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Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
Figure ES.1. Hybrid Sankey diagram of 2011 U.S. interconnected water and energy flows.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Present day water and energy systems are tightly intertwined. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract, convey, and deliver water of appropriate quality for diverse human uses, and then again to treat wastewaters prior to their return to the environment. Historically, interactions between energy and water have been considered on a regional or technology-by-technology basis. At the national and international levels, energy and water systems have been developed, managed, and regulated independently.

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Aromas, CA: How to Successfully Fight Fracking

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
Aromas, CA: How to Successfully Fight Fracking

In San Benito County, CA, a citizens’ group, Aromas Cares for the Environment, waged a successful campaign for new environmental protections to protect against oil and gas fracking operations. The fracking safety ordinance was passed by the County Board of Supervisors on June 18, 2013.

California communities like Aromas should not have to protect themselves alone. We need an immediate statewide moratorium on fracking.

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Outcomes of the Nonmotorized Transportation Program

Monday, June 16th, 2014
Table 1: Pilot Communities

FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
The program was intended to “demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking can carry a significant part of the transportation load, and represent a major portion of the transportation solution, within selected communities.” Throughout the program to date, the four communities, each with unique physical and demographic characteristics, identified and implemented a locally devised strategy to significantly increase the use of nonmotorized transportation, along with the accompanying safety, environmental, and health benefits. This report represents the culmination of that initial implementation and analytical effort.

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Driving California Forward

Friday, June 13th, 2014
FIGURE E-1 Breakdown of net societal economic benefit by component (2025)

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION IN CALIFORNIA

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Integrating Conservation and Highway Planning

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Figure ES.1. Steps of the Integrated Ecological Framework.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
This project addresses the questions of how to (1) achieve interagency agreement on ecological solutions, (2) identify and leverage existing ways to increase predictability and assurance that credit will be allowed for addressing agency conservation and restoration priorities early in planning, (3) identify and leverage existing tools to increase resource agency confidence that mitigation commitments will be kept, and (4) make decisions last over time and across jurisdictions.

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States’ Fiscal Initiatives Offer a Solution to the Impending Trust Fund Shortfall

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 8

While transportation stakeholders and the Washington press corps are agonizing about the impending Highway Trust Fund shortfall and its impact on the federal transportation program, they are ignoring developments outside the Beltway that go a long way toward mitigating the prospective funding shortage. For in fact, individual states, far from standing idly by, are responding to the fiscal uncertainties in Washington by stepping up and augmenting their transportation budgets.

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Why Creating & Preserving Affordable Homes Near Transit is a Highly Effective Climate Protection Strategy

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
FIGURE 1. Household VMT per Day

TRANSFORM
CALIFORNIA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP CORPORATION
A new analysis of data from Caltrans’ California Household Travel Survey (CHTS) completed in February 2013 shows that a well-designed program to put more affordable homes near transit would not just meet the requirements set by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), but would be a powerful and durable GHG reduction strategy – directly reducing driving while creating a host of economic and social benefits.

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Bicyclist Safety Must Be A Priority

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
bike fatalities1

LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS
This year, the U.S. Department of Transportation will decide how it will hold states accountable for public safety on our nation’s roadways. The League strongly believes that the Federal Highway Administration needs to set a national performance measure for safety that includes non-motorized safety.

Based on our experience with Every Bicyclists Counts, there is a clear role for the USDOT and state DOTs in reducing the number of bicyclist fatalities and improving our understanding of the risks bicyclists face.

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The All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Figure 1-1: U.S. Crude Oil Production and Net Imports

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
The All-of-the-Above energy strategy has three key elements: to support economic growth and job creation, to enhance energy security, and to deploy low-carbon energy technologies and lay the foundation for a clean energy future. This report lays out these three elements of the All-of-the-Above energy strategy, and takes stock of the progress that has been made to date and the work that remains to be done.

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Hopes for a Long-Term Transportation Bill Are Fading

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 7
With federal transportation spending outpacing tax receipts by some $1.25 billion/month, the cash balance of the Federal Highway Trust is drawing perilously close to the point where the U.S Department of Transportation will be obliged to institute cash management strategies—such as slowing down or delaying state reimbursements — to keep the Trust Fund account solvent. Based on current spending and revenue trends, this point —a cash balance of $4 billion in the Highway Account —will be reached in late July according to the latest U.S. DOT estimate However, CBO estimates that “both the highway account and the transit account will end the end of the fiscal year with a positive balance” according to an April 14 memo from the Congressional Budget Office (Subject: CBO’s Highway Trust Fund Runs, April Baseline)

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