(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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A recent article in the LA Times discusses efforts by green builders to quantify the energy used in reaching the building, not just used in and by the building itself.
From the article:
If you plop a green building in the middle of nowhere, is it still green? … … …
Experts say the ability to quantify the energy spent getting to and from a building could force businesses to reconsider what it means to be green. Transportation emissions account for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and the newly quantifiable data could spur development in urban areas served by public transportation.
Commutes to work matter, said Emma Stewart, senior manager for sustainability at Autodesk Inc., a San Rafael, Calif., maker of 3-D design software applications. Overall, one out of five trips and one out of four miles are traveled in commutes, according to Census Transportation Planning Products. For work, people fly to conferences, hail cabs on lunch breaks and drive to far-flung suburbs.
“This is a new frontier in carbon accounting,” said Stewart, who is part of a separate effort to digitally map buildings and infrastructure like train lines for urban planning purposes. “The practice thus far has really been focused around direct emissions.”
You can read the entire article on the LA Times website, here.
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Proposition 23 is the result of an initiative launched by Texas oil giants Valero Energy Inc. and Tesoro Corporation to postpone enforcement of AB 32. The ballot initiative would delay enforcement until unemployment in California stays under 5.5% for an entire year. California unemployment is currently at about 12%.
Image source: Google Public Data
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How do Californians feel about Prop 23?
The public: A poll by the Public Policy Institute of America this month indicates that 67% of California residents support AB 32 (via LA Times).
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: “This initiative sponsored by greedy Texas oil companies would cripple California’s fastest-growing economic sector, reverse our renewable energy policy and decimate our environmental progress for the benefit of these oil companies’ profit margins” (via LA Times).
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman: Whitman has not taken a formal stand on Prop 23. However, AB 32 authorizes a governor to delay some of the provisions for up to a year in the event of “threat of significant economic harm.” While campaigning for the Republican primary, Whitman stated that we would suspend AB 32 on her first day in office (via SF Chronicle).
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jerry Brown: “Addressing climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, something that California has been a leader on,” said Sterling Clifford, Brown’s campaign spokesman (via SF Chronicle).
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The full text of Prop 23 is available here.
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The Yes on Prop 23 campaign has filed suit against Attorney General Jerry Brown over the language that will go on the ballot to describe the proposition. The ballots of be printed in mid-August will say that the measure “Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year.” More information in the LA Times.
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