Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rockefellers call for change at Exxon Mobil

Wed Apr 30, 11:22 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Members of the Rockefeller family are calling on Exxon Mobil Corp to make corporate governance changes and adopt a renewable fuels strategy to help address the soaring cost of energy.

John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Co in 1870, which was a precursor to Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded oil company based on market capitalization, and is a favorite target of consumer advocate groups and politicians unhappy with record prices for oil and gas and its effects on the environment.

Fifteen descendants of the oil baron are involved in four shareholder resolutions seeking changes at Exxon, including dividing the CEO and chairmanship positions.

They also seek to establish a task force study of the consequences of global warning on poor economies, called on Exxon to reduce greenhouse gas emission at its own operations and adopt a renewable energy policy.
Exxon is "profiting in the short term from investments and decisions made many years ago by focusing on the narrow path that ignores the rapidly shifting energy landscape around the world, including developing nations," said Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, great granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.

Goodwin called on Exxon to reconnect with the forward-looking vision of her great grandfather.
"Kerosene was the alternative energy of its day when he realized it could replace whale oil. Part of John D. Rockefeller's genius was in recognizing early the need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner fuel."

Exxon's annual meeting is scheduled for May 28.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; writing by Edward Tobin)

Read Here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

5 worst excuses not to go green

By Lori Johnston •

Going green is a lot like losing weight. Many of us talk about doing it but when it comes right down to it we come up with myriad excuses.

Surveys show most Americans recognize the environmental crisis and they're concerned about global warming. But to actually do something about it? Excuses abound.

Following are the five most prevalent excuses for not going green, why they're cop-outs and simple steps for shedding them.

Excuse No. 1: 'It's too expensive.'

Some people think greening their home means installing "fancy-schmancy" things like solar panels, but it's simpler than that, says Jenny Powers, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

For example, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs cost more upfront (an estimated $2 to $15, for specialty bulbs), but they last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, she notes. CFL bulbs use 75 percent less energy, resulting in savings of $30 or more in electricity costs during the life of each bulb, according to data from the federal government's Energy Star program.

"So you'll be paying a lot less on your energy bill, and over time you'll more than make up for your cost," Powers says.

Seeing the potential savings in the long run is a way to get beyond this excuse, says Edwin Stafford, associate professor of marketing at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, who studies green marketing.

Powers says you can look for products with the Energy Star seal because they are more energy-efficient and will result in savings on your electric bill.

"It doesn't mean switching to solar power or putting up a wind turbine in your yard," she says. "Those are great things to do, but it's not necessary."

Thomas Kostigen, co-author of "The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time," notes that even turning down the thermostat a degree lower for the heat and a degree higher for air conditioning can save approximately $100 a year on your utility bill.

Excuse No. 2: 'My individual effort won't make a difference.'

Just look at the statistics. Americans saved enough energy in 2006 to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million cars, according to Energy Star data. These efforts also saved $14 billion on their utility bills.

It may be tough to understand what it means when statistics refer to taking 25 million cars off the road, Kostigen says. But he advises looking at it like this: You're saving energy and also helping save the planet because you're not emitting as much carbon, which relates to car pollution.

"There are very simple things we can do that seriously add up to a great, great impact," Kostigen says.

Excuse No. 3: 'It doesn't fit into my lifestyle.'

It's a misconception to think you have to live out in the country to be eco-friendly, says Powers, who lives in New York City. She says urban living can be great for the environment, if you take steps such as using public transit or shopping at local farmer's markets.

"You can be green whether you are living in a concrete jungle, like I am, or you're living out in nature," she says.

Maybe you think the problem isn't where you live, but the stage of your life. She says parents can buy organic food for their kids. Suburbanites can use a rail system instead of driving to work. Tech-savvy folks can use eco-friendly gadgets, such as those with solar-powered features or batteries that can be recharged.

"It fits into all types of lifestyles," Powers says. "It's about energy use and transportation, choices at a supermarket or the mall."

Excuse No. 4: 'Green products don't work as well.'

Green products often carry negative baggage, Stafford admits. When they started being sold in the 1970s, people believed they were using "some mix of twigs and things to unclog their sinks."

"That, I think, has changed," he says. "You have a lot of green products that I think actually work better than nongreen products."

Front-load washing machines clean clothes better, use less detergent and are energy- and water-efficient. They're also gentler on your clothes, due to the technology of tumbling clothes rather than having them sit in a big pool of water and trying to shake the clothes clean, Stafford says.

Other products he identifies as being successful in offering a consumer benefit include compact fluorescent bulbs, Tide Coldwater detergent and solar-powered items. He notes that users of Tide Coldwater can also save $63 a year -- the company claims users can save up to 80 percent of the energy normally required per load.

When Stafford recently remodeled a bathroom in his home, he tried to use nontoxic and energy-efficient items.

"I found all of these things at Home Depot and Lowe's," he says.

"The greenness almost became secondary," he says. "Most consumers don't buy products to save the planet. They buy products because it's going to clean their carpets, it's going to nourish them, it's going to provide them warmth."

Excuse No. 5: 'I don't know where to start.'

You may already be environmentally friendly, but just don't know it. If you buy bulk items from wholesale warehouses such as Costco, you are using less packaging and helping the environment, Kostigen says.

Another easy way to start relates to your computers. When they're not in use, but still plugged in, they're draining a little bit of energy out of your wall outlet, Powers says. "That's costing money and that's costing global warming initiatives, for no reason at all," she says.

She suggests plugging computers and other items into a power bar and flipping the switch off when you're not using them. That could account for as much as 10 percent off your electric bill.

Those cute screen savers also aren't needed anymore because of new technology, Powers says, but when you're using them, the computer is operating at full power. She recommends getting rid of the screen saver and putting the computer into sleep mode when you're away from it.

Once you realize you can take these simple no-cost steps, Kostigen believes it will lead to recycling efforts or thinking of the environment when buying bigger-ticket items, such as appliances, cars or homes. Another simple way to begin is having bills sent to you via e-mail instead of postal mail.

"I think once we're presented with a raft of opportunities, we'll take the ones that really resonate with us the most and the ones that we can really relate to the most," says Kostigen.

Actual article can be found here.

PROPOSED Excuse No. 6: 'I'm going to die anyway!'

I will write a future post with my comments on this later. Stay tuned! ;-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Are You Ready for $4 a Gallon Gas...?!?

Do you have a 110 Dollar Bill...???

OPEC chief: Oil prices would go higher regardless of supply

ROME - OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah el al-Badri said Sunday oil prices would likely go higher and that the group was ready to raise production if the price pressure was due to a shortage of supply — something he doubted.

"Oil prices, there is a common understanding that has nothing to do with supply and demand," al-Badri said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Rome.

Oil prices reached a new high Friday at $117 a barrel.

A host of supply and demand concerns in the U.S. and abroad, along with the dollar's weakness, have served to support prices, even as record retail gasoline prices in the U.S. appear to be dampening demand. Crude prices have risen as much as 4 percent last week.

The OPEC chief said the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries "will not hesitate" to increase production if the group thought the higher prices were due to shortages. But he said more oil will not solve the high prices.

OPEC's production levels were just one of many factors, he said.

"But how much higher it will go, of course it depends on a number of things: the political situation, whether there is a natural catastrophe, whether there are speculations in the market, whether there are strikes in certain producing countries. So there are many other factors other than OPEC production," al-Badri said.

By MARIA GRAZIA MURRU, Associated Press Writer Sun Apr 20, 3:17 PM ET

Source: Yahoo News

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Solar Installation Requirements in the State of Florida

There has been a lot of confussion as to who can install what and where. Well in the great State of Florida, Solar Electric/Power (PV) systems can only be installed by a state-licensed Master Electrician, Electrical Contractor, or Solar Contractor. Master Electricians and Electrical Contractors can install the system without any restrictions. A Solar Contractor can only install solar system components up to the inverter and must subcontract the install from the inverter to the main distribution panel to a Master Electrician or Electrical Contractor. Veterans Energy Solutions, LLC is an energy solutions provider and is a State of Florida Certified Unlimited Electrical Contractor.

Solar Thermal (domestic hotwater & pool heaters) Systems can only be installed by a state-licensed solar or plumbing contractor. There are no other restricitions.

The above information can be verified at the State of Florida Senate website (Fla. Stat. § 377.806) through the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

To find a solar professional near you, go to Find Solar.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gas Prices...

CNN's 100 best places to live and launch

"Are job worries tempting you to start your own company? We canvassed the country to find towns with the best mix of business advantages and lifestyle appeal. Check out our 100 top picks and find the perfect place to build your dream." (CNN)

Coming in 1st in Florida and 51st on the list is Doral, FL. Fort Lauderdale came in 2nd in Florida but 70th on the list of 100. Orlando came in 3rd in Florida and a close 73 out of 100. And rounding out the bottom for Florida but making it to the 90th slot of the 100 top picks for building a new business in the US is Sarasota, FL.


Population: 32,557
Pro: Close to Miami
Con: New city government still organizing

Ft. Lauderdale:

Population: 167,255
Pro: Strong tourism industry
Con: This region has been hit hard by the subprime lending fiasco


Population: 204,524
Pro: Theme parks help diversified economy thwart downturns
Cons: If gas prices keep rising, tourists may stay away


Population: 55,241
Pros: Great weather and cultural climate; strong retirement and tourism market
Con: Real estate downturn has hurt related small businesses

Read more of the details at CNN.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mayor Diaz and EcoZone Unveil Clean Energy at City Hall

-Miami's City Hall First of Any Major US City to Install Solar Panels-

MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz has partnered with EcoMedia, a leading environmental media company that operates the award-winning EcoZone Program, and several corporate sponsors to announce a new clean energy system to power City Hall in Miami. During an official ribbon cutting ceremony on April 2, 2008, Mayor Diaz, Green Commission Chairman and City Commissioner Joe Sanchez, and EcoMedia CEO Paul Polizzotto unveiled four state-of-the-art solar panels that will help power City Hall and an interior energy-saving lighting retrofit for the entire building.

Read more here.

· Kelly Penton, Director · · Telephone: (305) 416-1440 444 S.W. 2nd Avenue, 9th Floor , Miami, FL 33130 · Fax: (305) 416-1441

Shedding Light on the Incandescent Bulb

Good Article on Light Bulbs. Take the Energy Star Change a Light Pledge with us by clicking here!

Thanks! ;-)

read more digg story