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News about the EJ movement, environmental issues and relevant political devlopments

Groups offering information sessions on redistricting: Public debate continues

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 10:45am

If you're among those who are still scratching their heads over the new federal and state legislative districts in California, help is on the way.

A number of groups are offering seminars, webinars and even luncheon presentations in the coming days to help people make sense out of what the 14-member multipartisan Citizens Redistricting Commission accomplished.

Voters went to the polls to make sure elected officials couldn't have another crack at redistricting, which is required every 10 years based on the new national census. But even before the commission released its new maps of the 177 newly created legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization district, complaints started coming from Latino, African-American and politically focused organizations as well as sitting politicians who suddenly found the district they were elected to serve was no longer where they live.

ACCE Looks to Bolster Richmond's Bank Foreclosure Ordinance

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 11:26am

California Agency Reaffirms Cap-and-Trade With More Analysis for Implementing Rules

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 4:47pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California air quality officials Aug. 24 reaffirmed their commitment to implement an economywide greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program beginning in 2012.

In a unanimous vote, the California Air Resources Board approved the expanded environmental analysis of strategies for implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32) that the agency released earlier in the year in response to a court order (114 DEN A-9, 6/14/11).

As part of the same vote, the agency's governing board readopted the A.B. 32 “scoping plan,” the document that outlines more than 70 measures—including the emissions trading program—to achieve the emissions reductions required by A.B. 32.

The board's action comes just two months before CARB 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. Litigation pending in the state courts, however, could still prove an obstacle for the full-scale launch of trading program planned for 2013.

Activists to Air Board: Keep the Cap, Lose the Trade

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 4:09pm

Members of the “environmental justice” movement lost a major round to air officials on Wednesday, when the latter voted to keep California’s nascent cap-and-trade plan on track.

The program is a key component of the state’s landmark strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Activists sued to stop the program, claiming it does little to curb toxic emissions from industrial facilities and farming operations.

Transit Agency Study Finds Fares Up and Service Down

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/24/2011 - 11:28am

The fare for Atlanta’s trains and buses will jump to $2.50 in October, giving the city one of the more expensive transit systems in the country. In Salt Lake City, rides to Temple Square on the popular light-rail system rose a quarter in May to $2.25, and are scheduled to hit $2.50 in two years. Even San Francisco’s iconic cable cars went up a dollar last month, to $6.

The economic downturn is playing havoc with the nation’s public transit systems even as ridership remains near record levels: since 2010, 71 percent of the nation’s large systems have cut service, and half have raised fares, according to a survey released Wednesday by the American Public Transportation Association, a transit advocacy group.

And in many cases, those fare increases and service cuts — made necessary by flat or reduced state and local aid — are being implemented on top of similar moves earlier in the downturn.

Civil Rights Group Demands End to Car-Centric Transportation Policies

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:15am

“This is the civil rights dilemma: Our laws purport to level the playing field, but our transportation choices have effectively barred millions of people from accessing it.”

The civil rights fight for equitable transportation didn't end with Rosa Parks. So says a report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a project of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The coalition wasn’t involved in the transportation reauthorization debate in 2005, when SAFETEA-LU was passed, and they’re determined to be at the table this time.

In March, they quietly published their report, “Where We Need to Go: A Civil Rights Roadmap for Transportation Equity”, and since then they’ve put out three more reports, springboarding off of that first overview. The subsequent reports focus on access to health care, access to housing, and access to jobs.

Car and Driver Magazine: “We Must Consider Alternative Transportation”

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/10/2011 - 3:27pm
Car and Driver

How bad are things on America’s highways? So bad that it has prompted some soul-searching at Car and Driver magazine.

Car and Driver takes stock of America's highways and finds them in a shambles. The magazine concludes its time to consider "alternatives." Photo: Car and Driver

In its July issue, the magazine gave its 1.3 million readers a feature with the subtitle “What’s Happening to Our Playgrounds? The American Highway is Broken.”

Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland was pleasantly surprised to find that the nation’s foremost car magazine has concluded that building more highways isn’t the way to fix America’s transportation systems. Which says a lot about just how urgent the need for reform is:


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