You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘LEGISLATION’ tag.
If you think the government gets enough of your green, here’s your chance to get a little back. 2009 is winding down quickly, but there’s still time to take advantage of several tax incentives for environmentally friendly expenditures – many of them recently created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, click enn.com.
A town in New South Wales, Australia, may be the first in the world to ban bottled water from store shelves. Just two hours drive south of Sydney, the village of Bundanoon voted for the ban in July. John Dee, a spokesman for the campaign that inspired the decision, says that the 2000-person town demonstrates at the local level how “we can sometimes do things that can surprise ourselves, in terms of our ability to bring about real and measurable change that has a real benefit for the environment. The alternative doesn’t have a sexy brand, doesn’t have pictures of mountain streams on the front of it, it comes out of your tap.”
HAT TIP: wl.theaustralian.news
The Institute of Medicine recently released a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that found children are not eating enough dark green vegetables, fruits, or whole grains. Reauthorization of The Child Nutrition Act in early 2010 is important if federal school nutrition programs are to provide healthier, safer, and more nutritional food for students.
Lunch Encounters, a spoof of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was created for the One Tray organization by three IATP Food & Society Fellows — Shalini Kantayya, Nicole Betancourt, and Debra Eschmeyer — in hopes of raising awareness for the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.To read more about One Tray, visit http://onetray.org/.
The prime minister of Bangladesh is requiring government employees to help ease the country’s energy shortage by no longer wearing suits, jackets, and neckties. Even ministers now will no longer be expected to wear suits and ties. The new dress code (which even allows men to wear their shirts untucked), is expected to reduce the demand for air conditioning during the hot months between March and November.
The government intends to ask private businesses to follow its example.
Lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags are now banned in South Australia. We Americans use 100 billion plastic checkout bags per year(producing them takes 12 million barrels of oil).
When seventh grader, Otana Jakpor read about potentially harmful levels of ozone emitted by common air purifiers, she created eight experiments to test their impact on human health. She discovered that some purifiers emit levels equal to Stage 3 smog alerts and her findings spurred her home state of California to become the first state to regulate ozone generators. Otana was subsequently awarded the President’s Environmental Youth Award and she is now a volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association.
Hat Tip: mnn.com.
Increasingly, plastic water bottles are being targeted as a major source of pollution. In response, cities around the world are promoting tap water (Venice, Italy, is branding it “Acqua Veritas” and cites a reduction of plastic trash by 27 tons a year.
Hoping to combat negative perceptions about plastics and single-use disposal litter, The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) is about to launch a social media-based Internet campaign targeting the millennial generation.
Complete story: huffingtonpost.com
Two years ago, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, passed a Clean City law that required the downsizing or removal of all public forms of advertising. “Of all the different kinds of pollution, visual pollution is the most obvious,” says Mayor Gilberto Kassab. “It is also the one that allows for short-term results — immediate, even — if the legislation to combat it is good. Our law was radical and very simple. All major publicity in São Paulo was prohibited as of a predetermined date. The first thing that happened was that people felt a great sense of relief.” Advertisers estimate that they removed 15,000 billboards and that more than 1,600 signs and 1,300 towering metal panels were dismantled by authorities. You can read the entire story at time.com.
Who owns the rainwater that falls on your property? If you live in the American West, the answer is unclear. In many areas, state and local interests have been appropriating water for over 150 years (in Utah, collecting rainwater from the roof is still illegal unless the roof owner also owns water rights on the ground). But now, many states, driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in their aquifers, are actively encouraging people to collect. Two new Colorado laws allow perhaps a quarter-million residents with private wells to begin rainwater harvesting and in Santa Fe, New Mexico, capturing rainwater is mandatory for new dwellings. More information here.
The last 100 days or so paint a green picture of the Obama administration. Here’s some of what ‘s been accomplished:
1. Obama began the process of blocking the vast majority of new coal plants.
2. He began the process of dramatically increasing the efficiency of our vehicles, by ordering EPA to support tough emissions requirements asking the Department of Transportation to quickly issue and phase-in tougher fuel economy standards.
3. In every single major speech, he has focused on the urgent need for a clean energy transition and for a price for carbon (cap-and-trade and “closing the carbon loophole”).
4. He signed into law the tax credits needed to achieve his ambitious goal of 1 million plug-in hybrids by 2015 .
5. He signed into law a massive investment in mass transit and train travel — and laid out an aggressive vision for a high-speed rail network.
6. He signed into law the tax credits needed meet his ambitious goal of doubling renewables in his first term.
7. He signed into law the funding needed to jumpstart a 21st smart grid that is critical to enable the renewable energy, energy efficiency, and plug-in hybrid revolution.
8. He signed into law the single biggest investment in the deployment of energy-efficient technology in U.S. history, along with strong incentives for state governments to fix their inefficiency-promoting utility regulations.
9. He more than doubled the annual budget for advanced energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low carbon technology.
Hat tip: www.worldchanging.com
In what could be a historic moment in the struggle against climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday confirmed what most people have long suspected but had never been declared as a matter of federal law: carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases constitute a danger to public health and welfare. More “wow” factor here.
When Erica Fernandez found out that a liquefied natural gas facility was proposed for the coast of Oxnard and Malibu with a 36-inch pipeline routed through low-income neighborhoods, she was outraged. She worked in concert with the Sierra Club and Latino No on LNG group to mobilize the youth and Latino voice in protests and public meetings. She organized weekly protests at the BHP Billiton offices in Oxnard, met regularly with community members, marched through neighborhoods that would be most impacted, reached out to the media, and brought more than 250 high school students to a critical rally. Her passionate testimony at the California State Lands Commission meeting was quoted in news articles, and helped convince the Commission to vote to deny the project.
To learn more about the Brower Youth Awards, visit http://broweryouthawards.org/article.php?list=type&type=12.
The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative has recommended that President Obama appoint a high-level adviser on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes issues equal in rank to the chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality. This new senior official would be responsible for addressing the fact that the marine environment of the United States is in serious trouble. For example, “ninety percent of large predatory fish are now gone. There is a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, created by an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen fertilizer carried by the Mississippi River from America’s hinterland, that has grown to an area roughly the size of Massachusetts. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. wetlands have vanished due to development, and twenty-six thousand of the country’s beaches have been temporarily closed or put under advisories because of pollution.“ Enough said. Click to learn more about how the JOCI is addressing the crisis.
Late last month, Congress approved a massive public lands bill that protects 200 million acres of wilderness in nine states and a thousand miles of rivers, a 50 percent increase in the wild and scenic river system. Ocean protections are also contained in the package of legislation. You can read the details here.