I’ve been thinking a lot about self-driving cars lately—and I’m not the only one. Predictions abound about when the technology will be fully ready, but these vehicles are already out there being tested on public roads. In fact, I’m lucky if a week goes by and I don’t see a car with a spinning roof top sensor—even my first-grader is pretty good at spotting them. Read more >
Don's Latest Posts
May 19, 2016 10:32 AM EDT
Sustainable freight. Almost sounds like an oxymoron, especially to anyone that lives near a truck route, port, or warehouse. How can a system of trains, ships, planes, and trucks designed to move billions of dollars’ worth of goods from factories around the world to your doorstep be “sustainable”?
Despite that challenge, California officials released a draft Sustainable Freight Action Plan—a multi-agency effort resulting from Governor Brown’s Executive order issued last July—aimed at taking steps to transform the freight system to address the challenges of poor air quality and climate change. There’s some good stuff in the plan, but some room for improvement too. Read more >
February 23, 2016 10:41 AM EDT
California is already on track to reduce oil use 24 percent by 2030. Considering oil use in the state had been on a steady rise for decades prior to its peak in 2007, this might be pretty surprising news. It comes in large part as a result of California’s leadership in pioneering clean air and climate change policies, which are fostering technology innovation and driving efficiency improvements throughout California’s economy. Read more >
September 1, 2015 11:38 AM EDT
Governor Brown’s goal of cutting oil use by up to 50 percent, and the subsequent legislative effort through SB350 to codify that goal in California law, has raised the rancor of the oil industry. It’s not surprising an industry might get defensive when lawmakers want to slash the amount of product they sell – nor is it surprising that an industry with a history of deception would not let the facts stand in the way of their response. Despite their “consumer-friendly” ads, the oil industry is really working against the public interest to protect their stranglehold over our transportation choices.
But the fact of the matter is that California, and the rest of the nation, can cut its oil use in half. Read more >
February 20, 2015 10:29 AM EDT
USA Today recently published a misleading opinion article on electric vehicles. The author, Bjorn Lomborg, claims that electric car benefits are “just myths” repeating many arguments he has made before and to which we at UCS have responded. Through a combination of cherry-picking data, bizarre assumptions and just plain false information, the author asserts that electric vehicles (EVs) produce more air pollution and similar global warming compared to efficient gasoline cars today and dismisses the potential to clean-up the nation’s electricity grid in the future.
Our own analysis shows the opposite. EVs do in fact provide climate benefits today, and electric vehicles powered by a cleaner electricity grid are a key strategy in cutting our nation’s oil consumption and reducing the threat of climate change. Read more >