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CCEI Praises Introduction of “Micro Lab” Legislation

Following the introduction of the Microlab Technology Commercialization Act of 2014 (MTCA) by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI) issues the following statement: 

“As CCEI and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program noted in Going Local: Connecting the National Labs to their Regions for Innovation and Growth, the Department of Energy’s National Laboratory system is a tremendous resource that currently conducts $12.5 billion in publicly funded R&D annually on a wide range of national issues, including high performance computing, energy innovation and advanced manufacturing. Unfortunately, legacy operating procedures limit the Labs’ ability to successfully transfer technologies from research to market, while also reducing engagement with the regional economies in which they are located. This environment has limited the system’s ability to promote transformative innovation and reduced its overall contributions to U.S. economic growth.


Green 2.0 and Top Environmental Groups Pledge to Reveal Diversity Data

Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, Resource Media & Earthjustice promise to submit organizational diversity numbers by February 2015, Green 2.0 announced at event.

Six of the nation’s top environmental organizations have formally pledged to submit their diversity data by February 2015, it was announced at Green 2.0 and New America Media’s “Breaking the Green Ceiling” Forum Dec. 9. Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, Resource Media and Earthjustice have agreed to submit their diversity data to their GuideStar profiles.


CASE Says Final Ruling on Solar Tariffs Will Cost U.S. Jobs and Raise Panel Prices

Decision conflicts with pledges by U.S. and China to cooperate in fight against global warming

The U.S. Department of Commerce today elected to impose unilateral tariffs on all solar panels assembled in China, including those with solar cells produced in Taiwan, the U.S., or any third country. The scope of the investigation is unprecedented in its reach.


Prominent Chefs Serve Up a Message to Congress: Label GMOs

Tom Colicchio and 700 Chefs demand GMO labelingMore than 700 chefs – including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith and Sam Talbot – are urging members of Congress to support legislation to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods and to oppose efforts to block state GMO labeling laws.

In a petition delivered, authored by Chef Tom Colicchio, the chefs call on Congress to advance legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.


Energy Department Invests More Than $55 Million to Advance Efficient Vehicle Technologies

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil and transition to a clean energy economy, the Energy Department announced more than $55 million for 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. These new projects are aimed at meeting the goals and objectives of the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, as well as improvements in other vehicle technologies such as powertrains, fuel, tires and auxiliary systems.


Groups Bring New Legal Action for Federal Ban of Dangerous Oil Tank Rail Cars

Federal agency refuses to act on hazardous rail cars carrying explosive Bakken crude

Earthjustice on behalf of Sierra Club and ForestEthics challenged the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) denial in November of the groups’ petition for an immediate ban on the most hazardous DOT-111 rail tank cars carrying explosive Bakken crude oil. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)  in 2012 called for an immediate ban on using these tank cars to ship crude oil because they are prone to puncture, spills, and fires in train accidents. Two in three tank cars used to transport crude oil in the US are DOT-111s, yet the DOT has taken no action beyond issuing a safety advisory urging shippers to use the safest tank cars in their fleets to the extent feasible. The legal action today challenges the DOT’s assertion that they have done enough to respond to the imminent hazards posed by oil trains.


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