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Maryland taps carbon permit coffers for power bill rebates

A cap and trade program is one option being explored by the United States as a method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  While legislation at the national level has yet to set up such a program, a group of states in the Northeast has started their own regional cap and trade system, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  Under RGGI, emissions allowances are auctioned amongst participants who emit greenhouse gases.  The revenue generated from the auction is in turn to be used to fund programs which support the use of clean and efficient energy. 

The state of Maryland, a member of RGGI, has “broken the rules,” and is using the money from the auction to subsidize low-income family’s energy bills.  Rather than using the income for its designated purpose, Maryland is prolonging the use of the energy sources contributing to global climate change.  According to analysts, the state’s decision to use the money to help pay residents pay for energy is only a short-term fix, not a long-term solution.

Controversy over this issue will likely continue in the near future, as President Obama’s budget includes a proposal to start a national cap and trade system, from which the revenue generated by this auction will be given back to the taxpayers.

 
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New I.R.S. incentives, from cold to hot

Looking for some last minute tax deductions before the April 15th filing deadline? 

This week’s The Green Home from the New York Times looks at ways you can receive tax credits by going green at your home.  To start, improvements which make your home more energy efficient, which include installing new windows and insulation, have credits worth 30 percent of the total cost.  Additional credits can be earned if you drive a hybrid or diesel car, use forms of renewable energy, or upgrade home cooling and heating systems.  Before making any improvements to green your home, be sure to research the upgrades thoroughly, as not all will be right for you or eligible for the tax credits.  The article provides sources for you to learn more.

 
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Time to say bye to washers of old?

For those of you wanting to reduce your carbon footprint at home, here’s detailed advice on whether and how to replace your old washing machine.

It is interesting to note that it appears the media is now covering ways to go green at home much more than in the past.  This article, from the Washington Post, is very similar to the recent articles we have posted from the new series in the New York Times, the Green Home. The importance and effectiveness of these articles depends heavily on whether or not people will actual follow the advice and take action. 

Will you consider changing your lifestyle to help in the fight against climate change?  Have you already started?

 
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China vies to be world’s leader in electric cars

This article from the New York Times is like a shot across the bows of the U.S. It is a warning that the price of inaction developing electric vehicles will be high. It doesn’t contend that transportation conditions in China and the U.S. are identical, nor does it minimize the technological and economic problems that the Chinese must solve to become the world leader in electric cars. Still, by inference, if the U.S. cedes the field to China, this country forfeits a very large export market, and foregoes at once the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on imported biofuels and to slow global climate change by reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

What are we waiting for?

 
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Can biochar save the planet?

We here at ClimateYou aren’t farmers or agronomists, so we present this article from CNN without comment. Biochar sounds too good to be true, so we wonder how much energy is used to produce biochar from biomass, and how many greenhouse gas emissions are produced converting biomass into biochar. We are hoping that some of our readers can contribute answers about what seems to be a very promising process and product both for reducing greenhouse emissions and for raising yields and farm income

 
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