Archive for March, 2009

COUNTERPOINT: Green Jobs are the future of Oregon’s economy

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

by By Mark Edlen and Dennis Wilder

Saturday March 28, 2009, 10:00 AM

This is one of two responses to The Sunday Oregonian’s Commentary cover story: “Green jobs: Parallel pathways hold best chance for both to succeed”

As is often said, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

Oregon is better positioned than any other state to extend its well deserved lead in developing sustainable solutions and “green jobs” directly into a workable national solution to today’s economic crisis. This approach will dramatically impact our economy, a generation of family wage jobs, our national security and our environment.

From our original bottle bill, public beach access, land use policies and forward-thinking alternative transportation solutions, Oregon is regarded as a national leader in developing creative solutions for difficult challenges.

Green jobs span our entire ecosystem, ranging from energy generation and water conservation to manufacturing, design and construction, to our farms and food supply. They include jobs for highly skilled, hourly employees to highly educated, four-year college graduates — all providing living wages with secure benefits.

In Oregon, “green jobs” have evolved over the last decade through a combination of private and public efforts based on grassroots collaboration that have resulted in innovative solutions. Examples include our voter approved creation of the Energy Trust of Oregon to fund energy conservation and private investment in renewable energy, our Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program that has attracted major solar manufacturers Sloaix and Solar World, and wind manufacturers and developers Vestas and Iberdrola Renewables — all bringing thousands of high paying “green jobs.” As a result of this strategic effort, Oregon is now the largest solar photovoltaic manufacturer in the country.

The “green jobs” movement is not limited to new international companies moving to Oregon. It is all-inclusive and has enabled our local companies to grow and prosper. Nike, a local company with global reach, continues to re-engineer their design and manufacturing process in an effort to be more sustainable, more cost-competitive and more profitable — thus ensuring future Oregon jobs. Jeld Wen and Collins Companies, both local major wood products manufactures; Neil Kelly Companies, a major remodeler and manufacturer of sustainable cabinets; and Rejuvenation are also part of the “green collar” economy.

So are countless service providers advising local, national and international companies on sustainable issues including Bright Works, Green Building Services, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, GBD Architects, SERA Architects, Glumac International, Interface, Hoffman Construction, Howard S. Wright Construction and many others.

More importantly, these companies and their suppliers have created a market advantage around their “green” expertise, which has resulted in the employment of tens of thousands of highly skilled Oregonians. But it goes deeper: through the purchase of products and services from other Oregon companies, a truly sustainable economic infrastructure has been created here in Oregon supporting employment at multiple skill levels.

Many suggest that a deep recession is a time to pull back and retrench. We recognize that Oregon has many funding needs ranging from those who are less fortunate to our schools. We argue that these are exactly the reasons to redouble our efforts in creating “green” jobs.

These jobs create a future and provide a reason for our children to graduate. They provide employment in manufacturing and the skilled trades for graduating high school seniors, create technical employment opportunities for our community college graduates and help secure “green” jobs in numerous fields including design, finance and engineering for four-year college graduates.

Acting on our leadership role, Oregonians have the opportunity to not only create large numbers of “green” jobs, but also to export our embedded expertise beyond Oregon’s borders. By doing so we will create the opportunity to establish new companies, create long term career opportunities, generate income for Oregonians and Oregon companies, and increase tax revenue to support our way of life, our schools and our future.

Mark Edlen is the Chief Executive Officer for Gerding Edlen Development, Inc. and Dennis Wilder is the Senior Vice President for Gerding Edlen Development, Inc.

Limits to the logic of green jobs

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

by Michael A. Levi, guest opinion

Saturday March 28, 2009, 7:56 AM

“Climate change. What’s the solution? A green jobs revolution.” So chanted thousands of protesters who braved the frigid early March weather in Washington, D.C., to demand aggressive government action on alternative energy.

They have reason to be optimistic. The recently passed economic stimulus bill promises to create thousands of green jobs. Vice President Joe Biden’s new Middle Class Task Force devoted its first meeting, held Feb. 26 in Philadelphia, to praising their virtues. President Barack Obama contends that his policies will deliver 5 million green jobs in the next two decades.

Indeed, for a nation facing dire economic and energy challenges, green jobs seem to be an ideal solution. But just because “green” and “jobs” are both in demand doesn’t mean that policies focused on creating “green jobs” make sense. In fact, a close look at the economics of “green jobs” suggests that if the U.S. tries to find a lasting solution to these challenges with a single set of policies, it might fail to deliver on both fronts.
The fundamental problem is that there’s no solid evidence that green policies — even those aimed explicitly at creating jobs — will actually lower the long-term unemployment rate. Most of the research on how these sorts of programs might build up the work force simply tallies the payrolls, current or projected, of companies in renewable energy and other sectors. (Analyses typically include not only jobs installing solar panels or engineering algae for biofuels, but also secondary activities like making widgets for use in windmills.)

This approach is a natural winner: Green policies inevitably generate jobs in green industries, so the studies inevitably deliver good news. But skeptics argue that simple windmill-counting ignores an important fact: Every unit of energy generated from alternative sources displaces a similar amount generated by traditional means, so forgoing those other energy sources means giving up whatever jobs they were providing. This doesn’t mean that greening the economy will have no net impact on jobs, but it muddies the math considerably.

Hence another level of sophistication from the green jobs community, which now points out that a dollar spent on renewable energy or higher energy efficiency will generate more U.S. jobs than a dollar spent on traditional power. That’s probably true, since many green jobs are labor-intensive and clean energy is more likely to be generated at home rather than to be imported.

But this argument also misses a crucial point: The dollar spent on green sources also generates less energy. (Renewables will be more expensive than traditional power for the foreseeable future.) Part of the gap can be closed by energy conservation, but other money will need to be diverted from elsewhere in the economy to make up for the remaining energy shortfall. The result is a loss of jobs somewhere else.

Indeed, most comprehensive economic models that look at the long-term effects of aggressive climate policies consistently forecast a small net decrease in national job growth. (The models predict robust growth under all scenarios, but the positive effect is diminished slightly if green policies are pursued.) These studies are far from perfect, but they suggest that the burden of proof lies with those promising a major expansion in jobs.

Advocates and analysts have tried to counter these models with an appeal to history. In October, for example, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley published a widely reported study claiming that the state’s energy-efficiency policies had “created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007” in areas like the service sector and retail “while eliminating fewer than 25,000” in the electric power industry.

However, the empirical study had the same flaw as its theoretical counterparts: It assumed that consumer spending on products like efficient washing machines and home insulation hadn’t diverted demand from other parts of the economy. That diversion is likely to have led to diffuse but real job losses somewhere else.

That’s not to say that good energy-efficiency policies aren’t net job creators — there’s actually a strong argument that they are. Many efficiency measures (like adding home insulation or using better lights) more than pay off their initial costs in energy savings, and those savings can be reinvested in the economy to create more jobs. But improvements in efficiency can’t address all of the existing energy and climate challenges. Many of the other steps that are necessary to take — like moving away from traditional coal technology and electrifying the transportation system — will bear real costs.

For many environmental advocates, of course, these discussions are of secondary importance; what matters most is that green jobs will help the planet. They’d be wise to be careful there, too. Indeed, the most successful green jobs program to date is one that no environmentalist wants to brag about: the conversion to corn-based ethanol. A recent U.N. report estimated that the heavily subsidized U.S. ethanol industry provides employment for 154,000 Americans, about five times as many as the wind power industry and nearly 10 times as many as the solar industry.

That finding goes a long way to explaining why, despite mounting evidence showing that corn ethanol is a failure (some would say a disaster) on the environmental front, U.S. policy appears to be on cruise control. At its base, corn ethanol is not a green policy so much as a jobs policy — and its success in that respect has made it almost impossible for the government to change course.

To be certain, there are times when opportunities to solve the energy and employment problems converge. The current recession and recent economic stimulus provided one such case — with capital and labor sitting idle, government can push green efforts without needing to worry so much about distorting the rest of the economy. That means that many of the green investments in the stimulus package will create jobs in the short term and hence accelerate a return to full employment and economic growth.

But even that logic has limits. Most serious energy programs take a long time to implement; in its zeal to spend stimulus money on the green sector, the U.S. Congress directed a significant amount of its limited resources to long-term efforts that won’t maximize job creation when it’s needed most.

None of this is to say that there’s no hope for a future replete with green jobs. With its economy hurting and its energy policy broken, what the U.S. really needs is a broad-based economic policy that focuses on job creation — and an ambitious energy policy that protects the planet and makes its citizens at home more secure. But if it tries to build both efforts around a single goal of creating green jobs, it may fail to achieve either objective over the long term. If it succeeds independently on each, though, the green jobs will come.

Copyright: 2009, WPNI Slate. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate

Michael A. Levi is the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was project director for a CFR-sponsored task force on climate change and is the author of “On Nuclear Terrorism.”

Salem area may get biodiesel campus

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – A Willamette Valley consortium plans to turn the area’s only commercial biodiesel plant into a research and education campus. With the new emphasis on renewable energy and economic stimulus, backers feel the time is right.

Chemeketa Community College, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies and developer Wildwood Inc. submitted a proposal for $10 million in funding to Oregon’s congressional delegation. The project would be built over three years and could create 450 jobs, said Travis Henry, vice president of Wildwood.

The 30,000-square-foot facility, which would adjoin Pacific Biodiesel’s existing Salem plant, would include classrooms, test laboratories and pilot programs. Researchers hope the facility will help identify new biodiesel fuel sources.

The collaboration will involve Chemeketa students in every step in the process, said Chemeketa spokesman Greg Harris. “We see this opportunity as a unique chance to get talent developed for a growth industry,” he said.

Pacific Biodiesel processes used cooking oil and canola grown in Eastern Oregon, along with some tallow, said Will Smith, process engineering manager.

The expansion would allow the company to use different sources, including gatropha, a tropical nut, grease trap oil, algae oils and water treatment wastes.

“Imagine anything that’s rancid and disgusting and oily,” Smith told the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce.

Pacific Biodiesel could incorporate new biofuel sources into its existing mix.

“If they’re able to demonstrate the technology in a pilot scale, it could attract private industry, (which) could then build a full-scale production plant somewhere else,” he said.

The educational value relies on the close working relationship with Pacific Biodiesel, however, Henry said. “What makes this program so special is that you have students who are able to participate in all steps of the process.”

The project could get started within weeks of securing funding, said John Miller, president of Wildwood. “Our site is more than shovel-ready,” he said.

“Looking at what the priorities of what the new administration seem to be, the dire circumstance of the Oregon economy and the interest in building infrastructure for the new green economy, this fits with all of that,” Harris said.

The Associated Press

Better Living Show 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

ecoShuttle is gearing up for this weekend’s Better Living Show at the Expo Center.   Last year we had a blast at this event learning how to live a more sustainable lifestyle and meeting some inspirational people.  The event offers activities for every age group and boasts an exciting line-up of speakers and entertainers for all personality types. It promises to be an event unlike you have ever seen! Exciting!

Admission to the Better Living Show is completely free. Organizers of the show believe that entertaining while educating large amounts of people is more important than making a huge profit.  The Better Living Show also aims to be as green as can be.  They’ve even turned the overhead lights off to cut down on carbon-output.  The result is a much more relaxing atmosphere that enhances exhibits.  It is certainly something to experience!

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World Water Day

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

March 22nd marks the first Annual World Water Day Parade and Celebration, taking place in cities across the globe.  ecoShuttle is extremely proud to be a part of this great event, which raises awareness and funds to bring water to an African village in need.

World Water Day is bringing a nationwide movement of awareness to a growing issue that can be significantly affected by you. Speakers for Sunday’s event include City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Sheila Hamilton form KINK, Joy Bates Boyle from Water for All and more.  The award winning film Flow will also be screened.  Each presentation will help us to understand what we can do to make clean water more available in different parts of the world.

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Eco-Friendly Fuels at I-5 Rest Stops

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

March 16th, 2009

Eco-Friendly Fuels Common man and policy makers both are increasingly being made aware of the importance of clean and green fuels in near future. The governors of 3 states have come forward with a plan to transform Interstate 5 from a freeway dotted by gasoline burners to a sanctuary for eco-friendly cars and trucks. The people chalking out this plan are Marty Brown, Gregoire’s legislative liaison, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

This plan will provide the required boost to the green vehicles. That green freeway will stretch from Canadian to Mexican border. If approved, the project can kick start in this summer itself in Washington. Jeff Doyle, who is the director of public-private partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation, states “We originally coined it the B.C.-to-Baja green highway. The three states are trying to find out if we can all march forward together.”

Vehicles powered by alternative fuels face the biggest hurdles in the form of lack of recharge stations. That’s why people hesitate to take the inter-state highways in alternative fuel vehicles. Recharge stations are not mushrooming like gas stations. So alternative fuel drawn vehicles are facing “who came first, chicken or egg” like situation. Enough green vehicles are not mass produced due to lack of infrastructure and enough recharge stations are unavailable because there are not enough vehicles on the roads. But if this plan is implemented, people will be able to pull off at I-5 rest stops for usual cup of coffee and snacks. But they will be able to recharge or exchange their electric vehicle batteries too. Compressed natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen or biodiesel too will be available for respective vehicles. People driving on alternative fuels can take the less traveled road too without much headache.

Doyle encouraged the companies by not charging the rent till they break-even. They are thinking of establishing the fueling stations and battery swap-out docks first in West Coast states. This will not be an easy step. The concerned planners have to cross the bureaucratic hurdles and get the approval of local and federal authorities. But the benefits would be immense. It will generate green jobs and the states will be eligible for some of the $15 billion in federal stimulus money dedicated to energy-related programs.

Jeff Doyle stated that till now no formal contracts were signed with any company but a California-based company, Better Place, that has electric-car service stations in Israel had shown interest. This company is already in the process of setting up recharge stations in Hawaii, the Bay Area, Australia and Ontario, Canada. This company is headed by Shai Agassi, who is a former Silicon Valley software executive. He is touring the world publicizing his dream of a network of electric-vehicle charging stations. Shai Agassi said if the company were hired it would provide charging stations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They would also establish battery switch-out stations at rest areas about every 40 miles along the I-5 corridor.

Original link: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/eco-friendly-fuels-at-i-5-rest-stops/

Oregon-Based Plastics Recycler First in Nation to Reclaim Synthetic Crude Oil from Unwanted Plastic

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Agri-Plas ships first batches of crude oil to refinery

BROOKS, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the latest showing of Oregon’s entrepreneurial and environmental prowess, Agri-Plas, an Oregon-based plastics recycler, is the first company in the nation to convert unwanted and typically unrecyclable agricultural plastics into crude oil and ship it to a refinery for commercial processing.

“The fact that Agri-Plas has been able to take plastic that would otherwise go directly into the waste stream and convert it into a commercial product that can eventually be pumped into a gas tank is truly groundbreaking,” said Tim McCabe, director of the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department.

Agri-Plas is now taking discarded and unwanted plastic that chokes landfills or is abandoned, burned or buried on Northwest farms and nurseries, and is converting it back into synthetic crude oil. Plastic products include dirty agricultural film, greenhouse cover, mixed nursery and jug material, prepackaged food containers and lids, and other low- or zero-value plastics too dirty to economically bring to a higher value through normal recycling efforts. The company recently delivered its first full tanker (8,200 gallons) of oil to a refinery in Tacoma, Wash., which translates to a final delivery of 196 barrels of oil.

“The state of Oregon has been a key player in helping us bring this process to market,” said Mary Sue Gilliland, Agri-Plas vice president operations and business development. “We hope that with financial assistance from the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) we will be able to jumpstart construction of a new facility that will allow the company to increase crude oil production.”

The state of Oregon has made it a top priority to recruit and foster the growth of sustainability-oriented businesses through a variety of financial mechanisms such as BETC, which covers up to 50 percent of a qualifying project’s applicable costs.

Agri-Plas is gearing up to deliver its second shipment of crude oil this month. The company is currently testing technology developed by Plas2Fuel, a Kelso, Washington alternative energy company, that created the unique process of converting plastic into high-value, synthetic crude oil. Agri-Plas is planning to expand its operations within the next several months. Within the next year, Agri-Plas hopes to create up to 58 new green-collar jobs at its headquarters in Brooks, Ore.

The synthetic crude oil that Agri-Plas is reclaiming from unwanted plastic can be refined for a variety of uses. The oil can be refined and used in literally thousands of high-end products ranging from makeup to food items, as well as gasoline, diesel, lubricants and other petroleum-based products.

Today, Agri-Plas is operating one plastic-to-oil converting unit. The company soon expects to add three more units, which will create one full system, and will operate this venture under the name of Agri-Plas2Crude. In April of 2009, Agri-Plas2Crude plans to break ground on a new facility, which will eventually house a total of five, four-unit Plas2Fuel reclamation systems. In total, the 20 units will create enough reclaimed crude oil to deliver a full tanker for refining every single day. Oregon will once again lead the nation in recycling efforts and solutions for the agriculture community.

About Brooks, Oregon

Brooks is conveniently located just 10 miles south of Salem, the capital of Oregon, and 40 miles south of Portland, with easy access to the state’s main transportation route, Interstate 5. Brooks falls within Marion County, which has a population of 311,304 and boasts a wide array of businesses from world-class wineries to high-technology manufacturers.

Attend Portland’s green jobs fair

Friday, March 13th, 2009

CleanEdge is sponsoring the Green Jobs Fair at the 2009 Energy Trust Better Living Show.

Read more: GREEN JOBS

Photo by Better Living Show

If you live in the Portland, Oregon area and want a green job, plan to attend the Green Jobs Fair on March 27 at the 2009 Energy Trust Better Living Show.  Despite the shaky economy, green jobs are available and they are available now.  CleanEdge is sponsoring the four-hour Green Jobs Fair at the Portland Expo Center.

“The Better Living Show Jobs Fair features employers who are concerned about more than the bottom line; companies that care about the environment, and their communities; companies that want to make a difference.

Job seekers, high school and college students: Come and meet companies that are hiring for sustainable careers. Learn about upcoming opportunities in sustainable industries, and which skills employers are seeking. Learn how clean technology can fuel the next generation of green jobs.” Source: Better Living Show

For more information, read the official Green Jobs Fair press release (PDF).

After the job fair is over, stick around and visit the Energy Trust Good Energy House, take your kids to a Planet Kids presentation or have a tasty adult beverage at The EcoTini Lounge.  There is no admission fee for the event but parking is $7 per vehicle with a $1 discount for three+ person carpools.

Photo by greenforall.org

Governors envision eco-friendly fuels at I-5 rest stops

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Gov. Chris Gregoire and her counterparts in Oregon and California are considering a plan they hope would help transform Interstate 5 from a freeway ruled by gasoline burners to a haven for eco-friendly cars and trucks.

Seattle Times staff reporter

JIM BATES / THE SEATTLE TIMES

To meet state greenhouse-gas goals, “we will have to tackle transportation,” says state Rep. Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire and her counterparts in Oregon and California are considering a plan they hope would help transform Interstate 5 from a freeway ruled by gasoline burners to a haven for eco-friendly cars and trucks.

The three governors envision a series of alternative fueling stations stretching from the Canadian border to Mexico, creating what has been dubbed a “green freeway.”

As the plan stands, motorists eventually would be able to pull off at I-5 rest stops for more than a cup of coffee and roadside relief: They also would be able to charge, or swap out, their electric-vehicle batteries or fill their tanks with biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen or compressed natural gas.

The idea is drawing opposition from interest groups that say the state-approved stations would compete with nearby private businesses.

But supporters say services for alternative-fuel vehicles are often tough to find near the 1,382-mile interstate. If approved, the project could begin in Washington as early as this coming summer.

It would mark the first time U.S. drivers could travel a long stretch of freeway with easy access to alternative fuel.

“We originally coined it the B.C.-to-Baja green highway,” said Jeff Doyle, director of public-private partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation. “The three states are trying to find out if we can all march forward together.”

The fueling stations and battery swap-out docks would be the first businesses allowed by West Coast states to operate at rest stops, Doyle said. To help companies with their initial costs, they would not be charged rent until they started turning a profit, he said.

The move would need to clear layers of local and federal approval. Supporters say the plan would fit with the nationwide push for green jobs and alternative-energy development, and put the states in line for some of the $15 billion in federal stimulus money dedicated to energy-related programs.

Marty Brown, Gregoire’s legislative liaison, said Gregoire, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski are beginning to figure out how to make the plan work. The three briefly discussed the idea last month during a meeting in Washington, D.C.

Priming investment

Doyle said he has been working with the Oregon and California transportation departments for months in developing a way to “partner with next-generation fuel providers to spur private investment.”

He said Oregon and California are not likely to start on their ends of the project as soon as Washington, which also is looking at setting up alternative-fuel stations at Park-and-Ride lots.

Separately in Olympia, Rep. Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland, is sponsoring a bill that would give businesses a sales-tax exemption to establish battery charging and exchange stations, as well as create the infrastructure to transform the state automobile fleet from gasoline to electric.

“If we expect to ever meet our state greenhouse-gas goals, we will have to tackle transportation,” Eddy said.

Eddy said she is not working with Gregoire and the California and Oregon governors in her efforts, but she said she’d like charging and battery swap-out stations at rest stops by the end of 2015.

Eddy said her proposal, House Bill 1481, is likely to be voted out of the House in coming days.

Business opposition

Jim Whitty, manager of the Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding office in Oregon, said his state wants to push forward with the rest-stop fueling stations but is tied up by opposition from the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) and national gasoline distribution groups.

NATSO contends the stations would draw potential customers from truck stops, hotels, restaurants and other businesses near rest stops.

The owner of a Eugene, Ore., company that works with I-5 tractor-trailer drivers to reduce greenhouse emissions by upgrading their vehicles, remains hopeful for the rest-stop businesses. Sharon Banks, CEO of Cascade Sierra Solutions, said the proposal would appeal to truckers who choose rest areas over truck stops as places to pull off the freeway.

In the Puget Sound region, Susan Fahnestock, who co-owns Bellevue’s Green Car Co., which sells electric, plug-in hybrid and biodiesel vehicles, said the proposal is timely because numerous types of electric cars are hitting the market.

“I think people know this is coming. We have got to start somewhere,” Fahnestock said.

Doyle said he’s slogging through the legalities of getting the federal government to approve commercial development alongside an interstate. He said that if the plan is approved, the rest stops would not resemble some East Coast rest areas that feature fast-food restaurants and souvenir shops.

Doyle said the state wouldn’t want alternative-fuel stations to disrupt rest-area traffic, so contract companies would have to provide small, low-profile setups. Doyle added that rest-stop fueling sites would be self-service and likely to have little or no on-site staffing.

There already are dozens of compressed natural gas, ethanol and biodiesel stations in Washington and Oregon, but the closest hydrogen station is at Humboldt State University in Northern California.

Company interested

Doyle said no contracts for the fuel stations have been signed. But the head of a California-based company that has electric-car service stations in Israel, and is in the midst of expanding to Hawaii, the Bay Area, Australia and Ontario, Canada, has met with Gregoire, Brown said.

The company, Better Place, is led by Shai Agassi, a former Silicon Valley software executive who has been traveling the world touting his vision of a network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

Jeff Miller, who works in global development at Better Place, said that if the company were hired it would build charging stations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and battery switch-out stations at rest areas about every 40 miles along the I-5 corridor. Electric vehicles, he said, have a battery life of about 100 miles.

Better Place’s stations are fully automated and require about five minutes to switch out a battery, which can be less time than it takes to fill up a gas tank, Miller said.

Jennifer Sullivan: 360-236-8267 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Powell’s Bookstore to be Official Bookseller at NLC Green Cities Conference

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Salem-News.com Busienss Report

Powell’s features an e-book option and employs a number of “green initiatives”.

Powell's Bookstore

One of the bookstore locations in Portland, Oregon
Courtesy: powells.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Powell’s Bookstore of Portland, Ore., will be the official bookseller during the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Green Cities Conference at the Oregon Convention Center, April 18-21. New and used books sold at the NLC Bookstore & Powell’s booth will feature green innovations to create more sustainable cities.

In an effort to encourage “green” reading, NLC and Powell’s will be creating an e-book page on Powells.com, where conference attendees can purchase e-books to download to their laptop or electronic reader.

“In providing this e-book option, we are offering our conference participants the ‘greenest’ way to access some of the best books available. We think it’s important to make this conference as green as possible and Powell’s is helping us do that.” said Ken Rosenfeld, NLC program director for the conference. “Not only does this e-book option provide an additional choice for conference attendees, but it reduces pollution and it saves trees.”

Powell’s also employs a number of “green initiatives” within their own business, including using biodiesel fuel for delivery trucks, offering employees subsidies for taking alternative green transportation and bringing environmentally responsible materials and supplies into their facilities.

Customers can also pre-order books on Powells.com for pick-up at the conference, and those who are already Powell’s members can use their membership discount on all purchases made at the conference bookstore.

Author signings with various conference presenters will also be scheduled at the conference bookstore.

Powell’s is an independent bookseller serving the Portland, Oregon, area since 1971, with four general bookstores and two specialty stores. Its flagship store takes up an entire city block, offering 68,000 square feet of used, new, rare, and out-of-print books. Powells.com offers the combined inventory of its six retail locations and five warehouses – approximately four million books in all. The site features exclusive author interviews and essays, as well as a stable of internationally respected book reviewers and content partners.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

For more information about NLC’s Green Cities Conference, please visit NLCGreenCitiesConferenceandExpo.org.

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