Financial Times: Apple Reveals Plans for Self-Driving Car
Apple has for the first time publicly acknowledged its plans to develop self-driving cars, with a letter that urges the U.S. highways regulator to promote “fair competition” between newcomers to the automotive industry and traditional manufacturers.
In an unusually direct statement accompanying the letter, an Apple spokesperson confirmed the company's work on autonomous systems that could be used to transform “the future of transportation.”
Apple’s letter touts the “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles,” which it described as a life-saving technology, potentially preventing millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year.
New York Times: Army Blocks Drilling of Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a major victory on Sunday in its battle to block an oil pipeline being built near its reservation when the Department of the Army announced that it would not allow the pipeline to be drilled under a dammed section of the Missouri River.
The Army said it would look for alternative routes for the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Construction of the route a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation has become a global flash point for environmental and indigenous activism, drawing thousands of people out here to a sprawling prairie camp of tents, tepees and yurts.
“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement. The move could presage a lengthy environmental review that has the potential to block the pipeline’s construction for months or years.
McClatchy: Texan Who Could Lead Trump’s EPA Wants to End Renewable Energy Subsidies
A Texan under consideration to lead the Environmental Protection Agency wants to end subsidies for renewable energy and said it’s not clear how much human activity contributes to global warming.
Kathleen Hartnett White, the head of a conservative Texas think tank, confirmed to McClatchy that she is being considered to lead the EPA after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday.
The EPA is one of Trump’s biggest targets, and White, whose record shows an interest in cutting regulations, said she is under official consideration for the agency’s top job.
Yale Environment 360: For European Wind Industry, Offshore Projects Are Booming
Until 2011, between 5 percent and 10 percent of newly installed wind energy capacity in Europe was offshore. Last year, almost every third new wind turbine went up offshore. That growth has helped boost the share of wind energy in the European Union’s electricity supply from 2 percent in the year 2000 to 12 percent today, according to Wind Europe, a business advocacy group.
New investments for offshore projects totaled $15.5 billion in the first half of 2016 alone, according to Wind Europe, and newly installed offshore wind energy capacity will double to 3.7 gigawatts this year compared to 2015. More than 3,300 grid-connected turbines now exist in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Irish Sea, and 114 new wind turbines were linked to the grid in European waters in the first half of this year alone. This is in stark contrast to the U.S. and Asia, where offshore wind use is only just getting started.
NewsFactor: LinkedIn Opens Building Company Says Is 'Net Zero Energy'
LinkedIn unveiled what the company says is its first "net zero energy" building at its Sunnyvale campus. The social networking company held a grand opening to showcase the building at 880 W. Maude Ave. Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks, his fellow council members and city staffers were on hand for the tour.
The 40,000-square-foot building generates renewable energy onsite to power all of its energy needs, including light, heat, cooling and appliances. The building has 778 solar panels, 20 skylights, LEDs with sensors and 16 electric-vehicle charging stations with cords long enough to reach adjacent parking spaces.