Category Archives: United States

Eight One-Day Green Adventures in St Louis

Written by John Egan- Guest Post provided by Scotts Contracting-St Louis Renewable Energy

Eight One-Day Green Adventures in St. Louis

Long before the Arch, the Cardinals, and even Judy Garland’s starring role in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” the Gateway to the West city was an ecological wonderland dotted with earthen Indian mounds at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Even today, there’s a surprising amount of ecological wonders and eco-minded attractions an hour’s drive from the city (and many are located right within St. Louis itself).

Whether you live here or are just visiting, be sure not to miss any of these green must-see places in St. Louis:

Sandy Island Bald Eagle Sanctuary – Part of the Nature Conservancy, this 28-acre habitat, located a short distance from downtown, provides a much-needed safe place for wintering bald eagles that frequent this stretch of the Mississippi River. Viewing platforms provide close-range viewing of the nesting birds; January and February are the best months for observation.

Forest Park – Located right in the heart of downtown, this 1370-acre park is not your typical urban oasis. Larger than Central Park in New York City, it draws more than 12 million visitors a year to its many attractions. In addition to the usual baseball, soccer, cycling, boating, ice skating and other athletic pursuits, Forest Park is where you’ll find the city’s Art Museum, Zoo, History Museum, Science Center and Opera House. You could spend an entire week here! Equally important to all the amusements is the fact that in a city where 80% of the land has been developed for business, the park provides a welcome rest for migrating birds, local wildlife and two-legged critters looking for a place to interact with nature.

Gateway Arch – No visit to St. Louis is complete without making a trek to the top of this 630-foot monument, our nation’s tallest. Entrance into the Arch is free, but there is a fee to ride to the top. The view makes it very much worth the cost – you can see for over 30 miles on a clear day.

While there, book a Riverboat cruise and experience what river travel was like during our nation’s rapid western expansion period. One-hour cruises are available, as are dinner and special event cruises. Mark Twain, anyone?

Perhaps best of all, the 250 acres of surrounding land are currently undergoing a major landscaping overhaul, opening up the park at the base into a world-class natural park.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery –Come take the free tour and learn how Anheuser-Busch has been making beer for over the past century; if you’re over 21, tastings of the latest brews await at the end of the tour. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, you’ve probably heard of the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. These magnificent (and unbelievably HUGE) animals can be viewed in their stables, where visitors can meet the stars of those fantastic Super Bowl commercials.

As the oldest and largest of the Anheuser-Busch breweries nationwide, the St. Louis location comprises three historic landmarks and recycles more than 99% of the solid waste it generates.

Busch Stadium – Although fans are still nursing their wounds after a tough playoff loss to the Giants this year, there is plenty to be proud of with the St. Louis Cardinals, including the greening of Busch Stadium. Over 32,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy are produced here each year by 106 solar panels, so there’s a good chance your seventh inning popcorn was popped using the sun’s energy. Since 2008, the stadium has also diverted 1,836 tons of waste to recycling, on its way toward an overall 29 percent diversion rate.

Missouri Botanical Garden – On the surface, this 79-acre garden offers a wide variety of nature-themed entertainment, from flower exhibitions that vary with the seasons, to live music shows and cultural festivals. There are outdoor gardens, conservatory specimens under a glass dome and international-themed displays. But the roots (pun intended) of this national Historic Landmark and nation’s oldest botanical garden run much deeper: its mission is to take an active stand for plant conservation and sustainability and to promote ways of living that are healthy for humans as well as the planet. Daily tours are free.

Butterfly House – Just outside the city is the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, featuring an indoor tropical conservatory that is home to nearly 2,000 tropical butterflies flying free among 150 varieties of tropical plants. If you’ve never seen a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, you will here. Other attractions include the Exhibit Hall, where you can observe small invertebrates and spiders, and the outdoor garden with plants specially selected to be attractive to native butterflies.

Shaw Nature Reserve – Operated as an extension of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Reserve serves two important functions. About half the acreage is set aside for research on ecological restoration and habitat management. Additionally, homeowners and professionals alike come here to discover better ways to landscape their properties using native plants and improved growing techniques. The Whitmire Wildflower Garden and home gardening areas provide live examples of hardy, native plants so visitors can actually see what they should be planting. Also on site is the Edgar Anderson Center, a LEED #8482- gold-certified support facility that includes an innovative cooling system, passive solar features and energy-efficient lighting.

From butterflies to ballgames, St. Louis is a growing hub of green energy and progress. Take a daytrip today and explore your city!

John Egan is managing editor of Insurance Quotes a popular insurance website that provides online services to consumers seeking Auto Insurance knowledge and savings on their car insurance policies.

guest post provided by Scotty, Scotts Contracting

Join me to oppose:Res 37 Toxic Air Bill by Sen J.Inhofe

I am writing you today in vehement opposition to the toxic air bill offered by Senator James Inhofe, S.J. Res 37.

The Online Petition I signed via the Environment Defense Action Fund is listed to follow and emailed to Sen R.Blunt and Sen C.McCaskill.

  • My notes to Dirty Oil Roy Blunt are at the bottom of the Post.

This bill would use the obscure Congressional Review Act to block EPA’s new emission standards for hazardous mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants. If enacted, this bill would also forever prohibit the EPA from adopting substantially similar clean air standards in the future.

These standards, which the 1990 Clean Air Act specifically authorizes, have been in the works for more than two decades. They will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths every year and protect our kids from dangerous exposure to toxic mercury pollution, which can cause brain damage in infants and young children.

They will also save the American economy tens of billions of dollars in avoided health costs while likely leading to the creation of 117,000 jobs installing pollution control technologies between now and 2015.

Last year, more than 800,000 Americans submitted public comments in support of this rule. But now, a few of America’s largest corporate utilities have launched an aggressive campaign to block these standards. And Sen. Inhofe’s toxic air bill would do just that.

Please stand up for the health and safety of our kids and communities and reject the Inhofe bill.

Please take action today. Help us stop the Inhofe toxic air bill, which would wipe the EPA’s life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards off the books and punch a huge hole through our clean air protections.

My Notes:

Mr Blunt in an email I received yesterday from you. You wrote:

“Job creators in Missouri tell me that overreaching new regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency are one of the biggest obstacles to getting our economy back on track. Regulations like these threaten to make the cost of electric power skyrocket for most Americans and will sack families and workers with new costs, reducing their disposal income and ultimately threatening their standard of living.”

I’d like to point out the simple fact that-

“All the jobs in the world won’t help when Pollution kills the world.”

As you know here in St Louis- Ameren UE (Union Electric) uses Coal for producing our Electricity. This pollution from Coal Fired Power Plants is a leading cause of Asthma and Cancer. WebMD just reported last week that St Louis is Number 7 on the list of leading cities with Asthma Problems.

“The study also points out that recent statistics indicate asthma causes more than 3,300 deaths annually in the U.S. and is a factor in another 7,000.”

It would seem to me the more healthy people there are working equals more people paying taxes- ie: Income for the US Government.

If you are serious about creating jobs consider this: Energy Efficiency and Renewable “Non Polluting” Energy.

Steve Kidwell, Ameren Missouri Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, said:

“If we went after the potential that we’ve seen in our own study, we wouldn’t have to build another power plant for 20 years, and we could retire Meramec, and we’d be OK. But we’d lose $30 million a year. And we just can’t do that. It’s that simple.”

(This was a St Louis Post Dispatch Article that talked about making homes energy-efficient through weatherization.)

On another note about Energy Efficiency and Nuclear Energy- I’d like to share this info:

“For 1/2 the cost of replacing one nuclear power plant, we can retrofit 1,600,000 homes for “Energy Efficiency” and create 220,000 new jobs- which is 90 times more jobs than you’d get from a power plant replacement.”

ie: how much taxes that are needed for the USA would come from the 220,000 employees?

So basically I’m asking you to do the right thing and leave the EPA alone as the USA is making strides to curb its energy use which reduces the Pollutants in the Air, Land, and Water.

English: Mike Metzer, from the Environmental P...
English: Mike Metzer, from the Environmental Protection Agency, checks one of the many air sampling locations set up around the World Trade Center site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through the various reporting agencies on Political Contributions. (1 & 2) I know you receive the bulk of your money from Big Oil, Big Coal, and Big Business. In the future who will be left to buy their products if the population is killed off from Fossil Fuel Pollution. I’m not even going to mention the fact that we can reduce our reliance on Foreign Oil (which is the root cause of the ongoing wars in the Middle East. ie: if they don’t have any money they can’t fight us).

Thank you, looking forward to your Reply.

Sincerely,
Scotty

Please take action today.
Help us stop the Inhofe toxic air bill, which would wipe the EPA’s life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards off the books and punch a huge hole through our clean air protections.

 

Twitter (314) 669-5598 Facebook
Web Site: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.com
scottscontracting
Job Site Photo Album
Green Blog

AMERICA FIRST-BEFORE POLITICS by Scotty

AMERICA FIRST BEFORE POLITICS


While listening to the Interview by FAREED ZAKARIA who was interviewing Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.  I was pleasantly suprised that Simpson had the guts to put America First before Politics. (emphasis added by Scotty)

At the start of the Interview he got my full attention when he called himself a “R.I.N.O. …which means a Republican in name only because I guess of social views perhaps or common sense would be another one which seems to escape members of our party”. (Its a great lesson for all of the Republicans in Office).

I admired Mr Simpsons- frankness in why the Republicans and Democrats are causing the turmoil that is hampering the rebound of the US economy .  I especially appreciated his direct comment on Re-Election when he said:

” if (Re-Election)…” means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.

He continues on to discuss the economy and progress needed to ensure continued growth.

You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole and you can’t tax your way out of this hole “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,”

To  bring about the progress that is needed to fix our economy while lowering our US Debt all Parties must be involved in solutions and learn how compromise is not always a bad thing.

“if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise and you learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself.
Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.”

Truelly pointing out that the lack of Partinanship is not helping the economy.

Mr Erskine Bowles then went on with the interview and pointed out his thoughts on where the economy was headed

If we have a negative effect of 2 percent of GDP, we’ll be right back in recession and you better believe that the people of America will be calling on these members of Congress to do something.


So we think something will happen in the lame duck session. We believe it’ll probably be a two-step process where we end up setting up a framework with a time-frame in order to get something done. ZAKARIA: Boy, that’s pretty optimistic.

 

Lame Duck Session? What are they talking about.  We need Compromises ASAP.  What happened to the American Way of:

Everybody pitching in to do their part for the benefit of all?


Granted we Americans are a tuff nut and can handle anything thrown our way.  But what in the hell is wrong with our Elected Officials when they have to go behind the scenes and enact legislation during “Lame Duck Sessions”.   


  • Do we really need to wait 6 blessed months for progress?



  • Further Example of how the GOP is truely “Out of Touch” with Mainstream America.

If you too are tired of the Politics of the USA.  


Join me in voting a Democratic Ticket in the upcoming election.


My Best to You and Yours,
Scotty 


Helpfull Web Links:

Article transcripts to follow- supplied by CNN from the following listed web sites.

Twitter         —-    Find Me   —         Facebook
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adi/N7433.148119.BLOGGEREN/B6533657.237;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000026530730;pid=60768;usg=AFHzDLsyw5HDL8duArEmBN3-Zhq1mylq-w;adurl=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.abt.com%252Fproduct%252F60768%252FSamsung-GT-P3113TSYXAR.html;pubid=540661;price=%24249.97;title=Samsung+8GB+Galaxy+Tab…;merc=Abt+Electronics+%26+Appliances;imgsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fcontent.abt.com%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2FBDP_Images%2Fbig_GTP3113TSYXAR.jpg;width=54;height=85

FAREED ZAKARIA GPSInterview with Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles; Panel Discusses Presidential Politics
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2012.05.27.html http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1205/27/fzgps.01.htmlIn 2010, President Obama challenged the bipartisan duo to chair a commission to develop policies to bring America back to fiscal sustainability and they did. Many powerful Washingtonians on both sides of the fence applauded the proposal from the two chairs, but nobody ever did anything about it and this week, the dangerous carping over the debt limit began anew.

  1. Who better to talk about this than Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles who are joining me now from North Carolina?
  1. Thank you so much for joining me, folks.
  1. ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER WYOMING SENATOR: It’s a pleasure.
  1. ERSKINE BOWLES, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Great to be here.
  1. Senator Simpson, you’ve seen what’s been going on these last few months. The House actually voted on the Simpson-Bowles proposal and it went down decisively.
  1. Paul Ryan, the leader of the House on fiscal issues, I suppose, said that Simpson-Bowles was the wrong way to go because there weren’t enough spending cuts and there were too many tax increases.
  1. What was your reaction? That’s your party.
  1. SIMPSON: Well, I think my party and I have different views on a lot of things. I guess I’m known as a “

rhino” now, which means a Republican in name only because I guess of social views perhaps or common sense would be another one which seems to escape members of our party.

  1. Abortion is a horrible thing, but, for heaven’s sakes, a deeply intimate and personal decision and men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it. Gay-lesbian issues, we’re all human beings. We’re all God’s children. What is that?
  1. And for heaven’s sakes, you have Grover Norquist wandering the Earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you. He can’t murder you, he can’t burn your house, the only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection.
  1. And

if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.

  1. ZAKARIA: But talk about Ryan particularly, because what I’m struck by is the Simpson-Bowles plan calls for an awful lot of spending cuts and, yet, those weren’t enough.
  1. SIMPSON: Well, Erskine can tell you we don’t call for –

You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole and you can’t tax your way out of this hole “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,” we tell these people.

  1. This is madness. If you want to be a purest, go somewhere on a mountain top and praise the east or something, but

if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise and you learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.

  1. ZAKARIA: Erskine, you’re hopeful. You think that some of the ideas gaining fraction and, you know, there’s a kind of inevitability if you’re going to do this, there has to be some approach that’s pretty close to what you’re describing.
  1. BOWLES: Fareed, I believe the markets will force us to. I’ve spent my life in the markets, as you know, and look at what’s happening at the end of the year.
  1. We have about $7 trillion worth of economic events that are happening. We have expiration of the Bush tax cuts, we have the patch that’s been placed on the alternative minimum tax that’ll affect so many middle-class taxpayers, we have the payroll tax deduction that’s expiring.
  1. We have these senseless, mindless, across-the-board cuts that come from the sequester that comes as a result of a failed super committee. You know, all of those are hitting at once and the economic effect of those just next year, about 2 percent of GDP.
  1. If we have a negative effect of 2 percent of GDP, we’ll be right back in recession and you better believe that the people of America will be calling on these members of Congress to do something.
  1. So

we think something will happen in the lame duck session. We believe it’ll probably be a two-step process where we end up setting up a framework with a time-frame in order to get something done.

  1. ZAKARIA: Boy,

that’s pretty optimistic.

  1. BOWLES: And don’t forget it doesn’t have to be exactly what the Simpson-Bowles plan has, but it’s got to be a balanced plan. You’ve got to have some small amount of revenue that comes from reforming the tax code and there’s broad agreement that the tax code needs to be reformed.
  1. So I believe that you will find — if, in fact, we can get the right kind of momentum going, I think I’ll find strong support. We’ve been working with 47 members of the Senate, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, the same kind of group in the House of Representatives.
  1. And I believe these — this group will come together during the lame duck to put forward a plan like this. Now, I don’t think the plan itself will be implemented during the lame duck, but I think there will be an agreement that we have to do some kind of balanced plan.
  1. If we don’t, then I think you will see the markets really take a really adverse look at the country and I think you’ll see us lose another downgrade in our credit and I think you’ll see interest rates pop up and, before long, you’ll see the availability of credit lessen. So I think we could have a real problem if we don’t do something and do something relatively quick.
  1. SIMPSON: And you know who will get hurt the worst in that process when interest rates go up and inflation kicks in, the little guy, the one that everybody on their hind legs talks about, “We’re doing this for the little guy, the most vulnerable, the unfortunate.” Well, Merry Christmas, those guys are going to get eaten when interest rates and inflation kicks in.
  1. ZAKARIA: Gentlemen, stay with us. When we come back, we’re going to ask Senator Simpson and Erskine Bowles what they think of President Obama’s leadership on this issue, what they think of Mitt Romney and there’ll be a few other things as well.
  1. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
  1. ZAKARIA: And we are back with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the authors of the Simpson-Bowles plan for a rare opportunity to have a conversation.
  1. Senator Simpson, I want to ask you — I want to ask both of you, but I want to ask you what you think of President Obama’s embrace of your plan or lack thereof.
  1. And I’m going to start by asking you — just bear with me because I talked to him in January, mostly about foreign policy, but I did ask him about Simpson-Bowles. And he probably got — this got him more agitated than at any point in our conversation.
  1. This is what he said. He said, “I’ve got to tell you most of the people who say it if you ask them, “What’s in Simpson-Bowles,” they couldn’t tell you. First of all, I did embrace Simpson-Bowles. I’m the one who created the commission. If I hadn’t pushed it wouldn’t have happened because the Congressional sponsors, including a whole bunch of Republicans, walked away.”
  1. “The basic premise of Simpson-Bowles was we have to take balanced approach in which we have spending cuts and we have revenue increases. And although I did not agree with every particular thing that was in it, what I did do is take the framework and present a balanced plan of entitlement changes, discretionary cuts, went ready to make a deal.”
  1. “I presented this plan three times to Congress. The core of Simpson-Bowles, the idea of a balanced deficit reduction plan, I have consistently argued for, presented to the American people, presented to Congress.”
  1. Is that fair?
  1. SIMPSON: Well, he does get a little testy and we all get a little testy, but the president — I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t regard him as our president. I accept that. He’s my president, too. And it’s ugly stuff out there.
  1. There’s a lot of hatred in the world, hatred toward politicians, hatred toward the president, hatred toward Democrats, hatred toward Republicans, but I can tell you this. If he had embraced our plan, he would have been ripped to shreds.
  1. Erskine can tell you a little more. He visited with him personally alone for an hour-and-a-half, but he would have been ripped by the Democrats saying, “Why you rotten — you’re digging into the precious, precious Medicare.”
  1. And the Republicans would have rejected — if he’d embraced the Republicans, en mass, in the House would have rejected it. So, either way he’s going to get hammered so he’s playing the waiting game.
  1. ZAKARIA: Erskine, a lot of economic experts say, look, the right solution for the United States right now is obvious, which is you need some stimulus now, particularly given the very low interest rates, the very high levels of unemployment in the construction sector.
  1. The government should spend some money repairing and rebuilding the infrastructure, but that would only be viable and particularly something the markets would celebrate if it was tied to a long-term deficit reduction plan like Simpson-Bowles.
  1. Do you buy that basic idea that if your plan were adopted as a ten-year plan, it actually gives the U.S. government some leeway to make some necessary investments now?
  1. BOWLES: Yes, I truly believe that the only thing standing between the U.S. and sustainable growth is having a sensible, responsible, long-term fiscal plan. I believe if the world believed that we were going to put our fiscal house in order that you would see substantial economic growth in the future.
  1. But, again, I got back to what’s happening at the end of this year. We have $7 trillion worth of economic events that are going to hit the fan in December.
  1. And if we don’t set up to them — if we don’t stand up for them and we don’t do the right thing, if Congress doesn’t act, it doesn’t put this partisanship aside and doesn’t make some compromise, you’ll have a negative impact on GDP next year of at least 2 percent. That doesn’t make any sense.
  1. ZAKARIA: Alan, what do you make of Mitt Romney? Romney’s first ads are out and when he says, on day one what is he going to do and he says he’s going to approve the Keystone Pipeline, fine. But then he says and, then, we’re going to have tax cuts.
  1. This has, of course, been the, you know, kind of a Republican strategy for a while. Do you think — given what you’re describing, I can’t imagine you think day one what a Republican president should do is propose tax cuts?
  1. SIMPSON: Well, I wouldn’t have voted for him if I’d have been in Congress. How could you vote for a tax cut when you were doing two wars on the cheap? You had two wars you were fighting. You had things that were — the government — all the income from the government was only taking care of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and you do a tax cut.
  1. Every time there was a surplus and the last time was when this fine gentleman was doing it in ’96, you can’t get there. But you don’t have to do a tax cut, get that out of your gourd. You go into the tax expenditures and start knocking that stuff off and that’s where you get your revenue.
  1. BOWLES: Fareed, we have the most inefficient, ineffective, globally anti-competitive tax code that man could dream up and what we need to do is broaden the base, simplify the code, use — get rid of this spending in the tax code and use about 90 percent of the money to reduce income tax rates for everybody and use about 10 percent of the money to reduce this deficit.
  1. You know if you think about the debt today and the interest on the debt, it’s kind of — you know and put it in relationship to something else, we spend about $230, $240 billion a year on interest on the debt today even at these current low rates.
  1. Fareed, that is more than we’re spending today at the Department of Commerce, Energy, Education, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and State combined. And if we don’t do anything, if we just, you know, put our heads in the sand and hope things will get better, we’ll be spending over a trillion dollars on interest by the year 2020.
  1. That’s a trillion dollars we can’t spend on this country on education or infrastructure or high valued-added research. And worst of all, it’s a trillion dollars we will be spending principally in Asia to educate their kids and to build their infrastructure and to do high value-added research over there so that the next new thing is created there and the jobs of the future are there not here. That’s crazy.
  1. ZAKARIA: All right, final question. Erskine, there are rumors in Washington that President Obama has asked you whether you would be interested in being the Secretary of Treasury. Do you have a comment?
  1. BOWLES: He hasn’t asked me to be Secretary of Treasury for sure.
  1. ZAKARIA: If he were to ask you, would you accept?
  1. BOWLES: No, I’m living in North Carolina and that’s where I want to live. I’m the happiest in my whole life, Fareed.
  1. ZAKARIA: Gentlemen, pleasure to have you.
  1. SIMPSON: I would just say we — all we do, Erskine and I, is math. We don’t do Power Points. We don’t know charts. We do math, but we don’t do BS or mush so join us.
  1. ZAKARIA: Maybe what we should try and get — and do is for the first time in the history of the republic, have co-Secretaries of the Treasury, one Republican and one Democrat. SIMPSON: Boy, if we could get our hands on that script.
  1. BOWLES: I don’t want a job, thank you.
  1. ZAKARIA: Thank you very much, gentlemen.
  1. SIMPSON: Thank you.
  1. BOWLES: Thank you

I took the Energy Star Pledge Have You?

Twitter <—- Find Me —> Facebook
Web Site: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.com
scottscontracting
Job Site Photo Album
Green Blog

New Policy Brief- Middle Income Financing for Energy Efficiency

Increasing Middle America’s Access to Capital for Energy Improvements

While middle income Americans have historically invested in improvements that maintain and increase the value of their homes, they have seen an important source of financing – the equity in their properties – evaporate at the same time that their access to other loan products has been restricted.  A number of energy efficiency programs are deploying credit enhancements, novel underwriting criteria, and innovative financing tools to reduce risks for both financiers and borrowers in an effort to increase the availability of energy efficiency financing for middle income households.  While many of these programs are income-targeted, the challenges, opportunities, and emerging models for providing access to capital may apply more broadly across income groups in the residential sector.

Read the Brief  mi-policybrief-3-6-2012

Missouri’s Climate: News, Building Codes, Energy Costs, Carbon Data, Energy Sources, and more

  • Midwest has experienced rising average temperatures with the largest warming seen in the winter months.
  • The growing season has been extended by one week because of earlier last spring frosts and precipitation has become more frequent including increased instances of heavy downpours.
  • Since the 1980s, large heat waves have become more frequent than any time in the last century.
  • These effects of climate changeare predicted to continue, threatening the region’s economy, landscape, character, and quality of life.

    Seal of the United States Department of Energy.
    Image via Wikipedia

Missouri‘s Climate: News, Building Codes, Energy Costs, Carbon Data, Energy Sources, and more

02/17/12Scotty-Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy

information supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

Climate Concerns

Regional Issues & State Action: 

  • Midwest has experienced rising average temperatures with the largest warming seen in the winter months.
  • The growing season has been extended by one week because of earlier last spring frosts and precipitation has become more frequent including increased instances of heavy downpours.
  • Since the 1980s, large heat waves have become more frequent than any time in the last century.
  • These effects of climate change are predicted to continue, threatening the region’s economy, landscape, character, and quality of life.

BCAP Estimated Energy Savings

  • If Missouri began implementing the 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011, businesses and homeowners would save an estimated $99 million annually by 2020 and $200 million annually by 2030 in energy costs (assuming 2006 prices).
  • Additionally, implementing the latest model codes would help avoid about 31 trillion Btu of primary annual energy use by 2030 and annual emissions of more than 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030.
  • A 2010 BCAP analysis indicates that the weightedaverage incremental construction cost of upgrading to the 2009 IECC in Missouri would be $875.28 per home. On average, the annual energy savings per home would be $459.00, meaning the simple payback for homeowners would occur, on average, in 1.91 years.These estimates are conservative and represent the upper bound on incremental cost.

Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency

Standards For State Buildings

Public Buildings

Intro/Brief: 

  • Since July 1, 2009, all new state-funded buildings must comply with Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Public Buildings, which is based on the 2006 IECC. 
  • During the summer of 2008, the state of Missouri passed a wide-ranging package of energy efficiency initiatives, including homeowner tax incentives and minimum energy standards for state buildings. Passed in the state legislature on May 29 and signed by then-Governor Matt Blunt on July 10, the bill (SB 1181) required the Department of Natural Resources to establish minimum energy efficiency standards for state buildings, based on the 2006 IECC. The Commissioner of the Office of Administration may exempt any state building from meeting the minimum energy efficiency standard requirement for safety reasons or when the cost of compliance is expected to exceed the energy cost savings.

Missouri has no mandatory or voluntary statewide energy code for private residential and commercial construction. 

  • Public Buildings Code: Based on the 2006 IECC.

TEXT: SB 1181 (2008)

Citation: SECTIONS 8.295 – 8.837 – STATE BUILDINGS

Application: Applies to all new and renovated state-owned construction.

Approximate Stringency: As stringent as the 2006 IECC.

Effective Date: July 1, 2009

Approved Compliance Tools: REScheck | COMcheck

Background: 

  • In response to legislation signed in 1993, for Energy Efficiency in State Facilities, a rule was finalized and published on January 26, 1996, with an effective date 30 days later that established “state building minimum efficiency standards.” The rule covered new state buildings (or portions), additions, substantial renovations, or existing buildings considered for lease (when over 10,000 sq. ft.) or acquisition by the state. ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 was adopted by reference for buildings other than single-family and multi-family residential buildings not over three stories high. For single-family and multi-family residential buildings, the latest editions of the Council of American Building Officials Model Energy Code (MEC) or ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-1993 was applicable. New editions/revisions to these adopted standards would automatically be adopted by reference and become effective three months after the date of their publication. (10 CSR 140-7, Department of Natural Resources.) No statewide requirements existed for other buildings; local cities and jurisdictions adopt their own requirements.

Information last updated February 7, 2012

****

Based on: 

Mandatory

Date Passed: 

 Thursday, July 10, 2008

Date Effective: 

 Wednesday, July 1, 2009

 

History

  • Missouri has no mandatory or voluntary statewide energy code for private residential and commercial construction.
  • After the passage of SB 1181 in July 2008, all state-owned buildings must comply with Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Public Buildings, which is based on the 2006 IECC, beginning on July 1, 2009. The previous state-owned building code was based on ASHRAE 90.1-1989.
  • Due to its history of strong local government, Missouri does not have a mandatory statewide energy code. However, however all local jurisdictions except class III counties have the right to adopt an energy code. As expected, this system creates a sometimes confusing patchwork of different codes throughout the state. Seethis page or see below for more details on local adoption. 
  • Regardless of the system in place, the bottom line is that many jurisdictions in Missouri still don’t have an energy code—meaning that many residents do not receive the benefits of energy-efficient construction.
  • Missouri has considered adopting a state code previously. For example, SB 745, drafted by BCAP in 2010, would have adopted the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 statewide. It also would have directed DNR to establish an automatic review cycle, either every three years or within nine months of the publication of a new model code version. In addition, HB 938 in 2011 would have established most of the 2006 International Code series as minimum statewide construction standards (the 2006 IECC was not specifically cited, but would have been included via its position as an alternative compliance path to Chapter 11 of the 2006 International Residential Code). Both bills, however, failed to move past the committee stage. 
  • Local Adoption: For more, view the BCAP Missouri Gap Analysis Report, starting with pages 19-22.
  • All local jurisdictions except class III counties have the right to adopt an energy code. As expected, this system creates a sometimes confusing patchwork of different codes throughout the state.
  • It is typical for Missouri communities to adopt codes on a 6-year cycle rather than the 3-year code development cycle for ICC.  It is also typical for communities to follow the code adoption of surrounding communities. These adoption practices have developed two trends in Missouri; eastern Missouri communities are generally on the 2003 I-Codes and are moving/have moved to the 2009 I-Codes and western Missouri communities are generally on the 2006 I-Codes and are moving to the 2012 I-Codes.

 

Code Change Process: 

  • Legislative: In Missouri, only the General Assembly is authorized to enact legislation to establish statewide building construction regulations and/or authorize a state agency to do so. However, there currently is no state regulatory agency authorized to promulgate, adopt, or update construction codes on a statewide basis.

 

Code Change Cycle: 

Next Code Update: 

  • There is no pending state energy code update.

Basic Facts

Climate Zone: 

  • 4A, 5A  (zones based on DOE’s most recent zoning: zone numbers based on a spectrum, zone 1 represents very hot weather and zone 8 represents subarctic weather.  Letters indicate climate type, A-Humid, B-Dry, C-Marine)

Population: 

Construction Activity: 

  • New Housing Units Authorized by Permit:
    Total units: 13,273
    Number of Housing Units by Structure Type:
    1 unit: 7,777
    2 units: 654
    3 and 4 units: 854
    5 or more units: 3,988
    (2008, 
    Real Estate Center)

Projected Construction Rate: 

  • 7,782 dwelling units (-48% less than the previous year), maintaining an average value of $187,000  per dwelling unit.
    (2008, 
    Real Estate Center)

CO2 Emissions: 

  • 140.04 MMT CO2 (2007)

Energy Data

Primary Energy Source: 

  • Coal: 41% (2007, EIA)

Energy Consumption: 

  • Total Annual Energy Consumption of 1,964.1trillion Btu (2007, EIA)

Energy Expenditures: 

  • 23,341.8 Million Nominal Dollars (2007, EIA)

Energy Snapshot: 

  • 58% of the state’s natural gas supply is used for heating the home.Natural gas is the largest consumed source of energy for the state’s residential sector

    Residential use of natural gas in Missouri costs up to $12.97/thousand cu ft.

Source: EIA

Materials supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

Materials supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

It all starts with using your energy efficiently. Scotty
Twitter <—- Find Me —> Facebook
Web Site: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.com
scottscontracting
Job Site Photo Album
Green Blo
g

Republicans Ax the Budget $61 Million

The Proposed cuts sound good in theory while actually doing more harm than good. (Using Simple Math anyone can see)

Did the proposed cuts enacted by the House in the wee hours make any one else sick?  If your are not sick yet your Health may soon suffer.

The newly elected Tea Party Republican Representatives lead the charge in Hand-Cuffing the EPA and their Pollution Control Measures.  The actions sound good in theory, but actually will create more harm than actual help.

Coal and Oil Industry backing the House Republicans cut the only Regulating Agency the Fossil Fuel Industries are forced to conform to The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

  • The Republicans Claim: “The People have Spoken” “we are acting in their best interest.”

Who are they kidding?  Here are Dirty Coal Figures that contradict the proposed cuts and show the proposed cuts only benefit the Fossil Fuel Industry and Contribute the Harmful GHG Emissions that are causing Climate Change and Global Warming.

  • coal’s costs in environmental and public health damage would triple the cost of coal-generated electricity …best estimates of costs from coal’s annual air pollution at $188 billion and costs from its contributions to global warming at $62 billion ($250 Billion Dollars Combined) (quote)

Using Simple Math anyone can see:

  • $61 Billion Cut from Budget – $250 billion Coal Pollution Costs = nets a negative$189 Billion in Pollution Costs from Coal.

The Proposed cuts sound good in theory while actually doing more harm than good. With Leadership like this it is no wonder why the US Budget is out of control.  When enacted programs net a negative numbers.  Who in their correct mind frame would continue to enact programs that do more harm than good?  It’s not hard to figure out that steps should be made to correct the Actions to create a

positive cash flow.

There are better ways to Balance an “Out of Control” Federal Spending Budget.

I suggest that future budget cuts should be made starting with the Politicians Salaries.

It seem that they want the Constituents to live on less.

I think turn-a-round is fair play – Ax and Cut the Elected Leaders Salaries.  The majority of them are responsible for the mess we are in now anyway. Scotty 2/20/11

-Find Your Representatives-Republican or Democrat, and Let Your Voice BE HEARD! Active Participation is Suggested TellMyPolitician

Share

Sen McCaskill Response about Nuclear Energy Power Plants


the following post is a response I received from an email  (Provided in Full)  I sent to Senator McCaskill about: 

From: senator@mccaskill.senate.gov

To: scottscontracting@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Scott,
Thank you for contacting me regarding nuclear energy. I appreciate hearing from you, and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As the United States seeks to become more energy independent and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) it will be important to diversify our investments in all available energy sources.  Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and biomass will play a valuable role in achieving these objectives.  However, our country’s energy needs are considerable, and they continue to grow.  Even accounting for rapid expansion in recent years, renewable sources provide only a small percentage of our country’s total energy production.  We simply can’t address our energy needs through increased production of renewable energy alone.
To meet our energy demand, we must invest in a diversity of energy sources and new technologies.  Responsible development of new nuclear facilities, carbon capture and sequestration technology to reduce GHG emissions currently associated with coal energy, and expanded use of natural gas will all be necessary.
Along with significant investments in renewable energy, in February 2010, the Department of Energy announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the construction of two new nuclear reactors at a plant in Georgia.  This will be the first new nuclear power plant constructed in the United States in three decades.  To provide additional loan guarantees for other planned nuclear facilities, President Obama requested an increase in federal loan guarantee authority, from the current limit of $18.5 billion to $54 billion, in his fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget proposal.  It is important to note that this authority regards authorization for loan guarantees, not funding for direct subsidies or payments.  In addition to repaying the loans themselves, borrowers are required to pay fees to cover both administrative costs and risk of defaulting on the loan.
I support providing additional loan guarantee authority for the construction of new nuclear facilities.  However, I have concerns that the fees charged to borrowers may be insufficient to cover the costs of the guarantee.   In the past, the Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the Department of Energy often underestimates the costs of loan guarantees by at least one percent.  As we consider increasing nuclear loan guarantee authority, I want to be sure that the federal government is collecting fees sufficient to cover costs and protect taxpayers.
Additionally, as our country moves to expand nuclear energy production and open new facilities, it is important that we address the issue of long-term nuclear waste disposal.  Although funding for security measures has been increased in recent years, there is some concern that the number of storage sites presents an unnecessary security risk, and that a central repository would be a better solution to the issue of nuclear waste storage.
For more than 20 years, the Department of Energy has focused on developing a central repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  This effort has been controversial, and opponents have argued that the potential for earthquakes, water infiltration, and other safety concerns make the site unsuitable.  The President’s FY 2011 budget proposes eliminating funding for work at Yucca Mountain, and White House officials have stated that they will officially withdraw a pending license application for the facility.   In January 2010, the Obama Administration announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission charged with conducting a comprehensive review of nuclear waste management policy.  It remains to be seen whether Yucca Mountain will provide the best option for long term storage for our country’s nuclear waste, or if another solution needs to be found.
There are many legislative proposals concerning nuclear power currently being discussed and debated in the Senate, addressing incentives for new commercial reactors, research and development priorities, plant safety and security, and radioactive waste management policy.  During this session of Congress, the Senate may consider broad-based energy and climate change legislation.  Should the Senate consider such legislation, ideas from many of the legislative proposals that have been introduced to address nuclear energy issues would likely be incorporated.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to find solutions to our country’s energy challenges.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
Sincerely,
Claire McCaskill
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at www.mccaskill.senate.gov.
_______________________

Tell My Politician

-Find Your Representatives-Republican or Democrat, and Let Your Voice BE HEARD! Active Participation is Suggested TellMyPolitician Click Here
______________________
Jan 28, 2011
Solar is the Best Form of Renewable Energy- I don’t consider Nuclear Energy a form of Renewable Energy since the Waste will be placed in the Ground- IE: It could pollute the Water our Bodies Must Have-We Consume Everyday …
Jan 26, 2011
Renewable Energy Head-to-Head with Nuclear for Clean Energy Production.Last July we wrote about the North Carolina study that showed solarpower to be cheaper than power promised by planned nuclearconstruction in that state. …
Oct 04, 2010
Here’s another tidbit from the conference: Adding nuclear power into the mix of renewables might provide the political muscle to pass a federal RPS. After all, it IS carbon-free. Proponents claim, “Nuclear energy presents a safe, clean, …

Republicans Take Heed-Science the GOP can’t wish away

Suggestions for the Republicans in Office:

  1. Get with the Program and push yourself away Monetary Feed Trough; supported by the Big Oil and Big Coal Campaign Donations, it is clouding your Judgment on Global Warming / Climate Change.
  • The Fog in your Head is being caused by the CO2 emissions from Fossil Fuels

See for Your Self and determine which Politician in your States Elected Officials- whose side of the Bread gets Buttered by the Big Oil and Big Coal Companies at: http://dirtyenergymoney.com/view.php?type=congress (Missouri’s Roy Blunt made the Top 5. (That’s sure something to be proud of-NOT!))

If you think the USA does not want Clean Energy for Homes and Business- Take note of the Nov 2, 2010 Election and the Clean Green Energy-http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_7_%282008%29

It obvious that the Republican Party is not interested in Creating Jobs-yet so many Americans are out of Work-WTF? Is not a portion of your Pay Check created by the Taxes levied against our Pay Checks? Maybe Americans should claim Exempt on their W4’s?

Food For Thought: What if the Political Leaders Pay Checks were determined by the Performance of their Actions or Lack of Actions in the Congress and Senate. I bet many would be singing a different tune.

Mark my Words: Lack of Bi-Partisanship will be a factor in the Next Election

Republicans supposedly support Business Growth- How much will a Business Grow if the Un-Employed can’t buy any products?

I encourage everyone to contact your Leaders in the House and Senate, use the following web link to find your Elected Officials Contact Information and Let them know your Thoughts. They are supposed to Listen to their Constituents.
http://tellmypolitician.com

Science the GOP can’t wish away

By Sherwood Boehlert
Friday, November 19, 2010

Watching the raft of newly elected GOP lawmakers converge on Washington, I couldn’t help thinking about an issue I hope our party will better address. I call on my fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party’s line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities.

National Journal reported last month that 19 of the 20 serious GOP Senate challengers declared that the science of climate change is either inconclusive or flat-out wrong. Many newly elected Republican House members take that position. It is a stance that defies the findings of our country’s National Academy of Sciences, national scientific academies from around the world and 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists.

Why do so many Republican senators and representatives think they are right and the world’s top scientific academies and scientists are wrong? I would like to be able to chalk it up to lack of information or misinformation.

I can understand arguments over proposed policy approaches to climate change. I served in Congress for 24 years. I know these are legitimate areas for debate. What I find incomprehensible is the dogged determination by some to discredit distinguished scientists and their findings.

In a trio of reports released in May, the prestigious and nonpartisan National Academy concluded that “a strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.” Our nation’s most authoritative and respected scientific body couldn’t make it any clearer or more conclusive.

When I was chairman of the House Committee on Science, top scientists from around the world came before our panel. They were experts that Republicans and Democrats alike looked to for scientific insight and understanding on a host of issues. They spoke in probabilities, ranges and concepts – always careful to characterize what was certain, what was suspected and what was speculative. Today, climate scientists – careful as ever in portraying what they know vs. what they suspect – report that the body of scientific evidence supporting the consensus on climate change and its cause is as comprehensive and exhaustive as anything produced by the scientific community.

While many in politics – and not just of my party – refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change, leaders of some of our nation’s most prominent businesses have taken a different approach. They formed the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. This was no collection of mom-and-pop shops operated by “tree huggers” sympathetic to any environmental cause but, rather, a step by hard-nosed, profit-driven capitalists. General Electric, Alcoa, Duke Energy, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler signed on. USCAP, persuaded by scientific facts, called on the president and Congress to act, saying “in our view, the climate change challenge will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy.”

There is a natural aversion to more government regulation. But that should be included in the debate about how to respond to climate change, not as an excuse to deny the problem’s existence. The current practice of disparaging the science and the scientists only clouds our understanding and delays a solution. The record flooding, droughts and extreme weather in this country and others are consistent with patterns that scientists predicted for years. They are an ominous harbinger.

The new Congress should have a policy debate to address facts rather than a debate featuring unsubstantiated attacks on science. We shouldn’t stand by while the reputations of scientists are dragged through the mud in order to win a political argument. And no member of any party should look the other way when the basic operating parameters of scientific inquiry – the need to question, express doubt, replicate research and encourage curiosity – are exploited for the sake of political expediency. My fellow Republicans should understand that wholesale, ideologically based or special-interest-driven rejection of science is bad policy. And that in the long run, it’s also bad politics.

What is happening to the party of Ronald Reagan? He embraced scientific understanding of the environment and pollution and was proud of his role in helping to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. That was smart policy and smart politics. Most important, unlike many who profess to be his followers, Reagan didn’t deny the existence of global environmental problems but instead found ways to address them.

The National Academy reports concluded that “scientific evidence that the Earth is warming is now overwhelming.” Party affiliation does not change that fact.

The writer, a Republican, represented New York’s 24th District in Congress from 1983 to 2007. He is a special adviser to the Project on Climate Science.

Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming–

When I read something like this a few things jump out at me and I really wonder what and who my Neighbors to the East voted for? With Leaders such as this Governing our Nation its painfully obvious why we are in the Mess we are in. The Old Adage of the Blind leading the Blind. I expect nothing less from the Republican Party who accepts the Largest Contributions from the Fossil Fuel Industry.

via Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming–.