Toward a Better State Climate Action Plan: Review and Assessment of Proposed Transportation Strategies, Frank Gallivan, Jeff Ang-Olson, and Diane Turchetta (2011). This article discusses the likelihood that greenhouse gas reductions envisioned in various state climate action plans are realistic. The study analyzed 84 strategies from nine state climate action plans and found significant legal and budgetary barriers to actual implementation. In addition, some plans rely on vague goals without supporting empirical evidence or feasibility studies. The article is published in the TRB Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2244/2011.
Report Assesses Economic Impact of Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, (The Analysis Group) Nov. 15, 2011. This report analyzes the economic impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade program of 10 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. The report finds net economic gains of over $1.6 billion over the first three years of operation of the RGGI, reflecting the proceeds of greenhouse gas allowance auctions, reduced energy cost from energy efficiency, and lost revenue to electricity generators because of reduced electricity demand.
Climate Change: State Policy Update 2011, National Conference of State Legislatures (Aug. 25, 2011). This update on climate change policy and legislation by NCLS covers topics including climate change resolutions, actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions, opposition to greenhouse gas requirements, cap-and-trade, and carbon capture and storage. The document covers developments from 2010 and trends in 2011.
Report Summarizes Workshops on Integrating Climate Change With Transportation Planning, Federal Highway Administration (March 2011). This report covers a series of five workshops sponsored by FHWA in 2010 on addressing climate change in the state and metropolitan transportation planning processes. The workshops included two state DOT workshops, two MPO workshops and one state DOT/MPO combined workshop that provided technical assistance focused on integrating climate change considerations, including greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts, into the agencies’ planning processes. The report summarizes the proceedings of each of the five workshops and identifies several key issues that were shared among the workshop participants. Issues included the evolving nature of coordination efforts between local, regional, and state institutions; limited data for planning applications; the need for appropriate climate change planning tools; and limited experience in scenario planning related to climate change. The report also offers suggestions for further FHWA activity to support state DOT and MPO efforts to integrate climate change in transportation planning, including facilitating capacity building and providing analytical tools, technical assistance, and related resources.
State CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion, 1990-2008, Environmental Protection Agency (May 4, 2011). EPA has developed state-level carbon dioxide emission inventories from fossil fuel combustion, by end-use sector (including commercial, industrial, residential, transportation, and electric power) in million metric tons of CO2 from 1990 through 2008.
Policy Group Releases State-by-State Assessment of Costs of Inaction on Climate Change, American Security Project (April 20, 2011). This series of 50 reports assesses the potential economic costs to states of unmitigated climate change. The series, titled “Pay Now, Pay Later,” projects the potential costs to each state’s economy, security, competitiveness, and public health from failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U.S. States and Regions, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. This is a comprehensive, up-to-date website on U.S. state and regional climate change activities, including maps and links to state climate targets, plans, legislation, reports, events, climate change commissions and advisory groups, and state adaptation plans. It also includes information on the Western Climate Initiative and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Clean and Secure State Energy Actions: 2010 Update, National Governors Association (Sept. 8, 2010). This report finds that every state and territory is working to advance clean energy measures, whether through renewable energy or energy efficiency programs, promotion of alternative fuels, or other means. The report examines seven categories of "clean energy activities" in all 50 states, as well as territories and commonwealths. According to the report, 49 states have adopted or updated policies relating to electricity generation, 47 states took action to expand their energy efficiency measures, and 39 states have developed policies and made investments to advance "green economic development."
Determining Fair Share Regional Targets for Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation and Land Use, Elisa Barbour, Gregory L. Newmark, and Elizabeth A. Deakin (2011). This article discusses the efforts of the California Air Resources Board along with the state’s 18 metropolitan planning organizations to translate statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals into feasible local strategies using transportation and land use planning processes. The article is published in the TRB Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2244/2011.
Caltrans Posts Video, Materials from California Interregional Blueprint Stakeholder Workshops, California Department of Transportation (November 2011). Caltrans has posted a video and other materials from stakeholder workshops held in November 2011 that highlight the agency’s work to develop the California Interregional Blueprint (CIB), a statewide plan for an integrated, multimodal interregional transportation system that meets the state’s climate change goals. The completed CIB will serve as the foundation for the next update to the state’s long-range transportation plan, the 2040 California Transportation Plan. The workshops featured informational presentations, large group discussions, and real-time, electronic polling of over 250 transportation partners and stakeholders. Additional workshop materials now available online include webcasts, statewide model plans, and a CIB interim report.
UCLA Issues Report on California Cap-and-Trade Program, University of California, Los Angeles (Aug. 25, 2011). The UCLA School of Law, Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, has released a report that analyses the California Air Resources Board proposed rules for the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. The report concludes that the program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is likely to result in a fair, cost-effective market compared with other trading programs.
California Agency Reaffirms Cap-and-Trade With Updated Analysis of Implementing Rules, California Air Resources Board (Aug. 24, 2011). California air quality officials have reaffirmed their commitment to implement an economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program beginning in 2012. In a unanimous vote, the board approved the expanded environmental analysis of strategies for implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32) that it released earlier in the year in response to a court order. As part of the same vote, CARB’s governing board readopted the A.B. 32 “scoping plan,” a document outlining over 70 measures—including the emissions trading program—to achieve the emissions reductions required by A.B. 32. The board is expected to finalize the rules for the cap-and-trade program it adopted in December 2010 and hopes to phase in beginning in 2012.
Caltrans Issues Guidance on Incorporating Sea-Level Rise in Programming and Design of Projects, California Department of Transportation (June 9, 2011) – This guidance document addresses the consideration of sea-level rise in the design and programming of transportation projects in California. The guidance calls for an analysis of whether the potential exists for a project to be impacted by rising sea levels and whether to incorporate sea level rise adaptation measures into the project, with the results documented in the Project Initiation Document.
California Proposes Regional GHG Emissions Reduction Targets for Cars, Light Trucks (Aug. 9, 2010). The California Air Resources Board has issued a staff report containing proposed greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for automobiles and light trucks for 18 metropolitan planning organizations. The proposal represent the first step toward implementing the state's smart growth law, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (S.B. 375). The report proposes emissions reduction goals for 2020 and 2035, which city and regional planners can use to develop more compact neighborhoods that are less dependent on single-occupant vehicles. CARB's proposal calls for the four largest urban areas--Southern California, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento--to develop land-use and transportation strategies that would curb greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent to 8 percent, per capita, by 2020 and between 13 percent and 16 percent, per capita, by 2035.
Climate Change Proposed Scoping Plan: A framework for change. California Air Resources Board (CARB). This plan outlines strategies to reduce the State's GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. It includes several measures related to transportation (see Emissions Reduction Measures, Regional Transportation-Related GHG Targets, pp. 47-51) and notes that the state has allocated resources for MPOs to initiate or augment comprehensive scenario planning, or Blueprint, efforts that engage a broad set of stakeholders at the local level on the impacts of land use and transportation choices. The plan notes co-benefits of reducing GHGs, such as air-quality-related public health benefits and local economic benefits.
California's SB375: A Closer Look at the Numbers. Sarah J. Siwek, January 2011. This article discusses SB375, California's much touted effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through integrating land use, housing, and transportation policy. The law is targeted to achieve a 3 million metric ton CO2 equivalent reduction in greenhouse gases from a base year of 2005 by 2020. This is roughly 1.7 percent of the overall GHG reductions planned for California by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In fact, although per capita GHG emissions may decrease as a result of SB375, it is expected that there will be a net increase in total GHG transportation-related emissions once expected population growth is factored in. The total weekday on-road CO2 emissions in all 18 metropolitan planning organizations impacted by SB375 is expected to grow from 372,536 tons in 2005 to 426,938 in 2020 and to 501,086 in 2035, a 34.5 percent increase. Population growth in these MPO regions is expected to grow 43 percent over this period. This article, written by Sarah J. Siwek, takes a closer look at the SB375 program to put its potential in perspective. In addition, some key SB375 implementation issues are discussed.
Measuring Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions under SB 375 Implementation, University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Affairs, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies (2009). This report reviews potential strategies for achieving the GHG reduction targets being developed under California's SB 375 law. It finds GHG emissions associated with congestion are significant, and that congestion-related emissions in the Los Angeles area account for roughly two-thirds of the SB 375 GHG reduction goal for the entire state. It also finds that a focus on reducing VMT might encourage congestion and create additional greenhouse gas emissions.
California's 2009 Climate Adaptation Strategy. Multiple state agencies were involved in developing this multi-sector strategy to guide California in adapting to climate change impacts. The strategy summarizes the science on climate change impacts in seven sectors, including transportation and energy infrastructure, and provides recommendations on how to manage against those threats. The strategy is in response to Gov. Schwarzenegger's Executive Order S-13-08 requiring state agencies to identify how they can respond to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and extreme natural events. The state's adaptation strategy will be updated as new data become available.
Assessment of Colorado Department of Transportation Rest Areas for Sustainability Improvements and Highway Corridors and Facilities for Alternative Energy Use, Colorado Department of Transportation (March 30, 2011). This report identifies cost-effective strategies for CDOT highway maintenance managers to reduce operational costs and resource consumption, including implementing water and energy conservation practices, reuse and recycling of solid waste, and landscaping transition toward xeriscape practices. The report also examines the potential use of the CDOT right-of-way for alternative energy applications, including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower sources.
Preparing for Tomorrow's High Tide: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware, Delaware Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee (July 2012). This final report of an advisory committee established by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control finds that all three of the state’s counties and 31 of its 57 cities would be directly affected by rising sea level. The report forecasts the impacts of several potential sea level rise scenarios on 79 statewide resources, and identifies 16 resources of highest concern for the state, such as roads and bridges, railroad lines, and tidal wetlands. The report will be used by the committee to develop a sea level rise adaptation plan for the state.
'Green-Friendly' Best Management Practices for Interstate Rest Areas, Illinois Center for Transportation (June 29, 2011). This document includes research findings on sustainability best management practices for Illinois interstate rest areas. The document describes the methods used for researching the current state of Illinois' rest areas and current research and development on green-friendly practices for construction and maintenance. The document also describes the recommended best practices for upgrading the rest areas and methods by which upgrade decisions could be made.
GreenDOT Implementation Plan, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Dec. 17, 2012). MassDOT has released the final implementation plan for its GreenDOT sustainability initiative, which seeks to incorporate sustainability into all MassDOT activities and meet statewide greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated in 2010. The implementation plan centers around fifteen sustainability goals organized under seven sustainability themes: air; energy; land; materials; policy/planning; waste; and water. For each goal the plan establishes a set of tasks supported by indicators with time horizons of 2013, 2015, and 2020.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Transportation Sources in Minnesota, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, (June 2008). The study focused on three types of emission-reduction strategies: those that improve vehicle fuel economy, those that reduce the number of vehicle-miles traveled, and others that decrease the carbon content of fuel. The researchers used a quantitative model to test the effectiveness of specific strategies for GHG emission reduction from transportation in Minnesota.
New York State Installing New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, New York State Governor’s Office (June 6, 2012). Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the awarding of $4.4 million to private companies and municipalities for projects to deploy 325 electric vehicle charging stations across the state. The charging stations are being supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, including a $1 million grant from DOE in 2011 on behalf of the Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. The initiative seeks to accelerate the development of electric vehicle infrastructure in the region.
Reducing Vehicle Miles traveled Through Smart Land-Use Design, New York State Department of Transportation (December 2011). This report is designed to assist planning and transportation organizations in New York State identify methods that better reflect the benefits of proposed smart growth strategies in travel demand forecasting. The study examined two approaches for increasing the sensitivity of transportation models to smart growth impact using the Greater Buffalo/Niagara metropolitan area as a case study. The report’s findings support claims that smart growth strategies can reduce vehicle trips, encourage non-motorized modes, decrease average trip length, and reduce daily VMT.
New York State Releases Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions by 80 Percent (Nov. 9, 2010). New York Gov. David A. Paterson released a climate action plan to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels over the next 40 years. The New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report includes recommendations for emissions reductions in each sector of the economy, including power generation, transportation, buildings, and agriculture. The report's main recommendations for the transportation sector include the development of low-carbon fuel standards, greater use of electricity-based public transportation, creation of rebates and incentives for the sale of efficient cars and light trucks, and investment in freight and high-speed rail. The report is open for public comments until Feb. 7, 2011, after which the state Climate Action Council will outline a specific strategy for implementing the recommendations and release cost estimates and predicted economic impacts.
Climate Change in North Carolina, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This website contains information on North Carolina activities to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change. It includes information on the North Carolina state climate action plan.
Drive Green, Save Green, North Carolina Department of Transportation. This website describes North Carolina DOT’s ecodriving campaign, including facts, tips, and resource links for drivers.
Oregon Greenhouse Gas Toolkit, The Oregon Department of Transportation is leading the development of a GHG toolkit to help metropolitan planning organizations and local governments reduce GHG emissions from light vehicle transportation. The toolkit, which is part of the statewide Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI), is a database that will contain information on actions and programs local governments can take to achieve reductions. The toolkit also will include best practices for implementing the actions and programs, modeling and analysis tools, and educational tools for informing the public about GHG reduction targets and strategies.
Statewide Strategy to Reduce GHG from Transportation (S.B. 1059a) (legislation signed March 18, 2010, by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski). This bill requires development of a statewide strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions from transportation. The Oregon Department of Transportation will develop and evaluate alternative transportation plans - including mass transit and land-use issues - that would help reduce GHG emissions and will be the lead state agency to develop a greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy. Within a year, the department - in cooperation with other agencies - will provide information necessary to determine proposed greenhouse emissions reduction targets for 2035.
GreenSTEP: Greenhouse Gas Statewide Transportation Emissions Planning Model, Summary Paper, July 30, 2010. This paper provides background and summary of Oregon DOT's GreenSTEP Model, designed to assist in developing a statewide strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions from transportation.
Pennsylvania Climate Adaptation Planning Report: Risks and Practical Recommendations, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Jan. 27, 2011). This report represents the first statewide effort to identify practical strategies for addressing climate change impacts. The report includes the recommendations for climate change adaptation of four sector-specific working groups established by DEP and the state Climate Change Advisory Committee: Infrastructure, Public Health and Safety, Natural Resources, and Tourism and Outdoor Recreation. Recommended actions for the transport sector include reviewing research for materials that have the potential to withstand higher temperatures to prevent buckling of roadways and bridges and performing more intense inspections of transportation infrastructure after high impact events in areas subject to erosion. Cross-cutting recommendations include adopting green infrastructure, walkable communities, and integrating adaptation and mitigation strategies as part of government agency planning and operations.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Washington State Government, Washington State Department of Ecology (December 2012). This is the second biennial progress report to the governor and the legislature on the progress of state agencies in meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets under the 2009 State Agency Climate Leadership Act. Actions taken by state agencies since 2010 include reducing GHG emissions from state fleet vehicles through expanding biodiesel use, purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles and equipment, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open on Washington Highways, Washington State Department of Transportation (May 30, 2012). WSDOT has announced the opening of 10 new public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on Interstate 5 and U.S. Route 2 that will allow EV drivers to travel from Seattle to the Canadian border. The new stations, which feature technology that can deliver a full charge in less than 30 minutes, have been installed at rest stops and other locations convenient to shopping and entertainment. The charging stations are part of the planned West Coast Electric Highway, a transportation corridor connecting California, Oregon, and Washington that fully supports electric vehicles.
An Assessment of Urban Form and Pedestrian and Transit Improvements as an Integrated GHG Reduction Strategy, Washington State Department of Transportation (April 1, 2011). This report looks at the effect of sidewalks on travel patterns and the relationship between sidewalk availability and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas emissions in the Seattle area. The study used sidewalk data from a 2006 household travel survey that modeled the association of urban form, pedestrian infrastructure, transit service, and travel costs on VMT and CO2 emissions. The report finds that sidewalks have the potential to reduce CO2 and VMT, in addition to a mixed land use pattern, shorter transit travel and wait times, lower transit fares, and higher parking costs.
2010 Sustainable Transportation Report, Washington State Department of Transportation (Dec. 29, 2010). This report provides an update on the progress of WSDOT’s sustainable transportation efforts, including analyses of statewide vehicle miles traveled and of a potential low-carbon fuel standard. The report also includes updates on development of the West Coast Green Highway Initiative; capital facilities sustainability requirements; fleet use of alternative fuels and electric vehicles; the statewide integrated climate change response strategy; and WSDOT’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
Northeast Electric Vehicle Network Documents, Transportation and Climate Initiative (Dec. 14, 2012). These documents produced by the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network provide information on electric vehicles for consumers, utilities, local government planners, and other stakeholders. Also included are planning, guidance, and analysis documents, including EV siting and design guidelines and building codes.
Northeast Electric Vehicle Network Announced, Georgetown Climate Center (Oct. 19, 2011). Officials from transportation, environment, and energy agencies in 10 northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia have announced an agreement to form a Northeast Electric Vehicle Network to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations and related infrastructure throughout the region. The network is the latest project of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, which was announced by the participating jurisdictions in June 2010 to promote clean fuels and vehicles and infrastructure development. Development of the regional electric vehicle network will be supported in part by a $1 million Electric Vehicle Readiness Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. This initiative was launched in June 2010 by the leaders of the environment, energy, and transportation agencies of eleven Atlantic and Northeast states and the District of Columbia to collaborate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and improving the efficiency of the region’s transportation system. The initiative's first strategic workplan, completed in October 2010, focuses on four key areas: the development of clean vehicles and fuels, including the creation of a regional electric vehicle network; promoting the development of sustainable communities; implementing communication and information technology throughout the region; and improving the efficiency of freight transportation. The TCI's declaration of intent, initial briefing papers, and other resources are available on the Georgetown Climate Center website.
Western Climate Initiative. This website describes the WCI initiative, which is a collaborative effort of seven states and four Canadian provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in participating jurisdictions. The centerpiece of the WCI strategy is a regional cap-and-trade program that will begin January 1, 2012.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This website describes the RGGI, the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10 percent by 2018.
Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (March 3, 2011). This newly updated series provides brief reports on climate change topics such as climate science; adaptation measures; and U.S Federal, State, and local action. The updated reports highlight issues including the significance of the global negotiations, local efforts to address climate change, and current predictions on global temperature changes. Individual reports can be accessed at the following links: Overview, Science and Impacts, Adaptation, Technology, Business, International, Federal, State, Local, and Cap and Trade.