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  • A firestorm of comments over LaHood’s big bike speech

    LaHood steps up at the National Bike Summit on March 11.Courtesy BikePortland via FlickrFour weeks ago Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood climbed on a table and declared the reign of the almighty auto was finished. Federal transportation funding would no longer favor cars at the expense of bicycling, walking, and mass transit, said the 65-year-old Republican […]

  • Cars won’t get all the love, Ray LaHood says in big bike speech

    LaHood steps up at the National Bike Summit on March 11.Courtesy BikePortland via FlickrTwo weeks ago, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood climbed on a table and told a group of bike advocates that federal transportation planners were finished raising the almighty auto above cyclists and walkers. “I’ve been all over America, and where I’ve been in […]

  • What to do when haters diss livable communities

    Haters gonna hate. Click to see him walk it out, for realz.Omar Noory, We can’t be certain, but we’re pretty sure this comic is commentary on a recent heated exchange between the Secretary of Transportation and a certain Missouri senator who be hatin’ on sidewalks and “livability”: “When did it become the responsibility of […]

  • Cash-for-Clunkers to end Monday night, for real this time

    Photo: billadayThe “Cash for Clunkers” program has been so successful that it will have to be wrapped up earlier than expected, the Obama administration announced on Thursday. Folks looking to turn in their fuel-hogging old cars will need to get their deals finalized by this Monday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. EST in order to […]

  • Key Obama advisers on climate and energy

    Track the debate and take action >>> UPDATED: 16 Sep 2009 President Barack Obama’s key advisers on energy and climate issues include a former top aide to Al Gore, a Nobel Prize winner, a governor, and a gaggle of former members of Congress. Here’s a rundown:     Carol Browner Assistant to the President for […]

  • Obama’s green achievements at 100 days

    Seventy-nine percent of Americans think President Barack Obama will do a good job protecting the country’s environment, according to the latest Gallup poll on the topic, released on Earth Day. That includes 95 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents and – most surprisingly — 65 percent of Republicans. At 100 days, what has he […]

  • The players: Obama’s people

    Obama’s green team Joe Romm says, “I honestly don’t know if it is politically possible to preserve a livable climate — but if it is, these are the people to make it happen.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but Obama has certainly put together a team capable of great things. Coordinating is […]

  • NYT fails to acknowledge the job-creation opportunities from climate legislation

    On the front page of Wednesday's NYT, we learned that Midwestern Democrats hate the climate. Or something. The ostensible point of the article was to highlight the geographical split between the climate change policymakers from the Obama administration and the House -- predominantly from the East and West coasts -- and the moderate Midwestern and Plains-state Democrats in the Senate who, according to the NYT, actually care about jobs.

    For the record, the article, while admitting that President Barack Obama is, you know, Midwestern, ignored the fact that Ray LaHood and Tom Vilsack, Secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture, respectively, 1) are also from the Midwest, and 2) will have a significant role in devising an economy-wide solution to climate change.

    And this is not to underplay the legitimate concerns that representatives from coal-dependent manufacturing states have. But this mostly just points to the greater weakness of the article -- the way it plays into the idea that addressing climate change will be some kind of job-killing catastrophe. This from the same newspaper that could write a feature on the tremendous job creation underway in Iowa related to wind-turbine manufacturing, a serious growth industry given that the nearby Plains states are considered the "so-called Saudi Arabia of wind." Keep in mind that enormous wind turbines will likely never be imported from abroad since one of these monstrous steel blades can barely fit on an oversize tractor-trailer much less be flown around the world on a 747. Indeed, the industry's potential for the Midwest led President Obama to visit a turbine factory in Ohio just the other week.

  • LaHood on the auto industry and Obama's clean-car moves

    "The car manufacturers knew this was coming. I don't think you're going to see them get a lot of heartburn over this."

    -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on President Obama's announcement that his administration is moving toward stricter regulation of auto fuel economy