Monthly Archives: March 2010

EPA Proposes New Rules for Reporting Methane Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules for reporting greenhouse gas emission, including some that would require the oil and gas industry to collect data on its emissions by this coming January.

One of the public benefits of the new rules would be more disclosure about methane emissions.  Methane has a warming potential 24 times that of carbon dioxide.

EDF attorney Pamela Campos says:

Rigorous emissions data is the foundation of well-designed public policy … The public has been left in the dark about methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. EPA’s leadership in requiring disclosure of this potent greenhouse gas will mean more rigorous information and smarter policies to address pollution.

Read more from EPA here, and EDF’s reaction here.

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Weyerhaeuser Joins USCAP

The USCAP family has grown again.

Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s biggest timber and paper products companies, announced today that it has joined the United States Climate Action Partnership.

That brings USCAP’s membership to 29 companies and NGO’s. The widely diverse members have all banded together to support passage of strong climate and clean energy legislation in Congress.

Weyerhaeuser joins such “strange bedfellows” as Shell Oil, Duke Energy, PepsiCo, General Electric, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy– and, of course, EDF.

In a statement, Weyerhaeuser CEO Dan Fulton said:

The role of forest fiber in a low carbon economy will depend on the public policy concepts under debate in Washington, D.C. … we believe our membership [in USCAP] will help positively position sustainable forestry, biomass and forest products in these important policy discussions.

EDF is always happy to welcome another ally in the fight for a strong climate policy. We don’t always agree with Weyerhaeuser — or the other USCAP companies — on every issue. But the fact that such divergent voices all agree on this issue underscores how vital a climate bill is to our entire economy.

More details are in the New York Times and The Hill.

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72-Hour Campaign Generates 300,000 Calls

Our regular readers will remember this recent post about the launch of our 72 Hours for Clean American Power calling campaign. EDF joined forces with 10 fellow environmental organizations to flood the Senate with calls demanding action on climate change legislation.

We’re happy to say the campaign was a big success.  An amazing 300,000 of you called our Senate hotline during those 72-hours.

We can’t thank you enough for your efforts. You made sure that the Senate got your message: America needs a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill, and we need it now.

Lots of you have told us that you’d like to do even more.  Keep in mind that our 100,000 letter campaign is still going on. You can make sure your Senators get the same message in writing — that a climate and clean energy bill should be a national priority.

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Can the U.S. Compete with China? Fred Krupp Says “Yes”

China’s growing economic power is a growing concern for many Americans. Can the U.S. continue to compete with China in the global marketplace?

In a new piece for Reuters, EDF President Fred Krupp says “yes” — through the power of comprehensive climate and energy legislation.

Fred talks about the new “tripartisan” effort to pass a climate and clean energy bill in the U.S. Senate.

He also talks about how that effort is our best hope to beat China in the world’s clean energy markets — and win the jobs those markets create:

Along with Sens. Graham, Kerry, and Lieberman, I believe we can match the scale of China’s centralized industrial policy by fully deploying the engine of American prosperity: our marketplace. It is the only tool we have with the scale and capital to compete with China. If the U.S. puts a limit on carbon pollution, we will send a clear signal to the marketplace that will unleash a massive wave of private investment in low-carbon energy sources and technologies like carbon capture and storage that would allow us to compete with the Chinese. Only when American policy creates a profit motive for investors, inventors and entrepreneurs, will we have a chance to win the race.

You can read the full piece here.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation, News, Policy / Read 5 Responses

Transit Funding Disaster: A Hard Look at What Happens When Money Is Tight

Chicago Transit Authority has laid off 1,067 workers and has drastically cut service. Photo courtesy of Flickr user: TheeErin


Over the last several months, we’ve written occasionally about the need to solve the impending transit funding crisis. For longer than that, we’ve worked around the country, but especially in California and New York, to find new and innovative ways to advance transit service. Lately, we’ve also implored Congress to provide emergency funding to keep drivers employed as legislators have considered jobs bills. 

So far, our efforts as well as the work of our allies, to keep drivers driving, mechanics working, the transit system available—and ultimately keep some of the worst tailpipe emissions in check—have been frustratingly unsuccessful.   

New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and countless other metropolitan regions are facing a transit disaster. Grappling with huge budget deficits as a result of public funding cuts, transit agencies are slashing service, laying off workers, and raising fares.  

  • In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which operates the city’s buses and subways, as well as suburban rail lines, bridges and tunnels, is facing an $800 million deficit as a result of cuts in state aid and low payroll tax revenues. They expect to layoff 1,130 employees (out of their 70,000 person staff), including 500 station agents. The MTA has ended free fares for students and has reduced salaries by 10%.
  • In Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority has laid off 1,067 employees in order to balance a $300 million deficit.
  • In San Francisco, the city expects to see a second fare increase in 4 months in order to balance a $12.1 million deficit, with additional service cuts. SFMTA plans to lay off 230 employees, 175 of which are bus and Muni metro drivers. 
  • In Washington, D.C., where trains are bursting during rush hour, WMATA plans to lay off 60 employees and eliminate another 90 positions that are not filled. They also expect service cuts and fare increases to fill their $40 million budget gap.
  • Just this weekend, in Sacramento, CA, the local newspaper reported that the regional transit agency is planning to put 300 workers on notice that they’ll likely be laid off as the agency grapples with a two-year $25 million deficit. Service after 8pm and on weekends could be cut as well. This deficit has been made worse as a result of state policymakers’ decision last year to shift the state fuel tax, designated for transit operations, to other important state services, which have been jeopardized by the overall state budget crisis.

And here’s an example of how these cuts add up, changing people’s commuting choices. Quoted from the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco resident MPR Howard, who has lived in San Francisco and ridden Muni for 28 years, will now be back behind the wheel:  

I will not be renewing my Muni disabled pass…. I will be putting my 45-year-old car (a 1965 Dodge Dart) back on the road. She may not be pretty or environmentally clean, but at least she gets me from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time. I’ve given up on Muni. 

Confirmed U.S. Public Transportation Industry Layoffs, 2009-2010

CityTransit SystemLayoffs
Alameda, CACentral Contra Costra38
Lodi, CAGrapeline (MV)10
Orange County, CAOCTA93
Roseville, CARoseville Transit (MV)5
Riverside, CARiverside Transit26
San Jose, CASCVTA70
San Mateo, CASam Trans45
Washington, DCWMATA40
Chicago, ILCTA1,067
Boston, MAMBTA75
Detroit, MIDDOT113
St. Cloud, MN* New Flyer Bus Plant320
St. Louis, MOMetro**550
Charlotte, NCCATS50
Manchester, NHMTA4
Hornell, NY*Alstom Rail Car Plant500
Binghamton, NY*Westcode (supplier of heating and cooling systems for New York City subway cars)45
Cincinnati, OHSORTA137
Memphis, TNMATA20
Austin, TXStartran21

* = Transit Manufacturer

** = Rescinded after passage of 10% provision in supplemental appropriations bill


Projected Upcoming Layoffs

CityTransit SystemUpcoming Layoffs
Fresno, CAFAX?
Orange County, CAOCTA127
Sacramento, CART240
San Francisco, CABART19
San Francisco, CAMuni230
Colorado Springs, COSprings Transit“Dozens”
Atlanta, GAMARTA1,500
Jonesboro, GAC-TranSystem to shut down Spring 2010
Norcross, GAGwinett County Transit (Veolia)22 (December 2009)
Des Moines, IARTA24
Louisville, KYTARCMore than 50
Baton Rouge, LACATS12
New York, NYNY MTA1,130
Cleveland, OHRTA219
Tulsa, OKTulsa Transit15
Lynwood, WACommunity Transit10%
TOTALS17Over 3,600

 Prepared by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Legislative Department. Updated March 1, 2010.  For more information, contact Jeff Rosenberg at, courtesty of Scott Bogren at the Community Transportation Association of America (   


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Final Hours: Join Hundreds of Thousands in Calling the Senate!

Starting this Tuesday, we asked you to call your senators and demand clean energy legislation. We joined up with several other groups and challenged you to get as many calls in as possible within 72 hours.

You have already surpassed our greatest hopes by absolutely flooding the Senate: We believe we’ve collectively, across the whole campaign, sent more than 200,000 calls in to the Senate over the last 48 hours.  And we’re not done yet — the campaign ends tonight.

We’ve been busy here in D.C. working to get strong clean energy legislation passed. Our biggest weapon is your voice, so keep those phones ringing!

(And after you’ve called,  share this link with your friends and family.)

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