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Business Voice for the Environment
Environmental Entrepreneurs Update
April 28, 2005
This Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) newsletter is sent to all E2 members and friends of E2.
Articles in this Issue:

GeoGreenism - Thomas Friedman presents his ideas to E2 on Earthday
New England E2 Speaks Out - Advocacy efforts include oceans, climate and renewable energy
New York Event Unveils Product-Based NRDC Campaign - Eliminating one class of toxic chemicals each year
Climate Activities Build in California -AB32 Legislation off to a good start
E2 endorses Californians for Clean Energy - Ballot initiative would fund reduction in oil consumption
NRDC's David G. Hawkins to Receive EPA's Award - Attorney recognized for "clean air excellence"
New York Screens HBO Global Warming Film - "Too Hot Not to Handle" explores wide range of impacts and highlights act
Suit Seeks Release of EPA Documents - Questions on agency's agreement with GE over PCB toxins
Report Tracks Pollutants from Power Plants - CO2 levels continue to rise as others fall
NRDC Celebrates 8th Annual Forces for Nature - New York gala honors Virtual March and John Esposito
High Mercury Levels Found Near Chlorine Plants - Discrepancies in reported emissions and inventory purchases
Calendar of Events - E2 events in California, New York, New England and the Rocky Mountains


Pictured above are Thomas Friedman from The New York Times, and Barbara Finamore and Rob Watson of NRDC’s China Energy program.
Can a national energy policy to eliminate the need for oil also be the key to a stable, friendly Middle East? This was the thesis presented by Thomas Friedman , a world-renowned author and journalist, to E2 members at an E2 Earth Day (April 22) EcoSalon in San Francisco. Mr. Friedman’s thesis - that the price of oil and pace of freedom move in opposite directions - provided even more motivation for E2 efforts to move the U.S. and the rest of the world to a clean, low carbon energy future.

This article is a summary of Mr. Friedman’s speech to E2 members. Barbara & Rob discussed NRDC’s efforts to transfer knowledge of energy efficiency and green building methods to China.

April 30, 2001 Until Today

Vice President Cheney is well known for his comment on April 30, 2001: "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." (see Jim Lehrer interview from July 2001) The Vice President went on to say that fossil fuels should, and will, be the dominant source of our energy for years to come. His message, in sum: realists deal in oil and idealists deal in alternative energy.

Fast forward to a recent speech by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) to the Brookings Institute: "Energy is the Albatross of U.S. National Security" . Senator Lugar stated: "... by the time a sustained energy crisis fully motivates the market, we are likely to be well past the point where we can save ourselves. Our motivation will come too late and the resulting investment will come too slowly to prevent the severe economic and security consequences of our oil dependence. This is the very essence of a problem requiring government action." In effect, realists deal in alternatives to oil and idealists deal in oil.

Not Your Parents’ Energy Crisis

Thomas Friedman identifies seven reasons why energy policy today is a national security imperative and we are not dealing with "your parents’ energy crisis."
  1. The U.S. is funding both sides of the war on terror. Our government directly funds the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The enemy is funded by petrodollars coming indirectly from the increasing price of oil driven by U.S. and world demand.
  2. The world is flat. There will be three billion new consumers in China, India and other parts of the third world. They are all interested in the American dream (home, car, refrigerator, air conditioning, etc.) and will move from low energy impact to high energy impact as their country’s economies develop. To discourage that development would be both impossible and immoral. If they consume fossil fuels like the U.S., we will burn up, heat up, and smoke up the planet.
  3. Cleantech will be the industry of the 21st century. Cleantech - products and services that use fewer natural resources - will dominate in a century that will see increasingly higher costs for natural resources such as oil, natural gas, etc. China will go green. With 400 million people expected to move into cities in the next 20 years, that is the equivalent of two Manhattans built per year. It is simply impossible to achieve their objectives if China’s buildings consume resources at the rate that conventional buildings do.
  4. Friedman’s first law of "petropolitics." The more petrodollars that high oil prices feed into countries like Iran, the more mischief their governments will cause. With no need to tax their citizens, and with extra money to provide services, they can ignore popular opinion. By contrast, when oil prices are low, governments have to be more responsive.
  5. America’s moral authority needs strengthening. America may have moral clarity, but it has no moral authority with the rest of the world. While 163 countries are reducing global warming pollution under the Kyoto protocol, the White House and House of Representatives stand firmly opposed to taking direct meaningful action. The only real response to global warming and oil dependence is coming from individual states, such as the northeastern states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the 10 states following in California’s footsteps to adopt greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger vehicles.
  6. Stimulate improvement of K-12 education. Science and math are declining in schools. A national effort to reinvent our energy systems would stimulate interest in math and science.
  7. Being green is green. Focusing on clean energy and green design increases the profits of companies. Mr. Friedman gives the example of Texas Instruments’ new manufacturing plant in Richardson, Texas. In order to afford building the plant in Richardson rather than the default of China or Singapore, they had to find a way to build it for $180 million less than the previous plant built in 1999. By radically re-thinking the design and using Cleantech, the new plant uses 20 percent less energy, 35 percent less water and has achieved a 30 percent reduction in per-square-foot capital. Building green prevented the plant (and jobs) from going to China. (See Not a Chip off the Old Block for details on the Texas Instruments plant.)

Higher Oil, Lower Freedom

Mr Friedman presented data from his article in the May/June issue of Foreign Policy magazine which demonstrates the inverse relationship between higher oil prices and lower freedom for citizens of oil-rich countries. (Click here to view Friedman’s slide presentation) Thus, moving to a clean, low carbon future is not only the key to addressing global warming and economic opportunity for U.S. industry, it is also the most effective way to reduce terrorism and increase freedom.

Thomas Friedman’s column following the EcoSalon, Go West, Old Men in The New York Times on April 26, 2006 elaborated on California’s opportunity to lead the rest of the U.S. on green technology trade with China. This was a theme of the evening and we are glad he chose to highlight it nationally. E2 is very grateful to Thomas Friedman for generously donating his time to meet with us and help us advance our own messages.

The Earth Day EcoSalon also featured presentations by NRDC’s Rob Watson and Barbara Finamore on the global impact of China’s growing energy demand and solutions, particularly in green building design, that can be implemented to address that challenge. (Click here to view Rob’s slide presentation.)

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New England E2 Speaks Out

The New England Chapter of E2 has turned up the heat on its advocacy efforts on three important Massachusetts issues with nationwide implications.
Left to right: Rob Moir, Berl Hartman, Susan Goldhor and Jay Baldwin
Massachusetts’s Ocean Management Bill Nearing Vote: Massachusetts is on the verge of passing the nation’s first Ocean Management Bill which would mandate a comprehensive ocean resources management plan, the goal of which is to restore the abundance and diversity of native species and habitats and the health and productivity of coastal and marine ecosystems. On April 25th four E2 members - Rob Moir, Berl Hartman, Susan Goldhor and Jay Baldwin - met with Kevin Canaan, counsel to Senator Therese Murray, Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The group emphasized the fact that the bill had strong support from the business community and that Massachusetts will serve as a role model for the nation if this bill is approved.

Massachusetts Legislature Considers Overriding Governor’s Veto on RGGI:
Massachusetts played an active role in supporting and drafting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional agreement that implements a market-based system to cap CO2 emissions from power plants. However, at the eleventh hour, Governor Mitt Romney opted not to join the pact, though other New England and Mid-Atlantic states agreed to sign. Taking matters into their own hands, the Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would override the governor’s decision. On April 13, E2 members Tedd Saunders, Dave Duehren and Berl Hartman spoke at a Massachusetts State Senate hearing on the bill. The group focused its message on the economic opportunities that RGGI creates by sending a signal to the market that encourages companies to find the most innovative and cost-effective ways to cut their pollution.

Fighting to Preserve Renewable Offshore Wind Energy: E2 has been very active in its support for renewable energy, including wind power. Cape Wind, a proposed wind farm in the waters of Nantucket Sound, would produce enough electricity to meet nearly 75 percent of the electricity demand on Cape Cod and nearby islands, replacing up to 113 million gallons of oil per year with clean energy. Now the project, which is supported by nearly every major environmental group, is under attack in Congress from an amendment inserted into the Coast Guard re-authorization bill. The stealth amendment, which has not been debated by any committee of Congress, would grant Massachusetts Governor Romney the right to kill the project. Since he is on record as opposing the project, this is tantamount to a death knell for Cape Wind. E2 New England sent out several alerts, sent letters and faxes to key senators, and mounted a phone campaign to save the project. A recent nationwide E2 alert garnered 280 signatures. Congress has yet to take action on the bill.

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New York Event Unveils Product-Based NRDC Campaign

Over 30 NRDC and E2 members joined NRDC president Frances Beinecke and NRDC public health director Linda Greer at a March 30 lunchtime briefing in New York on NRDC’s long-term strategic plans to safeguard the public, particularly children, from toxic chemicals found in everyday consumer products. According to Linda, diseases linked to toxic chemical pollution, such as some cancers, asthma and neurological disorders, are on the rise. Exposure can be attributed to toxins found in many everyday items, including plastic baby bottles and toys, household pesticides, and toys and appliances that contain mercury batteries. All of these products have readily available, less toxic alternatives, and NRDC is launching product-based campaigns aimed at eliminating one class of toxic chemicals each year for 10 years. The centerpiece of the campaign will be partnering with large retail chains such as Wal-Mart to use their enormous purchasing power to remove hazardous products from store shelves. The campaign will also demand safer product standards from retailers’ suppliers, with the goal of ultimately influencing manufacturers to eliminate toxic chemicals from their products.

E2 members who missed this briefing will have another opportunity on June 8 to hear Linda’s talk at an after-work briefing in the NRDC New York office. See events calendar for more details.

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Climate Activities Build in California

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, E2 Co-founder Bob Epstein and Assembly Member Fran Pavley at the Sacramento press conference announcing the introduction of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Climate legislation continues to move forward in California with the announcements of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Climate Action Team (CAT) report and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez’s legislation, AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

On April 3, Governor Schwarzenegger released the final CAT report on meeting his goals of reducing global warming pollution (GWP) in California. The report demonstrates that California can reduce GWP to 1990 levels by 2020 - or the equivalent of a 25 percent reduction over business as usual.

On the same day, Speaker Nuñez invited E2, represented by Bob Epstein, to the press conference launching AB 32 to present the views of California businesses on the bill. AB 32 would put teeth into the Governor’s proposal both by making the GWP reductions mandatory and giving the California Air Resources Board authority to implement mandatory reporting of emissions and, beginning in 2012, an annual reduction target leading to a GWP reduction of 25 percent by 2020.

On April 10, the Governor held the first in a series of panel discussions on how to meet the objectives outlined in the CAT report. E2 was invited to represent the business opportunities in Cleantech. The next day, the Governor went on public record supporting a mandatory cap on carbon emissions as defined by AB 32.

At this point, E2 is working to keep the momentum up and urge the Governor’s office and the legislature to work together toward a common goal of making California a leader in addressing global warming. The next step is for the Senate to consider the bill. The E2 climate team of Tony Bernhardt, Dave Edwards, Bob Epstein, Noelle Leca and Marc Stolman have started meeting with legislators and business groups, including the Chambers of Commerce, to build support for the bill.

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E2 endorses Californians for Clean Energy

California’s November ballot will include an initiative to fund reducing oil consumption in California. E2 has endorsed the initiative, "Californians for Clean Energy". If approved by the voters, the initiative will fund a $4 billion-dollar effort to reduce California’s dependence on gasoline and diesel by 25 percent over 10 years, through incentives to make alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fuels more widely available and affordable to consumers. It would also fund research to bring cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy to the marketplace more quickly.

Funding for the initiative would come from a fee on oil extracted from California. California is the third largest domestic producer of crude oil, with 656,000 barrels per day. Surprisingly, it is the only oil-producing state with no fee. Alaska, for example, has a 9 percent fee and Louisiana has a 12.5 percent fee. The California fee would vary with the price of oil, starting at 1.5 percent at $10/barrel and growing to 6 percent at $60/barrel and above.

E2 outlined how states can use biofuels to eliminate their need for petroleum in our report, Replacing Gasoline with Biofuels . This initiative would provide funding for the infrastructure to significantly accelerate implementation, plus funding to make the University of California and state colleges leaders in alternative energy research and development.

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NRDC's David G. Hawkins to Receive EPA's Award

On April 5, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the lifetime achievements of clean air champion David G. Hawkins, attorney and director of the NRDC Climate Center, for 35 years of service working to protect the health and safety of the American public against the threats of air pollution and global warming. In recognition for his work, Hawkins has been selected to receive this year’s Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, one of the agency’s annual Clean Air Excellence Awards, which recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement, demonstrated leadership, and a lasting commitment to promoting clean air and helping to achieve better air quality.

David Hawkins joined NRDC as an attorney in 1971, working on industrial air pollution control and attainment of air quality standards. In 1977, he was appointed by President Carter to serve as Assistant EPA Administrator for Air, Noise, and Radiation, where he was responsible for initiating major new programs under the 1977 Clean Air Act amendments and extensively involved in other regulatory proceedings. Hawkins returned to NRDC in 1981 as co-director of the organization’s Clean Air Program, and when NRDC established its Climate Center in 2001, Hawkins became its director. Hawkins serves on the boards of the Center for Clean Air Policy, Resources for the Future, and the Board on Environmental and Energy Systems of the National Academy of Sciences. He participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, and is participating in the IPCC’s fourth Assessment Report on climate change.

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New York Screens HBO Global Warming Film

On April 7, over 100 NRDC and E2 members attended a screening of "Too Hot Not to Handle," an HBO documentary on global warming. The film, which was produced by NRDC trustee Laurie David, highlights the impact of global warming in the United States. It features in-depth discussions of such subjects as the greenhouse effect, hurricanes, snow pack, hybrid vehicles and alternative power, and showed how businesses, local governments and citizens are taking positive actions to reduce global warming emissions. "Too Hot Not to Handle" premiered on HBO on Earth Day, April 22.

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Suit Seeks Release of EPA Documents

On April 6, NRDC filed suit asking a federal court to order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release more than 1,000 documents detailing the agency’s controversial plans for the cleanup of cancer-causing PCBs dumped by General Electric (GE) in a 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River, one of the nation’s biggest Superfund sites. PCBs are highly toxic industrial compounds that cause cancer and a host of other serious health problems in both people and wildlife. At issue is essential information about the agency’s proposed site remediation settlement with GE, which has been subject to widespread criticism by state officials, members of Congress, other federal agencies, and even EPA’s own technical staff.

In 2002, after a 13-year "re-assessment" of the Superfund site, EPA officially determined that the only way to fix the problem for good is to remove enough PCB-laden muck to fill more than 800 Olympic swimming pools from the bottom of the river. Three-and-a-half years later, in October 2005, EPA announced a consent decree with GE under which the company would commit only to conducting the first of two phases of the cleanup, accounting for only 10 percent of the site. Additionally, GE is suing EPA to avoid the agency’s legal authority to compel the company to complete the second phase of the cleanup should the company choose not to carry it out. And just last month the company asked for yet another year’s delay before the dredging efforts start.

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Report Tracks Pollutants from Power Plants

On April 5, NRDC and CERES released a report evaluating air pollution trends at the nation’s 100 largest electric power producers. The report shows that emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have fallen markedly in recent years, but carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have increased and will likely spike in coming years. The report, which focused on companies generating 88 percent of the nation’s electricity, found that overall emissions of SO2 and NOx fell by 36 percent and 44 percent, respectively, between 1990 and 2004. The drops are largely the result of stricter pollution-control standards enacted in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Conversely, CO2 emissions rose 27 percent in the same 14-year period. And the report predicts a bigger increase in the years ahead due to an unprecedented surge of new U.S. coal-plant proposals that would emit substantially more CO2 than other sources generating the same amount of power.

These power plant pollutants cause or contribute to significant environmental and public health problems, including acid deposition in lakes, streams and forests, ground-level ozone, or smog, a lung and asthma irritant, regional haze and global warming. For the full report, please visit: Benchmarking Air Emissions.

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NRDC Celebrates 8th Annual Forces for Nature

Left to right: John Adams, Edgar Bronfman Jr., John Esposito, Laurie David, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Frances Beinecke
On March 6, over 500 friends and supporters gathered in New York’s Cipriani for NRDC’s 8th annual Forces for Nature benefit. This year’s gala honored environmental activist and NRDC trustee Laurie David’s Stop Global Warming Virtual March, which has signed up thousands of people across the U.S. - from Senator John McCain to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and the Philadelphia Eagles to Walter Cronkite - to voice their concern about global warming and to urge our leaders to take action.

The evening’s second award was presented to Warner/Electra/Atlantic Corp. President and CEO, John Esposito, who is also an E2 member. Under Mr. Esposito’s leadership, WEA Corp. became the first major music company to partner with NRDC to develop ecologically responsible paper procurement practices. The company has also made their CD and DVD packaging and office operations more environment-friendly. Guests were treated to live performances by singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and by the soulful beats of Robert Randolph and The Family Band. The benefit raised over $1 million for NRDC’s programs.

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High Mercury Levels Found Near Chlorine Plants

The results of independent air quality tests released April 4 in Chicago by NRDC show dangerously high levels of toxic mercury in areas surrounding major chlorine chemical plants in Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Similar facilities also operate in Ohio and Wisconsin. Plants listed in the new report, entitled Lost and Found: Missing Mercury from Chemical Plants Pollutes Air and Water, use huge quantities of liquid mercury to produce chlorine gas and caustic soda (known as lye), which, in turn, are used to make paper products, detergent and soap, and plastics. The plants are required to track and report emissions as they buy more mercury to replace lost quantities, but NRDC consistently found a discrepancy between the small amount that plants reported they lost and the much greater quantities the industry had to buy to replenish its stock. NRDC and Oceana joined with local residents to call on the Chlorine Institute to limit membership to companies that don’t use the hazardous mercury-based production processes. Most of the U.S. chlorine industry already uses clean, non-mercury production techniques, but eight chlorine-producing plants are still operating with so-called mercury chlor-alkali technology.

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We hope you’ll tell your friends about E2 and NRDC. To learn about E2 and our programs please go to www.e2.org. Information about NRDC can be found at www.nrdc.org.

Thanks for your support. Comments, questions and introductions to possible new members are always welcome! Learn how to join E2 at how to join. To learn more about the leaders of E2 please read about the E2 co-founders
Bob Epstein and Nicole Lederer, Editors
bob@e2.org nicole@nicolelederer.com

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