Thursday, 22 April 2010

Opinion: SB 375 suspension on funding concerns is unnecessary and will hurt good public policy

Recently the League of California Cities Task Force on AB 32 and SB 375 recommended the state suspend or delay SB 375 implementation until proper funding is available.  I argue that SB 375 implementation can and should proceed, even amidst funding uncertainty. 

It is true that ideal SB 375 implementation will require additional investments in models and data, and variety of funds are available from multiple sources, including Prop 84 (though held up by state’s inability to sell bonds at a decent price).  Part of the League’s concern appears to be the belief that SB 375 requires a new planning process for greenhouse gas emissions.  This is simply not the case.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Explaining California's SB 375 without Acronyms

California’s Senate Bill 375 (passed in 2008, sponsored by Senate President Pro tempore Darrell Steinberg) is often discussed and frequently misunderstood, even by urban planners.  In this entry, I attempt to explain the Act to an audience with no background in urban and regional planning, using fewer than 1000 words.  To be up front, I think the goals of SB 375 are good goals, although I could think of many ways to improve upon the language of the bill.

For several decades, metropolitan areas in California have engaged in separate processes to plan for housing growth and new transportation infrastructure.  A side effect of these separate processes, which have not always been coordinated, is that the transportation system has not always been able to accommodate new growth.

Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments

From the US EPA:

April 2010-Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments
This message provides details about ten upcoming webcasts being offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). All webcasts are offered free of charge, but space may be limited.

Local Climate and Energy Program Webcasts
  • Smart Grid for Local Governments, April 29
  • Green Roofs, late May
ENERGY STAR Webcast Opportunities
  • Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment, April 21
  • Portfolio Manager for EECBG Grantees and State and Local Governments, April 21
  • Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Plants in Portfolio Manager, April 28
  • ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Programs, April 29
  • Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR, May 11
  • K-12 Benchmarking 101, May 13
Additional Webcast Opportunities 
  • DOE: Midsize Wind Turbines for the U.S. Community Wind Market, April 28
  • CHP Partnership: District Heating, May 20