Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act

Solar power is clean, safe, and renewable and can provide jobs here in New York State.  The Solar Jobs Act would provide a blueprint to increase New York State’s production of solar power up to 5000 megawatts (MW) by 2025. According to the Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, that is enough energy to power approximately:

  • 1 million NYS homes (at 5 kW system size); or
  • 100,000 (50 kW) grocery stores; or
  • 50,000 (100 kW) schools; or
  • 10,000 (500 kW) parking garages; or
  • 5,000 (1 MW) shopping malls.

That would create approximately 22,000 new jobs and $500 million in new wages, as well as investing in an energy source that does not produce greenhouse gases.

Read the Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment article here.

You can also find a summary of last year’s Act compiled by Vote Solar.

Read Up on Hydrofracking

Here are some articles and videos to keep you up to date on what Hydrofracking is and the ongoing debate:

Republican Study Committee Recommends Withdrawing Funds for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Last week the Republican Study Committee released a list of recommended budget cuts, including a proposal to withhold U.S. funding from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) (http://www.ucsusa.org/) this is an indication of the level of climate change denial in congress.

“It’s sad that members of Congress who refuse to recognize scientific reality continue to obstruct efforts to reduce global warming emissions and go after the IPCC” said Lexi Schultz, USC’s Climate and Energy Legislative Director.  “At the very least, the public deserves to know just how serious the risks of climate change are and not be misled by politicians who continue to block progress on clean energy.”

Thousands of scientists from around the world contribute their work to the IPCC for no direct compensation.

Read the USC’s press release.

Get on the Bus for Lobby Day!

Save the Date – Lobby Day on Hydrofracking – Monday, May 2, 2011.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us on Monday, May 2 as we head to the state capital in Albany to talk with our elected leaders. Join us as we learn about current legislation that impacts the environment, hear from government leaders, and lobby our elected officials. This event is for everyone – no lobbying experience necessary.

Our emphasis this year will be on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or “hydrofracking.”

This year we have rented a bus to transport people to Albany. We are still determining route, but will likely have stops in Syracuse, Binghamton, and along I-88. We will provide bus riders with a delicious lunch (included with ticket price).

If you are not taking the bus you may also want to join us for our NYIPL Networking Lunch. The cost to ride the bus or to purchase lunch is $10.

Earth Day Lobby Day is New York’s largest environmental event. New York Interfaith Power & Light is working with New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY) to coordinate the event. In the past, elected officials such as Governor David Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have spoken at the gathering.

Please plan to register even if you will not be joining us on the bus or buying lunch. If you wish to participate in the full day event, you must pre-register so we can assign you to a lobby team. Click here to register.

For more information call (315) 256-0078.

Mainstream Media Links Extreme Weather to Climate Change

350.org reports that the major news networks are finally linking current extreme weather events with climate change. This ABC news video that shows the devastation in Australia, Sri Lanka, and Brazil, with comments from representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Richard Somerville, Research Professor at Scripps USCD and IPCC scientist states, “This is no longer something that’s theory or conjecture or something that comes out of computer models. We’re observing the climate changing. It’s real. It’s happening. It’s scientific fact.”

Exit Signs Can Be Energy Hogs

Pastors Tyler and Neal "basking in the glow" of the exit signs

Exit signs are just not something you think about, but exit signs run continually…that’s 365 days a year, 24 hours per day or 8760 hours a year.

Jonesville UMC’s energy audit recommended a simple, but effective way to save energy and money: change their exit signs from regular light bulbs (2 – 25 watt bulbs per sign) to LEDs (1 watt each).

Jonesville had 20 exit signs throughout the church, so this simple change was equivalent to turning off 19-50 watt bulbs. The change was as simple as unscrewing the old bulb and screwing in the new and took all of 2 hours to do the entire church!

This one simple change has a big energy stewardship impact:

  • fewer problems for people with asthma – prevents the emission of about 9 pounds of nitrogen oxide, the main ingredient in ozone or smog, which is especially harmful to people with asthma;
  • less acid rain – prevents the emission of about 27 pounds of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain; and
  • less mercury pollution – especially damaging to pregnant women and children
  • prevents global warming – prevents the emission of about 7 tons of carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas.

And this translates to an annual saving of $900 a year – this year and EVERY YEAR FROM NOW ON!

They’re also labor-saving: the LEDs have a lifetime of 100,000 hours…therefore the next change is in 2015.

The cost of the LEDs was $12 each or a total of $240. And as a result of taking action on this recommendation, NYSERDA reimbursed Jonesville for the entire $200 cost of the Energy Audit (the cost of which has since been reduced). This is just one of seven cost-effective measures identified by the Energy Audit.