Not expecting any major federal policy changes, but I’m optimistic that land use and built environment issues are starting to receive the attention they deserve in the political debate over climate:
Most of the coverage of her appointment so far has focused on what role she could play in regulating carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. But McCarthy has long understood – as traditional environmental advocacy groups are now growing to appreciate as well – that how we develop and design cities matters crucially as well.
“The regulation of carbon might grab more headlines, and better fuel standards for cars or more electric cars are important, too,” says Armando Carbonell, a senior fellow at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, “but a big, unheralded piece of the climate change response has to do with land use – green buildings, livable cities, metro regions and how they function in terms of regional transit and transit-oriented development.”
McCarthy comes straight out of that philosophy. Carbonell hosts the annual New England Smart Growth Leadership Forum, which McCarthy has been part of, and he has known her for years through her work in Massachusetts and Connecticut. For outsiders, the focus on cities in environmental policy may be counter-intuitive, Carbonell adds, but it’s very likely to be a foundational element of a McCarthy-led EPA.
(via Emily Badger)