January 20 News: Young Drivers Prefer Electric Vehicles, Survey Finds

Other stories below: Obama’s first 2012 ad focuses on energy; Secretary Clinton won’t testify on Keystone XL

Survey: Young drivers prefer electric cars

Lusting for a Lamborghini or Bentley? Not if you grew up listening to the Backstreet Boys and winning trophies for, umm, everything. A new survey finds that most Gen Y consumers (a k a “Millennials”) have a high affinity for green, eco-friendly vehicles versus any other type of car.

Researchers at Deloitte found 59% of Gen Y respondents preferred alternative power. Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles won over 57% of respondents, and pure battery electric vehicles got 2% of the vote; by contrast, vehicles with a traditional gas-only power train were preferred by only 37%.


Contrary to stereotypes, this young generation seems to know a good value when it sees one: Fuel efficiency is the biggest appeal. In fact, close to half (49%) of Gen Y customers are willing to pay an extra $300 for each mile per gallon of improvement they can get out of a hybrid, according to Deloitte.

Obama’s first 2012 ad focuses on energy

The Republican party may not have settled yet on who will challenge the president in November, but President Obama’s re-election team has already launched its first ad.

Called “unprecedented,” the Obama for America ad focuses on energy policy and takes the president’s critics head on.

“Secretive billionaires attacking President Obama with ads fact-checkers say are not tethered to the facts,” says a narrator in the ad over an image referencing the Solyndra controversy.

The Obama team’s ad notes that an independent watchdog group praised Mr. Obama’s record on ethics as “unprecedented.” It also highlights the growth of the clean energy sector under Mr. Obama’s watch, bringing the United States’ dependence on foreign oil below 50 percent for the first time in 13 years.

Pa. Town With Tainted Wells Getting New EPA Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will deliver fresh water to four homes in a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential water wells were tainted by a gas driller. The agency also said it will begin testing the water supplies of dozens more homes as it ramps up its investigation more than three years after homeowners say the water supply was ruined.

Capping a tumultuous two weeks in which EPA first promised the residents a tanker of water — and then quickly backed away, saying more study was needed — federal environmental regulators said they have concluded that contaminant levels in four of the homes pose a health hazard and require emergency action. Some of the water samples, the agency said, were found to be polluted with cancer-causing arsenic and synthetic chemicals typically found in drilling fluids.

Secretary Clinton won’t testify on Keystone pipeline rejection

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not testify next week at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Instead, Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environment and scientific affairs, will testify at the hearing, according to the committee.

Jones headed up the State Department’s review of the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Corbett administration slashes research funding

The administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has cut funding for a wildlife research program by nearly 70 percent, eliminating state money for projects meant to examine the impact of natural gas drilling and climate change, according to a report.

Richard Allan, the secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, eliminated 13 of the 21 projects that staff in the agency’s Wildlife Resource Conservation Program had recommended for funding, StateImpact Pennsylvania reported Wednesday.

Air Force reducing energy consumption in the air, on bases

The Air Force uses more energy than any other agency in the federal government, and it’s not likely to give up the top spot any time soon. It flies some 900 flights every day around the globe, not counting its wartime missions, and it’s responsible for running installations all over the world.

Nonetheless, the service has made big strides in cutting its energy consumption. Since 2006, the Air Force cut its consumption of jet fuel by 2 percent during a period when it was tasked with carrying more not less cargo. On its bases, it’s reduced the amount of electricity it consumes by 15 percent, compared with 2003 figures.

While some of the energy savings are the result of up-front investments in energy-saving technologies, many are simply the result of rethinking the way the Air Force manages its operations, said Kevin Geiss, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for energy.