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The report outlines the current air pollution and transportation issue in Washington, D.C. which looks to reduce the use of cars and their impact on air pollution and smog in the city. The concentration of air pollutants in DC makes it a top 20 city with the highest smog in the United States, which is the rationale for the need to implement combative policies. Two of the policy recommendations in this report are to establish a pilot superblock in a DC mixed-use zone, which would be a feasible and low-cost way to create car-free areas, and to implement congestion pricing, which would be used as a financial incentive to reduce traffic. These policies would work to achieve the goals of reducing air pollution in the metro DC area and lower the use of cars to do so.
This paper highlights the state of Colorado and the exponential growth of fracking in the state over the last two decades. The growth of fracking has benefitted the economy of the state and employs hundreds of thousands of residents, but fracking presents serious environmental and human health risks. The greatest risks are linked to those who live near wells, due to toxins released in the fracking process. There have been local attempts to combat this issue, but a more uniform response is needed to regulate the harmful effects of fracking on the state. Some policy recommendations from the paper include banning fracking in certain areas, such as residential or schools, and ban wells within these areas as well in order to mitigate the effects that fracking has on the water quality.
Over the last fifty years, California has been facing an affordable housing crisis. In an attempted solution, government subsidies have driven housing development into untouched wildlands across the state. However, these developments are increasingly subject to destruction by wildfire due to global climate change and historical mismanagement of public lands. This places residential zoning and housing policy as critical components to mitigate wildfire impact. This report suggests implementation of a multipronged approach over the next decade, which includes discontinuing development in extremely high-risk fire zones, increase government buyouts in these high-risk areas to move people out of harm’s way, increase urban up-zoning to generate affordable housing, and increase retrofitting of existing at-risk homes to enhance structural and resident survival and safety.
Following the 2020 executive order from California to have all new passenger vehicles be zero-emission by 2035, the paper outlines the ways to expand access to electric vehicles (EV) to low-income Californians. For the state to meet its clean energy goals, it must include these communities in a just and equity-focused transition to widespread use of EVs. This report highlights the buildup to the latest EV goals in California as well as the challenges of deploying such a plan into action. The recommendations to increase access in the state include updating building codes, curbside charging stations, EV sharing programs, and charger rebate programs, among other things, to generate greater access across California.