Transportation

New Report: How to Reduce Rail Transit Construction Costs and Timelines

New CLEE study recommends options for better project delivery in California and beyond + expert webinar January 27

A new study from the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley School of Law released today identifies the primary factors underlying cost and schedule overruns for rail transit construction and presents policy recommendations to overcome key barriers. Improving rail transit delivery is critical for meeting climate and equity goals, given …

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What Does the Future Hold for the American Gas Station?

The end of the gas car will eventually leave 100,000 stations behind.

Gas stations have been fixtures in our world for a century or more. There are even books of photos of picturesque gas stations, some futuristic, others quaint. We’re transitioning into a world dominated by electric vehicles. What does the future hold for these icons of the fossil fuel era? There are now about a hundred …

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On the Frustrations of Climate Politics

It’s not just the shortcomings of Joe Manchin.  Climate legislation is an inherently tough political challenge.

Yesterday, Joe Manchin announced that he couldn’t support the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. Unless Biden can somehow coax him back to the negotiating table, that dooms what would have been a major breakthrough in climate policy.  Manchin bears responsibility for this deeply regrettable decision. But climate legislation is hard, even in more favorable political …

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Remembering Electric Vehicle Pioneer Ryan Popple, 1977-2021

Former Proterra CEO was a major contributor to UC Berkeley/UCLA Law EV report

Ryan Popple, former CEO and co-founder of electric bus company ProTerra, venture capitalist for transportation electrification, early Tesla employee, Iraq War veteran and father of three, passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 44, for reasons unknown. I had the good fortune to meet Ryan back in 2012, when UC Berkeley Law and …

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Debating Environmental Racism in the Ninth Circuit

A recent case occasioned a sharp exchange about accusation of environmental racism.

 Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. FAA is a Ninth Circuit opinion decided before the Thanksgiving break. It involved to a legal challenge to the FAA’s refusal to prepare a full-scale environmental impact statement before approving a major Amazon distribution center at the San Bernardino airport. I probably wouldn’t have read the decision …

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What’s in the Reconciliation Bill?

The House takes an important step toward transforming the energy system

Last Friday, the House passed its version of the Build Back Better Act. Due to a quirk in parliamentary procedure, the Senate will be able to consider the $1.7 trillion bill under the “reconciliation” process, which means no filibuster is allowed. It remains unclear whether anyone can wrangle all fifty Senators into supporting some version …

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Aggregating the Harms of Fossil Fuels

They’re even worse than you probably thought.

The decision at the Glasgow climate conference to phase down fossil fuels is an important step forward — and not just because of climate change.  We think of fossil fuels as a source of climate change, but that’s only a one part of the problem. From their extraction to their combustion, everything about them is …

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The Climate Bill inside the Infrastructure Bill

The US takes a major step forward on the path to carbon neutrality.

Late Friday, the House passed Biden’s infrastructure bill. As the Washington Post aptly observed, the bill is the biggest climate legislation to ever move through Congress. It also attracted key support from some Republicans, which was essential to passing it in both houses of Congress. Biden is pushing for an even bigger companion bill, but …

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Top 10 Biggest Environmental Wins In California’s History

Ranking the victories that saved priceless landscapes and environmental features

California is generally known as an environmental leader, but the state has also faced tremendous environmental degradation and destruction. I chronicled my “top 10” worst environmental decisions in the state’s history last year. But what about the good things state policy makers have done? Here is my list of the most significant environmental wins in …

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Full Speed Ahead? Biden Administration Set to Release New CAFE Standards

405 Freeway at Palms Blvd. in Los Angeles

As E&E News reported today, the Biden administration is expected to announce tomorrow new fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards for light-duty vehicles model years (MY) 2023 through 2026. The move is long-awaited; one of the Biden administration’s first actions was to direct EPA and NHTSA by executive order to revise the Trump era version …

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