Washingtons Recession-Proof Industry

Here’s one sector that hasn’t suffered in the recession: Washington lobbyists.

Since 2000, the financial services industry’s spending on federal lobbying rose 102%, to $472.9 million last year, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks lobbying.

Spending by the pharmaceutical and health-products industries, meanwhile, rose 139%, to $240.3 million last year.

The electric utilities industry increased its spending by 139%, to $191 million,

while the oil and gas industry raised its spending by 184%, to $146.5 million, last year. Both increases can be attributed in part to the climate-change debate.

And business groups in general got busier in the Obama era as well.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington’s wealthiest lobbying outfit, and the Business Roundtable, which represents corporate CEOs helped push spending in business associations’ sector up 203%, to $170 million, last year.

“It’s the kind of expansion that any industry would have envied during that very dark period,” says Dave Levinthal, editor of opensecrets.org, the Center for Responsive Politics’ blog.

None of this should be surprising. Businesses mobilized when Obama was elected first to prevent — and then to shape — the health care and financial reform measures that Congress adopted in 2010.

Both measures were once-in-a-generation, multi billion dollar reforms that industries were keen to fashion according to their interests. What is more unexpected is that even as Washington’s lobbying industry spends more money than ever, the pool of registered lobbyists is shrinking: The number of registered lobbyists — 12,986 — is nearly 4% higher than a decade ago, but it’s lower than the recent peak of 14,885, in 2007, according to the CRP’s analysis of federal records.

The reasons are two-fold. First, firms are hiring a narrower group of lobbyists – often former Congressional staffers and elected officials with formidable rolodexes, at six-figure salaries, Levinthal says. It’s hard to create a profile of who is leaving the lobbying industry. The second reason is President Obama’s January 2009 Executive Order banning former lobbyists from working the federal agencies they once lobbied. That led many potential lobbyists to shy away from registering as one in the first place. Exhibit A: Until very recently, Chris Dodd was a Democratic senator from Connecticut. Now, he runs the Motion Picture Association of America. But he isn’t a registered lobbyist. “If you’re trying to stay in the game but don’t want that ‘lobbyist’ label attached to you,” Levinthal says, “you operate differently.”

Washington's Recession-Proof Industry

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Weatherization for the Attic

Attic Insulation-Energy Solutions

  • Part 1 on Home Weatherization Series

Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home’s Energy Needs.

  • The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area.  When Combined with a Green Roofing System- The pair combined are your First Defense Against Rising Energy Costs.

Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.

  • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusion’s-
  • Anything that will allow the unconditioned air from the Exterior of the Home

Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside. Radiant Barriers are being used in more Construction Projects in today’s construction techniques to assist homeowners with additional savings on utility bills.

  • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters- Best Option for Retrofits
  • Reflective Radiant Barriers have R-Values that range from R-3.7 to R-17

Prior Experience: R30 2×4 Vaulted Roof System Example #105:

  • Light Color Shingles on Exterior
  • 1 in roof decking
  • 2×4 Rafters 16″ Space
  • R13 Batt Insulation
  • Double Sided Radiant Barier
    • Also Acts as Vapor Barrier
  • Adequate Ventilation Provided by
    • Automatic Power Attic Fan Peak of Roof
    • Proper Vents in Soffits and Gable Ends

Energy Savings:

  • Reduced the Need for 1 window AC unit in Typical Two Story Stick Built Home-
  • This translates to a Savings of $30 / Month during Cooling Months or $120-$160 / Year.
    • This Application Payed for itself in the 1st Summer 06. At the time of writing this article the estimated savings for 5 yrs is $600.  This Pays for 100% of the Materials used in the Green Roof System for the Upstairs Bedroom Remodel.
  • The Only drawback reported by owner (which wasn’t really a drawback since it was his teen-age sons room) was the decrease in cell phone reception,
    • This is caused by the Reflective Nature of the Reflective Foil Radiant Barrier.

Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines for the St Louis Area

Energy Star, Department of Energy, US Government Suggestions for Optimum Home Energy Savings (Reference Links Below)

  • w/ no insulation Add Insulation to achieve=R38 to R60
  • If existing 3-4 inches Add Insulation to achieve=R38
  • Suggested needed R value of Insulation on Attic Floor=R25 to R30

Insulation when used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier can lower the Cost of Insulation by reducing the Amount of Insulation Needed

Scotts Contracting is Available to assist you in improving your “Homes Energy Efficiency”

When Scotty comes over to perform an estimate.

  1. He will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas.
  2. Discuss the various solutions.
  3. Next-Determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project.
  4. I’ll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail.
  5. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, and determine the least obtrusive time to Weatherize your Home.
  6. Computerized Energy Audits for your Home for Estimated Energy Savings are also available- [Equest, Sam, HEED are just a few of the programs I am currently using. The Latest Simulated Advisory Model Beta is in the testing stages and being offered by the US Department of Energy].

Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills for your Home or Business.Green Me UP-Scotty
Scotty 

Feel free to utilize the above information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation-

Scotts Contracting will Weatherize Your Building Against the High Energy Costs of the Summer Time Cooling Costs

I will Save You $Money$!!!!


Scott’s Contracting

Green Me UP-Scotty

scottscontracting@gmail.com
http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com
http://scottscontracting.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/StLHandyMan

Referrence Materials:

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/radiant/rb_fig2.html

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/radiant/rb_02.html

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/radiant/rb_tables.html#table1

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_07.html

http://www.greenfiber.com/step_one_-_calculate_your_need_how_to_install.html

http://www.homedepot.com/Building-Materials-Insulation-Radiant-Barrier/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xjlZbedf/R-100052556/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Americas Thirst For Oil-Tar Sands Next on the List

Will and Are Canada’s disastrous tar sands coming your way?Will a pipeline leak one day kill off his old growth hardwood trees, foul his three natural springs, and poison the deer now roaming his land? If TransCanada’s checkered history is any guide, it’s a real possibility. Energy kills. In Japan. In the Gulf. In Appalachian mines. And in the Corn Flake capital of the world. If Winnsboro, East Texas is added to the list, it won’t be a surprise, not to David Daniel anyway. He knows what we all know now: In the hands of corporations whose only concern is profit, energy is ugly.

avatar for Ellen Cantarow

by Ellen Cantarow

10 Apr 2011

This essay was originally published on TomDispatch REPOSTED

For years, "not in my backyard" has been the battle cry of residents in Cape Cod who stand opposed to an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The giant turbines will forever mar the beauty of the landscape, they say.

Energy is ugly. Some forms more so than others, as nuclear near-meltdowns in Japan, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and deaths in a West Virginia coal mine explosion have driven home in the last year. Energy kills plants, plankton, and people. It imperils the environment, poisons the oceans, and is threatening to turn part of Japan, one of the most advanced nations on the planet, into a contaminated zone for decades to come.

David Daniel knows this all too well. He built his dream home on 20 acres of lush wilderness, alive with panthers, wild boar, and deer, in Winnsboro, East Texas. Then a nightmare called tar sands appeared on his doorstep.

Tar sands are sandy soils laden with a tar-like substance called bitumen. Getting oil out of them is a dirty, dangerous, and deadly process. Daniel knew none of this when a neighbor phoned in the fall of 2008 to say that he’d seen trespassers on the property. "I went back [from work] and I found survey stakes that cut my property in half," he recalls. Several months later, an eminent domain letter arrived, telling him that a pipeline carrying oil from Canada’s "oil sands" would cut through his pristine property. When he complained to TransCanada, the company in charge, its lawyer responded with a veiled threat: "Should I put the letter in the ‘cooperative’ or the ‘uncooperative’ pile?"

So began the Daniel family’s struggles with TransCanada, whose powerful U.S. backers include Koch Industries (best known for its stealth attacks on the federal government, and big spending on climate-change-denial campaigns). By the time TransCanada’s surveyors entered the Daniels’ lives, the corporation was already hard at work pushing a pipeline that would run from the Canadian border to Texas’s Gulf Coast, along the way slicing through the Daniels’ land and the properties of countless other Americans.

At no time did TransCanada’s representatives volunteer information about tar sands, leaving Daniel to do his own research. When he asked how tar-sands oil would affect the pipeline, TransCanada responded only that the effects would be determined after the pipeline was put in place. "They made us feel like lab rats on our own property," he says.

Behind his painful schooling in corporate arrogance lies a startling fact: Canada is the leading oil-supplier of the United States. Let me repeat that: the U.S. imports more oil from Canada than (yes) Mexico, which ranks second, and (believe it or not) Saudi Arabia, which ranks only third. Tar sands are largely responsible for Canada’s new petro-status. Nearly a million barrels of tar-sands oil arrive in the U.S. every day. By 2025, Canada is expected to be producing 3.5 million barrels of tar-sands oil daily. Most of that, says Ryan Salmon of the National Wildlife Federation, will be imported to the U.S. And believe me, when it comes to energy ugly, tar sands could take the cake.

Not tar, not oil

bitumenRefined bitumen.In fact, "tar sands" is a colloquialism for 54,000 square miles of bitumen that veins sand and clay beneath the boreal forests of Alberta, one of Canada’s western provinces. Black as it is, bitumen isn’t actually tar, though it looks and smells like tar, and has its consistency on a very cold day — hence, that term "tar sands." (The corporations that produce the stuff prefer "oil sands.")

Unlike oil, bitumen does not flow. Gouged and steamed out from under the forest, it is wrenched from the soil, barreled, and then refined into synthetic crude oil — at shattering environmental costs. The tar-sands industry has ravaged Alberta’s forests, poisoned its air and water, and wrecked the livelihoods of its indigenous peoples. Moreover, producing synthetic crude from a barrel of bitumen generates at least twice as much greenhouse gas as producing a barrel of normal crude oil. At 1.5 million barrels of tar-sands oil a day, that’s a lot of global warming.

But for corporations intent on profits in a world rocked by Middle East and North African uprisings that might threaten global oil supplies, and by declining reserves of normal crude, environmental catastrophe is trivial collateral damage. The tar sands’ great selling point in the U.S. is that it comes from a friendly neighbor. Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada, typically touts tar sands as improving "U.S. energy security and reduc[ing] dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East and Venezuela," At a White House meeting in early February, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper assured President Obama that "Canada is the largest, the most secure, the most stable, and the friendliest supplier of that most vital of all America’s purchases: energy."

A complex alchemy turns bitumen into synthetic crude. Canadian journalist and tar-sands expert Andrew Nikiforuk calls this final product "the world’s dirtiest hydrocarbon oil." Canada used to transform bitumen from its rawest into its ultimate form, sending synthetic crude through pipelines to the U.S. Now, however, with Canada’s refineries maxing out, U.S. refineries are increasingly taking up the task of turning bitumen into the mock crude that makes even my Prius environmentally unfriendly. That means what’s coming to Americans in ever increasing quantities is a very raw form of diluted bitumen called DilBit, whose transport will make lab rats of us all.

Under jaunty names like "Lakehead," "Alberta Clipper," and "Keystone," a vast pipeline network is already pumping this diluted bitumen to the Midwest and into the American heartland. The 1,900-mile-long Lakehead pipeline, owned by Canada’s Enbridge Inc., skirts one of the world’s largest stretches of fresh water, the Great Lakes.

Last June, Enbridge’s main competitor, TransCanada, opened a $5 billion, 2,147-mile pipeline it dubbed Keystone I, which plunges from Canada straight through the eastern parts of the Dakotas and Kansas to the Gulf Coast. Now, TransCanada is pushing hard for an extension, the Keystone XL, the one that will run through David Daniel’s land on its way to the Gulf Coast.

In February, a landmark report by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) noted that diluted bitumen is "the primary product" carried by the Keystone I. The proposed Keystone XL, write the report’s authors, will be dedicated only to DilBit whose "combination of chemical corrosion and physical abrasion can dramatically increase the rate of pipeline deterioration." So imagine this recipe for pipelines from hell: Take thick, raw, corrosive, acid-ridden bitumen and add volatile natural gas to propel it since the bitumen doesn’t flow by itself; next, crank up the temperatures and pressures far higher than those needed to move ordinary crude oil (again, to help the stuff on its way). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand some of the possible dangers of moving tar-sands oil in this state through our communities.

The tar sands come to Kellogg’s

Kalamazoo oil spillOil-soaked birds from the Kalamazoo River spill are rehabilitated.Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service — Midwest RegionLast July, as BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf was making news around the clock, the U.S. experienced its first big DilBit moment. Part of Enbridge’s Lakehead line broke, oozing black gunk into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan, iconic home to cereal-maker Kellogg’s. Twelve hours passed before workers responded to the surge of sludge, which by then had passed from the tributary into the river itself. The dark slop could be seen from bank to bank in the Kalamazoo, making its way to Lake Michigan.

High levels of benzene filled the air and local residents had to be evacuated from their homes. When the sludge passed through Battle Creek, the Kellogg’s factory even stopped making cornflakes. The spill was arrested before it could reach Lake Michigan, but not before a million gallons of DilBit had fouled a 30-mile-long stretch of the Kalamazoo, one of the biggest spills in Midwest history.

This was, however, no "ordinary" oil spill, as DilBit spills are much harder to clean up. Once DilBit hits water, the bitumen in it doesn’t float; it quickly sinks into river sediment. Exposed to sunlight, it forms a dense, sticky substance hard to remove from rock and soil.

Special dredging and other equipment is needed for any effective cleanup. The booms you saw skimming the Gulf last summer are inadequate, and the U.S. doesn’t yet have DilBit cleanup technology. So while cleanup crews worked on the Kalamazoo and its banks after the spill was discovered, they left a whole lot of DilBit behind. Adequate cleanup isn’t expected until at least late 2011, according to the NRDC’s Susan Casey-Lefkowitz.

At the time of the Kalamazoo spill, Enbridge’s CEO, Patrick Daniels, claimed that there had never been a leak "of this consequence" in the company’s history. According to Enbridge’s own reports, however, between 2000 and 2009 the company was responsible for 610 pipeline spills in Canada, totaling 5.5 million gallons. (Not all were DilBit, which makes the picture worse, not better, since ordinary crude is less corrosive and volatile than DilBit.) In Michigan, 12 spills from Enbridge’s pipelines preceded the larger one in the Kalamazoo. Two months after that spill, another part of Enbridge’s Lakehead pipeline leaked 256,000 gallons of DilBit into Romeoville, a suburb of Chicago.

Keystone’s underground pipeline to the Gulf Coast, which opened only nine months ago, has already leaked seven times. They have been small leaks, but significant nonetheless as they point to larger, more distressing problems. "It seems odd to us that a brand-new pipeline would have these little spills throughout," says Casey-Lefkowitz. "It raises questions about the quality of construction."

"TransCanada is building its pipelines according to strength regulations designed for conventional pipelines decades ago," adds Anthony Swift, coauthor of the NRDC report. Swift says the company "has not yet provided a meaningful strategy for dealing with some of the characteristics of diluted bitumen."

The proposed Keystone XL, also underground, would carry up to 900,000 barrels of DilBit (37,800,000 gallons) south every day, passing through some of the most sensitive ecosystems in the U.S., including rivers, wildlife preserves, and wide expanses of prairie. In addition, it would run through the Ogallala aquifer, a 174,000-square-mile expanse of water that lies under eight states from the Dakotas to Texas and provides 30 percent of the nation’s irrigation for agriculture, as well as drinking water for 82 percent of the people within its vast boundaries.

The pipeline would pass through areas where landslides and earthquakes are known threats. Part of Keystone I already traverses an area of seismic activity in Nebraska, where a recent tremor

GE enters the Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaic Market

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) said today it will spend $600 million to build the largest thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar panel factory in the U.S. and that 60 megawatts (MW) of the facility’s 400 MW total annual capacity has been contracted to NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE). The company did not disclose the proposed location of the plant. GE also said that a full-size, thin film solar panel developed by the company has been independently certified as the most efficient ever publicly reported for the technology.

The panel was produced by PrimeStar Solar, Inc., a thin film solar technology company in Arvada, Colorado, acquired by GE.

PrimeStar Solar is bringing to market the latest thin film PV module technology

PrimeStar Solar’s product will be a 60 cm x 120 cm frameless glass-glass photovoltaic (PV) module that is optimized for use in large scale grid connected installations.

  • The modules will undergo rigorous safety and reliability testing to achieve the following certifications:
    • UL 1703
    • IEC 61646
    • TUV Safety Class II
    • CE Mark
  • The frameless modules are designed to withstand weather extremes such as snow, hail, and wind while being more cost effective than traditional framed modules
  • The modules have a robust glass-glass laminate design that will stand up to climate extremes of temperature, humidity, and UV
  • The thin film semiconductor technology performs well in high temperature and low light situations
  • The modules will be well suited for both rooftop and ground mounted applications
  • The modules have been designed for recyclability at the end of their useful life
  • PrimeStar Solar PV modules will be manufactured on highly automated continuous flow lines to achieve high yields while minimizing manufacturing costs READ MORE

GE says the panel was measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab at a 12.8% aperture area efficiency. This panel surpasses all previously published records for CdTe (cadmium telluride) thin film, which is the most affordable solar technology in the industry. GE says its goal is to offer advanced solar products while reducing the total cost of electricity for utilities and consumers. The company says a 1% increase in efficiency is equal to an approximate 10% decrease in system cost.

GE says global demand for photovoltaics is expected to grow by 75,000 MW over the next five years, with utility-scale solar power plants making up a significant part of that growth.

NextEra claims to be the largest generator of renewable energy in the U.S. NextEra (formerly FPL Group, Inc.) has power generation capacity of 42,678 MW, comprised of natural gas, 59%; wind, 17.7%; nuclear, 12.9%; oil, 7%; coal, 2.2%; hydro, 0.8%; and solar 0.4%. NextEra’s solar capacity now stands at 173 MW.

GE also said it has signed a 20 MW agreement with Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC for the supply of thin film solar panels and GE Brilliance inverters. Invenergy will install the solar products at a project site in Illinois. Invenergy claims to be nation’s largest independent wind power generation company, with more than 2,200 MW of capacity. Overall, Invenergy and its affiliated companies have developed and placed in service 20 wind farms and five natural gas-fueled generating facilities (total capacity of 5,000 MW).
Original Article on Energy Boom cross posted

Scotts Contracting offer Solar and Green Building Services for Home Owners and Small Business for the St Louis Area. Use the following web sites to learn more about Scotts Contracting or to schedule a Green Site Evaluation.

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Chicago Wastes $9M A Year of Energy on Street Lights

Chicago has ~250,000 street lights, most are sodium vapor (yellow street lights) HED lights that send light basically in every direction

Saturday, 09 April 2011 Time is Energy – Daniel Simon

While most sane people would probably say no…if you live in Chicago you actually say YES!

I am talking about the annual $ value of the wasted energy from our street lights. Chicago has ~250,000 street lights, most are sodium vapor (yellow street lights) HED lights that send light basically in every direction. While the point of street lights is to light the street, the most common model of street light sends as much light up into the night sky as it does down to the street, where we want it. That is waste–pure and simple.

I spent a few minutes researching the question today and ran across this website that runs through the numbers (check out the photo of Chicago from space at the bottom of the website to "see" the waste). The group is called Illinois Coalition for Responsible Lighting…I only ran across their website today, but their math looks right (their homepage shows a map of the whole US lit up).

The bottom line is that Chicago streetlights burn a bit over 300 million kwh each year, and Chicagoans pay ~$18 million/yr–according to the 2008 values/calculation on the website above. This means that if we use LED street lights which direct their light down (plus I’ve read that they save over 50% of the energy of sodium vapor lights) we would get just as much light, but save $9 million each year (and eliminate 150 million kwh/yr of unnecessary energy demand, carbon emissions etc.). According to the case study linked to above, the payback would be under 5 years (maybe less today since LEDs improve every year and that study is 6 years old).

Since Chicago is nearly 1% of the US population, scaling this to the whole country means we could reduce more than 15 billion kwh of energy waste each year (3% of our total electricity use) and save over $1 billion in electricity costs alone. (Note the $9 million in savings was based on less than $0.06/kwh rate the City of Chicago payed in 2008.)

Actually along the north end of the Lake Shore Drive, some LED lights have been installed just in the last ~6 months and are working great. Hopefully we can roll those out citywide in a hurry!

cross posted >Source

Join Us at These St. Louis-Area Events

2010 MCE E-Alert Header
Donate Now

Follow us on:
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Earth Share of Missouri

Better Business Bureau Seal

UPCOMING EVENTS

Volunteer Opportunities

Earth Day

Saturday, April 17 11:00am – 6:00pm

Forest Park

The Festival is the oldest and largest environmental event in the Midwest featuring over 250 vendors and attracting 25,000 people from the St. Louis and Midwest region gather in Forest Park on the Muny grounds to engage in learning and celebration.

Earth Day Expo and Farmers Market – Kirkwood

Saturday, April 23rd 10:00am – 3:00pm

This family-friend festival will have something for everyone such as demonstations on how to make your home more earth-friendly, music and entertainment.

Protest

Ameren Shareholders Meeting

Thursday, April 21 · 7:30am – 9:30am
Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO
Ameren Missouri is holding their annual Meeting of Shareholders to vote on several issues pertaining to their governing laws.The anti-CWIP law states that investor-owned utilities, like Ameren, are not allowed to collect money from ratepayers for costs associated with new power plants until they are producing electricity. This law saved Ameren ratepayers $400 million after the completion of the 1st nuclear reactor in Callaway County. Ameren wants to repeal part of this law. Know the talking points and make a difference.
Join us for Upcoming Events

Keifer Creek MLK Hike

Saturday, April 9 10:00am – 12:30pm

Castlewood State Park, 1401 Kiefer Creek Road

Link to the map. The weather this weekend should be lovely. We are going to talk about ecosystem restoration and look at ways the Kiefer Creek watershed would benefit from an infusion of native plants in Castlewood and along the riparian corridor.

Missouri Food Bill Forum – 5-stop Missouri Tour

April 28 – May 4

We are hosting 5 forums across Missouri. We are partnering with the esteemed conservation leader, the Izaak Walton League, and local organizations to host a number of forums across Missouri on America’s Food Future. At these events, you can join the conversation about the next Food Bill. It is a 5-stop Missouri tour and I invite you to attend a forum near you. For more information click here.

‘Truck Farm’ Screening at the Tivoli

May 12 7:00pm

Tivoli Theater, 6350 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130

From the Peabody-winning co-creators of "King Corn" comes "

Truck Farm", a new documentary telling the story of an old truck, a new kind of farming, and the future of food in the American city. Tickets are $10 ($5 for Missouri Coalition for the Environment members). Tickets are available online, but MCE members should RSVP by calling 314-727-0600.

Tree Identification Tour and BYO Lunch at Tower Grove Park

Thursday, May 15th 11:30am – 1:30pm

Tower Grove Park – Meet Up Location TBA

Tower Grove Park’s Executive Director John Karel will lead a spring tour through south St. Lous’ most beautiful gem. Participants will learn about the park’s amazing and diverse trees, then enjoy their lunch while discussing the pleasures of picnics and urban green space.Tickets are $25 per person. If you would like to attend, please email me dfarrand

Missouri Coalition for the Environment | 6267 Delmar Blvd., Ste. 2E | St. Louis | MO | 63130

Join Us at These St. Louis-Area Events

On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM, Missouri Coalition for the Environment <moenviron@moenviron.org> wrote:

2010 MCE E-Alert Header
Donate Now

Follow us on:
Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter


Earth Share of Missouri

Better Business Bureau Seal

UPCOMING EVENTS
Volunteer Opportunities 
Earth Day
Saturday, April 17 11:00am – 6:00pm
Forest Park
The Festival is the oldest and largest environmental event in the Midwest featuring over 250 vendors and attracting 25,000 people from the St. Louis and Midwest region gather in Forest Park on the Muny grounds to engage in learning and celebration. 
  
Earth Day Expo and Farmers Market – Kirkwood
Saturday, April 23rd 10:00am – 3:00pm
This family-friend festival will have something for everyone such as demonstations on how to make your home more earth-friendly, music and entertainment.  
Protest
Ameren Shareholders Meeting
Thursday, April 21 · 7:30am – 9:30am

Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO
Ameren Missouri is holding their annual Meeting of Shareholders to vote on several issues pertaining to their governing laws.The anti-CWIP law states that investor-owned utilities, like Ameren, are not allowed to collect money from ratepayers for costs associated with new power plants until they are producing electricity. This law saved Ameren ratepayers $400 million after the completion of the 1st nuclear reactor in Callaway County. Ameren wants to repeal part of this law. Know the talking points and make a difference.

Join us for Upcoming Events
Keifer Creek MLK Hike
Saturday, April 9 10:00am – 12:30pm
Castlewood State Park, 1401 Kiefer Creek Road
Link to the map. The weather this weekend should be lovely. We are going to talk about ecosystem restoration and look at ways the Kiefer Creek watershed would benefit from an infusion of native plants in Castlewood and along the riparian corridor. 
Missouri Food Bill Forum – 5-stop Missouri Tour
April 28 – May 4
We are hosting 5 forums across Missouri. We are partnering with the esteemed conservation leader, the Izaak Walton League, and local organizations to host a number of forums across Missouri on America’s Food Future.  At these events, you can join the conversation about the next Food Bill. It is a 5-stop Missouri tour and I invite you to  attend a forum near you. For more information click here.
‘Truck Farm’ Screening at the Tivoli
May 12 7:00pm
Tivoli Theater, 6350 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130
From the Peabody-winning co-creators of “King Corn” comes “
Truck Farm“, a new documentary telling the story of an old truck, a new kind of farming, and the future of food in the American city. Tickets are $10 ($5 for Missouri Coalition for the Environment members). Tickets are available online, but MCE members should RSVP by calling 314-727-0600.
Tree Identification Tour and BYO Lunch at Tower Grove Park
Thursday, May 15th 11:30am – 1:30pm
Tower Grove Park – Meet Up Location TBA
Tower Grove Park’s Executive Director John Karel will lead a spring tour through south St. Lous’ most beautiful gem. Participants will learn about the park’s amazing and diverse trees, then enjoy their lunch while discussing the pleasures of picnics and urban green space.Tickets are $25 per person. If you would like to attend, please email me dfarrand@moenviron.org
Missouri Coalition for the Environment | 6267 Delmar Blvd., Ste. 2E | St. Louis | MO | 63130


Scott’s Contracting



Green Me UP-Scotty

scottscontracting@gmail.com
http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com
http://scottscontracting.wordpress.com

http://twitter.com/StLHandyMan
https://www.facebook.com/GreenMeUPScotty

Chicago Wastes $9M A Year of Energy on Street Lights

Chicago has ~250,000 street lights, most are sodium vapor (yellow street lights) HED lights that send light basically in every direction

Saturday, 09 April 2011 Time is Energy – Daniel Simon

While most sane people would probably say no…if you live in Chicago you actually say YES!

I am talking about the annual $ value of the wasted energy from our street lights. Chicago has ~250,000 street lights, most are sodium vapor (yellow street lights) HED lights that send light basically in every direction. While the point of street lights is to light the street, the most common model of street light sends as much light up into the night sky as it does down to the street, where we want it. That is waste–pure and simple.

I spent a few minutes researching the question today and ran across this website that runs through the numbers (check out the photo of Chicago from space at the bottom of the website to "see" the waste). The group is called Illinois Coalition for Responsible Lighting…I only ran across their website today, but their math looks right (their homepage shows a map of the whole US lit up).

The bottom line is that Chicago streetlights burn a bit over 300 million kwh each year, and Chicagoans pay ~$18 million/yr–according to the 2008 values/calculation on the website above. This means that if we use LED street lights which direct their light down (plus I've read that they save over 50% of the energy of sodium vapor lights) we would get just as much light, but save $9 million each year (and eliminate 150 million kwh/yr of unnecessary energy demand, carbon emissions etc.). According to the case study linked to above, the payback would be under 5 years (maybe less today since LEDs improve every year and that study is 6 years old).

Since Chicago is nearly 1% of the US population, scaling this to the whole country means we could reduce more than 15 billion kwh of energy waste each year (3% of our total electricity use) and save over $1 billion in electricity costs alone. (Note the $9 million in savings was based on less than $0.06/kwh rate the City of Chicago payed in 2008.)

Actually along the north end of the Lake Shore Drive, some LED lights have been installed just in the last ~6 months and are working great. Hopefully we can roll those out citywide in a hurry!

cross posted >Source


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