Headline News

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  • President Obama signed a law Tuesday to prevent U.S. airlines from contributing to a European carbon-trading scheme, but negotiations for a global compromise will continue at a branch of the United Nations.

    USA Today
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    Last week I wrote about two companies that are racing to be first in commercial-scale production of motor fuel from nonfood sources. A large group of other companies is pursuing various other strategies, one or two steps behind. One of those companies is planning to use algae....SEE Algae’s solution is a silo that is 16 feet tall and has a volume of 177 cubic feet. Sunlight is directed all over the inside of the silo by optical fiber technology. Because the light is coming from multiple directions, the hardware can produce algae at a density up to 20 times greater than can be generated on a pond...

    New York Times
  • The feat of quickly restoring New York’s transportation network afterHurricane Sandy has a substantial corollary cost: about $5 billion to rebuild what was damaged....“Even FEMA will tell you, don’t replace in kind if you can replace and harden and improve,” Thomas F. Prendergast, the president of New York City Transit, said on Tuesday, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “And they’re willing to pay for that cost.”

    New York Times
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    A low-fare express bus company that has found success on the East Coast and in the Midwest will announce Wednesday that it is taking a second crack at the car-loving California market.

    SF Chronicle
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    A team of Japanese researchers are hoping to use a version of everybody’s favorite non-stick material to help the aviation industry avoid the deadly problem of in-flight icing. The goal of the research is to create a substance that can be applied to an airplane’s paint to repel the super-cooled water that leads to the issue.

  • Stung by a judge's ruling, opponents of California's proposed high-speed rail route between Merced and Fresno are reassessing their legal strategy -- but not their resolve. "We're not going to give up; we're not going to let these guys just roll over us," said Kole Upton, a Chowchilla farmer and member of two groups that sought to stop work by the California High-Speed Rail Authority until their lawsuit is heard.

    Merced Sun-Star
  • ...Officials in Burbank, Palmdale, Los Angeles and Santa Clarita have asked the High-Speed Rail Authority to consider alternative routes, but few have opposed the plans altogether. Palmdale officials said they would consider suing the rail authority if the train does not go through their city.

  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica said today he's accepted his party's ruling that he not get another term at the panel's helm, paving the way for Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster to take the gavel in the 113th Congress.

  • Baby boomers went from “fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes her T-Bird away” to become the generation that embraced the idea of the multicar family, greatly increasing the number of automobiles on the road in the United States. But as this large generation heads into the retirement years and reduces its driving, the nature of the country’s transportation system may see more significant change, according to a study by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

    New York Times
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    Cars are getting smarter and beginning to react on their own, but the gray matter manning the helm is still the vehicle’s Achilles heal. So to really get inside a driver’s head, automakers are going through their faces, analyzing expressions and muscle movements to determine whether the person at the wheel is too distracted, too tired or even too angry to safely control their ride.