Monday’s Headlines to Really Get This Thing Started

  • Mean green? The growing demand for lithium to produce electric car batteries is leaving Native American communities with contaminated groundwater and piles of toxic waste. (New York Times)
  • Individual EVs are problematic, but transitioning to emissions-free buses in the U.S. would take a mere $56 billion to $86 billion (Mass Transit Mag). In related news, Charlotte launched an electric bus pilot program (Cities Today).
  • The U.S. heavily subsidizes driving rather than requiring drivers to pay the full cost of their pollution and climate change impact on society. (Frontier Group)
  • Unsurprisingly, rural states like Alabama and Montana are the most dependent on cars. (Global Trade Mag)
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted Pittsburgh’s crumbling bridges during an appearance with other Pennsylvania elected officials. (Post-Gazette)
  • One-third of Washington state residents would be unwilling to pay a nickel more for gas even if it meant better air quality. (KING)
  • Kansas City is the latest jurisdiction to repeal its jaywalking law because it’s disproportionately enforced against people of color. (Star)
  • Two drivers struck and killed famed Chicago architect Helmut Jahn while he was riding his bike. (Tribune)
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s rollback of COVID-19 regulations has left St. Petersburg’s sidewalk cafes in limbo. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • San Antonio turned over its nonprofit bike-share operation to a for-profit company that’s raising prices. (SA Report)
  • A reader chided the San Jose Mercury News for going too easy on a driver who fell asleep while parked in a bike lane.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s widely panned appearance hosting “Saturday Night Live” was nothing but a marketing ploy (The Wrap). And it didn’t even work! After he hyped the cryptocurrency dogecoin, then admitted it’s a “hustle” (Rolling Stone), the price fell 30 percent (CNBC).

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Opinion: Alternatives to California’s Pro-Car Giveaway

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Of the myriad motorist giveaways now being rushed into place around the U.S., none sting like California’s. The specifics of the so-called relief plan are still being worked on. But the basic shape is expected to hew to the contours posted by Newsom’s office this past week and shown further below: $9 billion in payments to households of $400 per registered car (limit of two per family) and just $2 billion to make transit cheaper