It’s nice to hear that a huge order of cars is set for delivery to the United States this December and that they are fully electric. The much anticipated arrival of the Nissan Leaf is almost upon the 20,000 Americans that pre-ordered them. The idea of 20,000 full electric cars being deployed across the country seems like a huge milestone for American citizens in terms of environmental consciousness. For 20,000 people to go out and pre-order the full electric vehicles months in advance depicts the new attitude that a lot of Americans have adopted towards energy conservation and environmental conservation. The newly anticipated question is whether or not Americans will continue the trend towards purchasing fully-electric or hybrid vehicles or reduce their desire to become owners of such vehicles over the next several months.
The BP Oil spill certainly sparked a lot of awareness related to energy conservation in terms of the dangers that oil drilling and overconsumption are paired with. It would be reasonable to assume that a spark in sales for electric vehicles came during the most stressful months succeeding the spill where Americans banded together in outrage and anger towards the petroleum industry because of the devastating environmental consequences. However, a transition to alternative fuels is a response that we’ve talked about, and dabbled with, but not really implemented in a disruptive manner. There is still a concern that Americans focus on electric vehicle purchasing is a temporary change in behavior that will not be sustained. The question now is what can be done to keep the momentum going that can lead our country to an expedited future of alternative energy technology. As it is, many people have latched onto the idea that petroleum cars are getting significantly more fuel efficient, masking the fact that regardless of their efficiency they are still heavy polluters. Inevitably, the “clean” message attached to the petro cars at the top of the fuel economy ratings has probably stolen some buyers that were on the fence between buying an electric car and a conventional gasoline powered car. We’ve seen the clean messaging actually get people excited about a truck that gets an “amazing” or “revolutionary” 21 miles to the gallon that we’re supposed to be wowed by simply because the truck used to get 12 or 15 miles to the gallon. In retrospect, 21 miles to the gallon cannot be acceptable in a plan for a sustainable energy future. Accepting and readily purchasing new vehicles that get 21 mpg will not help the economy. It will merely slows the inevitable death of it. With the way cars are designed today – to last for 10 years or more – the most frustrating part is that if you buy a truck today that gets 21 miles to the gallon, you can expect to be driving it 10 years from now when it’s then only getting 15 miles to the gallon or worse, and the economy is desperate for fuel economy averages in the 40′s. Since taking your car away will not be an option, the government will be forced to allow these cars on the road, offering incentives to swap out, which some people will take and sadly…some people will not.
With technology like the Nissan Leaf knocking on our doorstep, it would be truly revolutionary to get Americans to buy cars like this in the masses, an historic transition from foreign energy dependency to one of domestic energy independence that would create more jobs for Americans and make a real impact in society- a movement everyone should be proud and love to be a part of. Being a leader, a pioneer is much more rewarding than being a follower. Just like Niranjan Shah found success and reward being a pioneer of the green architecture movement, if Americans take a play out of the Niranjan Shah playbook and support green policy and voluntarily “opt” to join the green transportation movement now, they will forever reserve a place in history as the generation that chose to save the future. Your grandkids and your great grandkids will surely love to relay that story.
Ask around and you’ll hear that one of the greatest causes of global warming is CO2 emission. Many argue that carbon footprints left by man have torn holes in the atmosphere and caused the onset of global warming to occur. This is why so many scientists, researchers, and environmentalists have worked night and day to come up with a solution to the CO2 problem and to come up with an energy alternative. However, one small company based out of University of California Los Angeles is showing that the energy to combat CO2 may be CO2 itself.
EASEL Biotechnologies won the 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Recycled Fuel Breakthroughs from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and did so for their innovations in the field of CO2 production. What EASEL did was genetically modified bacteria to bring about the photosynthesis process (this is also used in the same way with algae to fuel production practices). By doing this bioprocessing, EASEL was able to convert carbon dioxide into alcohol and other carbon atoms, which then would lead it to be used for fuel. This shows that CO2, when processed in this way, could be used as a renewable and clean energy source.
EASEL Biotechnologies showed that small companies are capable of large ideas. Niranjan Shah would have to agree that methods/incentives that can get a greater number of small businesses up and running may just be instrumental in generating innovative ideas that can make the country more competitive while strengthening the economy.
With every month the economy seems to be healing itself as April proved to be another big jump in the right direction for the once broken economy. Employers added almost 290,000 jobs to their payrolls in the month of April alone. This number is much higher than the estimated growth of 120,000 that the Labor Department predicted for the month. However, not all the news was good as the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent. The workforce growing in size among other things primarily caused this rise in unemployment. However, many are hopeful that the continue growth of jobs is helping the economy bounce back from one it’s worst recessions ever.
The ironic part is that this news comes a day after the stock market had what many are calling a flash crash on Thursday. On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average fell by almost a record 1,000 points in no more than a half hour causing prices to free fall and stockbrokers to panic. Many put the blame on the crash on fears about the European market (especially in Greece) while others believe it was a glitch that caused the crash. The SEC has launched an investigation into finding out what exactly happened and are hopeful to find out what really caused the prices to fall so far, so fast.
Markets crash on Thursdays and jobs are gained on Friday. It looks like when it comes to the United States economy, a day really does make a difference.
Niranjan Shah has been on the Capital Construction Committee Chair responsible for contracts and purchases in the state of Illinois that were as high as one billion dollars. He was a member of the National Finance Committee that helped John Kerry win the democratic nomination in 2004 and has been on the DNC National Finance Committee in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 helping many future leaders reach office.
Other public service accomplishments that Shah has had are that he’s been a member of the Economic Development Commission of Chicago (he was appointed by Mayor Daley) and many other positions that have helped his home city of Chicago and state of Illinois. Niranjan Shah may get a lot of fond words and awards but obviously he’s worked for each one of them and has accomplished so much for so many.
The U.S. economy may be in rough shape since the recession hit, but after the month of March it seems that the financial future of this country is much brighter than it has been in a long time. March posted the largest job gain for the United States economy in three years. Over a 162,000 jobs were added which is the most since the beginning of the economic downturn. Even though it was below economists’ predictions of 190,000, it still is a good sign that the economy is slowly coming back.
The employment numbers break down as follows: 123,000 jobs added by private employers (which were the most in three years also), 40,000 added to temporary help, 37,000 to health care, 17,000 to manufacturers and 22,000 to hospitality services. This is significant because it shows that job growth is occuring across a wide variety of industries, not just one in particular. Even construction added 15,000 jobs proving that industries hit hardest by the recession have begun the process of rebuilding.
As stated before, the job growth for March was lower than expected, but 162,000 jobs is nothing to discount. The progress is uplifting for the American economy and the millions of people still anticipating their return to work in the near future.
After one of the longest and hardest fought political battles in American history, health care reform is finally a reality. When Niranjan Shah’s fellow Democrat, President Obama, signed the health care reform bill on Tuesday, he turned a campaign promise into a reality and gave millions who go without health care hope for a brighter future. However, just because the bill was signed, it doesn’t mean that the war for health care reform has been won.
The Senate voted 56-43 for fixes to the health care legislation that added perimeters that included better benefits for seniors, low-income families, and the middle class. The new add-ons to the bill acted as some final tweaks that the original bill had been missing. The House later voted and approved the second of the two bills and sent it off to the President for his signature.
Both bills require that every American have or buy some sort of insurance. This allows everyone in the country to maintain some sort of health insurance, and if not, face some sort of penalty. The bills are not just health care orientated though. They will also help cut the deficit by $143 billion and help students pay for college by having an overhaul of the student loan industry.
Even though the bill is signed and delivered, many in congress will do what they can to repeal the bill this upcoming campaign season and make sure that it never comes to true fruition. The President will still have to sell the signed bill to those that might not be in favor of it. The good news is that the first battle in the war between democrats and republicans has been won in favor of health care reform. It’s a start.
You can follow the excerpts from the Health Care Summit by visiting CNN and reading the highlights. The summit lasted over 6 hours and attempted to lay out the things that Republicans and Democrats both agree and disagree on in hopes that a new plan can work to incorporate items that both parties favor.
Health care reform is one of the most debatable and hot button topics in Washington and around the country. While many see Obama’s proposed plan as a solution to current health care issues, others see it as a step in the wrong direction. This is why President Obama put together a bipartisan health care summit that brings together the two arguing parties, but also opens discourse between them in hopes that some compromise can be found.
The summit takes place over a six-hour period in which Democrats and Republicans will come together to share their feelings, ideas, and plans on the health care issue. President Obama will somewhat act as a moderator during the proceedings in order to listen to both sides of the argument while also helping dialogue run smoothly between the two very different parties. Most Democrats were eager to bring their suggestions to the summit, but many Republicans were hesitant to accept their invitation to the open forum. Some even felt as if they were walking into a democratic created trap and stayed away completely.
While the health care reform summit may open talks between the two parties on the issue, compromise does look quite unlikely. Many feel that the summit is just more political jargon between the parties that will do nothing more than just waste time and keep the bill from ever getting done. However, President Obama realizes that health care reform is a serious issue that needs serious discussion and that opening up discussion may be the only way to calm the bickering and finally get real results.
The Padma Vibhushan Award is the second highest civilian honor in India and an amazing honor for any citizen of the country. The award consists of a medal that is bestowed by the President of India and, back in 2001, Niranjan Shah was nominated for this prestigious award. The nomination for Padma Vibhushan Award came with many recommendations from heads of state and noteworthy people who were pulling for him to achieve this great honor. Former President Bill Clinton wrote in his recommendation that he had been grateful to know Shah and all the work that he has done. The former President went on to speak about Shah’s fundraising for needy causes like the American Indian Foundation (where Shah provided over 200,000 pounds of food and supplies to needy people) among other efforts and organizations. Just to be nominated for the Padma Vibhushan Award and recommended by different heads of state shows how influential and important Niranjan Shah is to his home country of India and the world.