A morning roundup of the day’s news.
“The war on coal is over”: For a local look at the EPA’s decision to revoke the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, see Pennsylvania—where the coal industry is praising the move, but environmental leaders fear threats to the state’s ongoing goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent by 2030. WESA reports:
Former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection secretary John Quigley said the state was on the way to meeting the preliminary goals set under the plan, because it’s using more natural gas, and less coal. But he says revoking the Clean Power Plan could set the state back in ramping up renewable energy like wind and solar.
...“It will cause Pennsylvania in my view to miss out on a lot of economic growth by not advancing more aggressive policies around renewable energy,” Quigley said. Around the country, there are twice as many jobs in solar as there are in coal.
California ablaze: As firestorms continue to ravage California wine country, the situation appears particularly dire in Santa Rosa, the region’s largest city—where mandatory evacuations orders and curfews are in effect, hospitals are closed, and entire neighborhoods have been lost. (Los Angeles Times)
What caused “the summer of hell”? Investigating the derailments at New York’s Penn Station that forced emergency repair work—and commuting nightmares—this summer, The New York Times finds long-simmering tensions at Amtrak over maintenance issues, and repeated delays for critical repairs.
Ride-sharing while intoxicated: Has Uber helped reduce drunk driving? A UPenn study finds mixed results across different cities, with alcohol-related car accidents decreasing in Portland and San Antonio, but inconclusive findings in Reno. (Philly Voice)
Tech to the rescue: As Elon Musk works to help Puerto Rico rebuild its power grid with solar and battery systems, Google parent company Alphabet is hoping to restore cell and internet service through its high-flying “Project Loon” balloons. (Curbed, Fast Company)
Not your parents’ Chinatown: As North American Chinatowns have strayed far from their origins as parallel civic societies for immigrants, The Guardian points to the future in Vancouver’s skyscraper-studded Metrotown area, which “resembles an Asian metropolis, rather than an imagined oriental aesthetic.”
The urban lens:
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