A leader in the climate age: America’s ‘essential’ railroad network

Editor’s note: The below article was originally published at The Railroad Enthusiast. Americans have this love-hate relationship with trains. The evidence is both clear and undeniable. To High… Prior to its introduction in mid-to-late 1820s America, back then the train was as foreign a concept to its citizens as the New World was to Europe’s first … Read more

Biofuel megaproject operations halted by Bay Area court

MARTINEZ, Calif.— The Contra Costa County Superior Court today [Oct. 12, 2023] ordered Phillips 66 to halt its plan to operate a biofuel refinery in Rodeo, California. The court put the Bay Area megaproject on hold until the county fully complies with environmental review requirements that it violated when first approving the project. Communities for … Read more

70 winners of $1.4B fiscal-year 2022 CRISI grants announced by FRA in October

Here’s another Biden/Harris win about which you probably haven’t heard much…as reported in the latest issue of Progressive Railroading: The Federal Railroad Administration last month announced 70 winners of $1.4 billion in fiscal-year 2022 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program grants. The funds for rail projects in 35 states will help address long-standing rail infrastructure … Read more

Putting new, innovative technologies to work: On building intelligent surface transport

When will we stop building highways? America has 4 million lane-miles of roadway and, on these can be found, 280 million motor vehicles of varying description. Isn’t that enough? Why aren’t we building more transit lines and systems instead? Like Carl Stutzman in The Departure Track: Railways of Tomorrow* stated: “Railroading has been more responsible … Read more

High cost of ‘supersized’ SUV ownership could soar even more

Could it be those slick marketing campaigns with their targeted advertising that do the trick? Is it a one-upmanship sort of back and forth; you know, like a Smith’s versus Jones’s home-consumer-purchasing match just to see who can outdo whom that can be finger-pointed to? Could it be both? Why not?! But, whatever it is that drives … Read more

Half of California diesel fuel replaced by clean fuels for first time

SACRAMENTO— California hit an important milestone in its shift away from polluting fuel sources, with clean fuels replacing over 50% of the diesel used in the state in the first quarter of 2023. California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity of fuel sold in the state, is … Read more

Open-access railroading: Needed more right now than ever before!

Open-access railroading is not a figment of someone’s wild imagination: It really does exist. In fact, according to Robinson Foster in a Jan. 16, 2023 column at climaterailalliance.org, he says the concept has been successfully applied in Europe for nearly three decades. So, what is “open-access railroading”? “Open-access railroading” is a type of operational arrangement … Read more

Appellate court rejects proposed Utahan railway permit

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court today [Aug. 18, 2023] rejected the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s permit for the proposed Uinta Basin Railway, designed to quadruple oil production in Utah’s Uinta Basin and move crude through the Colorado Rockies to Gulf Coast refineries. Today’s [Aug. 18, 2023’s] ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the … Read more

Remember RAM: Remedy, Advocacy, Mystery – A climate/climate change explainer

There is no one-size-fits-all method or strategy on how to respond to both the change in climate and relatively recent rise in surface temp. If we’ve lived long enough, then we are fully aware that climatic conditions have changed. And, changed they have! RAM Climate can be summed up using three letters: R-A-M; R for … Read more