In the News

Ethan Elkind in the news:

How do we want our waterfront to change?

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KALW-FM, City Visions, August 25, 2014

“Things are getting pretty dire. Especially when the ice sheets melt, that’s going to mean sea level rise all across the world and, of course, in San Francisco and the Bay Area in general, if not all across California and beyond. That’s going to make major impacts, especially on infrastructure like the port. We have to worry about things like our airports, the delta, as well as coastal ground water resources.”

Transit projects shouldn’t take longer to finish in 2014 than they did in 1925

Ethan Elkind quoted in City Lab, August 11, 2014

“We’re told relief is on the way, from new rapid-bus and rail-transit lines to high-speed rail. But unless ‘decades from now’ is your idea of right around the corner, Californians have to exercise extreme patience waiting through the interminable planning and construction processes associated with major new transit projects.”

Bill seeks to limit electric vehicle rebates to low-income Californians

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC, August 7, 2014

“[The bill] could actually have a very positive effect if we focused on low-income communities because they’re the ones who potentially could stand to gain the most economically in terms of fuel savings, if they switched from a fossil fuel-based car to an electric vehicle. It really depends on how it’s structured, though.”

How to speed up public transit projects: get the public involved, UCLA report says

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC, August 6, 2014

Elkind urges Southern California commuters to demand answers about slow transit projects from public agencies and public officials…. Elkind also favors lowering the threshold for voter initiatives that fund transit projects, from two-thirds to 55 percent.

California’s slow ride to new transit

Ethan Elkind writes for San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 2014

While we want to ensure careful transit planning with proper community input, safety and cost-effectiveness, the multiyear processes are unnecessary and counterproductive. We must accelerate high-priority transit projects, which are vital for our economic competitiveness, quality of life, and environment.

The California high-speed rail debate—kicking things off

Ethan Elkind report cited in The Atlantic, July 9, 2014

Here are three analyses worth a serious read…an analysis by law school teams from UCLA and Berkeley, which concentrated on the project’s effects in the poorest and most polluted part of the state, the central San Joaquin Valley.

Solar power: from the roof to the ground

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KCRW To the Point, May 12, 2014

“These are tried and true technologies. Solar panels have been around for decades, and there is a lot of environmental analysis done on solar installations everywhere. The notion that solar panels are dangerous has been looked at, and was sort of put to bed decades ago.”

Linking the Los Angeles airport

Ethan Elkind quoted in The New York Times, April 21, 2014

Ethan N. Elkind, author of “Railtown,” which chronicles the push for a modern rail system in Los Angeles, said in an interview that a connection would be unlikely to transform the way Angelenos travel to the airport. “It would be more of a psychological victory, a way to reshape the image of Los Angeles,” said Mr. Elkind.

Plug-in vehicles edge toward the mainstream

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KALW-FM, City Visions, April 7, 2014

There was a push in the ‘90s that got some of the first versions of electric vehicles on the road. But, more recently, it has a lot to do with California policies. California has been a leader in air quality issues in general, but has also made zero-emissions vehicles a priority.

Can LA kick its driving habit?

Ethan Elkind quoted in Politico Magazine, March 5, 2014

But money alone cannot ensure success, notes Ethan Elkind, the author of Railtown, a history of Los Angeles’s troubled transit past. “Despite the multibillion-dollar investment, it took specific policies to make development happen,” Elkind says. “You can’t just build the line and assume people will come.”

Rail alone can’t reinvent LA

Ethan Elkind writes for the Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2014
Finally, rail-accessible development can create convenient, walkable neighborhoods that meet the growing demand among millennials, childless professionals and empty nesters to move “back to the city” — as many recent urban success stories attest.

Making sure renewable energy produces clean energy

Ethan Elkind writes for UCLA Today, November 25, 2013

Californians can certainly brag about the state’s leading role in deploying renewable energy from the sun and wind. In-state renewable energy generation has spiked in the past few years, prices have come down significantly, and we appear to be well on our way to meeting the goal of 33 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020. But will this renewable energy boom actually mean cleaner air and less greenhouse gas pollution?

Viewpoints: Making sure renewable energy produces clean energy

Ethan Elkind writes for the Sacramento Bee, November 24, 2013

Most of us assume that renewable means clean. But the intermittent nature of much of this power – since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow – may lead grid operators to rely on more fossil fuel-based power to fill gaps in the renewable sources.

Molokai electric vehicle movement

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Molokai Dispatch, September 18, 2013

“Molokai is an absolutely perfect fit for electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, an EV expert and climate policy associate…. Compared to the 1.4 million people that visit Hawaii each year, Elkind said Molokai attracts a specific kind of person likely to request an EV rental car. “[Tourists on Molokai] are more into eco-tourism than other islands would get,” said Elkind.

Bumps in the road as Hawaii plugs in

Ethan Elkind quoted in, September 13, 2013

According to Ethan Elkind … (a co-author of the report) “Hawaii has easily solvable problems. We went island by island to see where the problems were…. The defacto cap has to be addressed because it’s preventing people from buying EVs,” he said.

High speed rail interview

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KCBS Radio, September 1, 2013

“High speed rail is coming to California…. There’s obviously some legal uncertainty with a few court decisions that have to resolve themselves, but our assumption is that the system is coming. So, the responsibility now is for leaders in the Central Valley, from the business community, local government, and down the line need to get together and figure out what they’re going to do to implement the system in a way that will benefit them economically and environmentally.”

UC report explores high-speed rail challenges, opportunities

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Fresno Bee, August 20, 2013

“The system has the potential to worsen California’s development patterns—and therefore the environment, economy and public health,” Elkind wrote. In the Valley, that potential stems from a history of low-density, car-oriented housing developments that chew up valuable agricultural land. Such development, he said, leads “to traffic congestion, poor air quality and the ongoing loss of the region’s invaluable agricultural resources.”

Berkeley visiting scholar questions benefits of electric cars

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Daily Californian, July 8, 2013

“We have to switch to electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, climate policy associate of the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “There is simply no other way to avoid worst impacts of climate change without electrifying vehicles.”

How much more water can the Bay Area conserve?

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KALW-FM, City Vision, April 8, 2013

“If it’s urban water use in particular, which is the case here in the San Francisco Bay Area, excluding the agricultural areas, then it’s the most energy-intensive water because it has to be pumped, has to be treated, and has to be treated on disposal, as well. So, conserving water has an immediate benefit of conserving energy. Not a lot of people understand that connection, and that’s something we’re trying to raise awareness about.”

Calif. reaches out to neighbors in push for green power

Ethan Elkind and Steven Weissman quoted in Environment and Energy Publishing, January 18, 2013

Green electricity isn’t available if clouds are out or the wind is not blowing…. “It helps to balance it out if you have a lot of different resources to compensate,” Elkind said. “At some point, the state’s going to have to go in that direction, where we start to bring in renewable resources from all across the Western region.”

“The extent to which you expand the ISO’s control area, you’re also expanding the ability to have a first point of interconnection between renewable energy projects and the ISO’s grid,” Weissman said.