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Last month, the Nevada Public Utility Commission voted to put in place new rates and charges for solar customers that could kill the growth of residential solar energy in Nevada. Since the new rates apply retroactively to existing solar customers, they are being felt as a betrayal of trust by Nevadans who have already invested in solar energy.

The number of transit trips taken in the Boston area increased by 11 percent between 2008 and 2014 – faster than that of any of the nation’s other top 10 transit cities.

Americans continued to drive fewer miles on average in 2014 than they did 17 years earlier, in 1997.

The big money in the U.S. isn’t flowing into streetcars or even transit in general. It never has. Instead, it continues to flow, as always, into the expansion of our nation’s highway network.

Whether you are a long-time ally of Frontier Group or a new friend, we are grateful for your partnership in our work to provide information and ideas for a cleaner, healthier, fairer and more democratic America.

 Here are a few of the highlights of that work over the past year.

 

America’s drive toward a clean energy future got a big boost this week after Congress renewed two key tax incentives for renewable electricity—the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

In public policy, as in much of life, garbage in tends to lead to garbage out.

If you had ever aspired to own a big, luxury SUV or wanted to buy a tricked-out new pickup for work, 2015 has been your year.

At a time when demand for transit in Boston is booming, we need to focus on approaches that are more likely to set off a “virtuous cycle” of rising ridership and revenue for the T, not a downward spiral.

Transit’s role in efficiently moving large numbers of people to and through our cities will remain important even in a world of driverless cars.

Our new interactive extreme weather map, released with Environment America, shows weather-related disasters in every U.S. county over the last five years.

Fracking threatens health in Pennsylvania and Texas; a national network of special interests is attacking solar energy; roads still don't pay for themselves... and more.

The trend toward vehicle leasing is consistent with what appears to be a broader shift to a “rentership society” and may signal that Americans are willing to change their relationship with their cars from one that is long-term and durable to one that is contingent and flexible.

Antibiotic resistant infections kill tens of thousands of American each year. So it was encouraging to see two actions to reduce the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms taken in October: A new policy in California to restrict antibiotic overuse on livestock, and an announcement by Subway that it will phase out the sale of meat raised with antibiotics over the coming years.

For now, low interest rates, long loan terms and generous lease deals are enabling many consumers to get “more car” than they otherwise dreamed possible. But the intoxicating feeling of driving an exciting new car comes with a potential hangover down the road.

In recent days new research has emerged that specifically highlights fracking’s impact on reproductive health, and adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that exposure to fracking chemicals can have particularly damaging impacts when it comes to pregnancy and prenatal health.

Residents of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh, suffer from among the worst air quality in the nation. For example, the county ranks in the top 0.3 percent of all counties in the U.S. for cancer risk from air pollutants discharged from point-source facilities.

The “generational change in mindset” is not limited to changes in personal behavior or lifestyle preferences. Millennials also have differing views on transportation policy questions than older Americans.

If car sales are being sustained in large part by a lax lending environment and cheap credit, what will happen if and when interest rates rise or when mounting losses on bad loans trigger a pull-back in lending?

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