ELECTRIFYING THE FEDERAL FLEET WITH VEHICLES MADE IN AMERICA BY UNION WORKERS has a problEm

President Biden desires to goose the electrical automobile market by remodeling the federal fleet of 645,000 fossil-fueled autos with EVs. Not simply any EVs, however ones made in America by unionized labor. One drawback: no person who suits that invoice makes them. Whereas Tesla cranked out a number of fashions totaling practically half 1,000,000 EVs in 2020, the corporate’s employees aren’t unionized. And though it’s been unionized since 1937, Normal Motors, which bought simply 20,754 EVs in 2020, did so with greater than 50% foreign-made elements. That doesn’t meet the government-set threshold for a complete automobile being thought of American-made. However, altering over the federal fleet is more likely to take a decade since solely about 60,000 of its autos are changed annually. And by the mid-’20s, GM will presumably be turning out hundreds of thousands of EVs if it expects to meets its 2035 zero-emission objective for its complete manufacturing run of automobiles and lightweight vehicles. And by then, possibly there will likely be a union at Tesla. “Do I feel GM and Tesla will contort to entry a giant U.S. authorities market? Sure I do,” stated Scott Sklar, director of sustainable power on the George Washington College’s Setting & Power Administration Institute. “They observe the cash.”

REPORT CONCLUDES AIR POLLUTION CAN CAUSE PERMANENT VISION LOSS

Science Information reports that the research revealed within the British Journal of Ophthalmology ties an elevated danger of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from air air pollution. Individuals residing within the worst polluted areas have been a minimum of 8% extra more likely to report having the illness, which is progressive and irreversible. The researchers initially obtained information on 115,954 research contributors aged 40-69 who had no eye issues when the research received underway in 2006. In follow-ups of 52,602 contributors in 2009 and 2012, they discovered structural adjustments in retina thickness and/or the variety of gentle receptors current — each indicators of AMD. Officers additionally gathered statistics on ambient air air pollution, visitors, land use, and topography. “Even comparatively low publicity to air air pollution seems to affect the chance of AMD, suggesting that air air pollution is a crucial modifiable danger issue affecting danger of eye illness for a really giant variety of folks,” stated lead creator Paul Foster of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. “Right here now we have recognized one more well being danger posed by air air pollution, strengthening the proof that enhancing the air we breathe needs to be a key public well being precedence. Our findings counsel that residing in an space with polluted air, significantly superb particulate matter or combustion-related particles that come from highway visitors, might contribute to eye illness,” he stated. AMD is the main explanation for irreversible blindness amongst folks over 50 in high-income nations, with theaffected inhabitants anticipated to achieve 300 million by 2040. Different danger components for AMD embrace smoking and genetic make-up.

REPORTER THROWS SOME SHADE ON COLORADO REP

Dan Gearino, a long-time reporter on clear power now on workers at Inside Local weather Information, ridiculed Rep. Lauren Boebert, the second-worst new member of Congress. Earlier than saying in 2017 that he was withdrawing the USA from the Paris local weather settlement, Donald Trump declared, “I used to be elected to symbolize the residents of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Quickly after President Biden initiated the rejoining course of on his first day in workplace, Boebert mimicked Trump:

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Though they’re in the identical district, Boebert’s residence turf is Rifle, practically 300 miles from Pueblo, and she or he apparently hasn’t spent a lot time there the place nearly all of voters said no to both Donald Trump and her in November. She clearly doesn’t perceive Pueblo. As Gearino writes: 

The Pueblo Metropolis Council voted in 2017 to commit the town to getting one hundred pc of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2035, which supporters stated was a part of a broader embrace of unpolluted power.

The utility Xcel Power helps to guide the transition with a plan introduced in 2018 to shut 660 megawatts at a coal-fired energy plant in Pueblo and construct 650 megawatts of solar energy and 225 megawatts of battery storage tasks, all situated within the metropolis or near it.

YOSEMITE REOPENS MONDAY IN WAKE OF WINDS KNOCKING DOWN 15 GIANT SEQUOIAS

In the worst storm in practically a quarter-century, 100 mph winds toppled 15 large sequoia timber within the Mariposa Grove of Yosemite Nationwide Park in California, up from the 2 authorities had beforehand introduced had fallen. Scott Gediman, a park spokesman, stated the harm to the park is within the “hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.” Not one of the most iconic timber, just like the Grizzly Big—a 2,700-year-old specimen that’s the twenty fifth largest residing large sequoia weighing an estimated 2 million kilos—have been introduced down by the storm, which additionally smashed 20 worker houses and automobiles and customer cabin,s and brought on harm to different park services. Unhappy because the lack of these timber could also be, Gediman stated, “Yosemite Nationwide Park by definition is a wild place. Pure occurrences like fires, floods, rockfalls, and wind occasions occur. That’s a part of the story of the park. We’re grateful that no person received damage. It’s our hope we’ll see new timber germinate. It’s a part of the ever-changing nature of the park.” Yosemite officers anticipate to reopen the park on Monday. The storm wasn’t the one affliction taking out large sequoias lately. In August, lightning-sparked fires burned  lots of of the timber in about 20 groves in Sequoia Nationwide Forest.

SHARK POPULATION HAS DWINDLED BY 71% OVER THE PAST HALF CENTURY

Sharks are on the prime of the meals chain, a predator obligatory for the well being of the oceans’ different species. However a research revealed within the journal Nature says their quantity has fallen by practically three-fourths for the reason that Nineteen Seventies. Ray populations are additionally falling. The blame, the authors say, goes largely to overfishing, and whereas they’re not there but, the prospect of some shark species going extinct deeply worries scientists. A type of is Nicholas Dulvy, a professor at Simon Fraser College in British Columbia. “Overfishing of oceanic sharks and rays jeopardizes the well being of complete ocean ecosystems in addition to meals safety for a few of the world’s poorest nations,” he stated. The researchers scrutinized 31 oceanic species of sharks and rays. Of those, the Worldwide Union of Conservation of Nature classifies 24 as threatened. Three of them—the oceanic whitetip shark, the scalloped hammerhead shark, and the nice hammerhead shark—are listed as critically endangered. This presents a dark image, however scientific information like that included within the research can assist shark and ray populations to recuperate. Certainly, stated Sonja Fordham, president of Shark Advocates Worldwide, nice white sharks are already recovering due to information that influenced a downward adjustment in fishing limits. “Comparatively easy safeguards can assist to avoid wasting sharks and rays, however time is working out,” Fordham stated. “We urgently want conservation motion throughout the globe to stop myriad unfavourable penalties and safe a brighter future for these extraordinary, irreplaceable animals.”

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New report says U.S. ELECTRICITY GRID AND POLICIES GOVERNING IT NEED AN OVERHAUL

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A brand new 92-page report from the Individuals for a Clear Power Grid—Planning for the Futureconcludes that the insurance policies controlling the U.S. transmission grid planning and funding are outdated and unable to assist the large growth of unpolluted power being pushed by local weather hawks. With all the electrical automobiles coming and the push for net-zero emissions from the ability sector, ACEG isn’t the only critic pondering how the grid will be upgraded to fulfill the duty. The authors, who’ve been pushing for adjustments within the grid and insurance policies governing it for years, say the Federal Power Regulatory Fee ought to implement a brand new paradigm to lure traders to sink lots of of billions of {dollars} into a brand new grid for the twenty first Century. They write:

Quite a few research, in addition to the experiences of regional planning entities, reveal that extra strong interregional infrastructure is required to make sure system resilience and reliability, and would yield substantial client advantages and assist guarantee reasonably priced charges for patrons if constructed. The mixture of an growing older transmission system and a altering useful resource combine heighten the necessity for proactive planning of regional and inter-regional transmission infrastructure. Whereas a considerable amount of transmission infrastructure inbuilt the Sixties and 70s is due for substitute, merely rebuilding this infrastructure is inefficient in gentle of a altering useful resource combine and shifting demand patterns. By all accounts,wind and photo voltaic assets will grow to be a a lot bigger portion of the useful resource combine sooner or later, and electrification of transportation and buildings will considerably enhance demand. These tendencies enlarge the advantages of constructing giant regional and inter-regional transmission infrastructure to attach useful resource wealthy areas with load facilities.

“Not solely sure, however hell sure,” James Hoecker, FERC chairman from 1997 to 2001, stated of the necessity for main new transmission funding in a Wednesday webinar introducing the report. Past the necessity to take in the nation’s rising share of wind and solar energy, the grid will seemingly “have to double in dimension to assist the electrification of transportation, warmth and different industrial processes,” because the nation decarbonizes the U.S. economic system. “There is no such thing as a local weather plan that’s severe if it doesn’t anticipate a big regional transmission improve,” Pat Wooden III, CEO of Hunt Power Community and FERC chair from 2001 to 2005, stated on the occasion.  

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