infrastructure


California’s Infrastructure Earns a C-. We Need More Equitable and Climate-Safe Infrastructure Now

, Western states senior climate analyst

I count on the quality and reliability of our roads, water and wastewater systems, and electric grid to help me keep my daughter safe from harm and provide an environment where she can thrive. Many other parents do, too. These expectations seem reasonable. They will, however, become even harder to meet in the face of continued underinvestment and disinvestment in communities and more frequent and severe climate-related extreme events here in California and beyond. These issues must be key considerations in infrastructure decisions and solutions moving forward. Read more >

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Photo: John Rogers

Three Ways Federal Infrastructure Policy Can Speed Up Our Clean Energy Transition

, senior energy analyst

May thirteenth marked the beginning of Infrastructure Week and, as you might have heard, there might be at least one thing that Republicans and Democrats agree on: the need to invest in our nation’s aging infrastructure to remain competitive and build a more resilient, equitable system. This includes the electricity sector, where we must decarbonize our electricity supply, address growing threats to system resilience from climate change, and invest in the research and development of technologies that will power our growing clean energy economy. Here’s three ways a federal infrastructure policy package could help make this happen. Read more >

Photo: John Rogers
Photo: James Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Derrick Jackson
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Photo: AWEA

How Big is Gridlock in our Electric Grid?

, Senior energy analyst

Progress in electric power, particularly the growth of renewable energy and consumer choice, is looking like gridlock.  Look closer and we can see three fundamental issues: state policy vs. federal policy; changing perspectives on reliability, and how electric grid planning should accommodate the ongoing transition to renewable energy. We even have gridlock in the appointment and continuity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that oversees much of the decision making in these spaces.

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Photo: AWEA
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Climate-Safe Infrastructure for All: California Working Group Report Provides Comprehensive Recommendations

, Western states senior climate analyst

Nearly two years ago, the Climate-Safe Infrastructure bill (AB 2800, Quirk, 2016) became law and established the Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group (CSIWG) to develop recommendations to the California legislature on how to build and design our infrastructure to be safer for Californians in the face of growing climate extremes. Since then, unprecedented wildfires and mudslides, record-breaking temperatures and precipitation have added an exclamation point to the importance of this group’s work in preparing our infrastructure to keep us safe, as we’ve experienced the risks and what’s at stake. Today, the CSIWG released its report, Paying it Forward: The Path Toward Climate-Safe Infrastructure in California, which recommends an ambitious and attainable path forward.

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CSIWG, Paying It Forward
CSIWG, Paying It Forward
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Photo: W.carter/Wikimedia Commons

If You Smell Something, Say Something: Identifying Local Natural Gas Leaks

Sarah Salois, , UCS

Walking my dog around my neighborhood one day, I caught a whiff of something very clearly – gas. At first, I noted the smell but assumed it was a fleeting odor and chalked it up to urban living. But soon I realized there was nothing fleeting about it.  I take the same route each day, and it became clear that specific locations  persistently smelled strongly of gas. Internal alarm bells went off in my head as I calculated the amount of gas necessary to be detected outside, in open air, uncontained. I asked my neighbors and the local utility company about the leaks – surely, I was not the only one who had noticed the smell, which led to my next question, what was being done about it? I was surprised to find that my neighbors had actually been smelling the leaks and alerting the utility companies for years. YEARS. I was shocked, and I wanted to know more.

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Photo: W.carter/Wikimedia Commons
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