Climate Clips: Montgomery County would gain faster bus service under budget proposal

The proposal — part of a larger $5.84 billion six-year capital improvement program that the executive is required to submit to the Montgomery County Council every two years — would represent a tripling of the expedited bus service that the county rolled out on U.S. Route 29 in 2020.

See the full story at The Washington Post.

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Maryland Governor Scrounges for Climate Funding Amid Deficit
Politico | Climate Wire
The Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is backing away from his administration’s most ambitious climate plans as the state grapples with a budget shortfall.

Democrats Propose Budget Language to Return Virginia to Carbon Market
Virginia Mercury
Two Democratic party leaders have introduced budget amendments that would require Virginia to rejoin a regional carbon market despite the continued push by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin to withdraw from it.

Even With Less Snowy Winters, Road Salt Can Pollute Waterways
Salt is used to keep roads and sidewalks safe, but it comes with a cost. When snow melts, the salt runs off into local streams and rivers, raising salinity levels. Higher salinity harms freshwater creatures, causing water to leave their bodies through osmosis.

Building & Living in Montgomery County’s First Certified Net Zero Energy Home
My Green Montgomery
Clark Reed, who lives in Rockville and works for the Environmental Protection Agency, renovated his home so that it could be certified by the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR programs. Homes built and certified to these standards use 40%-50% less energy than the typical new home, on average with no loss of comfort.

National and International News

For Truckers Driving EVs, There’s No Going Back
Washington Post
There is a small but growing group of commercial medium-to-heavy-duty truck drivers who use electric trucks. These drivers — many of whom operate local or regional routes that don’t require hundreds of miles on the road in a day — generally welcome the transition to electric, praising their new trucks’ handling, acceleration, smoothness and quiet operation.

Gasoline is Cheap Right Now — But Charging An EV is Still Cheaper
Canary Media
It was easy to make the case for the low cost of electric vehicle charging way back in 2022 when gasoline prices were high and charging an EV was about 70% cheaper than filling up at the pump. But now that the price of gasoline is dipping below $3 per gallon, is it still cheaper to fill up a car on electrons rather than gasoline? The answer is yes — by a lot.

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $131 Million to Boost America’s Battery Supply Chain & Supercharge Electric Vehicle Innovation
Clean Technica
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday announced more than $131 million for projects to advance research and development (R&D) in electric vehicle (EV) batteries and charging systems and funding for a consortium to address critical priorities for the next phase of widescale EV commercialization.

Electric Vehicle Charging Tax Credits Will Be Available in Much of Country
New York Times
The Biden administration on Friday issued guidance that makes much of the country eligible for tax credits intended to offset the cost of installing electric vehicle chargers.

Advocates Welcome EPA’s Proposed Pollution Restrictions On Trash Incineration. But Environmental Justice Concerns Remain
Inside Climate News
Advocates and environmental groups largely welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Jan. 11 proposal to impose stricter pollution limits on large trash incinerators. But they caution that the new standards, if implemented, would not eliminate the public health risks caused by toxic pollutants, such as lead, mercury, and dioxin, that these facilities are known to emit in abundance.