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Happy Friday Readers: This week's flash report features a variety of articles on green energy including how companies across industries are significantly expanding production and jobs in the growing green industries, as well as efforts to make geothermal energy cost-effective in the U.S. We also have pieces on toll relief, the red rated lobster fishery and given that fall is almost here, this week's data visualization shows when can you expect to see fall foliage throughout the U.S. As National Hispanic Heritage month is about to begin (September 15th), we want to showcase influential scientists such as Nicole Hernandez Hammer, who has spent her career researching the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on vulnerable communities (Biohabitats).
Governor DeSantis Announces 2023 Legislative Proposal for Toll Relief
The proposal would provide a 50% credit for commuters that have 40 or more transactions a month on any toll road across the state. It builds on the SunPass Savings Program that will run for 6 months. They estimate that it would benefit approximately 750,000 Floridians and would save the average commuter around $550 a year. If passed, the legislation would begin on July 1, 2023. FL gov
Lobster put on Red Rating List; Threat to Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale
This week, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program assigned a red rating to the lobster fishery to highlight significant risks of gear entanglement by the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale as well as the lack of effective management to mitigate these risks. In the last 10 years, the North Atlantic right whale has experienced a 25% decline, with entanglement being the number one case of injury and death. Less than 340 North Atlantic right whales exist today. Thousands of retailers use Seafood Watch’s recommendation to inform their buying decisions. Notable companies such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have already pledged to stop selling lobster after the announcement. Monterey Bay Aquarium; AP News
US Energy Dept. Wants More Geothermal Energy Technology Development
The U.S. Dept. of Energy announced its “Enhanced Geothermal Shot” program, which aims to reduce the cost by 90% by 2035 of enhanced geothermal systems for heating and cooling. Geothermal power plants work by tapping into wells of hot rock and water at least 4,000 ft underground. The plants use steam from those reservoirs to produce electricity. Currently, geothermal energy is used to generate just 3.7 GW of electricity. If the goal is met, they estimate that the price of geothermal power would be at $45 per MWh. ENR
Biden’s Climate Change Bill May Produce Your Next Job, and Half-Million Careers in All
Since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed last month, companies like Honda and Toyota have announced that they will build battery plants to power new EVs. First Solar has announced $1.2 billion for solar panels and other companies have announced significant expansions. This will lead to an expected 550,000 new jobs, more than doubling the current clean tech employment and potentially tripling the nation’s wind and solar energy capacity. As green energy may pass coal in share of electricity, there are hopes to transition fossil fuel workers into the green energy industry. Auto manufactures that were hurt in years past can also see growth with the expansion of EVs potentially bringing some of these jobs back. Read More
Bayer’s Carbon Program
Like many companies, Bayer has set a goal to reduce its carbon footprint. Bayer also aims to help reduce the carbon emissions of agricultural markets more broadly – not just within its own operations. The Bayer ForGround program is paying farmers directly to implement no-till practices, cover cropping, and other practices that increase soil carbon. There’s an easy-to-access menu of payments by state for specific practices. Learn more at Bayer ForGround.
Data Visualization of the Week
Mapping Fall Foliage
Smoky Mountains released their 2022 interactive fall foliage map. Want to know when to expect peak fall colors throughout the U.S.? Use the slider below the map to adjust the dates and see county-level estimates of patchy, peak, past peak or other levels of fall colors. Check it out at: Smoky Mountains