The roving autonomous vehicles on the streets of San Francisco are one of the frequent reminders on my daily commute that our transportation system is changing. But will self-driving cars be good or bad for climate change?
Don's Latest Posts
October 24, 2018 1:47 PM EDT
Governor Brown signed several pieces of legislation this year on clean energy and transportation and one of those, signed on a boat in San Francisco bay on a windy afternoon, was squarely aimed at ensuring ride-hailing companies contribute to California’s climate efforts. The California Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program (SB 1014 authored by Senator Skinner) brings ride-hailing companies into the climate solutions fold by establishing decreasing climate emissions targets (yet to be determined) for companies like Uber and Lyft. This ground-breaking legislation is the first of its kind, and sets an important example for how the increasingly popular transportation option of ride-hailing can help accelerate emission reductions from transportation, rather than exacerbate them.
September 19, 2018 1:18 PM EDT
With last week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco all wrapped up, it’s time to get down to the business of turning words into actions. And next week, California is poised to do just that. The California Air Resources Board agenda for next Thursday and Friday is chock-full of transformative policies that, if adopted, will accelerate deployment of electric cars and transit buses, increase electric charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure, bring more low carbon alternatives to diesel and gasoline to the state, and ensure consumers in California and the 12 other states that follow California’s standards continue to have cleaner, more efficient vehicle choices.
August 2, 2018 10:28 AM EDT
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation released their long-awaited revisions to federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards. To no one’s surprise, their preferred alternative is to essentially eliminate the standards—a predetermined outcome that the administration is now trying to defend with bogus analysis. The current standards were created in collaboration with California and the entire automotive industry and have directly made new cars and trucks cleaner and cheaper to drive. EPA and California Air Resources Board scientists spent years studying the standards, as was required, and concluded last year they are technologically feasible and cost-effective.
July 27, 2018 4:32 PM EDT
In April, I blogged about the findings of a new analysis showing how state and federal standards to improve vehicle efficiency and accelerate vehicle electrification could impact jobs and economic growth. The results of the analysis were overwhelmingly positive. Investing in vehicle technologies to reduce spending at the pump isn’t just good for drivers: the money invested in technology development creates jobs, and savings on fuel get pumped back into the economy. So what would happen if instead we decide to take a step backwards and not invest in improving vehicle emissions and efficiency as the Trump administration is anticipated to propose any day now? Spoiler alert: Oil companies win and everyone else loses.