Walmart expands commitment to solar energy in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Walmart is taking its commitment to renewable energy to new levels in California.
The chain announced plans to install solar panels on up to 60 additional stores in the Golden State. The initiative, done in partnership with SolarCity, expands the company’s solar portfolio to more than 75% of its locations in California.
“California presents a great opportunity for Walmart to make significant progress toward our sustainability goals by installing solar power on more than 130 store rooftops throughout the state,” Walmart VP energy Kim Saylors-Laster said. “Walmart has reduced energy expenses by more than a million dollars through our solar program, allowing us to pass these savings on to our customers in the form of everyday low prices.”
When complete, Walmart’s total solar commitment in California is expected to provide 20% to 30% of each facility’s total electric needs. It also is expected to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes, and avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road.
Walmart’s investment in solar power is anticipated to create hundreds of jobs in California through its partnership with SolarCity, which will own, install and maintain the new solar power systems. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has added more than 500 new full-time jobs since it initiated its first Walmart solar project, and expects to hire hundreds more before the end of the year.
“Our solar efforts in California have proven to be a great way for Walmart to build our renewable energy program,” said Mack Wyckoff, senior manager of renewable energy at Walmart. “We are confident that we will continue to grow our solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world because of the initial success we have had in California.”
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UCLA researchers find possible link between diabetes drugs, pancreatic cancer
LOS ANGELES — Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles said they have found a possible link between two new drugs for Type 2 diabetes and cancers of the pancreas and thyroid, according to a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology.
The researchers, at UCLA’s Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, examined incidents reported in the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse event database between 2004 and 2009 among patients using Byetta (exenatide), made by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin).
"We undertook these studies because several studies in animal models by several investigators had suggested that this form of therapy may have unintended actions to promote growth of the ducts in the pancreatic gland that convey digestive juices from the pancreas to the gut," study co-author and Hillblom Center director Peter Butler said. "This is a concern if it happens in humans since it might be expected to increase the risk for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. While the FDA database has limitations, it does have advantages in being very large, openly accessible and independent from companies that market the drugs."
Both drugs work by stimulating the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1. Previous research in rats has shown that enhancing the actions of GLP-1 may increase the rate of formation of cells that line the pancreatic ducts, which could lead to pancreatitis.
Comparing Januvia and Byetta with four others that constituted a control group, the researchers found a six-fold increase in the odds ratio for reported cases of pancreatitis, as well as a nearly threefold increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer. In addition, they found a statistically significant increase in the risk of thyroid cancer among patients taking Byetta, but not among those taking Januvia.
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Despite economic woes, Fido remains big part of dog owners’ budget
WHITING, Ind. — The wavering economy hasn’t influenced spending on man’s best friend, according to a new survey conducted by coupon website CouponCabin.com.
According to the survey, which conducted by Harris Interactive between Aug. 16 to 18 and polled 2,212 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older, nearly 7-out-of-10 American adult dog owners (68%) said that their four-legged friends are still a large part of their budgets. What’s more, the survey found that more than 1-in-5 dog owners (21%) spend on average $100 or more per month on their dogs, adding up to at least $1,200 or more per year. An additional 13% said they spend $50 to $99 each month.
When it comes to what is the most expensive aspect about dog ownership, more than half (57%) said veterinary appointments was the priciest aspect about owning a dog, followed by food and treats (16%), prescriptions and medications (15%) and boarding (6%).
"The pet care industry has remained resilient during the past few years, but it’s still important for consumers to budget for their dog’s needs," CouponCabin.com president and chief savings officer Jackie Warrick said. "Pets are often considered a family member, and just as you save money and budget for your family, you should do the same for your dog. Plan ahead to make sure you have money put away for emergencies. In addition, be proactive and save on your dog care expenses by using coupons, buying generic brands and asking friends and family to walk or watch them."
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