Major American automakers eying SUVs over electric vehicles

Transitioning to electric power has been a major focus of state and local agencies trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals. That involves rolling out more charging stations, bolstering the grid, and offering incentives for drivers to go electric; but consumers will also need plenty of cars to choose from. American-made options, however, are going to be limited.

Major American automakers eying SUVs over electric vehicles

Transitioning to electric power has been a major focus of state and local agencies trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals. That involves rolling out more charging stations, bolstering the grid, and offering incentives for drivers to go electric; but consumers will also need plenty of cars to choose from. American-made options, however, are going to be limited.

Nine states and DC move forward on transportation carbon pricing alliance

Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, plus the District of Columbia, announced Tuesday that they would design a joint climate strategy over the next year and then put it up for state-by-state adoption. The policy will, according to the joint announcement, “reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels through a cap-and-invest program or other pricing mechanism, and allow each … jurisdiction to invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure.”

Nine states and DC move forward on transportation carbon pricing alliance

Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, plus the District of Columbia, announced Tuesday that they would design a joint climate strategy over the next year and then put it up for state-by-state adoption. The policy will, according to the joint announcement, “reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels through a cap-and-invest program or other pricing mechanism, and allow each … jurisdiction to invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure.”

Seattle's parking reforms

The Seattle City Council passed a number of parking reforms earlier this month to further support the city’s ongoing efforts to become less car-oriented, advance local climate change goals, and reduce housing costs in the city. Seattle is one of many cities to recognize that its parking regulations are outdated, but one of relatively few to take major steps toward reform.

State DOTs and MPOs develop adaptive strategies with help of climate change pilot program grants

Recent severe weather events have levied significant damage on transportation systems in states across the country. Many states, particularly those recently affected, are paying attention to the climate-related vulnerabilities in their transportation systems. Some are using grant money from FHWA to complete analysis on how to respond to the changes and how to build a more resilient system.

Who Pays for Climate Change? (National Resources Defense Council, 2013)

U.S. taxpayers outspend private insurers three-to-one to cover climate disruption costs. Paying for climate disruption was one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012. Private insurers themselves only covered about 25 percent of these costs, leaving the federal government and its public insurance enterprises to pay for the majority of the remaining claims.

ACEEE finds U.S. ranks last in energy efficiency in transportation

A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy finds that, among 12 major world economies analyzed for the report, the U.S. ranks dead last in the energy efficiency of its transportation sector. Improving transportation’s energy efficiency hinges on supporting multiple modes of transportation and can be accomplished by dramatically improving the accessibility of other transportation modes such as rail, carpooling, bus, biking, and walking. Without adoption of new policies and standards, the U.S. transportation system will continue drag on the economy, wasting energy and limiting opportunities for economic development. The ACEE graph below shows how the U.S. transportation sector energy consumption far outstrips that of the other countries evaluated as part of the study.