U.S. transportation energy consumption: How high, low will it go?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) way back on Jan. 24, 2019 released its Annual Energy Outlook 2019 with projections to 2050 (AEO2019) report. From a related press release, the EIA announced, “The AEO2019 Reference case projects that in 2020, for the first time in almost 70 years, the United States will export more energy … Read more

American drivers once averaged over 14K driving miles each: What it means

It’s incredible! We 221.71 million American motorists in 2016, with our roughly 268.8 million motor vehicles, each drove an average 14,317.7 miles. Meanwhile, in narrowing the focus, recent related Federal Highway Administration data show male drivers between ages 35 and 54 drive the most; in this case, a total annual average 18,858 miles, with the … Read more

Hiccups: A hodgepodge of air and near-air snafus

Snafu: Situation normal all fouled up, what the acronym snafu stands for. They are probably more common than we think. Shiver me timbers, it’s showering cinders! I gotta tell you: I’ve been on many a tourist train ride. But, there were none like the one in the mid-1980s I was on. These tourist pikes are … Read more

Over concerns of oil industry smog-cleanup delay, conservation groups announce ‘intent to sue’ EPA

The fracked gas and oil industries are large contributors of photochemical smog. So says who? Well, for one, information on Wikipedia supports this finding. “The major culprits [to smog formation] from transportation are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NO and NOx), volatile organic compounds [VOC], and hydrocarbons [HC] (hydrocarbons are the main component of petroleum … Read more

Climate change: the more abstract; air pollution: the more exact

If the question was asked of which would I rather do, fight air pollution or a changing climate, I would choose the former, if for no other reason than achieving success is much more likely, the results being more immediate and any cleanup progress related to such, more measurable and tangible. As to the tangible … Read more

One ‘Valley Rail’ plan really worth a further look

The intent of the California high-speed-rail program is to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by high-speed train. If all goes according to plan, an express, non-stop train between the former and latter, will cover the 520-rail-mile distance in under three hours. Eventually, Sacramento and San Diego will be brought online. The state high-speed rail … Read more

$130 million provided Calif. bus owners; part of VW Environmental Mitigation Trust program

The below Oct. 21, 2019 news release is from the California VW Mitigation Trust. Today [Oct. 21, 2019], the first Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust funding program launched for projects throughout California. The Zero Emission Transit, School, and Shuttle Bus program provides $130 million to replace internal combustion engine transit, school, and shuttle buses with … Read more

A mode less traveled – rail: What it affords that roads don’t – Part 2

A concluding thought in “Road expansion or repair: Can either do anything to lower burden on air?” (Part 1) had to do with whether road-based projects – expansion or repair thereof – could have “an air-remedying effect.” Affirmative is the answer. Though “yes,” it’s conditional. A new overpass used to replace a physical intersection, for … Read more

Road expansion or repair: Can either do anything to lower burden on air?

It is an accepted premise that traffic congestion wastes time, money, gas and leads to air being polluted more. Many approaches have been tried as ways to deal with such negative-consequence attributes or characteristics associated with transportation. Methods such as freeway expansion (road-widening) schemes, new roadway construction, congestion pricing, rail-based transit deployment, telecommuting or teleworking … Read more