| AmeriScan: April 10, 2007
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Nuclear Control Institute Founder Paul
WASHINGTON, DC, April 10,
2007 (ENS) - Paul Leventhal,
founder of the Nuclear Control Institute, died today at age 69 of
Leventhal founded the Nuclear Control
Institute, NCI, in 1981
and served as its president until his retirement in June 2002, when he
assumed the office of president emeritus.
He has prepared four books for the Institute
and has lectured
in a number of countries on nuclear issues, including as Distinguished
Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University's Global Security Programme.
Leventhal organized the Institute's
International Task Force on
Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism, and its conference in South America on
averting a nuclear arms race between Argentina and Brazil.
his trademark bow tie, Paul Leventhal addresses journalists at the
National Press Club on the subject of Iran's nuclear weapons. January
31, 2006. (Photo courtesy NCI)
He organized a coalition of eminent U.S. scientists and diplomats
seeking a halt in further production of nuclear weapons materials, and
a working group of public interest organizations in Washington on
nuclear proliferation issues.
Leventhal held senior staff positions in the
United States Senate on nuclear power and proliferation issues.
He served as special counsel to the Senate
Committee, l972-1976, and as staff director of the Senate Nuclear
Regulation Subcommittee, l979-1981.
He was responsible for the investigations
and legislation that resulted
in enactment of two landmark nuclear laws - the Energy Reorganization
Act of 1974, replacing the Atomic Energy Commission with separate
regulatory and promotional agencies, and the Nuclear NonProliferation
Act of 1978, establishing stricter controls on U.S. nuclear trade to
combat the spread of nuclear weapons.
He also served as director of the Senate
of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident, 1979-1980, and prepared the
legislation enacted in 1980 to require preventive measures and
emergency planning for future accidents.
Leventhal was a research fellow at Harvard
for Science and International Affairs, 1976-1977, concentrating on
nuclear weapons proliferation under a grant from the Ford Foundation.
He served as Assistant Administrator for
Policy and Planning at
the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1977 and
Leventhal came to Washington in 1969 as
press secretary to
Senator Jacob Javits, a New York Republican, after a decade of
political and investigative reporting for the "Cleveland Plain Dealer,"
"New York Post," and "Newsday."
In l972, he served as Congressional
correspondent for "National
Journal" before returning to Capitol Hill to pursue legislative and
He holds a bachelor's degree in government,
magna cum laude,
from Franklin and Marshall College. The college presented him its
Alumni Medal in 1988 for distinguished professional accomplishment and
contributions to society. He holds a master's degree from the Columbia
University Graduate School of Journalism.
Paul Leventhal is survived by his wife
Sharon Tanzer, vice-president of
the Nuclear Control Institute, and his sons, Ted and Josh.
The papers documenting his initiatives have
been collected and
catalogued at the National Security Archive, George Washington
University, in Washington, DC. The Institute's website will remain
online at http://www.nci.org.
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Governors Push for Clean Energy Laws,
WASHINGTON, DC, April 10,
2007 (ENS) - The nation's governors
have adopted a set of federal energy legislative
priorities that they would like the 110th Congress to enact.
The National Governors Association, NGA,
today urged Congress
to expand the alternative fuels standard, enhance transportation fuel
efficiency, extend renewable energy tax credits, incentivize carbon
capture and sequestration technologies, boost energy efficiency and
conservation, and increase funds to promote advanced technologies.
The NGA Natural Resources Committee will
hold a special field
hearing in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, April 15, to talk about
these priorities and explore concrete steps the states can take to meet
America’s clean energy goals.
"Many governors have taken strong steps to
initiatives in their states that promote clean, secure and affordable
energy for our future," said Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., chair of
the NGA Natural Resources Committee.
"This NGA field hearing is a unique and
for energy policy experts across the country to participate in shaping
the national landscape for energy policy," Huntsman said.
The field hearing is part of the first Utah
taking place April 14-17 in Salt Lake City. The Summit will bring
together government officials, business leaders, consumer advocates and
the academic community to examine key energy issues in Utah and set
energy policy and energy development in the future.
Huntsman says the Utah Energy Summit will
potential as a regional and national leader in the development of clean
and diversified energy, encourage greater investment in Utah's energy
production and efficiency sectors, and promote his "ambitious energy
The field hearing will feature a
governors’ advisors panel
addressing the nation’s rising demand for energy and
sector polices to advance energy development.
Participants will discuss new federal energy
opportunities for partnerships between the federal government and
states. The field hearing will end with a discussion among
representatives from the investment community about promoting clean
energy investments in states.
"States have become the real policy drivers
on creating clean
energy jobs and a renewable energy future," said New Mexico Governor
Bill Richardson, vice chair of the NGA Natural Resources Committee. "We
call on Congress to adopt each of the measures to ensure
In New Mexico, Richardson has this year
enacted clean energy
bills to promote biodiesel, give tax credits for renewable energy
production, and boost the state's renewable portfolio standard. On
Monday he signed the first tax credit in the nation to cover carbon
capture technology and include specific capture goals at coal fired
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Vermont Squares Off Against Automakers on CO2
April 10, 2007 (ENS) - A trial that
began today in Vermont will, for the first time, determine
whether the state has the authority under the federal Clean Air Act to
limit carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.
The case pits two major automakers against
the states of Vermont and
New York and five environmental groups. Vermont enacted its new
greenhouse gas regulations pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act,
following California's tough carbon dioxide emissions limits.
The automakers contend that
Vermont’s standards are preempted by
another federal statute which regulates corporate average fuel economy,
"In the face of federal inaction to combat
climate change, states have
chosen to lead the way by using the authority granted to them in the
Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles,"
said Chris Kilian, vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation,
CLF, and director of its Vermont Advocacy Center.
CLF is one of the five environmental groups
that has intervened in the
lawsuit and its legal team is working with the Vermont Attorney
General’s office to defend the state’s emissions
intervening on behalf of the states are the Natural Resources Defense
Council and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep
and Green Mountain
Ford Mercury, both of East Dorset, Vermont, and Joe Tornabene's GMC of
Pownal are plaintiffs in the case, in addition to General Motors,
DaimlerChrysler, and two auto industry trade groups.
The automakers argue that the states do not
have the right to
set the fuel economy standard for cars, that only the federal
Transportation Department has that right, and that carbon dioxide
emissions limits are a "de facto fuel economy standard."
In addition, the automakers claim, if states
are allowed to
follow California's emissions limits it will be costly to consumers and
harmful to the industry.
The Association of International Automobile
AIAM, is one of two automotive trade groups challenging the Vermont
rule. Its members include Aston Martin, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu,
Kia, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Subaru, Suzuki and
These companies account for about 40 percent
of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold annually in the United
"We will demonstrate the direct link between
a CO2 emissions limit and
a miles- per-gallon fuel economy standard," said AIAM in a statement
"We believe this issue should be dealt with
by all sectors of
the economy, not just our industry," said Charles Territo,
communications director for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers,
the other plaintiff automakers trade group. Its members are BMW,
DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche,
Toyota and Volkswagen.
The trial follows a U.S. Supreme Court
ruling on April 2 that
ordered the federal government to take a fresh look at regulating
carbon dioxide emissions, saying the Clean Air Act gives the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency the authority to do so.
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Feds Fund Battery Research for Plug-in Hybrid
WASHINGTON, DC, April 10, 2007
(ENS) – The U.S.
Department of Energy, DOE, is spending up to $14 million for
plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery research. The development of a
lower cost, high-energy battery has been identified as a critical
pathway toward commercialization of plug-in hybrids.
The funds will go to a $28 million
cost-shared solicitation by the United States Advanced Battery
USABC is a consortium of the United States
Automotive Research, the umbrella organization for collaborative
research among DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and
General Motors Corporation.
Supported by a cooperative agreement with
the Energy Department,
USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage
technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid, and
This research aims to find solutions to
improving battery performance
so vehicles can deliver up to 40 miles of electric range without
recharging. This would include most roundtrip daily commutes.
DOE and the USABC seek to identify
technologies capable of meeting or approaching USABC’s
performance, weight, life-cycle, and cost.
Other considerations include the potential
to commercialize proposed battery technologies and bring them to market
A copy of USABC’s request for
proposal information can be downloaded here. The submission deadline is
Thursday, May 31, 2007.
For more information on DOE’s
Vehicle Technologies Program, visit: http://www.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/.
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First Database of Endocrine Info for Fish
WASHINGTON, DC, Apri 10, 2007
(ENS) - The first national database
of endocrine information for fish collected
in U.S. streams and rivers was released today by the U.S. Geological
The USGS report provides baseline
inofrmation on endocrine and
reproductive condition in two species of fish - common carp and
"Field studies of contaminants in aquatic
ecosystems frequently focus
on local hot spots," said Dr. Steve Goodbred, a USGS scientist and lead
author of the report.
"Although such studies have great value in
occurrence of contaminants and possible alterations in endocrine and
reproductive biomarkers in fish, it is important to acquire baseline
information across large geographic areas to help establish what is
normal for that species at that season and in that region," he said.
The database provides a vital national basis
that will be used by scientists studying endocrine disruption at
individual sites across the country.
The database includes information on sex
vitellogenin, an egg protein that indicates exposure to estrogenic
substances when found in male fish; and the reproductive stages for
common carp and largemouth bass.
From 1994 to 1997, USGS researchers
collected fish at 119 sites
around the country to determine levels of and variability in
reproductive and endocrine biomarkers, and to determine their potential
usefulness in assessing reproductive health and status in fish.
Aquatic ecosystems sampled include the
Mississippi and Columbia rivers,
the Colorado, Willamette, Potomac, Red River of the North, Platte,
Hudson, Missouri, and Connecticut rivers. The sites were characterized
by different land uses and levels of disturbance.
Previous studies by USGS and others have
reported correlations between
specific reproductive impairment and elevated tissue concentrations of
environmental contaminants. Changes include reduced fertility,
hatchability, viability of young, impaired hormone activity, and
altered sexual development and behavior.
Abnormalities of these types may be caused
by alteration of normal endocrine function.
To view the national data report and an
accompanying fact sheet, click here.
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Simple Rules to Follow in Case of Nuclear
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, April
10, 2007 (ENS) - In the current
television adventure series, "24," a terrorist explodes
a small nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Today, Carnegie Mellon researchers
Keith Florig and Baruch Fischhoff offered simple, practical advice that
people everywhere can use if faced by such a threat.
The two scientists consider whether it is
worth citizens' time to
stock supplies needed for a home shelter, how urgently should one seek
shelter following a nearby nuclear detonation, and how long should
survivors remain in a shelter after the radioactive dust settles.
"Our research illustrates how relatively
simple analyses that
consider citizens' circumstances can help make the best of a bad
situation," said Fischhoff, a professor in Carnegie Mellon's social and
decision sciences and the engineering and public policy department.
Fischhoff and Florig, a senior research
engineer, say many
families simply cannot afford the government guidelines for stocking in
"A number of emergency management
organizations recommend that
people stock their homes with a couple dozen categories of emergency
supplies," said Florig. "We calculated that it would cost about $240
per year for a typical family to maintain such a stock, including the
value of storage space and the time needed to tend to it."
The researchers say there is a "low
probability" that stocked supplies would actually be used in a nuclear
"Government websites such as Ready.gov
recommend that people
take shelter or evacuate following a nuclear blast, but provide no
information that might help people determine how much time they have to
react before a fallout cloud arrives," said Florig.
The two scientists offer simple rules for
minimizing risk based on how far people are from the blast.
If you are within several miles of the
blast, there will be no time to
flee and you will have only minutes to seek shelter, they say.
If you are 10 miles from the blast, you will
have 15 to 60
minutes to find shelter, but not enough time to reliably flee the area
before the fallout arrives," said Florig.
As to long people should remain sheltered in
area before it is riskier to stay than to evacuate, the researchers say
the answer depends on how good their shelters are and how long it would
take to evacuate.
"Those who have poor shelters, limited
stores and no access to a
vehicle will need the most help to escape," they said. Their findings
are published in the May 2007 issue of the journal "Health Physics."