March 4, 2008

Transportation- Policy, Environmental Defense

Environmental Defense
Emily Vernon

Why Environmental Defense?

  • The Environmental Defense is a unique organization due to their ability to link industry, science, and local efforts.
  • They take a dynamic approach to the idea of transportation, focusing not only on the impact on the environment, but its affect on health and economics.
  • Their ability to work across the board and their firm establishment makes the Environmental Defense an important player in the development of environmental, and specifically, transportation policy.

  • Key Facts: Nonprofit, Multidiscipline/Collaborative, Nonpartisan, American, Areas of Concentration: Global Warming; Land, Water and Wildlife; Oceans; Health

    Past Significant Projects/Transportation:

    A.Corporate Partnerships/ Cutting Corporations’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Collaborated with seven of the world’s largest corporations, including BP and DuPont, to cut pollution and meet international reduction targets while increasing revenue. Also worked with Fedex to reduce fuel usage and emissions through the introduction of a new hybrid-electric delivery truck.

    B. Health/Lead Banned from Gasoline

    Convinced regulator in 1985 to ban the use of lead in gasoline after demonstrating the affects of lead on children. This drastically reduced blood lead levels.

    Current Recommendations/Policies:

    1.Cut Pollution from American Cars:

    American cars emit over 333 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. Though we are only 5 percent of the world’s population, we own 30 percent of the world’s cars and emit 48 percent of the worlds CO2 emission from automobiles.


    • Pressure auto industry to support national global warming policy
    • Educate car owners about reducing emissions
    • Explore ways to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution

    2. Clean Cars Law

    California has always been a leader in automobile regulations. In 2002, it created the Clean Cars Law to reduce tailpipe emissions. Though many states have chosen to adopt California’s measures, opposition from the automobile industry and EPA has made getting the required wavier for the law impossible. The Environmental Defense teamed up with four other non-profits in December of 2007 to fill a lawsuit challenging the EPA decisions.

    3. Cleaner Emissions School Buses

    Diesel emissions are a risk to children’s health, however 24 children are exposed to these emission by the bus they ride to school. The Defense is leading the way to clean up children’s school buses in a practical and sustainable fashion. Four steps were presented, replace, retrofit, reduce idling, and routing. Cities such as Houston, Boston, and Atlanta are joining in this campaign.

    4. Congestion Pricing/New York City

    Over the next 25 years, it is predicted that New York’s population will grow by about 25 million people, however the city’s transit system in its current state will be overwhelmed by this growth unless action is administered, It is suggested that congestion pricing is a viable solution across the board for it is a fair solution that is good for business, health, the environment, and the revenue could be used to improve the deteriorating public transport system for the public.

    5. Taking on the Challenge of Growing Urban Areas

    The Environmental Defense Agency is tackling the idea of transportation from a variety of angles, including urban development. They are working with local groups and officials to create viable market solutions to cut congestion, clean the air, and promote green development.

    a.Cut Congestion with Congestion Pricing

    b.Clean the air by planning to replace public fleets, taxis and buses, with hybrids and/or retrofitting diesels with filters as well as enact anti-idling laws.

    c. Promote green development to illustrate is economic value and create innovative incentives.


    No comments: