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Biofuels are Cleaner Energy that Should be Encouraged

June 15 -- It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable time for American farmers and ranchers than the current period, in which the world is entering a period of climate change that is being felt in every state of the union today. The weather has always been one of the biggest variables in farming and ranching, and now that statement has been multiplied by a factor of 10.

Unfortunately, the inventions of the 20th Century that have improved our lives in so many ways have also greatly contributed to the declining health of the planet. One of the biggest culprits remains the burning of fossil fuels that not only provide fuel for our cars but also power for our homes.  >>View Article

Roper: Solar energy is the future

June 15 -- My 23-year-old grandson recently asked me, “How can you be so optimistic about the future?” I gave him what probably was a lame answer.

Since then an excellent book has been published, “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy” (http://www.earth-policy.org/books/tgt), that answers my grandson’s question in great detail. I sent him a copy and he is enthralled with it. This book lays out how renewable energies are on a fast exponential rise to replace fossil fuels as energy sources for the world. There is a link on the web page for two online slide shows about “The Great Transition.” I recommend that all readers read “The Great Transition” and show one of the slide shows at their social organizations and/or church to give their friends reasons to be optimistic about the future. A recent massive study of solar energy by an interdisciplinary group at MIT (https://mitei.mit.edu/futureofsolar) concurs with “The Great Transition.”  >>View Article

Clean Energy is Inevitable

June 15 -- The question mark in the headline of the June 11 editorial “A carbon-
free future?” could be removed. We humans may be good at putting our heads in the
sand, but we are not suicidal.

While people in countries such as Germany appreciate that there is “wealth” to be
found in clean energy technologies, “good” wealth that is accompanied by job
creation, we Americans will go with fracking for a time. Our unfettered free-market
economy will see to this. Pushed by climate change and the environmental damage
caused by fracking, however, even we will look to technologies for harvesting
clean-energy sources. Faced with the inevitable, we will need to import these
technologies from countries such as Germany while playing catch-up. >>View Article

Save Resources by Funding Clean Energy for the Military

June 12 -- Members of Congress are currently divided over the question of whether the Pentagon budget should be increased or adhere to the current spending caps enforced by the 2011 Budget Control Act. However, there is a common-sense way to reduce Pentagon costs and conserve resources over the long-term that all members of Congress should unite behind. For FY 2016, Congress should fund and encourage military efforts to increase energy efficiency and the use of clean energy sources because doing so will save lives, conserve resources, and reduce conflict worldwide.

The military’s current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable and costly. The Department of Defense (DOD) alone uses more than 80 percent of all fuel consumed by the federal government, and accounts for 1.3 percent of total U.S. petroleum consumption, the highest of any single institution. This dependence on fossil fuels can quickly turn deadly: airdrops to some remote bases in Afghanistan require seven gallons of fuel to deliver just one gallon, with each priced at up to a staggering $400. >>View Article

Solar Jobs: Growing at the Grassroots

June 12 -- For nearly a decade, first as governor of Colorado and now as the director of a clean energy policy group, I have been one of the many people working with state and federal officials to shape more sustainable energy and climate policies. It is a mission filled with the glacial pace of governments and constant competition with other priorities.

From time to time, however, I am reminded that much of the best work on America's necessary transition to a sustainable energy economy is being done at the grassroots level. The solar energy revolution is progressing community by community. >>View Article

Proposal to Boost Renewable Energy is an Investment in the State's Future

June 12 -- This region is in the difficult process of remaking itself from its smokestack past into a green energy hub with thousands of eagerly anticipated jobs in a growing industry.

That makeover is just one reason to support efforts by the state’s energy research authority to dedicate $1.5 billion over the next 10 years to push further development in renewable energy projects and extend the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program that began in 2004.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also wants to tweak the program to make it more efficient. The end result would be an increase in renewable generating capacity “by reducing project costs and trimming the cost of financing those developments.”  >>View Article

A Global Clean-Energy Target Worth Hitting

June 11 -- It's easy to get lost in the stultifying language, but the message from
the world’s top leaders on Monday deserves to be elevated: “Deep cuts in global
greenhouse gas emissions are required,” leaders of the Group of Seven nations
declared, “with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this
century.”

These words are a tad cumbersome and strategically vague — but nonetheless
remarkable. They project a world that uses little or no coal, oil or natural gas by
the end of the century, at least not without new anti-emissions technologies. They
foresee few or no greenhouse-gas emissions from the seemingly unending variety of
activities that produce them — power generation, cement production, refrigeration,
chemical manufacturing and air travel, to name just a few. If this vision is seen
through, humans’ complex dependency on fossil fuels would be broken.  >>View Article

Column: Brews Benefit from Clean Energy

June 11 -- At Rockford Brewing Co., we take pride in the quality of our traditional
and inventive — not to mention delicious — beer, much of which is made from
ingredients sourced from local Michigan agriculture. We take equal pride that our
beers are produced in the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly manner,
and we are proud Michiganians.

That’s why we support Michigan moving ahead aggressively with renewable energy and
energy-efficiency goals.  >>View Article

Setting the Record Straight on the Wind Energy Tax Credit

June 11 -- Don Nickles recently misrepresented the position of the American Wind
Energy Association on the Production Tax Credit (PTC). Let us be clear: As AWEA has
consistently stated, and as the Government Accountability Office recently
confirmed, without a long-term PTC extension U.S. wind power installations will
drop, many communities will miss out on the economic opportunities that come with
new wind farms, and American consumers will lose out.

This one tax credit is the primary federal incentive for wind energy, and provides
initial tax relief that has allowed wind industry to scale up against mature
industries that continue to get a wide variety of permanent subsidies after up to
100 years. A typical wind farm more than repays all of this short-term tax relief
in local, state, and federal taxes over the life of the project.  >>View Article

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