This conversation with Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resource Board, will be hosted by David Tuttle, Research Fellow at the Energy Institute and instructor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Abstract: Over the past half century, California has been a leader in policies and programs that have improved air quality. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been at the center of these efforts to inform policy actions to enact health-based air quality standards, reduce air pollution exposure of criteria pollutants, and protect the state from the impacts of climate change. Recently, Los Angeles has experienced the longest streak of “good air days” in decades partially from the COVID-19 lockdown, though other factors likely played important an important role. This discussion will explore the impacts observed from COVID-19 as well as other topics related to criteria pollutants, GHG emissions reductions, and international cooperation.
Guest Bio: Mary D. Nichols is the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, where she occupies the attorney seat. She has served on the Board under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (1975–82 and 2010–18), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2007–2010) and Governor Gavin Newsom (2019–present). She also served as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources (1999–2003), appointed by Gov. Gray Davis. When not working for the State of California, Ms. Nichols was a senior staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Assistant Administrator for US EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, in the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton; and headed the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Over a career as an environmental lawyer spanning over 45 years, Ms. Nichols has played a key role in California and the nation’s progress toward healthy air. She has also led the Board in crafting California’s internationally recognized climate action plan. Full bio here.
Host Bio: Dr. David Tuttle is a Research Associate at the UT Austin Energy Institute. His lifelong passion in the automotive space intersects with years of experience in information technology and the research areas of EV adoption, integration of EVs with the grid, alternative fuel, renewable energy systems, and autonomous vehicles. Dr. Tuttle is a former IBM and Sun Microsystems executive with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently a Commissioner on the Electric Utility Commission overseeing Austin Energy. Full bio here.