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[1THING] Blog: Archive for May, 2014

[ Texas Wind Energy Continues to Blow Us Away ]

Texas Wind Energy Continues to Blow Us Away




Guest post by Marita Mirzatuny, project manager for Environmental Defense Fund’s US Climate and Energy Program


We have a lot to celebrate this Global Wind Day (June 15). Across the nation, wind energy accounted for almost one-third of new power capacity over the past five years and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that wind energy has the potential to double over the next few years.

Nowhere is the growth in wind energy more evident than in Texas, the nation’s top wind producing state. Texas’ wind energy generation grew by 13% in 2013 and more than 60% of all wind projects under construction in the first part of the year were in Texas.

This success has been aided by the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), a modest tax credit for new facilities good for ten years after the wind farm’s start date. Like those received by the oil, gas, and nuclear industries, tax incentives help ignite growth in the market. EDF has strongly advocated for this incentive over the past few years.

Unfortunately, the breaks that oil and gas have received over the last 100 years are often (conveniently) ignored by those wanting to maintain the status quo, making the PTC a point of debate among politicians.

In 2012, the PTC’s renewal came down to a last minute vote in Congress, creating uncertainty for developers waiting to determine the future of their job-creating projects. Ultimately, it was extended, but in 2013 Congress stalled again and the extension was allowed to expire in January. In the meantime, wind developers sit by cautiously waiting for clear direction. AWEA estimates that this uncertainty has led to the loss of 30,000 jobs.



People and businesses want wind power


The wind industry is a boon for Texas’ economy though, and more companies are investing in wind’s cheap energy prices and Texans are benefitting from cheaper electricity and job growth.

Google, BBVA Compass, and Microsoft already take advantage of Texas’ abundant wind power. And Mars Candy is now buying in with a 200-megawatt (MW) wind farm to power its 37 factories and 70 offices. New Generation Power Texas also signed a contract with General Electric, the largest manufacture of wind turbines in the U.S., to supply 235 wind turbines and related services for its 400 MW Texas Wind Project.

Furthermore, AWEA found that “American consumers in the top wind energy-producing states have seen their electricity prices actually decrease by 0.37 percent over the last 5 years, while all other states have seen their electricity prices increase by 7.79 percent over that time period.” These states have seen great gains in jobs, too. Texas, again leading the nation, reported an increase of 8,000 to 9,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2013.

As we face the consequences of climate disturbance, including droughts that are ravaging states like Texas and California, it is imperative that we view (and support) renewable energy as part of the solution to a sustainable future. According to AWEA: “Operational wind energy projects and those under construction will avoid 115 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while avoiding the consumption of over 36 billion gallons of water each year, because wind turbines use virtually no water in operation.”

That’s why EDF is working with Texas policymakers, investors, and entrepreneurs to see that Texas seizes opportunities and drives innovation in the new energy economy.

To learn more about EDF’s work in Texas, visit their website.   


[ Dedication Ceremony Highlights Wilderness Leadership by Rep. Benishek and Sen. Levin on Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan ]

Michael Reinemer

As the Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness is officially dedicated today, The Wilderness Society praised Michigan Representative Dan Benishek and Senator Carl Levin for championing the bipartisan legislation that now protects this incredible place – the first wilderness area to be approved by C



[ A win for wilderness: Sleeping Bear Dunes is now official! ]

The bipartisan bill to designate more than 32,500 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as wilderness passed the House of Representatives in March 2014, conferring the highest possible level of public land protection on an area known as “



[ Photo: Einstein tours fossilized trees at Petrified Forest National Park ]

This particular photo was taken on a trip in 1931.



[ ATX has 4 stars… ]

Good news, with room for improvement for that 5th star.

star_community_rating…Four out of five stars. That is where Austin stands as a sustainable city. Austin received this score under the new STAR communities ranking system, the nation’s first voluntary, self-reporting framework for evaluating, quantifying and improving the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities.

The score puts Austin near the top of STAR’s list of the country’s most sustainable communities, tied with three others- Tacoma, Washington; Broward County, Florida and Evanston, Illinois. Only the city of Northampton, Massachusetts, has received a score higher than Austin’s.
Click here…
How many stars would you give yourself when it comes to being Mama Earth friendly?

[ Would you consider this? ]

Bio Urns












Not a fun topic, but Death is a Big Business. It happens to us all. Once we go, there are the arrangements for your family to tend too. Most of the time those arrangements are far from Mama Earth Friendly. From embalming fluid, sealed caskets and cement burial vaults, so a Green Burial could be the answer for all including Mama Earth. Plus the cost could be more affordable than the traditional way.

Would you consider becoming a tree? Interesting thought. Click here!


[ New bill seeks to connect kids with nature ]

Kids don’t spend as much time outside as they used to, to the detriment of their health, happiness and overall connection with nature. Now, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Sen.



[ Oil Drillers’ Burning of Natural Gas Costs U.S. Millions in Revenue ]

The flaring of waste natural gas from drilling operations is costing taxpayers millions every year.


[ New bill aims to get kids outside and healthy ]


Healthy kids needs healthy lands – The Wilderness Society

A new bill from Senator Mark Udall and Rep. Ron Kind aims to get kids (and their parents) back outside to improve their health and their connections to the great outdoors. 


[ Report: climate change puts U.S. monuments and landmarks at risk ]

According to new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, notable historic, cultural and natural sites around the country could be damaged or d