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Business Voice for the Environment
Environmental Entrepreneurs Update
November 27, 2007
This Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) newsletter is sent to all E2 members and friends of E2.
Articles in this Issue:

E2 Members Address Energy Bill - Briefings in Senate and House committees
Call for E2 Members With Nevada Business Affiliations - Campaign against coal-fired power gearing up
E2 Climate Campaign Update - Delegation highlights innovation during Sacramento visit
Massachusetts Making Progress on Energy, Oceans and Global Warming - New England chapter playing a key role
E2 Members Speak Up for Climate Laws in the Northwest - Sharing perspectives with business leaders in Seattle
New York City Stormwater Treatment Bills - E2 member testifies in support of healthier waterways
Marine Mammal Work Showcased in New York - Multi-media event on dangers of sonar
E2 Northern California Meetings - AB 32 update and U.S. leadership potential in global cleantech
Court Rejects Administration's Weak Fuel Economy Standards - Orders stronger standards be set for light trucks
San Joaquin River Restoration Bill Clears First Hurdle - Support for landmark settlement gaining steam in Congress
Report on Oil & Gas Drilling in the Rocky Mountains - Industry loopholes undermine public, environmental health
Federal Court Limits Sonar Exercises Off Southern California - Navy must do more to protect marine life
Court Rebuffs Shipping Industry Attempt to Derail Air Pollution Safeguard - Limits pollutants from auxiliary engines
Calendar of Events - E2 events in California, New York, New England and the Rocky Mountains

E2 Members Address Energy Bill


 
 
Left to right: Nicole Lederer, E2 Co-founder, and E2 members Bill Unger, Joel Serface and Juilius Genachowksi.

The mood of Congress has taken a strong turn in the last few months toward seriously addressing our country’s energy, climate and natural resource issues. We welcome this development, and see it as an opportunity to make significant progress on E2’s national agenda. In addition to our annual May delegation trip to Washington, DC, we are planning to send smaller "strategic strike forces" to the Hill on approximately a quarterly basis in the coming year.

As the first in this series of advocacy trips, on November 1 a delegation of four E2 members spent the day on Capitol Hill briefing two Congressional committees on the economic opportunities inherent in strong renewable energy and efficiency measures in the Energy Bill, now in the conference negotiation process.

Our delegation included Julius Genachowski, Co-Founder of New Resources Bank and a resident of Washington, DC; Joel Serface, Director of the Austin Clean Energy Incubator in Austin, Texas; Bill Unger, Partner Emeritus of Mayfield Fund from Menlo Park, CA; and Nicole Lederer, Co-Founder of E2 from Palo Alto, CA. The group worked like a well-oiled machine, using examples from their own professional experiences to illustrate the economic opportunities in pursuing a clean energy future.

E2 met with the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee sponsored by the Committee Chair, Senator Bingaman, and with the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by Congressman Markey. In both meetings, we presented the E2 Energy Bill Action Alert that 337 E2 members signed the week before. That alert called for six provisions in the Energy Bill that we feel are essential for the country’s energy, economic and environmental future:

  1. A federal Renewable Electricity Standard, requiring 15 percent of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020
  2. Improved Corporate Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ) Standards to 35 mpg for cars, trucks and SUVs
  3. Strong energy efficiency targets for buildings, equipment and appliances
  4. An extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit through 2013 to allow for a longer time horizon for investment decisions
  5. Oil and gas tax code reform to level the playing field for alternative energy sources
  6. Conservation and resource efficiency policies for sustainable low-carbon biofuels production

Our E2 delegation described how the clean energy economy is a real and swiftly growing phenomenon, from Wall Street to Main Street, and that the surge of innovation in resource management and efficiency is resulting in major new sources of revenue generation, job creation and economic growth. Our central theme was that we must not delay further in enacting federal policy to stimulate growth in this strategic industry sector which promises economy-wide benefits.

E2’s position on these issues will be publicized widely on Capitol Hill during the conference debate in a full-page ad in Congress Daily. The ad will run twice as part of a series called "Voices for an Energy Bill." Other "voices" will be consumer, faith and labor groups.

We thank our NRDC partner on federal advocacy, Legislative Director Karen Wayland, for her guidance and assistance in crafting E2’s federal activities.


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Call for E2 Members With Nevada Business Affiliations


Nevada has moved to the front lines in the fight against coal-fired power plants, with three proposed new plants on the books for approval over the next few months. In this high stakes battle, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed to use all means at his disposal to stop these plants, and the coal industry has reportedly committed millions of dollars on a campaign to demonize any politician that opposes new coal plants or supports global warming legislation, with a special focus on Nevada. NRDC has teamed up with local stakeholders to oppose the plants with a public relations, lobbying and legal strategy. One of the most critical needs is for business voices who can counter the coal industry’s claim that dealing with global warming is bad for the economy and attest to the real potential of clean energy solutions in Nevada. If you have clean energy interests in Nevada, either as an investor or business owner, or if your company is considering expanding into Nevada, and you are willing to help with this campaign, please contact Christine Luong, E2 Manager, at cluong@nrdc.org.


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E2 Climate Campaign Update


 
 
Our E2 Sacramento delegation (from left to right) included Rick Degolia (E2), Steve Weiss (Serious Materials), Bob Epstein(E2), John Woolard (Brightsource and E2), Rocky Fernandez (E2 Climate Campaign Coordinator), Bob Hambrecht (E2), Diane Doucette (E2 Climate Campaign Director), Matthew Frome (Solazyme) and Tony Bernhardt (E2).

The E2 Climate Campaign’s goal is to demonstrate that California can meet its target of a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases with a net economic benefit. Our campaign intensified after the signing of the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) in September 2006. Diane Doucette has directed the Climate Campaign since it’s inception in May 2006.

This month, a delegation of E2 members and representatives from several California Cleantech companies met with California officials to discuss strategies for reducing greenhouse gases.

Climate.e2.org

The E2 Climate Campaign launched the first phase of its website this month at climate.e2.org. The website highlights strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, policy recommendations and innovative companies that are working on new technologies, fuels and processes that will help California meet its 2020 reduction targets. Several people were instrumental in creating the website. We’d like to especially thank Tom Haggin, Tony Bernhardt, Rick DeGolia, Laura Shenkar, Chip Koch, Katie Elliott and Jeff Cohen.

In 2008, the campaign will continue to build business support for the effective implementation of AB 32. We will be doing extensive outreach and education throughout the state, bringing business leaders to Sacramento for public hearings and meetings with policymakers. We will focus our policy work on policies that promote a strong declining cap, innovation in the private sector and increased competition in the energy sector.

New Analysis, New Companies

Working through our network of volunteers, we are documenting opportunities for emission reductions based on research by NRDC, analysis done by the state and information from the private sector. In our recently published papers, we identified the potential for (all figures in million metric tons CO2 equivalent):

  • Reductions from very low carbon ethanol (17 MMTCO2E)
  • Reductions from dairy farm manure management (6 MMTCO2E)
  • Reductions from improved water policies (5 - 7 MMTCO2E)

These collectively represent over 15 percent of the total reductions needed by 2020.

E2 believes emission reduction technologies will increasingly come from the entrepreneurial business community. We have started to document a cross-industry sample of these entrepreneurial companies (see innovative companies). Our recent trip to Sacramento featured:

  • Solazyme (renewable fuels) - Solazyme recently started field testing their renewable diesel fuel derived from algae.
  • Serious Materials (green building materials) - Serious Materials is developing a replacement for traditional sheetrock that uses one-tenth the energy to manufacture.
  • BrightSource Energy (renewable electricity) - BrightSource produces large scale solar-thermal renewable energy systems.

Our Meetings
Our November 5 trip to Sacramento introduced policy makers to our campaign, website and three California companies as examples of what the private sector is developing. In three separate meetings, we met with:

  1. California Air Resources Board Chairperson Mary Nichols, CalEPA Secretary Linda Adams, California Energy Commissioner Jim Boyd, and approximately 20 staff members from state agencies who represent the Governor’s Climate Action Team;
  2. Kip Lipper, Senate Pro tem Don Perata’s (D-Oakland) chief environmental staffer;
  3. Staff from the offices of Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Members Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael).

Our meetings were all extremely productive and we received very positive feedback. In particular:

Summary
Passing the Global Warming Solutions Act was the easy part. The regulations to implement the bill will be designed throughout 2007 and 2008. During this timeframe, the E2 Climate Campaign will actively build the case for achieving the reductions at a net economic benefit and identify the key policy recommendations that will maximize innovation and competition.


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Massachusetts Making Progress on Energy, Oceans and Global Warming


 
From left: E2 Chapter Leader Berl Hartman; Marc Pacheco, Chair, Massachusetts’ Senate Committee on Global Warming & Climate Change; and E2 member Susan Goldhor, at Massachusetts Oceans Day.
 

This month Massachusetts showed signs of progress on many environmental issues and E2 was active on all fronts. The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a landmark energy bill that would put Massachusetts among the leaders in energy efficiency by mandating that utilities pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency programs before seeking new sources of supply. This makes good economic sense since efficiency programs deliver energy savings at about 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour while energy supply costs customers about 10 cents per kilowatt hour. E2 strongly supported the bill by testifying at hearings, meeting with members of the legislature and writing letters throughout the year. We will continue to press for some improvements to the bill as it moves to the state Senate.

Also on the energy efficiency front, E2 member Chris Kaneb, a real estate developer and Vice President of Catamount Management Corporation, represented E2 at a green building roundtable sponsored by Massachusetts’ Representative Doug Petersen. As a private developer, Chris offered his perspective that the best way to promote green buildings is to enact regulations and back them up with incentives and penalties.

On November 15, E2 members Berl Hartman and Susan Goldhor participated in Massachusetts Oceans Day at the State House. Leon Panetta, Chair of the Pew Oceans Commission, gave the keynote address at the event which was organized in support of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Bill. The Bill creates a comprehensive planning process to address the State’s current fragmented ocean policy while protecting vital ocean resources and allowing for sustainable economic activity.

E2 also played a key role in the support and development of the Massachusetts Global Warming Bill, which was passed by the Joint House-Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. E2 member Berl Hartman participated in the press conference announcement on November 16 and was quoted in the press release issued by Senator Marc Pacheco, Chair of the Senate committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.


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E2 Members Speak Up for Climate Laws in the Northwest


 
E2 Member Marc Stolman
 

On November 7, E2 members Nancy Floyd & Marc Stolman spoke out for laws limiting global warming pollution in Washington & Oregon, where an effort is underway to adopt legislation similar to California’s Global Warming Law, AB 32. At a meeting in Seattle called "Business Leaders for Climate Progress" and billed as the kickoff of this initiative, they encouraged the audience of Pacific Northwest business leaders to push for environmental laws that make sound economic sense. Nancy spoke of the huge economic opportunities created by climate legislation in the Cleantech sector while Marc spoke of the role the business community needs to play in getting global warming laws passed. Marc should know - he was a key member of the team that lobbied in Sacramento for AB 32 on behalf of E2. Marc spoke to the Pacific Northwest group about the complementary roles of public policy and business in addressing global warming, saying, "We need our governments to pass laws leveling the playing field for clean companies." The meeting was organized by Climate Solutions, a Washington-based nonprofit working for energy and transportation solutions that benefit the Pacific Northwest region’s economy and quality of life.


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New York City Stormwater Treatment Bills


 
 
E2 Member Michael Gresty (left) testifying before the New York City Council.

On November 8, E2 member Michael Gresty testified before the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection to support the passage of three proposed stormwater management bills aimed at reducing the amount of raw sewage that flows into New York area waterways. It is estimated that 27 billion gallons per year of mixed sewage and storm runoff are dumped, untreated, by the City every year. These combined sewer overflows release pathogens and other pollutants into the water, posing a danger to public health, damaging the ecology, frequently making waters unsuitable for many recreational activities and impacting economic development. NRDC, as part of the SWIM (Storm Water Infrastructure Matters) coalition, worked with NY Councilmember and Environment Committee Chair, James Gennaro, to craft these bills, which are intended to implement some of the water quality initiatives laid out in Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. Michael’s testimony on behalf of E2 and the business community was very well received by Gennaro and the Committee. In the coming weeks and months, E2 and NRDC will continue to explore opportunities with the City Council and the Mayor’s office to advance these important bills. You may download a factsheet on these bills (PDF format) and watch a video of Michael’s testimony.


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Marine Mammal Work Showcased in New York


On November 14, New York E2 and NRDC members gathered for a compelling, multi-media presentation on NRDC’s efforts to protect marine mammals from the dangerous effects of sonar and other human sources of "acoustic pollution." Joel Reynolds, NRDC senior attorney, showed stunning images from Laguna San Ignacio, one of the last undisturbed birthing and nursery grounds of the gray whale and an area that he and NRDC helped save in 2000 from a massive industrial salt plant proposed by Mitsubishi. Joel also described NRDC’s longstanding work to minimize the Navy’s use of high-intensity, low- to mid-frequency sonar in its training exercises, including our recent win in the U.S. Court of Appeals that will require the Navy to mitigate its sonar activity off the coast of Southern California (see below). Guests also had a chance to hear a sampling of "songs" from different whale species. To illustrate the disruptive, and very often dangerous, nature of sonar, the songs were overlaid with ear-piercing samples of sonar waves. John Adams and Peter Lehner, NRDC’s Founding Director and Executive Director, respectively, were also on hand to share their perspective on these efforts.


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E2 Northern California Meetings


 
 
Left to right: E2 members Chip Koch, Bill Weihl, Ann Shulman and Stephen Colwell.

On November 8 in Palo Alto, and on November 9 in San Francisco, E2 Northern California members gathered for "The California Global Warming Solutions Act One Year Later and Promoting U.S. Leadership in Global Cleantech Markets," Focus Meetings featuring Bob Epstein, E2 Co-founder, and David Bohigian, Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). Bob provided an update on the AB 32 implementation process, noting that six "Early Action Measures" were recently approved, proposed regulations on mandatory emissions reporting had just been released by the California Air Resources Board, and that the scoping plan effort would be kicked off with a public workshop on November 30. E2 Climate Campaign’s website has officially launched (see above), helping in our efforts to show that meeting AB 32’s mandate to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through cleantech innovations will provide net economic benefits.

Assistant Secretary Bohigian described his role in the DOC - to break down trade barriers and build bridges for freer international trade - and discussed projected demand for cleantech in such markets as Brazil, Russia, India and especially China (which plans to spend $152 billion on energy- and resource-efficient technologies to meet its Renewable Energy Law target of 15 perent from renewables by 2020). David listed the three primary drivers of demand for cleantech products; price signals in the energy and other resource sectors, national security issues, and global warming and other environmental concerns. He emphasized the need for U.S. policymakers and business leaders to make cleantech a "jobs" issue and lead technology-driven efforts to deploy innovations around the world. He encouraged E2 members to join him on a Clean Energy Trade Mission to India and China in January 2008, during which participants will meet with both clean energy sector professionals and national and local government officials in both countries. Questions about the Trade Mission can be directed to Justin Rathke at the DOC, at (202) 482-7916 or cleanenergymission@mail.doc.gov.

E2 and NRDC thank David Bohigian for representing the DOC in these meetings with E2, and Bain & Co. for generously hosting the November 8 Palo Alto Focus Meeting.


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NRDC News

Court Rejects Administration's Weak Fuel Economy Standards

On November 15, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the Bush administration’s weak fuel economy standard for sport-utility vehicles and other light-duty trucks. The court ruled that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to address why the so-called light trucks are allowed to pollute more than passenger cars and didn’t properly assess greenhouse gas emissions when it set new minimum miles-per-gallon requirements for models in 2008 to 2011. California and 10 other states, two cities and four environmental groups sued the administration after it announced the new fuel economy standards last year. David Doniger, Policy Director of the Climate Center, is NRDC’s lead attorney on the case. The ruling should bolster California’s arguments in a case it filed last week against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to issue a waiver that would allow the state (and others) to enforce stricter standards to lessen greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles.


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San Joaquin River Restoration Bill Clears First Hurdle

Water is one step closer to flowing in dry stretches of California’s second-longest river after the House Natural Resources Committee voted 25-15 on November 15 to pass the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (H.R. 4074). The legislation would authorize and fund a landmark settlement to resurrect the once mighty river. The San Joaquin River settlement was approved by a federal court in Sacramento last fall. It ended a lawsuit brought by a coalition of conservation and fishing groups led by NRDC against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Users Authority over the operation of Friant Dam near Fresno, Calif. Click here to read more about the settlement. To read about E2’s involvement, click here for our August 2006 article.


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Report on Oil & Gas Drilling in the Rocky Mountains

On October 31, NRDC released "Drilling Down: Protecting Western Communities from the Health and Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Production," a report on how the U.S. oil and gas production industry, which has significantly expanded with thousands of new oil wells in the Rocky Mountain region during the last decade, has enjoyed loopholes in federal laws that allow it to pollute the land, air and water, and release toxic substances into the environment. The report also profiles families who have experience living near oil and gas drilling and production facilities in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana, and report suffering from rashes, swelling, blisters, sore throat, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, numbness, elevated heart rate, and other symptoms.

Despite the close proximity of these operations to homes, schools, and other community resources, the oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from provisions of federal laws intended to protect human health and the environment, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as the Superfund law), waste management laws (RCRA), and public right-to-know provisions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of these loopholes that allow oil and gas companies to continue polluting despite the risks, as well as affordable pollution solutions that are already available. NRDC Senior Policy Analyst Amy Mall is the principal author of the report.


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Federal Court Limits Sonar Exercises Off Southern California

High-intensity mid-frequency (MFA) sonar has killed marine mammals in numerous incidents around the world. On November 13 a federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Navy not to use a dangerous form of high-intensity sonar in its training exercises planned for the waters off Southern California, which have high concentrations of whales and dolphins, until questions over likely harm to marine mammals can be resolved. In August, the same court allowed the Navy to continue with current exercises, scheduled to conclude on November 22. After that date, the Navy is prohibited from continuing with its training exercises unless it adheres to the mitigation measures to be ordered by the District Court that will "provide adequate safeguards for the protection of the environment." The Navy could better protect marine mammals by adopting simple mitigation measures, but it refuses to do so. Those measures include: adopting larger safety zones to protect marine mammals close to sonar ships; avoiding key whale habitat; seasonally avoiding the grey whale migratory routes; monitoring for marine mammals thirty minutes before training begins; and reducing sonar power during times of low visibility, when whales are hard to spot. These measures were urged on the Navy earlier this year by the California Coastal Commission, which found them necessary to bring the Navy’s exercises into compliance with California’s coastal laws. Click here to read more about this case, on which Joel Reynolds, Senior Attorney and Director of the Marine Mammal Protection Project, is working on behalf of NRDC.


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Court Rebuffs Shipping Industry Attempt to Derail Air Pollution Safeguard

On October 23, a court granted a request by NRDC and other defendants that California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations continue to be enforced while a lawsuit involving ships and cleaner marine fuels is heard. Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) is challenging CARB’s regulations, adopted in 2005, that require vessel operators to limit the emissions from ship auxiliary engines within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. The majority of ships would comply with the rules by using cleaner fuels in their auxiliary engines. The rules also allow CARB to require use of even cleaner fuels by 2010. Auxiliary engines provide power for uses other than propulsion, such as electricity for lighting, refrigeration of cargo and navigation equipment. CARB estimates that between 2007 and 2020 the new rule will reduce particulate emissions by more than 23,000 tons, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 15,000 tons, and sulfur oxides (SOx) by 200,000 tons. The Auxiliary Engine Rule is one of the first in a series of rules that CARB plans to adopt to reduce pollution from marine vessels. NRDC’s participation in this case is being represented by its Air Quality Program attorneys and specialists, Melissa Lin Perrella, David Pettit and Adrian Martinez.


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Calendar of Events

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E2 Membership

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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