Environment

Environment

Colorado Announces Major Vestas Wind Expansion

Wind power is good- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter and Economic Development Director Don Elliman announced today that Denmark-based Vestas will significantly expand its Colorado operations by building two new manufacturing plants in Brighton.

The wind-blade production plant and nacelle assembly factory represent a $290 million capital investment and will bring 1,350 new jobs to Colorado. 

"This expansion reinforces Colorado's standing as a national and international leader in clean, modern energy for the future," Gov. Ritter said. "It puts an exclamation point on our efforts to build a New Energy Economy that adds jobs, takes advantage of Colorado's incredible intellectual capital, secures our energy future and helps end our dependence on foreign oil."

Gov. Ritter was joined at this morning's announcement by Brighton Mayor Jan Pawlowski, Laura Brandt from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.; Larry Burkhardt, president/CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development; Weld County Commission Chairman Bill Jerke; Regional Transportation District General Manager Cal Marsella; and RTD Board President Lee Kemp.

"I've worked most of my professional life putting together business deals," Colorado Economic Development Director Elliman said, "and I have never had the privilege of working with a group of people as professional and conscientious as the people from Vestas. I'm also happy to say that this is not the last time we'll be talking about growth in the New Energy Economy. There is more to come."

Vestas opened its first North American manufacturing plant in Windsor earlier this year. The 650-employee facility will produce 1,800 giant wind blades a year.

The new Brighton facilities, which should be operational by July 1, 2010, will include:

· A $180 million blade-manufacturing facility that will produce 1,800 blades a year and provide 650 new jobs.

· A $110 million nacelle assembly factory that will produce 1,400 nacelles a year and provide 700 new jobs. Nacelles are the turbine housing units that sit atop the tower and contain key components like the gearbox, generator and transformer. This will be Vestas' largest nacelle assembly factory in the world.

· A Technology and Production Engineering Office.

The 178-acre site is located in unincorporated Weld County and will be annexed into Brighton. Vestas is purchasing 112 acres from Brighton and 66 acres from RTD, which obtained the land from the Union Pacific Railroad.

In addition, Vestas intends to build the world's largest tower-manufacturing facility elsewhere in Colorado; the exact location has not yet been announced.

All told, Vestas' entire commitment to Colorado represents a nearly $700 million capital investment and 2,450 new jobs.

Vestas officials were unable to attend today's news conference. They announced the Brighton project in a financial filing and news release issued early this morning.

Explaining why they are significantly expanding their Colorado operations, Vestas officials cited easy access to rail and highways, the state's highly skilled workforce, a favorable business climate, and strong dedication and commitment from state and local leaders to growing Colorado's New Energy Economy.

Gov. Ritter said he looks forward to continuing the partnership with Vestas. "Vestas is once again cementing its position as one of Colorado's pioneering partners in the New Energy Economy," he said. "My administration worked closely with Vestas and the many other partners involved in this project to make it a reality.

"This is a tremendous boon for all of Colorado," Gov. Ritter added. "It adds momentum to our push to diversify our energy portfolio and build a 21st century economy based on industries of the future. What we are doing here in Colorado can and should serve as a model for the rest of the country."

COLORADO FILES PROTEST OVER ROAN LEASE SALE

Save the Roan Plateau!- for the Grateful Web

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources submitted a protest to the federal Bureau of Land Management today objecting to the BLM's plan to lease the top of the Roan Plateau for commercial drilling on Aug. 14.

Colorado's protest letter reiterates Gov. Bill Ritter's belief that the Roan should be leased in phases to:

·         Maximize the economic return to the state;

·         Provide for long-term sustainable economies in West Slope communities;

·         Encourage improvements in drilling technology;

·         Protect the Roan's other natural resources.

 

"We believe that the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) plan for leasing the Roan next month has serious flaws that must be addressed before a lease sale occurs," Harris Sherman, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, wrote in the protest letter.

 

"The BLM's plan fails to protect valuable fish and wildlife habitat, will not maximize economic return to the State, and could result in the State not receiving its share of mineral bonuses and royalties.

 

"The State of Colorado has tendered a plan for the Roan that would accomplish these goals, and this plan has received widespread support from around the State. Nonetheless, the BLM has rejected the State's proposals, and we have no choice but to object to the BLM's leasing plan."

From the Mayor of Glenwood Springs:

Making it clear that the public is vehemently opposed to natural gas drilling on the Roan Plateau, public officials and dozens of citizens gathered in Glenwood Springs Wednesday to celebrate the submission of more than 17,000 letters to the Bureau of Land Management protesting the planned leasing of the Roan.

"For a number of years now, the City of Glenwood Springs has repeatedly requested that the BLM take a slower, more measured and environmentally friendly approach to the Roan," said Bruce Christensen, mayor of Glenwood Springs.  "We would have liked the federal government to acknowledge the wishes of local communities but in general we have been ignored, along with the Governor and members of our Congressional delegation.  Our hope is that the federal government fully considers what citizens are telling them, again, today with these protests: the Roan Plateau deserves stronger protections than what the BLM is offering." 

On August 14 the BLM is planning to lease more than 55,000 acres of undeveloped, wildlife-rich public land on the Roan Plateau, a broad island of natural tranquility amid the vast expanse of industrial energy development between Rifle and Parachute, Colo.

Even though Sen. Ken Salazar, Rep. John Salazar and Rep. Mark Udall have sent letters to the BLM objecting to the leasing, which Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter also opposes, the BLM intends to buck the wishes of the public and sacrifice one of the last tracts of undeveloped, unleased wild land in the Piceance Basin.

Citizens are protesting the leasing because drilling will have permanent impacts on the area's important wildlife habitat, watersheds, and the region's air quality.  Most of the natural gas beneath the Roan Plateau can be developed without drilling public lands on the surface. Directional drilling techniques are used elsewhere in the Piceance Basin and are a reasonable alternative to industrializing prized wildlife habitat.

What's more, drilling natural gas on the Roan Plateau won't reduce the price of gasoline at the local filling station, despite claims from oil and gas industry advocates, who are working overtime to confuse gasoline with natural gas. Destroying the Roan's prime wildlife habitat will only degrade the quality of the air, water and recreational opportunities there, while having absolutely no effect at the pump.

"The Roan Plateau is prime hunting and angling ground, and drilling there will irreparably harm elk and deer habitat, industrializing one of the last unspoiled refuges for prized big game species," said Bill Dvorak with Sportsmen for the Roan Plateau. "This is a historic moment in our efforts to protect the Roan because it's the only time in recent memory, maybe ever, that so many people have voiced their opposition to a single lease sale."

Drilling the Roan Plateau could also have serious consequences for water quality and trout streams. Just this year, at least five energy companies have been cited by the state of Colorado for violating rules governing water quality for toxic spills into streams in the area. Energy development will threaten the quality of the plateau's watersheds, potentially contaminating the Colorado River and harming the drinking water supplies of municipalities that rely on the river.

"Again this week we have learned of more creeks and streams being contaminated by chemicals from the gas drilling on and around the Roan Plateau," said Ken Neubecker with Colorado Trout Unlimited. "The BLM's plan is inadequate for protecting this unique resource, jeopardizing the rare trout populations and the thousands of hours of work volunteers have logged to protect these streams.  Under the BLM's plan all of this could be lost forever from a single spill in one of these watersheds."

Ten conservation groups have filed suit to prevent the BLM from leasing parcels atop the Roan. Of the more than 17,000 protest letters submitted today, most came from groups involved in the litigation, including more than 13,000 letters from members of The Wilderness Society and 2,300 from Sierra Club members. An additional 1,600 protest letters were submitted by EarthJustice and more than 700 citizens joined a single citizen protest, including several county commissioners and other elected officials.  

At least 12 organizations have also filed detailed protests of the Roan Plateau lease parcels including the Colorado Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Center for Native Ecosystems, Colorado Trout Unlimited, Colorado Mountain Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rock the Earth, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, Environment Colorado and Wilderness Workshop.

Tell Congress NOT to allow drilling off our coasts

say NO to offshore drilling- for the Grateful Web

Oil companies and their allies in Congress claim that drilling in America's oceans and coastal areas would help solve the energy crisis and have proposed ending the 27-year moratorium on new offshore drilling. But offshore drilling would neither solve our energy needs nor significantly lower gas prices. Instead, drilling would harm America's economy, health, oceans and
coasts.

Proponents of offshore drilling claim it would reduce gas prices, even though the Department of Energy has determined that it would not significantly do so. Oil companies currently have 5,500 offshore leases they are not drilling, and with 80 percent of the untapped oil in offshore areas already open to development, they do not need access to more areas to increase supply. And while the U.S. oil industry says it wants even more access to sensitive ocean areas to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. This proposal is simply a way to give oil companies unfettered drilling access to our oceans and coastal areas.

In addition, opening up additional offshore areas to drilling poses real threats to our ocean and coastal ecosystems and economies. Offshore drilling creates toxic waste products that contaminate fish and marine life. Offshore wells emit air pollutants that are known carcinogens, cause respiratory problems and worsen global warming. And current cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters, where it is toxic for most species.

America needs real, long-term solutions for the energy crisis, but oil companies and their allies are not delivering them. We need to use less oil by improving energy efficiency and utilizing renewable energy. In doing so, we can achieve energy independence, fight global warming, and jump-start our nation's economy.

Attempts to lift the offshore drilling moratorium could be attached to several different bills and come up for a vote at any time.

== What to do ==
Send a message *right away* urging your senators and representative to say NO to offshore drilling.

If you prefer to call your senators and representative, the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

Planet Defenders: Rock the Earth Marshals Action through Music

Bonnie Raitt & Rock the Earth's Marc Ross- for the Grateful Web

Six years ago, Marc A. Ross discovered a seminal way to champion environmental causes. Ross, who has been both an environmental prosecutor and an industry defense attorney, remembers, "One common theme that I saw…. was that small groups of citizens that were directly impacted by environmental issues…were being steam rolled by industry. They were being outmaneuvered, being outgunned, out-litigated simply because they didn't have the PR or the financial resources to hire competent counsel and scientists to take up their very legitimate claims."

That's when Ross decided to level the playing field by tapping the high profile music industry's PR strength and its ability to fundraise for charities. In 2002, Rock the Earth was born, and Ross became its executive director.

Rock the Earth brings environmental awareness to music fans, garnering not only donations for their projects but also volunteers. Today, the organization has only three paid employees and three dozen Volunteer Staffers and Advisory Board Members. They also have a technical team of scientists from a variety of fields, environmental attorneys, and consultants. This broadens Rock the Earth's ability to tackle different issues.

Early on, Rock the Earth consulted with festivals, tours, and the cruise industry to help them green their events. Over time, other organizations, such as Reverb, CLIF Bar GreenNotes, and MusicMatters, have appeared to take on that mission and other environmental concerns.

Rock the Earth's mission evolved to providing environmental education, fostering activism, and offering legal and technical assistance to small groups. "We're a great plug and play organization," says Ross. For example, Rock the Earth is an active presence at many festivals and concerts. They maintain a presence at Bonnaroo on the Solar Stage. "Every day, we conduct a series of interviews, panel discussions, and musical performances all on the theme of social change through music," Ross explains.  His one-on-one interviews showcase performers who don't normally talk about these issues. At Bonnaroo, Rock the Earth has worked with a number of artists, including Bob Weir, Warren Haynes, Michael Franti, Bonnie Raitt, John Butler, Trevor Garrod (Tea Leaf Green), and Liz Berlin (Rusted Root).

ozzfestLast year, the organization was a major presence at Ozzfest and at Warp Tour shows. "We were the first and only non-profit to work with Ozzfest, and obviously the first environmental group to work with Ozzie," Ross says. "A lot of Ozzie's music has been political over the years from 'Crazy Train' to some of his newer songs on his most recent album are political and environmentally-conscious songs…. I just don't think the rest of the environmental movement thought about working with someone like Ozzie."

This year Rock the Earth is also moving forward with its first environmental litigation. Against the National Park Service, it focuses on mismanagement of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. "It will impact how all wilderness areas and, in some ways, public lands are treated in this country and whether concessions and recreation are put over wilderness protection," says Ross. "Pretty soon there won't be anywhere you can go in this country without hearing the roar of motors."

Rock the Earth also has partnered with the Center for Water Advocacy as well as several indigenous plaintiffs, including the Oglala Sioux tribe, to stop the expansion of a uranium mine in Nebraska that affects indigenous water rights and may affect public health. "That issue has legs because it touches on global warming and whether or not this new Western uranium boom and nuclear power boom is the solution to global warming," says Ross.

This past year, Rock the Earth was successful in its first petition campaign against Wal-Mart to get them to stop buying and selling mulch from Louisiana cypress trees. The organization also conducted its first service project, partnering with the John Butler Trio, CLIF Bar GreenNotes, and two other organizations, to clean up Ocean Beach in San Francisco.  And, Rock the Earth's legal and technical team worked or reviewed fifteen separate issues brought to them by the music community.

Nearly half of its 2,000-plus members in all fifty states have volunteered to work tables at festivals and concerts, provide technical or legal assistance, write grants, or help spread the word.  This will ensure that Rock the Earth will continue to champion the earth as its motto says: Defending the Earth One Beat at a Time.

fishThis spring, Rock the Earth was awarded the Mimi Fishman Memorial Community Service Award at the 7th Annual Jammy Awards. Those Ross was honored and humbled by the award, he also called music fans to action saying, "...regardless of who is our next President, come January 2009, our country and our planet will still continue to face very serious environmental issues that will only be solved by keeping the pressure on the government and polluters and holding them accountable for their actions." The work continues.

UPDATE:  On April 29, 2008, a three-judge panel of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled in favor of the Oglala Tribe's right to challenge the proposed Crow Butte Uranium Mine expansion. Though, the NRC Staff has appealed, much work remains by the tribe to block the mine expansion.

Help protect Utah's spectacular Nine Mile Canyon

ancient paintings in the 9 Mile Canyon- for the Grateful Web

If the Bush administration and a Denver-based natural gas company get their way, Utah's remarkable Nine Mile Canyon may soon be transformed into a massive industrial zone.

We need your immediate action to halt this destructive scheme in its tracks. The deadline for submitting comments on the plan is May 1!

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/redrock/takeaction right away and tell the Bureau of Land Management to reject this disastrous proposal, which would put more than 800 new natural gas wells in the Greater Nine Mile Canyon area - home to the greatest concentration of rock art sites in America.

The BLM has just released a study that grossly underestimates the impacts of proposed natural gas development on the region's irreplaceable cultural and natural values.

The plan calls for drilling non-federal wells in Nine Mile Canyon itself, along with dozens if not hundreds of wells in side canyons and other public wildlands now being considered for designation as a national historic district.

Nearly 200 wells would be drilled in the remarkable wilderness-quality lands of the Desolation and Jack canyons.

As a result of existing natural gas drilling in the Nine Mile Canyon region, compressor stations already run nonstop and dozens if not hundreds of heavy trucks hustle up and down the canyon around the clock.

Yet despite the serious threat of expanding these activities into the Desolation and Jack Canyon wildlands, the Bureau of Land Management has failed to propose protection for them as "wilderness study areas."

Please go to http://www.savebiogems.org/redrock/takeaction and urge Bush administration officials to protect the natural and cultural values of Nine Mile Canyon.

Thank you for taking action to safeguard this vital stretch of America's Redrock Wilderness.

Today is Earth Day! Green is Good!

Go Green Everyday!- for the Grateful Web

Today is Earth Day, and while many of you are doing your part to go green, some not-so-green companies are spending a lot of money to pretend they are. While some companies are genuinely trying to be sustainable, others are paying lip service to being green while carrying on with business as usual. I'm sure you've seen the slick ads on TV and in your favorite magazine about environmentally-friendly oil and auto companies or so-called "clean coal."

It's what we call greenwashing - when a company advertises that it's developing a green product line or engaging in sustainable business practices when it really isn't. Well, this Earth Day, we've got news for them. Greenpeace has just launched a website designed to expose greenwashing practices in corporate America: www.StopGreenwash.org.

We're launching our new site with three investigative pieces on nuclear power, "Clean Coal" and General Motors' "Gas Friendly to Gas Free" campaigns.

And YOU have a chance to show these big companies that you won't be fooled by misleading green advertising and public relations campaigns. If you find an ad you think is a phony, upload it to our site. Or visit the site and vote for the ads you think are the most misleading.

And that's not all. Keep coming back to the site to get our take on these greenwashing campaigns. Coming soon will be more investigations of Big Auto, Big Oil, the chemical industry, and retailers. We'll expose the deception and give you the real story - wiping away the greenwash and spurring the companies to do better.

Want to do even more? The so-called "clean" coal industry isn't just trying to fool you - these companies are trying to fool Congress, too. And guess who will foot the bill? YOU will - through taxpayer subsidies!

2008 Green Apple Festival

Trucks will play Chicago - photo by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

The initial musical line-up has been announced for eight major Earth Day events by Earth Day Net work and Green Apple Festival presented by Chase. Across the country on Sunday April 20th, an eclectic line-up of artists will perform in landmark parks in eight cities. The events will combine environmental addresses by prominent speakers and educational displays with music and entertainment, on the theme of environmental awareness.   The line-up ranges from blues legends to Latin powerhouse pop stars, reggae greats, jam band favorites, conscientious hip-hop artists, R&B icons, rock bands and singer/songwriters during "America's largest Earth Day celebration." A forthcoming announcement will reveal the "Green Apple Venues" - a list of participating venues and performers in each city who will employ environmentally-friendly practices throughout Earth Day Weekend.

The all-inclusive, interactive and free public events will occur in New York City (Central Park), Chicago IL (Lincoln Park Zoo), Miami FL (Bicentennial Park), Denver CO (City Park), Dallas TX (Fair Park), San Francisco CA (Golden Gate Park) and Los Angeles CA (Santa Monica Pier). The flagship event will be Earth Day 2008 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The combined efforts of Earth Day Net work (the nonprofit organization created by the founders of the original Earth Day in 1970)   and Green Apple Festival has resulted in plans for a nationwide gathering that will get Americans out of their homes and under the trees to celebrate Earth Day 2008.

"We're combining music with compelling speech to raise awareness of the problem of global warming and inspire people to action," said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Net work.  "Earth Day 2008 will bring major talent and leaders together to empower people to become environmentally active."

"We're thrilled to announce this line-up and will reveal more names in the days to come," says GreenApple Festival founder and Executive Producer, Peter Shapiro. "Artists from every genre have raised their hands to participate in America's largest Earth Day celebration, spread out across the country in public parks for everyone to attend. We owe endless thanks to the artists and their teams who care enough to underscore the urgency and message of this mission."

2008 Earth Day Net work/Green Apple Festival Free Line-up:

NEW YORK
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Grammy Award winning Country & Bluegrass Legend)
Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Indie pop)
Vusi Mahlasela ("South Africa's Bob Dylan")
Vienna Teng ("Chamber folk" singer-songwriter)

yardWASHINGTON DC "Earth Day 2008 on the National Mall"
The Roots & Friends ("friends" to be announced)      
Gov't Mule
Toots and the Maytals (Reggae and ska pioneers)
Thievery Corp - DJ set (Internationally acclaimed DJs/producers)
Warren Haynes - solo acoustic set (The Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule)
Umphreys McGee (Scene leading Progressive rock/jam band)
DC Boys Choir
City Dance

CHICAGO
Derek Trucks Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Iconic New Orleans brass ensemble)
Meshell Ndegeocello (Soul music singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist)
Chicago Afrobeat Orchestra (Hometown jazz/funk/afrobeat favorites)
Miss Lori Holton Nash (Children's Act from PBS Kids)
The Gwalla Gwallas (Environmentally active local teen/HS band)
Event MC- Kyle Orton - Chicago Bears

MIAMI
Menudo (Latin super group)
Arrested Development (Grammy Award winning hip-hop artists)
Baby Loves Salsa (Family focused salsa dance party)
Caravan of Thieves

DALLAS
Los Lonely Boys (hometown heroes)
Martin Sexton
Junior Brown (Texas country/rock crossover sensation)
Cas Haley (Rock, roots, reggae)
The Steps
George Stanford

rhdDENVER
The Neville Brothers (the First Family of Funk and R&B)
The Benevento/Russo Duo (Progressive jazz/funk favorites)
Rose Hill Drive (Boulder's own rock power trio)

SAN FRANCISCO
Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead & friends)
Yonder Mountain String Band (Progressive Bluegrass stars)
Brett Dennen (Pop/folk singer-songwriter)

LOS ANGELES
Taj Mahal (Blues icon)
Ziggy Marley solo acoustic (Reggae Superstar)
Juliette and the Licks (female fronted power rock)
School of Rock Hollywood Allstars
The Frequency (LA indie rockers)
Coby Brown

With a "small footprint, large impact" ethos for 4/20, Earth Day Network and Green Apple Festival organizers:

* Selected sites with eco-considerations such as the cities' public transportation infrastructures, pedestrian and/or bicycle accessibility, and presence of an organic atmosphere - i.e. parks rather than concrete stadiums. 

*Volunteer activities in each city will extend the Festival's impact on the ground.

*Over 125 venues will become "Green Apple Venues" over Earth Day Weekend (4/18 - 4/20), as Festival organizers introduce environmentally-friendly practices/products at participating venues as a new way of doing business.

*With the help of Native Energy, a leader in the space of offsets, the Earth Day 2008 event on the National Mall and the entire Green Apple Festival will be made carbon neutral.

*In three markets, in low-income neighborhoods, Earth Day Network and Green Apple Festival will carry out school greening projects.

earthAlready this year, Earth Day Network - with 19,000 partners in 175 countries - has registered over 1,000 community-based Earth Day events, taking place in Bejing, Tokyo, Caracas, Montreal, Paris, Budapest, Moscow. Mallorca and in many other cities across the globe.

About Earth Day Network: Earth Day Network seeks to grow and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable planet.  It pursues these goals through education, politics, and consumer activism. With year-round programs in environmental education, campus activism, global warming and international issues, Earth Day Network combines the forces of its 500,000 activists and members to mobilize action on the most pressing environmental issues.  Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries.  More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.

About Green Apple Festival: Now entering its third year, The Green Apple Festival was founded by producer Peter Shapiro and Zenbu Media, a music media company that publishes Relix Magazine, Global Rhythm, Metal Edge and Metal Maniacs and co-produces the Jammy Awards.

Since 2006, when The Green Apple Festival began in New York City, the event has galvanized music fans, environmentalists, progressive consumers and families in a growing number of cities on Earth Day by providing "something for everyone" events with music performances, family entertainment and interactive exhibits at public locations. In 2007, capacity crowds attended Green Apple events in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, setting a one-day attendance record at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL, for example, with over 40,000 people present. Lending weight to the Festival's endeavors is their partnership with Earth Day Network - the non-profit organization founded by the creators of the first Earth Day in 1970.

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES SOLAR INNOVATION GRANT FUNDING

embrace solar energy- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Ritter today announced that the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) is seeking grant applicants for $350,000 in incentives for solar innovation projects. The "Solar Innovation Grant" funds are being made available through the Clean Energy Fund. 

"These innovation grants will help us continue to grow our solar industry by increasing development and infrastructure. They will allow us to continue advancing Colorado's New Energy Economy and bring good jobs, revenue and clean power to our state," Gov. Ritter said.

Under GEO's stewardship, the Solar Innovation Grant will be used to support programs that can overcome financial, educational and technical barriers and lead to greater solar electric and solar thermal technologies in the residential and commercial sectors. 

GEO is looking to fund projects from partners such as utilities, homebuilders, installers and system integrators, lenders and financial institutions, non-profits and trade associations. For the competitive application process, GEO will consider funding requests for the following purposes:

Education: Applicants will provide educational resources to targeted sectors with the goal of expanding the quantity and quality of solar installations in Colorado.

Integrated Design: Applicants will address opportunities to incorporate solar technology into the commercial and production home sectors in both new and existing infrastructure. 

Utility Programs: Applicants in this category will work to improve the viability of solar technology as a means to offset energy and power demands at the utility level. GEO is soliciting innovative solutions to promote solar technology at the utility level. 

Market Analysis & Policy Recommendations: Applicants will identify policy barriers to the wider implementation of solar technology in Colorado and present solutions in the form of a comprehensive policy report.  

Financing: Applicants will present innovative financing models that will increase the affordability of integrating solar technology in the residential and commercial sectors.

Individual awards will not exceed $50,000 and applications are due by April 30. To download an application, click here. To learn more, visit GEO's website:  www.colorado.gov/energy.

Denver Selected as 2008 Solar America City

Denver, Colorado- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter today congratulated Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and the city for receiving a $200,000 U.S. Department of Energy "Solar America Cities" award. Denver will receive technical and funding assistance for developing solar electric projects.

 

"I applaud Mayor Hickenlooper and Colorado's capital city for being selected as a 2008 Solar America City," Gov. Ritter said. "This national award recognizes Denver's greening efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and incorporate clean, renewable sources of power. The Solar America grant will further stimulate our renewable energy industry, protect our natural environment, increase our energy security and advance Colorado's New Energy Economy."

The announcement comes on the heels of several other major New Energy Economy achievements in recent weeks, including:

The opening of Vestas Blades in Windsor;

The announcement that ConocoPhillips is opening an alternative-fuel research hub in Louisville;

The relocation of RES Americas from Texas to Broomfield;

Xcel Energy's decision to make Boulder the nation's first

Smart Grid City; and 

 

Last week's signing of a historic "homegrown energy" or net-metering bill into law by Gov. Ritter.

DOE Secretary Samuel W. Bodman made the announcement today that $2.4 million will be available to 12 cities across the country. These cities were chosen for their commitment and comprehensive approach to the deployment of solar technologies and the development of sustainable solar infrastructures.  The Solar America Initiative (SAI) aims to make electricity from solar photovoltaics cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015. 

Yellowstone Buffalo Headed to Slaughterhouse. Act Now!

Stop the slaughter!- for the Grateful Web

Yellowstone's wild, free-roaming buffalo herd is under siege.

The Bush Administration is turning America's greatest national park into a killing ground for hundreds of mighty bison - better known as American buffalo.

We must speak out against this cold-blooded cruelty NOW - because every week, more of these noble creatures are being herded into cattle trucks to be slaughtered:

This winter alone, more than 1,000 wild bison have been brutally killed by the National Park Service and the Montana Department of Livestock - or shipped to slaughterhouses.

And come May, newborn calves are just as likely to be killed as their mothers.

We cannot stand by and let this massacre continue: Send a protest message now.

Right now, it's still winter in Yellowstone, and these unsuspecting buffalo are following historic migratory routes in search of food at lower elevations where there is less snow.

When the buffalo venture near or beyond the park's boundary, they will continue to be rounded up and killed - unless we start a national outcry:

What makes this sacrifice so senseless is that it's all to protect 12 to 16 domestic cows and steers that graze near the park from the theoretical risk of a disease - brucellosis - that has never been transmitted from bison to cattle in a natural setting.

Yes, you read those numbers right: 1,000 wild bison slaughtered to protect a little more than a dozen cows outside the park that have most likely been vaccinated against the disease, or easily could be.

Please speak out and stop the slaughter.

Yellowstone's buffalo are a national treasure: America's last, free-roaming herd. The National Park Service should be their guardian, not their executioner.

Our goal this week is to create a virtual "stampede" of 50,000 protest messages that will convince the National Park Service to call a halt to the killing.

Together, we must speak out to spare the lives of Yellowstone's surviving buffalo so that they can again roam wild and free...