One of the biggest topics of conversation in Massachusetts these days is the proposed additional 19 cent gas tax which would go toward roads, bridges, regional transit authorities and public transit improvements throughout the state. More than half of state and local bridges of 20 feet or longer are structurally deficient, while 82 percent of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority's (MBTA) rapid transit rail cars are in poor or marginal condition, according to a report by TRIP. Furthermore, a 2007 report by the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission found that “the condition of our roads, bridges and transit systems are all in broad decline”¦we have no money for transit or highway enhancements or expansions without further sacrificing our existing systems and exacerbating our problems.”
There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
The Washington State House has voted to establish a comprehensive "green economy jobs growth initiative" that aims to increase the number of green jobs to
25,000 by 2020. "Green jobs" is the term used to describe the
good-paying, sustainable jobs that are created through environmentally
sensible projects. For example, increased energy efficiency
requirements will require work retrofitting buildings all across America with solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing materials. The federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorized $125 million per year to create green jobs worker training programs, was included in the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act.
Portland, Oregon city officials introduced
a bold new plan that would require energy efficiency measures in each
new home built. The plan would impose a carbon fee on builders for each
new home that is not extremely energy efficient and also require an
energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors as part of every
existing home sale. The plan would also pay cash rewards to developers
who built buildings that save at least 45% more energy than the Oregon
building code would require. The City Council will start public
hearings on the plan in January.
To cap off a two day climate change summit, Florida's Governor Charlie Crist
to sign several executive orders into effect that could propel Florida
into the top echelon of states addressing climate change and make it the first
state in the Southeast to take significant action. The plan includes: