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    • President Obama Announces Three Steps to Boost Biofuels February 10, 2010
      President Obama has announced three actions to boost U.S. biofuel production, including the final rule implementing the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which calls for 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022, and a report that establishes a roadmap for achieving that standard. […]
    • Biomass Crop Assistance Program to Spur Production of Renewable Energy February 10, 2010
      The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing new regulations for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which is designed to spur production of non-food biomass crops for renewable energy. […]
    • Florida Company Donates Solar Lights to Haiti February 10, 2010
      A Florida manufacturer of solar outdoor lighting is donating more than $300,000 in equipment and aid as part of the relief effort for Haiti. The company has already provided emergency lighting for hospitals, relief camps, and food centers in the earthquake-devastated country. […]
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    • Strange matters February 11, 2010
      The result from a years-long effort at DOE's Jefferson Lab (known as the G-Zero experiment) to measure strange matter in the proton has revealed that strange matter doesn't magnetize the proton or distort its charge distribution all that much. […]
    • Unique glass microspheres show promise for medicine, energy February 11, 2010
      Networks of interconnected pores in the shells of the Savannah River National Laboratory???s?? Porous Walled Hollow Glass Microspheres give the tiny ???microballoons??? unique capabilities for potential use in targeted drug delivery, hydrogen storage and other uses. […]
    • Theory, simulations explain DNA sequencer surprise February 11, 2010
      Researchers working toward a low-cost DNA sequencing tool for medical diagnostics and other uses have proposed a microfluidic device that uses a single-walled carbon nanotube as a nanopore conduit to thread, or translocate, a single strand of DNA from one reservoir with electrolyte to another, analyzing and sequencing the DNA in the process. […]
  • RSS Agriculture

    • Barley Protein Concentrate Could Replace Fishmeal in Aquaculture Feeds
      Read the magazine story to find out more. ARS fish physiologist Rick Barrows and Montana Microbial Products have developed a barley protein concentrate that could replace fishmeal to make a less expensive feed for trout and other commercially produced fish. Vitamin mix helps health of farmed fish   Ethanol co-products could lower cost of freshwater fish pro […]
    • ARS Scientists Turn to a Wild Oat to Combat Crown Rust
      Read the magazine story to find out more. ARS plant pathologist Martin Carson is using genes from a wild oat, considered by some to be a noxious weed, to help combat crown rust, the most damaging fungal disease of oats worldwide. ARS photo. Heading off world wheat threat   Sentry lab searches for threats to U.S. grains   ARS, cooperators fight new strain o […]
    • Secrets to Superb Malting Barleys Explored by ARS Researchers
      Read the magazine story to find out more. ARS chemist Mark Schmitt is discovering what happens—biochemically—inside malting barley grains as they sprout, so that plant breeders will have a better basis for developing superior varieties. New USDA cereal crops laboratory dedicated   New enzymes boost alcohol production   New barley bred for candymakers, br […]
  • RSS Food, Drugs And Health

    • FDA Approves New Indication for Crestor
      On Feb. 8 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the cholesterol-lowering medication Crestor (rosuvastatin) for some patients who are at increased risk of heart disease but have not been diagnosed with it. The new indication is for reducing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke or the need for a procedure to treat blocked or narrowed arteries in […]
    • FDA Unveils Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced an initiative to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from three types of medical imaging procedures: computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopy. These procedures are the greatest contributors to total radiation exposure within the U.S. population and use much higher radiation do […]
    • FDA Issues Guidance to Help Streamline Medical Device Clinical Trials
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued guidance on Bayesian statistical methods in the design and analysis of medical device clinical trials that could result in less costly and more efficient patient studies. […]
    • FDA Updates Statement on the Investigation into the Salmonella Montevideo Outbreak
      The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, continues to work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and other states in the investigation of an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections associated with certain Italian […]
    • United States Seizes more than 1500 Cases of Food from Wisconsin Distribution Warehouse
      At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals on Tuesday seized a wide range of human and animal food products stored under insanitary conditions at Mid-States Closeouts, a distribution warehouse in Ellsworth, Wis. The products were seized under a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. […]

Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a sustainability forum at Portland State University and a speech to the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Seattle, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the launch of HUD’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC). The office will be overseen by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims who won national recognition for turning King County, Washington into a model for sustainable communities. OSHC is designed to help build stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy. Funded by Congress for the first time in HUD’s 2010 Budget, OSHC is a key component of the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

“Through our new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, we will begin to tie the quality and location of housing to broader opportunities such as access to good jobs, quality schools, and safe streets,” said Donovan. “By working with DOT, EPA and other federal agencies, and with Deputy Secretary Sims’ guidance, we will finally begin to meet the needs of today without compromising the futures of our children and grandchildren .”

Under the management of Director Shelley Poticha, OSHC will be the center-point for all of HUD’s sustainability efforts. The average household spends more than half of its budget on housing and transportation, which have become American families’ two single biggest expenses. With OSHC as lead, HUD will work to improve access to affordable housing and transportation options, saving money for American families while allowing them more time to spend at home and less time traveling.

The office will also invest in energy-efficient homes and buildings, in renewable energy, and in next-generation infrastructure to lay the foundation for the clean energy economy America needs to compete and create jobs in the 21st century. To meet that goal, OSHC will strengthen HUD’s Energy Efficient Mortgage product and other energy retrofit financing options—for both single family homes and multi-family rental housing–through a $50 million Energy Innovation Fund. HUD will also make available an Affordability Index that measures the costs of where a home is located in relation to jobs, schools and transportation.

Congress provided $150 million to HUD for a Sustainable Communities Initiative. Of that amount, $100 million is available for regional integrated planning initiatives through HUD’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. To demonstrate HUD’s commitment to listening and learning, Secretary Donovan also announced today that a description of the future grant program is available for comment, including through an interactive wiki, on HUD’s web site.

With OSHC’s grant programs, HUD will provide funding to a wide variety of multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships and consortia, from Metropolitan Planning Organizations and State governments, to non-profit and philanthropic organizations. These grants will be designed to encourage regions to build their capacity to integrate economic development, land use, transportation, and water infrastructure investments, and to integrate workforce development with transit-oriented development. Accordingly, OSHC’s grants will be coordinated closely with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Last June, the DOT, EPA and HUD created the unprecedented interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Rooted in six Livability Principles, the three agencies are working together more closely than ever before to meet President Obama’s challenge to coordinate federal policies, programs, and resources to help urban, suburban, and rural areas build more sustainable communities. Traditionally there has been no coordination among federal housing, transportation and land use investments. For the first time the federal government will speak with one voice when it comes to housing, transportation and environmental policy, and in doing so will be partner to regions and local governments instead of a barrier.

In addition, Secretary Donovan and HUD are committed to providing the highest level of transparency as we work to streamline federal investments. That is why, in addition to launching the office today, HUD is also launching a new website, www.hud.gov/sustainability, so that the American people can track how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable, and so that communities can have access to valuable resources needed to grow and develop.

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  • Archives

  • RSS Food News

    • Season-Average Price Forecasts
      A futures-price forecasting model is used to provide season-average price forecasts for corn, soybeans, and wheat. In addition to the monthly forecasts for prices received, the model computes a forecast for the counter-cyclical payment rate for each commodity. The 2002 Farm Act provides for counter-cyclical payments when prices are below specified levels. […]
    • Your Food Environment Atlas
      Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. The Food Environment Atlas assembles statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality and p […]
    • World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates
      Issued monthly, WASDE provides the most current USDA forecasts of U.S. and world supply-use balances for major grains, soybeans and products, and cotton, and U.S. supply and use data for sugar and livestock products. […]
    • Agricultural Outlook Statistical Indicators
      Statistical Indicators previously published in Agricultural Outlook addressing a broad spectrum of agriculture-related issues. Includes commodity and food prices, general economic indicators, government program expenditures, farm income estimates, and trade and export statistics. […]
    • Agricultural Productivity in the United States
      Increased productivity is the main contributor to growth in U.S. agriculture. This data set provides estimates of productivity growth in the U.S. farm sector over the period 1948-2008, and estimates of the growth and relative levels of productivity across the individual States for the 1960-2004 period. […]
  • RSS What Everyone Should Know About Energy

    • What is a cap-and-trade program and how does it work?
      A cap-and-trade program is designed to reduce emissions of a pollutant by placing a limit (or cap) on the total amount of emissions. The cap is implemented through a system of allowances that can be traded to minimize costs to affected sources. Cap-and-trade programs for greenhouse gas emissions would increase the costs of using fossil fuels. […]
    • What is the status of the U.S. nuclear industry?
      There are currently 104 commercial nuclear reactors at 65 nuclear power plants in 31 States. Since 1990, the share of the Nation's total electricity supply provided by nuclear power generation has averaged about 20%, with the level of nuclear generation growing at roughly the same rate as overall electricity use. Between 1985 and 1996, 34 new reactors w […]
    • How can we compare or add up our energy consumption?
      To compare or aggregate energy consumption across different energy sources like oil, natural gas, and electricity, we must use a common unit of measure. This is similar to calculating your food energy intake by adding up the calories in whatever you eat. […]
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