Sunday, January 29, 2012

Advocacy - Regional Transportation Plans Are Limited in Renewable Energy

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has been tasked with creating "Sustainable Community Strategies" (SCS) under a law known as SB 375.  SB 375 was enacted to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from automobiles and light trucks through integrated transportation, land use, housing and environmental planning. Using the regional GHG emissions reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), SCAG is tasked with developing a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), a newly required element of the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that sets a plan for meeting the GHG emissions reduction targets.

SCAG has drafted a Regional Transportation Plan that spans from 2012 to 2035. There's a tremendous amount of data and reporting going on. But, if you'd like, you can read the entire plan here. You can also visit the draft plan's page at this location - it's much easier to break it down into sections.

The bottom line is this:
There is only one mention of renewable energy throughout the entire draft report.

Page 81 says "The [Preliminary Environmental Impact Report] also includes mitigation measures relating to energy designed to reduce consumption and increase the use and availability of renewable sources of energy in the region. Since these measures not only reduce energy consumption but also reduce GHG emissions they are addressed above under GHG."

Public comment ends on Tuesday, February 14. I would encourage everyone to fill out the public comment form in support of renewable energy.

SCAG had an Energy Working Group that was active in this issue up until 2007. Encouraging SCAG to bring back the Energy Working Group to help build some renewable energy infrastructure in Orange County and all of Southern California would be a step in the right direction.

For more questions or comments, please
contact Mike Harmanos.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

February Meeting Announcement: James Kao

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The next meeting of OC Renewables will be held on Thursday, February 9, 6:30 PM, at the Duck Club in Irvine.

Our speaker will be James Kao, Member of the Advisory Board of Power To The People. James is a city planner with experience in landscape architecture, urban design, smart growth, green building and sustainable communities.  He currently works at the City of Signal Hill near Long Beach where he has begun coordinating development and implementation of a sustainable city plan.  James holds a BS degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University and a Masters in Real Estate Development from USC.  He is a lifelong outdoors and nature enthusiast with a passion for world culture, languages and adventure travel and has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Europe.  James is a proponent of developing sustainable communities powered by renewable energy here and abroad and is also a member of a dozen environmental advocacy organizations that focus on alternative transportation, urban forestry, wildlife conservation, and environmental education. 

We will also introduce the Board of Trustees for 2012 and talk about our plans for the upcoming year.

Hope to see you on Thursday the 9th at 6:30!