40 Percent of Americans Can’t Afford a $400 Surprise Expense

By Reshma Kapadia July 27, 2019, Barron’s It is the kind of statistic that garners headlines and it is easy to see why: If roughly 40% of Americans would struggle covering $400 in unexpected expenses, how can they possibly save for retirement? Dipping into a retirement account to cover unexpected expenses—like a $400 car repair or medical payment—is a common way households make …

DOE says new building codes to cut energy costs by $138B, but EV backers see failure to advance charging

July 28, 2021, Robert Walton, Utility Dive Updated building codes would save U.S. homes and businesses $138 billion in energy costs over the next three decades, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) concluded on July 21. However, electric vehicle advocates see a missed opportunity to advance charging infrastructure with the new rules. The International Code Council (ICC) finalized building codes in 2020, …

CPUC draft distributed energy resources (DER) action plan intended as roadmap to roll out “forward-thinking” policy amid expected increases in DER deployments across the state

Utility Dive, July 2021 https://www.utilitydive.com/news/california-puc-unveils-draft-plan-for-forward-thinking-distributed-energy/603942/ California utility regulators last week issued a draft distributed energy resources (DER) action plan, intended to create a roadmap to roll out “forward-thinking” policy amid expected increases in DER deployments across the state. The plan is split into four tracks, which include creating more effective retail rate and demand response structures; ensuring that utility infrastructure planning …

“One of the biggest monuments to racism in America is the urban highway system:” What It Looks Like to Reconnect Black and Brown Communities Torn Apart by Highways

Billions of dollars in widening and extension plans are underway in Austin, San Antonio, Shreveport, Tampa, Portland, Cincinnati, Madison, Denver and beyond as roads reach obsolescence and populations increase. The scale and volume of these new projects underscore the challenge for voices calling for a different kind of urban future in St. Paul, New Orleans, Miami and Houston. They are a reminder …

Oregon Governor Signs Clean Energy Bill Banning the Expansion or New Construction of Power Plants Burning Fossil Fuels, Supports Community-Based Energy Projects

By Associated Press | July 27, 2021 US News & World Report, by Sara Cline PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon‘s clean energy bill signed by Gov. Kate Brown on July 27, 2021 lays out a timetable for the state’s two major power companies — Portland General Electric and Pacific Power — to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon …

Climate scientists warned of heatwave 20 years ago

Climate Scientists’ Heatwave Warning 20 Years Ago Was Tragically Prescient: The mass casualty heatwave that broiled the Pacific Northwest and western Canada last month is precisely the kind of catastrophe predicted by climate scientists two decades ago, Yale Climate Connections reports. In 2001, the IPCC’s Third Assessment warned the greatest increases in heat stress were expected in “mid- to high-latitude (temperate) cities, especially in populations …

How Insurers Obscure Healthcare Costs And How to Get Past That

How Insurers Obscure Healthcare Costs (Un-covered) — “As any magician will tell you, you can obscure what you don’t want people to notice by using a technique they’ve used forever: misdirection. Insurers want you to look at the fingers pointing away from them, not at the ones picking your pocket. An important goal of the industry’s misdirection is to keep …

Universal Basic Mobility and Mobility as a Service Approaches Underway in the US

Bloomberg, 2018 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-03/universal-basic-mobility-is-a-human-right Universal Basic Income (UBI) has long been talked about as a way to address income inequality, but there’s a solution that directly stimulates employment: Universal Basic Mobility (UBM), by simply getting people to jobs. In areas where commutes are long, it’s hard for children to escape poverty, and in many cities, areas with poor mobility have high unemployment and …

Turning Buildings Into Power Plants: Rooftops are 15-35% of urban land area and buildings are up to 40% of our electricity use

Solar City? Turning Buildings Into Power Plants, Developments from research labs and the renewables sector are driving new trends in urban design, Forbes, Laurie Winkless, https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriewinkless/2021/04/20/solar-city- In the past decade, the price of electricity generated by renewables has plummeted, and solar power has led the way. The staggering 89 % drop – from $359 per MWh in 2009, to $40 in …