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Group recruits standing solar army

In move designed to articulate more effectively its role in uniting solar consumers for the fights around the country for solar-friendly policies, Community Power Network relaunches as Solar United Neighbors. At nearly every meeting where two or more solar professionals gather, one can hear an achingly familiar refrain: “If 90% of Americans support solar, why can’t we ever get them behind us on the big policy fights we...

Driving to work solo? Smart Columbus wants you to ...

If metro Columbus adds 1 million residents over the next 30 years, as projected, what happens to traffic? Smart Columbus isn’t waiting to find out. Last month, the public-private transportation initiative launched a program with 40 of the region’s largest employers to reduce the rate of single-person commuting and encourage electric vehicle ownership. “We need to start now, changing (habits) and embracing more alternative...

Ohio agency wants troubled Rover Pipeline to pay $...

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is once again squaring off with Rover Pipeline LLC officials. On Wednesday, the state agency asked the Ohio attorney general’s office to hold pipeline officials financially responsible for $2.3 million in fines related to numerous environmental violations which have occurred during the $4.2 billion underground natural gas pipeline’s construction. Rover’s parent company is Dallas-based...

Facebook Data Center (in New Albany) Makes Good on...

Facebook is now closer to reaching their goal of 100 percent sustainability with a new data center. As Facebook continues planning the construction of future data centers, their goal remains to eventually have “100 percent clean and renewable energy in our mix for our entire operations,” said Lindsay Amos, Technology Communications Manager at Facebook. The Facebook data center in New Albany will help solidify the company’s...

Far away from any witnesses, my small town is bein...

In a tiny south-eastern Ohio town in the Appalachian foothills, the Hazel Ginsburg Well is holding waste  from out-of-state fracking operations – a sludge of toxic chemicals and undrinkable water Some days, the air would smell acrid, sharp like bleach, and I would hurry from the car into the house. Other days, the wind seemed normal, unremarkable. I didn’t know why. My south-eastern Ohio town in the Appalachian foothills is...

Vinton County optimistic about proposed solar-ener...

McARTHUR — Vinton County officials are laying out the welcome mat for a large solar-energy project that would generate tax revenue as well as electricit y in a part of Appalachian Ohio that could use the money. Chicago-based renewable-energy company Invenergy plans to build the 125-megawatt solar farm on reclaimed strip-mined land just outside McArthur, about 75 miles southeast of Columbus. “I love that the site was used for...

Ohio coal officials join Trump administration

The idea that the former president of the Ohio Coal Association is now lobbying Congress as an official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not sitting well with environmentalists, Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief Jack Torry notes. Christian Palich, a former aide to Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, works in the EPA’s congressional relations shop. The post did not require Senate confirmation. “We’ve gone from an...

Draft environmental report for Lake Erie offshore ...

Environmental studies so far have found little potential impact from a proposed offshore wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland. A draft Department of Energy report shows mainly minor or negligible short-term impacts from a plan to construct and operate six wind turbines approximately eight miles offshore of Cleveland. “Having a draft environmental assessment the public can comment on is a huge milestone,” said Lorry Wagner,...

What Changes if Climate Changes? – in Ohio

From the panel discussion and audience questions: What can we expect in Ohio? As the atmosphere gets warmer it holds exponentially more water vapor. This will result in more intense rain and increased dry spells. Food production will be more difficult and food security will be more challenging. Air quality will change increasing difficulties for people with asthma and respiratory diseases. It will also have psychological...

Time to call Lake Erie what it is — impaired

Questions may remain for some about the wisdom of declaring western Lake Erie impaired under the federal Clean Water Act. But reality is knocking at the door. The mayor of Toledo and the governor of Ohio resist this designation. They believe the impaired label will drive away tourists and discourage businesses and people thinking of moving to our region. But what did the move from “clear” to “watch” on the water-quality...

Ohio lawmakers see labor, business potential in en...

  A bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers saw firsthand how energy efficiency programs support good jobs as they met with union and business leaders last week at a Cleveland-area training facility. On August 24, the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers Local 33 (SMART) union and the Cleveland chapter of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) hosted lawmakers and business...

Trump Kills Mountaintop Removal Health Impact Stud...

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a statement the Interior Department has directed it to cease its study on the potential health risks for people living near surface coal mines in Central Appalachia. The Interior Department, which committed more than $1 million to the study last year, has begun an agency-wide review of grants over $100,000 because of the “Department’s changing...

Rural Co-Ops and Public Utilities Have Voluntarily...

Three successful models are driving community solar projects around America. In 2015, a farmer walked into the office of a customer-owned electric cooperative in Wisconsin. He pulled out his checkbook and wrote a check to the cooperative for $60,000. That day, two other cooperative members followed suit, and the three of them bought up 10 percent of the brand new community solar garden on the first day of subscription sales....

Group aims to reduce solar ‘soft costs’ in Ohio co...

A new program seeks to spur solar energy development in southeastern Ohio by cutting costs and reducing barriers at the local level. The plan will provide technical assistance to help four small towns and rural areas in Appalachian Ohio receive recognition as solar-friendly communities. The Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) has engaged Sarah Conley-Ballew to help Somerset, Amesville, the city of Athens and the...

Why Plan? Articles by Jurgen Pape – January ...

Why Plan? February 2017 This is a continuation of my previous editorials from several years ago, then called “Why Plan?” My emphasis now is on the environment. Mahatma Gandhi made many profound statements. One can be applied to the environment: “The future depends on what we do today!” Since water is crucial to everyone (more so than oil), the use or mis-use of it is becoming more of a major factor. Already wars have been...