L.A. Times Editorial Rejects Freeway Expansion

October 07, 2019

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Los Angeles Times:  "Although proponents rebranded the High Desert Corridor as an innovative multimodal transportation initiative, complete with a train line, a bike route and renewable energy transmission facilities, its centerpiece until recently was still the freeway. But the project raised many serious questions, including:"

"Why would California plow new highways through open space to enable more cars to travel to far-flung subdivisions when the state is trying to persuade people to drive less to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming?"

"Why, when Los Angeles County is spending billions of dollars to build light rail and subway lines to provide alternatives to commuting by car, would the region support a project that perpetuates driving and will eventually become another traffic-clogged nightmare?"

"And what will it take for state and local leaders to follow through on their ambitious climate goals and stop building a car-centric transportation system that sprawls ever outward?"


Dire Consequences for World's Oceans

September 25, 2019

New York Times: "Earth’s oceans are under severe marine_debris_hawaii_cropped.jpg strain from climate change, a major new United Nations report warns, which threatens everything from the ability to harvest seafood to the well-being of hundreds of millions of people living along the coasts."

"Rising temperatures are contributing to a drop in fish populations in many regions, and oxygen levels in the ocean are declining while acidity levels are on the rise, posing risks to important marine ecosystems, according to the report issued Wednesday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders in policymaking."

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate


Bill Gates on Nuclear Energy

September 22, 2019

NEI: "In his 2018 year-in-review blog post, Gates said: 'Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day.' But to Bill Gates, nuclear energy is not just a technology that can help us meet climate change goals; it also can be used to reduce global poverty. Gates believes that if we are able to expand access to affordable and clean electricity, it would drastically improve living conditions for millions and would ultimately be a huge step in lifting those people out of poverty."


Oil Industry Takes on Electric Cars

September 18, 2019

Politico: "The oil industry is trying to crush the booming electric car movement."

"Groups backed by industry giants like Exxon Mobil and the Koch empire are waging a state-by-state, multimillion-dollar battle to squelch utilities’ plans to build charging stations across the country. Environmentalists call the fight a reprise of the 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' battles that doomed an earlier generation of battery-driven vehicles in the 1990s."


Oil Prices Surge After Saudi Attack

September 16, 2019

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Wall Street Journal: "The weekend attacks knocked 5.7 million barrels a day off the kingdom’s oil production. That is equivalent to almost 6% of daily world-wide consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. . . ."

“'This is a significant escalation in the region,' said Chris Midgley, director of analytics at S&P Global Platts. 'If you start taking supply out of the biggest producer in the world, that is crucial.'”


Hurricanes Becoming More Intense

September 03, 2019

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NPR:  "CHANG: So let me ask you, are hurricanes becoming more intense and more destructive in general, because it certainly feels like that? I mean, is it normal to have a new Category 5 storm every year?"

"BERARDELLI: It's not normal. In fact, the chance any one year of a Category 5 is about 20%. We've seen five Category 5s in four years."

"CHANG: Yeah."

"BERARDELLI: And your other question was, are we seeing an increase? Yes, we are - in the strongest of storms. There was a study done, and since 1975, they said there was a substantial and observable increase in the proportion of Category 4s and 5s - in fact, an increase of about 25% to 30% per degree Celsius of global warming, so that's 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. So, yes, there is a substantial increase in global Cat 4s and Cat 5s because of a warmer climate."

"CHANG: OK. And how does that work? How does climate change affect the severity of a hurricane?"

"BERARDELLI: Every single year, we set new records for ocean heat content. So although the global temperatures may go up-and-down every year, the ocean does not go up-and-down. It just only goes up, and that's because 93% of the excess heat that we are trapping because of greenhouse gases is stored in the ocean - 93%. Well, that has to come out somehow, and that is high-octane fuel for hurricanes. So the more heat that there is in the ocean, especially near the surface of the ocean, the stronger these systems tend to get. And that's what we're seeing."

 


Facts on Ice Melt

August 17, 2019

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National Snow & Ice Data Center: "Ice sheets contain enormous quantities of frozen water. If the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, scientists estimate that sea level would rise about 6 meters (20 feet). If the Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea level would rise by about 60 meters (200 feet)."


Nuclear Energy and Climate Change

August 01, 2019

Lexington Institute: "President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, labor unions, and a growing number of climate change advocates worldwide, including progressive heads of state, strongly support nuclear power. Today’s Democratic candidates for president, though, do not."

"The candidates often talk about the existential crisis from climate change. But they are dismissive of nuclear power, which accounts for 55 percent of our non-carbon electricity. Wind and solar, meanwhile, still comprise less than 10 percent of the U.S. electricity supply."

"It was not always this way."

"In 2010, Obama bluntly said, 'Nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It’s that simple.'”

"Obama later doubled down on nuclear power. In November 2015, the White House announced a series of steps to 'ensure that nuclear energy remains a vibrant component of the United States’ clean energy strategy.'”

"In September 2016 Hillary Clinton told Scientific American, 'Meeting the climate change challenge is too important to limit the tools available in this fight. Nuclear power, which accounts for more than 60 percent of our zero-carbon power generation today, is one of those tools.” Clinton also pledged to “increase investment in the research, development and deployment of advanced nuclear power.'”


Heat Waves Intensify

July 25, 2019

New York Times:  "According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, since the 1960s the average number of heat waves . . . in 50 major American cities has tripled."

Washington Post:  "On Wednesday and Thursday, new national heat records were set in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and temperatures rose to record highs in major cities such as Paris, which soared to 109 degrees. This is the hottest Paris has been in recorded history."


American Canyon Specific Plan

July 23, 2019

On July 8, 2019, CCEC initiated litigation against the City of American Canyon over the energy and transportation impacts of the Broadway Specific Plan. The litigation follows extensive correspondence by CCEC and Caltrans, pointing out the failure to address measures to reduce transportation demand in the new plan for the city's Broadway Corridor (SR 29).  The plan, which proposes widening of SR 29 to six lanes, is not a sustainable solution, nor will it meet future transportation demand generated by the region. Building roadway capacity typically results in increased driving. Moreover, funding is plainly not available for the costly road widening. Napa County Transportation Authority's county-wide plan points out clearly the challenge going forward for American Canyon and for the region, which has historically used American Canyon as an increasingly congested driveway into Napa Valley--

"Napa County’s economy is largely dependent on the wine and tourism industry which accounts for 40% of the local labor force. The top five fastest growing job sectors in Napa County, which will account for 63% of the projected job growth, are low wage earning job sectors. This is particularly significant because housing in Napa is expensive and projected housing production will not keep pace with job production. This will force the growing Napa County workforce to look for more affordable housing elsewhere. Conversely, residents that wish to live in Napa County are likely to seek higher paying jobs elsewhere. The housing/income mismatch will result in more vehicle miles traveled and the inevitable associated congestion on Napa’s roads. If projections are accurate, this could result in 30,000 workers commuting into Napa each day by 2040 – a 45% increase, and an additional 2,000 outbound-commuters or a total of 16,000 daily trips leaving the county for work over this same time period."

CCEC is demanding a robust discussion of meeting future transportation demand in the Broadway Corridor. 

Letter from Caltrans District 4, Jan. 10, 2018

Example of a Credible Discussion Addressing Transportation Demand

Increasing Highway Capacity Unlikely to Relieve Traffic Congestion