TODAY'S GOOD NEWS ... August 31, 2005

DBL Feature! -- "Bush's Energy Plan & The New American Dream"







FEATURE ONE --- BUSH'S ENERGY PLAN

Let's talk about the Progress
HISTORICALLY speaking, US energy policy has had no discernable interest in environmental issues, public health, or building a sustainable economy. That paradigm is shifting. The NEW BUSH ENERGY PLAN does more than acknowledge environmental issues. It takes proactive steps towards reducing consumption and encouraging strong markets for efficiency and clean energy products.

In plain speak -- and from a purely environmental perspective, the good ole USA's energy policy just went from 150% 'REALLY BAD' to 80%'BAD' / 20%'GOOD' -- (our assesment)... Ok, then! Here's a breakdown of the positive, sustainable highlights:



1. Bush's Statement to the People,
>>> "America must have an energy policy that plans for the future, but meets the needs of today. I believe we can develop our natural resources and protect our environment." - President George W. Bush, July 29, 2005 <<<



2. Tax Credits,
>>> You can claim a tax credit of up to 10% from the purchase cost of energy saving home improvements. Credits are more valuable than deductions because they represent a dollar for dollar reduction in your total tax bill! (someone explain that, please!) In order to claim these credits, you must itemize. <<<

Here's a short list of rebatable investments -
("better for you, better for the planet")

  • Consumer related:
    General Improvements (including most of the products sold @ Good Common Sense), Insulation, New Exterior Windows, Highly Efficient A/C / Heat Pump / Water Heater / Furnace / or Boiler Systems, Solar Power Systems, Wind Power Systems

  • Industry related:
    New tax credits are available for the production of energy efficient clothes washes & refrigerators

  • Commercial related:
    New deductions are available for energy-efficient expenditures on commericial properties

    --> for more info about specific rebates, email us anytime.



    3. What Else? -- Positive stuff,
    >>> New policy points. Since Good Common Sense is all about living in balance with the environment, we'll feature the provisions that make the most sense for our eco. <<<

    The New Energy Bill:
  • Establishes new (stricter) efficiency standards for a wide variety of consumer products and commercial appliances
  • Encourages improved efficiency in homes and buildings & establishes new Federal energy savings goals
  • Establishes a new Renewable Fuel Standard that requires the use of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel in the nation fuel supply by 2012
  • Extends the existing tax credit for production of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, biomass, and landfill gas, and creates (for the first time!) a residential tax credit for the installation of solar energy systems
  • Authorizes full funding for the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
  • Works with fast-growing nations, like China & India, to encourage the deployment of the "cleanest and most energy efficient technologies" available as they grow their economies
  • Links over $10 billion dollars in tax breaks and incentives over the next ten years to NOT JUST oil and natural gas production, but also wind, solar power, and other renewables
  • Bans oil drilling in the Great Lakes
  • Entirely excludes any language pertaining to opening up the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to drilling (expected to be added to other bills later this year, however)
  • Allows parties in liability suits related to contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to move ongoing cases to federal court
  • Does not extend lawsuit protection to makers of MTBE, which has contaminated state water supplies
  • Funds studies re: the health impacts on people living close to petrochemical and oil refineries



    4. "Cutting Energy Waste,"
    >>> They've committed. The Bush Whitehouse and our legislators in Congress have suddenly declared Cutting Energy Waste to be a high priority. <<<

    Why do we care? We're eco-people, man! We know that any reduction in energy usage EQUALS a dramatic reduction in air pollution. And - did you know? - our small country is responsible for 25% of the WORLD'S TOTAL GLOBAL WARMING GASES EVERY YEAR. Global Warming is directly responsible for these larger, more violent huricanes (such as Hurricane Katrina) we're starting to see every year, among other scary things... Let's stop wasting energy & using dirty fuel sources. It's that easy. It's Good Common Sense.



    Final Word:
    >>> Short Disclaimer: We have not read through the Energy Plan's 1,724 pages of language. We have read numerous articles & press releases. Sources available upon request.

    >>> Yes, the new plan gives away billions ($$) to the existing fossil fuel & nuclear power industries. Yes, this is bad for everybody in the long term. Yes, the bill could do tremendously more. No, it is not exactly what we wanted. And - Yes, large SUVs are still getting strong support from the Whitehouse...

    --> to learn more about the low points of this 'plan,' email us anytime. Thanks for reading this far, more good news below!

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    related links:
    "Bush Targets SUVs"
    via the Christian Science Monitor
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0825/p01s01-usec.html?s=itm

    "Knock $4000 Off Your Taxes"
    New Plan offers Federal rebates on Solar Panel installations, with a few restrictions.. via treehugger -
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/08/knock_4000_off.php

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    FEATURE TWO --- NEW AMERICAN DREAM.ORG

    >>> Watch Out! We're featuring a non-profit. And why not? We like their message(/s). <<<

    NewDream.Org represents the left-wing side of the sustainability movement in all its pure, unadulterated goodness. These are people who passionately believe in familes, peace, and "MORE NATURE, MORE FUN, MORE TIME." They're working hard to change the status quo with positive, forth-right actions. In our opinion, their focus is right on target. And - darn it, we find a lot of what they say convincing. Maybe you will, too.

    Plenty to learn about & participate in, plenty to benefit from .. it's http://www.newdream.org/! Also - We've included a synopsis of some key NewDream positions/views below.

    RE: Sustainable Consumption
    Check out their newsletter, "in balance." The quarterly wraps itself around the view "live consciously, buy wisely, make a difference."

    learn more - http://www.newdream.org/newsletter/index.php

    RE: Global Warming
    Here's a quote from a recently featured writing, "You've probably heard by now that climate cange is happening. And it's bad. You've also heard (from everyone not paid to say otherwise) that human activity -- in particular, energy generation, automobile emissions, and deforestation - represents the driving force. With the United States representing 4 percent of the world's population but emitting 22 percent of the greenhouse gases (GHGs), we're doing most of the driving..." (1)

    learn more - http://www.newdream.org/newsletter/heat.php

    RE: Empowering Young People & Raising Children
    Featured Quote: "I've never known anybody to say, Gee, I wish my parent's hadn't taken me on a trip to see the world when I was a kid..." (from the most recent issue of "in balance.") NewDream's endeavors also support Environmental Ed, Stuff for kids & families to do, Relationship Building Activities, and more ... scour their website ... Looks fun!

    RE: Green is Gorgeous
    Green travel tips, green spas, dining green, green community news (featuring comments & letters from readers & members), and more.

    RE: Reducing Environmental Impacts
    In 2004 NewDream saved the following by using 100% post-consumer recycled paper:
  • 26,293 pounds of virgin wood (about 126 trees)
  • 4,122 pounds of solid waste
  • 38,655 gallons of liquid waste
  • 5,196 kilowatt hours of electricity
  • 7,494 pounds of greenhouse hases (16,742 miles driven by the average American car)
  • 32 pounds of harmful chemicals
  • 11 cubic yards of landfill space



    Cool!



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    THE GOOD NEWS: The time's they are a changin'.



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    Next Month:
    PHEVs -- Plug-In Hybrid/Electric Vehicles -- Is the city of Austin, Tx building the first, truly sustainable transportation system in the world? Find out soon ...!



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    LOT'S O LINKS:
    OTHER GOOD, EVEN GREAT NEWS
    Green Roofs, Green Future, Hybrids, Hybrids, Hybrids, & SPECIAL: "Ways to Save $$ at the Pump" all links can be found at bottom of page



    GREEN ROOFS (3 links)

    1) >> Tony Soprano Goes Green Roof

    In late July, landscapers installed a green roof at Silvercup Studios in Queens, NYC ... "Above Tony Soprano's head."
    via GOOD NEWS READER Jeff Haley. Thanks, Jeff!
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0D17F73C5A0C738DDDA10894DD404482



    2) >> Read About The World's Largest Green Roof Here

    Atop Ford Motor's American Manufacturing Headquarters... via McDonough & Associates -
    http://www.mcdonoughpartners.com/projects/ford-dtp/default.asp?projID=ford-dtp



    3) >> Check out greenroofs.org

    Green roofs are known for their superior sound & heat absorption capabilities, low maintenance, 50 year long life and all-weather readiness. They also provide healthy habitat for local songbirds, native grasses, and are quite beautiful...
    http://www.greenroofs.net/index





    GREEN FUTURE (2 links)

    1) >> "THE BRONX IS GOING GREEN.."

    Be there or be square (9/23/05) --- big planning event:
    http://store.mountainmedia.com/eba-nys/calendar.cfm?do=detail&d=3191&c=4943&p=32625



    >> 2) This one's for our Youngest Reader -
    "CAn aIRplanes Fly on BioDiesel?"

    Yes, but "only if you're a private pilot, or regularly fly in a diesel prop plane." Commercial airliners do not run on diesel fuel, yet. via treehugger -
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/08/q_a_biodiesel_a.php





    Hybrids, Hybrids, Hybrids (4 links)

    1) >> Hybrid Utility Trucks

    Hybrid utility trucks are indeed here -- and more are on the way. Check out this professional forum.
    http://www.calstart.org/programs/htuf/



    2) >> HYBRID HOV

    "Hybrid drivers can begin applying to drive solo in car pool lanes..." in California... via New American Dream -
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/proposedhybrid.htm.
    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/



    3) >> NOT ALL SUVs GUZZLE GAS

    The Ford Hybrid Escape gets 40 mpg... via the Christian Science Monitor
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0523/p14s01-wmgn.html?s=widep



    4) >> ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MILITARY VEHICLES

    Back in 2003 & 2004, the US Marine Corps demonstrated a diesel-electric Hybrid HUMVEE. Apparently, our men and women in green & tan were fond of the all-electric-mode's silent, zero-heat "footprint." They also noted dramatic savings on fuel economy (this type vehicle typically costs well over $100/gallon to deliver to the front lines).

    Read About "The Shadow"

    article 1:
    http://www.afcea.org/signal/articles/anmviewer.asp?a=91&z=35

    article 2:
    http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_Shadow,,00.html





    SPECIAL:
    Ways to Save Money on the High Cost of Gasoline

  • Drive Nice - Avoid aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking)
  • Drive Light - Remove excess weight in your vehicle
  • Stay in Tune - Keep your engine properly tuned, Check and replace air filters regularly, Keep your tires properly inflated, Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your car
  • Drive Efficiently - Avoid excess idling (over 60 seconds), Use cruise control, Use overdrive gears

    **Thanks to our friend Joann Armenta from http://www.the-partnership.org/ for this info.



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    ONE MORE BIG, GOOD THING!!!

    GOOD COMMON SENSE NOW SELLS APPLIANCES:
    Efficient, clean, & downright sexy!
    http://www.goodcommonsense.net/smap1.html

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    Hey guys,
    Thanks for your support. Pass this letter around & See you soon!
    - Good Common Sense



  • Click to enlarge
    Bush's Energy Plan, 2005

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    Bush Targets SUVs

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    Knock $4000 Off Your Taxes

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    New American Dream .Org

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    Sustainable Consumption

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    Global
    Warming


    Click to enlarge
    Tony Soprano Goes Green Roof

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    World's Largest Green Roof

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    Green Roofs .Org

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    DA BRONX is Going Green

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    Airplanes on Biodiesel?

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    Hybrid Truck Users Forum

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    HOV Lanes for Hybrid Drivers

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    Not All SUVs Guzzle Gas

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    The Shadow, article 1

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    NEW! --- Good Common Sense Appliances

    Switching To Clean Energy
    Switching To Clean Energy

    Pursuing safe, clean, green sources of energy!


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