VW is tooling up 16 plants to build electric autos by 2022

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❝ Volkswagen AG secured 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in battery supplies to underpin an aggressive push into electric cars in the coming years, ramping up pressure on Tesla Inc. as it struggles with production issues for the mainstream Model 3.

The world’s largest carmaker will equip 16 factories to produce electric vehicles by the end of 2022, compared with three currently, Volkswagen said Tuesday in Berlin. The German manufacturer’s plans to build as many as 3 million of the cars a year by 2025 is backstopped by deals with suppliers including Samsung SDI Co., LG Chem Ltd. and Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. for batteries in Europe and China.

❝ With the powerpack deliveries secured for its two biggest markets, a deal for North America will follow shortly, Volkswagen said. In total, the Wolfsburg-based automaker has said it plans to purchase about 50 billion euros in batteries as part of its electric-car push, which includes three new models in 2018 with dozens more following.

Can’t happen soon enough for me. We haven’t even narrowed down style for the next new car in our household. Leaders on spec right now are the Tesla pickup and the VW Mini-Micro. Electric-only folks.

NYC sues the Big 5 oil companies in USA over climate change

❝ New York City has sued five of the United States’ biggest oil companies on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming and will divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars he anticipates the city will spend to protect New Yorkers from the effects of climate change. The city filed the lawsuit on Tuesday night…the 13th.

The city wants compensation for damages that the city has already experienced, as well as for damage the city will undergo over the course of the 21st century…

❝ The mayor and city comptroller Scott Stringer plan to submit a join resolution to pension fund trustees to start analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners—a first-in-the-nation goal. In total, the city’s five pension funds hold about $5 billion in the securities of more than 190 fossil fuel companies, according to the administration.

You can stand up for principles like this no matter where you live. It doesn’t take big city smarts – just educated good sense – to oppose the pimps of carbon-based power, profit before people.

Good News for Sharks

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❝ The waters surrounding the South Pacific island nation of Samoa are prime habitat for nearly 30 species of sharks and rays, and today the government took a critical step toward protecting them. At a forum to celebrate the region’s history of strong shark conservation, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi announced that the country is designating all of its national waters a shark sanctuary—the 17th such sanctuary in the world.

The regulations ban commercial fishing and the possession, trade, and sale of sharks and shark products throughout Samoa’s 128,000-square-kilometer exclusive economic zone, and prohibits the use of fishing gear typically used to target sharks, such as wire leaders. Sharks are important to Pacific heritage and healthy marine ecosystems. Yet, at least 63 million and as many as 273 million sharks are killed every year in commercial fisheries globally.

Overdue. And all credit to the nations who have made this decision. Healthy natural environments most often include predators as part of a wholistic balance. Why – in my case – I have long opposed any hunting of predators.

Over half of US coal mined in 2017 came from 5 companies

More than half of the coal produced in the U.S. comes from five companies, with the largest company producing one in every five tons.

Peabody Energy Corp. far outproduced any other coal company in 2017 with 156.7 million tons from U.S. operations, a 20.3% share of the total coal produced in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of Peabody’s production came from a single mine, the North Antelope Rochelle mine in Wyoming, which is itself responsible for 13.1% of the coal produced in the entire country…

❝ “We’ll take a look at where our customer requirements are later as we progress through the year and see where we end up, but we are very focused on maintaining strong margins out of that basin,” Peabody Executive Vice President and CFO Amy Schwetz said Feb. 7…

Just to smell the money and power coal still has over a political economy…consider…

❝ In Wyoming, for example, two companies — Peabody and Arch — mine 64% of the coal in the state. Murray Energy controls 36% of the coal produced in West Virginia, while Alliance Resource Partners LP produced 39.7% of the coal mined in Kentucky in 2017.

How many politicians do you think they own – they might need to own – in a state, in Congress, to always get their way?

Shkreli gets 7 years in the slammer!

Ars Technica — NEPA Scene/Flickr/Aurich

❝ The smirk wiped off his face, a crying Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud Friday in a hard fall for the pharmaceutical-industry bad boy vilified for jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug.

Shkreli, the boyish-looking, 34-year-old entrepreneur dubbed the “Pharma Bro” for his loutish behavior, was handed his punishment after a hearing in which he and his attorney struggled with limited success to make him a sympathetic figure. His own lawyer confessed to wanting to punch him in the face sometimes…

❝ Shkreli, the boyish-looking, 34-year-old entrepreneur dubbed the “Pharma Bro” for his loutish behavior, was handed his punishment after a hearing in which he and his attorney struggled with limited success to make him a sympathetic figure. His own lawyer confessed to wanting to punch him in the face sometimes…

❝ Shkreli became the face of pharmaceutical industry evil in 2015 when he increased by 5,000 percent the price of Daraprim, a previously cheap drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be fatal to people with the AIDS virus or other immune system disorders.

Wonder if our Fake President will give him a pardon.