THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR MAY 4
Unemployment Down to 8.1 percent. America’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent last month thanks to the addition of 115,000 jobs. These new jobs included 130,000 private sector jobs which offset cuts by state and federal governments.
Looking To The States. People in several states are considering changes to their Renewable Energy Standards including in Michigan and Missouri where signatures are being collected to get a ballot question to increase the states’ RES requirements to 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Building a Skilled Workforce. The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation’s GreenPOWER program is taking steps to address the jobs skills gap being seeing in the manufacturing industry. The program has created a partnership with the Anoka Technical College and Anoka County Workforce Center to training current and unemployed workers in precision sheet metal and green manufacturing skills.
National and International Blue-Green
Manufacturing activity in Europe dropped last month at its fastest rate since October. Bloomberg Businessweek has more.
NASDAQ reports “U.S. Manufacturing and exports show signs of strength.”
National Geographic examines how one possible affect of climate change —frequent flooding and droughts in Southeast Asia — could threaten “the world's rice bowl and millions of people who live there.”
Several U.S. and foreign automakers announced an agreement to standardize the charging system for electric vehicles. The Hill says the agreement is meant to “’harmonize’ the technology and speed up charging times.”
The civil trial for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will begin January 14, 2013, the Times-Picayune reports.
In related news, the former BP engineer charged with deleted text messages related to the Deepwater Horizon Spill has pled not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, the Associated Press reports.
CNN says a company has introduced a line of “smog-eating tiles” that improve air quality by oxidizing smog-forming nitrogen oxides in the air.
To the States
The Baltimore Sun reports Maryland’s Governor signed several bills including a number of environmental measures.
According to the Associated Press, the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority and Power Network New Mexico has asked federal regulators for permission to build a 200-mile transmission line “to funnel solar- and wind-generated power to western markets.”
GreenBiz.com: Why utilities need educating about smart grid benefits
New York Times: Wastewater Becomes Issue in Debate on Gas Drilling
New York Times: More on the Science of Clouds and Climate
New York Times: The Risk From Chemical Plants
Salon: Global warming hits home
Baltimore Sun (MD): Pollution trading could trim bay cleanup costs
Idaho Statesman (ID): IRU challenge complicates pollution-trading plan
Los Angeles Times (CA): California bullet train board approves environmental studies
WFMZ (PA): Governor helps business cut ribbon