Cities

Americans using less gasoline

Well, it’s finally happened: Americans are starting to use less gasoline. It took a weakened economy and record oil prices — crude hit an all-time …

‘Eco-terrorism’ suspected in Seattle-area arson

Four unoccupied multimillion-dollar homes burned in a Seattle suburb Monday in what officials have reason to believe was eco-related arson. Explosives were found in the …

Go veg ... Hollywood

PETA wants Hollywood hills ad space

Remember when I said the land just west of the iconic "Hollywood" sign was for sale? And then joked about interesting advertising opportunities? Yeah, I …

Zipcar merges with Flexcar, effs it all up

Has the east coast car-sharing company screwed up the west coast car-sharing company?

Late last year, the country’s two major car-sharing companies, west-coast Flexcar and its larger east-coast cousin Zipcar, merged and became, um, Zipcar. Flexcar fans were …

Greenpeace and others protest Heathrow Airport expansion

Greenpeace and other eco-activists have been protesting mightily against a planned third runway for London’s Heathrow Airport, which would demolish the nearby town of Sipson …

Progressive energy policy in Bayou City?

Carl Pope talks market failures with energy execs at Houston energy conference

Today's second panel -- Carl's, on "conservation and the environment" -- opened with remarks from Houston Mayor Bill White. Despite my earlier comments about the road-crazy Bayou City, Mayor White laid out some items from what appears to be a truly progressive energy agenda for Houston, including making it an international leader in green buildings. Some of his more interesting comments came when White told the story of being one of the staffers that helped write the Energy Policy & Conservation Act of 1975, the original fuel economy law. He spoke of the doubling in fuel economy occasioned by the law, but then -- in a story I'd never heard -- spoke of trying to incorporate pickups and the forebears of today's gas-guzzling SUVs into the law. Unfortunately, this provision was "hijacked," as he put it, and became an exemption for so-called "work trucks," even when they did nothing more than ferry suburban hausfraus around. Thankfully last year's energy bill finally closed this disastrous SUV loophole. White noted that he himself drives a car that gets 49 miles per gallon and while he's happy about the big boost in CAFE, we "can do, shoulda done, and will do better." He agreed that doubling our current fuel economy is "not a stretch" and could be done with technology that exists today. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he's switched over the vast majority of the city's fleet of passenger vehicles and public buses to hybrids and is now looking to the other vehicles like garbage trucks.

The greenest neighborhood?

Sustainable, carbon-neutral community built in Oregon

Last week the Center for American Progress began a series called "It's Easy Being Green," meant to recognize the steps communities, individuals, and organizations are taking to transform our country's energy use. Last week's column featured a new kind of neighborhood:

Governors drink the Kool-Aid

State govs embrace the range of ‘alternative fuels,’ from nukes to clean coal to biofuels

The National Governors Association has linked up with “a team of Wal-Mart energy experts” to “green the capitols.” That’s fantastic — and I’m sure it …

No country for thirsty men

In North Carolina’s Triangle, a severe drought has leaders stumped

North Carolina’s Triangle — Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh — counts as the state’s economic, educational, and political engine. It’s also very quickly running out …

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