News

Ricahrd Kauffman
Submitted on October 12, 2015 - 11am

Richard Kauffman is leading New York State's ambitious effort to transform energy delivery. As chair of energy & finance for Governor Cuomo and chair of the board at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Kauffman is deeply involved in reforming regulations, as well as "changing the paradigm" of how government supports renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. VX News sat down with him to glean lessons learned that can inform related efforts in California and across the nation.

Mayor Eric Garcetti
Submitted on October 12, 2015 - 11am

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Jerry Brown welcomed mayors and governors from across China and the United States to Los Angeles in September to sign the US-China Climate Leaders Declaration. The document focuses on the role of sub-national governments in setting ambitious climate-change goals and then meeting those targets. Here, VX News presents edited excerpts from a press event at the US-China Climate Leaders Summit, featuring a collection of US mayors and Governor Brown.

Adel Hagekhalil
Submitted on July 14, 2015 - 4pm

City of LA Bureau of Sanitation Assistant Director Adel Hagekhalil recently became president of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. VX News presents remarks he made in Rhode Island as he assumed the new position, expressing thanks and outlining his main objectives for NACWA going forward.

Austin Beutner
Submitted on June 23, 2015 - 11am

Los Angeles Times Publisher Austin Beutner and California Governor Jerry Brown engaged this month in a dialogue about the state's drought and climate-change challenges to come during "Water in the West," held at USC. Brown delves into an explanation of the Bay Delta tunnels and the challenges of water governance in California. VX News offers edited selections from the event, beginning with an introduction by USC President Dr. C.L. Max Nikias.

Phillip Washington
Submitted on June 23, 2015 - 10am

Phillip Washington was appointed CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in March, coming west from Denver's Regional Transportation District. At the June meeting of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Board of Governors, Washington explains five mega-trends in transportation, then articulates his goals for Metro in the context of these national shifts. He emphasizes the need for public-private partnerships in the context of shrinking federal funds for major infrastructure. VX presents an edited transcript of these remarks, with an introduction by LAEDC President and CEO Bill Allen.

Pope Francis
Submitted on June 23, 2015 - 10am

Last week, Pope Francis joined a long line of his predecessors by issuing new Catholic teachings on a contemporary subject. The 184-page encyclical, called “Laudato Si’” or “Praise Be To You: On Care for Our Common Home” called on people across the world to address the serious threat of climate change. Pope Francis intertwines religious texts and science, making the case for anthropogenic warming as well as other harms caused to the planet by humans. In these excerpts selected by VerdeXchange News, Pope Francis urges nations to join together through international agreements, transforming their economies to prevent further destruction.

Maryanne Weiss
Submitted on June 23, 2015 - 10am

Maryanne Weiss, president of Gustare Ltd. and CEO of VerdeXchange Arizona, has penned an op-ed on the importance of a sustainable economic relationship between Arizona and Mexico. She argues that collaboration and productive teamwork are necessary for the growth of the region. Weiss points out that two G20 nations sharing a border surely offers an opportunity for collective endeavors, around climate and otherwise, that must not be missed. To learn more about VX Arizona, visit www.vxaz.com.

Cathy Zoi
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

VX News presents an edited transcript of the panel “Peak Oil and Green Energy: Both Fossils?” from the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, April 26-29 in Santa Monica. Moderated by Greg Dalton, host of the podcast ClimateOne, the panel features Ian Wright, CEO of Wrightspeed and co-founder of Tesla; Cathy Zoi, director of the Energy Transformation Collaborative at Stanford and incoming CEO of SunEdison’s Rural Electric Company; and Scott Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Generate Capital. They discuss the death of the “peak oil” issue, the challenges facing the popularization of clean energy technology, and whether the renewable energy industry really needs a technological breakthrough—or just a change in the way it does business.

David Heurtel
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

David Heurtel is Québec’s first Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and the Fight Against Climate Change. After over a year of overseeing this comprehensive mission, Heurtel spoke with VX News about the growing movement of subnational entities collaborating across countries in order to build an international green economy. In particular, he comments on the thriving cap-and-trade relationship between Québec and California that accommodates the needs of the two very different regions, as well as lessons learned about how to implement a successful cap-and-trade system. He also explains why in Québec, environmental action transcends politics.

Steve Berberich
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

The VerdeXchange 2015 opening plenary “The Future is Now—The Green Economy Going to Scale” considered the remaining work to be done by government and business as “sustainability” becomes mainstream. VX News provides edited excerpts of the discussion here, featuring California State Senator Robert Hertzberg, US Congressman Earl Blumenauer, President and CEO of California ISO Steve Berberich, and EPCOR Utilities Board Member and Former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. They consider whether the federal government can be a useful partner in sustainability projects; how technology is creating more decentralized, self-contained systems; and how both public and private institutions will have to reevaluate their roles in the future green economy.

Caroline Kennedy
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

On May 1, 2015, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe ended his visit to the US in Los Angeles, appearing at the Biltmore Hotel for an event organized by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). VX News presents edited excerpts from the proceedings, beginning with JETRO Chair Hiroyuki Ishige, who notes the positive impact of the prime minister’s comprehensive set of economic reforms known as “Abenomics.” Prime Minister Abe, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker each give their perspective on the past, present, and, especially, future of US-Japan trade relations, urging private sector investment along with the regulatory framework of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to strengthen the two countries’ mutually beneficial relationship.

Jeff Kightlinger
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

As state and local bodies scramble to accommodate the California drought by regulating use and reconsidering traditional sources of water, suppliers must adjust to changing conditions. In this interview, VX News asks Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, about the implications for the region. Kightlinger comments on options for meeting supply needs, including desalination and stormwater capture. He also notes that despite potential conflict over water sources between urban and rural areas, ultimately collaboration—and an agreement to share the burden of behavioral change—will be necessary to get to goal.

Gabe Klein
Submitted on May 27, 2015 - 1pm

The rise of Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) dependent on online-enabled platforms to connect passengers with drivers is globally eroding the franchises of locally regulated taxis. Drawing on remarks recently on the VerdeXchange 2015 Conference panel “How Technology and Competitive Drive Are Reinventing Mobility and the Urban Environment,” Bill Rouse, General Manager of Yellow Cab of Los Angeles, and Gabe Klein, a Special Venture Partner at Fontinalis Partners with experience leading public-sector DOTs, offered VX News their perspectives. They address changes to the urban ground transportation system that unregulated competition is bringing to cities.

Jerry Brown
Submitted on May 14, 2015 - 11am

Governor Jerry Brown appeared at the “Navigating the American Carbon World” conference in Los Angeles on April 29, 2015 to speak about his executive order on greenhouse gas reduction. The most ambitious reduction goal in North America, it calls for reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2030. VX News offers an edited transcript of his remarks here. In the face of national skepticism and scattered international priorities, Gov. Brown calls on California business leaders to respond to the climate change crisis by innovating, creating, and cooperating. By rising to the challenge he has set, Gov. Brown says California can show the world that fighting climate change is good business, good government, and good economics.

Michael Bloomberg
Submitted on May 14, 2015 - 9am

CEO of Bloomberg L.P. and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp during the 2015 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York last month. Reflecting on his career in business, philanthropy, and politics, Bloomberg emphasizes the private sector’s essential role in effecting greenhouse gas reductions. He comments on his current role at the United Nations, which has led him to consider the energy challenges facing countries like India and China. Finally, Bloomberg encourages environmentalists to “get tough” in the face of public-sector paralysis.

Noel Hacegaba
Submitted on April 9, 2015 - 10am

The VerdeXchange 2015 Conference held in Downtown LA featured a panel focusing on sustainability efforts to clean goods movement at the San Pedro Bay ports. Moderated by the Port of Los Angeles’s former Director of International Trade Stephen Cheung (now president of World Trade Center Los Angeles), the discussion offered perspectives from California Air Resources Board Commissioner Hector De La Torre, Port of Long Beach Chief Commercial Officer Noel Hacegaba, and Southern California Gas Company Environmental Policy Manager Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza. VX News includes their edited contributions here, covering CARB’s Sustainable Freight Strategy, the ports’ Clean Truck Program, and the potential role of natural gas in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Mark Gold
Submitted on April 9, 2015 - 9am

In early April, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled the City of Los Angeles’s first-ever sustainability plan. Here VX News offers commentary from Mark Gold, Acting Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and a VerdeXchange Conference speaker. Gold helped craft the plan and offers his perspective on its goals ranging from water to greenhouse-gas emission reduction. This comes just days after the UCLA IOE gave LA County a C+ on its environmental report card. The Sustainable City pLAn is excerpted here, as well.

Jeff Kightlinger
Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 5pm

Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, oversees the the nation’s largest water wholesaler in a period of severe drought. VerdeXchange News presents an edited version of Kightlinger’s speech “Water is Serious Business,” given to Town Hall Los Angeles on September 22 and reprinted courtesy of Town Hall Los Angeles. He covers MWD’s responsibilities, as well as its strategy in light of the state’s high temperatures and lack of precipitation. Kightlinger touches on California’s water bond and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan—both issues of vital concern to customers and constituents.

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

At the High Speed Rail Conference on December 2 in Downtown Los Angeles, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales provided a progress report on the state’s bullet-train project. VerdeXchange News presents an edited transcript of Morales’ remarks, followed by a question-and-answer session. Here, he discusses stages of project implementation and the challenges facing the authority—which mirror difficulties overcome by major California infrastructure achievements of the past. Morales also delves into the potential for economic development that high-speed rail provides, noting the project’s ability to decrease unemployment and support local businesses.

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

On October 6, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance at the New York State Office of the Governor, and Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, spoke with Dr. JR DeShazo of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs at the GloSho 2014 opening plenary titled, “Fireside Chat: Two Clean Economy Titans.” While Nichols has background in government policy and environmental advocacy, Kauffman brings decades of experience in clean technology and innovation in the private sector to the conversation. VerdeXchange News presents edited excerpts from the panel, including answers to audience questions. The conversation focuses on the public sector’s catalyzing role for innovation in both the California and New York clean-technology private sector.