Tag Archives: Southern States

Solar Goes Forward & ALEC Backwards, in South Carolina

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) hold on South Carolina is weakening. The controversial lobbying organization has been so firmly entrenched that there is a special provision for it in the state’s lobbying law. According to Section 2-17-90: “No public official or public employee may accept lodging, transportation, entertainment, food, meals, beverages, or an invitation to a function paid for by a lobbyist’s principal.” One of the exceptions, listed as 1b, is “American Legislative Exchange Council conventions and conferences.” Sourcewatch compiled a “partial list” of 15 South Carolina Assemblymen and 7 state senators with past or extant ties to ALEC. This may be changing. The state’s House of Representatives just passed a solar energy bill that could be summed up as Solar Goes Forward & ALEC Backwards, in South Carolina.
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Making of the International Rescue Group

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Over 100,000 people died, when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010.  A very good friend of Captain Ray Thackeray’s was among them. She had been working in Port-au-Prince, when her hotel collapsed around her. Several days passed before help reached the stricken island. This became a defining moment for Thackeray. Having been a ham radio operator since his youth in England, Thackeray had seen volunteers pitch in when there were emergencies. He found himself thinking, What if a marine based organization had mobilized boaters already in the area? What if 10,000 small vessels had started bringing food, water and medicine on day one? They might have saved hundreds of lives. That’s how the International Rescue Group (IRG) came into being.
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Bringing PACE to Texas

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1What should commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing look like in Texas? Hundreds of local PACE programs in California, are consolidating under several competing PACE models. On the other extreme, Connecticut’s new state run program was responsible for half the commercial PACE financing in the US last year. Thirty states and the district of Columbia currently have PACE programs. As Charlene Heydinger, Executive Director of “Keeping PACE in Texas” (KPT), explained, “We want state-wide model specifically designed for Texas’ needs.”
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Putting Refuges Before Rockets at Merritt Island

From Defenders of Wildlife Blog

By Laurie MacDonald

When it was my chance to speak for Defenders at a public hearing attended by over 400 people in New Smyrna Beach, I posed a question: Why would we permit a space launch pad for commercial use in the middle of a national wildlife refuge that provides habitat for more endangered and threatened species than any other refuge in the continental United States?  That’s just what Space Florida, an agency that promotes private space program enterprise, wants to do at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  It just doesn’t make sense, especially when there are alternate sites at the Kennedy Space Center a couple miles away.  I was pleased to hear that the crowd agreed with us. We can support a commercial spaceport and the opportunities it offers, but keep the refuge as a safe haven for the wildlife it was established to protect.
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A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today: Denton, Texas

 Originally published in RMI Outlet 

By Laurie Guevara-Stone

Denton, Texas, a bustling community near Lewisville Lake 30 miles northwest of Dallas, is known for its festivals and eclectic music scene, often compared to the Austin of 20 years ago. But Denton (pop. 113,000) is also a leader in clean energy, boasting more wind power per capita than any other city in the nation.
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Georgia Power’s Proposed Solar Tariff Draws Ire of Solar Advocates

Published by Solar Reviews

By Chris Meehan

Normally when talking about a solar tariff, the discussion refers to a feed-in tariff, which benefits consumers who go solar by reimbursing them a higher rate for the electricity they sell to the utility than they otherwise get. That’s not the case with the new tariff proposal from Georgia’s utility, Georgia Power. The utility introduced a rate increase request to the state’s Public Service Commission, asking to impose an estimated $22 per month ($262 a year) solar tariff that customers with solar homes would have to pay.
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