Filed under: Green

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Volt misses Top 10 in ranking of ‘green’ cars

The Chevrolet Volt didn’t rank as one of the 10 “greenest” cars in America, coming at no. 13, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual list.

The fully electric Nissan Leaf ranked second among all 2011 model year cars on the list. First place went to the compressed natural gas powered Honda Civic GX. Get the full story »

Chicago OKs contract for 280 car charging stations

A residential electric car charging station in Washington D.C. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty)

By the end of this year, Chicagoans will not only be able to purchase and drive electric vehicles, but also charge those vehicles in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee.

The city of Chicago has awarded a $1.9 million contract to a California firm to install 280 electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs by the end of 2011.

The contract — paid for with equal state and federal dollars though a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — means the city has cleared a major hurdle on the road to widespread electric vehicle adoption. Get the full story »

Report sees 1.5M jobs in new emissions rules

Looming U.S. rules that power utilities face on air pollution could create nearly 1.5 million jobs in the next five years, according to a report.

Engineering, construction and pipefitting are some of the professions that could see a rise in jobs as Environmental Protection Agency rules push utilities to invest in new capacity and pollution controls, said the report “New Jobs — Cleaner Air,” commissioned by Ceres, a coalition of environmentalists and institutional investors. Get the full story »

BP to sell some refineries; not Whiting

From Bloomberg News | BP expects to fetch at least $4.4 billion from selling half of its crude refining capacity in the U.S. and some retail assets as it raises cash to pay for last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company plans to focus on refining and marketing networks in the country based around its Whiting, Indiana, and Cherry Point, Washington, refineries.

GM withdraws application for Energy Dept. loans

General Motors Co. has withdrawn its application for $14 billion in subsidized loans from the Department of Energy, saying it has the financial strength to fund investment in more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles on its own.

The move could provide a public-relations boost to GM, which has struggled to distance itself from a $50 billion bailout and the stigma of having become ”Government Motors” after being restructured in bankruptcy. Get the full story »

GM speeds national rollout of Volt to year-end

General Motors’ top car designer says the company will accelerate distribution of the Chevrolet Volt electric car so it’s sold in every U.S. state by the end of this year.

Design chief Ed Welburn made the announcement Thursday in a speech at the Washington, D.C., auto show. Get the full story »

Southeast S. leaders call meeting on coal-to-gas plant

Community leaders on the Southeast Side — angry that they were not asked to weigh in on a coal gasification project touted as a benefit to the neighborhood –  have called a meeting to discuss the environmental and economic impacts of the proposed plant.

Environmental and health groups are expected to speak at the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the The Zone at Southeast United Methodist Church and Community Center at 11731 S. Avenue O. Get the full story »

Chicago adding natural gas taxis

One of a dozen Yellow Cabs in Chicago that will run on compressed natural gas. (Yellow Cab)

Starting in March, if you stick out your hand to hail a cab in Chicago, the taxi you get might not run on gasoline.

That’s because Taxi Medallion Management, which operates Yellow Cabs in Chicago, is introducing 12 Ford Transit Connect taxi cabs into its fleet that run on compressed natural gas -– a fuel that emits 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions that traditional gasoline but requires special pumping stations. Get the full story »

Chrysler vehicle to test EPA’s hybrid system

Chrysler Group LLC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that they are working together to commercialize an unusual type of hybrid-vehicle technology aimed at reducing fuel consumption.

Under the partnership, Chrysler will work to produce vehicles using a hydraulic hybrid system developed by the EPA. The system recovers energy as a vehicle brakes and uses the resulting hydraulic pressure to help power the vehicle. Get the full story »

NiSource to pay $600M to settle EPA violations

A NiSource Inc. utility unit finalized a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, agreeing to invest $600 million in environmental, conservation initiatives, and clean energy programs in northern Indiana.

The settlement is the 17th reached by the EPA and the Department of Justice as part of a national initiative to control emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements. In addition to the investment, NiSource will pay a $3.5 million civil penalty. Get the full story »

GM to put Volt technology to wider use

General Motors Co. is looking to apply the technology of its Chevrolet Volt to a wide array of vehicles, potentially including a Cadillac SRX plug-in, Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said Tuesday.

The automaker is developing a hatchback and a crossover that could use the Volt technology, Akerson said during a speech at the Automotive News World Congress. Get the full story »

Ford introduces Focus Electric

Ford unveiled the Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Friday, promising an electric car that’s fun to drive.

Ford’s electric will have a top speed of 84 miles per hour and the suspension, steering and brakes will be shared with the gasoline-powered car. Get the full story »

ADM canola plant dropped from FDA restricted list

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dropped Archer Daniels Midland’s canola crushing plant in Windsor, Ontario from its list of plants that are under import restrictions due to salmonella concerns, according to an update on the regulator’s website on Tuesday. Get the full story »

Dealing with 25% more garbage at holidays

Tis the season to be jolly — and  to toss out a lot of trash.

In the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, American households generate 25 percent more waste. That’s about 1 million extra tons of trash each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Get the full story »

Paris preparing for electric car-sharing program

A visualization of a proposed electric car station in Paris. (AP)

After its successful bike-sharing program, Paris is moving into higher gear, preparing to lend out 3,000 electric cars across the City of Light to fight air pollution.

City officials on Thursday chose a bid by French billionaire entrepreneur Vincent Bollore to run Autolib’, a new automobile-sharing program modeled on Paris’ successful, three-year-old bicycle-sharing program, Velib’. Get the full story »