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Is LA Prepared for an Oil Crisis?

1:24 PM PST on March 6, 2008


As gas and oil prices continue to climb, a new report by Common Current ranks Los Angeles 12th on a list of the 50 largest cities in providing alternatives to oil dependence. Because L.A. being ranked so close to the top ten seems a little high, we should note that the ranking is partially based on how much heating oil is used per capita.

According to Warren Karlenzig, author of "Major US City Preparedness for an Oil Crisis" the key to surviving an oil crisis is having alternatives to single passenger automobile travel.

"There are cities with less than 1-2% public transit commute ridership, compared to NewYork City, which has close to a 55% rate. It's no mystery who will be feeling the pain of high gas prices the most. Some employers and potential employees considering relocating to the Sunbelt and other 'car-only' cities should take into account the total expenses such locations will have on their budgets and employees."

When asked specifically about advice for Los Angeles, Karlenzig urged Angelenos, "Do not let public transit slip through the cracks."

In addition to transit, Karlenzig urges cities to invest in zoning for more in-fill and mixed use development, develop policies that encourage car-pooling and working from home and better maintainsidewalks and bike facilities. Despite its high ranking on the list, all of these suggestions are something Los Angeles could more firmly embrace.

Common Current, is a privately held economic development consulting firm working with government, business and non-governmental organizations based in California.

Photo: ABC News

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