Once again Massachusetts was #1 in energy efficiency thanks to their 2008 Green Communities Act and other aggressive action like the “stretch” building code. It stresses higher insulation rates among many energy saving techniques in new buildings.
Adding to the god news, our electric companies are adding more solar every year to offset huge spikes in energy cost with innovative ways. In the city of Holyoke, Ma. they are allowing solar companies to forgo taxes on rooftop leases in exchange for some of the profits. And Rutland, Vermont was named solar capital of New England with help from their closed landfill that has 7700 solar panels. They’re pushing local generation instead of importing it or using 19th century fossil fuels.
On the environmental side, we have the Smithsonian Institute going to the former director of the National Science Institute for an unbiased opinion after finding out one of their researchers was paid part of the $1.2 million the fossil fuel industry paid them for research to debunk greenhouse gases link to climate changes. Considering the world still subsidizes the fossil fuel industry around $500 billion a year – that’s just a drop in the bucket.
After killing the Republicans biggest baby, Keystone XL, President Obama came out with a climate change policy just in time for the world environmental summit in Paris in line with the rest of the world. At the top of the list was getting rid of all those subsidies. As usual, those jolly old Republicans were anything but amused and 25 mostly GOP states sued the EPA over the carbon-cutting plan in the Washington D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals. And hard core GOP writers like Cal Thomas of the Chicago Tribune joined Trump in continually pushing propaganda about oil creating jobs and international dependence, despite the massive layoffs from the world glut created from the tens of thousands of wells recently drilled in North Dakota. Of course they leave out the part about green energy jobs being a new industry that would employ millions compared to a few thousand oil jobs.
I’m sure you heard about the massive 3 million gallon mine waist spill in Colorado caused by the EPA. Instead of cleaning up this super-fund site the mine owners didn’t, they accidentally dumped the mostly toxic metals iron,zinc and copper into the Animas River. The spill polluted not only that river, but wells and many others for 300 miles all the way to Lake Powell in Utah and rivers in New Mexico. It’s as bad as the Kalamazoo River spill – maybe worse. Of course, if the ultra-rich money machine mining companies had been ordered to clean up their own thousands of sites before they got out of hand decades ago this wouldn’t have happened. Instead, we get to pay for the approximately 15,000 water contaminated sites from the up to half a million large and small sites left over from as far back as the mining days of the old west prospectors because congress has been controlled by the mining companies ever since.
Locally in my back yard, and most likely yours, we still have a huge problem with gas leaks not being repaired and pipelines not replaced that are stunting and killing trees when it filters up through their roots that are looking for oxygen from the soil. Instead they suck up the mostly methane gas. Then there are the millions of former car dealerships, machine shops, military bases and huge corporate contaminated sites still plaguing every town and city nationwide and poisoning everything above and below ground. And we are constantly adding more disinfecting plants like before Nixon instituted the Clean Drinking Water Act.
If China, India and others truly follow our lead and contaminate the planet as much as we do, well there be any hope for any living organism, plant or creature?