Archive for the ‘electric vehicles’ Category

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Could government green buying simulate the economy?

November 21, 2008

The Daily Kos (and other places too) recommended the government replace it’s mamoth fleet of ICE cars with Chevy Volts instead of dumping a huge bailout in their laps.  That would 1) stimulate the demand for US hybrids, 2) support the automaker with legitimate revenue, and 3) improve the government fleet’s MPG.

I’ve an advocate of this approach to promoting green tech (see my earlier post about School Solar) because it allows markets to develop.  Unfortunately, the companies most likely to have solutions are not equipped to navigate the bureaucracy need to do business with the government.  For example, Texas has funds to install solar at school but the money goes unspent because solar installers are not on school bid lists!

Here are 10 programs that would generate more tax revenue (to pay off ill conceived bailouts) and/or simulate critical US technology sectors:

  1. carbon tax (gas is cheap now, let’s act before people forget about high prices)
  2. convert trucks to natural gas (ala T Boone Pickens)
  3. energy neutral for schools and military bases in 5 years
  4. require national time-of-use billing by utilities including tax-by-time-of-use
  5. national passenger rail on dedicated tracks – free up freight lines for freight and make passenger trains faster
  6. nuclear plant design standardization & construction
  7. implement LED lighting in all government buildings (not those toxic CFLs!)
  8. legislate tele-commuting / commuting carbon footprint reduction
  9. enable cities to implement pay for car entry policies
  10. eliminate corn ethanol as a fuel
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Welcome to a brand new Earth Day

April 25, 2008

The overall media love that has become Earth Day is both overwhelming and comforting. Overwhelming from the blitz of green logos, magazine covers, and animated recycling symbols and comforting because people seem to be sincerely enthusiastic about it. Perhaps Earth Day is speeding towards Hallmark Holiday celebrity. Perhaps we’ve reached a tipping point now that a gallon of gas is more expensive than a Hallmark Earth Day card.

For these reasons and more, I’m choosing Earth Day 2008 to officially launch my TribalGrid blog. My interest in “social energy” and sustainability are stretching the scope of my EV blog and I don’t want pull a Venkman and cross the beams. I’m excited to be starting a new site to talk about something that resonates with my feeling of urgency about the environment. I find the passion that drove me to build the RAVolt has been growing and looking for ways to ignite the conservation spark in others.

Social energy focuses on community awareness of conservation, sustainability, and usage patterns. Hopefully this blog is helping emerge this concept and encouraging others to collaborate and extend it.