Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
Washington's largest diesel emissions polluter will transition its fleet to diesel-hybrids and then to battery-electric propulsion to comply with Gov. Inslee's emissions-reduction executive order which will also please the orcas in Puget Sound.
When Volkswagen funded a $3 billion environmental mitigation trust as the result of a settlement in the cheating scandal three years ago, states could have used that money to fund things like electric buses.
Colorado will join California and nine other states in requiring that a percentage of new light-duty vehicle sales are zero-emissions, thanks to the first executive order signed by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis on Jan. 17.
The investment comes not from the state legislature but from two regulatory bodies, the Air Resources Board and the Public Utilities Commission, authorizing the expenditure of VW settlement funds and utility ratepayer funds, respectively.
U.S. PIRG wants states to use funding from multi-billion dollar Volkswagen settlements to convert the nation's school bus fleet, 95% of which is diesel-powered, to zero-emission buses to reduce children's exposure to toxic air pollution.