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  • CALPIRG TO CPUC: UTILITIES SHOULD PAY CONSUMERS FAIRLY FOR THEIR ROOFTOP SOLAR | CALPIRG Students
    rooftops all across the state But in order to achieve this vision consumers need to be paid fairly for the solar electricity generated on their home That is why I am here on behalf of the CALPIRG student chapters and the more than 7 000 students who signed our petition urging this Commission to protect net metering reject new fees and continue to expand solar access and affordability to all Californians Nicole Walter UC Berkeley CALPIRG Chapter Chair California Go Solar Energy About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Stopping Global Warming California Water Watch Don t Get Ripped Off Hunger and Homelessness Protect Our Beautiful Places New Voters Project Protect Public Health 21st Century Transportation Make Textbooks Affordable Newsroom Latest Updates Blog PIRG in the News News Releases Reports Donate Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Blog

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/blogs/ca/calpirg-cpuc-utilities-should-pay-consumers-fairly-their-rooftop-solar (2016-04-29)
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  • Coalition Delivers 130,000+ Signatures to CPUC In Support of California’s Successful Solar Net Metering Program | CALPIRG Students
    homes in order to achieve this vision said Nicole Walter a campus organizer at the University of California Berkeley with the California Public Interest Research Group CALPIRG The American Lung Association in California supports net metering to expand rooftop solar opportunities for renters and disadvantaged communities said Olivia Gertz Diaz Lapham President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California Expanding solar power generation will build a cleaner healthier energy future for all Californians Rooftop solar is also making California a national leader in climate action and the clean energy economy The utility proposals threaten the jobs of more than 54 000 people employed by the solar industry statewide which is more than the state s five largest utilities combined These jobs are inherently local and create real opportunity for California workers to be part of a growing industry that is also making the world a better place Net metering can be a win win for the solar industry and our members coming from local low income communities said Diego Hernandez of Laborers Local 261 which organized over a dozen members alongside Laborers Local 304 for a May 21 CPUC rally in support of net metering Up and down the state we ve seen solar create good paying clean jobs for our members and our training facilities are skilling up our members accordingly In place in 44 states net metering is a policy that fairly credits solar consumers for the surplus electricity they export to the grid The program has helped fuel the transformational growth of solar and democratization of energy across California A diverse and growing set of stakeholders is urging the CPUC to protect net metering in order to continue to expand solar access to more Californians The CPUC is expected to determine the fate of net metering by the end of the year The 130 000 petitions were gathered from the general public and delivered to the CPUC today via several boxes and wheelbarrows A diverse group of organizations participated in the petition drive including 350 Bay Area California Interfaith Power Light California League of Conservation Voters CALPIRG Students CalSEIA CEJA Courage Campaign CREDO Action Environment California Research Policy Center Greenpeace Sierra Club SolarCity Sunrun and Vote Solar Additional Quotes After the signing of AB 693 Eggman which creates the nation s largest solar program for low income renters it s more important than ever to ensure our rooftop solar programs support our state s climate and clean energy goals and ensure access to solar for all Weakening rooftop solar programs will only give utilities the power to build more dirty energy which will hurt our climate health and economy said Strela Cervas co director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance CEJA CEJA strongly urges the California Public Utilities Commission to continue to make net metering available to build upon California s thriving rooftop solar industry that will help more low income families and communities of color participate in and benefit from a growing equitable energy

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/news/ca/coalition-delivers-130000-signatures-cpuc-support-california%E2%80%99s-successful-solar-net-metering (2016-04-29)
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  • DURBIN, FRANKEN, KING INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO HELP MAKE COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS MORE AFFORDABLE | CALPIRG Students
    money a win win for their future When buying a textbook becomes a barrier to education you know something has to be changed and that s exactly what we want to achieve with the Affordable College Textbook Act said Hinojosa I have always strived to make college more accessible and more affordable for students and this legislation will lessen the high cost of an important commodity for learning while helping students save money In my district students at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Boulder spend thousands of dollars just on college textbooks and the costs keep going up said Polis Higher education ought to be accessible and affordable for everyone and Congress has a responsibility to help lower that cost however we can That s why I m proud to co lead the Affordable College Textbooks Act Improving access to open textbooks is an innovative way to save students hundreds of dollars a semester and it s an important step toward lowering the overall price tag on a college degree Textbook costs are one of the most overlooked costs of going to college but they can be substantial and can be a barrier to attaining a college education According to College Board the average student budget for college books and supplies during the 2014 2015 academic year was 1 225 For students and families that are already struggling to afford a college education it s not just an expensive textbook anymore it s a serious barrier said Ethan Senack Higher Education Advocate at U S PIRG For decades publishers have capitalized on their captive market This bill restores some competition to an industry where just a handful of publishing giants have managed to prevent it saving students a ton of money and potentially improving student outcomes at the same time It s a no brainer Today s legislation expands on the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act which contained provisions from Durbin s College Textbook Affordability Act that aimed to make more information available to students looking to manage college textbook costs Durbin introduced his bill after learning of troubling practices by the publishing industry to create new textbook editions with little new content to drive up costs and bundle additional and often unwanted materials to required texts at students expense The 2008 law required textbook publishers to disclose to faculty the cost of a textbooks to their students required schools to publish textbook information in course catalogues when practicable and required publishers to offer unbundled supplemental materials so students had choices The provisions took effect on July 1 2010 While a June 2013 GAO Report required by the law found that students had more information and publishers and schools were generally complying with the new disclosure requirements it also found that the price of textbooks had continued to rise Textbook prices are simply unaffordable and have become a barrier to academic success for too many students said Nicole Allen Director of Open Education for SPARC an alliance

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/news/sp/durbin-franken-king-introduce-legislation-help-make-college-textbooks-more-affordable (2016-04-29)
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  • U.S. Department of Education Announces First-Ever Open Education Adviser Position | CALPIRG Students
    the Department will greatly enhance our ability to support states and districts as they move to using openly licensed learning resources said Richard Culatta Director of OET The use of openly licensed resources not only allows states and districts to adapt and modify materials to meet student needs but also frees up funding to support the transition to digital learning Marcinek has worked on education technology and digital transitions in school districts in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and he s done extensive research on how to integrate technology at scale in school districts to create a system that is sustainable and equitable for all students The announcements were made during a visit to Williamsfield Community School District in Illinois where U S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stopped as part of his annual back to school bus tour The Williamsfield event included the previewing of 50 videos that capture best practices of effective district leaders who use education technology in their schools The videos can serve as professional learning for district leaders and others President Obama s ConnectED Initiative is a call to connect 99 percent of schools across the country to broadband Internet within five years As part of that work OET created a Future Ready Pledge to help school districts develop a culture where teachers harness the power of technology to personalize learning and provide quality digital content that fosters student inquiry and creativity So far committed Future Ready Leaders are approaching 2000 signatures About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Stopping Global Warming California Water Watch

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/news/sp/us-department-education-announces-first-ever-open-education-adviser-position (2016-04-29)
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  • Putting a Dent in College Costs With Open-Source Textbooks | CALPIRG Students
    peer reviewed open source textbooks available to professors and students to help keep a lid on the cost of textbooks The University of Minnesota s Open Textbook Library has more than 160 titles and OpenStax College a foundation funded nonprofit affiliated with Rice University offers a dozen titles mainly focused on widely offered introductory courses with more in production Jennifer Swain 21 a student at South Florida State College said her instructor for a physics class used an open source textbook College Physics from OpenStax She likes that she can download it onto an app on her iPad that allows her to highlight sections of text just as she could in a traditional textbook but this one is free whereas a comparable hard copy physics text would cost about 250 A classmate Ashley Edmonson 24 said it s convenient to access the textbook from any device so she doesn t have to lug around another tome They re really hard to carry she said Students can also lease digital textbooks to avoid carrying a heavy backpack but students must pay for access which typically expires after a certain period of time David Ernst chief information officer at the University of Minnesota s College of Education and Human Development and the creator of the Open Textbook Library said professors busy with teaching and research responsibilities often don t know that quality open source textbooks are available He travels to universities giving presentations about the burden of textbook costs on students and how open source books can help afterward professors often adopt an open source text They re the ones who decide what books to use he said It s about awareness Here are some questions about textbook costs Q How can I find out if my school uses open source textbooks A You can ask the instructor if using an open source textbook is an option or check with your school library some schools participate in an open source network Ideally you should use the specific textbook your professor assigns But if you re really tight on cash you might ask if using a comparable open source book is acceptable said Nicole Allen director of Open Education at the Scholarly Publishing Academic Resources Coalition Q Are there any other lower cost options if an open source text isn t available A There are now many online textbook shopping sites available like Chegg com and Amazon so you can compare prices or see if there s a cheaper used version of a required book available A tool called Occupy the Bookstore available as an extension on the Chrome browser overlays on the website of some campus bookstore websites and shows you the price charged by other sellers for the same book Q How can I determine whether buying or renting traditional textbooks is a better deal A In general renting requires less cash upfront and can make sense if it s for a single semester course buying may be best if it

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/sp/putting-dent-college-costs-open-source-textbooks (2016-04-29)
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  • Event Features Electric Vehicles | CALPIRG Students
    toy electric car races and a chance to tour the university s 30 passenger electric trolley Guest speakers will include Riverside City Councilman Mike Gardner Phil Rosentrater of Riverside County s Economic Development Agency Information 310 621 8935 Related Chapter CALPIRG at UC Riverside About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Stopping Global Warming California Water Watch Don t Get Ripped Off Hunger and Homelessness Protect Our Beautiful Places New Voters Project Protect Public Health 21st Century Transportation Make Textbooks Affordable Newsroom Latest Updates Blog PIRG in the News News Releases Reports Donate Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Media Hits by Campaign 21st Century Transportation Sustainable U Great Pacific Cleanup Make Textbooks Affordable Stop Subsidizing Obesity Affordable Higher Education Make Textbooks Affordable Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project California Go Solar Ban Fracking Newsroom Blog Media Hits

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/event-features-electric-vehicles (2016-04-29)
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  • Measure P Aims to Abolish Corporate Personhood | CALPIRG Students
    the system I think it s an understandable statement he said If the proposal was actually to put this language into the Constitution I would certainly not want this language in the Constitution Cole was dismissive of the bill s second clause which calls for the abolishment of the doctrine that the expenditure of money may be treated as speech If you think about the FSM as one example Cole said you would not want to say that collecting donating and spending are not entitled to First Amendment protection He also raised the question of whether other entities such as nonprofit corporations and unions would be allowed to participate in the political process under the measure s language An effective amendment Cole said should outline a substantive program describing how campaigns should be financed and political expenditures regulated The California State Legislature originally included a similar ballot measure but in August the California Supreme Court removed the measure from the ballot Backers of the measure hope the passage of Measure P will eventually lead to the question reappearing on California s state ballot and eventually on a national scale Joey Ward UC Berkeley sophomore and campaign coordinator for CalPIRG s Reclaiming Democracy campaign last year is optimistic about Measure P s success I d be surprised if it failed he said If there s one thing you can do right now to increase your voice in our democratic system it s to vote yes on this measure Related Chapter CALPIRG at UC Berkeley About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/measure-p-aims-abolish-corporate-personhood (2016-04-29)
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  • Success of Plastic Bag Ban Dependent on Student Commitment | CALPIRG Students
    are two main alternatives to single use plastic bags paper bags and reusable plastic bags According to a 2011 U K environmental study paper bags need to be used three times before they have less of an impact on global warming than their plastic counterparts The same study shows a non woven polypropylene bag which is usually the type of reusable plastic bag handed out by grocery stores for free needs to be used eleven times for it to have less of an impact So that means that California residents have to commit to using the bags at least that many times This especially applies to UCLA students whose chapter of consumer advocacy group CALPIRG lobbied to institute the plastic bag ban in Los Angeles acquiring over 6000 signatures on a petition Westwood chains offer paper bags for ten cents but we shouldn t use them and if by some accident we must they should be saved for reuse at least another two times Reusable plastic bags should be kept and used for as many times as they re still functional and we shouldn t buy more of them than we need for a single shopping trip There are even more sustainable alternatives to these two choices which students and all California residents should take into consideration Nathan Weaver the oceans advocate for Environment California a statewide environmental advocacy organization said that canvas bags are the best alternative While they are usually more expensive around 5 10 per bag the cloth is durable and can last for decades meaning that people who choose these bags are able to use them for longer periods of time At UCLA we ve been dealing with a plastic bag ban for nearly a year But now that city wide bans have given way to

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/success-plastic-bag-ban-dependent-student-commitment (2016-04-29)
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