A bipartisan group of 37 senators is urging the EPA to strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard. Stated reasons tend to focus on economics and energy security, but also on the future of other alternative fuels. The RFS "has strengthened agriculture markets and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas," the senators say in a letter to the EPA. "A stable RFS will also provide the certainty needed to unlock future investments in renewable fuels and necessary infrastructure, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign sources of energy, and drive innovation and progress toward cellulosic, biodiesel, recycled-waste, algal, and other advanced biofuels." See the full letter at Senator Chuck Grassley's website, and read more at Domestic Fuel.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation has launched a pilot program in Bangkok, Thailand. In partnership with Chulalongkorn University, Toyota's program aims to help "people move, grow and explore in a world that is comfortable, safe and clean," says Toyota President Akio Toyoda (traditional rickshaws are pictured above). The program will focus on reducing congestion by creating sustainable shuttle and park and ride services, encouraging people to use multiple modes of transportation, use traffic simulation models to pinpoint particular problem areas and work with police to optimize traffic signals. The Bangkok project is expected to last a year and a half, ending in December 2016. Read more in the press release below.
Program Supports Foundation's Global Mission to Advance Solutions for a More Mobile Society
Tokyo, Japan (April 22, 2015) ― More people everywhere are about to get moving. Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) today announced that it is launching its first pilot program. The program, which will be in Bangkok, Thailand, reflects the Foundation's philosophy of combining Toyota's knowledge with the expertise of partners to enable more people around the globe to move safely, efficiently and enjoyably.
Established in August 2014, TMF partners with non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to apply Toyota's technological, safety and environmental expertise to mobility issues around the world. This includes addressing urban transportation challenges, expanding personal mobility for all people and inspiring the next generation of mobility solutions.
"The launch of the pilot program in Thailand brings us closer to our goal of advancing a true mobile society by helping people move, grow and explore in a world that is comfortable, safe and clean," said Akio Toyoda, Chairman of the Board of TMF and President of Toyota Motor Corporation. "As global mega-trends like urbanization, strains on resources and population shifts impact mobility, the Toyota Mobility Foundation aims to help communities evolve and people adapt to these changes."
In Bangkok, Thailand's most populous city, TMF and Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) will partner with Chulalongkorn University (Chula) in parallel with existing efforts led by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to launch a comprehensive traffic and congestion management project that targets the heavily-congested Sathorn Road. The project, which will take an estimated year-and-a-half to complete (April 2015 – December 2016) and a 110 million Thai baht (approximately 400 million Japanese yen) investment, will create a road map to manage traffic control and flow by focusing on four areas
- Developing sustainable shuttle bus and park and ride schemes, as a measure of traffic-demand control;
- Designing information systems to quantify the benefits of multi-modality (or the regular use of multiple modes of transportation) to encourage people to change their behaviors;
- Identifying bottle necks and evaluating measures by utilizing a traffic simulation model; and
- Optimizing traffic signal operations by partnering with local police who now manage them manually.