Individuals can help us by telling others, by being involved in the Earth Blog, by sharing your ideas with us and by forwarding your support to companies who you think should get involved!
Japan Closer to Improved Fuel Economy Standards
Automakers in Japan will be held to a standard of 24 percent better fuel economy by fiscal year 2015, if lawmakers get their way. The 24 percent improvement is in comparison to the standards for fiscal year 2009. The Japanese government will determine if automakers have set these standards by taking the average fuel economy of all of their vehicles, rather than making the determination for each class of vehicles the manufacturer produces. This is the way the United States and the European Union hold automakers accountable.
The plan was drafted by Japanese lawmakers on August 19. The public will have about one month to give their opinion, and the new standards could take effect as early as spring 2012. The 2009 standards required all vehicles to get a minimum of 10.13 miles (16.3 kilometers) for each liter (.264 gallon) of fuel. The new standards will require vehicles to get a minimum of 12.61 miles (20.3 kilometers) per liter of fuel.
Lawmakers in Tokyo said the improved fuel economy standards are aimed at pushing automakers in the direction of greener technologies. As is usual, the United States has yet to make a determination on new fuel economy standards. The improved Japanese standards do not yet have full approval, but apparently have full government support pending public commentary. A final draft will be drawn after public opinion is known.
Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars are exempt from the new regulations, but some gas-electric hybrids may not meet the standards very easily. Since so much of the world depends on Japanese automotive technology, it is hoped that the new fuel economy standards in Japan will lead to better fuel economy and lower emissions in other countries.
Perhaps what has not been done by pleas from environmentalists to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions may be accomplished by the pocketbook. As fuel prices soar around the globe, daily commuters in most developed countries are demanding help. Japan began regulating the fuel economy of their vehicles in 1979 with an amendment to the “Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy,” passed in 1976. The newly drafted fuel economy standards will apply to passenger cars, small buses and small freight trucks.
In related news, Koreans discovered on August 19 that their automakers have been lying to them about the fuel efficiency of their vehicles for years. Lobbyists for Hyundai, Kia and other Korean manufacturers threatened action against the government when the discoveries were made in 2003. Subsequently, the government took no action on behalf of their consumers. The Korean government now promises action, which could reduce the inflated fuel efficiency claims by about 30 percent.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.