States approve green-energy measures
Voters in Missouri and Colorado voice approval for clean/renewable energy issues.
The Missouri Clean Energy Initiative —also known as Proposition C—passed overwhelmingly at the polls. The measure requires the state's investor-owned utilities to draw on renewable energy for 15% of their electricity supply by 2021.
Proposition C garnered approval from 66% of the state's voters, passing in every county but one. The statutory ballot measure defines renewable energy as wind power, solar thermal power, solar photovoltaic power, small hydropower, a variety of biomass energy sources, and fuel cells powered by hydrogen from renewable energy sources; it also allows the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources to designate new renewable energy sources. The measure requires at least 2% of the requirement to be met with solar energy, and it requires the utilities to offer their retail customers rebates of $2 per watt for customer-owned solar power systems, up to a limit of $50,000.
In addition, voters in Boulder County, Colo., approved a ballot issue for the county to provide financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to residential and commercial properties. Modeled on a similar measure adopted by Berkeley, Calif., Boulder County Ballot Issue 1A passed easily, with unofficial results showing 63.63% of voters approving the measure. It allows Boulder County to issue up to $40 million in special assessment bonds to finance the clean energy improvements.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey