June newsletter: This is the way the world moves: not with a bang, but with a hum

Burning fossil fuels in order to move around is both dangerous and destructive. Luckily, electric vehicles are a great alternative with a host of benefits – including that they’re quiet. In May, we wrote two reports and multiple blogs about transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric motors.

Electric vehicles are great for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania could cut 75% of annual carbon pollution from light-duty vehicles by 2050 and slash health-threatening air pollution from cars by adopting a strong Zero Emissions Vehicle program. That would put the state on track to 100% electric vehicle sales by 2035, and is our key finding from Cleaner Cars for PA, written with PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. The report was covered by ABC27 News.

Good policies can make any city electric vehicle-friendly

Electric vehicles are good for cities: they’re quiet, consumer-friendly and don’t produce pollution. And there are lots of ways local governments can support the switch to EVs – from using their purchasing power to improving charging infrastructure. We worked with Environment Texas Research & Policy Center to produce An electric vehicle toolkit for local governments and Texas communities, which provides ideas, examples and case studies to help municipalities in Texas lead the charge in the transition to EVs. Jamie Friedman wrote about Austin’s leadership in supporting electric vehicle adoption, and participated in a panel discussion about the report.

Carbon pricing is an important tool to fight climate change

Carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs can drive innovation and spur investment in clean technologies as they help reduce emissions and protect our environment. In Carbon Pricing 101 – written with Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund – we break down the different forms of carbon pricing and explain their unique benefits and drawbacks. David Lippeatt participated in an Environment America panel discussion about carbon pricing and the report with Peter Marsters of Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy and former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis of RepublicEn.

On the blog

James Horrox writes about how exposure to noise pollution is damaging to our health and how, in addition to the air pollution and emissions reductions they bring, electric vehicles can improve our quality of life just by being quiet … Bryn Huxley-Reicher gives a primer on the various forms of geothermal energy, and looks at the future of the industry and its place in a 100% renewable energy world … Tony Dutzik makes the case that increasing the gas tax is the least we can do to make up for decades of subsidized driving that have hurt our health and the environment.

In other news

Tony Dutzik joined panelists from both sides of the Atlantic in a Climate Talk hosted by the New York-based nonprofit 1014, discussing whether the world is ready to actually use the tools we have available to protect our climate and the environment … With Environment America Research & Policy Center, we released an updated edition of We Have the Power, our report examining the potential of renewable energy to meet all of our needs.

Coming soon

In honor of our 25th anniversary, on our blog you’ll find the first essays in a series of retrospectives about our work over the years.

Frontier Group staff

Susan Rakov, Director

Tony Dutzik and Elizabeth Ridlington, Associate Directors and Senior Policy Analysts

Gideon Weissman, R.J. Cross, James Horrox and Adrian Pforzheimer, Policy Analysts

Jamie Friedman and Bryn Huxley-Reicher, Policy Associates

Photo Credit: Mike Flippo via Shutterstock


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.