Tag Archives: energy

Take 5: Top Books on Energy

Got scientists and engineers on your holiday shopping list? Take five and check out our top gift ideas. NAP books and merchandise make thoughtful gifts for thinking people.

America's Energy Future

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills,…
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Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles

Various combinations of commercially available technologies could greatly reduce fuel consumption in passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and other light-duty vehicles without compromising vehicle performance or safety. Assessment of…
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Hidden Costs of Energy

Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
Details

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric…
Details

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the…
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Panicking Over Prices at the Pump? New Technologies and Energy Efficiency Can Reduce Our Need for Gasoline

Drivers everywhere are feeling pain at the pump. With gas prices hovering at $4.00 a gallon in many areas, many of us are trying to reduce the amount of driving we do. Combining trips, switching to public transportation, walking, and biking can all help reduce our personal use, at least in the short run. According to the Department of Energy, demand for gas recently dropped. Transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of U.S. oil consumption, and about 60 percent of the oil we use must be imported. Dependence on imported oil leads to concerns over vulnerability to disruptions, especially if world oil production peaks. Use of gasoline in vehicles also accounts for one-third of U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. The U.S. government is seeking to reduce the use of oil to help meet both challenges. A longer-term solution to the oil problem would be to invest in and encourage research in systems that are more energy efficient, and new technologies that do not rely on gasoline.

The National Research council has produced a number of reports on the subject of energy, summarizing our current status and examining prospects for the future. Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies — Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) evaluates battery and vehicle technologies to predict how costs might drop as technology improves and economies of scale increase and examines the ability of the electric grid to supply power for a growing PHEV fleet. It also analyzes two potential market-penetration rates for PHEVs.

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles states that a significant number of technologies exist that can reduce the fuel consumption of light-duty vehicles while maintaining similar performance, safety, and utility. Each technology has its own characteristic fuel-consumption benefit and estimated cost. Although these technologies are often considered independently, there can be positive and negative interactions among individual technologies, and so the technologies must be effectively integrated into the full vehicle system.

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation discusses ways that, with a sustained national commitment, the United States could obtain substantial energy efficiency improvements, new sources of energy, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the accelerated deployment of existing and emerging energy-supply and end-use technologies.

These books and others on the subject can inform debate and assist in decision-making.

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles 

The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric…
Details

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles 

Various combinations of commercially available technologies could greatly reduce fuel consumption in passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and other light-duty vehicles without compromising vehicle performance or safety. Assessment of…
Details

America's Energy Future America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition 

Energy production and use touch our lives in countless ways. We are reminded of the cost of energy every time we fill up at the gas pump, pay an electricity bill, or purchase an airline ticket. Energy use also has important indirect impacts, not all of which…
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Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States 

America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the…
Details

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles 

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles evaluates various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, transit…
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Hidden Costs of Energy Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use 

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
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Driving and the Built Environment Driving and the Built Environment: The Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions — Special Report 298 

TRB Special Report 298: Driving and the Built Environment: Effects of Compact Development on Motorized Travel, Energy Use, and CO2 Emissions examines the relationship between land development patterns and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the…
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Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--A Focus on Hydrogen Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–A Focus on Hydrogen 

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) could alleviate the nation’s dependence on oil and reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. Industry-and government-sponsored research programs have made very impressive technical progress over…
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report 

The FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership is a collaborative effort among the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), and five major energy companies to manage research that will enable the vision of a clean and sustainable…
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Trends in Oil Supply and Demand, Potential for Peaking of Conventional Oil Production, and Possible Mitigation Options Trends in Oil Supply and Demand, Potential for Peaking of Conventional Oil Production, and Possible Mitigation Options: A Summary Report of the Workshop 

Recent events and analyses have suggested that global production of oil might peak sometime within the next few years to the next one or two decades. Other analyses, however, conclude that oil supply can meet global demand for some decades to come and that oil…
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Nuclear Energy: Status, Prospects, and Issues

Events at Japan’s Fukashima Dai-ichi nuclear plant have caused many to take a closer look at the U.S. nuclear power industry. Nuclear power provides 19 percent of U.S. electricity as a whole and about 70 percent of electricity produced without greenhouse gas emissions from operations. Nuclear power plants have historically provided electricity safely and reliably, and they have operated with capacity factors greater than 90 percent over the last few years.

There has been substantial worldwide interest in building new nuclear power plants. This interest is evident not only in countries that led the world in the development of nuclear power, but also in developing countries with large economies. After years of relatively slow worldwide growth, many countries that do not have a nuclear power plant are considering building one; and many nations that already have one or more nuclear power plants are considering adding more nuclear power plants and expanding their nuclear enterprises with fuel fabrication, uranium enrichment, and spent fuel reprocessing facilities to serve an expanded fleet of nuclear power plants.

The National Research Council has produced a number of reports that examine the prospects for future development of nuclear energy, the processes for transportation and storage of commercial spent nuclear fuel, safety considerations for the operation of U.S. nuclear plants, and possible unintended dual-use issues.

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation discusses the current status and prospects for nuclear energy in the United States. This book examines new technologies that could make nuclear power more efficient. Hidden Costs of Energy: Inpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use examines the costs and benefits of various sources of energy, providing detailed analyses of electricity generation from coal, natural gas, and nuclear fission, which together account for 88% of all electricity generated in the United States.

Safety and Security of Commercial Nuclear Spent Fuel Storage assesses the safety and security risks of spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools and dry casks at commercial nuclear power plants. Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle addresses concerns about the proliferation risk of adding enrichment facilities in countries that do not have them now, and the possibility of providing the needed fuel and reprocessing nuclear waste without requiring indigenous enrichment facilities.

These books and others can inform debate and guide decision-making.

America's Energy Future America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills,…
Details

 

Hidden Costs of Energy Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
Details

 

Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage: Public Report

In response to a request from Congress, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Homeland Security sponsored a National Academies study to assess the safety and security risks of spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools and dry casks at…
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Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategies, and Challenges

The so-called nuclear renaissance has increased worldwide interest in nuclear power. This potential growth also has increased, in some quarters, concern that nonproliferation considerations are not being given sufficient attention. In particular, since…
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Electricity from Renewable Resources Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments

A component in the America’s Energy Future study, Electricity from Renewable Resources examines the technical potential for electric power generation with alternative sources such as wind, solar-photovoltaic, geothermal, solar-thermal,…
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Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program

There has been a substantial resurgence of interest in nuclear power in the United States over the past few years. One consequence has been a rapid growth in the research budget of DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). In light of this growth, the Office of…
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Alternatives to the Indian Point Energy Center for Meeting New York Electric Power Needs Alternatives to the Indian Point Energy Center for Meeting New York Electric Power Needs

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, many in the New York City area have become concerned about the possible consequences of a similar attack on the Indian Point nuclear power plantslocated about 40 miles from…
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Going the Distance? Going the Distance?: The Safe Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in the United States

This new report from the National Research Councils Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NRSB) and the Transportation Research Board reviews the risks and technical and societal concerns for the transport of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste…
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An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility -- Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype An International Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility — Exploring a Russian Site as a Prototype: Proceedings of an International Workshop

As part of a long-standing collaboration on nuclear nonproliferation, the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences held a joint workshop in Moscow in 2003 on the scientific aspects of an international radioactive disposal site in Russia. …
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End Points for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russia and the United States End Points for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russia and the United States

End Points for spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russian and the United States provides an analysis of the management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in Russia and the United States, describing inventories,…
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One Step at a Time One Step at a Time: The Staged Development of Geologic Repositories for High-Level Radioactive Waste

Compared to other large engineering projects, geologic repositories for high-level waste present distinctive challenges because: 1) they are first-of-a-kind, complex, and long-term projects that must actively manage hazardous materials for many decades: 2) they…
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State of the Union Highlights

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the President touched on many important issues facing our country. To learn more about those issues, we are pleased to offer authoritative resources from the National Academies in the areas of public policy, science, engineering, and medicine.

Remarks of President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.

Read about global competitiveness in…
Rising Above the Gathering Storm Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited

We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

But we have more work to do. The steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession – but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.

That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an internet connection.

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.

Read about innovation in China and India in…
The Power of Renewables: Opportunities and Challenges for China and the United States The Dragon and the Elephant: Understanding the Development of Innovation Capacity in China and India

So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.

What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.

Read about encouraging American innovation in…
Innovation in Global Industries
Changing the Conversation

Rebuilding a Real Economy: Unleashing Engineering Innovation

None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.

Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

Read about today’s priorities for NASA in…
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Read about investing in biomedical research, information technology, and clean energy technology in…
Funding Biomedical Research Programs
Assessing the Impacts of Changes in the Information Technology R&D Ecosystem: Retaining Leadership in an Increasingly Global Environment

Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.

Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.”

That’s what Americans have done for over two hundred years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

Read about reinventing our energy policy in…
America’s Energy Future

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Read about biofuels and electric vehicles in…
Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

Read about our energy options in…

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

Electricity from Renewable Resources

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

Read about innovation in teaching in…

Surrounded by Science

Learning Science in Informal Environments

Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations (Prepublication)

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.

Read about the methods and importance of science and math education in…
Taking Science to School Ready, Set, SCIENCE!
Science Professionals: Master’s Education for a Competitive World Expanding Under-represented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads
(Prepublication)
How Students Learn Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood
Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.

You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Read about preparing and evaluating teachers in…
Preparing Teachers Assessing Accomplished Teaching

In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American. That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.

Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today’s fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America’s community colleges. Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she’s earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. As Kathy said, “I hope it tells them to never give up.”

If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they’re born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.

Read about immigrants’ role in our future prosperity in…
Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies: Hispanics and the American Future

The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a “D.”

Read about our nation’s infrastructure in…

Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems: A Framework for Meeting 21st Century Imperatives

Driving and the Built Environment

The Federal Investment in Highway Research, 2006-2009: Strengths and Weaknesses

We have to do better. America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system. The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn’t just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.

Read about applying technology to health care in…
Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership Computational Technology for Effective Health Care

All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure – will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.

Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.

So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years – without adding to our deficit.

To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 – because the more we export, the more jobs we create at home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats and Republicans, and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it’s why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.

Read about regulations for the food industry and financial industry in…
Enhancing Food Safety New Directions for Understanding Systemic Risk

Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.

What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.

Read about health insurance in America in…
America’s Uninsured Crisis

Now, the final step – a critical step – in winning the future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.

We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.

But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.

Read about our options for fiscal sustainability in…
Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future

So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we have frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.

I recognize that some in this Chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let’s make sure that we’re not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let’s make sure what we’re cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.

Now, most of the cuts and savings I’ve proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12% of our budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won’t.

The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.

This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. And we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.

And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.

It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.

In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed interest in doing this, and I am prepared to join them.

So now is the time to act. Now is the time for both sides and both houses of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – to forge a principled compromise that gets the job done. If we make the hard choices now to rein in our deficits, we can make the investments we need to win the future.

Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a government of the past.

We live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white TV. There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.

Now, we have made great strides over the last two years in using technology and getting rid of waste. Veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. We’re selling acres of federal office space that hasn’t been used in years, and we will cut through red tape to get rid of more. But we need to think bigger. In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it passed.

Read about improving government efficiency in…

Strengthening the National Institute of Justice

Improving the Social Security Representative Payee Program

Evaluating Research Efficiency in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Fourth Edition

In the coming year, we will also work to rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government. Because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history. Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online. And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

A 21st century government that’s open and competent. A government that lives within its means. An economy that’s driven by new skills and ideas. Our success in this new and changing world will require reform, responsibility, and innovation. It will also require us to approach that world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.

Just as jobs and businesses can now race across borders, so can new threats and new challenges. No single wall separates East and West; no one rival superpower is aligned against us.

And so we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are, and build coalitions that cut across lines of region and race and religion. America’s moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom, justice, and dignity. And because we have begun this work, tonight we can say that American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing has been restored.

Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high; where American combat patrols have ended; violence has come down; and a new government has been formed. This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq. America’s commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end.

Of course, as we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us. Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies. And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family.

We have also taken the fight to al Qaeda and their allies abroad. In Afghanistan, our troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan Security Forces. Our purpose is clear – by preventing the Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we will deny al Qaeda the safe-haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11.

Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home.

Read about returning troops in…
Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

In Pakistan, al Qaeda’s leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking. And we have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.

American leadership can also be seen in the effort to secure the worst weapons of war. Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New START Treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed. Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

Read about global cooperation for arms control in…
Strengthening U.S-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation
Protection, Control, and Accounting of Nuclear Materials:
International Challenges and National Programs

Understanding Biosecurity: Protecting Against the Misuse of Science in Today’s World

Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before. And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons.

This is just a part of how we are shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity. With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India. This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas. Around the globe, we are standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers grow more food; supporting doctors who care for the sick; and combating the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity.

Read about our global health and nutrition policies in…
The U.S. Commitment to Global Health Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis

Recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be our power – it must be the purpose behind it. In South Sudan – with our assistance – the people were finally able to vote for independence after years of war. Thousands lined up before dawn. People danced in the streets. One man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the scene around him: “This was a battlefield for most of my life. Now we want to be free.”

We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country.

Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families. Let us serve them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.

Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.

We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. Reforming our schools; changing the way we use energy; reducing our deficit – none of this is easy. All of it will take time. And it will be harder because we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of every law.

Read about the path to American prosperity in…

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited

America’s Energy Future

Taking Science to School

Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future

Of course, some countries don’t have this problem. If the central government wants a railroad, they get a railroad – no matter how many homes are bulldozed. If they don’t want a bad story in the newspaper, it doesn’t get written.

And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.

We may have differences in policy, but we all believe in the rights enshrined in our Constitution. We may have different opinions, but we believe in the same promise that says this is a place where you can make it if you try. We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything’s possible. No matter who you are. No matter where you come from.

That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.

That dream – that American Dream – is what drove the Allen Brothers to reinvent their roofing company for a new era. It’s what drove those students at Forsyth Tech to learn a new skill and work towards the future. And that dream is the story of a small business owner named Brandon Fisher.

Brandon started a company in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. One day last summer, he saw the news that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine, and no one knew how to save them.

But Brandon thought his company could help. And so he designed a rescue that would come to be known as Plan B. His employees worked around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment. And Brandon left for Chile.

Along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the ground, working three or four days at a time with no sleep. Thirty-seven days later, Plan B succeeded, and the miners were rescued. But because he didn’t want all of the attention, Brandon wasn’t there when the miners emerged. He had already gone home, back to work on his next project.

Later, one of his employees said of the rescue, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”

We do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

We do big things.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.

America’s Energy Future Wins 2010 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Titles Award

Americas Energy FutureAmerica’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation was selected by Choice Magazine as one of 2010′s Outstanding Academic Titles. The book is a joint effort of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council, and represents the culmination of the first phase of the America’s Energy Future Project. The authoring committee, chaired by Harold Shapiro of Princeton University, features the leading experts in energy today, including Steven Chu, current United States Secretary of Energy.

Every year Choice, a magazine published by the American Library Association, announces a list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community. In awarding Outstanding Academic Titles, the editors apply several criteria to reviewed titles:

  • overall excellence in presentation and scholarship
  • importance relative to other literature in the field
  • distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form
  • originality or uniqueness of treatment
  • value to undergraduate students
  • importance in building undergraduate library collections

America’s Energy Future joins another National Academies Press book, Taking Science to School, on this prestigious list of award winners.

America’s Energy Future analyzes the potential of a wide range of technologies for generation, distribution, and conservation of energy. The book considers energy efficiency, coal-fired power generation, nuclear power, renewable energy, oil and natural gas, and alternative transportation fuels. It offers a detailed assessment of the associated impacts and projected costs of implementing each technology and categorizes them into three time frames for implementation.

Other titles in the America’s Energy Future collection include:

You can find more information about Choice magazine and the Outstanding Academic Titles Awards here.

America’s Energy Future is available for purchase here. The entire series of America’s Energy Future titles can be purchased as a set here.

Resources to Inform our Energy Future

As some of us prepare for holiday travel, it is fairly noticeable that gasoline prices have risen in recent weeks. U.S. prices currently range from $2.68/gallon in Denver to $3.29/gallon in San Francisco. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States leads the world in petroleum consumption. As consumers look for ways to reduce their fuel costs by combining errands and other means, it’s a good time to look again at our energy prospects.

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation assesses the status of energy-supply and end-use technologies in the United States, both at present and over the next two to three decades. It is intended to inform the development of comprehensive/sustainable energy policies by our nation’s decision makers and to provide the technical underpinnings for more detailed explorations of key energy-policy options. This book analyzes the potential of a wide range of technologies for generation, distribution, and conservation of energy.

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States, part of the America’s Energy Future series, examines the potential for reducing energy demand through improving efficiency by using existing technologies, technologies developed but not yet widely utilized, and prospective technologies. According to this study, energy efficiency technologies that exist today or that are likely to be developed in the near future could save considerable money as well as energy. Fully adopting these technologies could lower projected U.S. energy use 17 percent to 20 percent by 2020, and 25 percent to 31 percent by 2030. This book evaluates technologies based on their estimated times to initial commercial deployment, and provides an analysis of costs, barriers, and research needs.

These titles, as well as others in the America’s Energy Future series, form a picture of our present situation and our choices for the future. The National Research Council has recently published a number of books on energy, all of which can inform and guide debate and decision-making.

America's Energy Future

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills,… Details

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States

America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the…
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Electricity from Renewable Resources

Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments

A component in the America’s Energy Future study, Electricity from Renewable Resources examines the technical potential for electric power generation with alternative sources such as wind, solar-photovoltaic, geothermal, solar-thermal,…
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Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass

Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts

The transportation sector cannot continue on its current path: The volatility of oil prices threatens the U.S. economy, the large proportion of oil importation threatens U.S. energy security, and the massive contribution of greenhouse gases…
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Hidden Costs of Energy

Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
Details

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles evaluates various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, transit…
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Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles

Various combinations of commercially available technologies could greatly reduce fuel consumption in passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and other light-duty vehicles without compromising vehicle performance or safety. Assessment of…
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Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric…
Details

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--A Focus on Hydrogen

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–A Focus on Hydrogen

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) could alleviate the nation’s dependence on oil and reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. Industry-and government-sponsored research programs have made very impressive technical progress over…
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FREE FROM NAP: December 2010

Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols: Phase I Report

The federal government requires that most packaged foods carry a standardized label–the Nutrition Facts panel–that provides nutrition information intended to help consumers make healthful choices. In recent years, manufacturers have begun to include…
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The Power of Renewables The Power of Renewables: Opportunities and Challenges for China and the United States

The United States and China are the world’s top two energy consumers and, as of 2010, the two largest economies. Consequently, they have a decisive role to play in the world’s clean energy future. Both countries are also motivated by related goals, namely…
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High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates: Better Data, Better Measures, Better Decisions

High school graduation and dropout rates have long been used as indicators of educational system productivity and effectiveness and of social and economic well being. While determining these rates may seem like a straightforward task, their calculation is in…
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The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care: Workshop Summary

The rapid growth of home health care has raised many unsolved issues and will have consequences that are far too broad for any one group to analyze in their entirety. Yet a major influence on the safety, quality, and effectiveness of home health care will be…
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Strengthening the National Institute of Justice Strengthening the National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the nation’s primary resource for advancing scientific research, development, and evaluation on crime and crime control and the administration of justice in the United States. Headed by a presidentially appointed…
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The 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Campaign The 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccination Campaign: Summary of a Workshop Series

The 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign was one of the largest public health campaigns in U.S. history, vaccinating one-quarter of the population in the first three months. The IOM held three workshops in Raleigh, NC; Austin, TX; and Seattle, WA to learn from…
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When Weather Matters When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs

The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to…
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Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching psychological…
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Transforming Clinical Research in the United States Transforming Clinical Research in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities: Workshop Summary

An ideal health care system relies on efficiently generating timely, accurate evidence to deliver on its promise of diminishing the divide between clinical practice and research. There are growing indications, however, that the current health care system and…
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Critical Code Critical Code: Software Producibility for Defense

Critical Code contemplates Department of Defense (DoD) needs and priorities for software research and suggests a research agenda and related actions. Building on two prior books–Summary of a Workshop on Software Intensive Systems and…
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Take 5: Top 5 Books on Energy

The engineers and scientists on your list may not always be the easiest people to shop for during the holidays. It should come as no surprise that we have recommendations. Take five and finish your holiday shopping with our most-recommended books for the scientifically-minded.

America's Energy Future America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition

Energy production and use touch our lives in countless ways. We are reminded of the cost of energy every time we fill up at the gas pump, pay an electricity bill, or purchase an airline ticket. Energy use also has important indirect impacts, not all of which…
Details

Hidden Costs of Energy Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
Details

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric…
Details

Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects

The generation of electricity by wind energy has the potential to reduce environmental impacts caused by the use of fossil fuels. Although the use of wind energy to generate electricity is increasing rapidly in the United States, government guidance to help…
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Coal Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy

Coal will continue to provide a major portion of energy requirements in the United States for at least the next several decades. It is imperative that accurate information describing the amount, location, and quality of the coal resources and reserves be…
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16 New Books: Greenhouse Gases, Gulf War and Health, Helium Reserve, and more

I hope that those of you in the U.S. had a happy and relaxing Independence Day weekend. We welcome you back to the working week with one of the biggest lists of new books that we’ve had since we’ve started posting them once a week here on Notes From NAP. There’s sixteen of them, the vast majority of which have free PDFs available.

Because of the high number of new books this week, we’re going to present it here as a simple list. If you have any comments or questions about Notes From NAP, feel free to contact us through this form. We’d love to get any feedback you might have.

New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (final)

A Foundation for Evidence-Driven Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (final)

Strengthening the National Institute of Justice (prepublication)

Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Third Report (prepublication)

International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources (prepublication)

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century (final)

Demographic Changes, a View from California: Implications for Framing Health Disparities: Workshop Summary (final)

Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve (final)

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (final)

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (final)

Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems: Report of a Workshop (final)

Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health (final)

Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States (final)

Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War (final)

Envisioning the 2020 Census (final)

Understanding the Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill

The disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill has heightened the American public’s awareness concerning the effects—both immediate and delayed—of grand-scale pollution. But will this awareness lead to better energy choices for the future? The choice is ours.

More ways to learn about the effects of the Gulf oil spill:

IOM Workshop on Human Health Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Many questions surround the oil spill’s potential effects on the short- and long-term health of individuals in affected regions. In response, the Institute of Medicine has planned a two-day workshop in New Orleans that draws on scientific, medical, and public health experts’ experience and knowledge to examine a range of health issues related to the Gulf of Mexico spill. The discussions will help officials anticipate potential problems and determine how best to proceed in detecting and monitoring health risks and outcomes. Watch the live video webcast from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday June 22nd.

TEDxOilSpill – new ideas for our energy future, and how we can mitigate the current crisis in the Gulf

TEDxOilSpill will tackle the tough questions raised by the recent and ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Topics will include mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; as well as new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, DC
June 28, 2010 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Oil and Pollution in the Ocean – Information and Resources from the Oceans Studies Board

The Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council has summarized several past reports on the impact of oil and other pollutants in the ocean in their Ocean Science Series booklet, Pollution in the Ocean. Access the free PDF here.

Further Resources from NAP