Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blame Canada: Another Dirty Energy Threat

Just two days ago, I was telling you about the threat posed by Canadian tar sands giant TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline proposal. Today Mary Rafferty of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter has an op-ed in the Danville Register & Bee detailing how another energy company with ties north of the border wants to play a high stakes game with Virginia's uranium deposits:
Uranium mining would benefit other nations, not America: Despite the downhome name, Virginia Uranium Inc. is a majority-Canadian owned company.

While some of the uranium mined and milled in Virginia might eventually be sold in this country, it will be part of a global market. If extracted and processed today, uranium from Coles Hill would most likely be sent to countries with the highest demand, mainly China and India. According to a letter published last week, VUI’s lead lobbyist Whitt Clement even agrees that uranium produced in Virginia may not stay in America.

All that can be guaranteed to stay in Virginia is the 29 million tons of mill tailing waste that would be created by the project.
What's "mill tailing waste"? This by-product of uranium mining needs to be stored for up to 1,000 years because it's radioactive and harms human health. It's worth repeating: This one project at Coles Hill would generate up to 29 million tons of radioactive mill tailings waste, plus associated waste water and chemicals in the tailings.

While the uranium industry would have us believe we have to choose between a healthy environment & a thriving economy, the truth is the two are interdependent. The real question is whether Southside will choose a clean energy future - or sign its future over to the uranium mining industry.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

March 8: Community Meeting on Westover Market Beer Garden

Westover Market Beer GardenWant to voice your opinion about Westover Market Beer Garden? Come to this Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association meeting on Tuesday March 8th at 7pm at Westover Library:
Please plan to attend a community forum to discuss the Westover Beer Garden on March 8 at 7pm in the Westover Library. The Beer Garden is working with the county government to resolve the various issues associated with continuing this much-loved Westover institution. Once its plans are in place, it will go before the county board for final approval, probably in April or May. The idea of the forum is for all members of the community to come together to agree on common positions regarding the beer garden. One issue we have discussed is how the noise from the garden affects the immediate neighbors. The forum will seek to find compromise solutions to all issues so that hopefully the four civic associations surrounding it can present a united front of community support to the county board, based on consensus agreement, to keep the beer garden going while ensuring that it maintains good relations with its immediate neighbors.
Story via; photo via Flickr's Thundercheese

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Progressive Blogs Sell Out To Big Oil

If you're not familiar with dirty Canadian tar sands, let me give you a quick rundown of the process & where things stand right now:
  1. Oil companies bulldozes the pristine forest to dig up tar sands, oil mixed with dirt. Leftover sludge is dumped into "tailings ponds" where it kills thousands of birds.
  2. The mining & refining process releases three times the global warming pollution compared to conventional oil
  3. Canadian tar sands giant TransCanada is currently pressuring the Obama administration to let it build a new Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to deliver its dirty fuel to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined & shipped with no guarantee the oil would be sold to American consumers. What would be guaranteed? Massive profits for Koch Industries.
  4. Homeowners along the proposed pipeline route have already gotten a menacing letter from TransCanada warning eminent domain could be used to seize their homes if they don't sell out now (where's the Tea Party eminent domain anger on this?)
  5. Here's the kicker: The tar sands pipeline would actually increase gas prices in the Midwest
So how are national progressive blogs reacting to the story? By cashing in! DailyKos sold its top-of-page banner and its wallpaper to TransCanada today:

Talking Points Memo sold a banner, the wallpaper AND an inset ad above its top story:

FireDogLake sold TransCanada its banner to go along with not one but three BP inset ads on its front page:

Even the Center for American Progress - a progressive nonprofit - has a BP inset ad on

Worth mentioning that Huffington Post right now doesn't have any ads from TransCanada or BP. If you see any other TransCanada ads on progressive blogs I've missed, email me.

As a friend told me today, "When you're spending $11 billion on a house, loose change can buy a lot of wallpaper." What I don't understand is why progressive blogs think it's OK to cash checks from people who make their money by destroying our air, water & wildlife.

Before your blood stops boiling, be sure to ask the Obama administration to say no to tar sands.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Like Mosquitoes? You'll Love White-Nose Syndrome

Little brown bat from Avery County with fungus on noseEven with just a few warm days last week, bugs were already buzzing around in my backyard. And this summer's swarm of mosquitoes could be even larger than usual thanks to a new plague that's wiping out bats - white-nose syndrome:
Scientists are comparing this onslaught to the devastation of the buffalo, the passenger pigeon and the American chestnut tree.

And all the bats want to do is eat the mosquitoes that make us miserable and the bugs that damage our crops and gardens.
It's now moved into Virginia:
Virginia scientists check the bats in about 20 key caves every other year. The 2011 count began last month, and the numbers are bleak.

At Coon Cave in Bland County, for example, the number of little brown bats fell from nearly 1,300 in pre-white-nose times to 94 — a 93 percent drop.
What's the government doing to stop it? Not much. While local government spend an estimated half a billion dollars a year to fight mosquitoes, the federal government is only spending a little over a million a year to investigate white-nose syndrome:
Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, a national environmental group, said the federal government needs to move more quickly and put up more money to fight white-nose.

"Four million dollars over a number of years is really pretty peanuts," she said.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has introduced the Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2011 to better understand diseases like white-nose syndrome. But considering Republicans these days don't see danger in volcano eruptions, I'm skeptical about their ability to take white-nose syndrome seriously.

To learn much more about white-nose syndrome, check out National Geographic magazine's chilling article, Bat Crash.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Corn Syrup Blondie Definitely Wouldn't Have Been As Catchy

The Green Miles lived in Plattsburgh, NY for two years. Living on the shores of Lake Champlain, it's impossible to avoid developing a hardcore addiction to Vermont maple syrup. So when I saw Ben & Jerry's Maple Blondie ice cream, I had to try it.

But I was disappointed the ice cream lacked a true maple bite. The Impulsive Buy's review nailed it - if I hadn't seen the package, I'd have guessed it was butterscotch ice cream.

A look at the ingredient list helped explain it - the ice cream contains more cane sugar and corn syrup than maple syrup:
I'm guessing this is an example of a company cutting corners to keep all its products the same price (and keep them delivering the right profit margin). But I'd rather pay more for maple ice cream that actually tastes like maple.

In a related story, Ben & Jerry's has agreed to phase out its use of the phrase "all natural" after being pressured by The Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stand In The Place Where I Live (Now Face East)

A sliver of spring arrived in my apartment this week in the form of a ray of sunshine. It's not much, and only stays for a few minutes every morning, but considering my apartment hasn't seen any direct sun since last fall, it's enough to make me want to break out my This Is Why I'm Hot t-shirt.

The Green Miles' apartment in East Falls Church faces to the east. What that means is I got hours of direct sun in the summer & no sun at all in the winter - the opposite of what you'd want for optimal heating & cooling. Ideally, as many of your home's windows as possible should face south - that way the sun passes overhead in the summer but gives you lots of free heat in the winter.

And now I give you the video for REM's "Stand," which looks so dated it makes 1988 seem like a lot longer than 23 years ago ... wait, 23 years IS a long time. Apparently I'm just old.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Metro Funding Update, LCV Scorecard & New Climate Studies

I don't usually do a links roundup, but it's a busy morning, so ...

Gas Price Hikes Only OK When Money Goes To Big Oil

In the Washington Post, Steve Pearlstein says raising the gas tax by 60 cents last year would've been seen as political suicide. But gas prices have gone up 60 cents just the same, and instead of funding desperately needed repairs to Metro or our crumbling roads & bridges, the money has gone to BP, ExxonMobil, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the list goes on.

And what's been the impact of those gas price hikes?
During that same period, private businesses created 1.2 million jobs and recorded near-record profits, stock prices rose by more than 20 percent and auto sales were brisk enough that General Motors recently handed out $4,000 profit-sharing checks to each of its unionized workers.

History will also record that, during that same time period, not one politician that I am aware of took to the floor of the House or Senate to denounce this "job-killing" 23 percent increase in the price of gasoline.
Doesn't exactly sound like the predicted Armageddon, does it? What anti-tax ideologues will never admit is that there are certain taxes - the gas tax, cigarette taxes, the estate tax - that you can raise with limited economic impact (and contrary to conventional wisdom, an increase in the gas tax is not regressive).

Even though gas prices are back above $3 a gallon, consumption remains near historic highs. Gas consumption just doesn't respond to price changes very quickly - if the price of beer goes up today, I can switch to wine tonight; but if the price of gas goes up today, it might take months or years to change my habits or living arrangements - and if I have kids in school, my hands might be completely tied.

The best way to reduce energy costs for drivers is by increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, which the Obama administration is doing. But when consumption goes down, gas tax revenue goes down, meaning we have less money for transit, roads & bridges. So a gas tax increase makes sense, but as the Car Talk guys famously pointed out, politicians are too wussy to do it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Congressional GOP Targets DC Commuters

Capitol South StationThe DC region's Metro system is already facing a $72 million budget gap. Now, to close .01% of this year's federal deficit, Republicans in the U.S. House want to slash another $150 million from this year's Metro budget:
House Republicans have proposed a "continuing resolution" to fund the federal government with deep cuts, including no federal payment for Metro repairs and cuts to many federally-funded DC services including the courts.

The list of cuts removes the entirety of the $150 million annual capital contribution to WMATA, which just began last year. The federal government makes no other contribution for Metro beyond general formula transportation dollars that go to states and localities.
But hey, why should House Republicans & their staff worry about Metro? Taxpayers fund their free parking.

And if Metro breakdowns force more commuters onto the roads? That's not really such a big deal for the GOP either - they have to come into work less these days anyway. Under Speaker John Boehner, the GOP is taking fewer votes & spending much less time in session than did their Democratic counterparts.

Of course, the Metro cut is just the tip of iceberg of suckitude that is the House Continuing Resolution. It slashes funding for education & health care while protecting billions in subsidies for Big Oil & hundreds of millions more in pork barrel spending for Speaker John Boehner's district.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Valentine's Day, Can Eric Cantor Find Polluter Love?

Greenpeace has updated for the 112th Congress:

Guess who's among the featured profiles? Virginia's own Rep. Eric Cantor.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who'll Be Virginia's Next U.S. Senator?

With Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) announcing he won't seek another term in 2012, Tim Kaine & Tom Perriello are at the top of the list of potential Democratic candidates.

While I'd certainly give Kaine my full support against an oil shill like George Allen, Kaine wasn't willing to stand up to coal special interests while he was Virginia's governor.

Perriello, on the other hand, was one of America's top fighters for clean energy & climate action while he served Virginia's 5th Congressional district, and wasn't afraid to tell his colleagues in the upper chamber to get moving.

I'd strongly encourage you to "like" Draft Perriello on Facebook.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Here's The Chicken You'll Be Enjoying. His Name Is Colin."

Are you a smug treehugger? Or can you laugh at yourself?

Watch the new IFC series Portlandia starring Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein and you'll find out:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Southeast Sustainable Seafood Guide

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has updated its indispensable Southeast Sustainable Seafood Guide (PDF) for 2011. If you find it hard to know which fish to buy & which to avoid when you're at the grocery store or out to dinner, print it out & stick it in your wallet. Other regions are available at

WTOP Earns Golden Ostrich Nomination

Polar bear cubs.Last night as I was listening to WTOP radio, Shawn Anderson read a story about how polar bears are struggling with less ice and how the Pacific walruses is now considered threatened - without using the words "climate" or "global warming."

(Puts on Jon Gruden voice) Now, Shawn Anderson, you talk about THIS GUY, you talk about a guy who knows how to keep his head down. I mean, this guy knows if you point out scientific fact, people who find that politically inconvenient are just gonna get mad at ya! So why do it? YOU DON'T! I'm tellin' ya, you could put this guy in the middle of any controversy in any era - cigarettes causing cancer, CFCs destroying the ozone layer - and this guy's gonna give it his all to avoid giving you the whole story.

See the rest of the Golden Ostrich nominees, or if you see or hear a story that avoids or obfuscates climate science, email me your nomination.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Conservationist's Guide to Hating Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder

Don't watch football? Maybe you don't even follow sports? It's OK - if you care at all about the environment, sustainability or conservation, you can still hate Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

When The Green Miles moved to the DC area nine years ago, I put myself on the Redskins season ticket waiting list, figuring that by the time my name came up, I'd be following the home team. But when my spot came up several years back, I realized that while I consider myself a Nationals fan and follow both the Wizards & Capitals ... I kinda hate the Redskins.

It's nothing against their players, coaches or fans. It's that they have one of the worst owners in professional sports (bad owners must thank their lucky stars every day for the continued existence of Donald Sterling, far & away the worst owner).

Daniel Snyder possesses an amazing ability to make Redskins fans hate themselves for caring about his team. Making the same mistakes in building a team, over & over. Getting caught squeezing every last cent out of his customers, over & over. And within Washington City Paper writer Dave McKenna's indispensable (and now infamous) The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Daniel Snyder, we find plenty of reasons for conservationists to hate The Danny, too.

Daniel Snyder vs. Pedestrians

"Whaddya mean you couldn't walk into the stadium??" People are always dumbfounded when they hear Daniel Snyder once had pedestrians banned. It's like a perfect storm of nonsense & evil:
Safety: Bogus excuse used to get a ban on pedestrian traffic into FedExField on game days in 2000. After a class action lawsuit alleged that the ban was really intended to increase parking revenues at the stadium, the ban was overturned. In 2007, Snyder again cited safety to get offsite parking banned by the town council in Agawam, Mass., home of Six Flags New England. Parking rates at the theme park tripled after his 2005 takeover of Six Flags. When the Agawam council learned about the earlier pedestrian-safety controversy at FedEx, it undid the ban.
Yes, Daniel Snyder thinks pedestrians are bad for business. All that free, zero-carbon travel keeps Snyder from charging up to $35 for parking! (On top of their generic stadium being inconveniently located, the Redskins Fan Cost Index is 9th-highest in the league.)

What about Metro? When a federal rules change meant WMATA couldn't provide service, the Redskins refused to provide bus service. Granted, it's only a 20 minute walk, and with game-day traffic, the Metro bus didn't make it there any faster, so taking a pass on the shuttle wasn't unreasonable.

What WAS ridiculous was the reason the Redskins gave: The shuttle would've been too expensive. That's right - the team with an annual operating income of $104 million couldn't spare a few bucks to give fans a ride to Metro. That'd mean one less ivory back scratcher for Daniel Snyder!

Daniel Snyder vs. Trees

What good is having a mansion overlooking the Potomac River if there are hundreds of vertical structures blocking your view down the hill?
Unobstructed View: What Snyder wanted of the Potomac River from the back of his Montgomery County home. To accomplish this, he cut down trees protected by the National Park Service. The episode marked one of the rare times Snyder got crisis PR help. He retained Mike Sitrick, who helped with damage control for the Michael Jackson family after the pop star’s death and Paris Hilton after one of her arrests.
Snyder paid a $37,000 settlement & re-planted new trees, but with no old growth trees to hold the soil in place, erosion has killed many of the new trees. As of 2010 - six years after Snyder's original tree-cutting - the hill was still in disrepair.

Daniel Snyder vs. The Air We Breathe

The Redskins conservation program seems to consist entirely of some recycling & using products made of recycled or environmentally-friendly material. Which would be awesome, if this was 1979.

Meanwhile, the Redskins' division rival Philadelphia Eagles are blowing the Redskins' meager efforts away - using 100% clean energy, planting trees, and recycling more than three times as much annual waste as the Redskins do.

We're in an era when even Fenway Park has solar panels. Yet according to the Redskins' website, the team is  doing nothing on clean energy or local environmental outreach.

Worse yet, Daniel Snyder & the Redskins are major contributors to Republicans who deny we need to do anything about global warming, from George W. Bush to Bob McDonnell to Frank Wolf.

Daniel Snyder vs. The First Amendment

To punish the Washington City Paper & Dave McKenna, Daniel Snyder is threatening to sue City Paper & is demanding McKenna be fired. As has pointed out, with the lawsuit's shaky factual basis, the McKenna demand may be a tell - Snyder may be looking for retribution against a journalist whose reporting has cost Snyder money.

If you don't think billionaires should be able to bully news organizations whose accurate reporting casts them in an unflattering light, consider making a donation ($10? $25? $50?) to the Washington City Paper's Legal Defense Fund.

And for all the latest on the lawsuit, follow Deadspin's We Are All Dave McKenna series.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Virginia Senate Votes to Render "Renewable Energy" Meaningless

Addendum to this morning's rant.

The Virginia Senate has voted unanimously that coal-bed methane - created by the decomposition of organisms over the course of more than 300 million years - is now to be considered "renewable" energy.

Up next - a unanimous vote to consider bloodlettings as valid health care?

A Brief Rant On This Year's Virginia General Assembly Session

The thing that's bugged me about this year's Virginia General Assembly session isn't so much that, aside from a few notable bright spots, progressives are getting their asses kicked. I know Republicans control the House & governor's mansion and that Democrats hold only a slim margin in the Senate.

It's that Democrats are getting their asses kicked and they don't even seem to know it.

First an anti-livability bill passed the House with the support of five Democrats. Then the Senate unanimously passed a bill to continue shoveling millions in subsidies to coal companies that don't need them.

And today, we learn the House passed - again, unanimously - a bill to insulate factory farms from charges of animal abuse.

Doesn't the Democratic Party of Virginia have paid staffers and an allegedly full-time chair? It looks like they haven't put out a press release in two weeks. And if you click DPVA news, you get basically a blank page, which seems appropriate. What the hell are they doing with their days?

Oh, right. Important party business.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Webb's Clean Air "Obstruction By Another Name"

A New York Times editorial slams attacks on the Clean Air Act that are being supported by Sen. Jim Webb:
There are a half-dozen other such measures in circulation, at least one of which would weaken the agency’s long-held powers to regulate conventional ground-level pollutants like soot and mercury.

One or another of these bills has a real shot in the Republican-controlled House. Their chances are slimmer in the Senate, where the bigger danger is a proposal by Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, that would block any new regulations on power plants and other industrial sources for two years.

That is just obstruction by another name. It would delay modernization and ensure that more carbon is dumped into the atmosphere. History shows that regulatory delays have a way of becoming permanent. [...]

In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to protect “common-sense safeguards” to the nation’s environment. The rules under siege in Congress will help clean the air, reduce toxic pollution in fish and slow emissions of greenhouse gases. It is hard to imagine anything more sensible than that.
As Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said, "There is a case to be made that, in the contest between corporate profits and children's lungs, someone should be standing up for children's lungs." Will Sen. Webb really choose to stand on the side of corporate profits?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Have Vehicle Fuels Advanced Since "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

When The Green Miles was 5, I was a huge Dukes of Hazzard fan. So when I couldn't find anything to watch the other night & an episode was just starting, I figured what the heck.

The episode, titled High Octane, features the Duke family entering an alternative fuel contest sponsored by the Department of Energy. They submit a batch of Uncle Jesse's moonshine whiskey & the judge not only gives him top prize, but pronounces it the best tasting fuel and/or whiskey he's ever had.

But shortly after the episode aired, oil prices came back down, President Reagan took office and slashed incentives for alternative energy & conservation, and vehicle fuels have puttered in neutral ever since. We're still putting gas or the equally-bad corn ethanol in our vehicles. And our cars & trucks don't get much better gas mileage than they did in the days of the General Lee:
Fortunately, President Obama has taken bold moves to change that, pushing for significantly higher fuel efficiency standards. The new rules will save 2 billion barrels of oil.

That 2 billion barrels works out to 40 billion gallons of gas. At $3 a gallon, that's enough to buy Americans 8 billion bottles of whiskey. Seems a much better use of the money, don't you think?

Side note: Now I know why my parents refused to watch the Dukes of Hazzard with me. Felt like they only had enough plot for 15 minutes & the writers did all they could to stretch it to an hour. I've seen dogs being taken to the vet that dragged their feet less. Also, fun to watch the General Lee jumps again. Seemed completely plausible when I was 5.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DC Moves To Protect Pedestrians With New Cameras

Beatles Abbey Road capaDuring the first 6 months of 2010 (the most recent data period available), 8 pedestrians were killed by cars in DC & 41 pedestrians were run down in Virginia, both sharp increases. Recently, The Green Miles wondered if traffic cameras were possible to protect pedestrians.

Turns out it's not only possible - Lisa Sutter, the head of the MPD’s photo enforcement program, wants to bring crosswalk cameras to DC:
The D.C. police are hoping to install smaller, more mobile cameras in neighborhoods around town, catching drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, block the box at intersections, or even fail to fully stop at stop signs, among other potential violations. The portable units would probably be battery- or solar-powered and affixed to small concrete pads set up around town, making them far more versatile than the permanent streetside cameras or cruiser cameras now in use. Their modest size would allow them to be used in areas where cameras couldn’t go before. [...]

The department would be continuously moving the cameras around to keep drivers guessing, and they’ll be accompanied by more signs telling drivers to obey the speed limit and stop for pedestrians. With the new technology, the units may be able to detect when a pedestrian has come to a crosswalk, then capture the plates of drivers who fail to yield. “I want to stigmatize [drivers] blowing past pedestrians,” Sutter said.
The new cameras could be on the streets this summer. Any chance we can get some over here in Northern Virginia?

I do have to wonder: Has Lisa Sutter considered the alternative of giant cats?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Short Version Of GOP Complaints About Obama's Energy Plan

How dare President Obama try to pick winners & losers among energy sources that are killing our climate, health & national security, and those that are not?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yes, Global Warming Has Helped Trigger Past African Unrest

Drought in AfricaWith's Joe Romm linking Egyptian unrest over rising food prices to the climate crisis, Keith Kloor sneeringly dismisses Romm:
Let the record state that Egyptians have previously taken to the streets over food. For example, there were the “bread riots” in 1977, and in recent years the food riots in 2008 (which hit other parts of the world, as well). Was global warming involved in these instances, too?
Yeah, Joe! What now?

What's that you say? Maybe you should actually check if global warming contributed to an African crisis of the 1970s before using it in a taunt? I suppose:
In 2005, a series of climate modeling studies performed at NOAA / Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory indicated that the late 20th century Sahel drought was likely a climatic response to changing sea surface temperature patterns, and that it could be viewed as a combination of natural variability superimposed upon an anthropogenically forced regional drying trend.Using GFDL CM2.X, these climate model simulations indicated that the general late 20th century Sahel drying trend was attributable to human-induced factors; largely due to an increase in greenhouse gases and partly due to an increase in atmospheric aerosols. In IPCC future scenario A2 (CO2 value of ≈860 ppm) Sahel rainfall could be reduced by up to 25% by year 2100, according to climate models.
Kloor concludes that he marvels "at the hubris of someone who sees a global warming angle to the Egyptian revolt."

OH SNAP! Who'd ever link global warming to political revolt?

Huh? The Penta-what-now?

Fat Tire Rolling Into DC Area

Until just a few years ago, New Belgium Brewing's beer wasn't available east of the Mississippi River. It's been creeping slowly towards Virginia for several years, but now New Belgium is making a big move, expanding into the entire DC region:
New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, announced plans today to expand their market territory along the eastern seaboard. The Colorado brewer will open Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. in September of 2011. The added territory will bring the nation’s third-largest craft brewer to 29 states.
But New Belgium isn't just coming to DC to sell beer. It'll also be pushing for clean energy & climate action:
New Belgium Brewing, the nation’s third largest craft brewery, today announced it is joining the fast-growing Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition, a group of major American businesses pushing for passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the U.S.

“New Belgium has long strived to be a sustainable business role model, but we also recognize that legislative advocacy is vital to creating the conditions for widespread sustainable business practices,” said Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director at New Belgium. “We view BICEP as our ally in D.C., giving us the opportunity to join other business voices in advocating for aggressive energy and climate policies that address the tremendous challenges and opportunities facing our country.”

New Belgium Brewing, based in Fort Collins, CO, is considered a leader in sustainable business practices in the craft beer industry. In 1998, New Belgium became the first brewery in America to subscribe to wind energy for its electrical needs. The brewery currently produces 15 percent of its electricity onsite, by harvesting methane from its process water treatment facility to fire a co-generation engine. New Belgium recently installed the largest private solar array in Colorado at 200kW and boasts one of the lowest water-to-beer production rates in the industry.
New Belgium may not focus on using organic ingredients, but their clean energy leadership is far more critical. And don't discount the water factor out West, where the climate crisis is worsening droughts just as it is here in the Southeast.

The Green Miles has been rooting for New Belgium's Fat Tire to come to DC since he first tried a pint more than three years ago in California. It's as tasty as a craft brew, but drinkable enough that on a hot summer night you could have a couple and not feel like Mr. Creosote.