Check out this great MSNBC video about how a zoo in Seattle is using clean, renewable energy to revitalize its attractions – and save money.
A geothermal system keeps the penguin exhibit’s water warm, while newly installed solar panels power the zoo’s historic carousel, which was once driven by coal fire.
And, as one installer makes clear to the reporter, there’s plenty of sun in Washington for solar panels. “That’s a misconception that we’re trying to overcome as an industry.”
Talk about movement for clean energy: On the same day we hear that the DOE is fast-tracking four offshore wind projects on the Atlantic coast, we also hear thatdeepwater drilling permits are being withheld until oil companies can prove they know how to prevent major disasters like last summer’s BP oil spill.
According to the Associated Press:
Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, made the disclosure in a letter he sent to executives at Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Helix Energy Solutions Group.
Bromwich asked the companies when the containment system they and others are working on will be ready. He also wanted to know how the companies will demonstrate that the equipment will be readily and immediately available to other firms in the event of a blowout.
“These systems are critical to moving forward with safe and responsible deepwater drilling activities,” Bromwich wrote.
If there is any silver lining to the Gulf oil disaster of 2010, it does seem that the ensuing restrictions are spurring oil companies to more responsible action. Exxon Mobil says it’s working on a system that would contain an oil leak in up to 10,000 feet of water – twice as deep as the Deepwater Horizon rig was drilling last summer when it exploded and cause the now infamous BP spill.
Of course, only time will tell. For now, it’s a positive step that the Obama administration seems to be taking concrete action toward achieving its 80 percent clean energy by 2035 goal.
With so many actions to take, energy efficiency can seem complicated. That’s why the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, a Department of Energy-backed Better Buildings program in 14 towns across Connecticut, is making things easy.
Take Neighbor to Neighbor Lighting, a free program in which homeowners schedule a visit from the Neighbor to Neighbor Clean Energy Corps, above. The Corps is specically trained in green lighting (members recently earned residential lighting certificates from the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and ready to help homeowners transition to CFLs, which they’ll swap in for incandescent bulbs during the visit.
It’s just one more way to make energy efficiency – and energy cost savings – a no-brainer.
Seth Leitman, above, is known as the “green living guy” – he’s the author of “Green Lighting,” a guide to shedding incandescent bulbs and boosting your energy savings, and has edited several titles in the McGraw Hill TAB Green Guru Guides series – so we were thrilled to have him on hand at the launch of Neighbor to Neighbor lighting at Eastern Connecticut State University on Thursday.
Want to see a community that is taking its impact seriously? Be
awed by Bedford, NY. The video above, by Nick Gutfreund
and Vanessa Smith, introduced an opening plenary session at Jan.
29’s Bedford 2020 Environmental Action Day.
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President Obama speaking to student leaders at Penn State University on Feb. 3.
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Above: “Time Machine,” an entrant in SmartPower’s 2009 EnergySmart ad contest
According to a GE infographic, the electricity consumed by American televisions for 5 hours on Super Bowl Sunday is enough to power every home in Dallas, Pittsburgh and Green Bay combined for 10 hours. Add to that the stadium’s operations, the Jumbotron, the travel from hundreds of miles to get to the big game… and you’ve got one fairly unsustainable event.
Carbon offset purchases will be made to mitigate the Super Bowl’s impact. But we wish more of those $1 million ad buys were going toward clean energy or energy efficient products. After all, it’s working for Coca Cola and Budweiser!
In addition to “Time Machine,” here are three more ads we’d love to see during Sunday’s game:
“Generations,” winner of SmartPower’s EnergySmart ad contest in 2009
Puget Sounds Energy’s “Weatherization”
“Smart Idea,” another entrant in our EnergySmart ad contest