Wednesday’s Headlines Are Trying to Do Our Part

  • Sen. Joe Manchin, who killed measures to fight climate change in the Build Back Better plan before spiking the bill entirely, has a long history of listening to West Virginia coal and gas interests (New York Times). The coal miners’ union, though, wants Manchin to reverse his opposition to BBB because of the green jobs and black-lung funding it contains (CNN).
  • The world’s wealthiest 10 percent of people are responsible for half the carbon emissions, and that cuts across countries. Although the U.S. is a “super-emitter,” the richest people in the Middle East or Asia, for example, produce many times more emissions than the poorest in Europe. Yet solutions like a carbon tax disproportionately affect low- and middle-income people. (Grist)
  • Urban residents’ recent embrace of bikes could help reduce carbon emissions, but the boom-and-bust nature of historical cycling trends makes it hard to predict. (E&E News)
  • Bay Area transit agencies are facing a fiscal cliff as they burn through federal COVID cash while ridership still hasn’t recovered from the pandemic, a glaring example of the dangers of relying on fares for funding. (San Jose Mercury News)
  • Portland’s TriMet transit agency received $289 million from the American Rescue Plan, but that will only stave off projected budget cuts from 2026 until 2028, and it won’t fix a driver shortage that has already led to service cutbacks. (Oregonian)
  • In the hopes of improving transit efficiency, the Massachusetts DOT is letting buses drive on highway shoulders to avoid congestion. (Mass Live)
  • A long-awaited South Jersey rail line is still at least six years away. (WHYY)
  • A parking garage stairwell collapsed in Clearwater, Florida, killing at least one person. (WTSP)
  • A Baton Rouge regional planning board is asking for feedback on a proposed bike trail winding through five Louisiana parishes. (The Advocate)
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Cycle Claus: Churches and other organizations in communities like Columbia, South Carolina (WLTX), Syracuse (CNY Central) and Virginia Beach (13 News Now) are fixing up donated bikes to give away for the holidays.


The New Climate Villain Is Cheap Oil

Long-term climate prospects brightened somewhat in 2015. Pope Francis put climate care on the moral and political agenda. President Obama rejected the Keystone XL dirty-oil pipeline. Denialist heads of state were routed in Canada and Australia, and their brethren in the U.S. faced growing ridicule. To cap it off, nearly 200 nations signed the UN Paris […]