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Too Good to be True? New WSPA Report on Oil Industry Highlights the Good, Omits the Bad

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) recently released a report that tries to sell the oil and gas industry in California as a big — ­really, really big ­— benefit to the state. The report, sponsored by WSPA and written by economists at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), tallies up jobs associated with the oil and gas industry, the industry’s share of state GDP, and the taxes paid by oil and gas consumers and producers, with the clear implication that the larger the numbers, the better. A closer look tells a different story. Read More

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Automaker Rankings 2014: All are Making Progress, but Hyundai-Kia is the Greenest Automaker

Today, UCS releases our latest Automaker Rankings report, which analyzes new passenger cars and trucks from the 2013 model year. For the first time, our analysis shows that all 8 top-selling automakers have now reduced the global warming emissions from their average vehicle sold when compared to our first report, which looked at 1998 vehicles. In addition, tailpipe emissions of smog-forming pollutants from the average vehicle have decreased by 87% since 2000. This shows that the standards we at UCS have advocated so strongly for are working. Read More

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Don’t Just Google It: UCS Answers Your Questions about EVs

On May 19th Grist reporter Ben Adler held a Google hangout with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz. The discussion with the twitter hashtag #WHClimateChat focused on questions from the audience about the President’s Climate Action Plan. Many of the questions answered by McCarthy and Moniz were about fuel economy and vehicle technologies—topics that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) works on regularly. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Electrifying the Jeepney: How Manila Is Modernizing a Transportation Icon

One of the main options for getting around Manila, Philippines is hopping in the back of a jeepney – a small bus-like Jeep that has become a national symbol of transportation. These vehicles are about to undergo a major shift in how they are fueled thanks to the COMET (City Optimized Managed Electric Transport), a fully electric-powered city shuttle similar to the jeepney. As President Obama recently experienced first-hand, replacing jeepneys with COMETs is a fantastic way to reduce the fuel and emissions associated with this transit option and one innovative way that the Philippines is reducing their oil use. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Workplace Charging: Good for Business and a Chance for Business to do Good

Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming more visible on the nation’s roads, with almost 200,000 sold over the last few years. There are many reasons to switch to an electric vehicle, but many drivers have gone electric to save both time and money getting to and from work. Switching to electricity means fewer (or no) trips to the gas station and often access to HOV (carpool) lanes to speed up a commute. However, many people are still hesitant about purchasing an EV because of “range anxiety,” the fear that their charge will run out leaving them stranded. Read More

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What do Indy Grand Prix Winner Simon Pagenaud and Warwick High School have in common?

While some of you were watching Pagenaud win the Indianapolis Grand Prix on television, there was another (dare I say lesser known, but equally as important) Grand Prix happening at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC: the annual Electric Vehicle Grand Prix! The Electric Vehicle (EV) Grand Prix is a competition between local high school teams who build and race custom EVs by applying what they learn in their science, engineering, and math classes. Despite some wind and rain, it was a successful event with a new reigning champion, Warwick High School. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Creating Order in Chaos, Or Why I Study EV Battery Recycling

Guest Bogger

Linda Gaines, Transportation Systems Analyst
Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne, IL

I spend much of my time trying to create order out of disorganized information. That’s what scientists do. I decided to become a scientist when I understood the beautiful way the Periodic Table organizes the chemical elements. Read More

Categories: Vehicles  

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Half the Oil, Not Crude-by-Rail: Lynchburg Oil-Train Accident is Fifth in Ten Months

The CSX train carrying crude oil that derailed and burned in Lynchburg, Virginia on April 30 was the fifth major oil-train accident in the last ten months. At the same time that the world’s leading climate scientists are warning that we need to leave the vast majority of fossil fuels reserves in the ground, the shale oil boom has dramatically boosted shipments of crude oil by rail, most of it from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to faraway pipelines and refineries. While 9,500 tank cars of crude were carried by North American railways in 2008, that number jumped to nearly 234,000 in 2012 and an estimated 400,000 in 2013. This increase went relatively unnoticed until July of last year, when a catastrophic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec killed more than forty people. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Vehicles  

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#ActOnTrucks: Cutting Truck Fuel Consumption 40% by 2025

As part of his climate action plan, the President called for strengthening fuel economy and global warming emissions standards for the biggest trucks on the road. A worthy goal — but what does it mean in terms of real reductions in global warming emissions and oil consumption? And how do we get there? Read More

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California is Filling Up the Hydrogen Station Map

The California Energy Commission just announced it is funding 28 new hydrogen refueling stations. These new stations, combined with the nine existing stations and 17 stations already under construction, will give California 54 hydrogen stations open to the public by the end of next year. Building a system of hydrogen filling stations is vital to bringing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to California drivers, as you can’t use the vehicles without places to refuel. This expanding network of refueling stations will allow the first large-scale introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the United States. Read More

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