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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Protect the Mussels – Use Less Salt!

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Save the Mussels – Use Less Salt!

In this edition, we visit the Sinking Creek Watershed in Laurel County. The watershed, which feeds into the Rockcastle River is a ‘Kentucky Outstanding Resource Water,’ because of the animals that inhabit it — including endangered mussels…To keep the waters as pure as possible, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) encourages residents and businesses in the watershed to apply road salt wisely during the winter months.

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Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
Figure ES-1. Benefits and impacts of new RE used to meet 2013 RPS compliance

State renewable portfolio standards (RPS) currently exist in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Most of these policies, enacted largely during the late 1990s and 2000s, will reach their terminal targets within the next decade. As states consider extending, eliminating, or otherwise revising existing RPS programs, or developing new ones, increasing attention is being paid to the costs, benefits, and other impacts of these policies.

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Alternative-Fuel & Electric Vehicles: State Taxes & Fees

Monday, January 11th, 2016
Figure 1: Alternative Fuel Conversation Rates, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

As the use of alternative-fuel and electric cars and trucks continues to grow as a share of the U.S. fleet, state governments are relying on a mixture of user fees and taxes to ensure these drivers are contributing their fair share to highway and bridge construction and maintenance programs…The number of alternative-fuel cars and light trucks is expected to grow from 21.5 million vehicles in 2016—accounting for 9 percent of the U.S. vehicle stock—to 29.3 million vehicles in 2021, or about 12 percent of the entire fleet, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Alternative-fuel vehicles include electric cars and trucks, hybrids, and vehicles that run on propane, fuel cells and natural gas.

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Transportation & Ecology in the Mountain West

Thursday, January 7th, 2016
Transportation & Ecology in the Mountain West

We were so excited to be chosen as the host state for ICOET 2017, so we decided to make a video. We hope it motivates you to come to Salt Lake City and enjoy the rest of what Utah and Wyoming have to offer!

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Transforming Transportation: Towards Walking and Biking

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Transforming Transportation: Towards Walking and Biking

This video is about the health and environmental benefits of active transportation, defined as “any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation, such as walking or bicycling” (CDC, 2011).

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Catastrophe Bonds for Resilient Infrastructure Projects

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
Natural catastrophe losses: Insured vs uninsured losses, 1975-2014

Investing in resilience is complicated. Like healthcare, there are multiple strategies that can and should be combined to improve overall health. For example, there are things you can do regularly to ward off risks (preventative care), other options to address acute conditions (treatment or medical intervention), and finally actions you can take to ensure that illness doesn’t bankrupt you or those who depend on you (health and life insurance)…Strategies to protect communities from disasters follow a similar pattern. Projects to increase resilience—infrastructure upgrades or new protections—are designed to reduce the physical risks of damages. Once prevention is no longer an option, disaster response and recovery measures, including disaster aid and reconstruction funds, are designed to help the system recover and rebound back to health more quickly.

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Economic Effects of Oil & Gas Exploration in the South Atlantic

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Figure 1 VA, NC, SC, and GA Ocean Economy: 2012 Employment; Figure 2 VA, NC, SC, and GA Ocean Economy: 2012 GDP

In 2013, the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association, oil and gas industry groups, commissioned Quest Offshore Resources, Inc., to prepare a report (the Quest report) on the economic impacts of offshore drilling in the Atlantic. This report has been widely cited to make the case for opening the Southeast to oil and gas development based on significant local, state, and regional benefits from drilling…This summary identifies issues with the Quest report that lead to significant overestimates of the economic impacts of offshore drilling in the Atlantic and provides an overview of the existing ocean economy of the South Atlantic region in order to provide the context of the industries that could be vulnerable to disruptions from oil and gas activity.

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Thirsting for Progress: A Report Card on California’s Response to the Drought

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
Water strategies and categories

As California bids farewell to a fourth, searing year of drought, we don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us next year. We may face torrential downpours associated with the strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean. We may face another crippling year of drought. Or we could experience something in between. But we do know that California has experienced multi-year droughts in the past and will again. As a state, we must prepare for these inevitable droughts if we are to continue to support our growing population, thriving economy, and healthy environment.

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2045: State of Hawaii Energy Resources

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
Hawaii - Clean Energy Projects

The past year marks a turning point in the history of energy in Hawaii. Since the establishment of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative in 2008, the state has been moving from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. Building on tremendous progress in recent years, in 2015 the state accelerated its commitment to an unprecedented level: 100 percent renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2045. This report details Hawaii’s efforts to increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the regulatory, technical and practical efforts required to make this world’s-first ambition possible.

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World Green Building Trends: Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth

Friday, December 4th, 2015
Percentage of Respondents Who Are Doing/Expect to Do More Than 60% Green Projects by Country

The World Green Building Trends 2016 study focuses on the growth of green globally with a total of over 1,000 survey participants from 69 countries. Where the previous studies conducted in 2008 and 2012 relied primarily on responses from GBC members, this new study features a higher proportion of design and construction practitioners, like architects and contractors, who are not GBC members, demonstrating the exciting expansion of green around the world.

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