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April 18 News: Higher Gasoline Prices Are Changing American Driving Habits

As prices have neared and in some cases topped $4 a gallon, drivers have cut their consumption of gasoline to its lowest levels in a decade, driving less and buying cars that are more fuel-efficient. [Washington Post]

President Barack Obama will receive endorsements Wednesday from the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and Environment America, according to an environmental political operative and a House Democratic source. [Politico]

The White House on Tuesday said Obama would veto legislation before the U.S. House of Representatives that sought to force approval of the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline as part of a new 90-day extension of federal transportation funding. [Reuters]

Members of the presidential panel that investigated the 2010 BP oil rig explosion and spill sharply criticized Congress on Tuesday for refusing to act on any of its recommendations and gave the Obama administration and the oil industry mixed marks. [New York Times]

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To most consumers, the cloud is an abstract warehouse in the sky where we store our photos, documents and other key bits of information with a click of a button. But the technology that keeps the cloud running — data centers and mobile telecommunications networks, operating 24 hours a day — requires electricity, making it a target for environmentalists hoping to curb greenhouse gas emissions. [Washington Post]

One of the auto industry’s most closely guarded secrets — the enormous cost of batteries for electric cars — has spilled out. Speaking at a forum on green technology on Monday, Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally indicated battery packs for the company’s Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 apiece. [Wall Street Journal]

India’s enormous solar potential has until now been seen mostly through the lens of a PV module. But this week’s news that Areva Solar is planning a 250-megawatt project in the country’s Rajasthan region is noteworthy for its size and its technology. [Renewable Energy World]