In this edition of the clean energy & transport news roundup, an epic bike path, a CAFE target off the table, big business gets winded, VW lawsuits & future EV factories, solar permitting, LEGO falcon wing doors, and more.
[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean energy & transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, solar and wind energy, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Solar Love, Planetsave, Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession.]
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike:
The effort to create the East Coast Greenway (ECG) is already underway, with some 850 miles of paths already connected, and the organization that is behind the initiative is actively working to join more trails and greenways in order to complete the 2,900 mile “spine route” and the 2,000 miles of complementary routes that aim to link together the key cities, towns, and areas of natural beauty along the way.
The auto industry is eating the EPA’s CAFE lunch:
Funded by the Koch Brothers and their “Drill, baby, drill” friends, the EPA and others were so moved by the mountain of data that they have now discarded that target. In doing so, they went out of the way to praise the industry for its incredibly thoughtful, innovative, and helpful assistance in improving average fuel economy over the past several years.
Big business is throwing its money into the wind:
Signing contracts for over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, big brands, high-tech companies, and other non-utility customers represented 52 percent of wind energy generating capacity in 2015.
US states file suit against VW’s cheatin’ heart:
New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland have filed lawsuits in their respective state courts seeking millions of dollars in damages for the higher-than-permitted emissions of the diesel engine cars VW sold in those states starting in 2009. The attorneys general for each state say they now know who lied, who destroyed evidence, and who in upper management knew about the cheating scandal but failed to act. They say they are ready to name names.
But it may soon build clean cars in North America:
During an interview near the company’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee recently, Hinrich Woebcken, the newest and latest head of Volkswagen’s US operations, confirmed the German auto maker plans to build electric vehicles in North America by 2020.
Assessing the state of streamlined solar permitting in the Golden State:
A new report has been released on how cities and counties in California are fulfilling this state’s AB 2188 requirements to adopt expedited permitting processes for residential solar installations. Specifically, the report shows about 70% of these entities have met minimum provisions.
LEGO my Model X falcon wing doors:
Using a drawing Tesla includes in a manual for first responders to educate them about the unique features of the Model X, Page created a working representation of the system using LEGOs. Apparently his LEGO toolbox includes a lot of unique pieces.
Volvo XC90 PHEV owner doesn’t read the specs, files class action lawsuit:
Xavier Laurens bought a Volvo XC 90 T8 plug-in hybrid because he thought it would have enough all electric range for him to drive back and forth to work without using any gasoline. He expected his Volvo to have 25 miles of range. But out in the real world, Laurens found his XC 90 would only go 8 to 10 miles before the gasoline engine kicked in.
A multi-faith solar project in Malaysia:
Interfaith solidarity in Malaysia’s culture is so strong it extends to providing free solar power, “regardless of creed or race.” A recent donation sees a Chinese temple, a Christian church, a Muslim mosque, and a Chinese primary school going solar together in the town of Kota Belud, Sabah.
Other worthy green news:
India goes for epic tree planting record:
800,000 volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours in India during an attempt to break the world record for most trees planted in day, which was 847,275 set by Pakistan in 2013. Guinness World Record auditors haven’t completed their assessment of the Uttar Pradesh July 2016 project, which resulted in about 50 million trees being planted, but the record appears to be set to be broken by this latest effort.
A climate change playdate:
Recently about 700 moms, and children gathered in a park on Capitol Hill to draw attention to the negative impacts caused by climate change and air pollution.
You can leave your cap on:
When separated, bottle caps literally fall through the cracks of the recycling sorting system, and end up in the landfill… or worse, on our beaches, in forests, and in our water. Preserve explains that bottle caps are one of the most frequently found forms of trash in the world’s oceans and on beaches even though they are made from materials that are very recyclable (high-density polyethylene and polypropylene).
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