Recently in the Environment Category

Even in the face of unnecessary headwinds created by things like a government shutdown or the still-present threat of a debt-limit default in February (despite the respite offered by the budget compromise), the economic recovery witnessed in recent years is real and encouraging. And near the center of this recovery has been the emergence of a natural gas boom the likes of which few could have predicted, but the breadth of this impact could be greater with policies in place like those that enable American producers to access global markets.


As business owners, one area that should be addressed concerns the need to move liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects forward in a timely manner. The United States has a great economic incentive to pursue increasing LNG experts, and the ability to do so. 

A recent economy in every market scenario examined. In fact, multiple studies show that increasing the exports would work wonders for our domestic economic outlook, and that our reserves can easily meet the elevated demand resulting from access to global markets. 

The economic benefits resulting from increasing LNG exports would be felt far beyond the energy sector. According to a recent ICF International study, the United States could add up to 452, 300 jobs between 2016 and 2035 by increasing LNG production, with total annual GDP growth expanding from $15.6 to $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035.

We would like more clarity on why the DOE is delaying LNG exports. It's certainly not because of a lack of means or capacity to produce. 

The United States ranks #1 in the world in recoverable shale gas reserves. We have ample resources to meet domestic needs and export LNG for decades to come, and we have the political will - from Oregon to Texas to Maryland - to do just that.

Unfortunately, nearly all of these projects - and the permits that they require prior to starting to export - have been sitting in the queue, waiting for approval from the Department of Energy. Applications to export LNG to non-FTA countries have also been in queue before the DOE for months - and in many cases, even years, with no evident timetable for their approval or even their review. What's more, even among those few permits that have been approved, actual construction and competition is no guarantee thanks to the myriad hurdles that export terminals must clear, including, but not limited to environmental review, FERC permits, state siting, potential lawsuits, and financing. LNG export facilities take several years to finance, approve, and finally construct.

While we can all agree that a thorough review process is vital to any infrastructure project, it is clear to us that the delays currently being witnessed relative to the LNG exports are plainly contrary to our national economic interest. And as this delay continues, we run the very real risk of watching the window of opportunity close when it comes to LNG exports.

Market conditions in the United States and globally currently favor America's entrance into the export market. Domestic prices are low, while international prices are high. But this is not a permanent dynamic. Prices can shift. And more over, the United States is not the only nation that hope to export LNG. In fact, as recently as last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Canada to discuss Japan's significant need for imported natural gas. Canada would be more than happy to fill that need - particularly if they face no competition from American companies. 

Export is an important initiative for WIPP, and certainly for its members who are in the energy sector. They feel that it is essential that the DOE acts quickly to spur action on the pending applications. We need to urge the DOE to approve all pending applications for LNG export and let the market determine viability.

The U.S. has a rare opportunity to impact the global energy landscape while narrowing our trade deficit and adding domestic jobs and growth. Let's see if we can cut through the red tape that is holding up needed investment. 

by Barbara Kasoff, President, WIPP

By James Rivera, SBA Official

 

Many communities are still feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy, including power outages and flooding. The importance of listening to instructions and safety information from your local officials and FEMA cannot be understated.

 

Federal response teams are already providing assistance to affected communities. SBA is closely coordinating with our federal partners to share information in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

 

- For the latest on the Federal government's response to Sandy, you can read FEMA's blog or follow updates on Twitter.

- If you need emergency shelter, you can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or check your local media outlets. You should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. Finally, you can download the FEMA smartphone app or text SHELTER and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Standard rates apply.

- If you are not in an affected area, please consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

SBA plays an important role in disaster recovery efforts for businesses and homeowners. As disaster assessments and declarations are made, various SBA disaster recovery loan programs become available to eligible applicants. We will continue to highlight these programs as communities turn to longer-term recovery efforts.

 

For more information about SBA's disaster assistance programs, visit www.sba.gov/disaster or call our disaster assistance center at 1-800-659-2955.

 

#WIPP

 

I attended the "Better City, Better Life" themed World Expo in Shanghai earlier this month but didn't learn much about sustainability because of my terrific client, Nancy Goshow, co-founder and managing partner of Goshow Architects in NYC. She gave a webinar yesterday for WIPP's Entrepreneurs, Energy and Environment (E3) series titled Creating a Business Value and Culture of Sustainability. Nancy packed so much information into the 30-minute webinar that I would highly recommend people to go listen to it online. You can find archived podcasts of this and other past training sessions on EntrepreneursAndEnergy.com in the Resources section.

Goshow Architects is dedicated to sustainable design for the public sector and is known for its diverse range of green projects in the New York metropolitan area. These are now starting to expand internationally.

 Most of us have, by now, started recycling programs and changed our light bulbs. Many have even quit using paper products. (Even me--who HATES to do dishes!). In this webinar, Nancy not only told us HOW to be a sustainable business, but more importantly for what I want to write about here -- how to create a culture of sustainability in our workplace.

 Nancy outlined points on creating that culture.

- Inspire stakeholders toward a greater greener future
- Engage by delegation and collaboration (two heads are better than one)
- Create a Green Task Force supported by a green study group
- Foster communication up and down within your organization
- Require accountability and flexibility from all participants
- Ask all stakeholders to be open and on the watch for new ideas
- Promote & Maintain an ongoing sustainability conversation with all stakeholders

She also discussed the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits. Goshow Architects has reached their goal for the triple bottom line this year:

- People: We are a diverse firm of architects working collaboratively
- Planet: On a variety of High performance green buildings
- Society:  For public sector government agencies serving the public good
- Profit: We are a very busy firm and we are profitable

 She said sustainability has given Goshow a future focused strategically for success in the 21st century. However, their success has not only been on green design for their projects, but because of the diversity of their people and projects. I'll be writing more about diversity in the future, and I love to see the importance of diversity tied in with sustainability.

Women talk. It is something that our gender has been well known to do and do well: communicate. We talk about our work, family, kids, and overall life. A big responsibility of being a working mother is taking on the additional task of "household manager". With this responsibility comes determining what products to shop for/use, and how to run your overall household.

Market researchers are forever turning to this segment of the population in determining if their products are working, how they can improve, and how they can capitalize on all this information to effectively be able to influence the household manager's buying decisions. Working women are not only consulted on household products, but also cultures around sustainable life and household energy practices.

I recently read a blog titled "Working Women: Key to Promoting Energy Efficiency" by a woman named Andrea Learned, who does an excellent job of connecting that with the number of women business owners now rising - who else would be better to influence and understand the sustainability and energy efficiency management in the household. She states that with energy efficiency and related technology on the rise, market researchers are correct in focusing on the biggest influencers - working mothers.

Further, the blog points to WIPP's August 2009 survey in commission with Women's Council on Energy and the Environment as revealing findings which directly supports her discussion.

Click here to see WIPP's complete Women's Survey on Energy & The Environment.

Building a Sustainable Future

2:09 PM August 27, 2009

AT&T just released its 2008 Citizen and Sustainability Report - 'Connecting for a Sustainable Future', indicating increased social and environmental investments despite the economic downturn. It is an important report which highlights how this corporation is helping to strengthen education and workforce readiness, build communities and increase its own sustainable operations. The report sets a high bar for all of us, for we are all one community, and the strength of each buoys the strength of all of us.    

If we are going to be part of the economic recovery, we all need to participate, and we need to participate together.  This means large and small corporations, government and associations must work together to find true economic solutions. If our education system fails, our businesses will suffer; if lending options fail, investment in business growth will fail and our economy will continue to falter; if vehicles such as full broadband deployment are stymied, then advancements in telemedicine and other innovation will be put aside and healthcare reform will lose a valuable component. 

This is a challenging time, but with challenge comes opportunity and leaders emerge. Congratulations AT&T on implementing a vision for growth that addresses national challenges, WIPP is proud to partner with you. 

 

 

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