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Defend local controlThere are two bills up for a hearing on Monday, March 23rd that would impact the ability of local communities to pass ordinances to protect the well-being of its citizens around fracking.  We encourage all those concerned about defending their right to local control to attend the hearing and testify or if that is not possible, contact the offices of the members of the committee and let them know how you stand before the hearing.

HB 40 – Darby | et al. – Relating to the express preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state.

HB 539 – King, Phil | et al. -Relating to the procedural requirements for the adoption of a municipal regulation, limitation, or prohibition on the production, storage, or transportation of oil or natural gas; authorizing a fee.

These two bills are scheduled for a hearing in the House Energy Resources Committee on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM or upon final adjournment/recess of the Texas House.  The committee hearing will be in the Capitol Extension in room E2.010.  The members of that committee are listed below the jump.
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EPAGet the Facts on Consumer Costs and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

For more information, view the fact sheet (PDF).

Today, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a hearing on the legal and cost issues associated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

The rule, also called the Clean Power Plan, will lower consumer bills, benefit the economy and boost public health, while helping to combat climate change, according to a fact sheet released today by Public Citizen. Electricity bills will be 8.4 percent lower by 2030 and the plan will contribute between $260 billion and $840 billion to the economy over 10 years.

The state of Texas reserves the right to govern how much water can be pumped in order to protect its aquifers.

That is, in some parts of Texas.

Western Hays County residents protest Electro Purification water grab near Hays City Store. Photo by Bill Johnson.

Western Hays County residents protest Electro Purification water grab near Hays City Store. Photo by Bill Johnson.

When Houston based company Electro Purification received the rights for 1,3000 acres of land just outside the central Texas town of Wimberley, they planned to build seven test wells. Because the land that these wells are on isn’t part of any groundwater conservation district, they are outside of the state’s jurisdiction, so whoever owns the land can lease the water rights. In the long run, Electro Purification plans to pump more than 5 million gallons of water per day from aquifers to supply nearby growing suburbs.

Those that live around the area wells face not only a deterioration of the area’s financial capability, but also the corrosion of Hays County wells, streams, and springs. Dan Pickens, a local who can just walk one mile away from his house to find a test well, says

“When you can’t flush your toilet, do your laundry, cook, get a drink of water, life comes to a standstill. People’s life savings are tied up into their homes, and what’s a home worth without water?”

Electro Purification insists that the situation in Hays County is not a “water grab” and is perfectly legal. Furthermore, Electro Purification Ed McCarthy says that the water is used for “beneficial purposes”.

For those on the receiving end, like the city of Buda, it truly is beneficial. Just half an hour outside of the Capitol, Buda has been struggling for water resources for six years. Under their agreement with Electro Purification, Buda will receive 1 million gallons of water every day through one of the pipelines.

Hays County residents are enraged because Hays County has struggled for water resources for even longer. Locals have started boycotting businesses in Buda. Other local groups, like Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development, have started a petition in hopes of urging the state Legislature to take action to stop the water grab. One of the members, Jim McMeans, says,

A company has a moral obligation to use water and develop water at a sustainable rate.

There has been speculation that the loophole that Electro Purification found proves that there is no moral obligation. Meanwhile, locals are holding meetings, hosting take action websites, and starting a “Save Our Wells” campaign.

KXL protest - Texas activistsAccording to a press release by NRDC and Oil Change International, new data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) proves that, as President Obama has emphasized in recent comments, the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would serve primarily as an export pipeline, bringing dirty Canadian tar sands crude to the international market.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says refineries in Port Arthur and Houston, which would be the primary recipients of crude oil delivered by the Keystone XL pipeline, have exported a growing share of their refined products over the last two years. In 2013, the percentage of product exported was 55%; in 2014 it was up to 60%, and by December of last year it was up to over 66%.

Keystone supporters have long argued that the tar sands the pipeline would transport would stay in the United States, and the president has taken criticism for his recent comments arguing that the tar sands pipeline would essentially “bypass” the U.S., including from the Washington Post “Fact Checker.”

But as Politico’s Elana Schor notes, “That ‘Fact Checker’ piece, however, largely addressed the export prospects of Keystone’s unprocessed heavy crude. On the question of whether the refined products generated by the pipeline’s oil would be sold overseas, it cited only a report by IHS, a consulting firm frequently hired by the industry.”

The oil industry and their allies can push out all the talking points they want about energy security, but the facts are clear: Keystone XL is an export pipeline, and would bring plenty of risks but no rewards for the American people.

 

sxsw-interactive-logoIf you are in Austin and registered for SXSW Interactive, check out this session today at 3:30 – Commercial Threats to Freedom of Speech Online

 

 

Friday, March 13
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB

Globally, there has been much attention paid to the threat that government entities may pose to individuals’ rights to speak and share information freely. However, far less attention has been placed on the role that bad acting companies and other commercial interests play in trying to squelch or suppress public statements and expressions online. From corporations suing respected journalists and news media for speech that they claim is libelous, to bad businesses suing users of online review sites for negative reviews, more and more often, people are finding their freedom of speech threatened online.

This panel of experts will discuss the current commercial threats to freedom of speech online and the possible solutions to this growing issue.

Presenters

  • Amy Austin is the Publisher of Washington City Paper, an influential and award-winning alternative news media company in Washington DC.
  • Evan Mascagni graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law in 2011.
  • Laura Prather is an attorney with Haynes and Boone LLP in the Litigation Practice Group in the Austin office
  • Paul Alan Levy is an attorney with Public Citizen’s Litigation Group

2015-03-09 Anti Corruption press conferenceOn Monday March 9th, the Texas Anti-Corruption Campaign held a press conference calling for the end of corruption culture in Texas politics. The Texas Anti-Corruption Campaign is a new growing alliance between a wide group of nonprofit and political organizations, including: Public Citizen, Audits in the Public Interest, Clean Elections Texas, Common Cause Texas, Libertarian Party of Texas, Texans for Public Justice, and TexPIRG.

The citizen’s movement began as a response to the patronage and cronyism that became synonymous with former Governor Rick Perry’s Administration and has grown as more and more Texas agencies are being investigated for inefficiencies. As Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of our Texas office here at Public Citizen said:

We believe that the people are ultimately responsible to hold the government accountable in the face of rampant corruption and abuse of power. We are paying a corruption tax-billions of our tax dollars are being wasted through cronyism and corruption. We need to stop efforts to defund and handcuff our state funded watchdogs at the Public Integrity Unit and the Ethics Commission. It’s time to take the muzzle off and give them new teeth.

Ethical issues in government were highlighted in the State of the State in which Governor Abbott declared that ethics would be one of the five emergency items he assigned during the 84th Legislature. He said:

“The faith and trust that Texas citizens place in their elected officials requires each of us to conduct the business of the state in the most transparent and honest manner possible. Strengthening our ethics laws relating to disclosure of state contracts with elected officials, prohibiting lawmakers from voting on legislation from which they could profit and increasing disclosure of campaign finance information will ensure a more responsible government for Texas.”

The Texas Anti-Corruption Campaign applauded Governor Abbott’s call for change and hoped to use the momentum to promote good government reform in the legislature. To help solve this issue, the coalition developed a 10-point plan to make progress toward their goal of ending corruption in government.
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Luminant's Big Brown plant near Fairfield, TX.  Photo by Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News.

Luminant’s Big Brown plant near Fairfield, TX. Photo by Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News.

We released a new report today that shows that shifting from coal power to alternative energy sources could save utilities – and indirectly their customers – several billion dollars in capital and annual operating expenses. The switch also would save the Texas public as much as $2.5 billion in pollution-related health care costs and economic losses due to premature mortality.

Using data from government, academic and industry studies, the report demonstrates that renewables like solar, wind and geothermal power are cheaper than coal, once the costs of upgrading plants to control pollution are factored in.

Renewables are a clean, safe and financially smart alternative to coal. Our report shows that replacing our oldest, dirtiest coal plants with alternative energy sources could save 21 to 24 percent in capital and annual operating costs. It’s no longer clean energy that’s expensive. Now coal is too costly to continue.

In coming years, six new or amended U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules will take effect, including the EPA’s tougher ozone standard for Texas, which was discussed during a January EPA hearing in Arlington. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, proposed in June, will require Texas coal plants to reduce climate-change inducing carbon dioxide emissions, and other new rules will reduce levels of highly toxic mercury, make sure coal ash is disposed of safely and cut down on haze, which obscures views at national parks such as Texas’ Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains.

But while the long overdue rules will protect the climate and dramatically reduce health care costs, outdated coal plants will have to spend billions in capital and operating costs for pollution-control technology. We compared the cost of alternative energy sources to the price of coal power, once the expense of upgrading to meet new pollution rules is included.

The upshot: A blend of wind, solar and geothermal power, along with some natural gas, could easily replace the power generated by coal plants – and for less money.
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Lobby day group photo 2

Citizen lobbyists working to defend local control on March 2 at the Texas Capitol. Photo courtesy of Candice Bernd, www.truth-out.org.

In an effort to defend local control, known as home rule, a group of North Texan activists traveled to Austin on Monday to lobby lawmakers at the Texas Capitol. Earthworks hosted the event, providing the transportation, education and guidance for the participants as they made plans to speak face to face with elected officials. They were joined by allies from Frack Free Denton, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action, and Environment Texas.

Defend local controlThe citizen lobbyists focused on speaking to legislators belonging to the House Energy Resource committee, House Environmental Regulation committee and the representatives and senators from their districts about defending the home rule rights of municipalities.

Texas has traditionally been a strong home rule state that allows local governments to pass laws to go beyond state laws. Some of the home rule issues included: fracking bans, bag bans, and tree preservation ordinances. Citizens are particularly concerned about several bills that would work to limit home rule:

House Bill 540: (Phil King) This bill would require cities to get approval from the attorney general’s office before putting a citizen’s initiative up for a vote.

House Bill 539: (Phil King) This bill would essentially require cities to pay the state for lost revenues resulting from local oil and gas regulations.

House Bill 1556: (Miller) This bill would limit certain regulations in a county, municipality, or other political subdivision

Senate Bill 440: (Konni Burton) This bill would prohibit cities or counties from banning hydraulic fracturing.

Senate Bill 720: (Konni Burton) This bill would prohibit Extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs) from banning hydraulic fracturing.

Senate Bill 343: (Don Huffines) This bill would effectively eliminate home rule for Texas cities by requiring local laws to conform to state laws.

Senate Bill 360: (Estes) This bill would significantly lower the bar for what is considered a regulatory taking, remove the ability of local governments to regulate development to ensure health and safety in a variety of ways, and expand the timeframe for bringing suit when regulations are adopted. Among other impacts it would limit the ability of local government to adopt local drilling ordinances.

Senate Bill 710: (Burton) This bill would establish the parameters of a municipal government designated as a Liberty City (a new form of a general-law municipality)

Lobby day group photo 1

Texans gathered to defend local control on March 2. Photo courtesy of Candice Bernd, www.truth-out.org.

Thus far, there have been many bills filled this session that could take away a city’s right to pass rules to protect the public. As a result, it is important for constituents to make their elected officials know what their concerns are when it comes to local control and how the citizens’ efforts can be better represented in the legislature.

If you are interested in learning more about local control issues, you can visit Local Control Texas for more information.

texas tribune symposium on waterOn Tuesday, March 10, the Texas Tribune will host a one-day symposium on water in partnership with Texas State University.

 

 

 

Panel topics will include:

  • Life After Proposition 6
  • The Battle Over Groundwater
  • How Much More Can We Conserve?
  • Why Water Along the Border is Undrinkable

And at lunchtime, Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith will sit down with Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System, for a special conversation.

Register Now

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
8 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

See the full program for panel details.

Texas State University
J.C. Kellam Administration Building
Reed Parr Room (11th Floor)
601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666

This event is free and open to the public, but please register at trib.it/WaterSymposiumInvite so they can save you a seat. Hourly paid parking will be available in the Edward Gary Street Garage.

Can’t make it in person? Tune in to the livestream, and join the dialogue on Twitter with #TTEvents.

Have colleagues or friends who are interested in water issues? Please forward this invitation to them! All are welcome.

This event is generously sponsored by Texas State University, Texas A&M University, the Meadows Center for Water and Environment, SouthWest Water Company, the Texas Farm Bureau and the Meadows Foundation. Tribune events are also supported through contributions from their founding investors and members.

Disclosure: Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite their events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

NEJAC Public Teleconference Meeting, March 19

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Public comment: From 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a public teleconference meeting. The primary topics of discussion will be:

  • Chemical Safety Policy
  • Farmworker Protection Standards
  • Definition of Solid Waste Rule
  • Refinery Rule
  • Clean Power Rule
  • Title VI

Registration

Pre-registration is required. You can pre-register at http://nejac-teleconference-march2015.eventbrite.com.

  • Registration closes at Noon, Eastern Time on Monday, March 16, 2015
  • Deadline for public comment period sign-up, is also Noon, Eastern Time on Monday, March 16, 2015

When registering:

  • Please provide your name, organization, city and state, email address, and telephone number for follow up
  • Please also state whether you would like to be put on the list to provide public comment, and whether you are submitting written comments before the Monday, March 16, 2015, noon deadline
  • Non-English speaking attendees wishing to arrange for a foreign language interpreter may also make appropriate arrangements using the email address or telephone/fax number listed below.

Public Comment

  • Members of the public who wish to provide public comment must pre-register by Noon, Eastern Time on Monday, March 16, 2015
  • Individuals or groups making remarks during the public comment period will be limited to seven (7) minutes
  • To accommodate the number of people who wish to address the NEJAC, only one representative of a particular community, organization, or group will be allowed to speak
  • The suggested format for individuals providing public comments is as follows: name of speaker; name of organization/community; city and state; and email address; brief description of the concern, and what you want the NEJAC to advise EPA to do

Written comments can also be submitted for the record:

For Further Information

Questions or correspondence concerning the teleconference meeting should be directed to Jasmin Muriel by email at [email protected] or telephone at 202-564-4287. Information about the NEJAC is available at: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/nejac.

Climate Skeptic Industry Shill, Wei-Hock 'Willie' Soon

Climate change skeptic, Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, revealed as an industry shill.

A climate change denying scientist working for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has been accused of taking money from the fossil fuel industry and subsequently publishing research without disclosing his funding sources and potential conflicts of interest. According to documents obtained by Greenpeace through the Freedom of Information Act, Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon received $1.25 million from the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API), and Southern Company.

Around the issue of climate change, there is a 97% consensus amongst climate scientists and the research literature that humans are responsible for global warming, mainly through the emission of greenhouse gasses. Soon’s “research” leads him to claim that climate change is caused by the sun [An idea that U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change dismissed in its 2013 report]. Being a climate skeptic, Soon has become very popular in certain political circles. He was praised by Senator James Inhofe, the Republican from Oklahoma who called climate change a hoax. Soon was also called by Republicans in the Kansas state legislature to testify against measures to promote wind and solar power. The Heartland Institute even gave him the “Courage in Defense of Science Award” for his work.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics released a statement saying that Soon is “a part-time researcher at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory,” and they are “greatly concerned about the allegations surrounding Dr. Willie Soon’s failure to disclose funding sources for his climate change research.” The institute also added: “Scientific evidence has demonstrated that the global climate is warming as a result of increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases generated by human activities.”

Of the 58 “experts” listed by the Heartland Institute as heroic deniers of climate change, The Daily Beast found that only three out of the 58 have credentials in climatology or atmospheric science. One of these three certified scientists, Patrick Michaels, has already admitted that 40 percent of his funding is from the fossil fuel lobby. Over time, we can expect that more climate change skeptics and “truthers” will be exposed as paid mouthpieces for fossil fuels.

Rail Transport of Oil and AccidentsIf the fatal, Lac-Megantic oil train derailment in Quebec in 2013 did not raise concern for Americans, especially those in towns with railroad lines, the derailment in West Virginia certainly has. Carrying about 3.2 million gallons of crude oil, the CSX train that went off the tracks sent fireballs 300 feet into the air and spilled crudes into the river.

Like many trains nowadays, the CSX train was carrying Bakken oil, a particularly flammable type of crude. Yet the high-risk nature of Bakken oil has not stopped its transportation across the United States.

“With crude oil and gas traveling through towns in our state with ever-increasing frequency, safety must be paramount. Accidents involving toxic chemicals can have serious health and safety implications,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker told NJ news. Booker is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. “We were fortunate that there were no fatalities in either of these accidents, but next time we might not be so lucky.”

Public concern also stems from the growing number collisions. In 2013 alone, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, or PHMSA, reported 166 oil train accidents. In response to the rise of oil train accidents, manufacturers have increased the production of crude oil to mitigate the oil loss. The National Transportation Safety Board stated that the transportation of crude oil by rail has increased by 400% within the past decade.

The combination of the increase in oil train accidents and crude oil production results in an overall escalation of pollution, water contamination, and safety hazards. Crude oil trains are especially dangerous because shipments come in 100 or more cars, increasing the possibility of accidents. The CSX train in Virginia itself had 109 cars, and the company is still unsure about the extent of the oil spill and the number of cars derailed.

Due to recent events, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has received pressure to expedite new safety rules. In response, the DOT proposes new initiatives for a new standard for cars, safer protocols, and new operational standards.

A projection from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation (USDOT) that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.  Specifically the USDOT analysis projects:

  • Based on past accident trends, anticipated shipping volumes and known ethanol and crude rail routes, the analysis predicted about 15 derailments in 2015, declining to about five a year by 2034.
  • The 207 total derailments over the two-decade period would cause $4.5 billion in damage, according to the analysis, which predicts 10 “higher consequence events” causing more extensive damage and potential fatalities.
  • If just one of those more severe accidents occurred in a high-population area, it could kill more than 200 people and cause roughly $6 billion in damage.

The derailments have evidently stood as a warning sign for the United States to enhance the safety of transporting hazardous crude oil by rail. However, the newly proposed regulations may take months to be implemented, so it is important for the public to not lose its momentum for the campaign for safer crude oil shipment transportation.

Solar Worker (small) - photo from Solar Foundation

Solar Foundation, National Solar Jobs Census 2014

Solar industry jobs are expanding rapidly in Texas, despite a lack of supportive statewide policies. The Solar Foundation’s recently released Texas Solar Jobs Census 2014 shows that, solar jobs grew by more than 68% in Texas last year with over 2,800 new jobs created. That’s 3 times faster than solar job growth nationally, which is still impressive at almost 22% from 2013 to 2014. In contrast, overall job growth in the Texas economy was 2.8% from 2013 to 2014 – solar jobs grew 24 times faster.

Nearly 7,000 Texans are now employed in the solar industry, putting the state in 6th place nationally for total solar jobs. Solar job creation is benefiting people of all different backgrounds, in a wide range of professions, including solar panel installation, electrical, roofing, managing, sales, project development, solar factory workers, finance, investment, insurance, consulting, human resources, administrative, engineers, research, marketing, media relations and communication.

Workers earn an average of $20-24/hr in the fast growing solar installation sector. Solar designers and sales people and other professionals earn more.. Although women and African Americans are still under represented in solar jobs, hiring has increased among Latinos, Asians, African Americans, women and veterans. Solar jobs are generally skilled jobs that pay living wages.

The solar industry will play a big role in growing and strengthening our economy in the years ahead. Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy:

Texas’s abundant land, ample sunshine, and extensive transmission network make the state one of the top solar industry growth markets in the U.S. In addition, years of decreasing costs and growing scale are now enabling solar power to successfully compete against conventional energy to meet the growing demand in ERCOT.

Despite the rapid increase in solar jobs, solar isn’t getting a lot of love in the Texas Legislature. Representative Stanford actually filed a bill that would entirely do away with Texas’ renewable portfolio standard. At a time when Texas oil and gas companies are laying off workers, shouldn’t state officials be commending industries that are adding good jobs at such a rapid rate, not trying to slow their progress?

There are a couple rays of sunshine in the Texas House. Representative Farrar (D- Harris) has filed one solar-friendly bill – HB 706 – which would change the exemption application by a property owner of solar or wind powered energy to a one time application. Current law requires an annual application for an exemption, even though the exemption can be taken for the lifetime of the solar installation. HB 706 would reduce paperwork and administrative expenses.

Representative Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) is working with consumer advocates, developers, property owner associations, and the solar industry to develop legislation that will more fully protect property owners’ rights to install solar on their properties. Currently, builders can prohibit homeowners from installing solar for years while the rest of a development is built and sold. After that, property owner associations aren’t supposed to deny solar installations, but the law contains a loophole that some property owner associations exploit.

Texas lawmakers should focus on finding ways to building on the existing momentum in the solar industry by solar options for individuals and businesses and not placing any extra barriers for utility scale solar to participate in the market.

China's worsening air pollution has exacted a significant economic toll, grounding flights, closing highways and keeping tourists at home. Photograph from STR/AFP/Getty Images

China’s worsening air pollution has exacted a significant economic toll, grounding flights, closing highways and keeping tourists at home. Photograph from STR/AFP/Getty Images

Back in November 2014, America and China joined hands to fight global climate change, including a plan to decrease China’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Although there has been a lot of doubt about their plan, China has shown results. According to the China Coal Industry Association, China’s coal production decreased by 2.5% last year, marking the first reduction that the country has seen in years.

As the world’s primary emitter of greenhouse gases, the Republic of China’s decision to create new environmental policies allows China to be a global example in leading the way to reduce CO2 emissions. The global negotiations are also receiving praise because of their economic benefits. The solar power market has seen increases since November, further strengthening industrial market growth and enhancing public health.

However, a recent measure of Beijing’s Air Quality Index brings concerns about the toxic air the Chinese are breathing. Despite the country’s efforts to fight pollution, the consequences of being the world’s number one consumer of coal has caused Beijing to experience another airpocalypse just a few weeks ago. The city reached smog-levels that were, literally, off the charts.

A recent Greenpeace study stated that most cities in China are “failing to meet China’s own national standards”, regardless of the country’s initiatives to combat pollution. Additionally, a Peking University and Greenpeace study shows that more than 200 thousand Chinese could die from pollution-related diseases if there is no further caution taken by the Chinese government. The recent “airpocalypse” further raised the concerns of the Chinese government, who are more driven to push the country to continue its initiatives to combat climate change.

The city’s Air Quality Index of over 600 and new Greenpeace studies should stand to be an example to the rest of the world. The high levels of coal consumption, power plants, and fracking that China has experienced in less than a decade has proved to be dangerous. Although the country is taking action now, the effects evidently will linger for a long time. As the United States continues its high consumption of coal, building of power plants, and fracking, it is important to look at China as an example and as a reminder that we need to start taking action before it is too late.

Energy Star LoveNow, for the first time, you can purchase an ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryer. Clothes washers have seen a 70 percent drop in energy use since 1990, but until now, dryers have largely remained inefficient. Dryers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 20% less energy and deliver $245 in lifetime savings.  So look for the energy star logo next time you purchase a new dryer.

Click here to go to EPA’s energy star page on clothes dryers.