Documerica Project

From Flickr:

DOCUMERICA Project by the Environmental Protection Agency

Paper mill outflow

For the Documerica Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s.

The U.S. National Archives digitized more than 15,000 photographs from the series Documerica (Local ID 412-DA) and included them in Flickr’s online catalog. Their  Web site has quick catalog search links for featured DOCUMERICA topics, locations, and photographers.

Flickr is an amazing service and it just keeps getting better.

Peabody Coal Company

Strip mines in Hopi Territory

Burning Discarded Automobile Batteries (WTF!!!! Anyone that thinks this is okay gets to live downwind.)

The Company Town – working poor was a way of life

Another company town – Homogenous, hideous and shameful.

Paper industry outflow pipe

Industrial waste killing a river – think this is okay? Would you let your kids swim in it??

There’s also a lot of lovely photos so we could see what we were hoping to save.

Go browse – we paid for these. Gee, the common wealth preserving the common heritage… what a concept.

Energy Star

EPA Awards Colorado Governor’s Energy Office with 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year

Gov. Bill Ritter announced that the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) along with more than 50 statewide partners has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.

Colorado’s program was selected for its success in supporting the construction of energy-efficient ENERGY STAR New Homes. These homes are typically 20 percent to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes, improving quality and comfort while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Congratulations to our many outstanding statewide partners and the GEO for this award,” Gov. Ritter said. “Energy efficiency is one of the most important components of Colorado’s New Energy Economy. Building new homes that save energy and money means jobs in the efficiency industry. It also bolsters our energy security and protects our environment and climate.”

In 2009, the GEO partnered with more than 50 community sponsors – including local governments, non-profits, utilities, real estate professionals, homebuilders, home energy raters – on the construction of ENERGY STAR qualifying new homes. The hard work of partnering organizations has made the program successful across Colorado.

Additional information here

Courtesy of  Pat Waak, Chair, Colorado Democratic Party

The Longmont ConnectionAn ENERGY STAR Home – Longmont, Colorado

“NoCO ENERGY STAR Homes is a regional program with a focus on high-performance construction—homes that perform better than conventionally built homes—and encourages consumers to look for the ENERGY STAR label.

NoCO ENERGY STAR Homes is a collaborative program among public and private-sector organizations, including the City of Fort Collins, Home Builders Association (HBA) of Northern Colorado, Governor’s Energy Office, Larimer County, City of Longmont, Poudre Valley REA, Platte River Power Authority, Town of Severance, United Power, Town of Windsor and Xcel Energy.

The regional program is aligned with the national ENERGY STAR New Homes Program ( managed by the U.S. EPA and the Colorado ENERGY STAR Homes Program ( managed by the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office.

For a list of builder partners and a map of qualified homes, visit To learn about the initiative in your area, contact Dave Talbot, Project Coordinator,”

Source:  Press Release:  NoCO ENERGY STAR® Homes
The mission of NoCO ENERGY STAR Homes is to transform the regional new home market to high-performance construction, using an educational, market-based approach targeting consumers, builders, trade allies and other stakeholders.

Making the business case for solutions to climate change

Guest Opinion

Hunter Lovins

Hunter Lovins

As a Longmont business, Natu­ral Capitalism Inc. urges Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall to protect the Environmental Pro­tection Agency’s authority to en­force the Clean Air Act by regulat­ing C02 emissions as harmful to human health.

Not only are climate solutions profitable now, but not investing in responsible climate policies al­so could cost Colorado even more. The benefits of unleashing the new energy economy and the costs of inaction are clear. More responsible federal action to pro­mote jobs and economic recovery through effective climate solu­tions is clearly warranted.

Comprehensive economic re­covery and job creation through climate legislation and tools like the Clean Air Act are smart sci­ence and smart economics. And here’s why:

  • Climate protection is prof­itable. Companies and countries are prospering from increasing energy efficiency and installing renewable energy, even in chal­lenging times. Clean energy is here to stay. A wave of private in­vestment and technological inno­vation leading to greater overall efficiency and economic growth continues unabated. New wind farms and solar installations con­tinue to create 10 times more new jobs and econom­ic benefit to Col­orado than fossil or uranium fuels.  Carbon markets already exceed $100 billion globally. In 2010, spending on clean energy technologies will rise 50 percent to $200 billion, topping the 2008 high of $155 billion.

The question is: Will the re­wards of those investments take place here in Colorado, or will they take place in countries such as China, where some experts are predicting a $1 trillion market in clean energy technology? Col­orado should act to continue its leadership, too. Comprehensive action to capture the jobs and economic benefits of implement­ing climate solutions will jump start domestic activity in Col­orado and will maintain Col­orado’s leadership.

With support from the Gover­nor’s Energy Office, Veterans Green Jobs is employing hun­dreds of Colorado’s veterans in improving energy efficiency in the San Luis Valley, but it will be up to Colorado’s businesses and households to ensure that those jobs become part of an ongoing commitment to employ our veter­ans and other workers in energy efficiency and renewable energy jobs that create enduring prosper­ity for Colorado.

According to a Tufts University study, the annual cost of climate change could reach at most $1.9 trillion by 2100, and climate change can destabilize Colorado’s economic security long before then. And much of the emerging science from Colorado’s federal laboratories indicates that the se­rious impacts that are already showing in Colorado’s forests and snowpack could affect us much sooner than 2100.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA had the re­sponsibility to determine whether the C02 that causes climate change is a pollutant harmful to Americans under the Clean Air Act. After a comprehensive analy­sis, the EPA ruled that C02 is a pollutant harmful to humans. Rather than allowing subtle amendments that gut EPA’s au­thority to implement this ruling, our senators should make sure that EPA cracks down on one of the biggest sources of carbon pol­lution – dirty coal plants.

The EPA has started the pro­cess to implement the Supreme Court’s ruling, and the EPA’s au­thority should be used to inspire businesses to address climate change and continue boosting the clean energy economy. Investing in climate solutions is profitable and good for business.

Since 1972, California’s invest­ments in energy efficiency have saved households $65 billion and provided 1.5 million jobs. In Col­orado, the Southwest Energy Effi­ciency Project has calculated that increasing electricity efficiency by 31 percent over an 18-year peri­od would increase statewide em­ployment by 6,900 jobs and per­sonal income by $280 million per year.  In addition to protecting EPA’s authority to regulate clean air, our senators should give business­es the clear signal of putting a price on carbon. That signal will come from bold comprehensive jobs and economic recovery legis­lation, which includes putting a price on carbon. In Europe, where this has been done, businesses use half the energy to produce a unit of GNP as do American compa­nies. We’re losing the competitive­ness race because of our refusal to solve the climate crisis. Once there is a price on carbon, busi­nesses will know where to invest their dollars most profitably, and much of the uncertainty that is currently holding back invest­ments will vanish.

Are our senators serious about creating new jobs in Colorado through unleashing the new ener­gy economy? Or do they want to let parochial special interests de­feat the innovation that has al­ways made Colorado great? We’ll know soon.

Hunter Lovins is the founder and president of Longmont-based Natural Capitalism Inc. and works with New Voice of Business to push for comprehensive federal action to strengthen our economy by solving the climate crisis. She can be reached at

Editor’s Note:  Hunter Lovins was the Keynote Speaker at the 2008 Longmont Sustainable Harvest Fair

35 acres of PV at the Denver Federal Center

A rally for solar as Federal Center announces it will triple energy-producing panels

By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post

Posted: 02/18/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
(Denver Post photo not reproduced)

Denver Federal Center Solar PV

Denver Federal Center Solar PV

Hundreds of solar-power supporters make their way to the west steps of the Capitol during a rally Wednesday afternoon. The crowd, representing the Colorado solar industry, gathered at 16th and Lawrence streets and walked up the 16th Street Mall to the Capitol.

As the government launched a project Wednesday to install solar panels on 35 acres at the Denver Federal Center, 250 solar-industry workers marched through downtown to rally political support.

“This is the future of our economy. Even though we’re nicknamed ‘green collar,’ we’re the blue collar of the future,” said R.J. Harrington, director of Boulder-based Simple Solar, one of more than 200 solar companies that employ about 1,500 workers statewide.

The action reflected growing enthusiasm for a greener economy that proponents say could propel Colorado out of doldrums.

“I want a long-term career. That’s why I’m here,” panel installer Wade Andrews, 33, said, marching amid “Solar Roofs = Local Jobs” signs. A Colorado State University graduate in philosophy, Andrews said his $38,000 salary, plus health benefits, gives a solid start.

Solar-industry leaders are lobbying for legislation to enable widespread installation of panels on residential and small-business roofs.

Lawmakers have introduced bills that would:

  • Make it easier for homeowners to arrange financing for the upfront cost of solar panels.
  • Require Colorado to generate 30 percent of energy used by consumers from renewable sources by 2020, up from a current requirement of 20 percent.

Supporting solar energy “is a win for banks,” Rep. Joe Miklosi, D-Denver, said. Solar-company assets are growing, homeowners borrowing to buy panels fit profiles of those likely to repay loans, and a 30 percent target would stimulate further growth, Miklosi said. “This is about creating jobs.”

Photo courtesy of

At the Federal Center, Government Services Administration officials said installation of about 30,000 roof and ground-mounted solar panels would help meet a goal of generating 14 percent of energy used at the center from a renewable source.

About 6,000 federal employees work in 55 buildings at the 623-acre center in Lakewood — the largest federal center outside Washington, D.C.

“The addition of 35 acres of photovoltaic panels at the Denver Federal Center will encourage growth and create jobs in the domestic construction and green technology industries,” GSA Administrator Martha Johnson said.

The new solar arrays would triple the acreage covered by solar panels. The project is being paid for with $5.5 billion in Recovery Act tax funds given to GSA to make federal offices more efficient.
Read more here

Split Estate – Friday 6:30pm – Firehouse 5

Courtesy of “Split Estate”, Red Rock Pictures

Split Estate will screen this Friday, February 12th, at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room of Longmont Firehouse #5 at Airport and Nelson Roads.

Director Debra Anderson will be present to answer audience questions following the screening.

Split Estate is a compelling documentary that maps a tragedy in the making, as citizen in the path of the new drilling boom in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.

Close to home, hydraulic fracturing, or fracing as it is frequently known, is occurring on farmland east of Union Reservoir and Longmont .

“Split Estate is a moving portrait that highlights important questions regarding the safety of hydraulic fracturing near our local communities.”

U.S. Representative Diana DeGette, Colorado

Ridgeview Tel Enters Greener House Contest

From PRWeb:

RidgeviewTel First Team to Enter Smarter, Safer, Greener House Contest

DaVinci Quest announced that RidgeviewTel, a leading manager of wireless broadband networks, is the first Team to enter its green building renovation innovation competition.

Centennial, CO (PRWEB) February 11, 2010 — DaVinci Quest is producing an open international innovation competition on the subject of green building renovation in the City of Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, United States. Today, DaVinci Quest announced that RidgeviewTel has agreed to enter the Smarter, Safer, Greener House Contest as a Team.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to advance innovation toward the goal of reducing energy consumption, increasing the efficiency of information transfers and improving our environment,” said Vince Jordan, President and CEO of RidgeviewTel. “Since our company is based here in Longmont, we feel compelled to be part of this unique contest which benefits not only everyone within our City, but gives Longmont a platform to reach much further.”

The RidgeviewTel Team will be a collaboration of individuals and businesses with different areas of expertise that can address each of the Contest outcome criteria. DaVinci Quest will facilitate identification of team members and support RidgeviewTel in building its Team.

Karl Dakin, CEO of DaVinci Quest, stated “We believe that RidgeviewTel will be a great Team in our Contest and represents the kind of Team that will do well by organizing and orchestrating all of the skills needed to perform well.”

RidgeviewTel is a communications company based in Longmont, Colorado, composed of several different business lines that, together successfully engineer, construct, deliver and manage converged broadband services via wireless and wireline technologies.

Read the rest at PRWeb

Main Street goes green

From the Longmont Ledger:

January 22, 2010 by Ellen Mahoney
Filed under Business

With much of the world focused on climate change, global warming and rising sea levels, Longmont’s Small Planet E Vehicles may be in the right business at the right time, offering alternative, cleaner and greener modes of transportation via electric cars, trucks, bikes, and scooters.

Like many people concerned about diminishing oil resources and an increasingly polluted planet, owner Tom Wilson works to find solutions to protect the changing environment.

“Fossil fuels are not only bad to use; we’re running out of them,” he says. “We’ve already used more than half of the oil that’s available and we’re on the down slope.”

Although the electric car was nearly crushed into oblivion, plug-in vehicles are making a new and sustainable comeback. Propelled by electric motors powered by rechargeable, recyclable, sealed lead acid or lithium ion batteries, the vehicles provide a cost-effective propulsion system with zero carbon-producing tailpipe emissions.

Read the rest at the Longmont Ledger