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Archive for July 2011

Bloomberg Antes Big Bucks to Dethrone King Coal

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The Sierra Club and its Beyond Coal Campaign received a huge boost last week when New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $50 million to the campaign.

Sure $50 million—to be paid over four years—is a very big deal. Beyond the dollars the partnership between Bloomberg and the club takes the fight to end the coal era to a new well-staffed and nationwide level. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

July 27, 2011 at 2:00 am

Leveraging Broadband Access for Sustainable Growth

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The Carbon Disclosure Project says broadband—and increased access to it on a global basis—is the key to stimulating new, sustainable economic growth.

CDP is a London non-profit that claims to hold the “largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world.” It outlined the opportunity that broadband represents in a 24-page paper released late last month,” Building a 21st century communications economy.”

Global oil demand is forecast to grow 1 percent each year through 2030, according to CDP, with much of the increase coming from emerging economies, mainly China and India. Natural resources, especially oil, are becoming harder to access and more expensive to buy, so when talking about strategic action CDP says there is an alternative: Creation of a “low carbon, low-environmental impact economy through greater investment in advanced communication networks.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

July 19, 2011 at 2:00 am

EPA’s SmartWay program expands to drayage

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Goods movement stakeholders in port areas and the Environmental Protection Agency have launched an initiative that’s designed to help clear the air and reduce emissions in the nation’s port areas.

The EPA SmartWay Drayage Program builds on clean truck programs that have been around at various port regions for several years.

The players with the EPA in the nationwide initiative include: The Coalition for Responsible Transportation and the Environmental Defense Fund. The CRT partners comprise: Best Buy; Hewlett Packard; Home Depot; JC Penney; Lowe’s; Nike; Target; Wal-Mart; and the following port trucking carriers: California Cartage Express, LLC; California Multimodal, LLC; Container Connection; Evans Delivery Company, Inc.; GSC Logistics; PDS Trucking Inc.; Performance Team/Gale Triangle; Total Transportation Services, Inc.; and the Western Ports Transportation.

The launch was announced recently at the Port of Charleston, SC. According to the joint announcement, the program “builds a partnership between numerous goods movement stakeholders including major national retailers, trucking companies, port communities, environmental groups and the U.S. EPA to solve a critical health and environmental challenge: how to reduce harmful air emissions from port drayage trucks.”

Drayage trucks, which haul cargo containers arriving at ports to storage areas, transload centers and nearby distribution centers, are usually old and a major source of diesel emissions in and around port areas. Getting those vehicles off the road is one of the thorniest and most controversial port and transportation issues around.

In a statement, Rick Gabrielson, who is the CRT President and is Target’s Director of Import Operations, said, “This partnership will generate private sector investment in clean technology, improve the environmental quality of our nation’s port communities and demonstrate the commitment we have made as the shipping industry’s leaders to emissions reductions.”

The program “offers great incentives for independent owner operators and trucking companies to replace their older drayage trucks with cleaner, less polluting models,” said Marcia Aronoff, the EDF’s senior vice president for programs. “With the rise in population and the growth of the freight transportation industry, we must be vigilant, forward thinking and creative in finding solutions that reduce toxic emissions and embrace market-based sustainability efforts.”

The drayage program is based on the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, generally regarded as an innovative and successful collaboration between the EPA and goods movement interests. The voluntary program provides a framework for assessing and addressing transportation-related emissions and energy efficiency while recognizing superior environmental performance through market-based incentives.

Under the program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace their older dirtier trucks with cleaner, newer ones, and achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in particulate matter and 25 percent reduction in nitrous oxide (NOx) below the national industry average within three years.

Then the SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement, committing to ship at least 75 percent of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking companies within three years.

“By giving business priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates a market-driven approach to incentivize emissions reductions at port communities across the country,” EPA says.

This approach has worked well in the Pacific Northwest, where market-based clean truck programs between stakeholders at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma have been around since 2008 and have removed hundreds of dirty drayage trucks from those port areas.

Written by William DiBenedetto

July 8, 2011 at 2:03 am

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