“Replacing Oil With Electricity And Biofuels In Transportation”

My colleague Steve Marshall, a senior fellow at Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center For Regional Development, has authored a new white paper, for the Third Annual Conference On Renewable Energy In The Northwest. It’s titled, “Replacing Oil with Electricity and Biofuels in Transportation: The Convergence of Technology and Public Policy.” The pdf file is here. Marshall cites data showing transportation plays a major role in greenhouse gas emissions, especially in Washington state, and argues that clean electricity and biofuels used to power vehicles can yield substantial environmental, economic and political benefits. Marshall provides a detailed factual narrative of commitments to test and develop plug-in hybrid vehicle technology by vehicle manufacturers, electric power utilities and technology companies. He also highlights the potential Read More ›

New Study: PHEVs Could Help Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new study issued by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by consumers and fleet managers could by 2050 cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 163 to 612 million metric tons, and total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 to 10.3 billion metric tons. How much of a difference would that really make? MIT Technology Review assesses the study’s findings this way: The study shows that if plug-in hybrids are adopted widely in the United States, and if measures are taken to clean up power plants, by 2050, plug-in hybrids could reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 612 million metric tons, or roughly 5 percent of the total U.S. Read More ›

“Green Wheels Spinning For Venture Backers”

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 Read More ›

BC To Push For More Green Taxis

“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, Read More ›

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

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 Read More ›

Your “Ride” Shapes Our National Security, And Environment

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 Read More ›

Driving To A Cleaner Future

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 Read More ›

Green Idaho A Harbinger

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 Read More ›

“Saving The Earth Sensibly” With A Carbon Tax

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. Read More ›

Research Compendium

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. MANAGING, PLANNING & FUNDING 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 Read More ›