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  • zzflammableice.jpg

    Japan said Tuesday that it had extracted gas from offshore deposits of methane hydrate — sometimes called “flammable ice” — a breakthrough that officials and experts said could be a step toward tapping a promising but still little-understood energy source. The gas, whose extraction from the undersea hydrate was thought to be a world first, could provide an alternative source of energy to known oil and gas reserves....Experts estimate that the carbon found in gas hydrates worldwide totals at least twice the amount of carbon in all of the earth’s other fossil fuels, making it a potential game-changer for energy-poor countries like Japan. 

    New York Times
  • zzautomatic_0004-660.jpg

    Everyone knows that mashing the gas, slamming on the brakes and cruising at high speeds kills fuel economy. And considering the average driver spends upwards of $3,000 a year on gas, you’d think people would be more inclined to change their driving behavior. But it’s like exercise: We all know we should do it, but we don’t have proper motivation. Automatic wants to change that.

    Wired
  • The chief executive of the XpressWest high-speed rail project has responded to a letter from two congressional budget committee members calling for the rejection of a federal loan critical to the project, saying the information they have was “formulated using outdated information and faulty data from an organization with a clear bias.”

    VegasInc.
  • ...In the past 37 years since SamTrans was formed, it has substantially expanded its services--increasing paratransit services in response to a federal mandate, partnering in the Caltrain system and supporting the construction of BART to the airport--all without adding any new revenue. In the years since SamTrans' creation, the bus agency has never sought additional local funding support, even as its financial commitments mounted. But it needs help now.
     

    Mercury News
  • Citing fears that packing their communities with new neighbors will hurt the quality of life — and possibly result in injury, illness or even death — residents protested county plans for affordable housing zoning in unincorporated areas across Marin....Marinwood and Lucas Valley residents balked at plans to rezone Grady Ranch as a site for 30 units per acre, a designation also proposed for sites in Marin City, Strawberry and St. Vincent's-Silveira Ranch lands. Tam Valley residents registered disgust at adding more dwellings to a community in which many agreed traffic is intolerable.

    Marin Independent Journal
  • Kentucky’s 2-year-old ban on texting while driving is nearly impossible to enforce, police and prosecutors say, leading to calls for a stronger law punishing distracted driving....For a police officer, it’s difficult to determine whether a driver is texting illegally or tweeting within the law. And proving that a driver was using a phone in violation of the law can be difficult.

    Courier-Journal
  • zzlondonpollution.png

    The London Air Quality Network at King's College London offers a "nowcast" on its website of pollution levels across the city, updated by the hour using reports from air monitoring stations across the area. The real-time (or almost real-time) visualization is impressively specific, allowing any Londoner to zoom into a view of Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and particle pollution levels practically down to the block.

    American Cities
  • They may not be there just yet, but hybrid vehicles of all types and sizes are gunning for mainstream status...The Toyota Prius hybrid has been on the market for more than a decade and is slowly becoming a household name. Meanwhile, the total number of hybrids for sale is expected to grow from 42 to 73 options by the end of next year.

    E&E News/ClimateWire
  • zzbusfreeway.JPG

    The number of Americans commuting by public transportation rose to the second highest level on record last year, as more people returned to work, according to an annual survey released by the leading U.S. transit association on Monday. The growth in ridership would have been even stronger, if Superstorm Sandy had not stranded people and shut down transit along the East Coast, where public transportation is most concentrated...

    Reuters
  • More women drive than men, but men do more driving. Confusing? A recent study parsed almost 50 years worth of data from the Federal Highway Administration for gender trends in America’s roadway habits.

    Transportation Nation