Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

USDA Expands StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Build Rural Economies

USDA Secretary Vilsack announced an expansion of the USDA StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to address chronic rural poverty in 32 identified counties in Oklahoma and the entire island of Puerto Rico. Today's announcement brings StrikeForce assistance to 880 counties, parishes, colonias, boroughs and tribal reservations across 21 states and Puerto Rico.

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NRDC Action Fund Launches Ad Marking Mitch McConnell's First 100 Days, Unveils Website Showing Congressional Villains and Heroes on Climate & Clean Air

As Mitch McConnell marks his first 100 days as Senate majority leader, the NRDC Action Fund unleashed an ad blasting him for standing with “dirty polluters,” and introduced a first-of-its-kind website enabling users to track dirty votes by members of Congress and campaign contributions from polluting industries.

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USDA Partners with University of Kentucky to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center

Investment Continues Administration's Commitment to Address Hunger and Poverty in Rural America

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky-Lexington officials to announce the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The Center will use cutting-edge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties. Currently, about 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas, and children are one of the most vulnerable groups living in rural areas.

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Five Facilities in Kentucky among 70 Top Performing Energy Star Certified Manufacturing Plants in 29 States

Five Facilities in Kentucky among 70 Top Performing Energy Star Certified Manufacturing Plants in 29 States   Across the country, Energy Star manufacturing plants are leading their industries by saving energy and money, combating climate change

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 70 manufacturing plants have achieved Energy Star certification for their superior energy performance in 2014. Together, these manufacturing plants saved a record amount of energy, cut their energy bills by $725 million, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8 million metric tons –equivalent to the annual total energy use of more than 650,000 households. From implementing corporate energy management programs to implementing energy efficiency projects, there are many ways plants can save energy with EPA’s Energy Star program.   “Energy Star certified manufacturing plants are leading their industries by advancing energy efficiency and making cost-saving improvements while combating climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through their work with EPA, the 2014 Energy Star manufacturing plants are demonstrating that making sustainability and energy efficiency improvements is a smart business decision.” Energy Star certified plants are independently verified on an annual basis to have reached the top 25 percent of energy performance for their industries nationwide. Among these are plants from the auto assembly, cement manufacturing, corn refining, food processing, glass manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and petroleum refining industries. Seven are certified for the first time: • ConAgra Foods’ American Falls, Idaho frozen fried potato processing plant; • ConAgra Foods’ Ogden, Utah cookie and cracker baking plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Martinsburg, W.Va. cement manufacturing plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Nazareth, Pa. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Glen Falls, N.Y. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Leeds, Ala. cement manufacturing plant; and • Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Illinois Refining Division petroleum refinery.

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Fully Funded: What’s Next for Rooibee Red Tea, The Louisville Beverage Startup

Rooibee Red Tea recently finished a successful funding round on CircleUp, raising an impressive two million dollars in growth funding. They also landed a co-packer in the process. “He was on board immediately,” says Heather Howell, Rooibee Red’s CEO, says of their new production partner. “He told me he’s been buying Rooibee Red at Giant Eagle for years. It’s amazing, I feel like I met my match.”

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Approval of Kentucky Solar Project

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a 10-megawatt solar project proposed by Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) that will be located at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. This project, expected to go online in 2016, will become the Commonwealth’s largest solar facility and appears to be the first utility-scale renewable energy project in the state (not counting “renewable” biomass).

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