Category: Business & Technology

green economy, alternative energy companies, fracking, sustainable business, triple bottom line, fuel efficiency, agribusiness

Covering the Natural Shale Gas Story in Pennsylvania

WHYY’s Chris Satullo and recently hosted an evening with Susan Phillips and Scott Detrow, the two multimedia reporters behind StateImpact Pennsylvania, a joint effort journalism project between National Public Radio, public radio stations WHYY in Philly and WITF in Harrisburg, to report local news that has national consequences. StateImpact primarily covers the burgeoning natural…

TEDTalk: Ellen ‘t Hoen and the Medicines Patent Pool

Ellen ‘t Hoen, a medical patents attorney and public policy consultant, started the Medicines Patent Pool through the World Health Organization to make patents widely available throughout the world, to help drive the price of access down for everyone. Here’s her TEDTalk about the Patent Pool, and the way it’s worked to disseminate low-cost HIV treatments.

Milli-Moteins: Programmable Matter Bots Could Lead to Real-Life ‘Transformers’

It looks like a mechanical worm, but it’s a sophisticated building block that takes science one step closer to developing devices that can change shape. Maybe ‘Transformers,’ robots capable of transforming into vehicles and weapons, long a children’s favorite, will no longer be the stuff of science fiction, but rather science fact. The Millimeter-Scale Motorized…

Act 13 A Valentine to Gas Industry, XOXO PA Gov Corbett

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a great friend of the natural gas and oil lobby in the state, today signed into law Act 13, legislation that rewrites regulation over the industry. Certainly it’s a sweetheart deal for drillers in the Marcellus Shale. The legislation was ramrodded through both houses of the Republican-controlled state General Assembly over…

NJ Senator Lautenberg Introduces Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would reform the thirty-plus year old Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), which is woefully inadequate and has allowed tens of thousands of industrial chemicals to be introduced into the marketplace without rigorous testing for safety to human health.

Some of the health issues traceable to environmental toxins include growing rates of asthma, diabetes, infertility, learning and developmental disorders like autism and certain cancers.

The original TSCA grandfathered in 62,000 industrial chemicals that were in use in 1976. Their safety has never been reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because the law requires the EPA to prove the harmfulness of a toxic substance, the EPA has only been able to successfully restrict the use of a handful of substances known to be toxic to human health. There is currently no burden on companies to prove that the chemicals they use in their products are safe. In fact, the exact chemical ingredients of many products are kept secret from consumers.

The Safe Chemicals Act would change that. It would require manufacturers to prove that the chemicals they use are not harmful. It would give the EPA more power to restrict unsafe uses. And it would provide the public with much more information about the chemicals in their lives. One significant provision is that the Act would require limiting exposure to some of the worst chemicals- chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBTs).

Going Green in Detroit

Matt Naimi kicked off Detroit’s Recycle Here program, and, with partner Steve Harworth have started Michigan Green Safe, which works with Detroit businesses to provide recycled products.

Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia

Urban Sustainability Forum – How can we feed Philadelphia? Thursday, May 21, 6:30 – 8:30PM Panelists: Laurie Actman:  Project Director, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia; Marcia Caton Campbell: Program Director, Center for Resilient Cities, Milwaukee; Ben Reynolds: Food Link Project Officer, Sustain London; Dominis Vitiello (moderator): Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning…