Green Party elects 14 different Mayors in Bavaria on Sunday
31 mar 14 @ 7:57 pm edt
Green Party makes History - Green Party elects 14 Mayors in single day.
"Ein historischer Abend": Erstmals stellen die Grünen in Bayern zwei Landräte. Im Affären-Landkreis
Miesbach setzt sich Wolfgang Rzehak durch. In Miltenberg am Main gewinnt Jens Marco Scherf. Die Konkurrenz von der CSU ist
Damit dürfte im Landkreis Miesbach wohl kaum einer gerechnet haben - die Region, in der die CSU stets Traumergebnisse von 60 Prozent plus holt, wird nun von einem Grünen-Landrat regiert. Der 46 Jahre alte Wolfgang Rzehak gewann die Stichwahl am Sonntag souverän mit 53,5Prozent. So freudig überrascht waren Rzehak und seine MiesbacherParteifreunde, dass erst einmal keiner von ihnen ans Handy ging.
Sie feierten wohl unter sich. Immerhin, die Grünen-Landeschefin
Sigi Hagl meldete sich sofort zu Wort. "Für uns Grüne ist das ein historischer Abend", sagte sie. "Das
erste Mal stellen wir Landräte, und das sogar in zwei Landkreisen." Die Partei hatte in einem Bündnis mit SPD
und Parteifreien überraschend auch im unterfränkischen Miltenberg den Landratsposten geholt. In Miesbach galt eigentlich Rzehaks Konkurrent Norbert Kerkel (Freie Wähler), als klarer
Favorit. Er kam auf 46,6 Prozent. Die Wahlbeteiligung lag
immerhin bei 43,6 Prozent.
man es sich jetzt leicht machen und sagen, die Miesbacher haben halt denjenigen Kandidaten gewählt, der ihnen als das
kleinere Übel erschienen ist. Denn nach dem Abgang ihres Affären-Landrats Jakob Kreidl(CSU) konnte man überall in der sehr konservativen Region hören, die beiden verbliebenen Bewerber Rzehak und Kerkel
seien gewiss sehr sympathische Männer.
Aber das fachliche Rüstzeug, den Landkreis Miesbach in eine gute Zukunft zu führen,
das habe in Wirklichkeit doch weder der eine noch der andere. Etliche CSUler, darunter auch gestandene Bürgermeister
und andere Mandatsträger, sollen deshalb in so massive Gewissensnöte geraten sein, dass sie zum ersten Mal überhaupt
in ihrer Vita ernsthaft überlegt haben, einer Wahl fern zu bleiben.
- Premiere für die Grünen
in Bayern: Gleich zwei Landräte hat die Partei jetzt. Nach der erwarteten rücktrittsbedingten Wahlschlappe des Affären-Landrats Jakob Kreidl (CSU) hat sich in der Stichwahl Wolfgang Rzehak im Kreis Miesbachmit 53,46 Prozent durchgesetzt. Norbert Kerkel von den Freien Wählern
musste sich mit 46,54 Prozent geschlagen geben.
- Der zweite Grünen-Kandidat
hat es im unterfränkischen Kreis Miltenberg geschafft: Jens Marco
Scherf ist für ein Bündnis aus SPD, Grünen und ÖDP angetreten - und hat mit einem halben Prozentpunkt
gewonnen. Die Bewohner der Stadt Miltenberg haben übrigens auch eine - zumindest für Bayern - eher ungewöhnliche
Wahl getroffen: FDP-Politiker Helmut Demel ist der neue Bürgermeister.
Green Party for More Trains, Less Traffic - Build Rail Now!
30 mar 14 @ 12:04 pm edt
Green Party calls for Auckland Airport Rail by 2025
Green Party calls for Auckland Airport Rail by 2025
The Government must start the Auckland City
Rail Link next year to avoid holding up the development of a rail line to Auckland International Airport, the Green Party
Auckland International Airport has released a 30 year development plan that identifies land
for a rail link to cater for growth in passengers and employees.
“Auckland is well overdue for a rail
link to the airport. The sooner we catch up on rail investment, the sooner we will see the transport and economic benefits,”
said Green Party Transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“Airport rail will not only provide
a much faster and more reliable way to get to the airport, it will take pressure off the surrounding road network.
need the City Rail Link (CRL) to start urgently, to get five minute train frequency across the existing network – so
we can then expand rail with links to the airport and the North Shore,” said Ms Genter.
the current National Government is holding up progress on Auckland rail by delaying the CRL start by at least five years.
This means airport rail wouldn’t open for at least 15 years.
“We don’t need to wait for another
generation to have a high quality, high frequency transport system. The Green Party will prioritise smarter, greener transport
that will make the whole transport system work better.
“We will fund the Congestion Free Network, which
will affordably see the CRL open by 2020, so there are trains every five minutes across the network at peak. This would allow
for a rail link to the airport to be open by 2025,” said Ms Genter.
Green Party Solar growth through the roof!!!
25 mar 14 @ 11:03 pm edt
Green Party Solar Success!
over Green Party Rooftop Solar Forecasts a Bright Future for Green Party Cleaner Energy
As the cost of solar power drops, more consumers find that they hold the upper hand as utilities fight
to maintain paying customers and the relevance of the grid
Mar 25, 2014 By David Biello
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fight-over-rooftop-solar-forecasts-a-bright-future-for-cleaner-energy/Americans have begun to battle over sunshine. In sun-scorched
Arizona a regulatory skirmish has broken out over arrays of blue-black silicon panels on rooftops, threatening the local utilities that have
ruled electricity generation for a century or more. With some of the best access to sunshine on the planet, Arizona boasts
the second-most solar power in the U.S.—more than 1,000 megawatts and counting. The state hosts vast photovoltaic arrays
in the desert as well as the nation's first commercial power plant with the technology to use sunshine at night—bystoring daytime heat in molten salts. In terms of infrastructure, such big solar fits as comfortably as a coal-fired power
plant in the traditional electricity business model, which involves large plants transmitting electricity over a grid of conducting
lines through transformers and into individual homes and businesses. The trouble, from an electric utility's perspective,
is the tens of thousands of Arizona's total of three million or so homes that have installed small solar:photovoltaic panels made from wafers of semiconducting material,
typically silicon, that use incoming sunlight to create an electric current. With these homes making their own electricity,
utilities lose their most lucrative customers and confront a dwindling base over which to spread big infrastructure costs,
like building new power plants or maintaining the grid. "The net-metered customer does not share equally in the overhead
costs associated with the grid or other services provided by the utility, producing a very substantial 'cross-subsidy' funded
by all other utility customers who must pay proportionately more," wrote James Hughes, CEO of solar panel maker First
Solar, in an op-ed in support of the utility Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) position this past June. These homeowners have installed photovoltaic panels on their rooftops
with the help of cash incentives and a state law that requires the local electricity provider—APS—to buy any excess
power produced by an individual home. Such "net metering" programs allow homeowners to zero out
monthly or even annual electric bills. That means APS gets nothing from these former customers, and their number is growing.
More than 15 rooftop arrays go onto Arizona homes each day, according to the Phoenix-area utility, and the number of such
solar independents grew from 4,770 in 2010 to 14,524 in 2012. In
response APS and other utility companies across the country have launched a propaganda war against an energy source that still
accounts for less than one quarter of 1 percent of U.S. electricity. In Arizona that fight became very public in
2013, as APS took on such residential solar power in a television ad campaign and mailings. But the utility met resistance
from a coalition of liberals and libertarians decrying monopoly or wanting to help cut greenhouse gas pollution. The red on
the map that shows the amount of incoming sunshine available in most of Arizona might just
as well stand for the bad blood spilled between solar homeowners and the local utilities. It's not just Arizona. More than 40 states allow property owners to sell excess energy generated
by solar panels onto the electric grid, and many utilities must pay a premium for this resource. Utility companies warn that
the lost revenue from solar-powered costumers will necessitate price increases for people without solar panels, because the
electric grid and other critical infrastructure must still be maintained. That’s a sticking point for residents like
Alicia Roll in Phoenix, who wrote in hercomplaint to the state: "I'm all for helping preserve the environment
but there must be a fairer way of going about it all." Solar
homeowners, on the other hand, love their lower bills and independence from utility companies. "Why should they be allowed
to hold the monopoly on this power source?" asks Tom Morrissey, former chairman of the Arizona Republican
Party. "Why should they be the only providers? Why can't we provide for ourselves, while easing the burden on the power
grid?" The utilities have a point. If solar rooftop arrays
became as ubiquitous in home design as chimneys, the U.S. grid could indeed cease to exist—an end to power lines, electrical substations
and transformers atop equally archaic wooden utility poles. "Right now our electricity system is very much a command-and-control
centralized system," says David Crane, CEO of Princeton, N.J.–headquartered national energy company NRG, which
is attempting to reinvent itself for the less centralized future Crane foresees. "In the future I see an at-home, disaggregated system, with the home like a brain, with supply and
demand of electricity being generated in that home." The
key to Crane’s vision of a decentralized system is the cost of a power producing system to the individual homeowner,
and the price of solar power keeps dropping. As a result, solar proponents push for the
switch for a variety of reasons that cut across political party lines. This war over solar has pitted Republican against Republican,
and formed new alliances between libertarians and liberals. Sunnier
The first intimations
of war started with Solyndra. The bankruptcy of the would-be manufacturer
of innovative tubular solar arrays heralded the arrival of cheap photovoltaic panels, many of them from China. Such modules
can be bought in bulk now for as little as 25 cents per watt. Even the electric utility industry recognizes that where residential
electricity costs reach 15 cents per kilowatt-hour—or roughly 16 percent of the U.S. retail electricity market—solar
is already as cheap as grid electricity. "The solar cost battle has been won," NRG's Crane notes. "It's all
By friction costs, Crane means the cost of finding a solar panel maker and installer, and then filing the appropriate paperwork with the appropriate state and local authorities as well as the local utility,
then making sure the solar array is installed properly and safely. Such installation costs at least double the cost of a residential solar system, meaning a typical system costs at least $25,000 to put on a
roof and hook up. As it stands, the average solar system in the U.S. costs roughly $4.50 per watt to purchase and install,
according to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
But that cost is coming down, too—in some
cases to near zero—thanks to solar companies that essentially rent the equipment, such as SolarCity, Sungevity, SunRun and Vivint. The
contracts differ but, essentially, these companies pay to install solar panels on a roof and reap any attendant tax credits.
Homeowners pay a set rate for the electricity used as well as a lease price, resulting in a total bill that is less than their
current monthly electric bill. Most of these companies contract with the homeowner for 15-year leases, which include maintenance,
for example, or a power purchase agreement that guarantees a certain rate (the same contract used between a utility and the
developer of a big desert solar project).
The idea is to remove the "stigma," in the words of Solar
City CEO Lyndon Rive, that solar is expensive. Solar City, for one, expects to deploy at least 475 megawatts of rooftop solar in 2014, or nearly double its expected installations for all of 2013. It's a system pioneered by SunEdison with large
companies that owned hectares of rooftop space on stores or warehouses, resulting in the creation of what some have called
"solar bonds." SolarCity, in fact, is planning to sell more than $54 million worth of such solar bonds pegged to
the company's thousands of installations across 14 states that will come due in December 2026.
The only traditional
utility to do something similar: NRG and its residential solar division. Other utilities, such as Duke and Southern Co., have
attempted to block such changes by implementing their own solar-at-home programs that leave the utility in charge.
Now, with solar more than a boutique product for those rich
in both kinds of green, utilities have something to worry about. Waking up to the looming threat, utility-funded research
outfit the Edison Electric Institute released a report in January 2013 called "Disruptive Challenges" [pdf]. In essence, EEI noted that home solar, dubbed "distributed energy resources" could allow Americans to get off
the grid, putting their member utilities into a death spiral of fewer and fewer electricity sales to cover more and more grid
maintenance costs. That would drive up electricity prices and, as a result, drive more and more people to install rooftop
solar. The parallel is drawn with the telephone monopolies of the 1970s that are, in the words of the report, "not recognizable
today nor are the names of many of the players and the service they once provided ('the plain old telephone service')."
The roughly 3,000 electric utilities that now control U.S. electricity may be as dim a memory in a decade or two.
Spurred by projections of 500 percent growth for solar in the U.S., Arizona Public Services mounted a public relations campaign
against its own obsolescence. Backed by EEI and other outside interest groups, APS spent nearly $4 million on TV, print and Internet ads depicting solar homeowners as freeloaders on the grid, and an economic burden to all the households without such solar
panels. According to APS ads, such solar homes cost the rest of the utility's customers at least $1,000 a year, what they
dubbed a "cost shift" in anodyne bureaucratic terminology concealing real malice. APS therefore proposed a surcharge,
or "sun tax" in the words of opponents, of as much as $100 per month that solar homeowners would pay as their fair
share of grid maintenance costs. Some Arizona residents described such ads as "deceptive at best" or "false advertising," among other, less mild epithets.
solar industry, consumers and homeowners fought back over the course of 2013, running their own ads touting the benefits of
solar, including increased competition for sclerotic monopolies such as APS, self-reliance and less pollution in smoggy Phoenix.
They decried the campaign by APS to blame solar homeowners for doing the fiscally and environmentally responsible thing. Homeowner Scott McCay notes that in a decade of home improvements prior to installing solar, like better insulation and more energy-efficient lightbulbs,
his electricity use dropped by roughly 18 percent whereas his bill from APS increased by 33 percent, largely because of the
shared cost of grid maintenance. As a result, such solar proponents have no love for their local utility.
fact, utilities may be underpaying solar homeowners for the benefits of rooftop electricity, at least according to an analysis
run by one of their own: Texas's Austin Energy. The municipal utility's analysis concluded that it should pay to solar homeowners 3 cents more than the retail electricity rate, for savings in transmission
losses and the ability to delay building large, centralized power plants that can require multibillion-dollar investments.
"We must fight the greedy, unscrupulous tactics of companies like APS every step of the way," Sun City West-resident Christina Compton testified to the public commission charged with regulating APS and the solar-at-home program last November.
At the end of this first battle,
where public comments against any "sun tax" significantly outnumbered those in support, the Arizona Corporation
Commission (ACC) agreed to impose a charge of 70 cents per month on solar homeowners. That charge is probably not enough to eliminate the cost benefits of leasing solar arrays from companies like SolarCity.
But the war is far from over. "We missed it on this one," argues Dillon Holmes of Clean Power Arizona, an advocacy
organization for renewable energy in the state. "We didn't do enough to uncover the true effects, both positive and/or
negative, of distributed rooftop solar."
And APS expects to continue to advance the "cost shift"
barrage again before the commission in 2014 and beyond. "We applaud the ACC for cutting through the rhetoric and focusing
on how the cost shift impacts nonsolar customers," said APS CEO Don Brandt in a statement on the ruling. "Of course, having determined that a problem exists, we would have preferred for the ACC to fix it. The proposal…falls
well short of protecting the interests of the one million residential customers who do not have solar panels." Perhaps
Arizona has in mind what has happened in Hawaii, where the local utility now requires homes that install solar to pay for
upgrades to the grid to handle any extra electricity, which has led to a precipitous decline in the amount of solar-at-home installations.
Not your grandma's utility
The frontlines of solar power aren’t
yielding to these threats from the old guard. Solar is only going to get cheaper, as the EEI report and others have noted.
Richard Swanson, the founder of solar panel manufacturer SunPower, has argued that the cost of a photovoltaic cell drops by
20 percent every time global manufacturing capacity for such cells doubles. This “Swanson's Law” for photovoltaics suggests that PV prices are now less than 75 cents per watt. Even in the face of a significant solar
tax, photovoltaics might win as harvesting sunshine for electricity grows ever cheaper.
The U.S. Department
of Energy hopes to help with that, using some of the human resources it typically devotes to managing the nation's nuclear
arms for ensuring energy, economic and environmental security. Its SunShot program aims to make solar power cheaper than burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. The program's name draws explicit
parallels to Pres. John F. Kennedy's "moon shot" of the 1960s, except the funding is not quite as plush. So far
SunShot has awarded $87 million to projects that could reduce the cost of solar power to 50 cents per watt to make a module,
and 50 cents per watt to install a module. That includes the $10-million SunShot prize for the first three "teams" (read: companies) that achieve $1 per
watt for the messy paperwork side of installing solar. "PV modules cost about 1 percent of what they did 35 years ago,"
noted Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in a talk at Columbia University August 2013. "Now it's the soft costs that we have to work on more, to get those down."
Projects also include efforts to build novel
types of photovoltaics via the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy's "Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight" or FOCUS program as well as manufacturing processes that could bring down costs. That includes 1366 Technologies's
bid to directly grow the individual silicon wafers in traditional solar panels rather than shaving them from ingots and wasting the expensive material. Such specially
treated silicon is responsible for more than half the final price of the photovoltaic module, and sawing off the wafers turns
as much as half of that expensive silicon into dust. Growing such wafers individually from melted silicon could cut wafer
costs by 80 percent, according to the company named after the wattage of sunlight that hits each square meter of Earth's atmosphere.
And if wafer costs fall, so, too, should photovoltaic prices.
Even as an "expensive" alternative,
solar is the fastest growing electricity source in the world. Globally, more than 100 gigawatts of solar power have been installed to date, including some 400 million solar panels, the majority in Europe where subsidies are highest. And although investments
were down in 2012—just over $140 billion globally—total installed capacity was up, thanks to the declining technology
prices. Solar power may be finally beginning to follow a 25-year path similar to that of now ubiquitous cell phones—from
an oddity in the 1990s to world domination in the next decade or so.
All fracked up?
Solar might be growing even faster, if not for another innovation funded by the U.S. Department of Energy: fracking to free natural gas in deep shale. Such shale gas has flooded the market and reduced natural gas prices, resulting in natural gas–fired
turbines becoming the technology of choice for producing electricity. Natural gas iskilling off nuclear power, slowing the rise of wind and solar, and even shoving aside old, dirty coal.
But natural gas doesn't have to be tied to big turbines. Most homes
in the U.S. are already connected to a distribution system for such natural gas, using it for cooking or heating. That buried
distribution system could end up replacing the old electric grid, still carried from place to place atop weather-exposed steel
pylons and more than 100 million dead trees, aka utility poles. Novel devices, such as some types of fuel cell, could instead
use natural gas to produce electricity cheaply in the home. Or battery systems, like those offered by Tesla, could serve as
backup and electricity storage system. Paired with solar cells on the roof, such "disruptive energy resources" could result in one nation, off the grid. "The solar industry belongs with the natural gas industry," NRG's
Crane says. "Those two go together, they just don't know it."
The past few decade's severe weather
caused by climate change—itself largely an outcome of the old electricity model of a big, centralized grid powered by
coal-fired plants—may help hasten that transition, blowing down the world's largest machine, theU.S. electric grid, again and again, until it becomes obvious that reinvesting in an antiquated technology that Thomas Edison himself would
recognize is no longer smart or sustainable. Solar can help insulate people from the vagaries of a changing climate (as well
as reducing the greenhouse gas pollution causing the changes by replacing fossil-fuel burning to produce electricity.) "We
have to help this rebuilding in a smart way, in a way that prepares our energy infrastructure not for the last storm but for
the next storm and for the next possibility of major disruptions," Moniz told the audience at Columbia University last summer, fresh from unveiling a microgrid in New Jersey that will help resilience in the wake of Superstorm Sandy
in 2012. "Eighty-four percent of carbon emissions are power-related. Mother Nature seems to be returning the favor with
a long-term toll on energy infrastructure."
The battle lines over this transformation are forming. In
Georgia a Southern Co. subsidiary has blocked solar power development. That caused the local Tea Party, led by activist Debbie
Dooley, to form what she called the "Green Tea Coalition" with local environmentalists from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and other groups to push for more
solar in the state, rather than costly projects such as the new nuclear reactors being built at the Vogtle power plant—the first new nuclear to be approved in the U.S. since 1978—and financed
through fees collected before any electricity is produced from new fission. It's a similar coalition to the one that has achieved
the legalization of marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington. "Solar is a natural fit for conservatives,"
Dooley says, noting her amazement at conservatives who claim to be in favor of a free market but support a government-mandated
monopoly like local utilities. "The bottom line is energy has to compete on a level playing field and let the consumer
As a result of this unlikely alliance, the Georgia Public Service Commission—an all-Republican
committee that regulates the electricity monopoly in the state—voted torequire Georgia Power to include more solar power in its plans for future generation. Georgia Power also dropped a plan, at least for the moment, to charge solar
homeowners a grid fee. But it remains to be seen whether a state law that blocks homeowners from leasing solar power from
companies like SolarCity or SunRun will be overturned.
A schism of sorts is forming within the Republican
Party: Libertarians and Tea Partiers like Dooley who support a homeowner's property rights have sided against other conservative
groups like Americans for Prosperity (a group largely funded by oil magnates the Koch brothers) and think tanks like the Heartland
Institute. Grover Norquist of the Republican-group Americans for Tax Reform has decried the Georgia "green tea"
alliance. "The rooftop solar industry has attempted to co-opt countless conservative groups in its fight to protect crony
capitalism," he wrote in a November submission to the Arizona regulators. "Solar homes effectively avoid paying for the fixed costs of the grid. These costs are like taxes being shifted to
But property rights and self-reliance seem to be issues that Americans of most political
persuasions can support, from the primarily blue state of California to the reliably red state of Georgia—and has led
to "solar rights" laws in purple Midwestern states such as Wisconsin and Iowa. Barry Goldwater, Jr., son of the
famed conservative presidential candidate and a former congressman in his own right, heads the Tell Utilities Solar won't be Killed, or TUSK, coalition in Arizona. "Rather than innovate or find ways to profit from solar power, APS decries the solar
industry and opines that its revenue is heading downward… That's not the ratepayers problem," he wrote in aJune op-ed. "Instead of trying to fix the problem, APS is trying to fix the game. It's looking to rig the system so the utility
doesn't have to pay fair market value for the excess electricity that rooftop solar customers send back to the grid."
So far, the utilities best efforts have not succeeded. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, more than 100,000 homes went solar in 2013. And a "solar project will be installed, on average, every four minutes in the U.S."
The full costs and benefits of solar rooftops on homes remain unknown. But a survey of home sales in California found that photovoltaic systems boosted home sale prices by nearly $25,000 in 2009, according to research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And solar advocates point
to the fact that photovoltaics on rooftops save on the costs of investing in new conventional power plants and grid infrastructure
as well as the cost of meeting pollution limits or other regulations, while reducing electricity loss.
the U.S., solar energy leaders such as Germany and Spain are also now considering a kind of "solar tax" for access
to the grid in order to ensure maintenance of their legacy infrastructure. To calm the furor in this country, the Electric
Power Research Institute (EPRI) plans ongoing studies to better understand how to integrate into the U.S. grid both solar
and traditional power plants. "These systems can be complementary and not competitive," noted EPRI CEO Michael Howard,
whenannouncing the new research effort on February 10.
In the end, solar may prove an unstoppable force. If solar module prices drop to 50 cents per watt, then solar power becomes as cheap as other forms of electricity in all
50 states, once installation costs are included. In addition, the technology offers some additional benefits, from far fewer
climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions than even power plants burning natural gas to reduced use of water compared with
the cooling needs of a big coal-fired or nuclear power plant.
As the Edison Electric Institute notes, the
proportion of regions where solar at homewill be cheaper than electricity purchased from the grid could grow to as much as one third of the nation as soon as 2017.
Nowhere is that more true than the desert Southwest of the U.S., in states like Arizona.
In that future of cheap solar the home would be a self-sufficient energy fortress, and perhaps self-driving electric cars would plug in there, to recharge from sunshine. Batteries or even technologies that transform newly abundant natural
gas to electricity inside the home could serve as backup for cloudy days. In fact, solar systems paired with batteries or
fuel cells could become cost-effective in states besides Hawaii (where it is already so) by the 2020s, according to a new analysis from energy think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute, and partners. "How shockingly stupid is it to build a 21st-century electricity system based on a system of 130 million
wooden poles?" asked NRG's David Crane at the ARPA–E summit on February 25. "The day is coming, within a generation,
where the grid is, at best, an antiquated backup system."
His company helped open the world's largest
solar thermal power plant on February 20, where 347,000 mirrors concentrate sunlight on three nearly five story-tall central
power towers at Ivanpah in the California desert, near Bakersfield. But he sees an even bigger future for photovoltaics, and NRG has already installed them at football stadiums
across the country, including at Lincoln Field in Philadelphia. Last year nearly one third of new U.S. electric capacity was
At the same time, NRG is investing in natural gas generators to fit in people's basements that
could either provide all the electricity a house needs or to be paired with rooftop solar cells to offer electricity after
sunset—freeing homes in Arizona, Georgia or anywhere else from the grid forever. War is coming, and when it comes, it
may sweep away not only the American electric utility as it has been for the last century—the world's largest machine—but
also the legacy car companies and even the most recent iteration of the American way of life, making the bucolic lifestyle
of the suburbs sustainable in a novel way. But only if the powers that be stop fighting the sunshine. "All they need
is a gizmo in the basement that turns natural gas into electricity and you're done," he noted. "You tell your electric company to go jump in a lake."
Join the Indy
Green Party. Be a Green candidate for local, state, or federal office today!
Tareq Salahi nominated to serve on Indy Green Party central committee
22 mar 14 @ 1:15 pm edt
Tareq Salahi Indy Green Party leader
Tareq Salahi has been nominated
to serve on the Independent Green Party of Virginia's state central committee. The Salahi nomination will be put before
the Indy Green Party Executive Committee this weekend. Tareq Salahi is an Indy Green Party "More Trains, Less Traffic"
Indy Green Party leaders urge Tareq Salahi
to run for congress in 7th District
Tareq Salahi, some Indy Green Party leaders
believe, would make for an excellent Indy Green Party candidate in the high profile U.S. House race in the 7th District. The
current incumbent is the majority leader in the U.S. House. Tareq Salahi would make an excellent Indy Green Party candidate
in that race to advocate for the Green New Deal: More Trains, Less Traffic. Green solar energy jobs. Green geothermal energy
jobs. Green conservation jobs. Green weatherization jobs. Watch this space for more Indy Green Party Tareq Salahi details.
Green Party - Green Shadow Cabinet News
22 mar 14 @ 12:54 pm edt
Anti-poverty campaigner, Cheri Honkala, arrested with environmental activists, "Building a Bigger Movement
On Monday March 10th, hundreds of protesters assembled in
front of the Philadelphia Federal Building demanding that President Obama not issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,
a proposed 1,700 mile pipeline that would transport oil from the tar sands of Northern Canada to oil refineries in Texas.
Challenging their 'Frames'
There are stong forces - corporations, billionaires, and
their lobbies, who are working hard to 'frame' the issues of our times.
of the Green Shadow Cabinet work to challenge these false frames. This week includes articles on the 'Supportive Role' of
U.S. diplomacy, the 'Sound Science' of Monsanto, and Obama's 'Economic Recovery'.
For those of us inspired by mass mobilizations in Egypt's Tahrir Square, Turkey's
Gezi Park, Greece's Syntagma Square, Spain's Plaza del Sol, and even our "own" Zuccotti Park, it is easy for protests
in Venezuela to evoke the same emotions. But this would be a mistake...
Reading the March 2 editorial in the New York Times on the
so-called revolution in Ukraine, I couldn’t help but marvel at how easily elite opinion makers in the U.S. can call
for the use of public resources to bail out the people and government of Ukraine without significant opposition or even serious
For corporate agribusiness, “Sound Science” has become a marker for
special interest public relations campaigns that are themselves inherently in conflict with science.
President Obama's proven reliability as outsider president extraordinaire - putting
a disarming smiley face on capitalism's depredations - is his administration's economic significance.
The latest and best research indicates that raising the federal minimum
wage to $10.10 an hour would modestly reduce poverty and inequality in the United States with few if any negative effects
in the labor market.
On September 11, 2013, the 40 year anniversary of the Coup the ousted and killed
the democratically elected Chilean President, Salvador Allende, the Green Shadow Cabinet published an apology on behalf of the United States of America, for our federal government and CIA’s role in the tragic death of Chile’s
President, and support for the vicious Pinochet regime.
Green Shadow Cabinet President, Jill Stein, talks with Ed “Flash”
Ferenc about the fracking industry's unmeasured costs which threaten worker health and safety, as well as America's air, water,
climate and economic prosperity.
On the day when the news that Wall St bonuses jumped
by 15% last year, Stein and Ferenc discuss the economy of, by, and for, the 1 percent.
Poll shows Green Party candidate favored for Colombia presidency
17 mar 14 @ 8:59 pm edt
Poll shows Green Party candidate favored
for Colombia presidency
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Enrique Peñalosa, the former Bogotá mayor who introduced
the city’s mass transport system, is favored to win Colombia’s presidential election this year just one week after
being nominated, according to a new poll.
Green Party candidate Peñalosa would get 17.1 percent in the first round
of voting on May 25, compared with 25.5 percent for incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos, according to a Datexco poll published
today in the print edition of El Tiempo newspaper. In the second round, however, Peñalosa would win 40.4 percent of
the vote to Santos’s 37.1 percent. The survey of 1,000 people was conducted March 13-14 and had a margin of error of
As mayor of Bogotá from 1998 to 2001, Peñalosa introduced the mass transit bus network,
and 250 kilometers (155 miles) of cycle paths. The 59-year-old candidate, who studied economics and history at Duke University
in North Carolina, has pledged to make reducing crime his top priority, with “severe” punishments for violent
criminals, and schemes similar to the “three strikes” laws in the U.S., with incremental sentences for habitual
“We aren’t giving enough priority to cutting crime in our cities, so people live in fear,”
Peñalosa said in a March 12 interview in his Bogotá office. “People are afraid to use a cellphone in the
street. Even though I believe in the importance of sound fiscal policy and all that, it’s much more important to have
security than to have low interest rates or to have a good exchange rate.”
Peñalosa said he wants to
build more jails and increase the number of police officers. The number of homicides fell to 15,234 last year, down 3.7 percent
from 2009, the year before Santos took office, while other crimes including burglary, vehicle theft and sexual assault increased,
according to data collected by the Defense Ministry.
If elected, Peñalosa also said he’ll set up a
commission of Colombia’s best and brightest to overhaul the nation’s industrial policy. This will be similar to
the Korea Development Institute, or KDI, a think tank founded in 1971 to research economic policy and help the Korean government
formulate five- year development plans, he said.
“We should have an institution, similar to the KDI, with 40
or 50 Ph.D.s, who should think about what should be done,” Peñalosa said. “I’d pay them extremely
well so that they wouldn’t be lured by industry or by the private sector afterward.”
The new development
institute will direct subsidized credit, tax breaks and state investment to develop businesses that bring new knowledge, he
said, citing aircraft manufacturers Airbus Group NV and Embraer SA as examples of successful businesses nurtured by government
Government support is currently given to business groups that are most able to exert pressure on politicians, rather
than on any strategic grounds, he said.
Peñalosa says another of his priorities is to develop Colombia’s Pacific
coast, so that the country can take advantage the “ocean of the future,” which borders the world’s fastest-
growing economies, such as China.
The Pacific province of Chocó has the highest poverty rate in Colombia,
according to the national statistics agency.
“It’s an absolute shame the kind of cities we have in
the Colombian Pacific,” Peñalosa said. “We have some absolutely horrible living environments, which make
it impossible to make any kind of serious investment, or to get highly qualified people to live in cities like Tumaco or Buenaventura.”
than 19,000 people fled their homes in Buenaventura last year, according to data gathered by the government, as cocaine
smuggling gangs fought for control of Colombia’s biggest port.
© 2014, Bloomberg News
Independent Green News
3 mar 14 @ 2:18 pm est
Independent Green News from Brad Blog
With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By DESI DOYEN
on 2/27/2014, 3:37pm PT
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT:Cancer clusters found downwind of Canada's tar sands; Nebraska judge
rejects Keystone XL tar sand pipeline route; Inspector General finds no conflicts of interest in Keystone XL environmental
report; Tesla wants to free you from your electric utility!; PLUS: Can wind turbines really slow down hurricanes?...
All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Please help us connect the climate change dots
over your public airwaves!PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE!
tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line atGreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Drought & Dystopia in Syria: Vision of
Mankind’s Future?; Save the butterflies: limits sought on Monsanto weedkiller; Climate change is coming for your coffee;
Acidic waters kill 10m scallops in PacNW; Oil train rail cars unsafe, 'unacceptable'; NY utilities ordered to prepare for
climate change ... PLUS: That fresh pine forest scent can also limit climate change
... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Joe Kernan, CNBC Chief Climate Science Denier:
- Keystone XL: Inspector General Finds Conflict
of Interest, But It's OK:
- Report finds no conflict of interest, despite obvious conflicts of interest (Grist)
- Did the State Department Fail Obama on Keystone XL?(Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
[T]here’s just no disputing that ERM, under the
“sole direction and control” of State, did not follow State’s own conflict-of-interest disclosure
guidelines...And now comes the capper. Far more alarming than any of the above, ERM also relied on another firm to
complete its Keystone assessment—and that company, as it happens, isowned outright by a tar sands developer..
- Report: Keystone contractor followed federal rules (SF Gate) [emphasis added]:
The report focused on "whether the State
Department followed its own flawed process for selecting a third-party contractor," [Rep. Raul] Grijalva
said. "The fact that the answer is 'yes' doesn't address any outstanding concerns about the integrity of ERM's
work, the State Department's in-house ability to evaluate its quality or whether the process itself needs to be reformed.
Far from inspiring confidence in the project, the report "is evidence of the problem," Grijalva said.
- Keystone XL: Federal Judge Throws Out Nebraska Route:
- Keystone XL:
Senators Call for Public Health Impact Study of Cancer Clusters:
- Stanford Univ Study: Offshore Wind Turbines Can Slow Down Hurricanes:
- Tesla Wants To Free You From Your Electric
- Smell of forest pine can limit climate change - researchers(BBC):
New research suggests a strong link between the powerful smell
of pine trees and climate change. Scientists say they've found a mechanism by which these scented vapours turn into aerosols
above boreal forests. These particles promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space and helping clouds to form.
- Drought & Dystopia in Syria: Vision of Mankind’s Future?(Climate Crocks):
“We don’t have any observed evidence to
support a 100-year trend in precipitation that we would prescribe as being natural,” said study co-author Colin Kelley,
a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “We can only assume that the trend is anthropogenic.”
- Limits sought on weed killer glyphosate to help monarch butterflies (LA Times)
- Gulp: Climate Change May Be Causing a Global Coffee Shortage (Slate)
- World begins 2014 with unusual number of extreme weather events (Guardian UK): UN's World Meteorological Organisation says recent extremes of heat, cold and rain are almost certainly
- Acidic Waters Kill 10 Million Scallops Off Vancouver (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
A mass die-off of scallops near Qualicum Beach on Vancouver
Island is being linked to the increasingly acidic waters that are threatening marine life and aquatic industries along the
West Coast. Rob Saunders, CEO of Island Scallops, estimates his company has lost three years worth of scallops and $10 million
dollars.“I’m not sure we are going to stay alive and I’m not sure the oyster industry is going to
stay alive,” Saunders told The Parksville Qualicum Beach NEWS. “It’s that dramatic.”
- Rail cars used to ship oil called 'unacceptable' (AP):
Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North
Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may
not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
- U.S. Safety Board: Tesoro Blocked Refinery Investigation(Bloomberg):
Tesoro Corp. (TSO) blocked the U.S. Chemical Safety
Board from investigating an incident at a Northern California refinery and downplayed the extent of workers’ injuries,
the board said. ... The company refused to preserve the accident site, prohibited certain interviews and indicated it wouldn’t
comply with document requests.
- NY State Expects All Utilities to Prep for Climate Change(Climate Central)
- Global Shift to Clean Energy No Longer 'Theoretical' (The Tyee):
These days the data tell a powerful story. Recent price
declines for solar energy have been "massive," [Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance] explained, while merely
"substantial" for wind, meaning that a global shift away from fossil fuels is no longer "theoretical."
- Enbridge Pipeline: unreported spills, alarming communities along 830-km pipe (Toronto Star):
Investigation unveils 35 spills along Enbridge’s
suddenly controversial 830-km pipeline, many not revealed to communities until now.
- Conservative Media's Favorite Climate Scientist Fulfills Godwin's Law (Media Matters):
Roy Spencer: Climate Activists "Support Policies
That Will Kill More People Than The Nazis Ever Did"
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff
we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into
the next 100 years:
Janet Murphy & Indy Green Party make ballot for Arlington Supervisor Special Election
18 feb 14 @ 7:49 pm est
Janet Murphy on the Ballot!!
Janet Murphy "Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! Thanks to everyone who came to their door in freezing weather to sign our petition! We are
on the ballot now to run a positive, constructive, pro-Columbia pike rail campaign for Arlington County!"
Janet Murphy, Independent Green Party Arlington County Chair, has made the ballot!!! Janet Murphy and the
Indy Green Party petition gatherers braved 6 days of freezing temperatures and often blizzard like conditions to get Janet
Murphy on the ballot.
"We are thrilled and delighted to have Janet Murphy represent
the "More Trains, Less Traffic!" Independent Green Party on the ballot!" said Indy Green Virginia State Chairman
Joseph P. Oddo.
Janet Murphy is a renter, and biker. 39% of Washington D.C. area
households have no auto. Janet Murphy is among them, and by choice. So, when the Indy Green Party's Janet Murphy
speaks for affordable housing, growing bikeshare, and "More Trains, Less Traffic" her advocacy is personal, as well
as political. Janet Murphy walks it, and on her bike, rides it, like she talks it. Her political commitment to
a better environment is personal as well.
The Arlington County Board of Supervisors special
election will be on April 8, 2014.
"Janet Murphy is a wonderful, kind person, with an enormous
heart. Janet Murphy is a dedicated Green Party liberal. Janet Murphy wants to make Arlington, and the world, an ever
better place." Gail for Rail Parker, Independent Green Party state vice chairman.
During this weeks artic like storm Janet Murphy was going door to door to gather the required petition
signatures by the Tuesday noon deadline. Janet Murphy and the Independent Green Party had only 6 days.
"It was a test of the Independent Green Party's political will, warm shoes and parkas!", joked Independent
Green Party 8th congressional district Chairman Ron Fisher, a retired U.S. Navy captain. "We in the Independent
Green Party love Janet Murphy for her dedication to the community. And we are sure Arlington county voters will love
Janet Murphy too, when they get to know Janet." Captain Fisher continued.
a well known liberal, and progressive Independent Green Party leader recruited Janet Murphy as an Indy Green Party candidate.
Fisher has himself been on the ballot three times as an Independent Green Party candidate.
"Janet Murphy is on the ballot to take a strong stand for Columbia Pike rail. Janet Murphy knows rail
saves lives. Janet Murphy understands rail creates jobs, and grows the economy, increasing the values of our homes, businesses,
and communities." Gerry Blais, Independent Green Party, and possible candidate for the 8th congressional district
that includes Arlington.
Janet Murphy has a Masters of Science degree in counseling Psychology
from University of District of Columbia (UDC). Janet Murphy as a Bachelors of Arts in English from McGill University, and,
a Diploma from the Computer Learning Center in Springfield, Virginia. Janet is
the daughter of a U.S. Navy Captain. Janet has a diverse, and rich professional background. Janet Murphy worked in information
technology, as a realtor. Janet Murphy works now as a hospitality professional in Arlington. Janet Murphy has an adult married
Dianne Blais is another Indy Green Party leader, likely Indy Green
Party candidate in the 10th congressional district. "Seeing Janet Murphy succeed is inspiring for all of us. Janet
Murphy is a delightful, down to earth, and very caring person. Janet Murphy would indeed make a superb member of the
Arlington County Board of Supervisors."
Janet Murphy, Ron Fisher, Gerry Blais, and
Dianne Blais come from the growing liberal, progressive faction of the Independent Green Party.
Janet Murphy, Independent Green Party brave blizzard to gather signatures
13 feb 14 @ 9:00 pm est
Janet Murphy and Indy Green Party fight weather to gather signatures by Tuesday deadline
Janet Murphy and the "More Trains, Less Traffic", Indy Green Party are known as Virginia's best petition
gatherers. These Greens have earned that reputation across three decades of putting "More Trains, Less Traffic"
candidates for local, state, and federal office on the ballot. Indy Greens have done it in every season, and every
kind of weather. From subzero temperatures, to blazing summer days with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees the Independent
Green Party has been across Virginia petitioning.
The Indy Greens famed petitioning gathering
success, is now being challenged. And that challenger is a great heavy weight, who has taken out more than a few mere
mortals. Mother nature is bad momma, a tough cookie, and not to be toyed with. Winter, wild and wooly, wet, wet,
wet, and cold, cold, cold packs a punch.
With the Arlington County Board of Supervisors election
declared on Wednesday - and brutal cold, and now near blizzard white out conditions rolling into Arlington, Virginia...The
popularity of the Indy Green Party "More Trains, Less Traffic" message, and discipline of the Independent Green
Party petitioners has been sorley tested.
Gail for Rail Parker is the state vice chair of the
Independent Green Party. "If the cold don't get you, the soggy petition paper will!"
icy rain, and drifts of snow were no picnic for the Independent Green Party. Indy Green Party hopeful for Arlington County
Board of Supervisors Janet Murphy endured. Janet Murphy was out climbing the snow banks to knock on doors, and ask for signatures.
This artic like winter weather was soaking Independent Green Party shoes, and deep freezing Greens feet in a matter
of minutes. Hypothermia quickly becomes a danger for Indy Green Party petitioners.
valient battle rages still for the Independent Green Party and Janet Murphy. Winds howl. Snows swirl. The result uncertain.
So if you see Janet Murphy or another Independent Green at your door asking for a signature for the "More Trains,
Less Traffic" candidate, please sign! It's freezing and wet out there!!!
Indy Green Party's Janet Murphy - Arlington County Board of Supervisors candidate coverage
13 feb 14 @ 8:48 am est
Sun Gazette (blog)-
... with the endorsement of both the Republican
and Green parties; Libertarian Evan Bernick; Janet
Murphy of the Independent Green Party; ...
Washington Post (blog)--
... with the endorsement of both the Republican and Green
parties; Libertarian Evan Bernick; Janet Murphy of the Independent Green Party; ...
This is the listening part. ... Libertarian Evan Bernick, Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and independent Stephen
Janet Murphy of the Independent-Green Party. Murphy has previously run for the Virginia House
of Delegates and the U.S. House of ...
Washington Post (blog)--
Vihstadt, who is running as an independent for Arlington ...Evan Bernick and Janet Murphy of the Independent Green Partyas well as ...
... Evan Bernick (Libertarian), Janet Murphy (Independent Green), ... In the special election, the Republicans and Green
Party each opted to ...
... a Republican running as an independent,
Libertarian Evan Bernick and Janet Murphy of
the Independent Green Party in a special election ...
Bernick, a Libertarian, and Janet Murphy, from theIndependent
Green Party, have also filed in the race. The Republicans will not field
All other contenders – including third-party candidates
and independents ... Evan Bernick; Independent
Green Janet Murphy; and independent ...
Washington Post (blog)--
Bernick, a Libertarian, and Janet Murphy, from the Independent Green Party, have also filed in the race. The Republicans
have not yet ...
Green Party is UK's most popular party
21 jan 14 @ 1:58 pm est
Green Party UK's most popular political party.
According to comres polling, the Green Party is the United Kingdom's most popular political party. The
Green Party has the highest positive approval ratings, and the lowest disapproval ratings of Britain's five largest parties.
ComRes Poll: Green Party most popular in UK
Com Res polled about George Osborne, Ed Balls, Boris Johnson and the GreenParty. In fact, the Greens were slightly more favourably regarded than UKIP (28 per cent to 27 per
cent), and much less unfavourably regarded (23 per cent to 38 per cent), giving them the better claim to
be the “most popular” party in Britain.
Green Party +5 to 28% since (June 2013)
Labour -19 (-17)
Conservative -25 (-29)
Lib Dem -35
Green Party leader in Scotland a rising political star
21 jan 14 @ 9:17 am est
Green Party leader Patrick Harvie
"That kind of hard right slant is quite alien to Scottish politics," Harvie, 40,
one of the two Greens in Edinburgh's 129-member parliament who both back independence, said.
may be at that point that some undecided voters start to see the positive case for taking responsibility for our own decisions."
The Green Party's Patrick Harvie, an increasingly prominent figure in Scottish politics,
said he would not want to bet on the result of the referendum
Scotland's Greens are
campaigning for greater use of renewable energy in a country that is a pioneer of wind and wave power as well as having offshore
oil reserves. While the Greens back the SNP on independence, on many issues they appeal to left-leaning supporters of Labour,
the main opposition in Scotland's parliament.
The Labour Party is trying to come
up with plans for constitutional change that would keep Scotland within the United Kingdom but shift more powers from London
- something polls show most Scots would favour.
Harvie said he saw the potential
for the Labour party to split on the extent of those proposals after its Scottish conference in March, potentially aiding
the pro-independence camp.
"If people in the Labour Party start to peel
away then that could change the dynamic far more powerfully than anything we've seen to date," he said.
against Scottish independence say it would be unrealistic, costly and unworkable.
'Yes' vote would certainly open a can of worms financially, including negotiations with London on dividing up debt, oil revenues
and the operations of two of Britain's biggestbanks.
Harvie is among Scottish politicians, including some in the SNP, who
have spoken in favour of at least preparing the ground for dropping sterling and creating a new independent currency. SNP
leader Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would want to keep the pound, at least for a time.
the idea of a new currency, Harvie said "In the longer run, and it might be over a number of years, the economic needs
of Scotland and the rest of the UK would be more likely to diverge."
The struggling campaign for Scottish
independence could get a lift from an expected swing to an anti-EU party in Britain's European parliament elections in May,
the leader of Scotland's Green Party said on Thursday.
months until a September 18 referendum, opinion polls show about half of Scots oppose ending the 307-year-old union with England,
about a third favour the Scottish National Party's bid for independence and around 15 percent are undecided.
The mood could shift in favour of the Green Party in the coming European Parliament election, Green Party leader Patrick
Harvie told Reuters in an interview.
be at that point that some undecided voters start to see the positive case for making the Green Party the largest future focused
party, with eco for the economy."
Green Party for doubling renewables: Solar Jobs, Wind Jobs, Geothermal Jobs
21 jan 14 @ 9:10 am est
Green Party proposes doubling of renewables
Green Party has presented a proposal for clean energy, suggesting a doubling of renewable energy generation through to
According to See
News, the party presented the programme in Berlin. It suggests an expansion of renewable energy continuing in a cost
efficient manner without a cap on the expansion capacity.
The party wishes to limit the growth in the levy, paid by consumers, under the renewable energy law (EEG).
Furthermore, exemptions for industry should be
cut in line the the EU rules.
It also proposes
that investment opportunities and security for citizens in the further development of renewable energy should also be guaranteed.
addition to a reform of the EEG, the Green Party demands a curbing of coal power usage to reduce overcapacity and to reach
the country’s climate protection goals.
Green Party takes power Saturday in Hessen
17 jan 14 @ 7:27 pm est
Independent Green Party's Janet Murphy
11 jan 14 @ 11:23 am est
In County Board Race, Indy-Green Party Also Wants In on the Action
by SCOTT McCAFFREY,
The Sun Gazette
Petra Kelly, Green Party founder.
© IGVA 2013
Authorized and paid for by the Independent Greens of Virginia