Matt Yglesias on Richardson speech

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Matt Yglesias, just entering his stride blogging for The Atlantic, has a post online regarding a recent energy/climate policy speech by Gov. Bill Richardson:

I particularly liked his insistence on the idea that most people underplay the role of transportation and land use policy in the energy puzzle. This was appealing because it’s what I already thought, but Richardson said it totally unprompted, and it’s true. More fuel efficiency is good, and more renewable energy is also good, but we’re also going to need people to drive less. And that’s going to mean that we’ll need policies that make it realistic for people to do so — mass-transit, but also transit-friendly, high-density constructions.

Via Atrios, who added this:

This is basically the deal. We need to increase the proportion of the population who live in areas where one car per driving age household member isn’t a necessity. Well-designed mass transit and pedestrian transit-oriented development is a requirement for that. I think it’s wrong to see it simply as encouraging “high-density constructions,” as there are plenty of places which are actually quite dense, but are dense in stupid ways and lack adequate transit. The flip side is there are places with adequate transit (certain suburban rail lines) which lack density in the appropriate places (Nimbyism, sometimes understandable, is often the cause).

This is mind-numbingly simple that it should be common sense. People complaining about traffic and gas prices and pollution need look no further than the number of cars on our streets.

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