Spotlight on San Antonio

The role of transparency in municipal climate plans

Last week, San Antonio’s City Council approved its first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This Plan’s main benefit is its ability to track and measure GHG emissions, while also signaling to City agencies, other municipalities, and the state that it is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is a big win for a …

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The Risks of Promising the Improbable

Candidates' climate proposals are starkly unrealistic. That's a problem.

As I wrote in a post last Thursday, there’s little prospect that anything like a Green New Deal could pass the Senate even assuming the filibuster is eliminated.  In the best case scenario, Democrats would have a one or two vote margin in the Senate. That’s a very slim margin for passing a trillion dollar …

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How Can We Achieve a Carbon-Neutral Transportation Sector by 2050?

Developments from a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change

Today, the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions For Planes, Trains and Everything Beyond Automobiles.” As the title suggests, the Subcommittee’s hearing sought to probe opportunities to decarbonize the transportation sector while focusing on modes of …

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Is Trump’s California Climate Tantrum Bad Politics?

Here's hoping so

Apparently it hasn’t been enough for the Trump Administration to roll back federal climate pollution standards for cars and power plants, announce its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, promote coal usage even in the face of contrary market forces, and embrace expanded oil and gas drilling on public lands.  As my colleague Ann …

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The Trump Revenge Against California Continues

DOJ Sues the State for Its Cap-and-Trade Agreement with Quebec

The Trump attack on California’s climate policies has entered a new phase.  In addition to revoking the state’s permission to regulate tailpipe emissions from cars, investigating auto makers for antitrust violations for cooperating with California on reducing car emissions, threatening to revoke highway funds from the state for Clean Air Act violations while simultaneously taking …

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2020 in the Courts: A Preview

Some major new cases will be filed; older ones will result in major decisions.

There are going to be some significant environmental cases over the next year. In addition, some important new cases will be filed now or in the near future, which may have produced some interesting rulings. It will probably take more than a year, however, for some of the big new cases down the turnpike to …

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What Do the Candidates’ Climate Proposals Tell Us?

There is a big disconnect between climate proposals and political reality.

Some people were upset because there wasn’t a question about climate change at the last Democratic debate. Admittedly, that’s a lost opportunity to highlight the importance of the issue.  But the significance of the candidates’ various positions on climate change is limited. Let me start with what they don’t tell us. The main thing they …

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Closing Downtown Market Street to Cars Is a Step in the Right Direction

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted yesterday to approve a plan banning private automobiles on the downtown stretch of Market Street east of 10th Street. This section, one of the city’s busiest, will only be accessible to Muni vehicles, taxis, bicycles, and pedestrians (cars will still be able to cross Market). Commercial loading will …

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LA Metro’s Transit to Parks Strategic Plan

A beneficial but incomplete solution to address lack of access to open spaces for disadvantaged communities

I previously wrote about the potential to generate greater support for environmental initiatives, by improving community engagement with the natural environment. One mechanism to improve community engagement in this manner is quite simple: make it easier for people to access parks and open spaces. Access is a widespread issue in Los Angeles, as many residents …

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“If Present Trends Continue….”

To paraphrase Socrates, "the unexplained projection is not worth giving."

You often see forecasts like this: “If present trends continue, electric vehicles will be X% of the auto fleet by 2035.”  But this doesn’t mean much without explanation: what “trends” and “continued” in what way?  The Energy Information Agency is a major culprit in that respect — they provide lots of projections but don’t unpack …

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