Cycling Trips Surge

March 14, 2020


New York Times: "Halimah Marcus’s bike had been collecting dust for five years. But as coronavirus fears exploded in New York, she pumped air into the tires and replaced the batteries in the light mounted on the handle bar. By Monday, Ms. Marcus, 34, was biking daily to work instead of taking the R subway train. She has not been back on the subway. And she has a lot of company in the bike lanes."

"Citi Bike, the city’s bike share program, has seen demand surge 67 percent this month: Between March 1 and March 11, there were a total of 517,768 trips compared with 310,132 trips during the same period the year before. A growing wave of New Yorkers are embracing cycling to get to work and around the city as their regular subway and bus commutes have suddenly become fraught with potential perils, from possibly virus-tainted surfaces to strangers sneezing and coughing on fellow passengers."

“'It reduced my anxiety,' said Ms. Marcus, the executive director of a nonprofit digital publisher in Downtown Brooklyn. 'For me, riding is manageable, and I felt it would be beneficial to my mental health.'”

Industrial Heat

February 11, 2020


Vox:  "Climate activists are fond of saying that we have all the solutions we need to the climate crisis; all we lack is the political will."

"While it’s true enough as policy goes — we certainly have enough solutions to get started and make big changes — as a technical matter, it is incorrect. Truly defeating climate change will mean getting to net-zero carbon emissions and eventually negative emissions. That means decarbonizing everything. Every economic sector. Every use of fossil fuels."

"And actually, there are some sectors, some uses of fossil fuels, that we do not yet know how to decarbonize."

"Take, for instance, industrial heat: the extremely high-temperature heat used to make steel and cement. It’s not sexy, but it matters."

"Heavy industry is responsible for around 22 percent of global CO2 emissions. Forty-two percent of that — about 10 percent of global emissions — comes from combustion to produce large amounts of high-temperature heat for industrial products like cement, steel, and petrochemicals."

"To put that in perspective, industrial heat’s 10 percent is greater than the CO2 emissions of all the world’s cars (6 percent) and planes (2 percent) combined. Yet, consider how much you hear about electric vehicles. Consider how much you hear about flying shame. Now consider how much you hear about ... industrial heat."

"Not much, I’m guessing. But the fact is, today, virtually all of that combustion is fossil-fueled, and there are very few viable low-carbon alternatives. For all kinds of reasons, industrial heat is going to be one of the toughest nuts to crack, carbon-wise. And we haven’t even gotten started."



American Canyon Litigation Settled

February 08, 2020

The litigation commenced by CCEC against the City of American Canyon in July, 2019, has been successfully settled with the city committing to add a number of important measures to the Broadway District Specific Plan to address vehicle congestion, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.  As a result of CCEC's efforts, combined with the on-going work at the city and NVTA, the Broadway District Specific Plan will now be amended to include important new provisions--

  • Bus-on-Shoulder Program
  • Transit Priority Program
  • Transit Stops at Signalized Intersections
  • Class 1 Bike Paths Connected to Transit Stops
  • TDM Marketing Program
  • Transit Pass Program

The failure to include provisions of this sort in the Broadway District Specific Plan was pointed out to the city in detail before the plan was adopted, and the concern was rejected by the city.

Due to the substantial traffic congestion issues faced by the area as well as the high priority that California places on reducing GHG emissions, improving air quality, and providing affordable mobility to economically disadvantaged populations, the omission was a significant oversight. The settlement is a clear win for the community and the environment.

CCEC will monitor progress and implementation going forward.

Cost of Germany's Nuclear Phase Out

January 23, 2020

Energy Institute at Haas: "Many countries have phased out nuclear electricity production in response to concerns about nuclear waste and the risk of nuclear accidents. This paper examines the impact of the shutdown of roughly half of the nuclear production capacity in Germany after the Fukushima accident in 2011. We use hourly data on power plant operations and a novel machine learning framework to estimate how plants would have operated differently if the phase-out had not occurred. We find that the lost nuclear electricity production due to the phase-out was replaced primarily by coal-fired production and net electricity imports. The social cost of this shift from nuclear to coal is approximately 12 billion dollars per year. Over 70% of this cost comes from the increased mortality risk associated with exposure to the local air pollution emitted when burning fossil fuels. Even the largest estimates of the reduction in the costs associated with nuclear accident risk and waste disposal due to the phase-out are far smaller than 12 billion dollars."

GM President Mark Reuss

December 29, 2019

CNN:  "Our research also shows that, among those who have considered buying an electric vehicle, but haven't, the lack of charging stations is the number one reason why."

"For EVs to gain widespread acceptance, manufacturers, charging companies, industry groups and governments at all levels must work together to make public charging available in as many locations as possible. For example, we are seeing increased partnership activity between manufacturers and charging station companies, as well as construction companies that build large infrastructure projects, with the goal of adding thousands of additional public charging stations in the United States."

"Private charging stations are just as important. Nearly 80% of electric vehicle owners charge their vehicles at home, and almost 15% at work, with the rest at public stations, our research shows. Therefore, continuing to make charging easy and seamless is vital. To that end, more partnerships with companies that will install the chargers in consumers' homes conveniently and affordably will be a boon for both buyers and sellers."

Hydrogen Station Reliability

December 24, 2019

This past October CCEC corresponded with Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, concerning numerous cases of off-line hydrogen fueling stations. We received a detailed response on December 10 attributing these station failures to a shortage of hydrogen supply after a recent fire at an industrial gas facility in Santa Clara and outlining the remedial steps underway. CCEC is continuing to urge CARB to quantitatively track and report on a monthly basis the reliability of the hydrogen network to stay focused on reliability.

Mary Nichols' Letter of December 10, 2019

California Fuel Cell Partnership Update

Hydrogen Station Map

What Should Be Done

December 01, 2019

Washington Post:  "Experts have known for years what the United States must do: place a strong and steadily rising price on carbon dioxide emissions, invest heavily in clean-energy research and development, and make climate a top priority in international diplomacy."

United Nations--"Unprecedented Cuts Now the Only Hope"

November 26, 2019

Washington Post: "The world has squandered so much time mustering the action necessary to combat climate change that rapid, unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions offer the only hope of averting an ever-intensifying cascade of consequences, according to new findings from the United Nations."

Emissions Gap Report 2019

St. Mark’s Basilica

November 16, 2019


New York Times: "St. Mark’s Basilica and part of the Doge’s Palace in St. Mark’s Square after a powerful storm caused flooding in Venice late Tuesday."

Owing More than It's Worth - The Cost of Transportation

November 09, 2019

Wall Street Journal: "Rising car prices have exacerbated an affordability gap that is increasingly getting filled with auto debt. Easy lending standards are perpetuating the cycle, with lenders routinely making car loans with low or no down payments that can last seven years or longer."

"Borrowers are responsible for paying their remaining debt even after they get rid of the vehicle tied to it. When subsequently buying another car, they can roll this old debt into a new loan. The lender that originates the new loan typically pays off the old lender, and the consumer then owes the balance from both cars to the new lender. The transactions are often encouraged by dealerships, which now make more money on arranging financing than on selling cars."