Dec 17, 2018

Exclusive: Lime adds environmental policy vet Carol Browner

Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage/Getty Images

The prominent environmental policy veteran Carol Browner is joining Lime as an adviser as the dockless bike and scooter company ramps up its focus on sustainability and climate change.

Why it matters: Browner is a well-connected figure in green circles after heading the EPA under President Clinton and serving as the White House "climate czar" under President Obama. She arrives as the industry is making the case for its environmental bona fides and seeking to improve its initially rocky relationships with cities and other layers of government.

The big picture: Brown's arrival as sustainability adviser comes 2 months after Lime pledged that all rides on its electric scooters and bikes will be "carbon neutral" — the first part of a wider environmental initiative called "Lime Green."

Browner tells Axios that she's excited about the emissions-cutting role that bikes and scooters can play, noting at one point that the number of car trips of a mile or less is "amazing."

  • "It's exciting to be working directly on how to reduce carbon emissions. Transportation is a significant piece of the puzzle," she says.
  • “It’s not just carbon dioxide benefits. It’s conventional pollution benefits,” Browner adds.

Details: Browner is already drawing on her experience as an environmental regulator to think about the role that bikes and scooters can play.

  • For instance, she says it's worth looking at how states can incorporate them into EPA-mandated plans for meeting air quality standards for pollutants like sulfur dioxide and soot.
  • “It’s not inconceivable that you would give credit for alternative forms of transportation that don’t produce pollution.”

One fun thing: Browner admits that she'll be playing some catch-up, telling Axios: “I am waiting for one of my millennial children to give me a lesson on how to use the scooter.”

Go deeper: Lime pledges zero-carbon scooter and bike fleet

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.