All posts by Roy L Hales

The Rich & Connected Appear To Run British Columbia

The ECOreport looks at stories of the a corrupt political process, the rich & connected appear to run British Columbia

By Roy L Hales

More than a week has passed since the New York Times carried the story. The author, Dan Levin, told Global News, “If this were in Russia or China or the Balkans or some developing-world country, it would just be written off as nepotism or corruption, but here (in British Columbia), because it’s not illegal, it seems to just get a pass.” Corporate and union donations to political parties are banned in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario, but not in British Columbia. NDP MLA David Eby believes the corruption runs much deeper than the $50,000-a-year “commission” Premier Clark receives from her party’s campaign chest. The rich & connected appear to run British Columbia.

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Two Areas Where Silicon Joule Lead Batteries Outperform Lithium

The ECOreport interviews an advanced lead-based battery developer, two areas where Silicon Joule lead batteries outperform lithium.

By Roy L Hales

Gridtential raised another $6M in investments.  These funds will be used to target what CEO Chris Beekhuis described as the inevitable shift from 12V to 48V high-voltage systems in hybrid electric vehicles. Gridtential’s Silicon Joule battery uses an advanced lead-acid design with a silicon substrate for higher energy density, longer cycle life and deeper depth-of-discharge. He described two areas where Silicon Joule lead batteries outperform lithium.

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Michigan’s 6th Commercial PACE Project

The ECOreport looks at Michigan’s 6th Commercial PACE Project & the company funding it.

By Roy L Hales

Michigan passed the legislation for a Commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program in 2010. Businesses and commercial properties in participating municipalties can retrofit their buildings with renewable energy and energy efficient systems by borrowing money from a private lender and repay the loan via a special assessment on their local property tax. It has taken longer for municipalities to opt in and consequently, the state’s PACE programs didn’t really get started until 2016. According to Tommy Deavenport, Chief Operating Officer of Petros PACE Finance, Michigan’s 6th commercial PACE project has now been funded.

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Oregon Introduced Legislation Protecting Communities Against Oil-By-Rail Spills

The ECOreport looks into Oregon Introduced Legislation Protecting Communities Against Oil-By-Rail Spills

By Roy L Hales

Though both Washington and California call for rail companies to submit oil spill contingency plans, this is not yet a requirement in Oregon. Legislation was introduced in 2015, but the railway industry successfully lobbied against it. This could be changing. On Tuesday January 3, 2016,  Oregon introduced legislation protecting communities against oil-by-rail spills.

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How Much Damage Can Donald Trump Do?

The ECOreport asks a former senior analyst with the DOE, how much damage Can Donald Trump Do?

By Roy L Hales

The fears seem especially strong across the renewable and environmental communities. David Suzuki writes that  “a bigoted, misogynistic, climate change denier has been elected to the highest office in what is still the world’s most powerful nation.”  Many fear that President-elect Donald Trump “is set to gut US environmental regulations, open up federal lands for fossil fuel extraction, and quit the Paris climate agreement.” Academics from many North American universities are copying information and data from U.S. government environmental websites before the new administration eradicates it. The next President’s personality “is certainly extreme by any standard.” How much damage can Donald Trump do to America?

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Will The Next President Miss Out On A $30 Billion Deal?

The ECOreport looks at  energy efficiency savings; Will the next President miss out on a $30 billion deal?

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Donald Trump boasts about his ability to recognize and make deals. But does he recognize the value of initiatives like fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, appliance standards and the Clean Power Plan? Will the next President miss out on a $30 billion deal?

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Bringing Solar Energy To Unreached Parts Of Mexico

The ECOreport looks at a one year-old startup company that is bringing solar energy to unreached parts of Mexico

“Can you imagine spending an entire day without electricity? Can you imagine the desperation you would feel? Can you imagine not being able to use the Internet, your cell phone, your appliances, or your lights? Now imagine living without electricity every day of your life and relying on candles for light. In Mexico there are millions of people for whom this is not an imaginary situation, it is the reality of their daily life.” – Vitaluz

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Yusef Jacobs discovered the need during his fourth semester at university. People in the poor communities he visited either did not have electricity, or were paying more than he did for his house. This seemed like a great social injustice. He designed the prototype  of what has become the Vitaluz battery/control system from a box of cookies. Now, with the help of David Perlo from Gifted Citizen  and former law student Eduardo Calderón he is bringing solar energy to unreached parts of Mexico.

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70% Of Canadians Want A Clean Energy Transition ASAP

The ECOreport looks at a Clean Energy Canada poll on the national climate and clean growth plan, 70% of Canadians want a  clean energy transition asap

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Though  Donald Trump’s election casts a long shadow on energy matters, a new poll finds that it is making little impact on public opinion north of the border. Only 17% of the respondents think Canada should follow Trump’s lead and  stick with fossil fuels. “If anything, this survey suggests that the new U.S. leader’s position actually makes Canadians more inclined to support clean energy here at home,” said Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada. They perceive the future in terms of a low carbon economy and 70% of Canadians want a clean energy transition asap.

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Little Guys Can Prevail Over Big Corporations

The ECOreport looks at an update about Michigan’s new 15% Renewable Target , Little Guys Can Prevail Over Big Corporations

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Anti-wind activist Kevon Martis just sent an update about SB 438,  the bill that requiring Michigan to obtain 15% of its’ electricity from renewable sources. Martis’ initial response was discouragement. Then someone drew his attention to a clause in the final draft of that legislation that allows townships and counties to retain control over zoning for wind energy. Martis was reminded  that little guys can prevail over big corporations – but it takes a lot of work.

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Protecting US Environmental Websites & Data From Trump

The ECOreport looks at the guerilla archiving activities underway as the academic community sets about protecting US environmental websites & data from Trump

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1North America’s academic community is taking President-elect Donald Trump’s threats to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seriously.  Crucial scientific data could disappear, or be made less accessible. There are only five weeks left until he takes office.  So this morning, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, researchers at University of Toronto (U of T) began protecting US environmental websites & data from Trump and his transition team.

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