Thursday, December 11, 2008

"E" Groups - neglect highway capacity increase

From Greater, Greater Washington;

"... a coalition of 17 environmental groups, including [jesuitical] Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, NRDC, Environmental Defense, Greenpeace, and many more, released a list of 78 projects that could spend $145 billion over the next 12 months on immediate economic stimulus. (See the summary table or detailed list.) On transportation, the list includes fixing existing roads and bridges, operating grants to keep up transit service and current fares, and fully funding all New Starts transit projects that are in the pipeline, but no new lane miles of highways.

Transportation is responsible for a third of global warming pollution and more than 60 percent of domestic oil consumption. To mitigate this, we need a comprehensive transportation sector investment strategy that includes substantial build out of public transportation and other alternative transportation resources, rehabilitation and maintenance of existing roads and bridges (which creates more jobs than investments in new road capacity), investment in next generation alternative fuels, and acceleration of increases in vehicle efficiency. Meeting these needs can reduce our dependence on oil, reduce global warming pollution, and create millions of good jobs by investing in low-carbon transportation projects.

We recommend at least $58.8 billion investment in transit, other transportation alternatives, environmental mitigation, road and bridge maintenance, and vehicle and fuel technologies ...

We also strongly oppose spending any portion of an economic stimulus package on highway projects that include new capacity. Adding road capacity has been shown to induce additional vehicle use, leading to increased oil consumption, greenhouse gasses, and traffic congestion in the long term. These projects also promote sprawling land development patterns that further exacerbate these problems and require future infrastructure investments to mitigate. Any spending on highways and roads (including bridges) should be based on Fix-It First principles of asset management.

The list also includes funds for alternative energy research and starting up production of non-corn biofuels, worker training for green jobs, energy efficiency tax credits, weatherization for households, schools, and local governments, incentives for energy efficient appliances, purchasing foreclosed land for conservation, maintenance in national parks and wildlife refuges, solar panel deployment on public and private buildings, energy transmission grid upgrades, dam repair, coastal restoration from Long Island Sound to the Great Lakes to the Mississippi delta and coastal Louisiana, and more."

The 'e" groups completely ignore time savings and reduced pollution from reduced congestion via promoting a myopic view that ignores variables, for doctrine they would not apply to anything else.

To their credit they did include non corn biomass, but what do they say about improving the electric grid for powering the new transit?

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