Tuesday, July 28, 2020

On Climate: Maybe Stop Digging First? At the MPO

Our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets today, Tuesday the 28th, and they'll be discussing prospective greenhouse gas reduction rules coming from the State.

Agenda item on GHG reduction rule-making
One of the questions is about staging order and phasing.

Five (or six?) concepts for GHG reduction rulemaking
There are several wrinkles in play, and I have not followed this part of the analysis or debate, and so it is hard to have a firm opinion.

But at a more intuitive, if perhaps superficial, level, it seems like we should apply the old bromide: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

"If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging"
Stop planning for more driving. Just stop with the capacity increase. Stop digging.

Isn't this an obvious move?

The memo lists two potential drawbacks to this approach, but they are about bureaucratic sludge, and not about efficacy. If "stop digging" works, then amending rules during a second phase is merely iterative correction and not really a big deal.
  • There is a potential that rules adopted in the first phase would ultimately need to be amended when the second phase rules are written.
  • While the first phase would be relatively quick, the second phase may not be adopted as quickly as a one-phase approac
The MPO, of course, remains resistant to greenhouse gas reduction and prefers a minimalist approach of "do as little as possible, only as much we are required, as late as possible, no more."

So it is likely any formal comment offered by the MPO to DLCD will be obstructionary and dilatory, rather than constructive.

Instructions to join the call
The MPO meets by phone on Tuesday the 28th at noon. The agenda and meeting packet is here.

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