News

Submitted on March 17, 2014 - 4pm

Bruce Katz, Vice President at the Brookings Institution, co-authored The Metropolitan Revolution. VerdeXchange News has printed a piece adapted from this book below, which originally appeared online as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer’s series. Mr. Katz discusses how innovation districts—clusters of anchor institutions and innovative firms, along with related companies, mixed use housing, office, and retail—are taking the place of traditional corporate campuses, and what impact this will have on cities moving forward.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

In this VerdeXchange News interview, James Kelly, formerly of Southern California Edison and now a strategic advisor to GRIDiant Corporation, among other startups, discusses the role of Embedded Network Sensing (ENS) in generating data, how improved data analytics will affect the management of the electrical grid, and what the evolution of data portends for the physical worlds of industry and utility. As alternative energies and power sources gain support in state and local government, stronger tools for monitoring the electric grid will be necessary for balancing supply and demand.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

On September 23, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed visitors and participants to the One Water Leadership Summit, hosted by the US Water Alliance in Downtown Los Angeles. The One Water approach to water management aims to eliminate the departmental silos that discourage recycling of properly treated waste, storm, and potable water worldwide. It is a holistic approach to managing the resource. Mayor Garcetti highlights the progress LA and other California jurisdictions have made through investment in waste and stormwater infrastructure and green streets as his emphasis on the need for further action. VerdeXchange News presents the following edited transcript of the mayor’s summit remarks.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

VerdeXchange News presents the following remarks by Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability at UC Davis, delivered this summer at the biannual Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy. Her thesis: Many incorrectly imagined that the globe and the Industrial West were running dry of oil and thus alternative energy and fuels could depend on high oil prices shifting us to lower carbon emissions. Jaffe suggests that environmental policy advocates shift away from arguing scarcity and instead prepare for possible fossil fuel surpluses, and what that might mean for the economy and for climate change initiatives.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

In August, VerdeXchange News sat down with Stephen Cheung, the Mayor of Los Angeles’ first Director of International Trade, to discuss the purview and mission of his new position, which liaisons between the Port of Los Angeles, LAX, and City Hall. With trade being a critical component of the LA regional economy, and with the infrastructure of trade constantly evolving, Cheung works for goods movement, logistics, storage, and transportation to operate as smoothly as possible to retain customers doing business in and through LA. The potential growth of ethanol trade with Brazil serves as an example of how LA is making strides to adapt.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

Over the past three decades, North America has seen a fivefold increase in weather-related natural disasters, with relief spending mirroring this exponential trend. As the population grows, the number of Americans residing in “at risk” areas along the coast, rivers, and in the “fire zone” also continues to rise. In the following VerdeXchange News interview, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer explains why our current federal policy on natural disaster recovery is both fiscally unsustainable and life threatening. He suggests the changes in zoning, infrastructure investment, insurance, and taxation that must occur on a national scale to prepare for climate change.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

Southern California Edison recently decided to shut down the San Onofre nuclear power plant after trouble with faulty generators. VerdeXchange News consulted Long Beach Mayor, ISO Chair, and former SCE president Bob Foster on the impact the closure will have on energy supply in the Southland, and how the state plans to counter the impending power loss. Foster also talks demand response, California’s energy future (he thinks: renewables), and the revolutionary role storage technology will play in fostering a green energy grid. While San Onofre presents a challenge, Foster notes California’s energy agencies are more capable than ever of meeting such challenges together.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 3pm

VerdeXchange News interviewed Arizona entrepreneur, CEO, investor and philanthropist Glenn Williamson, Chairman of EPCOR Water USA, a Canadian-based utilities company that has now come to Arizona. Williamson is also Chairman of the Canada Arizona Business Council, which aims to increase bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona to $5 billion by 2014. He discusses both organizations and their objectives for Arizona, including better management of water supply and demand through the application of data analytics; the economic value of Canada investments in jobs and technology; and future prospects for Arizona business and sustainable initiatives.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 2pm

Sanjay Ranchod is the Assistant General Counsel and Director of Policy and Electricity Markets at SolarCity, the nation’s largest full-service photovoltaic solar power provider for residential, commercial, and government customers. In this VerdeXchange interview, Ranchod discusses California Assembly Bill 327, recently passed by the state’s legislature and written to modernize electricity rates and remove restrictions on the state’s net metering program. Expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brown, the solar industry, most especially rooftop solar companies, have cheered the law’s passage while also preparing for the coming changes to state policy that will follow from the adoption of new regulations interpreting and applying AB 327.

Submitted on October 3, 2013 - 2pm

With state and federal transportation funding slow, Metro and Caltrans are embracing public-private partnerships to finance and accelerate planned infrastructure projects. Doug Failing, Metro’s Executive Director of Highway Programs, tells VX News about their Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvement (ARTI) program, a series of small projects through which the county transit agency plans to demonstrate its viability and desirableness as a partner with private enterprise. Failing outlines the specific focus of ARTI (including the I-710 gap between the 10 and 210, the high desert corridor from LA to San Bernardino, and the 710 freight corridor), the benefits of P3 funding, and what Metro and Caltrans expect to learn about project delivery under a P3 system.

Submitted on September 5, 2013 - 5pm

The inaugural VerdeXchange Arizona conference in October will bring together business leaders and politicians who are helping to build Arizona and the west through sustainability, infrastructure and international business projects.

Submitted on April 11, 2013 - 11am

As Executive Officer of the California Air Resource Board since 2007, James Goldstene oversees the development and implementation of the Board’s clean air policies and represents the ARB before the legislature and other state, regional, national, and international forums. 2012 was a landmark year for the ARB, with the successful launching of the first of 32 cap-and-trade auctions planned four times annually through the year 2020. In the following interview with VerdeXchange News, James Goldstene elaborates on the plans and partnerships CARB aims to realize in 2013 and beyond.

Submitted on April 11, 2013 - 11am

Newly reelected President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown both began 2013 - the former in his Inaugural Address and the latter in his State of the State speech - by emphasizing the need for lawmakers to address the issue of climate change. And both also cite the need for critical infrastructure investment and mitigation efforts to act as part of a solution to control the symptoms of climate change. Project funding, ranging from high-speed rail to flood control, they assert, are key to reducing the amount of energy consumed from non-renewable sources of energy, limiting carbon footprints, and protecting posterity from future disasters; thereby creating newer, innovative green jobs and protecting jobs that already exist from being threatened by climate change.

Submitted on April 11, 2013 - 11am

Last fall, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s request for a $267-million budget for the next two fiscal years. Supported by an 11-percent rate increase, the expanded budget will go towards LADWP’s goal of 10-15 percent energy efficiency by 2020. Long-time energy executive David Jacot, formerly of Southern California Edison, joined the LADWP as Director of Energy Efficiency last summer, tasked with the development and management of the utility’s new, energy-saving programs. VerdeXchange News was pleased to discuss the specifics of these programs in a December 2012 interview with Mr. Jacot.

Submitted on April 11, 2013 - 11am

Today’s Highway Trust Fund faces a steady decline in revenue as inflation and fuel-efficient vehicles render the Federal Gas Tax increasingly ineffectual. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Oregon’s 3rd, is a career-long spokesperson for livable communities and multi-modal transit. Last session of Congress, he introduced a bill (HR6662) to direct the Department of the Treasury to study alternatives to the existing gas tax for raising federal highway funds. He advocates retiring the gas tax in favor of a new, cents-per-mile initiative. In the below interview with VerdeXchagne News, Congressman Blumenauer addresses the problems facing the gas tax, the politics surrounding it, and the advantages discovered by a distance-based pilot program in his home state.

Submitted on April 8, 2013 - 5pm

VerdeXchange News is pleased to share the following remarks by former Santa Monica City Councilman, Mayor, and Move LA founder Denny Zane at the latter’s event, "Making the Most of MAP-21 in Los Angeles," in which he recasts disappointment with the failure of Measure J to pass last November as a call for more creative and collaborative thinking among transit advocates. Zane’s own suggestions include population-specific promotion of transit ridership, construction acceleration via a combination of federal loans and local investments, and reforming the 2/3rds voter threshold.

Submitted on April 8, 2013 - 5pm

One Year Ago: at the fifth VerdeXchange Conference in January, 2012, Ron Nichols, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, delivered remarks in the opening plenary, ‘Given an Uncertain Landscape, Is Renewable Energy and Sustainability Beyond the Tipping Point?’ Joining Nichols was Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western State Petroleum Association, Robert Hertzberg, Speaker Emeritus of the California Assembly. With Mr. Nichols on the agenda once again at VerdeXchange’s 6th Annual Conference, his comments last year provide a benchmark re the challenges the LADWP faces in meeting renewable energy mandates while struggling to keep rates even for customers.

Submitted on April 8, 2013 - 5pm

Is everything about the smart grid - smart? James Kelly, former Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Environmental Policy for Southern California Edison, and current strategic advisor to GRIDiant Corporation, ARES, and many other start-ups, may be one of the most experienced experts to ask. In this VerdeXchange interview, Kelly calls upon his own utility and entrepreneurial background to chart the fast-evolving changes and innovations of today’s smart grid sector. The success of the smart grid, he notes, depends as much on regulation, collaboration, and proper implementation as it does on burgeoning technology.

Submitted on September 25, 2012 - 2pm

Tom Rand is a well-known investor and entrepreneur and is the Cleantech Practice Lead Advisor at theMaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada. Ahead of an LAEDC trade mission to Toronto, VX asks Rand how markets are beginning to reflect the realities of climate change and what parallels exist between cleantech investment in California and Canada. Rand notes that as the pressures of climate change emerge, industries across all sectors, from mining to forestry to manufacture, will have to plan carefully to reduce carbon emissions as part of staying flexible with a changing economy. <See: http://vxcanada.ca/> 

Submitted on March 20, 2012 - 3pm

As LA looks to expand its economic base through its own CleanTech Incubator (LACI), how can we learn from other efforts to grow businesses in Toronto and Berlin?