News

    Local Communities Lead Way to New Energy Future

    Local communities across the United States are driving America's environmental agenda. Three hundred city mayors in 46 states have signed an agreement to reduce the industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming. Twenty-eight states have climate action plans. Support for a new energy future is gathering momentum in Washington as well, but it's outside the halls of Congress.

    On a grassy patch of land in the middle of the University of the District of Columbia campus stand a solar array, a wind turbine and a water tank. While they don't power anything on this sunny and windy day, they are a symbol of things to come like the new visitor's center planned for this very spot.

    The center will generate energy from wind turbines, solar voltaic panels and other clean technologies. With that dream less than a year away, UDC's Samuel Lakeou motions to the water tank behind him. He says the 3,028-liter tank with submersible pump can draw water from a depth of about 61 meters. Lakeou, director of the school's Center for Excellence in Renewable Energy,  says this is an affordable system that can have an impact far beyond the UDC campus. "In other countries, a combination like this can provide clean potable water for a community of almost 5,000 people. And, the impact that it has on reducing poverty is tremendous."

    Joining Lakeou in the shadow of the water tank is Kate Johnson, spokesperson for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a grassroots advocacy organization. Johnson is here to support UDC's renewable energy program and to promote U.S. PIRG's national energy-saving campaign. Juggling an armload of environmentally friendly home products, she delivers her consumer message. She says saving energy can start with something as simple as changing a light bulb. "Lighting consumption accounts for 9% of the electricity used in American homes. If every American home replaced its standard incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs like these compact fluorescents, we could cut the electricity we use to light our homes in half."

    Johnson dispenses other energy-saving advice. "We can easily use weather sealant tape to insulate doors and windows, and we could also install programmable thermostats that save energy by automatically turning off heat and air conditioning when you are not home."

    Just days before U.S. Congressional elections, U.S. PIRG is campaigning for a new energy future. Its 4-point agenda calls for candidates to support policies that reduce oil consumption, save energy, increase renewable energy and invest in energy saving and renewable technology. The group's legislative director Anna Aurilio says the campaign is gaining momentum and signatures across America. "So far 156 federal candidates in more than 27 states have committed to the goals of a new energy future."

    Two hundred eighty organizations have also endorsed the plan. Among them is Republicans for Environmental Protection, which - as its name implies - campaigns to keep or put Republicans with a pro-environmental record in Congress.

    Government affairs director David Jenkins says its mission is to rise above special interests to refocus the Republican Party on its historic environmental roots where, he says, "stewardship and conservation were hallmarks of a Republican identity."

    Jenkins says the group is pragmatic in its approach to environmental protection. "These Republicans that are good on these issues are the very people that can make that happen," he says and advises voters to re-elect them. "If you sweep them out and you make this issue more polarized, you are not doing long-term good for our environment. We need good people on both sides. Pick and choose your candidates. There are Republicans that are good on these issues and we need those people to help bring the rest of the party along."

    U.S. PIRG's Anna Aurilio agrees. She hopes that concern over environmental issues will get voters to the polls next week to put the renewable energy commitment already in place in institutions like UDC, into the halls of Congress.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora