EHL commented on a draft Climate Action Plan that is promising but needs more work.

In its submittal to the County, EHL strongly commended the focus on reducing automotive vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) but faulted the relative lack of attention to restricting high-VMT development. 

According to the California Air Resources Board, the weak point in California’s progress on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the continued increase in automotive travel. With widespread use of electric vehicles a distant goal, reducing the amount of automobile use is imperative. Transit ridership has gone down nationwide, in Los Angeles, and even San Francisco. But what we know works in reducing VMT is stopping the problem at its source, sprawl development.

Once build, development distant from job centers and transit locks in high auto mileage. Los Angeles County’s draft CAP proposes ‘transit-oriented development” but did not offer realistic implementation. It also did not take effective measures to stop newly proposed sprawl development.

Encouraging, though, is a section on protecting natural lands that sequester carbon. The plan should be more specific, though, by providing tangible mechanisms, like giving carbon mitigation credit to developers who acquire habitat land and thereby avert its conversion to uses that would produce more auto trips.

EHL will continue to participate in this important effort.