Happy Summer Solstice, y’all. Anyone dancing naked around a bonfire tonight?
• Walgreens stores announced it will build more than 200 new solar arrays on its stores in six U.S. states. Sadly, Tennessee is not among them. I blame TVA, but what do I know.
• Five wilderness and conservation bills passed the U.S. Senate, the first of the 113th Congress. The 112th Congress was the first since 1966 to not designate a single new acre of wilderness, according to the Wilderness Society.
• Emissions limits on power plants are coming! That’s good news for solar providers.
• Ex-gay therapy group Exodus International has folded, and its former president has offered an apology to those he says have been hurt by its “treatment.”
• A bill allowing limited abortion is making its way through Ireland’s
parliament, bringing clarity to a murky legal framework which led to the death of Savita Halappanavar last fall.
• SCOTUS struck down Arizona’s law requiring proof of citizenship to vote.
• Salt Lake City Boy Scout leaders who marched in the Utah Pride Parade to celebrate the group’s inclusion of gay youth refused to sign an apology letter for their action.
• A once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection in IV drug users seems to be effective.
• Israel’s top businessmen pressure Netanyahu to restart the peace process; apparently permanent war is bad for Israel’s economy.
• Afghans have taken back control of their national security from NATO forces.
• The Pentagon is putting together a plan that would allow female service members to join the special forces as well as serve in combat.
• Nevada passes a landmark bill closing dirty coal-fired Reid Gardner and moving Nevada toward renewable energy.
• Michigan Republicans find their spine, tell the Tea Party to stuff it.
• Tesla will announced a battery-swapping scheme for its Model S.
By the way, get a load of this report about Westar Energy Executive Vice President/COO Doug Sterbenz and engineering intern Robert Forkner test-driving a Model S. Apparently they had so much fun, they missed their flight back to Kansas. They write:
There is nothing like stepping on a gas pedal and hearing an engine roar to life. That’s what I thought, as a car enthusiast, until I drove the Tesla Model S, a fully electric luxury sports sedan.
I’ve changed my thinking, and now I say, “There is nothing like stepping on the accelerator pedal and hearing nothing while being catapulted forward into future world.”
Dudes, you have no idea.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• There won’t be any fracking on Tennessee state land … for now.
• In what was an otherwise grim report for the nation’s education colleges which train teachers, education programs at Nashville’s Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University ranked in the top 4 nationally.
• The Smoky Mountains are a little less smoky thanks to pollution control efforts over the past few decades.
This week’s cool video shows a young fox who got its head stuck in a jar coming up to some hikers and asking for help. Bonus points to commenter Endofcivilization, who observed:
glad that fox wasn’t here in the U.S., would’ve been killed by some redneck hillbilly