Reuters: Toyota Sharpens Focus on Electric Cars Through New In-House Unit

Toyota Motor Corp. is setting up a new in-house unit to develop electric cars, offering its strongest endorsement yet of a technology it has not embraced wholly, as take-up of a rival technology it pioneered remains slow.

Japan's biggest automaker said on Thursday it will launch next month a unit that will start with four persons and be responsible for planning a strategy for developing and marketing electric cars to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations.

The unit will expand by drawing upon engineers, designers and other personnel from various sections of the company as needed.

Breakthrough Institute: Trump and Ecomodernism

Back in 2004, when Michael Shellenberger and I wrote “The Death of Environmentalism,” we argued that environmentalism was failing because it had become a special interest. Environmentalists had constructed an interest called “the environment” and then advocated for it in the same way that the insurance industry or the auto industry or the labor movement advocated for its interests.

That insight is all the more important today. Trump may build better roads and airports, and the trains, as the old saw goes, might run on time. He might even lead a nuclear renaissance. But no amount of clean energy or infrastructure is worth forfeiting what remains of our civic and democratic culture.

Further, it is difficult to imagine a democratic path toward an ecomodern future that does not successfully address the twin challenges of immigration and multiculturalism on the one hand and deindustrialization on the other. These challenges are bedeviling advanced developed economies all over the world and represent the underlying crisis of the post-industrial economy and polity.  Democracy, civil society, and the environment all demand that we not retreat back to our silos to advocate for the narrow technical, regulatory, and bureaucratic solutions in which we have become expert.

Midwest Energy News: FirstEnergy Continues Push to Have Ratepayers Prop Up Its Credit Rating

In addition to recent moves to seek re-regulation to limit competition in Ohio’s electricity markets and to back out of a major contract for half a million customers, FirstEnergy told state regulators this week that more than $200 million in annual charges wasn’t nearly enough to prop up the company’s credit rating.

“It can hardly be disputed that the Companies and their corporate parent face a challenging future,” FirstEnergy’s filing said. “They have credit ratings at or near the bottom of the investment grade range.”

Critics say FirstEnergy’s dilemma stems from bad business decisions that consumers should not have to pay for.

Jalopnik: Trump Takes Credit for Keeping Lincoln Plant in America That Wasn’t Going to Leave

Barely a week after his election and two months from even taking office, President-elect Donald J. Trump is already making America great again by keeping American jobs in America. You know it’s true because he told us so on Twitter! There tonight, Trump bragged of negotiating with Ford to keep a Lincoln plant from moving from Kentucky to Mexico. Problem is, he’s full of shit, as always. These plants -- there’s two of them -- were never going to Mexico.

Windpower Offshore: Denmark Agrees PSO Deal

The government has finally agreed on a deal in the long-running dispute over the public service obligation (PSO) support system, paving the way for the 350 MW near-shore and 600 MW Kriegers Flak offshore wind projects.

The PSO will be phased out gradually between 2017-2022, providing long-term stability for the projects' developer, Vattenfall.

"The agreement creates certainty about the financing of Denmark's green transition [and] strengthens the competitiveness of Danish industry, giving the Danes a cheaper electricity bill and [paving] the way for using more green power in Danish society," the Danish energy ministry said.