Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Millions spent on road salt, another car cost externalized from profit

Public discussion coming on road salt, transportation commissioner says | KGW.com: "The Oregon Department of Transportation said it knows salt works wonders melting ice, but  there are concerns because it would ultimately get washed into our storm drains which flow to a sewer treatment plant to be cleaned before going into the river.

ODOT is now studying whether the tons and tons of salt that would be needed would corrode those old metro-area pipes. Can treatment plants handle it? Or will fish suffer?

"It affects the roads, the steel in the bridges and the concrete and it affects your car. With this storm, how many times would we have to lay down salt?" asked ODOT spokesman Dave Thompson. "How many tons of salt would we have to lay down? That would affect a great deal of infrastructure. All that salt stays on the road or washes off into the environment. It's not picked up, it's now part of our environment. Is that what people want?""

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hidden costs of cars, how refineries kill

Center for Public Integrity : "There are 141 oil refineries in the United States. Where they are clustered — east and south of Houston, south of Los Angeles, northeast of San Francisco — they are prodigious sources of air pollution and inflict a sort of low-grade misery — rank odors, bright flares, loud noises — on their neighbors.

They also pose an existential threat, as evidenced by the more than 500 refinery accidents reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1994. The Anacortes disaster occurred five years after the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, blew up, killing 15 workers and injuring 180. It came two years before a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, sent a plume of pungent, black smoke over the Bay Area, and five years before an explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California, nearly unleashed a ground-hugging cloud of deadly acid into a city of almost 150,000 people."

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Roads destroy nature by carving up the landscape

New map reveals shattering effect of roads on nature | Environment | The Guardian: "Rampant road building has shattered the Earth’s land into 600,000 fragments, most of which are too tiny to support significant wildlife, a new study has revealed."
Another of the many example of the costs of the autosprawl system that are not paid for by those who profit from it. In other words, subsidy. In some cases, even money cannot fix the damage. We pay with a less secure biosphere.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hidden costs of cars and sprawl

Friday, August 19, 2016

$2 billion showcase for 'clean coal' turns into $6 billion+ boondoogle

dailykos : "The system of checks and balances that are supposed to keep such projects on track was outweighed by a shared and powerful incentive: The company and regulators were eager to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies for the plant, which was also aggressively promoted by Haley Barbour, who was Southern’s chief lobbyist before becoming the governor of Mississippi. Once in office, Mr. Barbour signed a law in 2008 that allowed much of the cost of building any new power plants to be passed on to ratepayers before they are built."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Auto subsidy "places enormous costs on our society"

TreeHugger: "From subsidies given to oil companies to produce cheap oil, to government bailouts/ownership of auto manufacturers, to road construction and maintenance on streets that cost nothing to use, to highly subsidized parking spaces, to government health care costs associated with pollution from automobiles, to the detrimental health that results from sedentary lifestyle that cars promote, to the vast government policing forces required to enforce our streets: it is undeniable that driving places enormous costs on our society, and this cost is highly subsidized by our government."