Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Green transportation, green energy

Fight over the Expo Bike Path continues, reports LA Streetsblog. The Cheviot Hills Homeowners Association, which sued against a bike path that would run along the Expo line, claimed that federal funding for the project had been pulled, killing the bike path project. But according to LA Department of Transportation, bike path plans still roll on, though the agency does need to do an environmental impact report to get back the federal funding.

Santa Monica bans plastic bags, reports SM Mirror. We’ll have more on this news later today.

Echoing Los Angeles’ 30-10 plan, San Diego environmentalists call for a 50/10 Plan. LA Streetsblog reports: “Environmentalists from San Diego are echoing the rhetoric of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the battle to expand the local transit network and reduce funding for highway expansion.”

California doubled its renewable energy growth last year. Reports KQED’s Climate Watch: “The California Public Utilities Commission says developers added 653 megawatts of capacity in 2010, nearly twice the pace of 2009.”

California’s biggest solar installers are heading east. Grist reports Silicon Valley’s SolarCity and Sungevity are both expanding to the east coast, “making bids to persuade homeowners in the not-so-sunny Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to shovel the snow off their roofs and install photovoltaic panels.”

California and federal regulators will collaborate on greener car standards. KQED’s Climate Watch reports that national fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2017-2025 cars and light trucks will be set by this fall. “The September deadline is something of a setback for California, which had planned to release state standards in March.”