April Newsletter: Which U.S. City Has the Most Solar Energy?

In case you missed it: Frontier Group's April newsletter with details on our latest solar cities research, new findings on student bank fees, our report on how to make life easier for electric vehicle owners, and more.

Solar power more than doubles in most major cities

Over the past six years, solar energy capacity has more than doubled in nearly 80 percent of America’s largest cities, thanks to strong local policies supporting renewable energy. The sixth edition of our annual report, Shining Cities, with Environment America Research & Policy Center, found that while Los Angeles has the most solar overall, Honolulu has the most solar energy per person. Albuquerque, NM, made the top ten (for most solar per capita) for the first time this year.

The Denver PostTexas Public Radio and over 100 regional outlets covered our findings. 

Agreements between schools and banks leave students with high fees

Banks are paying universities and colleges to market debit cards directly to students – creating unnecessary costs for cardholders. Our new report, Debit Cards on Campus, co-authored with U.S. PIRG Education Fund, showed that students pay 2.4 times more in fees at schools where banks pay to market to students.

Our report earned media coverage in PoliticoMoneyCNBC and the Washington Post.  

Electric cars are coming. Are we ready?

America’s streets can expect millions of electric vehicles in a few short years, but vehicle owners are still hard-pressed to find a charge outside of the home. In our report Ready to Charge, we identify five key hurdles that drivers face when they need to fill their battery, and recommend expansion and simplification of public charging infrastructure. The report release was covered by the San Diego Union-Tribune who joined co-author Dan Jacobson of Environment California Research & Policy Center on a ride-around in an electric car. San Diego County subsequently announced they will be developing a roadmap to strengthen charging infrastructure. 

In other news

Americans’ cumulative car debt is the highest it’s been since the Great Recession, and some policymakers are paying attention. Policy analyst R.J. Cross was in Washington, D.C. to brief lawmakers and officials at the Federal Trade Commission about the findings of our report Driving into Debt… Policy analyst Abi Bradford ranked the nation’s top universities not by SAT scores, but by their commitment to a clean energy future… Two of our staff were published in Denver’s Streetsblog: policy analyst Alana Miller argued for giving our buses the space they need and policy associate Trevor Stankiewicz discussed theincreasingly dangerous experience of pedestrians… Senior policy analyst Tony Dutzik spoke on a panel at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ World Congress about autonomous vehicles and the tensions and opportunities they create with respect to action on climate… 


Susan Rakov

Managing Director, Frontier Group; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network

Susan directs Frontier Group, the research and policy development center for The Public Interest Network. Frontier Group’s work informs the public discussion about degradations to the environment and public health, threats to consumer rights and democracy, and the available routes to a better future. Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California; she has two children, a husband, and a dog, and is an amateur singer/songwriter.

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