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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Figure ES-2. Vehicle-Miles Traveled per Capita in the United States, 1946-2013

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUND
Americans drive no more in total now than we did in 2005, and no more on average than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term as president. The recent stagnation in driving comes on the heels of a six decade-long Driving Boom that saw steady, rapid increases in driving and congestion across the United States, along with the investment of more than $1 trillion of public money in highways…But even though the Driving Boom is now over, state and federal governments continue to pour vast sums of money into the construction of new highways and expansion of old ones—at the expense of urgent needs such as road and bridge repairs, improvements in public transportation and other transportation priorities.

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Strong Towns: Introduction to the Curbside Chat

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Strong Towns: Introduction to the Curbside Chat

The Strong Towns Curbside Chat is an eye-opening presentation explaining why cities of all kinds are struggling financially and how we can work to change things for the better, one block at a time.

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Video: Flood Resilience Guide

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Video: Flood Resilience Guide

Drinking water and wastewater utilities are vulnerable to damage and service disruptions from flooding. This overview video helps small and medium utilities to become more resilient to flooding. Told from the perspective of a small drinking water utility, the video introduces a 4 step approach with easy-to-use worksheets with corresponding videos. The utility is provided with the tools to examine the threat of flooding, determine impacts to utility assets, identify cost-effective mitigation options, and plan to implement such options.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Bud Wright, Executive Director, AASHTO

Frederick G. “Bud” Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.

“I think the most important thing for us right now is to preserve the investment that we have already made…You build a home and you don’t just walk away from it for the next hundred years. You’re going to have to make investments to not only maintain it, but to upgrade it.”

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Nurse Lan, on time every time, thanks to transit

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Waiting briefly at Takoma Station for the Metrobus 63.

Lan is a nurse –a patient care manager in the Oncology Ward of MedStar Washington Hospital Center here in the nation’s capital. Lan and the nurses she helps oversee provide care for patients battling cancer. And her reliance on public transit to get to this important job makes it clear: When we or our loved ones depend on dedicated caregivers like Lan Phan, we also depend on a safe, efficient transportation network to get them to work so they can deliver that care.

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Distributed Wind Energy Market Report

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Figure 1: 2013 Distributed Wind Market Applications (a) by Project and (b) by Capacity

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
The purpose of this report is to quantify and summarize the 2013 U.S. distributed wind market to help plan and guide future investments and decisions by industry, utilities, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties. Distributed wind is defined in terms of technology application based on a wind project’s location relative to end-use and power-distribution infrastructure, rather than on turbine or project size. While the distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes, this report breaks the market into two segments when appropriate: wind turbines up through 100 kW (in nominal capacity) referred to in this report as “small wind,” and wind turbines greater than 100 kW used in distributed applications.

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Kip Moore – On The Case: An Ode to Construction Workers Around the U.S.

Monday, September 1st, 2014
Kip Moore – On The Case: An Ode to Construction Workers Around the U.S.

Kip Moore and CASE dedicate this song to the hard-working men and women who commit their lives to constructing the world where we live, work and play. Thank you for all you do.

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CLEAN ENERGY WORKS FOR US: 2nd Quarter 2014 Report

Monday, September 1st, 2014
50-STATE BREAKDOWN: WHERE WERE THE ANNOUNCEMENTS?

ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS
More than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs and clean transportation were announced in 29 states in the second quarter of 2014. This is more than twice the number of jobs announced in the first quarter of the year. Solar generation once again led all sectors — with more than 5,300 jobs announced — as declining module prices and growing private-sector investment expanded job opportunities in the industry. Meanwhile, the wind industry announced about 2,700 jobs, mostly because projects that qualified for the recently expired Production Tax Credit began construction. Wind manufacturers, including Vestas in Colorado and Gearbox Express in Wisconsin, reported hiring additional manufacturing employees to match turbine demand. The biggest hiring boost to the U.S. clean energy manufacturing sector came from the automotive industry, with General Motors and Tesla announcing 1,900 manufacturing jobs to produce electric vehicles.

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Scaling Up Energy Efficiency Across the Data Center Industry

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Data Center Efficiency

NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
Data centers are the backbone of the modern economy, from the server rooms that power small- to medium-sized organizations, to the enterprise data centers that support American corporations, to the server farms that run cloud computing services hosted by Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others. However, the explosion of digital content, big data, e-commerce, and Internet traffic is also making data centers one of the fastest-growing users of electricity in developed countries, and one of the key drivers in the construction of new power plants in the United States.

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Fueling Road Spending with Federal Stimulus

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Figure 1: Federal Highway Grants and Spending

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO
ECONOMIC RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
During the Great Recession, a surge in federal government spending was one option frequently called for as a means to sustain and stimulate the economy. Given the substantial perceived need for infrastructure improvements, many commentators argued that highways should be near the front of the line for any stimulus dollars. It is no surprise then that the 2009 fiscal stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contained $48 billion in transportation funding, $27 billion specifically for roads. These funds generally took the form of grants to state governments and were in addition to the usual federal transportation grants sent to state governments every year from the national Highway Trust Fund. Thanks to ARRA, federal highway grants to states jumped nearly 75% in 2009. Still, road spending by state and local governments nationwide—which is the source of virtually all road spending in the United States—was roughly flat between 2008 and 2011.

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