Transportation

Recentering Environmental Law: A Thought Experiment

If we had understood then what we know now. . . .

In 1965, scientists sent LBJ a memo mentioning the risks of climate change. Imagine if history had been a little different. Suppose it had been this memo and a follow-up report, rather than Rachel Carson’s attack on pesticides, that sparked the environmental movement. How would environmental law look different and how might we be thinking about …

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California’s Climate Leadership: A Timeline

California embraced climate action 2002 and has never looked back since.

The Golden State has adopted a slew of climate change laws over the past twenty years, and an even greater number of regulations .  To help you keep track, here is a timeline of California’s most important actions. 2002    SB1078. California established first renewable portfolio standard (20% from renewables by 2010). AB 1493 (Pavley …

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How Can Cities Ensure EV Charging Accessibility for Lower-Income Drivers?

Watsonville, California as a Case Study for Policymakers

California’s ambitious goal to end the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2035 will require addressing the challenges faced by lower- and moderate-income drivers in accessing battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs). Chief among these concerns is their need to have a convenient and affordable place to charge the vehicles. Currently these residents too often …

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The Bumper Crop of New State Climate Policies Since July.

State governments aren’t sitting on their hands. Far from it. The pace of climate action is picking up.

State climate policy is a big deal. State governments began cutting emissions at a time when the federal government was essentially doing nothing about climate change. Since then, more states have become involved, and state policies have become more aggressive. it’s not for nothing that 2023 has been called a banner year for state climate …

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How are California Cities Planning for the EV Transition?

Some leaders are emerging, but plenty of room for more equity-centered programs

With California’s 2035 zero-emissions vehicle transition target now just over a decade away, state and local leaders face an urgent need to ensure that sufficient electric vehicle charging infrastructure is available to meet the needs of all drivers. Electrified vehicles constituted nearly a quarter of all new sales in 2023, but publicly accessible chargers still …

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The Year in California Climate Laws

The California statehouse

Looking back at California’s 2023 legislative session, our new environmental laws represent a solid step forward—bigger than expected.

If 2022 was a Rivian with all the bells and whistles, this past year was more a Ford Lightning. After a landmark 2022—a record $54 billion committed to climate spending and legislation that codified the state’s goals of carbon neutrality by 2045 and 90 percent clean electricity by 2035—a significantly gloomier budget forecast gave rise …

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Four EV Trends

One of these things is not like the others.

The automotive world is changing quickly. Most of the trends are mutually reinforcing.  But one points in the opposite direction. The first and most obvious trend is the rise of EVs.  In the twenty years since Tesla arrived, EVs have gone from 0.2% of new cars to 13%, and Bloomberg predicts that this figure will …

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How to Get to Zero Emissions at the Ports

A new report by UCLA and UC Berkeley examines policy solutions to accelerate deployment of zero-emission cargo handling equipment at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are well on their way toward electrification, but the road to zero emissions is a long one. This new report—A Heavy Lift: Policy Solutions to Accelerate Deployment of Zero-Emission Cargo Handling Equipment at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and Beyond—surveys the biggest obstacles to …

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Livestock Operations Are Responsible for Over Half of California’s Methane Emissions—Why Won’t CARB Regulate Them?

Image of an anaerobic digester on a dairy

CARB will have the authority to regulate methane from livestock operations beginning in January but has not initiated rulemaking

  At a recent California Air Resources Board (CARB) meeting, a staff member responded to a question about why CARB’s program for reducing emissions from transportation fuels incentivized the capture of methane from landfills so much less than the capture of methane from dairies: “Landfills have a different CI [carbon intensity] score because they are …

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California Climate Policy: A Preliminary Report Card

It’s a bit complicated, but California definitely has made substantial progress.

We all know that California’s climate policies have led the nation. But how well have these policies actually worked?  That’s not as easy to answer as you might think.  You have to do some digging to come up with the numbers, and their meaning isn’t always completely clear.  If you compare California with the country …

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