This year offers a rare historical opportunity for our nation to marry energy and agricultural policy objectives. The new 110th Congress will be revisiting the 2005 energy bill and reauthorizing the 2002 farm bill, giving congressional leaders the chance to link increased rural prosperity and energy security. Two reports released today will be useful guides.
A recent column by David Morris published on Alternet provides a review of George Monbiot’s new book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. The book picks up where Al Gore left off on global warming, offering real solutions without sugar-coating the large personal sacrifices they will require.
Our January 2007 report, Lessons from the Pioneers: Tackling Global Warming at the Local Level looks at ten of the most visible and successful cities involved in global warming solutions and finds that reducing GHG emissions below 1990 levels will be a major challenge.
Biofuels won’t single-handedly solve the climate crisis, nor will they deliver energy independence. But a base of widely dispersed, farmer- and citizen-owned biofuel plants can displace significant amounts of fossil fuels — while also building local economies. ILSR’s recent column in Grist Magazine outlines a federal energy and agriculture strategy to move us in the right direction.
One of the first orders of business for the new Congress should be to eliminate a single sentence in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The language was added in the waning hours of the conference committee negotiations. According to ILSR, if it does not, the commercialization of ethanol made from cellulose could be delayed.
The article below by David Morris provides and overview of the mess.
Turn on the Electric Road by David Morris, Vice President Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) October 8, 2006 – published in the New York Times Last summer, New York State took a page from California’s playbook, using state policy to jump-start a 21st century automobile industry. Albany started a $10 million program to convert its fleet … Read More
A new report issued by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance urges the U.S. Department of Energy to change its piecemeal approach to commercializing ethanol from cellulose and develop a comprehensive strategy. "The future of American agriculture may depend on this," says David Morris, Vice President of ILSR and author of Putting the Pieces Together: Commercializing Cellulosic Ethanol.
California has moved renewable energy and environmental responsibility to new levels with the passage of a solar power bill and two pieces of greenhouse gas emissions legislation. The solar power law raises net metering ceilings for utilities by five times from their previous levels. One climate bill will establish a cap on greenhouse gas emissions in California and could lead other states to take a similar step.… Read More
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has issued guidelines for vendors to obtain funding under the New York State Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Technology Initiative. The goal of the program is to accelerate the conversion of the state’s hybrid vehicle fleet (500-600 vehicles) into plug-in hybrids.