PNS Daily News - December 16, 2019 

Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for four specific witnesses in Senate impeachment trial; giving Iowans with disabilities a voice in caucuses; and an expert says Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lot more than just the holiday blues.

2020Talks - December 16, 2019 

Sen. Cory Booker led the charge asking the DNC to ease up debate qualification requirements. All seven candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate say they won't participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount in LA if it means crossing the picket line of Unite Here Local 11.

Draft Plan for Green Transportation Draws Praise

Switching to electric buses will help ensure all communities benefit from the Transportation and Climate Initiative. (Oleksandr/Adobe Stock)
Switching to electric buses will help ensure all communities benefit from the Transportation and Climate Initiative. (Oleksandr/Adobe Stock)
November 11, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. — The draft of a policy proposal for a regional effort to switch to electric vehicles is getting strong support from clean-energy advocates. Building on the success of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in reducing emissions from the electric power sector, 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states have now outlined their plans to reduce emissions from transportation - now the greatest source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

According to Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the plan would set a cap on emissions and require wholesalers of gas and diesel fuel to buy allowances to cover up-to that level of pollution.

"Over time, that cap would be reduced,”Reynolds explained. “And that would be a way to generate some revenue that can be reinvested in electric vehicle charging and electric vehicle incentives."

The Transportation and Climate Initiative expects to release a final draft of a memorandum of understanding in spring 2020 for consideration by the participating states.

Reynolds added the plan also has a strong emphasis on equity, ensuring the benefits of clean transportation are shared by low-income communities and those most vulnerable to a changing climate.

"Not everyone has their own personal car. Not everyone wants or can afford a Tesla,” she said. “But we can get electric school buses, city buses, dump trucks, and that would help clear the air in places that need it."

The switch to electric vehicles will increase the need for electrical generating capacity. Reynolds pointed out many of the states in the transportation initiative also have aggressive goals for renewable electricity.

"Both of those things have to happen on parallel tracks,” she said. “We have to build more wind and solar and offshore wind so the electricity becomes cleaner, and we have to change over all the vehicles to become electric."

Reynolds said the next challenge will be formulating a complimentary set of policies to take on emissions from the building heating sector.

Disclosure: Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc. contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY