New York Times: Ford to Invest $1 Billion in Artificial Intelligence Startup

One of the oldest automakers in the United States is making a billion-dollar bet that one day, owning a car may not be a necessity of American life.

Ford Motor announced on Friday its plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup formed in December that is focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology.

The move is Ford’s biggest effort to move into self-driving car research. Argo AI will develop the technology exclusively for Ford at first, and then plans to license its technology to others.

Bloomberg: California Dam Crisis Leaves Power Market Short of Big Hydro

A crippled spillway is threatening to submerge an entire region of northern California after a recent deluge of rain. And the state’s power market may already be feeling it.

As state officials rush to repair an emergency spillway for the Oroville dam -- just 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of San Francisco -- an 819-megawatt hydropower plant, capable of supplying about 600,000 homes with electricity, remains shut there. That’s the equivalent of two natural-gas-fired power plants that will need to kick into gear elsewhere in California to make up for the lost supplies, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Climate Central: Sea Ice Hits Record Lows at Both Poles

Arctic temperatures have finally started to cool off after yet another winter heat wave stunted sea ice growth over the weekend. The repeated bouts of warm weather this season have stunned even seasoned polar researchers, and could push the Arctic to a record-low winter peak for the third year in a row.

Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice set an all-time record low on Monday in a dramatic reversal from the record highs of recent years.

Sea ice at both poles has been expected to decline as the planet heats up from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That trend is clear in the Arctic, where summer sea ice now covers half the area it did in the early 1970s. Sea ice levels in Antarctica are much more variable, though, and scientists are still unraveling the processes that affect it from year to year.

Energy Manager Today: New Mexico Bill Would Require Public Utilities to ‘Shop’ for Energy Prices

New Mexico State Senator Joseph Cervantes (D-District 52) introduced a bill (SB-360) on February 8 that would require publicly owned electric utilities to choose the least-costly alternative when proposing purchases of new energy sources.

“This begins with the recognition that the price for renewable energy is falling dramatically,” Cervantes told The Santa Fe New Mexican on February 10. “So the goal behind this legislation would be to try to encourage a competitive market, which is emerging with renewable energy.”

Currently, Cervantes said, investor-owned utilities “are relying on their own generation of electricity.” His bill would encourage them “to open up and shop for alternatives that may have lower prices from renewable energy and, ideally, pass those savings on to consumers.”

Business Insider: The Auto Industry Is Pushing Trump to Revisit Emissions Regulations

There are plenty of people who aren't happy about the presidency of Donald Trump, but for the most part they don't work in the auto industry.

Carmakers see Trump as about to give them exactly what they want: a rollback in stringent fuel-economy and emissions standards and a big corporate tax cut.

Sure, there's also a border tax on the table, but the auto companies seem to have already baked that into their thinking. And all they have to do is invest in existing factories and make some hires in the Midwest, giving Trump headlines.