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01/21/2020
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WorkScoop

San Mateo County, Calif., is counting its carbon

A new open-data tool launched last week in San Mateo County, California, showcases one of the most important metrics any government can track: carbon emissions created by the county’s vehicles and buildings. The Environmental Insight Explorer tool is a Google product that presents estimates of carbon pollution, based on the internet behemoth's internal data sources and statistical modeling. Currently, vehicle traffic in San Mateo County creates 3.88 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, while buildings account for another 3.3 million tons. County CIO Jon Walton, whose office is backing the project, said the dashboard is meant to inform future policymaking. “The climate is changing,” he told StateScoop. "We’re not trying to make a statement. Data is a good tool to have meaningful conversations with the public and policymakers." Benjamin Freed reports.


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Vermont calls for AI 'code of ethics'

A first-of-its-kind task force created last year by the Vermont state government to study artificial intelligence recommended in a report that lawmakers and businesses adopt an agreed-upon "Code of Ethics" to guide regulation and development of the technology. Members of the 14-person panel, which included stakeholders from government, academia, the private sector and civil liberties groups, said that Vermont could position itself to be a national leader in AI if it establishes a permanent commission to study the economic and social impact of AI, and serve as a resource for the public's questions and concerns about the technology. Ryan Johnston has more.


Senate bill would give each state a federal 'cybersecurity coordinator'

A U.S. Senate bill announced Friday would direct the Department of Homeland Security to create a new program placing “cybersecurity coordinators” in every state to manage the relationships between the federal government, states and their localities. Those coordinators, who would be under the umbrella of DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, would be responsible for facilitating the sharing of cyberthreat information and raising awareness about federal resources for preventing cyberattacks like ransomware. "The federal government needs to do more to ensure that state and local entities have the resources and training that they need to prevent and respond to cyberattacks," said Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., the bill's lead sponsor. Ben has more.


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