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Archive for November, 2014


DC Council Supports Clean Energy!

Sat Nov 29, 2014 at 12:02:59 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

RPS Mark-Up Final B w text USE THIS

DC Council Committee Unanimously Supports Clean Energy and Jobs!

DC Environmental Network:

We all have something to celebrate…at least for the moment. Earlier this week the Committee on Government Operations, led by Chairman Kenyan McDuffie, unanimously marked-up Bill 20-0418, the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013”  to strengthen the District’s renewable portfolio standard, and help grow the best renewables, wind and solar, for DC residents.

Councilmember (and Mayor Elect) Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Vincent Orange, Councilmember Mary Cheh, Councilmember David Catania and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson all voted affirmatively to support  this bill. This important climate bill will now go before the full DC Council on December 2nd for a first reading.

High Paid “K Street” Lobbyists Attempt to Scare DC Council:

Even as the Council moved to take an important step to move the RPS bill and help create the infrastructure for new jobs while reducing carbon emissions responsible for global warming, high paid “K Street” lobbyists, led by the well-financed American Forest & Paper Association, began to pour more out of “state” resources into trying to defeat this bill.

Hours after the Committee on Government Operations marked-up the RPS bill, the K street lobbyist’s sent a misleading letter to the DC Council inaccurately suggesting the bill eliminates biomass boiler operations; that carbon neutrality is the only requirement for meeting the intent of the renewable portfolio standard (when the carbon neutrality of black liquor is irrelevant to the intent of rps laws); and irresponsibly trying to scare the Council with the unsubstantiated possibility of rate increases on “residents and businesses.”  The letter was a desperate attempt to mislead the Council as it is moving towards final passage.

The DC Environmental Network Needs Your Help Today!

The DC Environmental Network, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Divest, Sierra Club and many others have been working hard the last 18 months to pass this legislation.  Here are a number of things you can do to help create a clean energy future for the District and region:

– Join us at the DC Council on December 1st at 8:45 AM to help us make our final rounds to a number of DC Council offices urging the Council to vote for the RPS bill and unanimously support clean energy and jobs. Click here to let me know you are coming!

– Join us at the DC Council on December 2nd at 10:00 AM to witness an important moment as the full Council votes on the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Amendment Act of 2013” at the first reading. Click here and let me know you are coming!

Make your end of year donation to support the climate work of the DC Environmental Network.

DCEN has so much work to do between now and the end of the year that we will not be sending out separate emails asking for your participation in our end of year giving campaign…we will only be incorporating an ask into our advocacy and event communications. If you have never given to DCEN, please consider making a donation in 2014.

Together, let’s show the K Street lobbyists that we know what we are doing and are serious about reducing carbon emissions.

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network



Solutions to Help Achieve Zero Waste in DC

Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:03:36 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

All Metro Washington area environmental organizations, activists and all interested parties are invited to our monthly networking opportunity:

On November 12th at Noon, at 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor, join the DC Environmental Network, and representatives of IMG Rebel, who will present on a new and exciting concept called “Recycle by Design”.

Sign-up to attend and learn about this innovative concept that can help take our zero waste efforts to another level.

Our two panelists:

– Jeff George, IMG Rebel

“With an educational foundation in Environmental Design, Urban Planning, and Sustainability, I’ve has accrued over 25 years of professional experience within the solid waste sector. For many of these years I have worked expansively not only throughout the US, but numerous countries in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. This includes living & working in the UK for four years from 2008-2012. This breadth of both domestic and international exposure has given me the ability to comfortably cultivate strong cross-cultural relationships with clients, stakeholders, and other diverse groups near and far. I try to maintain a worldly perspective which I believe has helped me to see what works – and doesn’t work – and even more importantly, why. Most recently, I have been drawn to the development and implementation of sustainable waste management practices within both the public and private sectors. I particularly enjoy new business development and stakeholder engagement; seeing innovative ideas develop through an organic growth process into implementable actions of change. I was raised and grew up within the shadows of the Oneida Community, a utopian-based commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 focused on the belief of Perfectionism.”

[Photo: Jeff and his daughter, Rebecca, climbing Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.]

– Lenny van Klink, IMG Rebel

“My job at Rebel is to manage complex organizational change at both government and business level. I was previously employed as a public administrator and business administrator by the Dutch finance ministry, Twynstra Gudde, the ORMIT Advanced Management Program and French company SUEZ/SITA. I like projects which focus on the successful implementation of new initiatives whose goals I can translate into winning business cases. To do this I combine strategic, business development and change management skills.”

[Photo: Lenny taking a break on one of the Dutch Wadden Island “Tershelling”. This building was once used as a safe house for stranded sailors.]

Sign-up to attend and meet our two global experts as they present to us the concept of recycle by design.

Recycle by Design:

The District of Columbia and surrounding region, and communities across the globe, face significant challenges to achieving the goal of increasing recycling rates and moving towards being a zero waste society. The District is going to have to engage on numerous fronts and will need both public and private approaches if we ever want to achieve the sometimes complimentary goals of improving the environment and creating jobs and new business opportunities in our city. Recycle by Design could be an important tool to spur progress on this front.

This concept was inspired by the “Rebuild by Design” initiative that was a particularly successful response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the greater New York Metropolitan area. The goals of IMG Rebel’s, Dutch inspired, “Recycle by Design” concept is to create a competition for discovering the best solutions for a complex and resilient problem.

Goose FlapThe goal is two-fold:

– Promoting innovation by developing regionally-scalable—but locally-contextual—solutions that increase recycling in a given region. The solutions in the selected proposals will be implemented with dedicated public and private funding.
– Creating policy innovation by committing to set aside governmental funds and cooperation from governmental organizations to implement the best solution or group of solutions.

There is no well formulated blue print for Recycle by Design, instead it is a tailor-made approach for each community. The purpose of this DCEN networking opportunity is to begin a conversation, led by IMG Rebel, to figure out what Recycle by Design might look like in the District of Columbia.

As stated by IMG Rebel:

“Lessons learned from Rebuild by Design and its partners have demonstrated that by working together through this type of design process, ambitious, realistic, and more resilient standards of infrastructure can be established that respond to communities’ challenges within a new, more innovative environment. By successfully complementing the traditional public procurement approach, Recycle by Design will stimulate public-private financing and produce an alternative organizational structure for development that promotes ingenuity.”

Join the conversation by signing up here!

All are welcome.