Environmental Policy

Could payphones be converted to EV charging stations?
September 27, 2013 09:13 AM - MOVEFORWARD, via, Electric Forum

In an intriguing development across New York City there is speculation that the authorities may soon look at converting existing payphones into electric car charging stations. On the surface this may look like yet another crazy idea connected with the electric vehicle industry but if you take a step back, consider the options, it may just be feasible. In yet another sign that the electric vehicle industry is set to go mass-market, people are now actually looking at converting existing payphone units into electric vehicle charging stations. But what are the potential problems and drawbacks? Perhaps the major problem which the EV industry will encounter when converting existing payphones into electric vehicle charging stations is their location. The vast majority are located in situations which are not amenable to parking cars to recharge their batteries although there are some which could be transformed with very little fuss. It will be interesting to see how the authorities tackle this particular problem.

'America’s Power Plan' Envisions New Business Model For Utilities
September 27, 2013 08:29 AM - Tina Casey, Triple Pundit

The Obama Administration has been putting the coal industry’s feet to the fire with new carbon-cutting initiatives, and a new report certainly won’t help coal’s case. Under the title, America’s Power Plan, the authors argue that the U.S. already has the technology in hand to make a rapid transition to renewable energy.

Power Move in Support of Lowering Power Plant Emissions
September 26, 2013 08:50 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

Power plants are the largest concentrated source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the U.S., accounting for about one-third of all domestic GHG emissions. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new proposals for carbon pollution standards for new power plants. Twenty-two major companies signed a letter in support of the proposed standards. The companies include Unilever, Levi Strauss, Symantec and Patagonia. All of the 22 companies that signed the letters have signed the Ceres Climate Declaration, which calls for a coordinated effort to tackle climate change. In fact, the 22 companies are the largest companies among the over 600 that signed the Declaration.

The Importance of a Sustainable Energy Plan
September 25, 2013 12:48 PM - Erin Craig of TerraPass via, Clean Techies

Creating a Sustainable Energy Plan is a simple, systematic way to examine, refine, and act on one of the most important aspects of a sustainable business. A plan lets you see where you are, decide what immediate positive changes your company can make, and create long-term practical and actionable goals. Why create a plan specifically about energy? Energy use is your most important environmental impact.

Lesser Prairie Chicken numbers decline sharply
September 25, 2013 06:16 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

Lesser prairie chicken population numbers dropped by more than 50 percent over the past year, according to a study released today. The finding raises questions about the adequacy of voluntary conservation measures proposed today for the rare grouse in a final rangewide conservation plan intended to preclude the need for Endangered Species Act protections. "Drought and habitat destruction are devastating the small remaining populations of this magnificent grassland bird," said Jay Lininger with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Voluntary measures are too little, too late, and will not get traction fast enough to prevent extinction. These vanishing birds need the protection that only the Endangered Species Act can provide if they're going to survive."

Shaken in Pakistan
September 24, 2013 11:34 AM - Robin Valinski, ENN

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that a 7.7 magnitude earthquake has shaken the southwestern portion of Pakistan. The earthquake struck the area at 16:29 local time Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at a depth of 15 miles under Pakistan's geographically largest but least populated province of Balochistan. The earth shook for about 2 minutes. The city nearest to the epicenter is Karachi, Pakistan with a population of 11.6 million people. The USGS reports that the earthquake is a result of an "olique-strike-slip motion at shallow crustal depths".

Renault offers free charging for EV's in France
September 24, 2013 06:29 AM - Move Forward, Electric Forum

In what seems to be coming something of a common occurrence in the electric vehicle industry, Renault has now announced plans to offer free charging facilities to any electric vehicle user across its 372 Renault dealerships in France. Initially you might automatically assume that this offer of one hours free charging per day across 875 fast charge stations in France would be limited to Renault users, but this is not the case. This offer is open to all electric vehicle users as long as they have a cable which fits a type III connector. Electric vehicle charging stations are certainly a hot topic at the moment with more and more companies opening up their networks to outside parties. It is interesting to see that Renault, which has recently released a number of EV models, is looking to grab the headlines.

Amoebas in Louisiana’s Water
September 22, 2013 09:07 AM - Beth Buczynski, Care2

Clean water is essential for human survival. More than half of our body is made up of water, and without it, we can only live for a couple of days. How much do we really know about what we're drinking, though? Local governments are charged with keeping our water supplies safe, but as I recently learned in the movie "Unacceptable Levels," one city's wastewater becomes another city's drinking water. Also, there's not a lake or stream left in this country that hasn't been contaminated in some way.

The Greenest Building in the World
September 20, 2013 10:42 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

In honor of Green Building Week, we have searched high and low to showcase one of the greenest buildings in the world -and on a recent press trip to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, we may have found a winner. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens may be known for its glass Victorian greenhouse built in the late 1800s, or even as the location where President Obama hosted the G-20 summit in 2009. But the real piece de resistance that puts the Conservatory on the map is their new Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). The CSL is primarily home to many of the administrative, educational, and research offices associated with Phipps, however parts of the building are open to the public and there are plans in the works to connect the building’s indoor space to the outdoors by means of artwork and sound installations. So why does this building rank among the greenest in the world? For one, the facility is expected to meet or exceed three of the world's highest green standards. So far the facility has achieved LEED Platinum status, the highest of the US Green Building Council's certifications. Beyond LEED certification, the CSL is striving to achieve the Sustainable Sites Initiative SITES certification for landscapes. The CSL is currently in the process of obtaining state permits and will find out in October if they have achieved 4-star status which has yet to be achieved by any other project. Finally, the CSL is involved with the Living Building Challenge. Projects that achieve this level of performance must document net zero energy, which defines the most advanced measures of sustainability in the built environment.

Misleading "Natural" Food Labels May Soon Be History
September 20, 2013 08:46 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit

The only thing natural about the "natural" label is that such branding, naturally, often confuses consumers. But such misleading terms such as "natural" and "healthy" could soon become history, or at the very least score a makeover. Large food companies have hijacked such terms with dubious results—and never mind the fact "natural" is a loaded term. Is a food product only "natural" if it still has dirt on it after being yanked out of the ground? Is it still natural if ingredients, from whole wheat flour to goji berries to flax seeds, are pulverized, brominated, pasteurized and homogenized?

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