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first_imgReport: State Could Improve Policy, Offset Oil CostsNRDC Report Says Transportation Planning Can Buffer Automotive Fuel CostsVermont could be doing more to protect its citizens from the high costsof fuel oil for our cars and trucks, according to a new report releasedby the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmentalgroup.States that adopt laws to promote clean and efficient vehicles, preventsprawl, and invest in public transit, are helping protect their citizensfrom high oil prices, according to the report, “Fighting Oil Addiction:Ranking States’ Oil Vulnerability and Solutions for Change.””Based on this report, the results for Vermont are mixed,” said BrianShupe, the sustainable communities director and energy co-director forthe Vermont Natural Resources Council. “Despite our green image andreputation for forward-thinking policy, this report shows that Vermontis not among the most innovative states when it comes to taking steps toreduce our reliance on oil for transportation.”The report highlights two critical areas related to our nation’saddiction to oil: vulnerability to high oil prices and implementation bystates of policy alternatives and solutions.Vermont ranks 16th among the 50 states with regard to the specificpolicy steps the state is taking to cut down on oil use, but ithighlights some gaps. The report also shows that the state is relativelyvulnerable to high oil prices based on Vermonters’ incomes. According tothe report, Vermont motorists spent an average of $1,856 on gasoline in2007. This amounts to 5.1 percent of the average income, making thestate the 31st most vulnerable to high oil prices. The report does notconsider oil use for heating.One area in which the NRDC report finds Vermont lagging relates togrowth management and planning.”Several states have an agency that coordinates development policieswith state spending decisions to promote smart growth and avoid sprawl,”Shupe explained, “but Vermont lacks such an entity. We did get pointsfor Act 200 (Vermont’s planning and growth management law), although thestate agency planning requirements of that law have been ignored forover a decade.”The report also noted that Vermont lacks a target for reducing vehiclemiles traveled by Vermonters. Between 2000 and 2005, the average numberof vehicle miles traveled increased by 11 percent.”This is largely because we’re developing communities that are notwalkable and are difficult to serve by transit,” Shupe said. “Greaterefforts to promote smart growth, avoid scattered, low densitydevelopment and invest in alternative transportation are critical toreducing our vulnerability to sticker shock at the gas pump.”According to the report, the five states implementing the mostcomprehensive policies to reduce oil use are California, followed by NewYork, Connecticut, Washington and Pennsylvania. In New England, RhodeIsland, Maine and Massachusetts also rank ahead of Vermont.For a copy of the full report go to www.nrdc.org/media/2008/080722.asp(link is external)last_img read more

first_img The U.S. Treasury on May 23 added 20 companies and individuals to its Iran sanctions blacklist, accusing them of supporting Tehran’s nuclear efforts and helping the country avoid international sanctions. Malaysia-based Petro Green and a top company official, Hossein Vaziri, were placed on the U.S. blacklist for their work with firms linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Naftiran Intertrade Company, both primary targets of U.S. sanctions. They include Iran-based transport and freight companies Aban Air, DFS Worldwide and Everex, as well as officials of the three, which the Treasury said work to get around bans on doing business with already-blacklisted Iran Air. By Dialogo May 28, 2013 Two companies and one person were hit with sanctions for their work in Iran’s nuclear program, which the U.S. believes is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, an allegation Iran denies. The sanctions blacklist bans U.S. entities and individuals from any financial or commercial relations with those named. In addition, the Iranian deputy defense minister and dean of Malek Ashtar University, Reza Mozaffarinia, was named for his work on Iran’s missile program. “These actions are designed to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by tightening sanctions against Iran’s energy sector and exposing key proliferation-related networks that span the globe from Europe to Asia.” “These networks are responsible for moving supplies and providing essential services to Iran’s clandestine nuclear and weapons programs,” the Treasury said in a statement. last_img read more