September 10, 2009

The Economist: Global Car Fleet Growth Requires Electrification

Matt Rosenberg

Blogging from Kabul, Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton is struck by how the post-Taliban proliferation of private vehicles has boosted smog and air pollution, threatening public health. Now picture the possibilities in places such as China and India, where rapidly multiplying populations are enjoying new opportunities and car ownership is seen as an important step on the economic ladder. The small, affordable, fuel-sipping Tata Nano is a success story in India, yet The New Delhi-based Center for Science and the Environment recently warned of carbon emission risks posed by a growing percentage of bigger vehicles in the nation's fleet, combined with a failure to set fuel economy standards. (Open Microsoft Word doc. after clicking here). The Times of India confirms the sport utility vehicle market there is heating up. In addition to the tiny Nano, Tata Motors, India's largest auto manufacturer, makes many types of mid-sized and larger rides, including SUVs such as the Safari Dicor, the Sumo Victa, the Sumo Grande and the Xenon XT pick-up (pictured, right). Plus commercial trucks, now enjoying a sales boom in India. The "50 By 50 Global Fuel Economy Initiative" report highlights a projected tripling of the world's light vehicle fleet by 2050, with 80 percent of that growth occurring in rapidly developing countries.

The report concludes that improving the average fuel economy of the global car fleet 50 percent by that year will "mainly involve incremental change to conventional internal combustion engines and drive systems, along with weight reduction and better aerodynamics." Important aims to be sure, but "50 By 50" unfortunately consigns the eventual wide adoption of green vehicles such as plug-in hybrids and all-electrics to "icing on the cake" status, and largely sidesteps environmentally beneficial congestion reduction measures. In contrast, The Economist's approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions from a growing global fleet of light vehicles starts with a strong call for a carbon tax calibrated to vehicle type, and includes other economic incentives and electrification.

Continue reading " The Economist: Global Car Fleet Growth Requires Electrification " »

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 12:45 PM | | Comments ( 1 )
August 18, 2008

Seattle Region In Violation Of Clean Air Act

Matt Rosenberg

This just in, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Seattle is in violation of the Clean Air Act for the first time since the 1990s. Going over the legal limit for smog over the weekend means officials here will have to start hammering out a plan to improve air quality. That could feature a number of measures to put the brakes on pollution, including requiring reformulated, more expensive gasoline for the region.

The final violation of the smog standard needed to push the Emerald City and the Puget Sound region into official violation of the act occurred Saturday afternoon, when a monitor at Enumclaw in south King County went over the official limit.

It's thanks to ozone emissions, which at ground level are a public health hazard. The official designation of the city and region as a "non-attainment area" won't be until 2010, due to reporting regulations. But if one more wake-up call were needed, this might be it. There are plenty of other reasons to move beyond oil in transportation - anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and national security to name two - but if that's not quite enough, how about having to devise "reformulated, more expensive gas for the region."

As it happens, Cascadia Center, with Microsoft, Idaho National Laboratory and other event sponsors, is holding a two-day conference in Redmond Sept. 4 and 5th, titled "Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation." Top international, national and regional experts will present solutions involving electrifying transportation, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, and much more. Our event page with updated agenda and registration information is here.

Speakers include Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, former CIA chief R. James Woolsey, Project Better Place founder Shai Agassi, and Chelsea Sexton (above at right), star of "Who Killed The Electric Car" and now head of Plug In America.

UPDATE, 8/18/08, 3:56 p.m.: Additional coverage of the Clean Air Act violation from The Seattle Times.


Our 2007 Cascadia-Microsoft PHEV/alternative energy conference page: Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future (links to speaker PowerPoints, more)

Cascadia's "Beyond Oil" page (including our op-eds - from '07 to 7/31/08 - on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, moving beyond oil in transportation, more)


"Trucks - From Delivery Vans To Big Rigs - Need To Get Efficient, Too," Steve Marshall & Bruce Agnew, Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/18/08

"Turbulence In Air Travel: What High Fuel Costs Mean To Boeing," Steve Marshall & Bruce Agnew, (Cascadia Center), Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/4/08

"PGE Installs Filling Station Of The Future," Daily Journal Of Commerce, 7/31/08

"Kulongoski 'Plugs In' To Transportation Solutions," Daily Journal Of Commerce, 7/31/08

"Paccar's Fuel-saving Hybrid Trucks Aimed At Nation's Distribution Industry," Seattle Times, 7/29/08

"Plug-in Cars Zoom Forward," Forbes, 7/29/08

"Texas To Tel Aviv," Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, 7/26/08

"Electric Industry Plugged In For Move To Rechargeable Cars," Oregonian, 7/24/08

"PHEVs In The Spotlight," Green Biz, 7/23/08

"Can Plug-in Hybrids Ride To America's Rescue?" Christian Science Monitor/ABC News, 7/19/08

"Electric Ride Powering A Transportation Revolution," Globe & Mail, 7/7/08

"Ensuring America's Growth," Peter Morici, Forbes, 5/28/08

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:48 AM | | Comments ( 6 )
December 10, 2007

Domestic Demand Strains Global Oil Market

Mike Wussow

It seems the global oil market isn't immune to at least one law of nature: The apex predator has the most voracious appetite.

The New York Times reports that the very oil-exporting countries that are experiencing remarkable domestic economic growth because of the global demand for oil may soon become victims of their own success.

Experts say ... several of the world's most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth. ... The report [by Canada-based CIBC World Markets] said "soaring internal rates of oil consumption" in Russia, in Mexico and in member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would reduce crude exports as much as 2.5 million barrels a day by the end of the decade.

While unstable, undemocratic regimes are one thing (and not all oil exporters fall into the category), no one is going to begrudge the actual citizens of developing, oil-exporting nations the affluence and quality of life improvements that might come from global demand for the black gold burbling deep below their jurisdictional terra firma. Certainly, the United States, which relies on oil to drive its own economic engine, can't. (The New York Times says that although U.S. demand is flat, it continues to account for nearly one-quarter of the world's oil consumption.)

That said, reports of demand strains should raise the antennae of any American consumer who finds her purse or his wallet increasingly light after filling up at the pump. Internal domestic demand in oil states could tighten supply even further, especially if production capacity were to remain constant. Ergo, prices at the pump in Peoria are given even less reason to decrease as the number of oil-exporting countries gets comparatively smaller.

And for those of us who find it troubling that our addiction to oil props up and sustains many of the same rogue regimes that threaten American interests at home and abroad, the idea that supply will be in even fewer hands -- not necessarily of Uncle Sam's choosing -- is highly problematic.

Luckily for an oil-addicted America, our options aren't simply to acquiesce. Aside from only pursuing the politically charged (and depending who you ask, the environmentally damaging) option of opening up new areas for exploration, we have other options. Good options.

Among the best (we think) is something that Cascadia Center at Discovery Institute has been pressing for quite some time -- the electrification of transportation through the use of innovative vehicle technology (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).

While not a panacea, supporting the development and use of vehicles that, with the flip of a switch, dramatically reduce our dependence on oil for transportation and simultaneously address environmental concerns, is perhaps the single best option we have. And it might work for our neighbor to the south too. In Mexico, according to The New York Times, the number of cars has "nearly the last decade, and gasoline consumption is growing 5 percent a year."

The answer, of course, isn't to stop driving, but to change the way we power our vehicles. (Don't just take our advice; none other than America's de facto international affairs professor, columnist Thomas Friedman, writes about it often, including in this column one week ago.)

Then I got together with three engineering undergrads who helped launch the Vehicle Design Summit...These kids are building a hyper-efficient car, which, they hope, "will demonstrate a 95 percent reduction in embodied energy, materials and toxicity from cradle to cradle to grave" and provide "200 m.p.g. energy equivalency or better." The Linux of cars!

We'll keep watching closely reports and analyses about global oil consumption habits. But we'll also keep pushing our ideas on electrifying transportation. Wouldn't it be nice to know that studies and reports about consumption demand or instability in oil states weren't such a concern for the United States? And wouldn't it, paraphrasing former CIA director, R. James Woolsey, be even better to know that driving to get groceries and that your daily commute didn't help fund both sides of the war on terror?


October 10, 2007

Seattle Taxis Going Green?

Dmitry Petrovsky

Like any big city, Seattle has a diverse fleet of yellow, orange, and every color in between, taxi cabs. If you've taken a taxi in Seattle in the past month, you may have noticed something different about the car that picked you up.


At least one taxi company is allowing gas-electric hybrids including the Toyota Prius to join its fleet. Which company is behind this "green" technology trend? According to the Seattle PI, it's the same one that has faced criticism in the past for its monopoly at Sea-Tac airport:

For the airport drivers, the hybrids have taken some of the frustration out of the county's system, in which STITA drivers can pick up passengers at the airport and take them to Seattle, but are barred from picking anybody up in the city and taking them to the airport. Similarly, Seattle-licensed cabbies can take people to the airport but are not allowed to bring anybody back to the city.

As a result, STITA drivers find themselves sitting in traffic while they head back to the airport, burning gas, seeing profits go up in smoke while they sit, with the meter not running.

As the PI reports, STITA has a government-contracted monopoly on pickups originating from Sea-Tac International Airport. In a strange twist due to licensing, STITA cabs cannot pickup passengers in the City of Seattle. That results in a lot of extra "empty" trips.

A case-study on the regional taxi market was written by Jeanette Petersen of the Institute for Justice Washington Chapter back in 2004. She reported:

[The] result of these regulations is approximately 650,000 empty trips to and from Sea-Tac Airport (about 10,000,000 "empty miles") per year. This is detrimental not only to the taxi drivers who must pay for gas even when they do not have a passenger in the cab, but also for the community, clogging overburdened roadways and polluting the environment.

If STITA continues to phase in hybrids, and other fuel efficient technology, the company should be lauded for its positive environmental action. As the PI story points out, cab companies in Vancouver, B.C. have been using hybrids for the past two years. Some European taxi services have been greening up their fleets in the past few years as well. One germane example is in the Austrian City of Graz, where a taxi company converted its entire fleet to biodiesel. And since 2004, Graz's public bus fleet has similarly been powered on 100% biodiesel, one of the first public bus fleets in Europe to achieve that feat. Coming back to Seattle, clearly some companies are taking a "wait and see" approach. After all, hybrids don't presently have a ton of trunk space for luggage.

Regardless of whether the STITA cars are plug-in hybrids or the compressed natural gas vehicles originally urged by the airport operator, the Port of Seattle, clearly the environmental benefits are reason enough to applaud the company's and the Port's efforts.

But the problem of government-mandated monopoly of taxi service originating at Sea-Tac - and the thousands of unnecessarily "empty miles" per year for Seattle airport taxis - remains. Unfortunately, that situation doesn't appear to be fixable by simply "going green."


September 20, 2007

Greening The Highway From Baja To B.C.

Matt Rosenberg

Our Cascadia Center held a leadership forum Weds. Sept. 19 titled "Greening The Highway from Baja to B.C.," emphasizing the need for a unified West Coast effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and congestion in the I-5 corridor through increased use of alternative fuels; diesel emission reduction programs; and on-board and in-roadway technology to save truckers and motorists time and fuel. Here's our discussion brief on the initiative, and here's a related radio story (and transcript) featuring Cascadia's director Bruce Agnew.

From the discussion brief:

An important opportunity is emerging for a concerted West Coast strategy to unify alternative fuel infrastructure and green vehicle development, diesel fuel emission reduction, and intelligent transportation system technologies. Together these could yield substantial environmental and economic benefits while providing a model for other major U.S. highway corridors. An additional consideration is that congestion pricing, though not part of the West Coast Green Highway initiative, would boost congestion relief and greenhouse gas reduction, particularly if pursued on a multi-state, I-5 corridor basis.

We expect to have a white paper published in coming months on greening the I-5 corridor. We'll keep you posted as this effort continues to unfold.

UPDATE: TVW coverage. Washington state's government and public affairs channel, TVW, taped and broadcast the entire "Greening The Highway" program of Sept. 19, 2007. Here are the three video segments as they aired on TVW. You will need to have either Windows Media or Real Player installed on your computer to view. For any additional playback tips, go to TVW's Streaming Help Page.

"Greening The Highway," Segment 1 - Bruce Agnew, Cascadia Center; Sharon Banks, Cascade Sierra Solutions; Matt Rosenberg, Cascadia Center.
LINK: Segment 1.

"Greening The Highway," Segment 2 - Peter Murchie, U.S. EPA; Allison Seton, Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Canada; Jeff Doyle, WSDOT; Allison Hamilton, ODOT.
LINK: Segment 2.

"Greening The Highway," Segment 3 - Colette Brooks, BioBling/Big Imagination Co./SoCal Biodiesel Co-op; Paul Landry, B.C. Trucking Assn.; Janet Ray, AAA Washington.
LINK: Segment 3.


July 25, 2007

Big Vehicle Import Center, Biofuels Plant Eyed for Vancouver, WA Port

Matt Rosenberg

The Columbian reports this morning that an affiliate of a Swedish-Norwegian shipping concern has announced its preliminary intent to build a big vehicle import center as part of the Port of Vancouver, Washington's Columbia Gateway industrial development.

On Tuesday, port officials signed a letter of intent with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Americas to develop the $453 million facility that would dwarf the port's existing Subaru operation and match the Port of Portland's auto business. Wallenius Wilhelmsen would build a marine terminal and processing facility on 344 acres that the port would make construction-ready, according to the deal. The facility, projected to generate a $62 million annual payroll, could be operational by late 2010 or 2011.

...the facility will be able to handle more than 500,000 cars annually....At the Port of Portland, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota moved 463,557 vehicles in 2006 through two terminals. It was a record year, up 31 percent from 2005....Wallenius Wilhelmsen Americas signed a deal last summer with Subaru of America to process the automaker's vehicles in Baltimore. The agreement was part of Wallenius Wilhelmsen's larger expansion plans in the Eastern city.

Earlier this month, Rappaport Energy Consulting of Olympia, Washington, announced plans to build at Columbia Gateway a biodiesel processing plant and a wood-based ethanol refinery.

As the Columbian reports today, both projects depend heavily on retention of a special six-year, non-renewable Industrial Development District levy approved by the port to purchase riverfront acerage for Columbia Gateway tenants and build an east-west train freight line considered critical to the project. Local voters aggrieved that state legislation obviated their veto powers over the special port tax have successfully placed a yea-nay measure on the Aug. 21 primary election ballot. If the special tax is rescinded, the Gateway project is at least temporarily stymied, and the two initial tenants either cool their heels or go elsewhere.

Even if that happens, there's a larger lesson to be drawn. The American yen for purchasing new Asian cars shows no signs of abating, and vehicle miles traveled continue to trend upward. That has implications for the push to develop "green" fuels; and efforts to expand mass transit in locales such as Central Puget Sound.

Biodiesel derived from palm oil isn't so green, compared to that manufactured from vegetable oils or animal fats. And both wood-based ethanol and fuel derived from bio-mass beat by miles corn-based ethanol, which gobbles energy in the production process. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles hold great promise, but the environmental benefits are far greater if the electricity used to power them comes from non-fossil fuel sources.

Meanwhile, many putative progressives eye the whole alternative fuels scrum warily, thinking that anything which makes driving cars more environmentally palatable will ultimately discourage transit use, enhance sprawl and worsen global warming.

Let's take these one by one.

To the extent current global warming is caused by man's activites, it will require far-reaching efforts by major nations - especially huge players such as China and India, and yes, the United States - to develop and implement comprehensive clean energy initiatives, in addition to boosting alternative fuel usage. All rhetorical chest-beating aside, the challenge of replacing conventional with clean energy sources is rather bracing, as illustrated by a recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration titled, "Annual Energy Outlook 2007 - With Projections To 2030." As the report notes on page 2 of the "Overview" section:

Despite the rapid growth projected for biofuels and other nonhydroelectric renewable energy sources and the expectation that orders will be placed for new nuclear power plants for the first time in more than 25 years, oil, coal, and natural gas still are projected to provide roughly the same 86-percent share of the total U.S. primary energy supply in 2030 that they did in 2005 (assuming no changes in existing laws and regulations - itals added). The expected rapid growth in the use of biofuels and other nonhydropower renewable energy sources begins from a very low current share of total energy use; hydroelectric power production, which accounts for the bulk of current renewable electricity supply, is nearly stagnant; and the share of total electricity supplied from nuclear power falls despite the projected new plant builds, which more than offset retirements, because the overall market for electricity continues to expand rapidly in the projection.

Books by candlelight, and woodstoves, anybody? Or microwaves and plasma screens, plus a carbon tax?

For its part, "sprawl" is a somewhat loaded concept, reducing to a disease-like term the proclivity of actors in the free market to decide where to live based on laws of supply, demand and consequent household costs.

Just as people cannot be hectored into pricey and pinched urban townhomes merely to suit the objectives of planners and environmentalists, they cannot be browbeaten into taking mass transit. It will work for some on a daily basis, but not for many others, based on their daily travel patterns.

If those 463,557 vehicles don't end up passing through Wallenius Wilhelmsen's envisioned distribution center in Vancouver, Washington, they will likely come - along with all their economic benefits and environmental and public policy implications - into some other regional port. Of course, they're only a fraction of the new imported passenger vehicles regularly landing in Northwest and other U.S. ports.

To shape metropolitan region transportation policy accordingly, governments, business and stakeholders should develop a multi-pronged approach which includes: system-wide time-variable tolling on major highways and state routes; greater emphasis on public-private partnerships to cost-effectively provide transportation infrastructure and services; mass transit which delivers the most ridership per dollar spent; improved inter-city rail travel; and ongoing research and development to deliver to market larger quantities of clean, green alternative fuels.


May 30, 2007

Wanted: "Alternative Fuels Highway" - Not "Hydrogen Highway"

Matt Rosenberg

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell meet tomorrow in Vancouver to strategize on greenhouse gas reductions. The Governator has made climate change Priority One for his administration, winning new state goals to lower carbon dioxide emissions in coming decades, and recruiting other Western U.S. governors and Campbell to commit to similar targets. Campbell and Schwarzenegger have also been talking up a so-called "hydrogen highway" stretching from California to B.C. The idea is that in the future, lower-polluting cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells will become prevalent, and an infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations will be established along major north-south corridors such as I-5 and Route 99. Campbell has announced plans for such a network within B.C., and says he hopes one day to see that extended the length of the West Coast.

Let's back up for a quick minute here. A growing number of political conservatives have joined with moderates and liberals to push for cleaner, greener transportation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and control risk of further acceleration in global climate change. But in "green transportation" there is as yet no one silver bullet solution. Expanded mass transit is part of the puzzle - if it's convenient, speedy and pencils out, cost-wise. Congestion pricing including tolls, plus car-pooling and telecommuting all figure in, as well.

But behavioral change can only accomplish so much. People are still going to drive cars and trucks. Abundantly, as nearly all urban region traffic studies predict. To reduce the carbon footprint that results, what's needed is continued research, development and deployment of a portfolio of clean transportation technologies, including biofuels, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells. The true economic and environmental costs of each need more scrutiny.

In the national Canadian daily The Globe and Mail, Sean McCarthy reports:

...Mr. Schwarzenegger's....passion for hydrogen has been waning, as it becomes clear that the ambitious vision for a hydrogen future faces serious delays and ongoing hurdles. Mr. Schwarzenegger is now promoting a "low carbon fuel standard" that would peg hydrogen as just one of several technologies manufacturers could use to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollutants.

....Oregon and Washington have yet to commit to a hydrogen future, leaving a 1,400-kilometre gap between the last hydrogen fuelling station in British Columbia and the most northerly one in California. And unlike B.C. and California, those two states don't have indigenous fuel-cell industries to promote.

...the hydrogen car still faces some major challenges...The fuel cell typically lasts about a tenth of the lifespan of a traditional internal combustion engine. Fuel-cell vehicles themselves are prohibitively expensive because they are made of high-end materials like platinum and because the electrochemical process that creates the hydrogen is not as efficient as it could be...Hydrogen...typically occurs in combination with other elements, including with oxygen as water, and with carbon in fossil fuels. As a result, the hydrogen has to be manufactured, typically using electricity produced from a variety of sources including emissions-heavy coal, but also emissions-free hydroelectric.

In the end, the alternative fuel commercial infrastructure will have to follow market decisions made by motorists, and businesses which invest in vehicle fleets. It's probably not too far-fetched to predict that biofuels and electricity are going to figure into North America's alt-fuel future at least as prominently - if not more so - than hydrogen fuel cells; and that operators of truck stops and fueling stations along major interstate corridors will figure out ways to respond to those choices.

UPDATE: 14:10 p.m.: Bruce Agnew, Director of our Cascadia Center For Regional Development, will appear live on-air tomorrow between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on the Bill Good Show, CKNW-AM 980 in Vancouver, to discuss West Coast alternative fuel infrastructure options. Listen live on the Web - just go to the station's site: and under "Station" on the left-hand side of the main page, click on "Listen To CKNW."


May 29, 2007

"Green Wheels Spinning For Venture Backers"

Matt Rosenberg

In a Puget Sound Business Journal op-ed titled "Green Wheels Are Spinning For Venture Backers," Cascadia Center Director Bruce Agnew and Senior Fellow Steve Marshall write that transportation's sizable contribution to carbon dioxide emissions necessitates more investment in green vehicle technology. They say such investment can yield further improvements in promising battery technology for low-emission electric and electric-biofuel hybrid cars; plus intelligent systems to integrate plug-in hybrids with the power grid and with intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Drawing on a presentation from Cascadia's "Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future" forum last month at Microsoft's Redmond campus, Agnew and Marshall write:

Tom Alberg, a managing director of Madrona Venture Group, of Seattle, said the venture capital community has awakened and will be a helpful ally in moving toward energy independence and green energy. He noted that promising areas include more efficient conversion of biomass to fuels; batteries and other improved storage devices for power; software networks that make the electric grid more efficient; and predictive technologies for automobiles, which can help drivers avoid fuel-wasting traffic congestion.

Marshall and Agnew continue:

......Investing in green transportation technologies has paid off this year in another part of the country. A venture capital-backed spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called A123 Systems has developed a new type of rechargeable lithium ion battery that is much more powerful and durable than current hybrid car batteries.

This month, A123 announced that its new technology will allow automakers to build PHEVs with a battery pack lasting more than 10 years or 150,000 miles. General Motors is looking at using A123 batteries in its plug-in Saturn Vue due in 2009, and its plug-in electric Chevy Volt due the following year. A123's battery announcement may well accelerate those rollouts and boost competition among major automakers to produce the first commercially available rechargeable vehicle.

Popular Mechanics has weighed in, with an article by Ben Hewitt titled, "Plug-in Hybrid Cars: How They'll Solve The Fuel Crunch." The magazine reports it has run the numbers on ethanol and hydrogen as potentially greener replacements for fossil fuels, and neither fares well, while according to a 2006 study by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Labs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 27 percent in the U.S., even if the electricity to power them comes from the traditional "dirty" coal production method. As PNNL researchers write on p. 12 of the above-linked study:

For the nation as a whole, the total greenhouse gases are expected to be reduced by 27% from the projected penetration of PHEVs. The key driver for this result is the overall improvement in efficiency along the electricity generation path compared to the entire conversion chain from crude oil to gasoline to the combustion process in the vehicle. Fundamental to this result is the assumption that a PHEV by itself would be more efficient than a conventional gasoline car because of the regenerative braking capability that stores the kinetic energy in the battery during deceleration and because the engine operates at near optimal conditions more of the time than in conventional vehicles.

For PHEVs to gain strong market share, Hewitt writes, incentives for off-peak recharging will be needed, along with solid plans to corral needed lithium from global repositories, to power PHEV batteries.


May 14, 2007

BC To Push For More Green Taxis

Matt Rosenberg

"Provincial Government Wants Cab Companies To Go Green," is the top story today in Vancouver, B.C.'s morning paper, The Province. British Columbia Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon is urging the regional board charged with granting taxi licenses to dispense them only for highly fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles, in order to help reduce the province's cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by at least one-third in the next 13 years.

Fewer tailpipe emissions from petroleum-based fuel, combined with greater use of cleaner liquid fuels plus ongoing adoption of liquid fuel+electric-powered hybrid vehicles, is green. Eventually, as lithium ion battery technology continues to improve, expect to see more plug-in hybrids in Vancouver's taxi fleet and on the streets of Cascadia's big cities - Vancouver, Seattle and Portland - where more conventional hybrids such as the Toyota Prius are already common and growing in popularity. Plug-ins, now under development by major automakers such as Chevy and Toyota, go even further on a charge, after loading up on electricity from a common wall outlet during off-peak hours.

But as Toyota's Bill Reinert stressed at last week's "Jump Start to A Secure Clean Energy Future" conference sponsored by our Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute, the electricity used to power plug-in hybrid vehicles must be clean, or the green benefits diminish. Likewise, others have noted, clean, green liquid fuels must be rigorously evaluated to ensure they really are clean and green, not merely coasting on hype. The type and amount of energy required to produce alternative fuels must not greatly lower the net gain to the environment when they are used in place of fossil fuels.

That said, hybrid vehicles using electricity and liquid fuels are already environmentally and economically attractive to some fleet managers. Gauging reaction to the transport ministry's announcement today, The Province reports:

"I think it's a good idea," said John Palis, general manager of Black Top and Checker Cabs in Vancouver. "We're getting away from the days of the old used police-cars, and those old big gas-guzzlers. It's a matter of economics, plus it's the correct thing to do." Palis said hybrids have been on Vancouver roads since 2000. One hybrid taxi ran 330,000 kilometres without any engine problems. It so impressed Toyota that they took the old cab and traded it for a new one, in order to study the engine.

"The current hybrid cars that we're using have proved themselves some of the most reliable cars we've ever purchased," Palis said. The fuel-burning rate of a hybrid is less than 50 per cent that of a standard cab, Palis said. That translates into a saving of $10,000-12,000 a year in fuel costs. "Over the course of four years, the vehicle virtually pays for itself," he said.

According to the B.C. Transportation Ministry's press release today:

As part of the government's plan to take action on climate change, a new emphasis will be placed on promoting eco-friendly taxis in the Vancouver and Victoria areas, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced today. "This government's goal is to reduce B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below current levels by 2020," said Falcon. "This is an aggressive target and it sets a new standard in transportation. That's why I am asking the Passenger Transportation Board to take into account the Province's greenhouse gas reduction policy in all its decisions -- to help create a cleaner environment for all British Columbians."

Falcon has sent a letter to the Passenger Transportation Board, requesting that all approvals of applications for taxis in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and the Capital Regional District (CRD) be for eco-friendly vehicles (hybrid or other highly energy efficient vehicles) only. This would extend to approvals for new licences or additional vehicles under current licenses in the GVRD and CRD....."We are going to continually seek new ways to promote clean transportation in B.C.," said Falcon. "This is the first step towards developing a commercial passenger transportation system which produces a minimum of greenhouse gases."

All-electric lithium battery-powered PT Cruiser taxicabs developed by Hybrid Technologies are to begin operating in New York City. The company last week demonstrated other electric vehicles at our "Jump Start" conference in Redmond, part of a larger mix of hybrids and electrics on display there.

Green vehicles and fuels are rightly in the limelight these days. Also especially important environmentally in the transportation sector are commercial trucks, which leave a considerable footprint of greenhouse gas emissions. We'll get to that another day.


May 13, 2007

In The News: "Jump Start" Conference On Hybrids, Flex Fuels

Matt Rosenberg

Monday, May 7th's "Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy" conference - staged by our Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute with the cooperation of co-sponsors and event host Microsoft - garnered front-page, top-fold coverage the next day in the Seattle Times. The article was titled, "Fans Of Plug-in Cars Build Their Power Base." The same story, by reporters Hal Bernton and Mike Lindblom, ran in the Yakima Herald-Republic.

The Seattle-Post Intelligencer's Robert McClure covered the conference as well; in "Visions Of A Northwest Hybrid Car Future Abound."

Crosscut publisher David Brewster provided reportage, background and analysis, in "Will Plug-in Cars End The Age Of Oil?"

Along with several other newspaper editorialists and opinionators, Gary Crooks of the Spokane Spokesman-Review attended "Jump Start" - and weighed in with this editorial; "Fueling Inertia." Crooks' colleague Rebecca Nappi, the paper's Associate Editorial Page Editor, wrote a Sunday May 13 column drawng on our event and her experience as a Toyota Prius hybrid owner, "Hybrids Arrive As 'The Cool Cars'." The Everett Herald's editorial page editor Bob Bolerjack was also in Redmond for the event, and penned this Sunday May 13 editorial, "Plug-in Cars Show Promise; Let's Address Obstacles."

Seattle's all-news KOMO-AM 1000 came, and on May 7 aired several iterations of a story filed by reporter Sue Romero - audio clips here and here. A brief item aired on KING-5 TV 11 p.m. news May 7. TVW, Washington state's public affairs cable channel, taped the day-long event live and began airing the seven segments last week. The TVW segments are available for viewing here.

At Cascadia Prospectus, live blog posts from the conference were "Your Ride Shapes Our National Security, Environment;" and "Driving To A Cleaner Future." Seattle Times senior tech writer and columnist Brier Dudley also wrote about "Jump Start" on his blog, in "Beyond The Prius: Plugging In To Green Transportation."

Scroll down to "Speaker Slideshow Links" here to get key informational points presented at the conference.


May 7, 2007

Your "Ride" Shapes Our National Security, And Environment

Matt Rosenberg

Cascadia Center "Jump Start" Conference Live-Blog Post #2

REDMOND, WA. -- I'm live-blogging today from "Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future," the conference our Cascadia Center For Regional Development is co-sponsoring at Microsoft's Redmond campus. (My first live blog post of the day is here). Underway now is the panel, "National Security Imperatives For Flex-Fuel Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles." It features Anne Korin and Gal Luft, Co-Directors of the Institute For The Analysis Of Global Security; and former CIA head and National Commission On Energy Policy Commissioner R. James Woolsey. In an exclusive video address to the conference, Woolsey said:

This war against terror is the only war we have fought, since the civil war, where we finance both time you pull into the gas station, look at yourself in the rear view mirror. Now you know who is paying for the madrassas in Pakistan. We ought to be decisively moving away from oil as a strategic commodity.

Advances in battery technology must and will continue, yielding plug-in hybrid vehicles that will get 125-150 miles per gallon of gas and go 30 to 35 miles on a single charge. With flexibile fuel capabilities, and running on, for instance, a liquid fuel blend that's 85 percent cellulosic ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, a PHEV will be able to get 500 mpg, Woolsey said. That grows to approximately 1,000 - yes, 1,000 mpg - if the vehicle is constructed of the lightweight carbon composites used in aerospace and race cars, Woolsey added. He concluded:

One thousand miles per gallon ought to be enough to make a Wahhabi frown.

Luft said the average life cycle of cars in the U.S. is 16.8 years, and "if it only knows how to run on gasoline, that is what it will do for the next 16.8 years....We need to give people fuel choice:" including more and longer lasting electricity through plug-in hybrid technology, plus butanol, methanol and other fuel sources. All new cars manufactured for the U.S. market should by federal mandate be flex-fuel capable, Luft recommended.

Korin urged, if you want action you have to make this a voting issue, so support the DRIVE Act to cut oil imports, and boost fuel and vehicle choice; and lobby your elected representatives in Congress to do so as well.

On a following panel here today covering climate change imperatives for flex-fuel plug-in vehicles are K.C. Golden, policy director of Climate Solutions; Dr. Andrew Frank of University of California, Davis; and Dr. Philp Mote, climatologist, University of Washington.



Driving To A Cleaner Future

Matt Rosenberg

Cascadia Center "Jump Start" Conference Live-Blog Post #1

REDMOND, WA -- Political and business leaders along with consumers are mobilizing to minimize man's contribution to climate change and global warming. Even as mass transit spreads, personal vehicles will indisputably remain vital for many commuters, especially those with multi-stop "trip chains". Cleaner fuels and cars are considered essential, and the popularity of the Toyota Prius electric-gas hybrid is a leading indicator. There are varied reasons why we need to wean our nation off foreign oil while embracing clean electric and renewable fuel sources, and plug-in hybrids which can double the excellent mileage of the Prius. National security and environmental protection rank high on the list, as Cascadia Center for Regional Development's Director Bruce Agnew and Senior Fellow Steve Marshall explain in this Seattle Times op-ed.

With this in mind, Cascadia Center and co-sponsors today are staging the "Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future" conference from Microsoft's campus. We've got a full house. In the opening hour, King County Executive Ron Sims said:

"The technologies that we see today, we'd like to see them mature...One of my sons once told me, you're part of the problem not the solution. Your buses pollute. He was right. Now, King County has more than 140 hybrids in its fleet, and a soft order for 440 plug-in hybrid vehicles."

Sims also outlined how King County biosolids will be used to fertilize Eastern Washington canola crops used to develop biodiesel.

Buzz Rodland's Toyota dealership in Everett has been selling scads of Priuses, as the Everett Herald recently reported. Rodland, Snohomiish County board member of the Washington State Auto Dealer Association, told the audience:

"'s time to clean up our act, and hybrids have really started to help with that. Year-to-date in the Pacific Northwest, the Number One-selling car is the Toyota Prius. We think it will end up the Number One-selling car in the Northwest this year. The buyers" are forming clubs and advocating for the car, "when they fill up at gas stations, which isn't very often."

Bill Reinert is the National Manager for Toyota USA's Advanced Technologies Group. Closing out this morning's Auto Industry Update, he observed:

"We are developing plug-in hybrids, we are developing lithium ion batteries. We may not go as fast as some of you would like," but we want to be sure we get it right.

Reinert said oil exploration success peaked in the 1960s; much current production is now in increasingly remote, or environmentally or politically problematic areas; the cost and carbon emissions are substantial. That leads us to a new era of conservation, Reinert said, and hybrid (electric and liquid fuel) cars currently have the smalllest carbon footprint.

But where the electricity comes from to power hybrids is crucial; it must be more and more from clean sources and less and less from traditional coal-powered generation, or the environmental advantages of hybrids become diminished, Reinert warned. Making clean-powered hybrid vehicles work in states like Michigan, Kentucky and Texas - which still rely heavily on coal-powered electricity - will be a key challenge, he added.

We'll hear more this afternoon about the market landscape for cleaner cars in the panel discussion, "Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles: How Soon And What Impact?" Panelists are: Roger Duncan, Austin Energy/Plug-In Partners; Felix Kramer, founder, Caliifornia Cars Initiative; Greg Rock, Co-Founder, Green Car Company; Nicholas Zielinski, Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Volt, General Motors.


April 25, 2007

Green Idaho A Harbinger

Matt Rosenberg

The Idaho Statesman reports:

The most conservative state in the union is a part of a remarkable cultural shift toward environmental values. Consider:

• Al Gore attracts 10,000 people to his slide show on global warming at Taco Bell Arena in January.

• Bill Moyers highlights Boise's evangelical Vineyard Fellowship for its environmental message and acts in the PBS special "Is God Green?" last fall.

• Former Gov. Jim Risch gets a standing ovation from a largely Republican crowd when he announces in Twin Falls last year that Idaho plans to opt out of a mercury pollution trading program, keeping coal-fired power plants out of the state.

Growing concerns about climate change are pegged as one big reason for Idaho's higher environmental profile. But conservation has hardly been a foreign concept to conservatives; as the etymology suggests. Adding to pressure for change that's coming from the global warming dialog, is a new and more inclusive profile for the environmental movement. The Statesman:

...environmentalism became tied closely with the counterculture, hippies, organic foods, and demonstrations, said Doug StanWiens, a history teacher at Timberline High School. The new environmental culture he sees growing in popularity with his students is very different...."It's not about scarcity or sacrifice," StanWiens said. "The kids haven't seen that. It's about choices."

...Idaho Conservation League Executive Director Rick Johnson...(says)..."When you're picking the people you invite into your home for dinner you would not pick an environmentalist....They're stereotyped as whining, shrill, they won't eat the food, they stuff themselves with the vegetables and tell you to turn down the thermostat." Companies and political opponents worked hard to develop that stereotype, Johnson said. But there was some truth to it.

The new environmental culture is not just generated by environmentalists. It's organic...The environment nationwide and locally has improved because of the environmental laws passed more than 35 years ago, said Betty Munis, executive director of the Idaho Forest Products Commission, which sponsors an environmental education curriculum used in Idaho schools. People express their environmental values now by buying local and using sustainable materials. "I think the average person has been taking environmentalism out of the hands of advocates and incorporating it into their lives," Munis said.

Incorporating environmentalism into daily personal transportation decisions can pose challenges and present opportunities. In major metropolitan areas, people will use public transit if it's fast and convenient and fits into their busy lives. The trick for transit planners and decision-makers is not only financing, but systems engineering to reduce wait times and travel times. People vote with their wristwatches, and cannot be hectored out of that. The smart focus is not on attacking "car culture" - something regrettably still frequent in Seattle and some other locales - but rather, developing more market-responsive transit choices plus a portfolio of sensible strategies to boost renewable fuels and fuel efficiency.

Former CIA chief and National Commission On Energy Policy Commissioner R. James Woolsey, in testimony to a U.S. Senate committee last week, noted that the U.S. depends on oil for 97 percent of its transportation needs; and that 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions (which hasten global warming) come from oil, particularly via transportation uses. Woolsey also stated that the U.S. now borrows more than $300 billion per year to import oil, weakening the dollar and helping to raise interest rates; while two-thirds of proven oil reserves and much of the industry's infrastructure lie in the politically volatile Persian Gulf.

In his testimony, Woolsey recommends government foster continued private-sector development of a range of "transformative" vehicle technologies through a $3 billion, five- to ten-year tax incentive for manufacturers and consumers. The aim would be "to encourage the domestic production and purchase of of plug-in hybrid, hybrid-electric and advanced diesel vehicles that achieve superior fuel economy." Woolsey details how high density, high power battery fueled plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can actually supply additional power to the electric grid after charging up in off-peak hours - with cost credits to consumers, and cheaper and cleaner electricity generation for utilities. Production model PHEVs are now an estimated two to three years away from appearing in showrooms, Woolsey estimates.

He also urges Congress to set a four percent annual Corporate Annual Fuel Economy (CAFE) target; and stresses that lighter-weight carbon fiber composites used in aerospace and race cars can be applied to commercial passenger vehicles; reducing weight, while increasing fuel efficiency and safety. Liquid fuels will still be essential, especially for use in longer-range trips, but alternatives to oil can and should be developed from among an array of options, including cellulosic as opposed to corn-based ethanol; cellulosic methanol; and renewable diesel from crops, and industrial, municipal and animal wastes.

Woolsey adds that Congress should ensure that "every car sold in the U.S....enable fuel flexibility, a feature which adds less than $100 to the manufacturing cost...and provides a platform upon which fuels can compete."

A diverse coalition of interests supports weaning our nation off foreign oil. Woolsey affectionately identifies the players as "the tree huggers, the do-gooders, the sod busters, the Mom and Pop car owners, the cheap hawks, the venture capitalists, the utility shareholders, the evangelicals, and Willie Nelson."

Willie Nelson has other plans that day, but with our co-sponsors we'll be hosting a pretty diverse group ourselves, at our May 7 "Jump Start to A Secure, Clean Energy Future" conference in Redmond, WA. More information, including online registration and the agenda, here.


April 12, 2007

"Saving The Earth Sensibly" With A Carbon Tax

Matt Rosenberg

In "Go Green? Go West," Los Angeles Times opinion columnist Ronald Brownstein writes that the Western U.S. is poised to lead on alternative energy. The "sagebrush rebellion" resource extraction push of decades past has given way to "a renewable revolution" bearing both real promise and all the expected consumer cost caveats, Brownstein posits.

Across the West, governors from both parties are advancing the nation's most ambitious policies to promote clean energy, encourage conservation and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases...leaders in the West are...drawing support from ideologically diverse local coalitions that include new residents concerned about preserving an attractive environment and agricultural and tourism interests fearful that global warming may undermine their industries. Even major utilities across the West have enlisted.

...The West's new energy axis rests on a deepening partnership between...Democratic governors and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a centrist Republican....last fall....Schwarzenegger signed a law barring state utilities from entering long-term contracts to import electricity from power plants that emit more carbon dioxide than the cleanest natural gas facilities -- a standard that excludes conventional coal-fired plants. That decision already is sending ripples through the region as governors from energy-exporting states use it to build support for cleaner alternatives to conventional coal.

...Six of the 11 states...have approved "renewable portfolio standards" that require utilities to generate a fixed percentage of electricity from renewable power sources such as wind, solar and geothermal; Oregon is on track to join them this year......In February, Schwarzenegger and the Democratic governors of Arizona, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon agreed to devise a regional plan for mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, most likely through a cap-and-trade system....The participating states have agreed to devise a market-based regulation system by fall 2008, and sources involved in the design say they hope to entice into the plan not only other Western states but the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Washington voters last November approved I-937, requiring large utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020, and undertake cost-effective energy conservation. The measure excluded hydropower as a renewable, and had its critics, who argued government mandates aren't how to develop cleaner and more secure energy sources.

The Oregonian reports today that Washington ranks fifth nationwide and Oregon eighth in installed megawatts of wind power, according to 2006 year-end rankings by the American Wind Energy Association. The article also highlights several new wind power projects in Oregon, and gives a sense of some of the big business interests involved in the wind power industry, along with mid-sized and utility players.

Several large projects are under construction, including Portland-based PPM Energy's 221-megawatt Klondike III and Portland General Electric's 125-megawatt Biglow Canyon, both in Sherman County. Also, Horizon Wind Energy, which Portuguese power provider Energias de Portugal recently agreed to buy from Goldman Sachs for $2.15 billion, has a 101-megawatt project in the works in Union County. The state's newest player is Massachusetts-based UPC Wind, which has 35 wind projects under development in North America. UPC Wind on Wednesday applied with the state to build an $80 million, 60-megawatt wind farm about five miles west of The Dalles in Wasco County. The Cascade Wind Project would involve 40 turbines stretching six miles along an exposed ridgeline.

In Washington state the Energy Facilities Siting Council recently okayed Horizon's Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project; final approval by the governor is still required. The editorial board of the Tacoma New Tribune lauds the council's decision.

The current contribution of wind power to the nation's energy mix is relatively scant and its economics are far from proven. One consideration: The wind lobby says long-term extension of the renewable energy production tax credit is essential for the industry. In a column titled "Saving The Earth Sensibly," the Chicago Tribune's incisive opinionator Steve Chapman favors a carbon tax rather than special dispensations for renewables.

Reducing the output of carbon dioxide and other substances that trap the Earth's heat is not cheap. But there are expensive solutions, and there are astronomical ones. Any new policy should aim at getting the greatest reductions for the least money....The free market is the best system ever created for providing what we want at the lowest possible cost....we...need to make energy prices reflect the potential harm done by greenhouse gases...with a carbon tax that assesses fuels according to how much they pollute. Coal, having the highest carbon content, would be taxed the most, followed by oil and natural gas. The higher prices for the most damaging fuels would encourage people and companies to use them less and more of other types of energy, including nuclear, solar, wind and biofuels.

....Government programs to reduce greenhouse gases are a recipe for waste and abuse. Federal "investment" in alternative fuels? That idea got a full tryout during the energy crisis of the 1970s, with meager results. Tax breaks for ethanol? Largely self-defeating, because they encourage farmers to burn fossil fuels to expand production of corn.

Corn-based ethanol does not pencil out, as The Economist argues in an editorial reprinted in the Seattle Post-Intelliegencer. Better alternatives are ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane, and cellulosic ethanol dervided from wood, grasses, shrubs and agricultural detritus.

These sorts of distinctions are important as the push for cleaner energy intensifies. A new reckoning of nuclear power seems likely in time, too. While part of the mix in the U.S. and Europe, it still faces great mistrust from the public. The APEC Energy Overview 2006 notes (p. 157) that in 2004, 41 percent of our nation's energy came from crude oil and petroleum products; 23 percent from coal; 22 percent from natural gas; and 14 percent from nuclear, hydro, geothermal and other fuels.

The APEC report (p. 163) also reminds that the U.S. Energy Policy Act Of 2005 outlines a long-term strategy for a diversified energy supply, modernization of the nation's energy infrastructure, increased energy efficiency and conservation and better vehicle fuel efficiency. Our Cascadia Center For Regional Development and special guests will highlight conservation and fuel efficiency in the "May 7 Jump Start To A Secure, Clean Energy Future" symposium on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA.

One objective in the '05 energy legislation, as the APEC document notes, is "creating an adequate Liquified Natural Gas infrastructure: streamlining the regulatory review process is underway to expedite the siting on new LNG import terminals." In California, the first of five expected proposals for liquified natural gas terminals is provoking a controversy that will put Gov. Schwarzenegger front and center next month. Recent articles from the San Francisco Chronicle and The Los Angeles Times detail the saga of the proposed Cabrillo Port liquified natural gas plant off the Ventura County coast between Malibu and Port Hueneme.

The State Lands Commision has voted not to accept an environmental impact study on the project, and that the State Coastal Commission - which votes on the project today - is reportedly also opposed. However, Gov. Schwarzenegger, who has until May 21 to decide, could still approve the project, with or without some amendments to the plan.


April 6, 2007

Research Compendium

Matt Rosenberg

Last updated August 25, 2008

The research, it just keeps coming. On this page, we'll compile links to key studies and reports on innovation in transportation.


Cascadia Center Reports

"Lessons In Public-Private Partnerships & Climate Change: What British Columbia Taught California, And What Washington Can Still Learn," 10/07.

"A Tale Of Three Cities: How San Diego, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Raised Major Regional Funds For Transportation," Doug Hurley, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 9/06.

"Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management & New Revenue For The Puget Sound Region," John S. Niles, for Cascadia Center, 4/06.

"Transportation Working Group Recommendations," Transportation Working Group, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2/15/05.

Transportation Working Group background, members, and resource book.

"An Institutional Conundrum - A Simplified Overview Of Metropolitan Institutional Reform Applied To Transportation In The Puget Sound Region," Deb Eddy, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2004.

"How Do We Get There From Here? A Transportation Future For The Puget Sound Region," Bruce Agnew & Bruce Chapman, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2003. View the video, as aired on Seattle Channel, 5/20/05.

Other Reports

"Just Pricing: The Distributional Effects Of Congestion Pricing and Sales Taxes," Brian Taylor, UCLA Institute Of Transportation Studies; Lisa Schweitzer, School Of Policy, Planning And Development, University Of Southern California, 5/08

"Transportation For Tomorrow," National Surface Transportation Policy & Revenue Study Commission, 1/08.

"Running On Empty - 2007 Annual Report," Washington Transportation Commission, 12/07.

"Building New Roads Through Public-Private Partnerships: Frequently Asked Questions," Leonard C. Gilroy, Robert W. Poole, Jr., Peter Samuel, Geoffrey Segal, Reason Foundation, 11/07.

"Review Of Congressional Earmarks Within Department Of Transportation Programs," Office Of The Inspector General, U.S. DOT, 9/7/07.

"Case Studies Of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships In The United States," Aecom Consult Team, for U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration, 7/7/07.

"Case Studies Of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships Around The World," Aecom Consult Team, for U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration, 7/7/07.

Draft Vision 2040 Puget Sound Regional Council, 7/07.

"Lake Washington Urban Partnership," Washington State Department of Transportation, 4/30/07.

"Report On SR 520 Bridge Replacement And HOV Project Funding Alternatives," Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation, Montague DeRose & Associates, LLC, 3/28/07.

"Destination 2030 - Taking An Alternative Route," Washington State Transportation Center/Booz Allen Hamilton (For King County Executive), 3/05/07.

"Overview Of National Strategy To Reduce Congestion On America's Transportation Network," USDOT, 3/07.

"Public-Private Partnerships For Toll Highways," Robert W. Poole, Reason Foundation, Testimony To U.S. House Committee On Transportation & Infrastructure, Subcommittee On Highways & Transit, 2/13/07.

"Report On The Transportation Innnovative Partnerships Program," Washington Transportation Commission, 1/07.

"Regional Transportation Commission Final Report," Regional Transportation Commission (of Puget Sound), 12/31/06.

"Washington Transportation Plan 2007-2026," Washington Transportation Commission, 11/06.

"Reducing Congestion In Atlanta: A Bold New Approach To Mobility," Robert W. Poole, Reason Foundation, 11/06.

"Public-Private Partnerships & The Development Of Transport Infrastructure: Trends On Both Sides Of The Atlantic," Benjamin G. Perez, PB Consult Inc., James W. March, Federal Highway Administration; 9/06.

"Transportation Finance At The Ballot Box: Voters Support Increased Investment & Choice," Center For Transportation Excellence, 8/06.

"Building Roads To Reduce Congestion In America's Cities: How Much & At What Cost?," David Hartgren, M. Gregory Fields & Robert W. Poole, Reason Foundation, 8/06; (WA state congestion analysis, from study).

"Why Mobility Matters," Ted Balaker, Reason Foundation, 8/06.

"Current Toll Road Activity In The U.S.: A Survey & Analysis," Benjamin Pereze, Steve Lockwood, for U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration, 8/06.

"Remarks Of Pat Jacobsen - CEO, Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority - To House & Senate Transportation Committees of Washington State Legislature, 1/19/06.

"Traffic Congestion & Reliability: Trends & Advanced Strategies For Congestion Mitigation," Cambridge Systematics & Texas Transportation Institute (for Federal Highway Administration), 9/1/05.

"2005 Urban Mobility Report," Texas Transportation Institute, 2005.

"Unclogging America's Highways - Effective Relief For Highway Bottlenecks," American Highway Users Alliance, 2/04


" Canada: A Macroeconomic Study of the United States' Most Important Trade Partner,"U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Updated 9/15/06

Canadian Embassy State Trade Fact Sheet 2006, Canadian Embassy, 2006.

Canada/U.S. Regional Economies, Canadian-American Border Trade Alliance.

"Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: The Basics," U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Resolution Of The West Coast Corridor Coalition, 11/03.

"From B.C. To B.C. - And Beyond - the Story Of The West Coast Corridor Coalition."

"Spatial Concepts & Cross Border Governance Strategies," Susan E. Clarke, University of Colorado, (presented to EURA Conference On Urban & Spatial Policies), 4/02.

"The Character of Non-Governmental Transborder Organizations In The Cascadia Region of North America," Lawrence Douglas Taylor Hansen, Revista Mexicana De Estudios Canadienses, 2/02.


Cascadia Center Reports

"Testimony In Support Of King County Passenger-Only Ferry District," Matt Rosenberg, 11/13/07.

"Alaskan Way Replacement: Alternative Approaches," Ove Arup & Partners, for Cascadia Center, 11/06.

"A New Vision For Developing Transit For Livable Cities." Enrique Penalosa, former
mayor of Bogota, Columbia speaks at a Cascadia Center co-sponsored event on implementation of Bogota's TransMileno Bus Rapid Transit system. Seattle Channel video, 9/27/06.

"Statement of Tom Till to Washington Transportation Commission On Amtrak & Related Issues, Including Availability of Federal Funding," 1/18/06.

Other Reports

"King County Passenger-Only Ferries Project Briefing Paper," IBI Group, for King County Executive, 11/7/07.

Puget Sound Regional Council Passenger-Only Ferry Study, 2007 (ongoing).

Chapter 7, "I-405 Plan: Transit and HOV", in "I-405 Congestion Relief & Bus Rapid Transit Projects - Final Recommendations Report," WSDOT. (See "I-405 BRT Service").

BNSF Corridor Preservation Study, Puget Sound Regional Council, 2/27/07.

Statewide Rail Capacity and System Needs Study, Washington State Transportation Commission, 12/06.

Columbia River Crossing Project Alternatives Page.

Willamette River Ferry Feasibility Study, City Of Portland Department of Transportation, 2006.

Waterborne Transit Policy Study, King County Department of Transportation, August, 2005.

Rich Passage Passenger-Only Ferry Study, Phase I, WSDOT, Federal Transit Administration, 4/05.

"Report Card For America's Infrastructure," American Society Of Civil Engineers, 2005.


Cascadia Center Reports

Speaker Presentations At Cascadia/Microsoft/Idaho National Laboratory "Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation" conference, 9/4/08 and 9/5/08, Redmond, Wash. (Topics included electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy, traffic management systems and technology, transit. Many of these files are very large and may take several minutes to open/download depending on your internet connection).

9/4/08 Presentations:

Sharon Banks
Scott Belcher
Charlie Botsford
John Clark
June Devoll
Rob Elam
Dick Ford
Jim Francfort
Andy Frank
Arti Gupta
Jerry Hautamaki
Craig Helmann
John Horsley
Cornie Huizenga
Ron Johnston-Rodriguez
Preet Khalsa
Dave Kristick
Felix Kramer
Justin McNew
Paul Minett
Brian Mistele
Tim Murphy
Jack Opiola
Syd Pawlowski
Dick Paylor
Ron Posthuma
Matt Sheldon
Jim Stanton
Ed Stern
Julian Taylor
Michael Weick

9/5/08 Presentations:

Kevin Banister
Rob Bernard
Don Foley
Paul Genoa
KC Golden
Paula Hammond
David Kaplan
Rich Laukhart
Jim Piro
Bill Rogers
Jim Walker
Brian Wynn

"Greening The Highway From Baja To B.C. - A Discussion Brief," Matt Rosenberg, 9/19/07.

"Replacing Oil With Electricity And Biofuels In Transportation: The Convergence Of Technology And Public Policy," Steve Marshall, 8/7/07.

Speaker Presentations at Cascadia-Microsoft "Jump Start To A Secure Clean Energy Future" Conference on Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Alternative Fuels, 5/7/07

Roger Duncan, Austin Energy/Plug-In Partners (4.78 MB)
Mark Duvall, Electric Power Research Institute (1.13 MB)
Andrew A. Frank, University of California/Davis (1.33 MB)
K.C. Golden, Climate Solutions (1.81 MB)
David Horner, U.S. Dept. of Transportation (700 KB)
Michael Kintner-Meyer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (1.91 MB)
Felix Kramer, (708 KB)
John M. Miller, Maxwell Technologies (496 KB)
Philip Mote, University of Washington (3.88 MB)
Tim Murphy, Idaho National Laboratory (674 KB)
Vic Parrish, Energy Northwest (494 KB)
Bill Reinert, Toyota USA (2.00 MB)
Bill Rogers, Idaho National Laboratory (1.05 MB)
Greg Rock, Green Car Company (82.9 KB)
Neil Schuster, Intelligent Transportation Society Of America (2.14 MB)
Rogelio Sullivan, U.S. Dept. of Energy (1.08 MB)
John Wellinghoff, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (4.23 MB)
Nick Zielinski, General Motors/Chevy Volt (1.79 MB)

Other Reports

"Basic Research Needs: Catalysis For Energy," (report from U.S. Dept. Of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Workshop), 8/07.

"Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles," Electric Power Research Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, 7/07.

" Joint Science Academies Statement on Growth and Responsibility; Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection, for G8 Summit, 5/07.

"Fourth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change," United Nations, 4/07/07.

Annual Energy Outlook 2007 - With Projections To 2030," U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, 2/07.

Impacts Assessment of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles On Electric Utilities and Regional U.S. Power Grids; Michael Kintner-Meyer, Kevin Schneider, Robert Pratt; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 12/06.

"Alternative Fuels Study: A Report To Congress On Policy Options For Increasing The Use Of Alternative Fuels In Transit Vehicles," Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 12/06.

"Intelligent Transportation Systems Regional Architecture", Puget Sound Regional Council, IBI Group, 8/21/06.

"Future Visions," Washington Transportation Plan Update Process, WSDOT/Washington Transportation Commission, 6/17/05. (See pp. 27-34, "Intelligent Transportation Systems").

GridWise Program Overview, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Technological Basis For GridWise, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Primer On Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration, Intelligent Transportation Society Of America.


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(The views therein do not necessarily reflect those of Cascadia Center)