WASHINGTON - Negotiators in the U.S. Congress on Monday unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending bill aimed at boosting funding levels slightly for the military and domestic programs and preventing another shutdown of federal agencies. The measure eases across-the-board spending cuts by providing an extra $45 billion for military and domestic discretionary programs for fiscal 2014, to a total of $1.012 trillion. It also provides an additional $85.2 billion for Afghanistan war funding that is typically handled off-budget. The spending measure fills in the details of a budget agreement passed in December in the aftermath of a 16-day shutdown of many government agencies in October. The shutdown was prompted largely by disputes over funding for "Obamacare" health insurance reforms. Although many programs will get a slight increase over 2013 levels and avoid steep cuts slated for this year, the proposed bill does not provide any increase for implementation of Affordable Care Act, President … [Read more...] about U.S. lawmakers unveil $1.1 trillion spending bill, no Obamacare increase
U s energy consumption
The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's top oil producer by 2017, the West's energy agency said on Monday, predicting Washington will come very close to achieving a previously unthinkable energy self-sufficiency. The forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises large industrialized nations on energy policy, were in sharp contrast to previous IEA reports, which saw Saudi Arabia remaining the top producer until 2035. "Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America - and the energy sector," the IEA said in its annual long-term report, giving one of the most optimistic forecasts for U.S. energy production growth to date. "The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking light tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity - with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge," … [Read more...] about U.S. to overtake Saudi as top oil producer: IEA
President George W. Bush on Tuesday called for Americans to cut their gasoline use by 20 percent over a decade, mostly through a nearly five-fold increase in use of home-grown fuels such as ethanol by 2017. In his annual State of the Union address to Congress, Bush also called for tighter vehicle fuel efficiency standards and doubling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's capacity to 1.5 billion barrels by 2027. Bush asked U.S. lawmakers to "join me in pursuing a great goal" of reducing gasoline consumption by 20 percent -- the equivalent of 75 percent of current oil imports from the Middle East. Most of that reduction comes from a massive increase in ethanol made from both corn and unconventional sources such as wood chips and farm cast-offs. "We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol - using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes," Bush said. Bush's "Twenty by Ten" strategy furthers a theme he has tried to drive home in his annual … [Read more...] about Bush wants to cut U.S. gasoline use by 20 percent
U.S. researchers have successfully used certain microbes to produce biofuels, opening a door to developing cheaper "green" energy. The discovery was made by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The findings were published on Sunday's issue of the journal "Nature Biotechnology". The work concentrated on tricking microbes into eating protein and using the resulting energy to generate specific proteins that can be refined into fuel, the researchers explained. This is different from the current biofuel production which is based on plants or microbes that generate fats, oils or carbohydrates that can be refined into biofuel, said Dr. James C. Liao, who took part in the study. "This research is the first attempt to utilize protein as a carbon source for energy production and biorefining," Liao said. " Complex cellular regulation in nitrogen metabolization had to be rewired." The researchers said they are now working to take ammonia out of … [Read more...] about U.S. researchers discover way of using microbes to produce biofuels
Despite the sizable price spike in crude oil and other commodities, the longer-run inflation expectations remained stable in the United States, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday. Overall consumer prices in the nation rose somewhat faster in December and January than in earlier months, as consumer energy prices posted further increases and consumer food prices responded to the recent upturn in farm commodity prices, the central bank noted in minutes released on Tuesday of a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held in March. The price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) excluding food and energy, or the core PCE price index, ticked up slightly in January, boosted by an increase in prices of core goods after four months of declines, while the 12-month change in this core price index stayed near the very low levels seen in late 2010, according to the minutes. "A few members remained uncertain about the benefits of the asset purchase program, but … [Read more...] about U.S. long-term inflation expectations remain stable: Fed
The General Motors Co. (GM) on Tuesday announced its plan to build an electric motor plant near Baltimore, Maryland, the first such plant dedicated to making key components for vehicle electrification in the United States. The plant is scheduled to open in 2013. "We believe the future of sustainable transportation is electrically driven vehicles and this facility will help us maintain a leadership position within this category," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president in charge of environment and safety policy. GM has dedicated 269.5 million U.S. dollars to the building of the plant. Besides, GM said that the plant will be powered in part by a 1. 23-megawatt rooftop solar array, which is expected to generate nine percent of its annual energy consumption and save approximately 330,000 dollars during the life of the project. GM said last week it plans to invest two billion dollars into 17 U.S. facilities nationwide over the next few years. VietNamNet/Xinhuanet … [Read more...] about GM to build first electric motor plant in U.S.
U.S. firm explores more power projects The Saigon Times Daily QUANG NINH – AES Corporation of the United States is mulling plans to get involved in more power projects in Vietnam following its investment in the Mong Duong 2 power station, a major build-operate-transfer (BOT) project in Vietnam. The plans were revealed during a recent inspection trip of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai to the thermal power project invested by AES Corporation with an interest of 51%, South Korea’s Posco Energy Corporation with 30% and China Investment Corporation with 19%, according to Vietnam News Agency. In 2014, AES expressed keen interest in participating in more power projects in the country. Last September, the corporation inked a memorandum of understanding with the government of Quang Ninh Province to develop Quang Ninh 3 thermal project. The corporation is expected to find the site for the new power project later this year and has worked with the Ministry of Industry and … [Read more...] about U.S. firm explores more power projects
The Yonhap News Agency said Hyundai Motor Co.'s Ioniq Electric car has received the top rating on fuel economy from the U.S. government, making it the most fuel efficient electric car. The figure MPGe is used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compare the energy consumption of an electric or a hybrid car to the fuel economy of an internal combustion vehicle. The BMW i3 electric car came in second with 124 MPGe, followed by the Chevy Bolt with 119 MPGe. Tesla Motors' Model S 60D gets 104 MPGe, according to the website. The U.S. government calculated that the annual fuel cost of the Ioniq Electric would stand at US$500. That was $50 cheaper than the annual fuel costs of the BMW i3 and the Chevy Bolt. Hyundai Motor plans to begin selling the Ioniq Electric in the U.S. by the end of this year. … [Read more...] about Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric gets top ratings on fuel economy in U.S.
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) jointly hosted a conference on future trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the U.S.Under the theme “Future of bilateral relations between Vietnam and the U.S. in 2017 and following years,” the event drew the attendance of State President Tran Dai Quang.At the conference, Vietnamese and American businesses discussed ways to beef up trade and investment; renovate healthcare, financial technology, market development, infrastructure development, IT service, as well as development of SMEs.Addressing the event, State President Tran Dai Quang stressed that Vietnam attained immense achievements after 30 years of renovation and became a medium-income country. The nation is focusing on implementing the five-year socio-economic development plan in the 2016-2020 period; renewing the growth model for productivity, competitiveness, and sustainable development. By 2020, an average … [Read more...] about Vietnam, U.S. promote trade and investment ties
Under the theme “Future of bilateral relations between Viet Nam and the U.S. in 2017 and following years,” the event drew the attendance of State President Tran Dai Quang. At the conference, Vietnamese and American businesses discussed ways to beef up trade and investment; renovate healthcare, financial technology, market development, infrastructure development, IT service, as well as development of SMEs. Addressing the event, State President Tran Dai Quang stressed that Viet Nam attained immense achievements after 30 years of renovation and became a medium-income country. The nation is focusing on implementing the five-year socio-economic development plan in the 2016-2020 period; renewing the growth model for productivity, competitiveness, and sustainable development. By 2020, an average GDP per capita would touch around US$ 3,200-3,500 with US$ 350 billion of GDP scale. Mr. Quang stated that Viet Nam signed 12 FTAs and is negotiating for the other four. The country is … [Read more...] about VN, U.S. promote trade and investment ties