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UGI Penn Natural Gas Launches Energy Efficiency/Conservation Rebate Program

UGI Penn Natural Gas Thursday announced the formal launch of the company’s comprehensive Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program. The UGI program provides financial incentives that encourage consumers to reduce energy consumption and costs.

The UGI PNG EE&C program includes several rebate options for customers who upgrade heating systems or appliances to more efficient equipment or convert to natural gas.

The program also offers incentives for commercial and industrial customers, including those replacing less-efficient heating systems with high-efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units.

UGI proposed the EE&C Program as part of its 2017 Penn Natural Gas base rate filing made before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The EE&C was approved by the PUC as part of the base rate case settlement.

Brian Meilinger, UGI’s Manager, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, said the company already has received significant customer interest in the program.

“We’re very pleased at the response from customers who have heard we were launching this program,” Meilinger said. “We believe UGI’s EE&C program has the potential to reach a significant number of customers interested in becoming more energy efficient.”

Read the full story from PA Environment Digest here.

President’s Environmental Youth Award

Your project – or one you are sponsoring – could be an award winner. Apply or encourage a student you know to apply for the President’s Environmental Youth Award(PEYA) and see what a difference they can make for the environment with an award-winning project. Applicants from all 50 states and U.S. territories are eligible to compete for a regional certificate of special recognition and a national Presidential award. The application period for the PEYA program is now open. Applications are due by March 1.

China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants

China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants


Adapted from post by Molly Bergen of EarthShare Member Conservation International.

Last year, China announced plans to phase out its domestic ivory market — a major development acknowledging the growing threat poaching poses to Africa’s dwindling elephant population, which has been cut in half in only 25 years.

On January 1, 2018, the ban finally went into effect. It’s a big step in the effort to stop poaching and save elephants. Anticipation of the ban has already had a positive impact, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council: the wholesale price of ivory in China has fallen by more than 50% in the last three years.

While there has been an international ivory trade ban since 1989, many countries such as China have maintained domestic markets, which allow the resale of ivory imported before 1989. However, this legal trade of older ivory is frequently used as a front for the illegal import of newer tusks. Around 2002, there was an uptick in elephant slaughter across Africa just as an economic boom was expanding the income of millions of Chinese — and making the purchase of ivory carvings, a common status symbol, more attainable.

According to Keith Roberts, executive director of Conservation International’s wildlife program, it’s too soon to tell what exactly the full impact of the new ban will be.

“On the one hand, it’s great that China has put a time frame on the closure of their markets; it reveals the country’s political will to address the ivory poaching crisis,” he said. “However, there are a lot of unknowns. We are dealing with transnational organized criminal syndicates, and ivory has been and continues to be a lucrative business for them. Therefore, I would expect the market to go underground, and this may well push the price of ivory up and further encourage the killing of elephants.”

Because closing the markets doesn’t actually stop the consumer demand for ivory, it won’t necessarily stop the problem on its own.

“Closure of the markets is step one,” Roberts continued. “Step two must be the government getting serious about disrupting and arresting those involved in the criminal syndicates that are responsible for most of the poaching. Step three should be a campaign to push for the closure of the legal markets in neighboring countries, which are regularly used by Chinese traders to source contraband.”

China’s professed willingness to expand its involvement in this global crisis is critical to reduce the ivory trade, especially given Africa’s ongoing struggles to fight poaching on the ground. And other countries, including the US, must step up to protect elephants too (find out how here).

Could 2018 be a turning point for Africa’s elephants? Time will tell.

More information:
Poaching Crisis: Africa’s Wildlife on the Brink, EarthShare
African Elephant Facts, African Wildlife Foundation
To Save Elephants, It Takes a Village, Conservation International

Land exchange sacrifices Izembek wilderness for road development

Kate Mackay

Obscure Alaska road project sets destructive precedent for wilderness

The Department of the Interior has agreed to a secret “land swap” that would would open a portion of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to a road that could endanger numerous migratory birds, brown bears and caribou while threatening to close off access to sportsmen.

Interior Department withdraws climate and mitigation policies

Alex Thompson

The Interior Department has once again quietly canceled important public lands protection policies, this time focusing on mitigation and climate change in a new


Interior Department withdraws climate and mitigation policies

Alex Thompson

The Interior Department has once again quietly canceled important public lands protection policies, this time focusing on mitigation and climate change in a new


How electric trucks could disrupt highway transport and save businesses billions

Tesla is among a number of auto manufacturers that see a robust, long-term market for zero-emission electric trucks.

Delaware Highlands Conservancy To Begin Accepting Entries For Eagles & Their Environs Photo Contest Jan. 15

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy will begin accepting entries for a new juried photo contest– Sharing Place: Eagles and Their Environs— for the Upper Delaware River region on January 15. The deadline for entries is February 15.
The contest is open to professional and amateur photographers who are invited to submit no more than two photos to the contest.
The Conservancy invites photographers to capture striking eagle-inspired photos in four categories: eagles; healthy eagle habitat; factors important to eagle welfare; and a wild card to feature insights gained in the process of photographing eagles and their habitat.
Photos will be judged on creativity, originality, composition, clarity and quality, and impact.
The Conservancy is also offering a guided Photo Workshop Bus Tour on February 3 with instruction from local photographer Sandy Long, but participation in the bus tour is not required to enter the contest.
Photographers must follow Eagle Etiquette when photographing eagles and avoid disturbing or disrupting the birds or their habitat.
The winning 15 photos will be chosen by a panel of judges, along with one People’s Choice, and will be hung at the ARTery gallery in Milford, Pike County, beginning with a reception on April 21st from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on display until May 7th. The ARTery is a cooperative owned and operated by successful and emerging artists and artisans from the Tri-State area.
The winning photos will be exhibited with the ARTery member artists’ own interpretations of eagles, raptors, and other species of birds. During the opening reception, members of the Conservancy will present a short background on the organization and eagles in the region.
For all the details, including the required rules acknowledgement form, visit the Conservancy’s Sharing Place: Eagles and Their Environs webpage.
Questions about the contest should be directed to Outreach Coordinator Jason Zarnowski by sending email to: jason@delawarehighlands.org or call 570-226-3164 ext. 6.

What you need to know about what’s in – and absent from – Moody’s climate risk report

Moody’s report left out this critical disaster risk information for communities seeking to retain their credit worthiness.