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Articles by Staff Writer Jake Bittle

Jake Bittle is a staff writer at Grist who covers climate impacts and adaptation. His book about climate migration, "The Great Displacement," is published by Simon & Schuster.

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At an economic summit in Ireland last month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul bragged about her state’s decades-long quest to implement so-called congestion pricing in New York City. Within mere months, the extensive toll system was poised to take effect, charging cars and trucks a once-per-day fee between $15 and $36 to enter lower Manhattan — a move that, in addition to the quality-of-life benefits touted by Hochul, promised to both drastically reduce carbon emissions in one of the country’s most congested regions and also provide badly needed funding for its most extensive mass transit system.

“It took a long time because people feared backlash from drivers set in their ways,” she said in her speech. “We must get over that.”

Ultimately, however, Hochul herself couldn’t seem to get over this fear. On Wednesday, the governor announced an “indefinite” halt to the soon-to-debut program. In doing so, she jeopardized not only a road-ready policy to improve quality of life in New York City but also the “nation-leading climate plan” that is one of the governor’s signatur... Read more

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