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Dale’s Latest on Transit, Energy, and the Rest by maliab
August 30, 2011, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Economy, World | Tags: , , , ,

Dale of Charley’s Taxi is back with the latest headlines on transit, funding, energy, zoning, and highways.  Highlights for this week include yet more eye-opening material on what I’m going to have to start calling “the Honolulu Rail Debacle.”  (One tiny bright spot in the whole mess–we’re bringing back the word “debacle”, which is just plain darned fun to say.)  And then there’s the not particularly surprising news that most legislators have no background knowledge of business.  I don’t know whether I should be relieved that the incompetence and obstructionism comes from ignorance and lack of experience or not, but it sometimes seems like our elected officials would have to know a lot about business to be able to muck things up so thoroughly.

QUOTES

PBN has long been in favor of mass transit, and we continue to be. We’re not saying, “Don’t build something.” We’re saying, “Don’t build an elevated rail project, and don’t build anything as it’s currently proposed.” This project cannot be fixed, and we are extremely concerned that its enduring legacy — should construction ever start — will be as our “rail to nowhere” effort. — Pacific Business News Editorial

I guarantee you this – I’m going to do my damndest to see that money [$1.5 billion from feds] comes in. It should be okay. But to predict an absolute outcome, only a fool would do that.” — Sen. Daniel Inouye to HART board

“Performance.gov tracks out progress on the administration’s efforts to create a government that is more effective, efficient, innovative and responsive. Importantly, the site is also a valuable tool for sharing best practices across the government – supporting learning and coordination across agencies.” — Jeff Zients, OMB

TOP HEADLINES
Green Scissors: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending 2011, Heartland Institute, 8/24/11

Study shows traffic accidents in Michigan costs the state US $4.4 billion more than crime, Traffic Technology Today, 8/25/11

The Henry Ford of Our Time, John Steele Gordon, American Enterprise Institute, 8/26/11

Is the Country on Empty?, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Special Issue, Inside ALEC, July/August 2011

U.S. has 200-year supply of coal, and 100-year supply of natural gas.

Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development on Water Resources, Anu K. Mittal, GAO 11-929T, Testimony to House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, 8/24/11

US Geological Survey estimates that Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, about half of it recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions. Equals entire world’s proven oil reserves.

News in Hawaii

Elevated rail project leads Oahu in wrong direction, Pacific Business News Editorial, 8/26/11

Inouye to HART: “I’ll do my best.”, Hawaii News Now, 8/25/11

How the city misled the public, Walter Heen, Benjamin Cayetano, Cliff Slater, Randall Roth, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/21/11

TAXES & ECONOMIES

Harkins: Upgrading U.S. infrastructure more important than cutting deficit, Jennifer Jacobs, DesMoies Register, 8/26/11

Nation’s economic growth slides down to 1 percent, Peter Schroeder, The Hill, 8/26/11

What’s Better for the Environment: Raising the Gas Tax or Fuel-Efficiency Standards?, Infrastructurist, 8/25/11

Labor chief: Obama needs to focus on job growth, not cutting the deficit, Kevin Bogardus, The Hill, 8/25/11

Green Scissors 2011: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, Eli Lehrer, Autumn Hanna, Benjamin Schreiber, Tyson Slocum, Heartland Institute, 8/24/11

Office of Management and Budget puts accountability online, Joe Davidson,Washington Post, 8/24/11

CBO estimates show Congress faces huge test on debt, unemployment, The Hill, 8/24/11

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans at Lowest Rates, Bradley Keoun, Phil Kurtz, Bloomberg, 8/22/11

U.S. Travel: Overseas visitor spending driving growth, Danny King, Travel Weekly, 8/20/11

Forget Corporate Jets. Government Limousines Show They’re Stealing You Blind, Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8/19/11

HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES, PPP & TOLLING, DRIVING ISSUES

DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation

Study shows traffic accidents in Michigan costs the state US $4.4 billion more than crime, Traffic Technology Today, 8/25/11

Drivers not happy about toll hike, Steve Metsch, Casey Toner, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/25/11

Big Brother Bloomberg, Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review, 8/25/11

Interview with Donald Shoup: Los Angeles Making Strides with ExpressPark, Damien Newton, LA.StreetsBlog, 8/24/11

HNTB survey shows Americans top concerns are poor road conditions and congestion, Traffic Technology Today, 8/23/11

The Wrong Road to Transportation Solutions, Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 8/19/11

TRANSIT
Watchdogs seek cost information on Dulles Metro line, Dana Hedgpeth, WashingtonPost, 8/27/11

Should a ‘Walker’s Paradise’ Save Plenty of Room for Parking?, Saqib Rahim, NYTimes, 8/25/11

TTC may ban criminals who assaulted transit workers, Metro Mag, 8/25/11

California’s Goofy Train Fixation Could Bankrupt the Country, Roger Hedgecock, Human Events, 8/26/11

No tram line for city centre and 4m-a-year loss, Brian Ferguson, The Scotsman, 8/26/11

What Does Opposition to Government Rail Projects Have to Do with Individual Liberty?, Matt Welch, Reason, 8/25/11

San Francisco High Speed Rail on Varney & Co., FoxNews, 8/24/11

Traveling back to the future on intercity buses, Michael Barone, Washington Examiner, 8/23/11

Dulles Metrorail Silver Line vs Bus Rapid Transit, Steve Lafleur, New Geography, 8/19/11

ZONING, HOUSING & LAND USE

TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights

How To Save The Housing Market: Destroy Houses, Massimo Calabresi, Stephen Gandel, Time, 9/05/11

The Evolving Urban Form: Beijing, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 8/29/11

America’s Gambling Craze: Playing with Fire, Neal Peirce, Citiwire, 8/25/11

Suburbanized Core Cities, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 8/26/11

Universal Principles for Creating a Sustainable City, Sven Eberlein, Planetizen, 8/11/11

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Rigged For Failure, Investors Business Daily, 8/24/11

Last year, 3 oil rigs moved out of Gulf of Mexico. Now, it’s 10.

Is the Country on Empty?, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Special Issue, Inside ALEC, July/August 2011

U.S. has 200-year supply of coal, and 100-year supply of natural gas.

Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development on Water Resources, Anu K. Mittal, GAO 11-929T, Testimony to House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, 8/24/11

Not Free to Choose: The Reality behind Clean Energy Standards, Kenneth P. Green, American Enterprise Institute, 8/23/11

Cities Mean Coal, Energy Facts, 8/23/11

What New Emissions Standards Will Mean to Automakers, Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, 8/22/11

The EPA’s giant green jobs-killer, Michael A. Walsh, NYPost, 8/21/11

Ozone Standards Not Scientific Either, Adam Peshek, Reason, 8/19/11

Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises, NYTimnes, 8/18/11

Where to put spent U.S. nuclear fuel, Robert Bryce, Politico, 8/18/11

Climatology Professor Rebuts Smear on Skeptical ScientistJames M. Taylor, Heartland Institute, 8/15/11

The Wind-Energy Myth, Robert Bryce, National Review, 8/12/11

New Study Touts Benefits of Expanded Oil Trade with Canada, Christine Hall, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 8/09/11

The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development, Timothy J. Considine, Robert W. Watson, Nicholas B. Consodine, Manhattan Institute, Energy Policy & the Environment Report No. 9, June 2011

Global Carbon Markets Dirty Secret, Will Evans, Center for Investigative Reporting, 5/21/11

Lawsuit by low-income groups may delay climate law, Sarah Terry-Cobo, CaliforniaWatch, 2/09/11

MISCELLANEOUS

Perry: Gates Gave China Fighter-Jet Superiority, William chedsey, Newsmax, 8/27/11

49% of Newborns on Food Assistance Programs, Newsmax, 8/27/11

How to Keep Your Cell Phone going as Long as Possible, Christopher Mims, MIT Technology Review, 8/27/11

Crime and the Great Recession, James Q. Wilson, City Journal Summer 2011 vol. 21. No. 3.

The minister of magic steps down, The Economist, 8/27/11

The Henry Ford of Our Time, John Steele Gordon, American Enterprise Institute, 8/26/11

Cheeky: Rick Perry Bills the Feds for Illegal Immigrant Imprisonment Costs, Erika Johnsen, Townhall, 8/26/11

Arming the Cartels, Geoprge H. Wittman, American Spectator, 8/26/11

Astronomers discover planet made of diamond, Ben Hirschler, Reuters, 8/25/11

Study: 80 Percent of Lawmakers Lack Academic Background in Business, Economics, FoxNews, 8/25/11

Employment Policies Institute found that 55.5 percent of lawmakers majored in a government-related field or “humanities. Only about 8 percent majored in economics, 14 percent studied business or accounting in college. These numbers raise questions about legislators’ ability to tacke otuch economic challenges.

Let’s Put a Stop to the War On Salt, Luke Pelican, Jacqueline Otto, Fox News, 8/15/11



Dale’s Energy, Transit, Taxes (and More) Update by grassroothawaii
August 12, 2011, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Economy, Hawaii Sunshine, World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today, we have another update for you from Dale of Charley’s Taxi on the latest headlines in transit, taxes, energy, zoning, and more.  Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you look at it) from this edition include the questionable relationship between the rail project and the unions, the probability of a “double-dip” recession, an analysis of what causes cities to grow or shrink, and the effort to empirically demonstrate the existence of media bias.  Enjoy:

QUOTES

The bulk of [budget cuts] will have to be found by cutting real military capability and as a result, accepting real additional risk to the country’s security. — Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution

“I drank so much vodka I could barely stand up. But I had to get home somehow and decided to do something I had never done before. 

I took a bus.     And here’s the good news. I arrived home safe and sound, cozy and warm, and able to go to work the next morning.  

All of which is remarkable because I had never driven a bus before.” — Henry at AA meeting

The effect of the people’s agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go; with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all. — F.A. Hayek

The al-Qaeda network is fully prepared to continue the jihad against the American infidels by launching deadly attacks, but your outdated and rusting transportation infrastructure needs to be completely overhauled for those strikes even to be noticed.— Ayman al-Zawahiri

TOP HEADLINES
The Debt-Limit Debate: Addressing Key Concerns, Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, 5/26/11

The Debt Ceiling: What is at Stake? Vernoique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner, MercatusCenter, GMU, 4/28/11

Glimpse into daily life in North KoreaJean H. Lee, David Guttenfelder, MSNBC, 7/23/11

Journey into North Korea, MSNBC PHOTOGRAPHS

The Official 1984 Reagan ScorecardJonathan Rowe, Paul Glastris,Washington Monthly,

How Government Regulation Affects the Price of a New Home, Paul Emrath, National Association of Home Builders, July 2011

Obama Undercuts Case for HSR and Rail Transit, The Antiplanner, 8/04/11

What the Budget Control Act Means for U.S. Defense, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute, 8/02/11

Why Did America Destroy Its Great Cities?, Frank Gruber, Huffington Post, 8/02/11

CBO: Federal Loan Guarantees for the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants, August 2011

Intoxicated on Independence: Is Domestically Produced Ethanol Worth the Cost?,Scientific American, 7/28/11

The U.S. May Need More Lawyers!, Clifford Winston, Robert W. Crandall, Huffington Post, 7/29/11

The Obama EPA’s Brave New Future, Heritage Foundry, 7/28/11

Higher fuel standards mean higher death toll, Washington Examiner EDITORIAL, 7/28/11


When it comes to population growth, Houston is No. 1, Rice University, 7/06/11 

News in Hawaii

CEO of troubled rail car company that won Honolulu bid steps down, Gene Park, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 8/05/11

Inouye, Akaka, Cantwell and Johnson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Facilitate Business Travel, Trade with Asia-Pacific Region, Hawaii Reporter, 8/04/11

‘Sinkhole State:’ Hawaii is in the 47th Worst Financial Position of All 50 States,Hawaii Reporter, 8/03/11

Trains Helped Kill the Greek Economy – They’ll Kill Hawaii’s too, Panos Prevedouros, Fix Oahu, 8/01/11

The New Airline & Air Service Strategy Metrics, Boyd Group International, 8/01/11

American Airlines is dropping SFO-Honolulu this fall.

Honolulu Rail in Illegal Pact with Local Unions, Panos Prevedouros, FixOahu, 7/29/11

Ansaldo Honolulu’s parent firm rethinking rail car business, Gene Park, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7/29/11

Rail Bid Judges Ignored Ansaldo’s Past Problems, Michael Levine, Honolulu Civil Beat, 7/28/11

New vehicle charging station powers up at Capitol garage, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7/28/11

Solar Power Plant on Oahu Does not Pass Muster, Panos Prevedouros, Fix Oahu!, 7/27/11

Traffic Accident Investigation on Oahu: Stuck in the 1980s, Panos Prevedouros, FixOahu!, 7/28/11

TAXES & ECONOMIES

Brutal: Dow Plunges Amid ‘Double-Dip’ Recession Jitters, Guy Benson, Townhall, 8/04/11

Editorial: An Unwelcome Debt Milestone, Investors Business Daily, 8/04/11

US debt exceeds entire economy GDP, markets alarmed

Academic Panel Sees 50% Chance US to Plunge Into Recession, MoneyNews, 8/03/11

Political DerivativesNicole Gelinas, National Review, 8/03/11

Moody’s, Fitch: US Must Do More to Avoid Rating Downgrades, MoneyNews, 8/03/11

Where’s Your Budget, Mr. President?, Paul Ryan, Wall Street Journal, 8/03/11

Meredith Whitney: US Headed for Double-Dip Recession, Forrest Jones, MoneyNews, 8/02/11

What the Budget Control Act Means for U.S. Defense, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute, 8/02/11

Military Spending and the Budget Deal, Christopher Preble, Cato @ Liberty, 8/01/11

When a cut is not a cutRep. Ron Paul, The Hill, 8/01/11

Europe Declares War on American Ratings Agencies, Soeren Kern, Pajamas Media, 7/30/11

Finish the 710 Freeway, James E. Moore II, LA Times, 7/29/11

Crumbling transportation infrastructure could cost US $3.1 trillion, Metro Magazine, 7/28/11

African American Middle Class Eroding As Unemployment Rate Soars, John Roberts, FOX News, 7/28/11

Motorists’ Group Endorses “Trip Bonds” Legislation, American Highway UsersAlliance, 7/28/11

Solving the Long-Term Jobs Problem, Arnold King, Nick Schultz, The AmericanEnterprise Institute, 7/27/11

Greenspan: Fed Should Have Let Banks Fail, Greg Brown, MoneyNews, 7/27/11

Herman Cain Interview on Creating Jobs, Dick Morris, 7/27/11

Behind economic hard times, fear of the new, Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, 7/22/11

HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES, PPP & TOLLING, DRIVING ISSUES

DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation

China falls in love with SUVs, Malcolm Moore, Telegraph UK, 8/04/11

Busting Congestion in Chicago (or Any other City), Reason TV, 8/03/11

Top 10 New-Car Deals for August, Jim Gorzelany, Forbes, 8/03/11

Taking transit – a testimonial at AA meeting, TollRoadsNews,  7/28/11

Golf cart drivers aim to be legal in small town, The Tennessean, 7/28/11

INRIX launches its Traffic app on Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry cell phone platformsTraffic Technology Today, 7/25/11

New traffic camera website aiming to drive down congestion across the UK, Trarffic Technology Today, 7/25/11

6 Reasons Driving Has Peaked in U.S. CitiesEric Jaffe, Infrastructurist, 7/14/11

Replacing the Tappan Zee BridgeManhattan Institute, 6/22/11

INRIX TRAFFIC! App Now Available on App Store

TRANSIT
Frustrating, dangerous Metro problems for the disabled, Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 8/06/11

Driving services help senior mobility without spending public money, Pamela M. Prah, Stateline, 8/04/11

Antonio Villaraigosa pushes bus-only lanes as MTA chairman, Ari Bloomekatz, Cornelius Pollmer, Los Angeles Times, 8/04/11

Low-Fare, Curbside Bus Operators Picking Up Amtrak Market Share, Don Stacom,Hartford Courant, 8/01/11

Chinese rail crash scandal: ‘official steals $2.8 billion’, Malcolm Moore, Telegraph UK, 8/01/11

China Imposes Blackout on Train Wreck Coverage, Sharon LaFraniere, NY Times,  8/01/11

With 210 injured, 35 fatalities, more concerns that government sacrifices people’s lives and safety for world’s largest public works project and cloaks failures in secrecy or propaganda.

A new third rail, The Economist, 7/30/11

Japan has operated bullet trains for 47 years without a fatal accident.

Report casts doubt on forecasts for California high speed rail, Dan Weikel, LA Times, 7/29/11

Cambridge used a now-obsolete survey method, made unrealistic assumptions, failed to properly analyze what would happen to ridership for varying levels of train service, and did not consider the impact of airline competition…But the bigger take away from all this is that there are now two independent reviews that show things are lacking here.

Al-Qaeda Claims U.S. Mass Transportation Infrastructure Must Drastically Improve Before Any Terrorist Attacks, The Onion,  7/28/11

Significant repairs and upgrades are needed for the militant group to consider destroying any roads, bridges or railways with terrorist attacks.

Using Market Processes to Reform Government Transportation Programs, Report No. 2: Improving Transit with Competitive Contracting, Wendell Cox and Ronald Utt, Heritage Webmemo #3312, 7/07/11

Public transportation has to change to remain viable, according to a new Heritage Foundation analysis. For decades, transit’s principal problem has been insufficient cost control rather than insufficient revenues. Over the past 25 years, transit’s operating cosdts have been approximately $15 billion (on a passenger mile basis). Had transit agencies kept costs within inflation – as most businesses do – transit would have been able to provide 40 percent more service in 2009. Without government unable to provide more subsidies, a much better solution is for transit systems to use competitive contracting to reduce costs and improve quality of service.  — Wendell Cox and Ron Utt

John Charles responds to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, John Charles, Cascade Policy Institute, 7/25/11

Los Angeles Metro Bus System Compares Favorably With Its Peer Group, Tom Rubin, New Geography, 7/28/11

KRM dead, Racine County to get back $300,000 in past rental car fees, Stephanie Jones, TheJournalTimes, 7/25/11

MetroAccess Knowingly Places Hundreds of Disabled Paratransit Passengers at Risk, Bus riders Union of Austin, TX, 4/02/11

ZONING, HOUSING & LAND USE

TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights

Plant a Garden, Go to Jail for 93-Days?! Nanny of the Month, Korchula Productions, July 2011

Growth controls = Housing Collapse, Sterling Burnett, National Review Online, 8/05/11

How Government Regulation Affects the Price of a New Home, Paul Emrath,k National Association of Home Builders, July 2011

Rural US disappearing? Population share hits low, Hope Yen, Associated Press, 7/28/11

Moving From The Coast, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 7/28/11

Program Offers Cash Incentives To Live Downtown, CBS Detroit, 7/25/11

In the five-year, $4 million “Live Downtown” program, first-time home buyers will get a $20,000 forgivable loan. Renters will get a $2,500 first year allowance, and $1,000 the following year. Employees who already own a home in the city will be given up to a $5,000 grant for exterior improvements.

Why Amnerica’s Young and Restless Will Abandon Cities for Suburbs, Joel Kotkin, Forbes, 7/20/11

When it comes to population growth, Houston is No. 1, Rice University, 7/06/11

Why Some Cities Are Growing And Others Shrinking, Dean Stansel, Cato Journal, Summer 2011

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Beaver Fever Fanaticism: EPA Eco-Radicals Are Hurting Families at the Tap, Christopher Coffey, Pajamas Media, 8/07/11

Blame the Washington Bureaucracy for High Gas Prices, Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundry, 8/04/11

New Process Could Make Canadian Oil Cheaper, Cleaner, Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, 8/03/11

GM Confirms Slow Chevy Volt Sales, Mark Modica, National Legal and Policy Center, 8/02/11

CBO: Federal Loan Guarantees for the Construction of Nuclear Power Plants, August 2011

Higher fuel standards mean higher death toll, Washington Examiner EDITORIAL, 7/28/11

Issa launches investigation into Obama’s new fuel economy standards, Andrew REstuccia, The Hill, 7/29/11

Grow Our Way Out, IBD, 7/29/11

President Obama Announces Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard, US DOT, 7/29/11

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism, James Taylor, Forbes, 7/27/11

America’s power grid too vulnerable to cyberattack, US report warns, Mark Clayton, Jewish World Review, 7/28/11

The Obama EPA’s Brave New Future, Heritage Foundry, 7/28/11

Intoxicated on Independence: Is Domestically Produced Ethanol Worth the Cost?,Scientific American, 7/28/11

MISCELLANEOUS

Obama’s War on the Welf-Made Man, Lurita Doan, Townhall, 8/08/11

2011 Hall of Fame Shannon Shane speech, 8/07/11

Parents: Hone Your Kid’s BS Detector!, Doug Giles, Townhall, 8/07/11

DEA Letting Cartels Bring Drugs Over the Border, Helen Whalen Cohen, Townhall, 8/06/11

USPS Bailout on the Horizon, Trey Kovacs, Open Market, 8/04/11

Anti-terror plan allies White House with Muslim groups, Neil Munro, Daily Caller, 8/04/11

Documents: Feds allegedly allowed Sinaloa cartel to move cocaine into U.S. for information, Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times, 8/04/11

Communist Party USA Officially Endorses Barack Obama, Vision to America, 8/04/11

Policing Beltway Lobbyists, Jonathan H. Adler, National Review Online, 8/02/11

UCLA professor’s new book empirically demonstrates liberal media bias {VIDEO],Jamie Weinstein, 8/01/11

Plug-and-Play Batteries: Trying Out a Quick-Swap Station for E.V.’s, Bradley Berman, NYTimes, 7/31/11

The U.S. May Need More Lawyers!, Clifford Winston, Robert W. Crandall, Huffington Post, 7/29/11

Gunwalker: William Newell Circles the Wagons, Patrick Richardson, PM, 7/28/11

NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’, Martin Beckford, Telegraph UK, 7/28/11

3D printing: the technology that could re-shape the world, Shane Richmond, TelegraphUK, 7/28/11

Obama to Banks: We’re Not Defaulting, Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business, 7/25/11

Germany’s Choice – Part 2, Stratfor Global Intelligence, 7/26/11



Energy, Transit & More (Weekly Update) by maliab
July 19, 2011, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Economy, Limited Government | Tags: , , ,

The latest energy, transit, funding, highways, and zoning headlines and updates courtesy of Dale Evans, President of Charley’s Taxi:

uly 18, 2011

QUOTES

We are taking away a choice [incandescent light buls] that continues to let people waste their own money. — Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
TOP HEADLINES
Japanese car charger are gaining ground, BGDNA Tech News, 7/18/11

What You Need To Know About Energy, National Academies

Mica’s Retort to U.S. C. of C., The Antiplanner, 7/15/11

Ten Skills for the Future Workforce, Institute for the Future for the University of PhoenixResearch Instiute,

Sense-Making, Social Intelligence, Novel & Adaptive Thinking, Cross-Cultural Competency, Computational Thinking, New-Media Literacy, Transdisciplinarity, Design Mindset, Cognitive Load Management, Virtual Collaboration.

Considering a Balanced Budget Amendment: Lessons from History, Ernest Istook, Heritage Backgrounder #2581, 7/14/11

Free the Housing Finance Market from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, David John, Heritage Backgrounder 2577, 7/12/11

A Test of Prudence Favors Coal – Part One, Dr. Frank Clemente, EnergyFactsWeekly, 7/12/11

Stimulus funds for W. Virginia’s handicapped and poor instead goes for lobbying, consulting, Evan Bush, WatchNews, 7/06/11

News in Hawaii

Solar panels going up on Hickam, Alan Yonan, Jr., Star Advertiser, 7/16/11

Hilton Adding Parking, Altering Road For New Project, Keoki Kerr, KITV4 News, 7/11/11

TAXES & ECONOMIES

Stimulus funds for W. Virginia’s handicapped and poor instead goes for lobbying, consulting, Evan Bush, WatchNews, 7/06/11

Are the Rich Undertaxed?, Michael G. Franc, National Review, 7/14/11

Blackstone’s Wien: Unemployment Will Never Dip Below 7 Percent Again, Forest Jones, MoneyNews, 7/14/11

How Bernanke’s Fed Triggered the Great Recession, Richard M. Salsman, The Capitalist – Forbes, 7/17/11

HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES, PPP & TOLLING, DRIVING ISSUES

DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation

Proposed tolls infuriate drivers, IOL South Africa, 7/18/11

Mr. Money: driving the ‘car’ of the future, Mike Rutherford, Telegraph UK, 7/14/11

Why we need road pricing: part five, Edward Keenan, TheGridTo, 7/11/11

Toll lanes in LA to cost 25 cents to $1.40 a mile, Robert Jablon, TheTrucker, 7/11/11

Nevada turns to tolls for congestion relief, Keith Gobie, LandLineMag, 6/11/11

TRANSIT
Don’t Count High Speed Rail Out Yet, Angie Schmitt, StreetsBlogNetwork, 7/15/11

Most Successful Bus Rapid Transit Stalls Out, Tim Halbur, Planetizen, 7/16/11

Mica’s Retort to U.S. C. of C., The Antiplanner, 7/15/11

Rail-Wary FL Gov. Scott Threw Caution to the Wind in Supporting SunRail, Tanya Snyder, DC.StreetsBlog, 7/15/11

Recession Hits Transit Budgets Despite Rising Need, Bob Salsberg, MyFox NY, 7/11/11

Scoring the New Starts Report, Yonah Freemark, 10 May 2009

ZONING, HOUSING & LAND USE

TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights

Free the Housing Finance Market from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, David John, Heritage Backgrounder 2577, 7/12/11

Wendell Cox responds to environmental group on population dispersion in Seattle, Michael Ennis, Washington Policy Center, 7/13/11

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Lights Out! Big Government’s Insidious Creep Inside Your Home, Audrey Hudson, Human Events, 7/18/11

Electric car safety and durability, Washington Post, 7/15/11

$76 Trillion: UN’s Cost of “Going Green” Soars, Peter G. Glover, Energy Tribune, 7/15/11

Japanese car charger are gaining ground, BGDNA Tech News, 7/18/11

What You Need To Know About Energy, National Academies

Lights Out for the Light Bulb Ban?, Heritage Foundry, 7/12/11

A Test of Prudence Favors Coal – Part One, Dr. Frank Clemente, EnergyFacts, 7/12/11

Unplugged from reality: 2011 Chevrolet Volt, Sven Larson, Daily Caller, 7/11/11

Oil trade groups: Drilling deregulation could create 190,000 jobs, Michael Mayday, Daily Caller, 7/12/11

Better Place Unveils Europe’s First Battery Switch Station in Denmark, Better Place, 6/28/11

MISCELLANEOUS

This is Your Brain on Google, Lisa M. Krieger, Jewish World Review, 7/15/11

Car parts makers face antitrust scrutiny, Bernard Simon, FT, 7/17/11

How foreign aid funds corruption, Sue Cameron, Financial Times, 7/06/11

Ten Skills for the Future Workforce, Institute for the Future for the University of PhoenixResearch Institute,

America’s Most Reputable Companies, Laurie Burkitt, Forbes, 4/20/10



Dale’s Energy & Transit Update by maliab
July 13, 2011, 4:52 pm
Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , ,

Check out the latest news in energy, transit, highways, funding, and zoning–courtesy of Dale Evans, President of Charley’s Taxi:

July 11, 2011
QUOTES
Future U.S. government fuel economy regulations could saddle auto makers with steep fines or even bar the sale of certain models. Violations of proposed government standards could cost auto makers up to $25,000 a vehicle beginning in 2016, up from current levels of $5 to hundreds of dollars per vehicle.Sharon TerlepStates will be held accountable for their spending decisions through new performance measures and transparency requirements.House Transportation Reauthorization Proposal

At least for now, expecting any improvements in federal funding for transit or even highway programs is unrealistic.Yonah Freemark

When a politician tells you they’re cutting spending, they’er actually referring only to reducing the growth of spending. Rarely, if ever, do they actually reduce the level of spending.Larry Kudlow

TOP HEADLINES
UAF researchers focus on better, less expensive roads in rural Alaska, Jeff Richardson, Juneau Empire, 7/10/11A New Direction: Transportation Reauthorization Proposal, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, U.S. Congress, June 2011

States will no longer be required to spend highway funding on non-highway activities. States will be permitted to fund such activities if thye choose, but they will be provided the flexibility to identify and address their most critical infrastructure needs. However, this additional flexibility will not be unchecked. States will be held accountable for their spending decisions through new performance measures and transparency requirements.

The Costs of Smart Growth Revisited: A 40 Year Perspective, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 7/08/11

How to Create Jobs Without Spending a Dime, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Real Clear Markets, 7/07/11

Enterprising States: Recovery and Renewal for the 21st Century, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 6/20/11

News in Hawaii

City Rents Downtown Office Space for Rail at $1.4 Million a Year, Malia Zimemrman, Hawaii Reporter, 7/06/11

Charter is clear on Council’s Authority over HART, Walter Heen, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 6/29/11

TAXES & ECONOMIES
Two Cheers for Mica’s Bill, Bob Poole, Transportation National Review, 7/11/111,389 Million Lies about Mica Plan, The Antiplanner, 7/11/11

Where Are the Jobs?, Selena Zito, Real Clear Politics, 7/10/11

The disappearing black middle class, Jessie Washington, Chicago Sun-Times, 7/10/11

Jobs and the Punting of Responsibility, Jeff Sessions, Paul Ryan, National Review, 7/08/11

The Cost of Government Regulation, Clyde Wayne Crews, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 7/06/11

Cass Sunstein, head of W.H. Office of information and Regulatory Affairs, told Senate committee that SBA’s oft-cited report finding of $1.7 trillion in regulatory costs is an “urban legend.”

The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, Nicole V. Crain, W. Mark Craine, SBA, Sep 2010.

Bullion Will Now Be Illegal for All U.S. Residents, Townhall, 7/08/11

Effective Jul 15, 2011

No Higher Gas Tax? Then Prepare for a Transportation-Funding Meltdown, James Russell, The Infrastr5ucturist, 7/07/11

For Federal Transportation Investment, a Difficult Prognosis, the Transport Politic, 7/07/11

Mica’s highway Bill Sets the Right Priorities, Reuters, 7/07/11

Infographic: Which Industries Are Growing In Your State?, Joshua Wright, New Geography, 6/29/11

D.C. never cuts spending, Larry Kudlow, Daily Caller, 7/07/11

In Debt Limit Debate, Higher Taxes Aren’t the Answer, Heritage, 7/07/11

For Small Businesses, ‘Stimulus’ Is A Joke, Investors Business Daily, 7/06/11

House GOP expected to ax transportation funds, Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post, 7/05/11

State “certificate of necessity” laws protect firms, not consumers, Timothy Sandefur, Cato Regulation, Summer 2011

HIGHWAYS & BRIDGES, PPP & TOLLING, DRIVING ISSUES
DUI, Uninsured Motorists, Tolling, PPPs, Variable Pricing, RUCS and Sustainable Transportation
UAF researchers focus on better, less expensive roads in rural Alaska, Jeff Richardson, Juneau Empire, 7/10/11Cadillac Station Wagon Out-Muscles Your Muscle Car, Chuck Squatriglia, Wired, 7/08/11

Angeleno Apocalypse: The Coming Carmageddon of a Closed 405, Jens Erik Gould, TimeU.S., 7/08/11

Jerry Brown struggles to get rid of state cars, David Siders, Sacramento Bee, 7/08/11

Developing Smart Street Lights That Switch On As Cars Pass By, MIT Tech Review, 7/07/11

Phone Data to Give a Picture of Traffic Shutdown in L.A., NYTimes, 7/05/11

Federal Highway Program: How Opting Out Would Help States, Ronald Utt, Heritage Foundation 7/06/11

Nevada turns to tolls for congestion relief, Keith Goble, Land Line Mag, 6/22/11

TRANSIT
Remembrances of Empty Subways of Weekends Psst, Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, 7/10/11Jerusalem tram going nowhere, Reuters, 7/09/11

Power Failure Briefly Halts China’s Showcase Rail Line, Voice of America, 7/11/11

APTA Says Transportation Authorization Proposal Underfunds Critical Public Transportation Systems, APTA, 7/07/11

Rail Transit and Property Values, Christopher MacKechnie, About.Com

Is Los Angeles throwing bus riders under the bus?, Sarah Goodyear, Grist, 7/06/11

A bus line primarily used by women immigrant domestic workers is being cut by the city’s transportation agency.

Spain’s High-Speed White Elephants, The Antiplanner, 7/07/11

Recession hits transit budgets despite rising need, Bob Salsberg, Associated Press, 7/05/11

In China’s High-Speed Successes, a Glimpse of American Difficulties, Yonah Freemark, Transport Politic, 7/03/11

Dallas Dart Light Rail: Major Failure for Transit and Taxpayers. Austin’s results will be more devastating, Jim Skaggs, Coalition on Sustainable Transportation, 7/02/11

ZONING, HOUSING & LAND USE
TODs, Eminent Domain, Property Rights
Making Cities Smarter By Making Urban Data Digestible, Nate Berg, Planetizen, 7/10/11Many times, suburbia is tossed into the urban core. On paper, the density of LA and Chicago look similar; in fact, their greater metropolitan areas are a mix of compact sections and loose towns.

The Costs of Smart Growth Revisited: A 40 Year Perspective, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 7/08/11

Which Failed Utopias Was Best?, Chris Chafin, The Awl, 7/05/11

Housing and Reckless Disregard for Risk, Steven Malanga, Real Clear Market, 6/29/11

Modernism Mummified, Avinash Rajagopal, MetropolisMag, 6/29/11

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
A World Food Crisis?,S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, 7/11/11Bulb Act is dim-witted, Rep. Mike Doyle, The Hill, 7/11/11

Experts Skeptical about Potential of Rare-Earth Elements in Seafloor Mud, John Matson, Scientific American, 7/09/11

No Global Warming: Due to China Burning “Extra Coal”!, Peter C. Glover, Energy Tribune, 7/08/11

Canada Has Plenty of Oil, but Does the U.S. Want It?, Chip Cummins, Edward Welsch, WSJ, 7/08/11

Car Wars: The Empire Strikes Luxurymakers, Henry Payne, National Review, 7/07/11

The Environmental Case for Transportation Investment, Fawn Johnson, National Journal Transportation Expert Blogs, 7/05/11

Coal Stops Global Warming?, Investors Business Daily, 7/06/11

Obama’s Tapping of Oil Reserves Helped China More, Newsmax, 7/05/11

MISCELLANEOUS
Meet Andrew Marshall, the unknown but immensely influential figure behind American national security strategy, Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller, 7/11/11Chinese Military Chiefs Discuss Maritime Disputes, Other Issues, Hawaii Reporter, 7/10/11

Building a Collaborative Enterprise, Paul Adler, Charles Heckscher, Laurence Prusak, Harvard Business Review, Jul-Aug 2011

Extra Sleep Boosts Basketball Players’ Prowess, Emily Singer, MIT Tech Review, 7/07/11

Jet industry furious at Obama, Caroline May, The Daily Caller, 7/06/11

How Obamacare Reduces People to the ‘Average Patient’, Paul Howard, National Review, 7/05/11

Terrorists Get Better with Practice: New Mathematical Model Shows How Fatal Attacks Escalate Over Time, Katherine Harmon, Scientific American, 7/01/11

Legal But Deadly, Roger Bate, Julissa Milligan, American Enterprise Institute, 6/30/11



Demand Rail Transparency by maliab
June 29, 2011, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Economy, Hawaii Sunshine | Tags: , ,

John Brizdle has an article on Honolulu Civil Beat asking that the Honolulu City Council require the city to be more transparent on the Rail boondoggle.  (Er. . .  I meant project.  Rail project.)  In particular, Brizdle wants to see the institution of reporting requirements, an explanation the “limited authority” granted the city by the FTA to spend local funds, have the city explain how their decision to spend local funds before receiving the Full FTA Funding Grant Agreement compares to the practice of other FTA applicants from the mainland, and finally, this suggestion, which is so important I think it should be underlined, italicized, and surrounded by neon stars:

[T]he city has recently finished a revised financial plan for rail. Make the city explain what their back-up plan for funding will be if their estimates for income, expenses, or FTA contribution are not accurate? The new financial plan expects the council to raise bus fares and property taxes to fund yearly operating and maintenance for rail. Make the city explain these numbers at a hearing on the revised financial plan.



Dale’s News Round-Up by maliab
June 29, 2011, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Economy, World | Tags: , , , ,

Dale Evans, President of Charley’s Taxi distributes a regular newsletter featuring the  latest news on “Energy, Funding, Highways, Transit, and Zoning.”  It’s an interesting and entertaining collection of headlines from around the world, and she has graciously given us permission to reproduce it here for Grassroot readers.  We’ll be linking to Dale’s newsletters on a regular basis, so come back regularly for the latest news.  (And be sure to check out the full newsletter by clicking the link . . . otherwise, you might miss the story about the train to nowhere.

 
June 29, 2011
QUOTES
Good decision making is not only a question of better and more rational information, but also of institutional arrangements that promote accountability, and especially accountability towards risk. We see accountability not just as being a question about periodic elections, but also about a continuing dialogue between civil society and policy makers and about institutions holding each other accountable through appropriate checks and balances. Thus we replace the conventional decisionistic approach to megaproject development with a more current institutionalistic one centred on the practices and rules that comprise risk and accountability. We also hold that our approach must be based on actual experience from concrete projects. The purpose is to ensure a realistic understanding of the issues at hand as well as proposals that are practically desirable and possible to implement. — Bent Flyvbjerg, Megaprojects and Risk
TOP HEADLINES
City rails against future of tram line, Ian Swanson, Edinburgh News, 6/27/11Farmers markets seek federal funds, Emily Battle, Fredericksburg.com, 6/25/11

Application for low income communities in “food deserts” through local “regional planning agency” (MPO)

Young Kiwis fear apartment living, Charlie Gates, Stuff.NZ, 4/28/11

Worst fear is being cut off from outdoor pursuits.

News in Hawaii

Honolulu Council Should Push for Rail Transparency, Honolulu Civil Beat, 5/02/11

Click here to read the entire newsletter.



Oh, Rail-ly? by maliab
June 23, 2011, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Economy, Limited Government | Tags: , , , ,

It looks like Hawaii isn’t the only state out there being seduced onto the shoals of building an expensive rail system by the siren song of federal funding.  Will Iowa (or Hawaii) find the captain that can tie himself to the mast of fiscal responsibility and resist the temptation of federal subsidies?  Governor Abercrombie hasn’t proved to be much of an Odysseus for us yet–at least in terms of leading us out of our directionless wanderings through high spending and budget woes, but one can always hope.  (And now, having beaten this metaphor into submission, I give you the news from Iowa.)

Unneeded Rail Project Extorts State Subsidies

The federal government is asking Iowa to provide at least $20 million in subsidies for a so-called “high-speed rail” line from Chicago to Iowa City — even though a faster, cheaper bus service is already available.

Luxury intercity bus service between the two cities, with plugs for laptop computers and free wireless high-speed Internet, takes 3 1/2 hours and costs $18. The rail service would take 5 hours and would likely cost at least $50, according to Wendell Cox, an adjunct fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

On the New Geography website, he notes: “Only in America does anyone call a train that averages 45 miles per hour ‘high-speed rail.’”

Iowa would be required to provide the subsidies to match federal funding and buy trains, then spend more to operate them.

Even worse, the state funding would provide for only the first section of a planned rail line that would traverse Iowa and connect Chicago with Omaha, Neb., and in the long run this could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. The estimated cost of a similar line from Chicago to St. Louis has skyrocketed from $400 million to $4 billion.

Cox concludes: “The Federal government is again offering money it does not have to entice a state to spend money that it does not have on something it does not need.”

While the Obama administration continues to focus on the need for high-speed rail, for the third year in a row intercity bus service has been the fastest growing mode of intercity travel, outpacing air and rail transportation.

New Geography observes: “The comeback of the intercity bus is noteworthy for the fact that it is taking place without government subsidies.”




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