Also: The best and worst places to live car-free, and why do people love to hate Bill de Blasio?

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What We’re Following

Charged up: Another day means another fight between California and the Trump administration. Yesterday, Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency, sent a letter to the Golden State saying it has the “worst air quality” and has “failed to carry out its most basic tasks” under the Clean Air Act. To boot, Wheeler threatened to withhold the state’s highway funding—a rich irony as the administration threatens to cancel the state’s fuel efficiency standards. (Sacramento Bee)

Actually, California’s plans to combat both air pollution and climate change are rather ambitious compared to the rest of the country. The agency on the receiving end of Wheeler’s letter, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), wants to reduce the state’s carbon emissions from transportation overall by 20 percent in the next 15 years. That sets a benchmark for comparing the Democratic presidential candidates’ plans to grapple with the threat. CARB says the state can’t accomplish that goal just by putting 5 million electric vehicles on the road or boosting fuel efficiency: People are also going to have to drive less. Read my take on CityLab: Electric Vehicles Alone Won’t Stop Climate Change

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

The Best and Worst U.S. Places to Live Car-Free

College towns and big coastal cities top our ranking of the metros where it’s easiest to live without a car.

Richard Florida

Why Do People Love to Hate Bill de Blasio?

The New York mayor succeeded in uniting the left and right in mocking him. But here’s the thing: De Blasio's record as a progressive leader is actually strong.

Kriston Capps

Why the U.K. Travel Giant Thomas Cook Collapsed

With cheap flights and Airbnb at their fingertips, British travelers have branched out from the package beach vacations that were Thomas Cook’s specialty.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Should the Suicide-Prevention Hotline Get a Three-Digit Phone Number?

A simple phone-line change is poised to put millions more people in touch with sympathetic strangers.

Greg Miller

Happy Birthday to Gritty!

Revisit our 2018 story on how a Philadelphia hockey mascot became a symbol of resistance for an angry time.

Jake Blumgart

London Calling

(Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

On Monday morning, a coalition of activists shut down the streets in Washington, D.C., to protest climate change, resulting in 32 arrests of the “climate rebels” who blocked intersections amidst a sea of angry drivers. It’s a sharp contrast to the scene in some other European cities that celebrated World Car Free Day on Sunday, marking a year of some victories in Europe’s war on cars. Consider the setting above in London, where the streets were filled with pedestrians, bicycles, and deck chairs.

What We’re Reading

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann is stepping down under pressure (New York Times)

Farmers say Trump’s $28 billion bailout isn’t a solution (Bloomberg)

How progressive developers are trying to remake Milwaukee, America’s most segregated city (Curbed)

As Amazon arrives, two cities that split in the 1870s are considering ways to merge back together (Washington Post)

Painting over the dirty truth: How the rich fund museums to launder their reputations (New Republic)

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