A Global Biotechnology Based Chemicals Market Size, Industry Report, 2025

A global shift towards bio based products coupled with end-use applications in the pharmaceutical and food & beverage industries is expected to be a key driving factor for the biotechnology based chemicals market growth over the next seven years. The pharmaceutical industry is the dominant biotechnology based chemicals consumer owing to increasing natural medicines demand compared to its counterparts such as synthetic chemicals. Rising awareness regarding ill effects associated with chemical drugs intake is anticipated to positively impact the biotechnology based chemicals industry over the forecast period. The animal feed industry is one of the key biotechnology based chemicals consumer. Biotechnology based chemicals market is slated to witness significant growth due to increasing lysine demand in the animal feed industry. Rising demand for polylactic acid (PLA) plastics manufacturing will require increasing lactic acid quantity. This in turn is expected to augment the biotechnology based chemicals market growth over the forecast period. Industrial biotechnology offers processes with reduced carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions (GNG) compared to petroleum products. These are cleaner and utilize less energy than synthetic processes. This in turn is expected to drive biotechnology based chemicals market growth. Biotechnology based chemicals products, a niche operation in terms of world chemical production, are anticipated to witness significant growth owing to rapid industrial biotechnology advancement coupled with crude oil price rise. This factor is anticipated to result in higher penetration of the biotechnology based chemicals market. Biotechnology based chemicals include lactic acid, lysine, glutamic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates threonine, and citric acid. The most widely used amino acid manufactured as well as consumed in the world is glutamic acid. High raw material and processing cost is anticipated to hinder biotechnology based chemicals market growth and pose challenges to industry participants over the forecast period. With the dominant petroleum industry, there is a need to convert under-utilized biological material into useful products. Increasing bio based chemicals application addresses industrial needs through biological material products and processes. Growing industrial needs such as exploration and production (E&P) activities is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for industry participants over the forecast period. A new value chain starting with bio based feedstock and bio refineries at core is expected to yield immense opportunities to industry participants and augment the biotechnology based chemicals market.

Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as a key region for the biotechnology based chemicals market owing to growing pharmaceutical industry in emerging economies such as China and India. Rising citric acid demand from food & beverage industry in China is expected to positively impact biotechnology based chemicals market growth in the region over the forecast period. Shift in consumer preferences towards bio based products usage owing to increasing awareness regarding health hazards associated with non-bio based products is projected to drive biotechnology based chemicals market growth in North America and Europe. Dominant animal feed industry presence in China and the U.S. due to increasing lysine application as a supplement in swine and poultry feeds is expected to complement market growth over the forecast period. The U.S. has many existing biorefineries, which process corn into sugars, oils, food ingredients, and animal feeds. Europe is expected to witness considerable market growth over the next seven years. However, there are certain hurdles such as lacking industry knowledge and applicable policies forcing shift in production capacities outside Europe despite the technological knowhow in the region.

Biotechnology based chemicals market price depends on raw material and processing technology cost. Only a fraction of available biomass is utilized in biotechnology based chemicals production owing to high conversion costs, which has resulted in underutilization of resources. R&D is highly expensive while pilot plants require huge investments. Long term biotechnology based chemicals market growth depends on cost competitive technology development which is influenced by scale and access to diverse markets and biomass availability at low cost. This is expected to be one of the strategies adopted by producers to sustain and grow in this market over the forecast period. Major players operating in global biotechnology based chemicals market include Kemin Europa, Clariant, JC Biotech, Rossari Biotech Ltd., BioAmber, Inc., Krishnai Biotech, and Stora Enso.

Originally Published
Grand View Research, Inc.


FlipHTML5 Gives Answers to How to Make a Digital Catalog Free

FlipHTML5 is a one-stop solution for businesses to create digital publications that stand out in this highly competitive digital environment. Customers nowadays have shifted to the internet to shop for their desired products, making it essential for B2C to present their products in a vivid yet convenient way through digital catalogs. Many B2B businesses also prefer vendors to exhibit their solutions and products through digital catalogs instead of the traditional paper-based ones. However, not every company has the resources or a workforce with technical expertise to create such interactive catalogs from scratch.

“Running a business is all about exploring every opportunity to reach out to customers and present information in a way that drives sales. Nowadays, almost every buying journey starts on the internet, and there is no better way than an interactive digital catalog to engage with the consumers and have a competitive edge over other businesses. FlipHTML5 is a powerful tool that resolves the most asked query of how to make a digital catalog free. Create one for your company today and spread your content on every digital channel to capture a fair percentage of sales from the online world, ” says Ken Glenn, the CMO of FlipHTML5.

FlipHTML5 catalog maker gives users a library of beautiful pre-designed templates and many other features, allowing them to be creative to the maximum and personalize every aspect of the digital catalog for an unparalleled interactive experience. Many people with a query in mind about how to make a digital catalog free will be amazed to use it as it seamlessly converts PDF, images, and documents into an impressive online catalog instantly, diminishing the long turnaround time when companies hire a catalog designer.

Moreover, the catalogs can be shared via email, social media platforms, embed in the company website, and more. The published catalogs can be read on multiple platforms, including PC and mobile devices. FlipHTML5 can also help companies know better about the customers’ interaction with the catalog by using Google Analytics integration.

About FlipHTML5
FlipHTML5 is an innovative online digital publishing platform designed for creating different types of customized interactive digital publications, including online magazines, brochures, photo albums, reports, catalogs, and more.


Trump DoJ seized Washington Post reporters’ phone records, paper says

The phone-call records of three reporters with the Washington Post were secretly obtained by officials with Donald Trump’s justice department over a period of three months in 2017, the newspaper reported.

The communication records, which date from 15 April to 31 July of that year, include who called who and when, and how long the call lasted, but do not relay what was said on the calls, the paper said.

The records were obtained under a court order at a time when the reporters were looking into intelligence intercepts indicating that soon-to-be attorney general Jeff Sessions had discussed the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016.

The Washington Post said its reporters – Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller, and former Post reporter Adam Entous – had recently been notified by the justice department of a court order to obtain “non-content communication records”. A request to obtain their emails was denied.

“We are deeply troubled by this use of government power to seek access to the communications of journalists,” said the Post’s acting executive editor Cameron Barr in a statement.

“The Department of Justice should immediately make clear its reasons for this intrusion into the activities of reporters doing their jobs, an activity protected under the first amendment.”

The revelation shows just how anxious the Trump administration was over leaks around claims of Russian interference.

At a news conference in August 2017, a month after the records’ subpoena expired, Sessions held a news conference in which called on government leakers to curb the practice.

The call came after Trump had publicly called out his attorney general for being “weak” on pursuing leakers. Noting that leak investigations had tripled in number since the Obama administration, he declared: “This culture of leaking must stop.”

In a statement, the justice department said: “While rare, the department follows the established procedures within its media guidelines policy when seeking legal process to obtain telephone toll records and non-content email records from media members as part of a criminal investigation into unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”

It added: “The targets of these investigations are not the news media recipients but rather those with access to the national defense information who provided it to the media and thus failed to protect it as lawfully required.”


Hollywood Star Mark Wahlberg Joins Power Plate as Key Stakeholder and Brand Ambassador

After 15 Years of Avid Personal Use, Film Star Takes Role of Leading Man for Vibration Training’s Leading Brand

MUMBAI – May 4, 2021 – Power Plate®, the global leaders in whole body vibration training equipment and programming, today announced worldwide film star Mark Wahlberg has officially joined the company as both an investor in parent company, Performance Health Systems, and brand ambassador for Power Plate. One of the most fitness-oriented of Hollywood’s A-list leading men, Wahlberg has been a steadfast Power Plate user for 15 years, with vibration training playing a central role in his ongoing personal training and wellness-focused lifestyle.

Highlighted by its ability to enhance and accelerate the benefits of conventional exercise, Power Plate’s unmatched PrecisionWave Technology™ allows users to move, feel and live better. It’s for these reasons that Wahlberg has utilized Power Plate products for so many years and has now officially joined the company.

With a diversified mix of products ranging from its gold-standard vibration plate models featuring the company’s PrecisionWave Technology, to its targeted vibration products such as the Roller, DualSphere and Pulse massage gun, Power Plate has been the dominant innovator and driving force for vibration training equipment and programming for more than 20 years.

“The fact that Power Plate has been relatively unknown for so long surprised me,” said Wahlberg. “I’ve been a satisfied customer for over a decade, so I decided to get involved in spreading awareness about their game-changing products.”

Over the past two decades, Power Plate has entrenched itself amongst elite athletic trainers, medical and rehabilitation professionals for its diverse range of benefits, and the totally unique ability to serve the widest range of users, from top athletes and fitness professionals, to deconditioned, elderly or disabled populations. Power Plates are used by countless collegiate and professional sports teams, as well as elite trainers and cutting-edge wellness and rehabilitation clinics around the world.

While Wahlberg’s notoriety and reputation as a fitness icon will be a valuable engine for mainstream awareness, his role will go beyond merely investor and ambassador. He will also serve as an active consultant for ongoing strategy, product and programming development.

“It’s not often you have the opportunity to align with an individual who can impact every facet of a business, from personal investment and business strategy, to increasing brand awareness and credibility, yet that’s exactly what Mark brings to Power Plate. He’s a rare individual whose voice resonates with consumers on a truly global level,” said Lee Hillman, CEO Performance Health Systems. “Over the years, Power Plate and vibration training has been unequivocally validated by medical, academic and exercise science, and yet it remains a bit of a mystery to too many people. We believe Mark can play an invaluable role in changing that, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”

For Wahlberg, Power Plate is the latest addition to an investment portfolio that includes other fitness-oriented brands and ventures that the actor discovered through his own personal use, including F45, a rapidly growing franchise of gyms focused on small-group functional training programs, Performance-Inspired, a provider of all-natural nutritional products and Municipal sport utility gear. The inherent synergies between these companies represent a host of potential strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial collaborations for Power Plate.

“Mark is so much more than a celebrity investor. He brings a deep understanding of fitness methodology, nutrition and business strategy,” said Hillman. “His involvement in our business carries with it an enormous array of possibilities, and we intend to explore them to the fullest.”

Power Plate with its PrecisionWave Technology is utilized and accepted by professional and collegiate sports teams and athletes, celebrities, major medical and rehabilitation centers, health and fitness professionals, leading health clubs and fitness and wellness enthusiasts around the world. To learn more about Power Plate products, programming and education, please visit For the latest updates about Power Plate, follow @PowerPlateIndia on Instagram and Facebook and @PowerPlateGulfandIndia on LinkedIn.

Power Plate India
Nelke van Aspert
91 22 40907050
Bandra Kurla Complex
Vibgyor Towers, G Block, Level 8, C62
Mumbai 400098

Power Plate is owned, manufactured and distributed by Northbrook, Ill.-based Performance Health Systems LLC, a global company delivering advanced technology solutions through its health and wellness equipment. Power Plate utilizes innovative science and technology to enhance movement through vibration for accelerated health, fitness and wellbeing results to improve quality of life at any age. Using Power Plate is the innovative, timesaving and results-driven way to move better, feel better, and live better.


George Critchlow Releases New Memoir “THE LIFER AND THE LAWYER” New Non-Fiction Social Justice Book

George Critchlow Releases New Memoir “THE LIFER AND THE LAWYER” New Non-Fiction Social Justice Book

George Critchlow is pleased to announce the release of his new memoir, The Lifer and the Lawyer. The narrative adeptly and unflinchingly raises questions about childhood neglect, unequal opportunity, excessive sentencing, racial bigotry, and the role of faith and reflection in redeeming broken lives.

The Lifer and the Lawyer: A Story of Punishment, Penitence, and Privilege is about Michael Anderson, an aging African American man who grew up poor and abused on Chicago’s south side, then came to Eastern Washington, and has now spent the last forty-three years in Washington prisons. The book describes Michael’s early life of trauma and crime, his trial and sentence before a bigoted judge, his moral and spiritual transformation in prison, and a curious friendship that started in 1979 when the author was a young lawyer appointed to represent Anderson on multiple felony charges. Partly about race and white privilege and partly about a criminal justice system that keeps harmless old men in prison, the book also raises larger questions about faith, free will, and what it is that determines our individual destinies.

The Lifer and the Lawyer is available for purchase in print and ebook formats.

Book Information:
The Lifer and the Lawyer
A Story of Punishment, Penitence, and Privilege
By George Critchlow with Michael Anderson
Publisher: Cascade Books
Published: December 2020
ISBN: 978-1725278370 (pb)
ISBN: 978-1725278363 (hc)
ASIN: B08QRY3259
Pages: 210
Genre: Memoir

About the Author:
George Critchlow is an emeritus professor who taught law at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington for many years. He is also an experienced trial lawyer with civil and criminal experience in state courts, federal courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

He has taught international human rights law and consulted in Europe, South America, and the Middle East. Critchlow’s interest in fairness, equal opportunity, and civil liberties has been a central part of his professional life.

He has now transitioned from a world of legal briefs and law review articles to creative writing that has freed him to say what he wants unconstrained by legal and academic conventions.


GOP Gov. DeSantis signs Florida election law while shutting out all media but Fox News

Originally Published on CNBC
By Kevin Breuninger
May 6, 2021 at 12:49 PM EDT

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed into law a sweeping election bill that has drawn accusations it will suppress voter turnout and already faces a legal challenge.

DeSantis signed the bill, SB 90, in a closed-door event that blocked out all reporters and media coverage — except for Fox News, which in a live interview applauded the Republican governor for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis said in a press release that the new voting rules are designed to boost election security. “Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity,” he said.

However, civil and voting rights groups promptly filed a complaint in federal court alleging the law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The NAACP, Disability Rights Florida and Common Cause argue that the law imposes burdensome identification requirements to vote by mail and severely limits drop boxes among other hurdles, provisions which will negatively impact voters of color and those with disabilities.

“I’m not a fan of drop boxes at all, to be honest with you, but the legislature wanted to keep them,” DeSantis said on Fox.

The governor, who signed the bill inside a Hilton hotel near the Palm Beach airport, was flanked by supporters, who clapped and cheered at his answers in the interview.

Meanwhile, local outlets reported being blocked out of the event.

“News media is barred from entry at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of controversial elections bill,” South Florida Sun Sentinel columnist Steve Bousquet tweeted. “DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske says bill signing is a ‘Fox exclusive.’”

CBS reporter Jay O’Brien said his outlet and others also were “not allowed into the event.”

DeSantis “signed a law today that will impact ALL Floridians. And only some viewers were allowed to see it. That’s not normal,” O’Brien tweeted.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment about why no journalists were allowed in the signing room.

Florida is only the latest GOP-led state to push for new voting restrictions. Georgia passed a bill in March that prompted waves of criticism from Democrats, corporate leaders and sports leagues alike. Texas’ legislature was reportedly set to vote Thursday on its own election bill.

Former President Donald Trump, who remains a de facto GOP leader despite his loss to President Joe Biden, has repeatedly cast doubt about the integrity of the 2020 election before and after leaving office. Trump has spread an array of baseless conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud and has falsely asserted he beat Biden.

Top U.S. officials in the Trump administration said the election was secure and that no evidence of widespread fraud had been found that would reverse Biden’s victory.

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Wednesday urged her colleagues to reject Trump’s “cult of personality.”

“Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this,” Cheney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

A growing number of House Republicans, as well as Trump and his allies, now say they no longer support Cheney as a leader.


In Biden’s infrastructure moonshot, a big question: Can the nation still achieve its highest ambitions?

Dueling proposals to fund the nation’s ailing infrastructure network follow decades of timidity in Washington — a period that has seen roads crumble and a warming climate threaten investments of the past.

A line of presidents couldn’t make transformational investments in infrastructure, despite big promises and yawning national needs. For those in the trenches, the question in 2021 is whether the nation still can make good on its aspirations — from upkeep of its physical foundations to meeting the challenges experts say will intensify with a changing planet.

“NASA just landed on Mars and we had a big vaccine,” said Costa Samaras, who worked as a transportation engineer in New York City and now studies infrastructure resilience at Carnegie Mellon University. “We can do big things — but we should be doing big things in infrastructure, right?”

Biden and his supporters have echoed those appeals in seeking to build support for a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal, which Republicans have knocked as too sprawling and expensive. Biden also set a goal of halving U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, work that would be spurred by his infrastructure plan.

But experts say achieving those ambitions would take a level of creativity and perseverance that have failed a generation of leaders in Washington.

Standing at a union shop floor in Pittsburgh to unveil his proposal, Biden invoked the collective accomplishments of the 20th century as a national muse, citing World War II, the build-out of interstate highways and the space race against the Soviets as inspirations for his approach.

He called for modernizing transportation networks while battling climate change through a vast addition of new jobs targeting both priorities. “A blue-collar blueprint to build America,” he called it in a joint address to Congress.

Republicans have seized on his broad definition of infrastructure — which includes racial justice issues, worker rights and community colleges — to dismiss Biden’s plan as a grab bag stuffed with liberal priorities, backed by job-killing tax hikes.

Both parties say they want action on infrastructure. That’s where the consensus starts to fray, as it has many times before. Communities across the nation are looking to Washington’s leaders, wondering whether the outcome this time will be different.

Undoing the damage of earlier ambitions

The broader ambitions of Biden’s plan reflect those of some local leaders, transportation experts and environmental advocates outside Washington who have spent decades pushing for aggressive action on infrastructure.

After Biden won the election, Pittsburgh joined cities in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky in calling for hundreds of billions in federal dollars for electric cars and trucks, efficient buildings, clean energy and job training.

Elsewhere, expansive plans would stretch transit lines through traffic-choked Los Angeles, electrify passenger ferries in Washington state and dig a new train tunnel into Manhattan. A partner in the nation’s capital could fuel major accomplishments, advocates say, with some calling it an Eisenhower-esque opportunity.

Transportation experts, mindful of the interstate highway system’s launch in the 1950s, are calling for undoing the polluting and community-bulldozing practices of that earlier national push, ideas embraced by Biden and his team.

“It won’t have that same kind of concrete quality, so to speak, of something like the interstate highway network,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It’s got a different shape because the investments are distributed. So this is often playing out one community at a time.”

As the biggest source of U.S. emissions, transportation is at the center of Biden’s climate plans. For many, the challenge is clear: how to cut the annual tally of more than 1.9 billion metric tons of emissions from the transportation sector to zero, improving quality of life and helping to stave off severe environmental consequences.

The scope of the endeavor is significant.

Samaras compared the scale of improvements needed to address climate change in the infrastructure realm to the equivalent of building Boston’s Big Dig in nearly every American community. That massive and disruptive tunnel-and-bridge project took a quarter-century and cost nearly $15 billion.

Reflecting a view shared by many climate and infrastructure experts, Samaras urged a shift from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles, and a vast expansion of public transit. He also called for redesigning roads to make them safe for widespread biking and walking. And, he said, that must be done while rejecting racist development practices of the past, such as routing highways through Black neighborhoods.

Biden’s plan calls for spending $115 billion to rebuild highways and bridges, reduce congestion and cut emissions, but even more — $174 billion — to spur electric vehicles. Tens of billions more would support clean energy and climate research.

“We’re in a crunch here. We’ve got to reduce emissions and we need to do it quickly,” said Robbie Orvis, a modeling expert at San Francisco-based Energy Innovation, which advises policymakers on climate efforts and helps tally the effects of potential policies.

During the campaign, Biden set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions from all sources by 2050, and his targets at an April climate summit would be a major step along that path. His infrastructure plan embraces some of the policies experts say are needed to get there, but do not go far enough to meet the most ambitious goals.

It makes sweeping commitments, promising that “every dollar” spent on rebuilding infrastructure “will be used to prevent, reduce and withstand the impacts of the climate crisis.” And 40 percent of the benefits of that spending will go toward disadvantaged communities, according to his plan.

Although efforts to calculate the effects of Biden’s proposed policies are ongoing, Orvis said the president’s push for installing 500,000 charging stations, offering rebates for electric vehicles and doubling federal transit investments would cut emissions. But the part of the plan that could have the biggest effect on transportation-related emissions is the proposed clean energy standard, which would require utilities to transition from fossil fuels to clean technologies.

“The more you decarbonize the grid, the more benefit you get from moving to (electric vehicles),” Orvis said. “They’re all part of the same story.”

‘This needs to be about roads and bridges’

Regardless of efforts to shape emissions, highway construction will be a significant part of any infrastructure package that passes Congress. An existing highway and transit funding bill is set to expire this fall.

Biden has decried research showing 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads are in poor condition, and he points to tens of thousands of bridges that need work. His plan would modernize 20,000 miles of road, take on 10 of the nation’s biggest bridge-reconstruction projects and repair 10,000 smaller bridges.

Republicans say the focus should be on conventional ideas of infrastructure. Dismissing Biden’s plan as an “expansion of the welfare state,” Senate Republicans offered a $568 billion alternative that prioritizes roads, but also includes spending on broadband and water projects. The Republican plan is hundreds of billions of dollars smaller than Biden’s and does not call for raising corporate taxes.

“This needs to be about roads and bridges,” Rep. Sam Graves (Mo.), the top Republican on the House Transportation Committee, said at a hearing with Buttigieg. “A transportation bill needs to be a transportation bill,” not a catchall or environmental wish list, he said.

Despite calls for shifting priorities, the bulk of government transportation spending in the United States goes toward roads.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2018, the federal government spent about $98 billion on transportation, with state and local governments spending another $273 billion. About two-thirds was used for highways, one-fifth for transit and rail, and 13 percent for aviation.

The need for more funding is great, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which routinely surveys the nation’s infrastructure needs. Its most recent report card, issued in March, pegged the level of spending needed to bring the nation’s transportation networks into a state of good repair by 2029 at $3.1 trillion.

Local leaders also have a vast appetite for money.

A team at Rice University’s Kinder Institute surveyed the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas last year, developing a list of 1,800 proposed infrastructure projects that local officials identified as top priorities. More than a third were transportation projects.

They included a $1 billion investment in the Port of New Orleans and $56 billion for high-speed rail in Texas. But others were far more modest, such as $500,000 for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Tampa area.

The federal government needs a clear vision for the future it’s trying to create, said Adie Tomer, who leads the metropolitan infrastructure initiative at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank. For Tomer, that means abandoning the expanding patterns of development that have shaped the nation since its founding.

Meeting the kinds of environmental and social goals the Biden administration has prioritized means looking inward, he said.

“The United States has enough financial resources to invest in infrastructure at any scale that we need to remake the country,” Tomer said.

The House last year passed a five-year road, rail and transit funding bill that was designed to get states — which are responsible for spending highway funds — to fix existing roads before building new ones, and to get officials to factor climate change in their planning.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee and the bill’s architect, said any new transportation funding legislation can’t simply be an extension of policies crafted in the 1950s.

“The Eisenhower program was ‘let’s link the country with what he saw — the autobahn in Germany,’ ” he said. “That was a plan for its time and we were the envy of the world for a while.”

DeFazio said it’s time to move on: “I’m not going to Eisenhower 8.0. That’s not how we deal with our problems of the 21st century in addition to dealing with climate change.”

Debate over the 2020 bill was bitter, with Republicans accusing DeFazio of upending the committee’s bipartisan approach.

Biden returned to the swing state of his birth for his own infrastructure launch. Pittsburgh’s riverside steel plants, fueled by coal, helped build the nation but left the City of Bridges thick with pollution as it hemorrhaged jobs and people. Civic leaders have since sought to tap innovations in transportation and energy to make it a model for cleaner growth and new technology jobs.

Biden said his proposed infusion of federal dollars, paid for by partially undoing Trump-era corporate tax cuts and raising other taxes, would be the biggest American jobs investment since World War II. The plan would dig out and replace all lead drinking water pipes, strengthen American manufacturing and spend hundreds of billions of dollars caring for seniors and people with disabilities, part of what his plan calls “care infrastructure.”

About $600 billion would go toward transportation, according to the White House.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in an interview before Biden announced his plan that the GOP is open to problem-solving on emissions and building on efforts by automakers to embrace electric vehicles. “There’s definitely a willingness to engage,” she said.

But in a statement after Biden’s announcement, she was sharply critical, calling Biden’s plan “a partisan proposal that goes far beyond” the traditional notions of infrastructure and undermines West Virginia’s fossil fuel economy.

Overhauling modes of transportation

The nation is saddled with outdated and, at times, vulnerable infrastructure.

Samaras, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon, and other researchers calculated that 97 percent of the interstate highway system was built before 2004 — the year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started to update rainfall information used to design infrastructure.

“All of those roads were designed for the weather of the 1950s and ’60s,” Samaras said. If taxpayers are funding new road work, “we need to ensure that the vehicles on that roadway are zero-emissions, and that the infrastructure is built to last so we’re not on the hook to rebuild it before we planned.”

Tomer said different approaches to overhauling transportation will work best in different parts of the country.

Cities that developed in the 19th century can more easily emphasize bikes and pedestrians. But in large Western cities, the challenge is greater and probably involves promoting denser development, he said.

“No reasonable amount of transit construction can overtake what the built environment tells people to do,” Tomer said. “In Dallas — and most of the country looks like Dallas — we have to drive.”

In Los Angeles, leaders are bumping up against the limits of car-based development.

LA Metro, the region’s transit operator and transportation planning agency, in the fall adopted a $400 billion, 30-year plan to overhaul how the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County get around. The plan aims to more than double the number of daily transit trips to 2.5 million by expanding the rail system and dedicated bus routes. It also calls for 100 miles of new transit lines, nearly doubling the size of the system.

The proposal is explicit about its aim to reduce the number of car trips, but at the same time it would invest billions in highways to try to relieve congestion.

“We are not the enemy of automobiles,” said Phillip A. Washington, chief executive of LA Metro. “What we’re saying is you can use both.”

Washington served as the leader of the Biden administration’s Transportation Department transition team. He said he has briefed Buttigieg on the Los Angeles plan.

The plan is funded, in large part, by local sales taxes, which voters agreed to raise in 2016. Washington said that means his “basket is at least half full” but added that help from the federal government is vital.

The proposal in the nation’s second-largest city pays particular attention to what it calls “equity focus communities,” those with a large number of lower-income or non-White residents, or where car ownership is low. That work is also a priority of the Biden plan.
‘We’re recognizing a new reality’

Buttigieg said he thinks of the opportunity to remake infrastructure not only in terms of Eisenhower but also President Abraham Lincoln, who established the nationwide train network. When it came time to engineer a highway system, the process did not abolish trains but recognized a more important role for cars, Buttigieg said.

“We’re recognizing a new reality, which is that policy shouldn’t revolve around the vehicle, it should revolve around the human being,” he said. “Sometimes that human being is in a car, sometimes on a train, sometimes on foot or two wheels, sometimes flying — and all of that needs to be incorporated into our vision.”

Walking and cycling have not been a focus of federal transportation policy. Road funding has been routed primarily through state transportation departments, which emphasize large projects for drivers.

Karina Ricks, director of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, said the agency identified gaps in the city’s sidewalk network that it wants to fill in to benefit transit users and pedestrians.

But using federal money to build a sidewalk in the city means undertaking a lengthy and expensive review process the state designed with major road projects in mind. Unlocking $1 million could cost $300,000 in planning and turn a four-month project into an 18-month project, she said.

“There is not a different process for those six feet of sidewalk than there is for a six-lane freeway,” Ricks said. “It is not logical.”

Buttigieg said road-building should be shaped by lessons learned over decades.

“There was a period when we didn’t know any better, when we thought that if you had a congested road, you just made it bigger,” he said. “And it turns out that sometimes that works, sometimes that just gets more people to drive and the road gets that much more congested.”

Rail is among the alternatives being pushed by Biden, a longtime Amtrak rider. His administration has thrown support behind the Gateway Program, which would stretch a new train tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting New Jersey and Penn Station. As a young engineer, Samaras helped on the initial route planning and environmental work for an earlier version of the project, and had sent a set of plans by FedEx to the World Trade Center on Sept. 10, 2001.

They didn’t make it, and were returned after the towers fell. The effort languished for years, over politics and resources.

“That’s just a couple of tunnels. And it’s now 20 years later. Imagine what it’s going to look like when we need to build massive amounts of clean and resilient infrastructure for climate change,” Samaras said.

He sees this moment as an urgent challenge.

“It’s like, are we’re going to do this or not?” Samaras asked. “Are we going to basically live off of the successes of the space race and the Cold War through the 2050s? Why don’t we build our own successes right now?”

Originally Published on The Washington Post
By Michael Laris and Ian Duncan
May 6, 2021 at 8:18 p.m. GMT+6


Huntington Beach latest to create non-police team to handle mental health, homeless issues

Come summer, Huntington Beach is expected to launch a mobile crisis response team to handle a variety of mental health and behavior-related calls for service, rather than dispatching police when no crime, violence, or event involving a weapon is unfolding.

The two-person civilian team — an emergency medical technician and a clinically trained counselor — is touted as the first such city program of its kind in Orange County. The city’s HOPE (Helping People Out Everywhere) team will focus on mental health issues, reaching beyond the homeless population and serving all Huntington Beach residents.

“This could be someone living in a gated neighborhood, or a homeless individual who is suffering, and everything in between,” Huntington Beach Police Chief Julian Harvey said.

Huntington Beach is part of a growing trend of cities and others shifting non-criminal crisis intervention away from law enforcement.

In March, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced the formation of a Behavioral Health Bureau to provide deputies with additional training in behavioral and crisis intervention. Once trained, those deputies will work alongside county mental health clinicians and social workers. In January, Anaheim launched the unarmed Community Care Response Team of caseworkers to help homeless people living outdoors.

In Huntington Beach, the HOPE team will handle a variety of situations, including homelessness, drug and alcohol-related issues, non-violent disputes involving family members or neighbors, and calls about people in crisis as a result of mental illness.

The city will host a public town hall on 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, via the Huntington Beach Facebook and YouTube accounts. During the town hall, residents can learn more about the HOPE project and Be Well OC, which is overseeing the one-year pilot under a $1.5 million contract.

The program represents a new partnership between the city and Be Well, the public-private entity that earlier this year began providing comprehensive on-site crisis intervention and longer-term residential treatment for people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. With case management also built into the Huntington Beach program, people who interact with the HOPE team might end up at the Be Well campus in Orange.

Harvey stressed in a phone interview last week that the HOPE program does not represent any “de-funding” of the police department. Instead, it will supplement the efforts of homeless liaison officers and broaden help for citizens dealing with mental and behavioral health crises. For too long, Harvey said, police have been the default agency to handle such calls, and that the only available places to take many of those people were hospital emergency rooms.

“If it’s not a violent incident or involving weapons or clear criminality, there really is no reason for us to be there,” Harvey said.

The HOPE team could mean better outcomes for people in crisis. Harvey added the new team also would free up officers for traditional police work if they don’t have to spend hours taking someone to an emergency room and waiting for their disposition. It also might reduce tension that can arise between police and the people they are meant to serve, sometimes leading to deadly consequences.

“They see us in uniform, and it can be provocative,” he said, referencing what sometimes happens when police respond to social service-related calls.

“It changes the dynamic unnecessarily.”
New program, old model

City Manager Oliver Chi is credited with laying the groundwork for the program. In April, when the Huntington Beach City Council approved the program on a 7-0 vote, Chi told council members the HOPE team could put the city on the cutting edge of better serving its citizens.

“It’s not often that we get a chance to be part of a new effort that could radically change the context of how we respond to ongoing service demands in the community,” said Chi, who took over as top administrator in Huntington Beach nearly two years ago.

Slightly more than half of the program’s funding — $825,000 — comes from the American Rescue Plan Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in March, and the rest comes the Police Department Development Impact Fee Fund and the city’s Restricted Restitution Fund.

The model for the HOPE team is a mobile crisis response program in Eugene, Ore., known by the acronym CAHOOTS, for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, that’s been credited with saving lives and money. For nearly 30 years, CAHOOTS has been staffed 24/7 by clinicians, not police, taking calls routed by 9-1-1 dispatch workers who’ve been trained to determine which calls should and shouldn’t go to police. The CAHOOTS intervention teams travel in specially equipped vans with their logo on the sides, a process that’s expected to be copied in Huntington Beach.

“It will be like the dispatcher saying, ‘We understand your situation and we’re sending HOPE out there,’” said Marshall Moncrief, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Mind OC who oversees the work of Be Well.

There’s no firm date yet for the start of the Huntington Beach pilot program.

Moncrief, who lives in Huntington Beach and once served as director of neuro-behavioral health at Hoag Presbyterian Hospital, became familiar with CAHOOTS because he frequently visited Eugene, Ore., where his daughter attended college. Be Well has hired two people to supervise the HOPE team, including an experienced EMT who previously was part of the CAHOOTS program. Their work will be hands on.

“They won’t be sitting in an office somewhere,” Moncrief said. “They’ll be on that van, out living this with their team.”
Beyond Surf City

Be Well’s plan is to start with limited hours and gradually ramp up. Decisions on how to develop the service will be based on data, and the program could expand beyond Huntington Beach into other communities in Orange County, Moncrief said.

The HOPE team also might assist police when they contact survivors about a loved one’s death. “They might go with them to provide emotional support to the family,” Moncrief said.

The team will provide basic first aid, and transport homeless people to get services at the Huntington Beach Navigation Center. They also will be ready to guide people seeking help with an addiction to appropriate resources.

Michael Wright, a former EMT who now runs the nonprofit Wound Walk OC, a five-year-old program in which Wright and other volunteers provide basic health care and information to homeless people staying in parks and other outdoor locations, believes the program might work. Wright, who lives in Santa Ana, brought his triage to Huntington Beach in March, and is glad to see the city embrace the idea of decriminalizing homelessness and switching to a crisis prevention model for mental health care.

“I am in LOVE with this idea,” Wright wrote in an email. “Wound Walk is grateful that the City of Huntington Beach is looking to bring the kind of trauma informed care we practice to more people, more consistently.”


SpaceX continues Starlink deployment with latest launch

WASHINGTON — SpaceX continued the deployment of its Starlink broadband megaconstellation May 4 with the second launch of 60 satellites in less than a week.

A Falcon 9 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at 3:01 p.m. Eastern. The rocket’s second stage released its payload of 60 Starlink satellites 64 minutes later.

The rocket’s first stage landed on the center of a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean, completing its ninth flight. The booster previously launched the Telstar 18 Vantage communications satellite, a set of Iridium satellites, and six other Starlink missions. This is the second booster SpaceX has flown nine times.

SpaceX had previously suggested Falcon 9 boosters could fly up to 10 times, but more recently indicated those stages could have longer lifetimes. “I don’t think the number 10 is a magic number,” Hans Koenigsmann, senior adviser for build and flight reliability at SpaceX, said in February. Once a booster reaches the 10-flight milestone, “we will continue to look at that booster and make an assessment whether we can move forward with it.”

That milestone could come soon. The next Falcon 9 Starlink launch, scheduled for no earlier than May 9, is expected to use the other Falcon 9 booster that has flown nine times, most recently in March. The company is using its internal Starlink missions to test the limits of booster reusability.

“There doesn’t seem to be any obvious limit to the reusability of the vehicle,” Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, said at an April 23 NASA press conference after the Crew-2 launch. “We do intend to fly the Falcon 9 booster until we some kind of a failure with the Starlink missions, have that be a life-leader.”

This launch comes less than a week after the previous Falcon 9 Starlink launch April 28. Of the 13 Falcon 9 launches so far this year, 10 have been dedicated to Starlink satellites while the eleventh, the Transporter-1 rideshare mission, carried 10 Starlink satellites, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched so far in 2021 to 610. Nearly 1,500 Starlink satellites are currently in orbit.

Space is continuing to build out its Starlink constellation, buoyed by a Federal Communications Commission decision April 27 to approve a license modification sought by SpaceX. That modification will allow SpaceX to operate 2,814 satellites originally planned for orbits between 1,100 and 1,300 kilometers to orbits of 540 to 570 kilometers.

The Starlink service remains in a beta test phase in the United States and several other countries, although Musk suggested last month that the beta test could end as soon as this summer as the constellation is built out.

Siva Bharadvaj, the SpaceX engineer who hosted the webcast of this latest launch, said that “over half a million people have placed an order or put down a deposit for Starlink.” He did not disclose how many people are actively using the service, though.


Chinese rocket debris to make an uncontrolled reentry: What happened the last time

The almost 100-foot core of China’s Long March 5B rocket is likely to make an uncontrolled reentry at an unknown point in the coming days.

The spacecraft launched Thursday into low Earth orbit from Hainan’s Wenchang Center, ferrying the Tianhe module for the country’s first permanent space station.

However, this is not the first time one of China’s rockets made an uncontrolled descent.

Last May, debris from the same rocket rained down on at least two villages along Africa’s Ivory Coast. In that case, the rocket – which weighs more than 1.8 million pounds when fully fueled – was carrying an experimental crew capsule designed for potential future lunar missions.

The rocket reentered over the Atlantic Ocean at 11:33 a.m. ET on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Photos showed long metal rods that reportedly damaged several buildings in Ivory Coast, though no casualties were reported.

A local infrasound station also recorded what appeared to be rocket debris moving through the atmosphere at supersonic speeds and hitting the ground.

The Verge reported that locals heard sonic booms and saw flashes and falling debris at around the same time that the rocket would have passed overhead.

Newsweek reported that part of the rocket had fallen into the water near West Africa after spending a week in low Earth orbit.

At the time, the U.S. Air Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron said the rocket passed directly over major U.S. cities – including Los Angeles and New York City – on its way down.

It was the largest object to make an uncontrolled descent since the Soviet Union’s 43-ton Salyut-7 space station landed in Argentina in 1991.

The only debris larger than the Salyut-7 space station was NASA’s almost 100-ton Skylab, which fell on a small Australian town in 1979.

Notably, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite that reentered the atmosphere over northern Canada in 1978 resulted in a $3,000,000 fine for its clean-up over the tundra.

Typically, rocket manufacturers account for falling rocket debris.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.