Welcome to 2011 and this year’s first Sustainability & Climate Change e-newsletter. I’d love to hear more from you this year. If you find something on the Web that you think other people should know, send the link my way. (I'll be sure to give you credit.) Here's the sort of news that's caught my eye.
- Rolling Stone recently released a list of the 15 greenest rockers — from Radiohead to The Roots — and we’re happy to count almost half as active friends of HeadCount. Speaking of celebs who love the environment, check out the new commercial for electric vehicles starring Fabio!
- But you don’t have to be famous to make a difference on the environment. The U.S. government is offering rebates for people who want to get a new eco-friendly ride. If you’re in the market for a new car, it might be a good idea, given that auto giant Toyota’s very own CEO is bemoaning the rapid loss of the world’s oil supply. Drivers and non-drivers hoping to green their lives can take advantage of some of the incentives made available by the government and peer-to-peer lending markets.
- President Obama is considering raising fuel economy standards for new cars and trucks to 62 miles per gallon by 2025. He’s also reviewing the Gulf Oil Spill Commission’s 300-page report, filled with recommendations for preventing future catastrophic oil spills. Many of the recommendations suggest increased regulation of the oil industry, which could be difficult given the new deregulation-oriented Republican majority in Congress. As such, Obama has asked his staff to evaluate which recommendations can be implemented without them.
- It turn out that 2010 was the wettest (and one of the warmest)years on record. And the mass fish and fowl deaths worldwide are reportedly linked to changes in global water temperatures. Will this renew the debate around climate change? Well, things might actually be moving in the other direction. Three Republicans have already introduced bills to the House that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. A new chart reveals that the Senate is only four votes away from doing the same thing.
- Nonetheless, the EPA recently blocked what would have been one of the largest mountaintop coal mines in West Virginia, to protect nearby streams and residents’ health. The EPA also revoked a permit for another coal mine in West Virginia; the very first time that the federal government has ever done this. But it may not have so much power in the future — Just this week, Politico reported that “Most Senate Republicans think the sweeping repeal of EPA authority is the best approach.”
Thanks for supporting HeadCount and for reading these e-newsletters. I really enjoy writing them! I would love to hear from you regarding environmental issues you’d like to see HeadCount address. If you see a great headline that everyone should see, send me an email or reach out to us via Twitter @HeadCountOrg.