Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are putting the pressure on Facebook to say more about its plans to share more user information with third parties: On Thursday, U.S. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) published a joint letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which they request "information about Facebook's recently announced, and subsequently postponed plan to make its users' addresses and mobile phone numbers available to third-party Web sites and application developers."
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.--President Barack Obama announced a new clean energy program in Pennsylvania on Thursday, seeking to show he remains focused on jobs in a state that may be essential to his 2012 re-election prospects.
Obama outlined a plan in his State of the Union address last month to encourage clean energy technologies and to double by 2035 the U.S. share of electricity from clean energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear and "clean" coal.
U.S. President Barack Obama set a target for power plants to produce mostly clean electricity by 2035--including power from sources like clean coal and natural gas--in his State of the Union address last night.
Obama also called for investment in clean technologies and urged Congress to eliminate billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies.
"I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own," Obama said about oil company profits. "So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's."
Such a move, which … Read more
Big Republican wins in yesterday's election will not only kill chances that the U.S. Congress will pass a broad climate bill during President Barack Obama's first term, but may also hurt his strategy of winning even scaled-back energy legislation.
Republicans, who had slammed any attempt to put a price on carbon emissions as an "energy tax," won control of the House of Representatives and picked up seats in the Senate.
Despite predictions by U.S. scientists that 2010 could be the warmest year on record, Obama's hopes of signing a bill any time soon … Read more
WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. energy and climate policy may be implemented bit by bit means that companies will have less incentive to grow their green-energy businesses.
Obama told Rolling Stone magazine last month that following the Senate's failure to pass comprehensive climate legislation that would have put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, energy policy may have to be done in "chunks."
But if Republicans take control of either house of Congress in the November 2 elections, passing limited energy measures such as a price on carbon emissions only from power companies or a renewable-energy standard, requiring utilities produce minimum amounts of power from sources like wind and solar farms, would be improbable for the remainder of Obama's first term.
Even if Republicans fail to capture either house, and Obama can corral the votes to pass such legislation, piecemeal laws will come nowhere near a comprehensive overhaul and may even be detrimental to making lasting changes in the energy system, increasing energy security, or cutting emissions blamed for warming the planet.
"You are going to adopt policies in the order of their ease of passing rather than in the order of rational policy making," Adele Morris, policy director for climate and economics at Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank, said about taking an incremental approach to energy. "There are a lot of things that are bad ideas but are easy to pass."
As Washington struggles with energy policy, the gap between the United States and China, the world's two largest carbon polluters, is growing ahead of global climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, starting in late November. Here too, an incremental approach will likely dominate. … Read more
Automakers would be required to nearly double fleet efficiency to 62 miles per gallon by 2025 under the most ambitious scenario of a U.S. government outlook on fuel economy and emissions released yesterday.
Gasoline and electric hybrid vehicles and electric cars would play a crucial role in meeting the top range targets, according to the preliminary assessment presented to the industry as a starting point for developing fuel standards for 2017 cars and light trucks, including SUVs, pickups, and vans.
"We must, and we will, keep the momentum going to make sure that all motor vehicles sold in … Read more
ASPEN, Colo.--A Verizon Communications executive on Monday lashed out at critics who have savaged the company's recent Net neutrality announcement with Google, calling the complaints misguided and based on mischaracterizations of the joint proposal.
The language announced on August 9 is "much tougher than any nondiscrimination proposal that had ever been put on the table publicly before," Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president of public affairs and policy, said at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum here.
Facebook has released a statement about its stance on the controversial topic of Net neutrality--and it's not in agreement with Google, which recently announced a proposal with Verizon Communications in which it recommends that Net neutrality not extend beyond the "public Internet" of wireline networks.
"Facebook continues to support principles of Net neutrality for both landline and wireless networks," the company's Washington, D.C.-based policy spokesman, Andrew Noyes, said in a statement. "Preserving an open Internet that is accessible to innovators--regardless of their size or wealth--will promote a vibrant and competitive marketplace … Read more
PHILADELPHIA--Does privacy exist anymore? Do we even know what it is? A conversation between digital academics Jeff Jarvis and Danah Boyd on Friday morning at the Supernova conference capped off a week in which many peoples' perceptions of the tension between public and private data online were shaken (and stirred).
"We have no definition of privacy," said Boyd, a charismatic Microsoft researcher who says she has spent the past two months working on a data-intensive analysis of news stories pertaining to Facebook's ongoing privacy controversy. The massive social network has been criticized by bloggers, advocates, and lawmakers … Read more
PHILADELPHIA--There are few words in digital-media jargon that are more weighted than "transparency."
Though it was overshadowed by talk about the complexities of broadband access policy, government transparency was one of the topics highlighted in a set of "Policy Workshop" panels on Thursday at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business as part of the Supernova 2010 technology conference. But, as is one of the downsides of a 45-minute panel, the speakers were barely able to scratch the surface.
These calls to action on access and openness come at an uneasy time for Washington … Read more