Feds OK Assessment of Congestion Pricing In NYC

Feds OK Assessment of Congestion Pricing In NYC

The Biden administration has greenlit the study of congestion pricing for driving in New York City after years of delays during the Trump administration. A congestion pricing program would charge cars a toll for driving south of midtown Manhattan between 60th Street and Battery Park. 

Why this Matters:  A study conducted by Cornell suggests that a congestion pricing plan could drastically improve both gridlock and air quality in New York City — the study found that traffic congestion could be reduced by up to 40%, while greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 15%.

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Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

Trump Administration Restart of Huge St. Croix Oil Refinery Raises EJ Concerns

The idyllic island of St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a Caribbean paradise — and also the site of one of America’s largest oil refineries. The Limetree Bay oil refinery caused one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history and violated the Clean Air Act, and until early this year had been idled since 2012. 

Why this Matters: The refinery provides jobs on the island that had been hurt by two hurricanes in 2017.  But it also raises numerous troubling issues, not the least of which is that the majority of people living near the refinery are Black and nearly a third identify as Hispanic or Latino, and many are poor.

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China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

China’s “Airpocalypse” Grounds Flights and People

This week, Beijing was hit by China’s strongest sand storm in a decade and conservationists are blaming an ongoing “ecological crisis” in the north and west of one of the world’s most populous cities. Air quality readings, which averaged 80 throughout most of 2020, reached 999 on Monday, triggering a “yellow alert” from China’s weather bureau. 

Why This Matters: China is the world’s largest polluter, accounting for about 28% of the globe’s carbon emissions. China’s recently raised its 2030 national climate targets to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

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Volvo Announces Move to 100% EVs by 2030 As White House Talks Charging Infrastructure

Volvo Announces Move to 100% EVs by 2030 As White House Talks Charging Infrastructure

Volvo announced on Tuesday that it will move to make its entire car line-up fully electric by 2030, joining other big automakers, including Ford and Jaguar, in taking a green leap of faith. Until this month, Volvo only offered one fully electric vehicle, but unveiled its second, the C40, on Tuesday. 

Why This Matters: As more companies commit to 100% electric fleets, they’re solidifying a harsh reality for the fossil fuel industry: its number is almost up.

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Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

The Wheelabrator waste-to-energy incinerator is Baltimore’s biggest standing source of air pollution. Its smokestacks send toxic mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into the air off of I-95 in South Baltimore, whose residents are primarily Black and low-income. 

Why This Matters:  High polluting incinerators like the Wheelabrator facility are both harmful and expensive.

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More States Adopt Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards

More States Adopt Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards

As the Biden administration is readying a reversal of the Trump policies loosening rules on auto emissions, many states have started tightening their laws to align with the California clean car standards.  Case in point: the Virginia legislature last week passed a law that toughened its emissions standards

Why this Matters: Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that would phase out the sale of gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035 — and New Jersey and Massachusetts have indicated that they want to follow suit.

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