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E2 Advocacy - Other Issues
The transportation sector is responsible for a third of the nation's global warming pollution, and two-thirds of domestic oil consumption. The next transportation program must set about the urgent task of repairing and maintaining our existing transportation assets, building out the rest of the transportation network, and making our current system work more efficiently. Improvements in public transportation, pedestrian infrastructure, smarter highways, complementary land use policies and intercity rail all have the potential to help us reduce our oil dependency, slow climate change, improve social equity and public health, and fashion a vibrant new economy.
The moving of freight to, within and out of California by ships, trains and trucks is a significant source of air pollution and global warming emissions. E2 is supporting SB 974 (Lowenthal) - which places a per-container fee at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland to fund projects that mitigate the environmental impacts of container traffic and upgrade the ports' infrastructure.
With the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, California has made itself accountable for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The opportunity to slash global warming pollution through "smart growth" is tremendous. The equation is simple: compact and mixed-use communities will reduce our need to drive, thereby reducing the amount of fuel we need to burn, thus reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from our cars. E2 has been working to build support for legislation that will require regional planners to take into account the impact of emissions from vehicle miles travelled (VMT) when drawing up land-use and transportation plans.
California has tremendous opportunity to transform water use practices and reclaim a leadership role in water conservation. New water conservation and management legislation ensures that the state governs its water resources as efficiently as possible.
New York City, which produces about 25,000 tons of electronic waste annually, broke new ground in 2008 by being the first municipality to approve mandatory take-back programs for electronics manufacturers. Intro. 104-A required companies to begin taking back electronics in July 2009 and imposed fines both on City residents for discarding electronics and on manufacturers for failing to meet mandated take-back levels. Supporting bills also mandate that companies develop recycling plans for their electronics goods and stipulate take-back standards and penalties.
Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing and most hazardous components of the waste stream. The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act establishes a statewide system for the collection, handling and recycling or reuse of discarded electronic equipment. The program requires manufacturers to collect, reuse and recycle electronic equipment, giving them an incentive to develop products containing fewer hazardous substances, more reusable components and products that are designed with the environment in mind.