US stands to save billions through renewable energy usage

Read the full story at EnvironmentalResearchWeb.

Rolling out and extending existing US renewable energy standards nationwide could save hundreds of billions of dollars in health and environmental costs by 2050, a new study has found.

The Falling Cost of Clean Power Plan Compliance

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In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan, a Clean Air Act rule designed to address the threat of climate change by cutting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. As part of that rulemaking, the agency prepared an estimate of compliance costs, which it found would be far outweighed by the rule’s climate and health benefits. Since that time, changes in the electric sector have made it even cheaper to meet the rule’s emission targets than EPA anticipated. This report summarizes the findings of EPA’s 2015 Regulatory Impact Analysis; discusses subsequent market and policy developments that have lowered the cost of complying with the Clean Power Plan; and surveys more recent analyses by independent groups, which have estimated substantially lower compliance costs than EPA did.

Creative Distillers Tackle Food Waste, Redefining ‘Getting Trashed’

Read the full story from NPR.

Sam Chereskin and Whit Rigali want to redefine what it means to get trashed. The pair discovered that the sugars in almost-stale bread, bagels and cakes destined for the landfill could be distilled into premium vodka, turning imbibing into an act of social responsibility.

The pair launched Misadventure Vodka this past summer with the dual goals of producing that vodka and reducing food waste. The southern California distillery makes all of its liquor from discarded starches, collecting up to 1,200 pounds of aging bakery products from the local food bank each week.

Beyond the Right Thing to Do: The Value of Sustainability in Higher Education

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Discover how sustainability is smart business for higher education and learn how to more powerfully articulate the value of sustainability.

Making Maryland Homes More Affordable with Energy Efficiency

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Since 2012, Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has administered the state’s limited-income energy efficiency programs. The programs have been effective in delivering substantial energy savings for each participating household, but overall participation has been low. This report documents the development, successes, and challenges of DHCD’s programs. Our findings rely on information collected from Maryland stakeholders, public program filings, discussions with leading energy efficiency professionals, and ACEEE’s past best practices research. We conclude by identifying several opportunities to improve future program performance.

Covering President Trump in a Polarized Media Environment

Read the full story from the Pew Research Center.

During the early days of the administration, similar storylines covered across outlets, but types of sources heard from and the assessments of Trump’s actions differed.