Pentagon Report on Vulnerable Bases Incomplete
Today, the Department of Defense released a Congressionally-mandated report on the effects of a changing climate on America's military bases. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute welcomes the report but finds it incomplete, as it fails to list the most vulnerable bases, per Congress's directive. More importantly, the report doesn’t list and price out actionable measures that could be taken to better prepare America's armed forces for the impacts of climate change.
Spitzer Trust Grant to Expand EESI’s Work on Resilience
The New York-based Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) to showcase resilience as a major component of climate change adaptation in federal policy, with a particular focus on coastal communities and nature-based solutions.
Fort Collins Wins $1 Million Prize for Novel Energy Upgrade Program
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) congratulates the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, for being one of nine winners in Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. Fort Collins’s EPIC Loan program for residential energy upgrades was awarded a $1 million prize from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Its innovative, on-bill financing-based approach aims to provide health and equity benefits for low- and moderate-income renters by improving the energy efficiency and indoor air quality of rental homes.
Agreement in Poland Advances Climate Action—But Not Enough
This Saturday, 197 countries—including the United States—agreed on a rule book for the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls on the world's nations to keep global warming significantly below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Participating countries have already submitted written pledges to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, by transitioning to cleaner energy sources and by promoting energy efficiency. But rules were needed to ensure that countries could monitor each other’s actions, and properly measure their impacts.
2018 Farm Bill Helps Rural America Become More Resilient
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) commends the Farm Bill conferees and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their tireless commitment to produce a Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, this year. In a year when farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are struggling, and the agricultural economy is down nearly 50 percent compared to 2014, finalizing the Farm Bill is more important than ever. According to EESI Policy Associate Jessie Stolark, “Whether it’s producing a greater variety of renewable and bio-based products from forestry residues and agricultural resources, helping farmers and rural communities adapt to climate, or further supporting energy efficiency programs that help rural residents save energy and money, the Farm Bill could be doing even more to deliver economic development, climate adaptation and mitigation tools to rural America."
National Climate Assessment Confirms We Have to Act
On November 23, 2018, the U.S. government released Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA), which confirms—once again—that climate change is already having adverse impacts on Americans. "How many wake-up calls do we need? Every new National Climate Assessment has built on the previous one, confirming that climate change is already happening, and that we need to act," said EESI Executive Director Carol Werner.
Rep. Clyburn and USDA Celebrate $13 Million Loan for Energy Efficiency Improvements in S. Carolina
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials celebrated on Wednesday a $13 million USDA no-interest loan to a group of seven South Carolina electric cooperatives to make energy-savings improvements to approximately 1,300 co-op member homes. "The Environmental and Energy Study Institute welcomes this funding and Congressman Clyburn's continued support for energy efficiency initiatives. We have been working closely with South Carolina cooperatives—and cooperatives throughout the United States—to help their members reduce their energy use and bills, while improving their home comfort," said EESI Executive Director Carol Werner.
EESI Applauds U.S. Congress for Passage of Disaster Recovery Reform Act
Today, by a vote of 93-6, the U.S. Senate passed final legislation that contains $1.68 billion for Hurricane Florence recovery as well as reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will increase the availability of “pre-disaster mitigation” (PDM) grants to help communities better withstand future disasters. The provisions are part of H.R. 302, a package of bills that includes the long-awaited five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which also addresses resilience to extreme weather impacts and power outages at airports.
New Power Plan Rule Fails to Protect Public Health
"The proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule is another failure in leadership by this Administration to protect the public and is a sharp divergence from the fundamental mission of the Environmental Protection Agency," said EESI Executive Director Carol Werner.
EESI Applauds House Passage of PREPARE Act and Disaster Recovery Reform Provisions
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by a vote of 393 to 13. With the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) included in the FAA measure as Title VI, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) also reforms federal disaster policy by shifting more investment into pre-disaster mitigation and ensuring that post-disaster assistance enables communities to build back to the latest model building codes. EESI applauds policymakers for recognizing the value of investing in mitigation and smart rebuilding as a common-sense alternative to spending billions for post-disaster rebuilding only to have it destroyed by the next storm.