Tuesday’s Headlines Are Down and Dirty

  • Carbon emissions rose faster than expected in 2021, outpacing the economic recovery from the pandemic. People are driving again, and utilities burned more coal for electricity because natural gas prices are high. That will make it harder to hit President Biden’s overall climate goals. (CNN)
  • Biden is facing an increasingly narrow path to pass the Build Back Better bill, which contains $555 billion to curb climate change (New York Times). The bill remains in limbo, with talks with pivotal vote Sen. Joe Manchin stalled out and Biden pivoting to voting rights (E&E News).
  • Some good news: Even as they age into their 30s and 40s, millennials are still driving less than Gen Xers and younger Baby Boomers. (Quartz)
  • Governing interviewed a University of Michigan sociologist about how government and foundation funding for things like transit often benefit neighborhoods that already have money over communities with greater need where investment is seen as riskier.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2025 increasingly looks out of reach, with drivers killing 20 percent more people last year than 2020 or 2019. (L.A. Times)
  • Washington, D.C. also followed the national trend, with traffic deaths rising to their highest point since 2007. (DCist)
  • Like many cities, Atlanta is hoping to use $1 billion set aside in the infrastructure bill to dismantle or bury urban freeways that slice through Black neighborhoods. (AJC)
  • The Texas DOT’s latest plan for widening I-35 through Austin calls for putting the freeway below grade, allowing for more pedestrian crossings, and lowering speed limits on frontage roads. But the project will still add lanes. (KUT)
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit will be offering free rides for a week when it launches its revamped bus network Jan. 24. Why not go fare-free permanently? (D Magazine)
  • Portland is eyeing a $12.5 billion bridge replacement fund in the federal infrastructure package to expand the city’s bike network. (Bike Portland)
  • Predictably, Elon Musk’s tunnel for Teslas and a self-driving car demo both flopped in Las Vegas last weekend. (Curbed)


Study: Clean-Car Subsidies Alone Can’t Meet White House’s Climate Goals

Government subsidies for hybrid and electric cars, while "politically seductive," will fail to achieve the Obama administration’s national pollution-reduction goals if they are not coupled with a significant increase in fuel prices, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers. (Photo: Pop and Politics) The team at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International […]