electric charging station

Settlements for Company Sins Can No Longer Aid Other Projects, Sessions Says
The attorney general signed an order this week to end the practice of requiring corporate wrongdoers to make payments to outside groups or causes.
By Tatiana Schlossberg and Hiroko Tabuchi

Another example of the trump administration doing everything it can to ignore the environment, including a reasonable method to repair environmental damage.

However, this article is another example of the New York Times turning away from environmental concerns towards the right. Language from the article that suggests an emerging bias toward the right when it comes to climate or the environment:

When companies settle claims of wrongdoing, they are often compelled to pay for environmental or community development projects as well as pay fines and direct compensation to victims. Sometimes the third-party payments are only marginally related to the damages caused by the company’s actions.

To settle claims from the Gulf oil spill, BP was required to spend billions on coastal restoration projects that were not directly related to spill damage. Volkswagen is financing electric vehicle charging stations under its settlement of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Duke Energy paid for soil restoration on federal land as part of its compensation for air pollution violations at some of its power plants in North Carolina.

Is the New York Times giving these three examples of settlements that were not related to the damages that led to the litigation in the first place? Is the journalist who wrote the story telling us that BP’s coastal restoration order was only “marginally related” to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Or that Volkswagen’s funding of electric charging stations for vehicles is only “marginally related” to the excess amount of diesel fumes its vehicles illegally puked into the air? Or that Duke Energy’s pollution from its coal plants didn’t adversely affect adjoining land, and is therefore only “marginally related?” I don’t think so. I see a direct cause of an environmental problem by the sinner, and a settlement remedy directly related to mitigation of that damage.


Transit Explorer Bus Prototype, 2016. Having been shown as a scale model earlier this year, China’s TEB was launched in Qinhuangdao this week. The massive high-riding bus is powered by battery packs that are charged by electric stations installed along the vehicle’s route. TEB’s pilot project will run for the remainder of the Chinese summer.

Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton 'Sold Fracking to the World'
Nothing illustrates the primary difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton better than the following Huffington Post article by Brad Johnson titled On Eve of Caucuses, Clinton Rakes in F...

There is a an important reason why Climate Watch endorses Bernie Sanders for President.  While important, for sure, it is not his positions on minimum wage, college tuition rates, foreign wars, or single payer healthcare.  Climate Watch feels the Bern because he is the only candidate in either party who acknowledges that climate change is the number one threat facing the world, and the United States of America.

Among other things, Sanders would ban Arctic oil drilling, ban offshore oil drilling, ban fracking for natural gas, stop exports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil and put a moratorium on nuclear power plant license renewals in the United States.

Sanders also proposes hefty investments in several clean energy sources, including solar. He seeks to increase fuel economy standards for automobiles, build electric vehicle charging stations, invest in a “state-of-the-art” rail system and make U.S. cities more walkable.

Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton attended a gala held by a major fracking investor a week before the Iowa caucus.  Additionally: 

According toReuters, “the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative have accepted large donations from major energy companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron.” Clinton’s foundations also accepted money from an office of the Canadian government linked to promotingKeystone XL. 

Under her leadership, the State Department worked closely with energy companies to spread fracking around the globe – part of a broader push to fight climate change, boost global energy supply, and undercut the power of adversaries such as Russia that use their energy resources as a cudgel.

It is simple enough - on the most important issue in the world - the issue of Climate Change, Hillary has been consistently wrong, and Bernie has been consistently right. 

Water-Based Battery Could Extend Electric Car Range

by GE Reports

Imagine a brave new world where an affordable family electric vehicle (EV) could cover the distance between New York City and Washington, D.C., on a single battery charge. It remains a fantasy, but perhaps not for long. Scientists at GE Global Research and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing a new kind of water-based “flow” battery for EVs that could achieve this driving range and go beyond it.

Grigorii Soloveichik, who leads the project at GRC and serves as the director of the GE-led and Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center, says that the batteries could be 75 percent cheaper than those available on the market today and might also multiply the current EV driving range. “The DOE wants a battery that can power a car for 240 miles,” he says. “We think we can exceed that goal.”

Keep reading

Can a Robust Charging Station Network Root Electric Vehicle Culture in Estonia?

by Morgen E. Peck

“If you build it, they will come.”

In many ways, the future of electric vehicles depends on the validity of this Hollywood catch phrase. It worked well enough in Field of Dreams, when Kevin Costner’s character wanted to lure a team of spectral baseball players to his razed cornfield in Iowa. But will building a network of fast electric charging stations lure drivers away from the wonders of the internal combustion engine? Will people really start buying electric cars? Estonia is about to find out. Last month, it became the first country to install a full network of such stations.

“Yes, we can say that Estonia is the first one who has covered the whole nation. We are a tiny country. But still!” says Jarmo Tuisk, the head of Estonia’s electromobility program known as ELMO.

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Los Angeles Is a Woman

I fly to Los Angeles for a reading and a panel about feminism. I have only been home for three days before I leave. I am tired but kind of numb to it. This is the time of travel. Airports are endless walking, my throat dry, calves burning, and then, suddenly, that burning goes away because I’ve been walking airports so much lately that finally, my body surrenders.

From the sky, in the bright of day, Los Angeles and its surrounding areas sprawl, literally, in every direction, as far as they eye can see. It is overwhelming.

I was full of anxiety about Los Angeles, because you know, it’s Hollywood and beautiful and thin people. How dare I show my face there? But then, at the curb, Los Angeles is a woman I wrap my arms around and lift from the ground and instantly, the anxiety disappears because she is there and I am there and when we are together it is home. 

Los Angeles is traffic, constantly, across highways that are so wide as not to be believed. So many lanes, so many directions, so many people going places. 

The hotel is a gleaming tower of glass filled with tourists and girls in tiny volleyball shorts and people with freshly blow dried hair. The room is modern and antiseptic, just like I like it but there is no time to linger, save for a few moments in the bed, where I am cold, and ask for warmth and am given that warmth.

There is a panel at the Crawford Family Forum, for the local NPR station. I talk with five really intelligent, diverse women about feminism and intersections and creating change. The lights are bright so bright in my face. I keep blinking into them. I hope I don’t sound stupid. I worry over how I hulk compared to the ladies with whom I sit. My thighs are just… everywhere.

And then back in the car, more traffic, to the hotel room. “Stay,” I think but do not say it.

Not yet. 

Los Angeles is the sharp edge of desire, bearable and unbearable at the same time.

I keep forgetting my room number. She reminds me. 

Everywhere, people smoke, their cigarettes clutched between their fingers, exhaling thin streams of smoke with diffidence. “They are smoking to stay skinny,” I remind myself. “This is Los Angeles.”

I go to Santa Monica for lunch with a writer friend who is as delightful as I imagined she would be. I see the beach, the sparkling blue of the ocean, palm trees. Back in the hotel, I stare at the clock and wait and want.

There is a dinner at a restaurant that is not memorable though the company is. The bread basket is very good. Los Angeles is reluctant to offer free refills. In this, the city is very much like New York. Back up to the room, and back in bed for some reason, like we are being taunted, or I am being taunted. There is talking, so much talking about everything and nothing, and then, a loud, strange sound. The building sways and it looks like the floor is undulating and this goes on for a long time and I am worried that this is the end or that maybe my heart is pounding that strongly because of such nearness and joy and want. It is my first earthquake. She is excited to have been there for my first earthquake. “Stay,” I say.

Not yet. 

Saturday is a reading at the Energies conference at USC but before, Los Angeles is a red door that smells sublime and tight jeans and slender, smooth calves. I stare, appreciatively. The edge is so fucking sharp now. And then the conference. The campus is beautiful and well manicured. The weather is perfect. The reading goes well I think, and in the middle of it, another earthquake. I sign books. I meet a writer I have long admired. Many students enjoy skateboarding. 

Los Angeles is seeing Bentleys and Porsches and Mercedes as if they have infested the place. Los Angeles is Prada and Fendi and Michael Kors, glossy, spare stores selling stupidly expensive nonsense that somehow, people buy, and amidst such garish wealth, Los Angeles is homeless people, worn and ragged, pushing shopping carts and holding cardboard signs and sleeping beneath underpasses. “Don’t you see?” I ask. I receive a nod in return. We drive up into the hills and I see the sign, you know, THE SIGN, up close.  We go by landmarks and iconic buildings and throngs of tourists. The stars on the walk of fame are grimy and not all that impressive. Everything feels so crammed together, houses on top of houses, buildings on top of buildings. 

Paramount Studios looks exactly the same in real life as it does on TV. I want to go inside and poke around and see things but I am not famous or important so we simply drive by.

Los Angeles is thin, beautiful women, overly tanned most of the time, standing on corners in gaggles with their heavy purses held closely to their ribs. They smoke and talk and fling their hair about. Their eyes don’t sparkle, I notice, but I am not sure this means anything. 

I have a thing about touching. I don’t let many people touch me. I don’t touch many people. I always feel like I am imposing on someone if I want to be affectionate so I keep my hands to myself and then people think I am cold which I am not. I am just scared and not good at believe I deserve what I want.

I keep wondering if I will see a famous person because Los Angeles is celebrity. As we drive by cars with tinted windows I wonder. I think I see Tom Hanks driving a Prius. There are lots of Priuses. There are things called “Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.” Yoga pants are some kind of uniform. I love driving around. I love the company I am keeping. 

At night you can’t see many stars in Los Angeles, like actual points of light in the sky. I live in the country and we see all the stars here. I am not sure I could give that up. 

I think, “I could live here,” while in Los Angeles, for one reason alone.

Back in the hotel, bottles of wine consumed, Jenga, room service. I am forced to sit on the room couch even though I warn that there is likely bacteria lurking beneath the upholstery. My warning is ignored, as it likely should be. A beloved movie just happens to be on TV and again the bed and walls falling down and sharpness and soft skin and murmurs and secrets opened shyly. I think, “I could push.” I want to push so very bad. I don’t because I know, I hope, when to push and when not to. I have trouble sleeping, mostly because I am thinking about love and being in love and wanting and lines. These are not unpleasant thoughts, not at all. She stays. I finally fall asleep. 

A final morning, a rush to the airport, and traffic yet again. The sprawl must be fed. We say goodbye. I bite my tongue. LAX smells like a very gross toilet–damp and overly warm and so crowded. Getting on the plane, for once, is a relief. A man asks me to switch seats with him so he can sit with his fiancée. I’m a nice person, I am, but there is an entitlement in his request that makes me decline. I like the window. I like to stare down at the world as I fly above. We take off and again I notice the concrete sprawl and think about how soon, I will return. I feel so light inside, so good. 

Los Angeles is a woman.