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U.S. Oil By Rail Boosts Economy, Independence

U.S. Oil By Rail Boosts Economy, Independence | transportation | Scoop.it
In less than a decade, the United States is expected to be energy self-sufficient - no longer dependent on oil and natural gas supplied by often unfriendly foreign countries to keep our economy growing and our people in motion. Energy independence has enormous implications for the United States for geopolitical relations, energy costs for businesses and consumers, renewed manufacturing and, perhaps most important, stability in our transportation fuel markets. The energy renaissance we are experiencing is the result of increased domestic production of oil and natural gas in the middle regions of the United States
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Guest opinion writer Catherine Reheis-Boyd of the Western States Petroleum Association, at Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance: "Between 2011 and 2013, imports of foreign crude oil into the West Coast of the United States fell by nearly eight percent or 33.5 million barrels. Increased transports of crude oil by rail will replace even more of the foreign oil we will need to import in the future. But...we must ensure the existing infrastructure to transport and receive rail shipments of crude oil is maintained and new infrastructure created where needed."

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Many Challenges On The Road Ahead, For Electric Vehicles

Many Challenges On The Road Ahead, For Electric Vehicles | transportation | Scoop.it
Washington’s Electric Vehicle statistics look great on a national level. However, addressing this lack of infrastructure as well as the limitations of EVs is critical for making them a practical option for the average Washingtonian.
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"Washington State Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36th) says that “the private marketplace is being incredibly aggressive and successful at prioritizing EV infrastructure because there is market demand.” …..Carlyle feels that the role of the state in this infrastructure patchwork is to “supplement a comprehensive and integrated charging network by helping fill gaps where private interests are absent.”

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The Race to Build a National Fleet of EV Charging Stations

The Race to Build a National Fleet of EV Charging Stations | transportation | Scoop.it
Tesla isn't the only market innovator looking to build a cross-country network of EV charging stations. CarCharging now operates the largest in the U.S.
Matt Rosenberg's insight:

Following the collapse of federal grantee ECOtotality in building a network of electric vehicle fast-charging station in Washington state successor firm CarCharging is “ in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy to unlock remaining federal funds and revive the unfinished project. Washington state’s Department of Transportation has said it is prepared to allocate $1.2 million to the project. Another $5 million has been allocated in Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest budget."

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Transportation official: 'Road-usage charge' gaining momentum

Transportation official: 'Road-usage charge' gaining momentum | transportation | Scoop.it
Washington drivers may want to get used to a new phrase: road-usage charge.As cars become more fuel efficient, the state's looking for a replacement for the gas tax.
Matt Rosenberg's insight:

KING-5 TV Seattle reported this week on Washington State's continuing movement toward a possible replacement for the by-the-gallon gas tax, called a road user charge. The next step would be to choose one of three operational approaches, then maybe do a pilot test. Ultimately, the legislature and Governor would have to approve an RUC.

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Oil Trains in Washington: Bad for Business, Unacceptable Risk

Oil Trains in Washington: Bad for Business, Unacceptable Risk | transportation | Scoop.it
There is a rapidly growing threat to Washington’s powerful mix of local economies, natural beauty, and internationally significant tech and manufacturing sector: a massive explosion in crude oil transport through the state. All Washington's wonderful qualities are put at risk by turning the state into a funnel for crude oil to Pacific markets.
Matt Rosenberg's insight:

Guest opinion piece from Matt Krogh of Forest Ethics at Catalyst, blog of the Washington Business Alliance. Krogh writes: "We’re being used. The cross hairs of hydrocarbon export from interior North America to Pacific markets are painted squarely on Washington. It would be one thing if this oil were meeting our needs – but these rail projects would more than double the amount of oil through Washington at the same time that Washington has reduced its oil consumption by 10 percent in the last five years."

 

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West Coast Mileage Taxes Advancing; GPS Mandate Out

West Coast Mileage Taxes Advancing; GPS Mandate Out | transportation | Scoop.it
Mileage taxes to replace the failing by-the-gallon gas tax are gaining a foothold in Western states but alternatives to mandated on-board GPS devices are looking more likely. Washington and Oregon are at the forefront in exploring this new way of paying for surface transportation infrastructure, and California is close behind.
Matt Rosenberg's insight:

A group of western states states are stepping up “collaborative research into systems and policy development” that could help pave the way for long-term implementation of a mileage-based vehicle tax to replace the by-the-gallon gas tax made increasingly ineffective by more fuel-efficient vehicles. This comes as leaders in the effort, Washington and Oregon, are clearly moving away from mandating a GPS-like “black box” on-board device to report mileage and even routes used and time of day. GPS could still be an option, but only if the driver chooses.

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AASHTO Journal - May 23, 2014 - Oregon DOT Moves Road Usage Charge Program Forward, Seeks Vendors to Build and Manage Program

AASHTO Journal - May 23, 2014 - Oregon DOT Moves Road Usage Charge Program Forward, Seeks Vendors to Build and Manage Program | transportation | Scoop.it
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And in Oregon, the state is seeking vendors to "build and support" the system for a road usage, or mileage-based, charge to replace the gas tax for up to 5,000 volunteer drivers. This comes after two pilot tests over the last decade.

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US Water Infrastructure Needs: The Private Funding Gap · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader

US Water Infrastructure Needs: The Private Funding Gap · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader | transportation | Scoop.it
One of the great ironies in the water sector is that while many cities are starved for funding, billions of dollars in capital raised by private infrastructure funds continues to sit on the sidelines untapped and looking for deals.
Matt Rosenberg's insight:

Public-private partnerships always require proper structuring to protect the public interest but they can greatly enhance access to capital and risk management. Given growing pressure on utilities and transportation systems, finding ways to better incent infrastructure P3s makes a lot of sense.

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