Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change

Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change 06/23/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, announced that it filed suit  in Fresno County Superior Court today challenging the Governor’s fallback funding scheme for High-Speed Rail (HSR). HSR was included in the list of measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contained in the Update to the Scoping Plan recently adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The Scoping Plan is California’s master strategy for responding to climate change. TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, commented: “As a former scientist, I was disappointed that ARB ignored the scientific evidence. The huge spike in cement production needed to build all…

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Superb NYT Opinion Piece on Climate Change

Superb NYT Opinion Piece on Climate Change 06/22/14 Filed in: Climate Change The New York Times today published an amazingly comprehensive and compelling opinion piece by Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary. Paulson speaks to his fellow Republicans, comparing the risks of ignoring climate change to the risks created in financial markets by ignoring the bubble there, which eventually resulted in near-catastrophe. Highly recommended! Tags: Carbon Tax

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ARB’s Scoping Plan Update

ARB’s Scoping Plan Update 04/07/14 Filed in: Climate Change The CA Air Resources Board (ARB) is updating the 2008 Scoping Plan, which laid out the State’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) which cause global climate change. TRANSDEF filed its comments, which stress the need for clarity as to the contribution of the economic recession and higher gasoline prices to the state’s reduced GHG emissions in the past 6 years. The comments call for ARB to remove HSR as a GHG emissions reduction measure, given that it is projected to increase GHGs for decades. Tags: ARB, Cap & Trade

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Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area

Multiple Suits Challenge Plan Bay Area 09/01/13 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | Climate Change Multiple lawsuits were filed, challenging the FEIR for the Bay Area’s regional plan under CEQA. Interestingly, they attack the plan from different directions: The Sierra Club/Communities for a Better Environment suit seeks a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution that affects communities of color in West Oakland. The “Bay Area Citizens” suit is a right-wing challenge to what it views as an assault on Americans’ God-given right to live in suburbs. The Building Industry Association suit makes interesting claims that have never been litigated: that the regional plan violates SB 375 by not providing for feasible levels of…

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Is California Serious about Reducing GHGs?

Is California Serious about Reducing GHGs? 08/05/13 Filed in: Climate Change The Air Resources Board is updating its Scoping Plan, California’s master strategy to reduce greenhouse gases under AB 32. TRANSDEF submitted a wide-ranging set of suggestions which emphasized the need for the Board to set stringent regional greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, required under SB 375, that will achieve lower emissions from cars and light trucks. The targets set by the Board in 2010 were per capita numbers that, because they were lower than the rate of population growth, lead to increases in GHGs, contrary to the intent of…

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An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning

An Excellent Overview of Regional Planning 05/26/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change Environmental advocate Peter Lydon wrote these comments on MTC’s Plan Bay Area, which capture the essence of regional planning: Framework Independently of anything the regional agencies do, the nine-county Bay Area is growing in population and getting wealthier, so, inevitably, it is changing. That means that the region is in transition. The aspect that concerns us is a needed transition from the present land use/mobility system to a new one. The old, existing system is based on the single-family house, the personal automobile and…

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TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area

TRANSDEF Comments on Plan Bay Area 05/15/13 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC | Climate Change TRANSDEF filed comments on the Bay Area’s Draft Sustainable Communities Strategy today. By a fascinating coincidence, U.S. PIRG released its study today, called A New Direction, which is directly relevant to how to approach a regional transportation plan. This study points out the transportation planning consequences of the emerging pattern of millennials driving less. These documents are available here. Tags: CEQA, RTP

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Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs

Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs 03/28/12 Filed in: Climate Change TRANSDEF, along with fellow litigants the Sierra Club and the California Nurses Association, prevailed in a challenge to Sonoma County’s approval of a new Sutter Hospital on the fringe of Santa Rosa. They challenged the Environmental Impact Report as being inadequate in mitigating greenhouse gases, because of the site being totally auto-dependent. After several hearings and appearances before a judge, the County agreed to require Sutter Hospital to provide a shuttle to the hospital from the nearest SMART rail station. Sutter will also provide free bus and train passes to…

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RTP Submission by TAM

RTP Submission by TAM 10/27/11 Filed in: Transportation Planning | Climate Change TRANSDEF’s Comments to the Transportation Authority of Marin”s Regional Transportation Plan Discussion, 10-27-11 You have the authority to set a very new direction for transportation in this county. But you would never know it by reading the staff report. Judging by the report, this agenda item appears to be just another routine item. The whole point of this agenda item last month had been to ask you what weight to give to each of the RTP candidate priority criteria. But that focus has been buried. It isn’t at…

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Air Resources Board Doesn’t Cave But Doesn’t Lead Either

Air Resources Board Doesn’t Cave But Doesn’t Lead Either 09/23/10 Filed in: Climate Change The Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted today a set of GHG emissions reduction targets for each of California’s regions. The building industry had conducted an intense campaign to get ARB to reduce the proposed targets to less-challenging levels. TRANSDEF’s President, David Schonbrunn, testified about how the proposed targets were inadequate to even keep current levels of GHGs from motor vehicles from growing. Here’s his testimony: I should have marked my speaker card Reluctant Support. TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, submitted a letter noting…

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