Miller and his wife Karen have proven that it’s possible to build a fully sustainable and comfortable net-zero energy house in a neighborhood close to Boston. This is the first single-family residence within walking distance of Boston's ‘T’ that was designed to be net-zero energy and LEED Platinum. On May 9, 2012, the Millers opened their “home of the future” for a tour by E2 members and friends.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, State Representatives Ruth Balser and Kay Kahn, State Senator Marc Pacheco and Newton Mayor Setti Warren were among the many interested guests at the popular event.
Dave Miller, managing director of Clean Energy Venture Group, explained that he and Karen built this home in Newton, Massachusetts in a way which reflects their profound concern about climate change and “a moral obligation to leave the planet as we found it”. At the same time, they wanted a comfortable, less expensive home, with no compromises in quality. He noted that he’s not a building professional, just a “very interested consumer”. Among its many features, the house has one foot thick walls with minimal infiltration, a state of the art energy recovery ventilation system, southern orientation to maximize the high efficiency solar roof panels, triple-glazed, low energy windows with automatic shade controls, energy efficient lighting and ample day lighting, floors made of recycled materials and cabinets made of sustainably harvested wood.
David noted that for 4 days during the last week, the house produced more energy than it used. In this new house, the family of four uses only 15% of energy that they used in their prior home, built to 2005 building code. Reflecting on his recent design and building experiences, David encouraged several policy changes including HERS (Home Energy Rating) transparency for home buyers, improved building codes and expedited permitting and inspection for energy efficient construction. Dave’s slides are viewable here
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| ||The Millers' NetZero home |
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, commenting that he was a frustrated architect, commended the house as an example of the results of Massachusetts’ suite of energy and environmental laws, including the Green Communities Act, which has made the Commonwealth number one in energy efficiency in the US and delivered green jobs and business development to the state. Referring to threats to the Green Communities Act, he promised that it “isn’t going anywhere as long as I have anything to say about it.” However he also said that he is open to continuous improvement to the legislation and continuation of Massachusetts’ “fundamental commitment to growing the green economy” noting, “the more we lead and show our commitment the more others will follow”. There were several articles about the event, including this one
in the Boston Herald.
E2 would like to thank David and Karen Miller for the opportunity to view their sustainable, comfortable home.
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| || Water: The Oil of the 21st Century |
On February 8, E2 hosted a webinar on ‘green infrastructure’ and how we can better manage rainfall to protect our water supply. With the growth of urban and suburban development, we have built more impervious surfaces. As a consequence, an increasing amount of rainwater is flowing into gutters and water treatment systems, bringing pollutants with it and causing systems to overflow. That runoff has a particularly high cost in a state like California, where water transportation is one of the largest users of energy and rainwater capture represents a significant opportunity to increase the energy-efficient supply of water.
Green infrastructure is an approach to stormwater management that captures rainwater for infiltration into the ground or for onsite use. Whereas traditional solutions involve cement and pipe systems that convey rainwater from where it falls, green infrastructure manages stormwater through use of permeable pavement, green roofs, parks, roadside plantings, rain barrels and other mechanisms that mimic natural hydrologic function.
Since 1987, the control and treatment of stormwater discharges have been regulated under the Clean Water Act (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System), which requires communities to implement infrastructure upgrades to meet national standards. Many cities and states have adopted increasingly robust plans at standards. The EPA estimates the cost of fixing aging systems to be well over $100 billion over the next 20 years, nationwide. In the face of these challenges, green infrastructure represents a flexible, more cost-effective and comprehensive approach.
Policy frameworks can play a crucial role in attracting private investors to greener stormwater management efforts. Philadelphia has taken a lead in designing a billing and credit mechanism to encourage private investment. NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation is working with Philadelphia to explore financing options, using some of the energy efficiency financing models as a starting point.
E2 will be following these water issues more closely over the coming months. We invite you to immerse yourself more deeply in the reports referenced in the webinar: NRDC, Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond, 2012
NRDC, Rooftops to Rivers II, green strategies for controlling stormwater and combined sewer overflows, 2011
NRDC, A Clear Blue Future: how greening California cities can address water resources and climate challenges in the 21st Century, 2009
“At Nettleton Strategies, we try to create a sense of trust and a safe place for discussing and resolving issues. Participatory mapping is often the starting point for a process that leads to positive dialogue and relationship building.”
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| ||Carl Nettleton |
Throughout his career, Carl Nettleton has used joint fact-finding and visualization tools to resolve issues - his management consulting firm, Nettleton Strategies, is based on this process. Since joining E2 in December 2010, he has brought this expertise to E2 and is currently helping to build the San Diego chapter by listening, fact-finding and facilitating discussions with chapter members and local experts.
As a delegate on the 2011 Washington, D.C. advocacy trip
, Carl used his expertise to learn how individual elected offices viewed E2 issues while helping to highlight the need for using intelligent maps to create sustainably managed oceans that will benefit the economy for years to come. He hopes the San Diego Chapter will be seen as a place where environmental issues can be resolved using sound business thinking.
Carl has used intelligent maps to work on watershed and transportation issues, perhaps the most well-known being an effort to encourage development of an intermodal transportation hub at the San Diego airport. However, Carl is most passionate about issues surrounding oceans and water. He serves on the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Energy and Water and Transportation and Land Use committees, Co-Chaired the Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team until this year, was the past president of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation - Pacific Region, was the founding executive director of the San Diego Oceans Foundation, and serves on the board of the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation. Recently, Carl founded OpenOceans Global, which has a goal of aggregating and creatively presenting the world’s ocean data as a way to better understand the world’s oceans. The organization has embarked on a multi- million fundraising campaign to advance this innovative initiative. He is a long-time advocate for bringing people together to work on ocean issues. Two notable achievements include overseeing development of one of the first marine education curriculums in the 1980’s and producing a television show, “Its All of Us, Marine Pollution in San Diego,” that aired in prime time on both the PBS and CBS affiliates and featured Walter Cronkite as the narrator.
Carl hopes his contribution to E2 will be his ability to bring together businesses, the environment, and the NRDC to foster better communication and understanding that will help solve the traditional economy-environment gap that exists in policy. “We have to get to a sustainable place where we realize the benefit of the environment within the economy. We need to enable interest groups to work together with trust and respect.”
Carl’s favorite aspect of E2 is the opportunity to interact with like-minded people in such a collegial environment. “I’ve really enjoyed all the people I’ve met through E2. There is a great energy around this group. They are forward thinking and open to change and new ideas.”
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| ||US Navy F/18 running on biofuel |
For the past 18 months, E2 has been engaged with the Department of Defense regarding their energy security initiatives. DOD’s aggressive push for reducing fossil fuel dependence and utilizing low-carbon renewables is poising them to be a key driver of clean energy innovation in America. The White House has recently made budget proposals
in which it makes clear its intentions to fund clean energy through the DOD.
E2 has partnered with Climate Solutions to put together an EcoSalon on March 15, centered on the relationship between clean energy and the US military. Speakers will include Congressman Adam Smith: Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, Ray Smalling: Utility and Energy Manager of Naval Station Everett, and James Marvin: Navy SEAL (ret) and Founder of Federal Green Solutions, who will all discuss the military’s transition to clean energy, the role Congress can play to support and enhance these initiatives, and the potential impact of this transformation on the civilian economy.
This EcoSalon is one in a series that we’ve been holding around the country, bringing together members of the military, public officials and the business community to better understand the military’s initiatives, their potential impact on the growth of the clean energy economy (and the economies in which the military bases and installations are located), and to identify with public officials what can be done to support those efforts. A similar event, featuring Senator Mark Udall and a representative from Fort Carson, will be held in Denver on April 12.
The March 15 EcoSalon will be held in Seattle, Washington, and you can register here:
Clean Energy and the U.S. Military
Wednesday, March 15, 2012
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| ||Click on the logos above to join the discussions |
We are now up to 147 members on our LinkedIn group! We encourage you to join if you haven't already (members only.)
Moving forward, we would like to see members utilizing our LinkedIn for more discussion. This forum is a great resource to get in touch with fellow E2 members.
See below for some interesting statistics on our group.
Join our LinkedIn group (members only) and follow us on Twitter (open to all).
The LinkedIn group provides members with the opportunity to connect with other members across the country, and we hope that our members-only LinkedIn forum will allow you to use each other as a resource and sounding board for ideas that relate to E2’s work.
By following us on Twitter, you will also stay up-to-date on news related to E2’s work and the intersection of business and the environment.
To join LinkedIn, click on this link or find the E2 Group (“E2 – Environmental Entrepreneurs”) and request to join. To follow us on Twitter, click on this link or search for @e2org and begin following us.
If you have any questions about joining or following us, please contact Christine Luong (Christine@e2.org or 415-875-6100).
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| Group Growth - We are now up to 147 || |
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| Group Demographics - Industry: 26% are in Renewables || |
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|Group Demographics - Location: 50% in the SF Bay Area || |
To browse our group statistics, simply access the "Group Statistics" tab on our LinkedIn page.
NRDC is pleased to announce the fourth annual Growing Green Awards taking place on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at the Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda in San Francisco. Along with our special guests who will be in attendance that evening, we will gather to honor the winners of NRDC’s 2012 Growing Green Awards--new pioneers in sustainable farming and food. Through this national award, NRDC recognizes extraordinary contributions that advance ecologically integrated farming practices, climate and water stewardship, in addition to farmland preservation. For more information on the awards, 2012 GGA judges, and past winners, please visit www.nrdc.org/growinggreen
NRDC is also excited to announce that we have secured a fantastic new venue for NRDC's 2012 Growing Green Awards. The festivities will take place at the Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda. In an effort to highlight sustainable farming and food as it relates to the theme of the evening, NRDC will be hosting their first-ever farm to table dinner under the newly refurbished Rotunda. This year's newest award category will honor pioneers working in the food justice movement, in addition to bringing back the overwhelmingly popular Young Food Leader category.
If you'd like to attend this event, you can purchase tables and tickets here