Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Wednesday Morning Good News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 12, 2009

wind-cat-herding

— See what a couple of billion can bring? Cash for Clunkers, in addition to jump-starting the US auto industry and the industries that depend on it, is directly responsible for a big jump in the average fuel efficiency of cars on the road:

The average mileage for new vehicles rose from 21.4 miles per gallon in June to 22.1 mpg in July….

Study co-author Michael Sivak noted the improvement came even as gas prices fell and unemployment levels shrank somewhat. Normally, those factors lead to the purchase of more gas guzzlers. The higher mileage shows the effect of Cash for Clunkers, Sivak said, and he expects the jump to be even bigger when August figures come out. That’s because the trade-in rebate program only got going late in July.

Small manufacturers are starting to recover from the crash, and even to start hiring again. This is borne out by the renewed demand for taconite iron ore from the MinnTac mine in northern Minnesota, which will soon be running at pre-crash levels of activity.

Even during the economic meltdown, wind turbine installations are proceeding apace:

The U.S. wind energy industry installed 1,210 megawatts (MW) of new power generating capacity in the second quarter, bringing the total added this year to just over 4,000 MW – an amount larger than the 2,900 MW added in the first six months of 2008, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) found in its second quarter (Q2) market report.

During the second quarter, the U.S. wind energy industry completed a total of 1,210 MW in 10 states. These new installations nudge total U.S. wind power generating capacity to 29,440 MW, according to the report.

— Wind farms as tourist sites? You betcha. People come from hundreds of miles to see them.

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