News

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.

George Minter
Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

As California seeks to meet greenhouse-gas emissions reduction goals set out by AB32, utilities are grappling with the intermittence of renewable resources like solar and wind. George Minter, Senior Director of Policy and Environment at the Southern California Gas Company, works on SoCalGas’s electrolysis commercialization and expansion program, which aims to address this challenge. In the following interview with VerdeXchange News, Minter discusses power-to-gas—how it works, precedents for its use in the European Union, and its potential as a solution to excess power on the grid. Minter also discusses natural gas’ impact on transportation, the “hydrogen highway,” and efforts to decarbonize the pipeline—lowering the carbon content of California’s natural gas supply.

David Kaiserman
Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

Lennar Corporation is the second-largest homebuilder in the US. As President of Lennar Ventures and CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, David Kaiserman is pioneering a new model for residential developers: including solar systems as standard features on new homes. Kaiserman spoke with VerdeXchange News in the midst of SunStreet’s market-by-market deployment about the intersection of homebuilding and alternative energy, explaining SunStreet’s innovative approach and its potential impact on the solar industry if adopted more widely.

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Long Beach in June, Jon Slangerup joins POLB with 34 years of corporate leadership experience—including expertise in aviation, logistics, and clean technology. In agreeing to head a seaport that moves $180 billion worth of trade annually, Slangerup faces logistical and technological hurdles that the port must overcome. In this interview with VerdeXchange News, he discusses current infrastructure challenges and improvements at the Port of Long Beach, efforts to green operations, and POLB’s relationship with the Port of Los Angeles. He also remarks on POLB’s economic health and awareness of growing global seaport competition.

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

In order to improve Los Angeles’ earthquake preparedness, Mayor Eric Garcetti has brought in the US Geological Survey’s world-renowned Dr. Lucy Jones as his Science Advisor for Seismic Safety to create a resiliency report. Jones spoke with VerdeXchange News to describe the document’s scope and purpose. The interview was conducted in anticipation of its release in December. (Link to final report here: (https://www.socalgrantmakers.org/sites/default/files/files/news/Earthqua...) Jones explained the particular risks facing the city during a natural disaster, from water to housing stock, with a focus on the economic repercussions of “The Big One.”

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

Appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012 after serving on the California Energy Commission, Carla Peterman is an authority on energy policy in the state—which has long been a pioneering leader in developing sustainable energy practices and policy. She recently sat down with VerdeXchange News to talk about electric vehicle regulation and energy storage, among other topics. Peterman provides an optimistic perspective on both of these areas, taking into account market responses to CPUC regulations and initiatives that have already been adopted.

Submitted on December 11, 2014 - 4pm

At the symposium “Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California” held in Sacramento, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown discussed the state’s landmark environmental policy, particularly efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in light of climate change. VerdeXchange News includes their edited addresses below, along with a related comment from former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. The program was hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, California Air Resources Board, Cal EPA, and R20 Regions of Climate Action.

David Abel
Submitted on October 31, 2014 - 5pm

The founder of ABL Inc. and the VerdeXchange conference is essentially the Kevin Bacon, or the Lois Weisberg, of the green world. Here he discusses LA's growing public transit system and what's impressed him about the sustainability world.

Click here for full story.

Andy Lipkis
Submitted on June 24, 2014 - 5pm

At the USC Center for Sustainability’s Spring Forum on May 6, titled “Envisioning Drought Resilient Cities,” Founder and President of TreePeople Andy Lipkis shared the unprecedented success Australia experienced after its citizens installed rainwater-capture cisterns on their homes during the country’s historic 12-year drought. Lipkis discussed how, in the face of changing weather patterns due to climate change and with fewer trees to capture, clean, and store rainwater than we once had, those living in cities must mobilize to collect as much precipitation as possible—and local water agencies must work together on stormwater solutions rather than remaining in isolation. VX News has included an edited transcription of his remarks.

Jeff Kightlinger
Submitted on May 23, 2014 - 11pm

California Governor Jerry Brown may have declared a drought emergency this Spring, but for many in Southern California water conservation is never ending—in great measure the result of the foresight and investments of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In the following VXNews interview, Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager of MWD, specifically details the ongoing preparation and response his regional water agency has championed in the face of the driest calendar year in California’s history. Kightlinger additionally addresses recent adjustments to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), planning for a water bond for the November ballot, and meeting the goals of California’s AB32.

Submitted on April 29, 2014 - 10pm

As West Coast Political Director for the Environmental Defense Fund, Lauren Faber is closely involved in California’s ongoing implementation of its cap-and-trade program. Faber spoke at the VerdeXchange 2014 Conference in Los Angeles on panels titled “Cap-and-Trade: Following the Money in California’s Carbon Market” and “Cleantech Grid Integration of Renewables.” Faber brings experience at the California Environmental Protection Agency to her work at EDF. In the following interview with VX News, she elaborates on her role at EDF and offers insight into cap-and-trade’s effectiveness—noting what Californians can expect as transportation fuels come under the cap and considering how the state may allocate funds from the program.

Submitted on April 29, 2014 - 10pm

Communities and utilities across the nation face the challenges of aging infrastructure, climate change, increased costs, and limited funding. With such challenges come opportunities to be innovative and for our utilities and communities to become more efficient, sustainable, and resilient. Solutions such as green infrastructure and renewable energy projects are addressing these issues while enhancing the quality of life in our communities. Funding them, however, is a major challenge. With creative financing ideas being tried across the nation to help utilities and communities meet these challenges, what are some of the best ideas and examples in the water and energy sectors?

Submitted on April 29, 2014 - 10pm

Mark Gold, Associate Director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, recently opined on Former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Los Angeles, during which he co-hosted a workshop with Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss infrastructure and resiliency in the city. Gold questioned Clinton and Garcetti’s optimism that infrastructure issues can be readily remedied, pointing out financing roadblocks that could stand in the way. VX News has reprinted the piece, originally published by the LA Observed online journal, with permission of the author.