March 17, 2009 |
MY TWO grandchildren are excited about celebrating the Irish part of their heritage today. Like millions of others, Dylan, who's 8, and Kaya, 5, want to paint the town green in commemoration of St. Patrick's Day, the celebration of the man who, according to legend, helped spread Christianity throughout Ireland near the end of the fourth century. I told the grandkids that although I'm donning green as well today, I will not be downing any green beer or green potatoes. Although I do have Irish in my bloodline, my reasons for going green have little to do with shamrocks and more to do with helping to save the environment.
November 3, 2009
A COMMUNITY COLLEGE is the setting for a sitcom on NBC, but the health and improvement of the nation's community colleges is no joke. In fact, if President Obama has his way, community colleges will be an engine of the economic recovery. It looks as if millions of students already have the same idea: About 40 percent of 18-24 year olds - a record - are in college, says a new study by the Pew Research Center. Recent gains are attributed to a surge in enrollment at community colleges.
April 21, 2008 |
During the last 10 years the prices of oil, natural gas and now coal have increased about 400 percent. Higher fossil-fuel prices are adding to our economic pain and soon will be reflected in electricity bills, since we make 70 percent of our electricity by burning fossil fuels. Electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania that capped prices at 1996 levels have ended in six electricity-service territories and will end throughout the state by January 2011. Gov. Rendell has been sounding the alarm since February 2007 on energy prices, urging swift passage of a package of energy bills that would create great green jobs and give consumers practical tools to cut their electricity bills.
June 19, 2010
Blame oil spill on lack of regulation I do not want to let BP off the hook for the Gulf disaster that will affect people, wildlife, and nature for years to come. But demonizing BP takes others off the hook. And they are equally responsible for this disaster. Those others? Our elected officials who, due to "campaign contributions," consistently have refused to enact tough laws and regulations governing offshore drilling operations. These never-enacted laws would not have allowed this massive leak to occur in the first place.
March 3, 2010 |
In his eighth and final budget address last month, Gov. Rendell repeatedly criticized "special interests" for stymieing his legislative proposals. He said, " ... the time has come to put stricter controls not simply on what they report, but on what they do. " And he called for a cap on special-interest groups' campaign contributions, implying that such limits would lower the hurdles for his policy proposals. So it was ironic when, just days after the governor hammered special interests, I heard from dozens of Rendell's fellow Democrats in the state House, who wanted me to contribute amounts ranging from $250 to $5,000 to their reelection campaigns.
June 7, 2011 |
Can you miss something you never really had? The Associated Press reported over the weekend that South Korean electric-vehicle maker CT&T Co. Ltd. won't be building final-assembly operations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Had the manufacturer of the e-Zone two-seater followed through on its intentions and set up in Philadelphia, it could have meant up to 200 jobs. (I wrote about CT&T's plans in September 2009 after its representatives had met with Mayor Nutter .) But Pennsylvania is far from the only state to see red when promised green jobs did not materialize.
January 13, 2012 |
Jobs, jobs, jobs. A green economy can bring them on. That was one focus of a sustainability forum Friday led by Mayor Nutter, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira. Nutter cited the replacement of 85,000 incandescent traffic signals with LEDs in the last year. Besides saving the city $1 million a year on energy costs, "someone had to make them, and someone had to install them. . . . It is about putting people to work.
September 4, 2012
By Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic Where have all the copy boys, blacksmiths, and elevator operators gone? We could ask the same of coopers, the artisans who crafted wooden barrels back in the days before plastic bottles - when households needed churns, casks, and hogsheads to hold liquids. The word milliner might ring a bell with some hat-wearing church ladies. But, really, when was the last time you bought a custom-made, hand-fitted hat? Jobs must change with the times.
August 28, 2011
Kevin Brown is cofounder of Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic (cleantechma.org) Philadelphia identifies with underdogs: Rocky, the Eagles, and now energy. When business people or policymakers think of Philly, they naturally jump to the Big Five: pharmaceuticals, higher education, legal, finance, and technology. Clean tech, or renewable energy, rarely makes the list. But that's about to change. We have the potential to be a full-fledged front-runner in one of the hottest growth industries.