Minnesota Law Endorses Plug-in Hybrid, Flexible-Fueled Vehicles

Read the full story at RenewableEnergyAccess.com.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has signed into law H.F. 3718, the nation’s first law promoting plug-in hybrid, flexible-fueled vehicles.

New Iowa Legislation to Boost Renewable Fuel Use

Read the full story at RenewableEnergyAccess.com.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack signed a legislative package on May 30th that is expected to significantly increase the use of ethanol and biodiesel throughout the state. The legislation creates a tax credit for selling E85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline) that starts at 25 cents per gallon and phases out by 2021, and another tax credit of three cents per gallon for diesel blends containing at least 2 percent biodiesel.

How Can Schools Lead by Example?

Read the full story at RenewableEnergyAccess.com.

I am a senior at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham Washington. I have gotten together with one of my professors to investigate the possibility of incorporating solar (or alternative energies) into our public schools. I believe that for this new technology to catch on, we must teach it to the future generations and demonstrate these implications through the school system. I was wondering if you could help me understand what steps would have to be taken to get this technology in our schools. — Zoey C. Whatcom Community College in Bellingham Washington
Read Scott’s answer to this and other questions.

EPA Publishes Final Clean Energy-Environment Guide to Action

EPA is pleased to announce the publication of its Clean Energy-Environment Guide to Action: Policies, Best Practices, and Action Steps for States. The Clean Energy-Environment Guide to Action details states’ experiences with cost-effective clean energy policies and strategies that meet energy, environmental, and economic objectives. The guide covers energy efficiency, clean energy supply, and clean distributed generation.

EPA issued a prepublication draft of the guide at the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) Energy Outlook Conference in February. The new version available today includes editorial corrections to the earlier draft, as well as the addition of three appendices covering federal clean energy programs; energy efficiency program resources; and
technologies, markets, and programs for clean energy supply.

EPA estimates that if all states implemented cost-effective clean energy and environment policies, the expected growth in demand for electricity could be cut in half by 2025, and more demand could be met through cleaner energy supply. This translates into an annual savings of $70 billion in energy costs by 2025, while preventing the need for more than 300 power plants and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 80
million vehicles.

The Clean Energy-Environment Guide to Action is available at http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/stateandlocal/guidetoaction.htm.

A limited number of print copies of the report will be available in July from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications. Ordering information will be provided at the Web site listed above.

FY2007 Community-based Habitat Restoration Partnership Grants

Read the full announcement at Grants.gov. Application deadline is 9/25/06.

The NOAA Restoration Center (RC) invites the public to submit applications requesting funding to establish multi-year national and regional habitat restoration partnerships for up to three years.

Partnerships are expected to catalyze the implementation of locally-driven, grass-roots habitat restoration projects that will benefit living marine resources, including diadromous fish. NOAA envisions working jointly on such partnerships through its Community-based Restoration Program (CRP) to identify, evaluate, fund, and administer projects with substantial community involvement that restore NOAA trust resource habitats.

Partnership applications selected through this announcement will be implemented through a grant or cooperative agreement, and will involve joint selection of multiple community-based habitat restoration projects funded as sub-awards made through the partner organization. Funding requested to establish partnerships in FY2007 is expected to be greater than funds available for this purpose and the selection process is anticipated to be highly competitive.

Funding of up to $10 million is expected to be available to establish habitat restoration partnerships in 2007, and annual funding is anticipated to maintain them for up to 3 years duration. Typical partnership awards will range from $200,000 to $600,000 per year. This is not a request for individual community-based habitat restoration project proposals.

EPA Rule Loosened After Oil Chief's Letter to Rove

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times. They also have a PDF of the letter.

The White House says the executive’s appeal had no role in changing a measure to protect groundwater. Critics call it a political payoff.

Related information via Be Spacific:

Federal Register: June 12, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 112, Rules and Regulations,Page 33628-33640: “SUMMARY: EPA is taking final action to codify in the Agency’s regulations changes to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the “Clean Water Act” or “CWA,” resulting from the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This action modifies the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulations to provide that certain storm water discharges from field activities or operations, including construction, associated with oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities are exempt (emphasis added) from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements. This action also encourages voluntary application of best management practices for oil and gas field activities and operations to minimize the discharge of pollutants in storm water runoff and protect water quality.”