Wednesday’s Headlines Are Not Pumped

Image: Paul Lowry, CC
Image: Paul Lowry, CC
  • President Biden announced he’s banning Russian oil imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine (NBC News). Unfortunately, this won’t result in less oil consumption, as oil and gas producers in the U.S. and overseas are ramping up production in response (Politico).
  • Wouldn’t now be a great time for electric mail trucks? Too bad the USPS killed the idea, and Vice took a deep dive into why.
  • The Biden administration will set stricter rules for tailpipe emissions from heavy trucks like tractor-trailers, the first time that’s happened in 20 years. (New York Times)
  • Half of Americans born during the leaded gas era lost IQ points due to high levels of lead in their brains, according to a new study. (The Hill)
  • The Biden administration is distributing an additional $2.2 billion in COVID relief funds to 33 transit agencies, along with offering another $1.5 billion for competitive grants. (Associated Press)
  • About 30 percent of white-collar workers might never return to the office, forcing transit agencies to rethink commuter rail service for long-term survival. (Washington Post)
  • Infrastructure dollars will go further if the feds encourage regional cooperation. (Governing)
  • An Amtrak engineer was found not guilty in connection with a 2015 derailment that killed eight people and injured 200. Brandon Bostian was driving the train over 100 miles per hour through Philadelphia but argued that he was distracted by reports of people throwing rocks. (Inquirer)
  • Urban planners visited Charlotte to make suggestions for improving a $13.5 billion transit plan. (WSOC)
  • A Washington state bill would allow voters to tax themselves to speed up transit construction. (West Seattle Blog)
  • Austin is restricting drivers from making left turns on major streets designated for light rail. (KUT)
  • The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is launching on-demand shuttles in three neighborhoods to address the first- and last-mile problem. (Saporta Report)
  • Two-car trains are returning to San Jose’s Valley Transit as ridership recovers. (NBC Bay Area)
  • How Hugo Chavez had himself winched along a half-finished train line to solidify his rule in Venezuela. (The Atlantic)


How Cutting Back on Driving Helps the Economy

Cross-posted from City Observatory As Americans drive less and spend less on fuel, they have about $150 billion annually to spend in other ways. There are two kinds of economics: macroeconomics, which deals in big national and global quantities, like gross domestic product, and microeconomics, which focuses on a smaller scale, like how the prices […]

Joe Lieberman: Did Someone Say “High Gas Prices”?

How obsessed is Washington with gas prices? Acting on a Streetsblog post from last week, a reader wrote Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman urging him to support legislation that would bolster funding for Amtrak. In response, Lieberman’s office sent a long, long form letter outlining the many ways the senator is — you guessed it — […]

Obama’s Politically Impossible Transpo Plan Is Just What America Needs

It may be “seven years too late,” as tactical urbanist Mike Lydon put it, but President Obama has released a transportation proposal that calls for big shifts in the country’s spending priorities. Obama’s proposal would generate $30 billion annually from a $10-per-barrel surcharge assessed on oil companies. More importantly, the revenue is linked to a substantial shift in what transportation projects get […]