Of all the possible reasons not to prioritize the North-South Rail Link, the notion that “there’s no money” is the least compelling.

As of July, America’s first offshore wind farm is under construction. The Block Island Wind Farm, located off the coast of Rhode Island, will generate enough electricity to completely replace the approximately million gallons of diesel that the island currently relies on for its electricity needs each year.

Despite a troubling lack of progress in several areas (including, sadly, baseball), Massachusetts has made significant strides to reduce global warming pollution. As we document in our new report, Cool Solutions, an array of new technologies and emerging societal trends provide the Commonwealth with the opportunity to achieve a 45 percent cut in emissions by 2030, putting Massachusetts on track to meet its long-term emission reduction targets.

A system that results in many Americans being almost literally shackled to their vehicles for the purpose of extracting high-interest debt is far from ideal. 

A study published yesterday in Energy Science & Engineering contends that a measurement tool at the heart of in an important recent analysis of methane leaks from fracking sites was improperly used and thus the results of that study greatly underestimate methane emissions. There are other reasons to think that the study in question, by Prof. David Allen at the University of Texas, Austin, and supported by the Environmental Defense Fund, lowballs the amount of global warming pollution from fracking sites.

It is easy in the midst of any extractive boom to giddily anticipate that the good times will roll on forever. The past two centuries have provided example after example that they don’t. The time for government to prepare for the inevitable bust is not when trouble appears on the horizon, but at the very beginning of the boom-bust cycle.

In raising their gas taxes, Maryland and Washington took a politically bold step. However, the result of those moves is likely to be – at least in part – more of the same kind of massive highway expansions that have done little to address congestion while endangering our environment and threatening our quality of life.

If the choice is between a refundable gas tax – which pairs general fund expenditures on transportation with a price signal to drivers – and one that simply diverts money that would otherwise go to the general fund (such as taxes on overseas corporate profits) to highways without a price signal - the former has a lot to recommend it.

The political viability of the nation’s current model of transportation policy – which ties revenue for and spending on highways to gas taxes – is dependent on a Millennial generation that is ambivalent about whether we should be spending money on highways in the first place.

Now, new evidence reveals that the reckless antibiotic use on animals is not just a threat to human health. Animal bacteria are quickly developing resistance that is rendering ineffective some of the antibiotics used on factory farms.

We create transit systems to benefit society, not to maximize profits. Raising fares on transit riders might increase revenue, but if the effect of doing so is to put transit users back onto congested streets and highways, deny people access to economic opportunity, and increase pollution, the benefits to society are reduced.

On a recent vacation in Germany with my husband, we spent a day at the Deutsches Museum, a huge science and technology museum. Two exhibits, one on nanotechnology and the other on nuclear power, presented strikingly different messages about acceptable risks to society from any I’ve encountered from a major institution in the U.S.

Since its launch in 2011, FracFocus, a government- and industry-funded website, has been the only place where Americans could learn the details about chemicals and water used in fracking operations near their homes, schools and businesses. But FracFocus has never lived up to its promise of bringing true transparency to fracking. And now, at least one state is planning to set its own course for fracking disclosure.

A new Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center report, Path to the Paris Climate Conference, estimates how much the U.S. might reduce its carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuel combustion by 2025 from policies already in place.

Failing to adapt to changing trends isn’t just a federal problem. It also affects regional forecasts of energy demand that have major implications for environmental and energy policy.

Energy efficiency opportunities abound, the research tells us, but typically none of these opportunities are obvious to the naked eye. Thus I was surprised during a recent trip to Germany to witness several simple energy-saving technologies that underscore the idea that energy efficiency opportunities are widely available.

One of the first things that I read upon my return from vacation in Germany was Frontier Group intern Dana Bradley’s blog post about the need for a clear transportation vision for U.S. cities. She suggested that cities could look overseas for ideas. Based on my recent experience traveling around Munich, I think that’s a great idea.

Cities such as Helsinki, Seoul, Dublin and Copenhagen are showing how bold visions for a new transportation future can motivate changes to expand the availability of sustainable transportation options.


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