Energy on the Move

One of the early bright spots in the Alabama State Legislature for the environment is a package of energy-related bills.

Each of the past three years, the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy has introduced and passed energy legislation. Thus far this year, several bills have gotten the most attention. The Public Interest Energy Research and Development Grants Program (HB80/SB194) passed the House unanimously. It will create an executive agency to research and develop bioenergy and fossil fuel energy sources for the state.

The legislature passed this legislation two years ago, only to have it vetoed by Governor Riley, who believed the role of the program was already being fulfilled by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Another bill (HB127/SB288) would allow trucks with vehicle idling technology to exceed the state weight limit by 400 pounds. Such a change in law would allow trucks to install this technology and reduce emissions by increasing fuel efficiency. The bill has passed the House, and is moving quickly through the Senate.

However, bills that would impact average citizens have yet to move and will likely get resistance in a difficult budget year. One of Conservation Alabama’s “priority legislation” is the sales tax holiday on Energy Star appliances (HB125). That, along with a bill that would provide an income tax credit for installation of energy efficient equipment (HB126), are awaiting action in the House Education Appropriations Committee.

In past years, these bills have drawn opposition from the Alabama Education Association because the proposals would take funding from education coffers, although at a minimum level. With the state budget having more questions than answers, these otherwise worthwhile bills may be a hard sell this year.

from Conservation Alabama

March 2010

Group Notes

Cahaba Group

Check out our website: http://alabama.sierraclub.org/cahaba/index.html

Coosa Vally Group


Would you believe it was standing room only for our January meeting?
Steve Garrison, our newly created computer guru and webmaster, held an ultimate recycling class. He showed us how to repair and reuse our hopelessly virus infested computers! Over 50 people showed up to learn how to keep their computers out of landfills and keep more money in their pockets.

Montgomery Group

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! The second Thursday of each month at the:
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
6610 Vaughn Road
Montgomery, AL 36116
(334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Backpack in the Sipsey Wilderness

 I had a good backpack last weekend at the Sipsey Wilderness. Four other brave souls came with me to spend the night near Shiprock. Saturday we explored the Shiprock area and then had a nice fire and supper. Sunday morning about 2:00am the flood came and by 6:00am Thompson Creek had risen about 3ft. I was high and dry in my hammock and slept well through all the thunder and lightning. We hiked out in the rain and walked through several swollen creeks. Good times!

 - Michael Stewart

Tuesday Night Hikes

 Currently all Tuesday Evening hikes leave at 6:00pm from the Land Trust Parking Lot at 907 Franklin Street. Beginning Tuesday, March 16, after daylight savings time begins, the hikes will return to Monte Sano and will leave from the Monte Sano State Park Hiker's Parking Lot also at 6:00pm. There is a small hiker fee to enter the park. All dogs must be on a leash while in the parking lot and while on the trails.

 - Alan Greene

Madison Hosts Hazardous Waste Collection Day

 On February 20th, 2010 the City of Madison is planning to host a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event from 9 am until 1 pm at Madison City Hall located at 100 Hughes Rd. The event encourages local area citizens to dispose of items that require special handling such items as paints, solvents, car batteries, and weed killers to name a few. More information about the event and other types of items collected can be found at www.madisonal.gov/ Sustainability.

 People attending the event should plan to enter the main entrance of City Hall on Hughes Rd and continue around to the south end of the building. The exit will then be Mill Rd. Signage and volunteers will be on site to direct residents.

 For more information regarding the event, contact Kim Hammond at Kimberly.Hammond@adss. alabama.gov or Daniel Cook atDTCook@GarverUSA.com.

 Press release by the City of Madison Mayor’s Office

Check the North Alabama Group's website for the most up-to-date outings information!

WEST ALABAMA GROUP

Check us out on the web:
Visit our website for up-to-date info.: alabama.sierraclub.org/west-al.html.