Transportation

California Legislature Contemplates Banning Internal Combustion Engines By 2040

AB 1745 by Assm. Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would follow similar policies in Norway and the United Kingdom

Countries like China, Norway and the U.K. have made headlines recently with plans to ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2040 or soon thereafter. Is California next? Governor Brown expressed interest in the state following suit, to maintain its mantle as a global electric vehicle leader. And now Assemblymember Phil Ting […]

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Oil and Transportation in California

Post #4 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the fourth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] In 2015, Jerry Brown challenged the State to reduce oil usage in the transportation sector by 50% by 2030.  […]

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Sierra Club Opposes One Of The Most Important Climate Bills In California

Environmental group whiffs on proposed legislation to allow badly needed residential development near transit

Housing more Californians near transit and not in sprawl areas represents one of the most crucial ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Senate Bill 827 (Wiener) would help do just that, by preventing local governments from zoning people (and homes) out of these prime transit areas. So it was surprising to see an environmental organization […]

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Finally, California Gets A Meaningful Housing Bill

SB 827 (Wiener) would be a game-changer to solve the housing and sprawl crisis

California State Senator Scott Wiener just introduced the bill I’ve probably been waiting for since I started following land use and transit in California over a decade-and-a-half ago. SB 827 would dramatically scale back local government restrictions on housing near major transit stops (see the fact sheet PDF). These restrictions by local governments have prevented […]

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The Place of Pruitt’s Nightmares

How is California fighting climate change? Let me count the ways.

In his worst dreams, Scott Pruitt must find himself surrounded by solar panels and windmills, pursued by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator himself, who has returned from the future to stop him before he can doom the planet.  When he awakes, he realizes to his relief that he’s safe in bed well outside the borders of […]

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Amazon’s New Urban Headquarters Could Flip A Red State To Blue

A city-state rundown on how an influx of Democratic-leaning tech workers could impact swing states like Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Bob below who pointed out that the employee numbers from the San Francisco Chronicle that I used to make the calculations below have since been significantly revised downward.  As Geekwire reports, the numbers I cited were for Amazon company-wide, not just Seattle. In fact, Amazon employees 40,000 in Washington state, not […]

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The CEQA Exemption that Ate LA

A bold attempt to get a huge exemption from state’s marquee environmental law

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a state law that requires full analysis, public disclosure, and where feasible, mitigation of environmental impacts from state and local government projects, including permits for private development.  I’ve written before about the problematic nature of exempting specific projects from CEQA.  In general, my concern is that once you […]

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Did The California Supreme Court “Rip A Huge Hole” In Prop 13 & 218?

New decision could lower voter threshold for local government taxes by voter initiative

UPDATE: This post has been modified from its original version to reflect some ambiguity in the court’s decision that I missed on first read. California local governments have long been stymied in efforts to raise taxes for basic infrastructure and services by California’s constitution.  Two voter-approved constitutional amendments, Prop 13 and Prop 218, require that […]

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New Study: California Climate Policies Bringing Over $9 Billion And 41,000 Jobs To Southern California’s Inland Empire

Report commissioned by Next 10 and written by Berkeley Law’s CLEE and UC Berkeley’s labor center

With the legislature just passing a landmark extension of cap-and-trade through 2030 by a supermajority vote, attention now turns to implementing the state’s major climate programs to achieve the ambitious climate goals for that year and beyond. Critics frequently argue that efforts to fight climate change hurt the economy and cost jobs.  Yet as I […]

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California Supreme Court Issues Split Decision in CEQA Preemption Case

Justices Find CEQA’s Application to Public Railroad Projects Not Fully Preempted

The California Supreme Court has ruled in an important case that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not fully preempted when it comes to publicly-owned railroad projects in the Golden State.  Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority.  In that decision, the justices forged a middle ground between the more extreme […]

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