Summer 2016

CARB’s Nichols on California’s Cap-and-Trade Program & Historic VW Settlement

Issue: 
Mary Nichols

The California Air Resources Board’s most recent quarterly cap-and-trade auction was the first to result in only a fraction of available permits sold. Detractors used the weak auction results to highlight the program’s uncertain future, whereas advocates touted the state’s success in cutting carbon emissions quicker than expected. To CARB Chair Mary Nichols, who has overseen the leadership of the program since its inception, the auction showed that industries were keeping a lid on carbon emissions rather than buying permits to emit more. Nichols speaks to ongoing efforts to extend California’s carbon cap-and-trade system, and to expand the model to other states. Nichols also addresses the historic enforcement action and settlement with Volkswagen, which CARB led on negotiating.

Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Water NGO Shares Progress & Vision for Abundant Water Future in Middle East

Issue: 
Gidon Bromberg

Every day brings reports of urgent water shortages around the world; there’s no time to lose in the search for solutions. In 2008, Time Magazine named Gidon Bromberg, Nader Al-Khateeb, and Munqeth Mehyar “Heroes of the Environment” for their work as co-directors of EcoPeace Middle East, a unique organization that brings together Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis to cooperate on protecting and restoring their shared environmental heritage. Bromberg joins VX News to share EcoPeace’s success on watershed restoration in the Jordan River Valley, and its vision of sustainable regional development leading to lasting peace.

CEC Chair Weisenmiller on the Transformation of California’s Clean Energy Market

Issue: 
Robert Weisenmiller

Pacific Gas & Electric’s recently announcement it would shut down the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant highlighted California’s rapidly shifting approach to the electric power grid. To California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller, the decision was significant, but was just one of a multitude of tidal forces moving California towards a diverse, dynamic, and resilient renewable energy portfolio. In an exclusive interview with VX News, Weisenmiller explains the growth and importance of the regional Energy Imbalance Market, as well as the Energy Commission’s efforts to invest research dollars to advance community-scale microgrids and renewables.

A California Road Trip Proves Hydogen Fuel Cell Service Infrastructure Is Now In Place

Issue: 
Tyson Eckerle

Over the last decade, significant efforts by leaders in Sacramento, automobile manufacturers, and hydrogen-fueling station developers have laid the foundation for a statewide infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. California now leads the nation in developing fueling stations, with 17 retail stations open now and more than 30 more in development. In April, leaders from the public and private sector showed off the readiness of this advanced technology by driving from Santa Monica to Sacramento in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. VX News presents an excerpt of remarks from the event, featuring Tyson Eckerle (ZEV Infrastructure Deputy Director for the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development), Mary Nichols (CARB Chair); Janea Scott (CEC Commissioner); Tony Vasquez (Mayor of Santa Monica); Dr. Clark Parker (South Coast AQMD Board Member); and Shane Stephens (True Zero co-founder).

Recycling Cap-and-Trade Revenues in Ontario: Experts Weigh In

Issue: 
Chris Ragan, EcoFiscal Commissioner Chair

Ontario finalized its cap-and-trade program in June, and will conduct the first auction in July. As a member of the Western Climate Initiative, the province has also signaled its intent to link its system to similar ones operating in Quebec and California. The Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act mandates that revenues from Ontario’s auctions go into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account to fund a number of diverse programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But experts disagree on how the province can best recycle the cap-and-trade revenue. Before the program was finalized, the Canada EcoFiscal Commission hosted a roundtable of advocates from around the country representing priorities from social inequality to business development. VX News presents an excerpt of the debate with remarks by Chris Ragan, chair of the Canada EcoFiscal Commission; Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute; Vicky Sharpe, senior fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development; Mike Moffat, chief economist at the Moet Center; and Mark Cameron, executive director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

Sadik-Khan’s “Street Fight” Applicability to LA’s Urban Transformative Agenda

Issue: 
Janette Sadik-Khan

Trailblazing New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan joins TPR for an interview to highlight her new book StreetFight. Sadik-Khan transformed the Big Apple’s view on public spaces, bike sharing, mobility, and more. During her tenure between 2007-2013, Sadik-Khan implemented 400 miles of bikelanes, moved forward on 60 plazas, and started New York City’s first six rapid bus lines. She describes the trying process of implementing her vision of moving beyond taxis and endless congestion. As Los Angeles continues to deal with a fractured planning process, Sadik-Khan also offers some insights about trying innovative “complete street” pilot projects, incorporating stakeholder feedback, and carefully measuring the right data.

Beyond Net Zero: IBEW/NECA’s Electrical Training Institute Models Sustainability & Resilience

Issue: 
Brett Moss

June marked the opening of the Electrical Training Institute, a cutting-edge sustainable facility in Commerce, CA that serves as a prototype for new green design guidelines known as Net Zero Plus. VX News spoke with Brett Moss, training director at the ETI; Warren Neilson, principal at design firm Stok; and Dan Cohee of PDE Energy, representing local unions IBEW/NECA, who developed the guidelines. They explained the state-of-the-art sustainable technologies incorporated into the microgrid facility, the high-performance controls afforded by data tracking, and how a Net Zero Plus building could be a model for community resilience in Los Angeles and beyond.

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