Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: High-speed rail concerns, bike plan delays, and more post-election news




The Los Angeles Bicycle Plan gets delayed, thanks to cyclists. After bicycle activists rallied against the adoption of what they called a flawed plan, the City Planning Commission voted to “continue (delay) the bike plan decision until their December 16th meeting, directing staff to work with commissioners to continue to improve the plan,” reports LA Streetsblog.

samocommgarden Cafe GratitudeCurbed LA rounds up the 10 best community gardens in Los Angeles County. Is yours one of them?

Metrolink riders: Check your schedules. All but one Metrolink train schedules will be tweaked starting Monday, reports LAist.

California’s first high-speed rail segment may run through Central Valley, reports LA Times. “The federal government indicated Wednesday that it wants all of its initial funding of the project — about $3 billion — directed to a single segment between Fresno and Merced or Fresno and Bakersfield.”

However, High-speed rail is under attack by governors-elect, reports NY Times. That means “The fight to secure California’s future with high speed rail will continue,” according to the Calif. High Speed Rail blog. (via Curbed LA)

In more post-election news: Even conservative counties voted against Prop 23, notes Todd Woody in Grist. Also in Grist, David Roberts examines why the Prop 23 fight in California go so well while the national effort flailed, and David M. Firger examines if the passage of Prop 26 will scuttle Calif.’s climate regulations. His general conclusion: “Much, of course, depends on how Prop 26 is ultimately interpreted by the California courts.”

An L.A. Times editorial argues that while the midterm elections mean a setback for nation climate change legislation, California and other states can lead the way “by demonstrating that carbon-pricing schemes don’t cause the economic harm that conservatives like to claim they will.”

Meanwhile, more climate change-related lawsuits are expected. In addition, “the Democrats’ much-reduced majority in the Senate puts in doubt the confirmation prospects of various nominees who have attracted criticism from Republicans. It could also prompt the White House to seek more Republican input on future nominees,” reports NY Times.

Clean energy research funding’s threatened, with Republicans in charge of the house. NY Times reports the Department of Energy program Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which finds and funds energy research, may not survive the looming budget fight.

A new national commercial fisheries policy encourages catch shares — “giving fishermen individual shares of fish to catch when they please and to manage for maximum profit,” as Ecotrope puts it. “Proponents of catch share programs, including Environmental Defense Fund, say they reduce overfishing, improve fishermen’s safety and profits, and reduce the negative environmental and economic effects of the race for fish.”

Lastly and electrically: Panasonic put $30 million into Tesla Motors, a U.S. electric sports car company, reports NPR and LA Times’ Tech blog.