Environment Today: Synthetic Palm Oil, Bullet Train, NYC Clearing The Roads

If you weren’t aware, I’ve long had an issue with the production of palm oil. It has many uses, from foods to fuels, and, because of it’s growing uses, especially as a fossil fuels alternative (a type of ethanol), jungles are being clearcut and the wildlife killed, including intentionally hunting them down, much like they did to Orangutans. Heck, some Girl Scouts petitioned to stop using palm oil in cookies. I tend to avoid products that use palm oil. Bad for the environment. So, this could be a good thing

Lab-grown palm oil could offer environmentally-friendly alternative

What scientists are brewing inside a New York City lab could dramatically change the products people use every day.

Shara Ticku, co-founder of C16 Biosciences, took CBS News inside the lab where the company grows an alternative to palm oil. Ticku said yeast plays a key role in their development process.

“Palm oil is responsible for making hand soaps, foam and cleanse,” Ticku explained. “It makes the color stay on your lipstick and on your lips. And it helps create a smooth spreadable emulsion in peanut butter.”

Palm oil is the most popular vegetable oil in the world, and more than 1.7 million tons were consumed in the U.S. in 2022, according to numbers from Statista.

But it can be as destructive as it is versatile. The World Wildlife Foundation says large-scale palm oil harvesting destroys rainforests and pollutes communities. It is found in more than half of packaged products on supermarket shelves, the conservation organization said.

That could be an excellent thing if it could be replaced. It is bad for the environment. Then there’s this

California Spent More Than $600 Million On Environmental Reviews For High-Speed Rail Line That Isn’t Built Yet

The state of California has spent more than $600 million on environmental reviews for a high-speed rail project that has not yet been completed, according to documents obtained and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The state shelled out a total of $618,038,924.01 for numerous companies involved in construction to conduct environmental reviews for the state’s high-speed railway project, the records show. California voters approved the funding of the undertaking to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco and the Central Valley with high-speed rail in 2008, but it has encountered delays and budget overruns in the 15 years since California voters initially approved issuing bonds to finance the project.

“With the amount of regulatory paralysis the project confronts, it’s no surprise that almost nothing has been accomplished in over 15 years since voters approved it,” Edward Ring, senior fellow for the California Policy Center, told the DCNF. “The state owes it to the taxpayers to either dramatically streamline the process or cut their losses and cancel the project” because “at the current rate, the project will not be completed in our lifetimes,” Ring continued.

The overall cost has ballooned all the way up from the $33 billion California voters approved in 2008 to $128 billion now, and it isn’t even close to being ready for operations

We’re Taking New York City’s Streets Back — and Then We’re Coming for the Rest of the Country

Over the summer, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority held meetings to discuss how to organize its congestion pricing toll for drivers entering Manhattan south of 60th Street.

Naturally, everyone and her mother wants a discount. The agency has received requests for toll-free access to Manhattan from 122 interest groups, including artists, farmers, judges, musicians, retired N.Y.P.D. detectives, people of color, residents of Brooklyn, residents of Manhattan making less than $147,500 a year, residents of the Manhattan condo building Waterside Plaza and drivers of hearses, trucks and motorcycles.

Not to be outdone, New Yorkers also submitted requests for 55 groups that should under no circumstances be granted exemptions from the toll, including bicyclists, sightseeing buses, taxis, police officers and residents of New Jersey. One of the latter, Gov. Phil Murphy, has sued the federal government to stop the congestion pricing plan from taking effect.

Wait, the TA wants to charge people riding bicycles? Really? WTF?

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5 Responses to “Environment Today: Synthetic Palm Oil, Bullet Train, NYC Clearing The Roads”

  1. Dana says:

    $618,038,924.01? Chicken feed! In Philly, there’s real political pressure to build the Roosevelt Boulevard subway, from Center City to Northeast Philly, in into the collar counties, for over $3 billion.

  2. Deserttrek says:

    High speed rail in California was idiotic from the start.
    Should have always been private, but then no graft.

  3. H says:

    People from the poor red states are always trying to tell the richer states how to run their economy.

  4. H says:

    600 million unbelievable waste!
    Over 15 years about 49 million a year
    It about $1.25 per person per year

    Lol that 10 cents per month
    Not enough to spark a violent civil war

    • Jl says:

      Poor Johnny-misses another one. “600 million- unbelievable waste!”. Did you fail to notice the waste in the budget for the not yet delivered bullet train going from 33 billion to 128 billion and counting?

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