Thursday, June 20, 2013——The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, held a briefing to discuss national and local trends in the adoption of Complete Streets policies and how they can be incorporated into fiscally-sound federal transportation policy to support the creation of safer streets in communities across the country. More than 500 jurisdictions at the local, regional, and state levels are now using Complete Streets policies to plan, construct and operate streets that safely accommodate all users – including transit riders, bicyclists, pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and drivers. These policies are helping to build stronger local economies, attract businesses, and support healthier and safer communities.
The Safe Streets Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Matsui and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), illustrates how federal policy can support local efforts to address roadway safety.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) held a briefing about energy innovations at the state level. The briefing investigated the significant role states are playing by implementing novel policies and effective approaches that reduce the cost of generating clean energy. Many state governments view clean energy as a foundation of their environmental and economic development strategies and have taken leadership roles in demonstrating the business case for renewable energy initiatives. The briefing discussed the role and value of federal-state partnerships on innovative clean energy investments and provided state-specific examples.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing on how combined heat and power (CHP) technology can provide critical facilities (e.g. hospitals, wastewater treatment), businesses, institutions, and communities with more resilient and reliable heat and power, while at the same time reducing energy costs and harmful emissions over time. This briefing introduced participants to CHP technology and presented a number of recent case studies in which CHP systems helped communities pull through extreme weather events when the grid went down. Speakers discussed both some of the opportunities and the barriers to deploying more CHP systems.
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing on how District Energy, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Microgrids can make local energy supply more reliable and more resilient in the face of more frequent severe weather events that have caused electricity supply disruptions and serious economic losses. This briefing provided a technology overview, showcased relevant case studies, reviewed related pending legislation, including The Local Energy Supply & Resiliency Act of 2013 and The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act, and discussed key policy drivers to accelerate industry growth as called for in Executive Order 13624, Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency.
Friday, April 26, 2013——The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing on the benefits of capturing and harnessing methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills. Landfills are the third largest source of anthropogenic methane gas produced in the United States; between 1990 and 2011, landfill gas (LFG) composed 17.7 percent of all U.S. methane emissions. Because of the high methane content in LFG, the captured gas can be refined and used to produce heat, electricity, and/or vehicle fuels. More than 590 landfill projects in 47 states capture enough LFG to power more than one million homes and heat 740,000. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are more than 500 additional landfills that are candidates for LFG energy projects. The briefing discussed the economic, health, and climate benefits of tapping the energy potential of the nation’s landfills.