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Friday, October 21, 2005

Legacy Parkway Talks

If you're following the Legacy Parkway Saga, you'll want to read the Associated Press Story, posted an hour and a half ago on KUTV.com.

Incisive reporting.


Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

There is a day coming sometime within a decade (I believe it will be much sooner) when it will be commonly understood that the world will no longer be able to grow the rate of motor fuel production and that alternative technology vehicles will never be a large scale substitute for petroleum powered ones. The unavoidable consequence is that vehicle miles traveled will also reach a peak and growth of highway traffic carrying capacity will be pointless. If the Legacy Parkway is not built before this day happens, it never will be. The Legacy Parkway is in a race that I hope it loses. The legal delays, rather than costing Utah a few hundred million may end up saving it a billion if they eventually cause the Legacy Parkway to lose that race.
And I hope that Senator Killpack continues to pursue corridor preservation like a rat on a donut. Not so that highways will eventually be built there. They wont. So that nothing will be built there. We're really going to need that land for local farming in the future.

10/21/2005 7:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

To a very large extent, the Utah legislature determines the future shape of our communities with road projects. The Legacy Highway is a vote for sprawl and increased dependency on oil. Much as I hate confrontational politics it is an area where we are served well by the democratic process.

I hope that some day we will stop looking at undeveloped land as our primary means for handling growth and start looking to restoring the cultural centers in Utah such as Salt Lake City and Ogden. The population of Salt Lake City proper is smaller that it was when I moved in to the valley in the 70s.

The way to reverse this trend is to be vocal about subsidized projects that encourage sprawl, and for calls for redevelopment of our cities.

While the debate process might seem tedious. It is needed.

10/23/2005 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who let the libs in?

The facts of the matter are that we will continue to grow in terms of population and we will continue to expand and we need the infrastructure for that in place ASAP. It's nice to have pipe dreams of utopian cities and super-efficient mass transit but neither of those things are economically feasible. Maybe in the future they will be, but right now the west is just too open and spread out.

If we don't do something now to elevate the massive congestion that's coming all we can look forward to is sitting on the freeway.

Dan the Barbarian

10/24/2005 6:45 PM  
Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

Dear Mr. Barbarian,

Unless you are rich or are already leading a very low mileage lifestyle, your relationship with your car will be changing very dramatically over the next decade. Fuel will become painfully expensive and drivers will do whatever they have to do to use much less of it. This will lead to a surge in carpooling and public transit utilization. Many will change where they live to be closer to work, or change where they work to be closer to where they live. New workers will avoid situations involving long commutes not served by transit in the first place.
What this means in practical terms is that the highway traffic, rather than doubling as predicted by the highway special interests, is going to plateau and eventually decline in the near future. A billion dollars spent expanding Utah's traffic carrying capacity from now on will simply be a billion dollars wasted.

In case you still imagine that this is a bunch of BS coming from liberals, look into what Texas oil billionare T. Boone Pickens, major supporter of both presidents Bush, and largest contributor to the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign has to say about peak oil. Look into what Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, consistently voted among the top ten most conservative congressmen, has said about peak oil in his multiple special order speeches before congress. Look into what Matthew Simmons, former Kaysville native, lifetime republican, energy advisor to president Bush and participant in the infamous Cheney energy taskforce has to say about the future of oil in his book "Twilight in the Desert"".

10/25/2005 11:09 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I am not sure how opposing a big government program designed to transfer wealth to politically connected developers makes me liberal.

Big government financed public works projects to spur growth is hallmark of modern liberalism. It seems to me that preserving the integrity of cultural centers such as Salt Lake City, Ogden, etc., is an inherently conservative idea.

Of course the words conservative and liberal are just a false us v. them argument.

BTW, I think you would find that many conservative think tanks find sprawl to be a big problem. They see the cause of sprawl as the result of government regulations that stifle revitalization of cities coupled with public spending programs that encourage rapid development of our rural lands. The Buckley type conservative would oppose the spending on roads to open rural areas for development and would oppose the over regulation of cities that stifle their growth.

Of course, Utahns are a strange thing called Neocons. A neocon is liberal who stopped calling himself a liberal to distance themselves from accesses of their beliefs.

10/28/2005 1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google dude,

Have you seen the price of gas? It's down. If we manage to get alamists like you out of the way, we'll be able to drill our own oil soon and that will drive it down even further. Your fever-dream of an America with $5.00 / gallon gas is not right around the corner. What is right around the corner is a mass of soon to be sixteen year olds who are going to be on the roads with the rest of us.

The fact of the matter is Utah is growing. You can't slow it and you can't stop it by fixing artificial constraints. You can't hope traffic gets so bad that people will just stop moving here. 70% of this state is wilderness, a few more houses and roads aren't going to make us like New York or LA - except of course for their traffic if we don't get new roads.

Dan the Barbarian

10/31/2005 7:28 PM  
Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

"We should take note that our major oil companies, including Chevron and ExxonMobil, are beginning to state publicly that we may be reaching peak oil." -- Senator Orrin Hatch

"The United States had 21.8 billion barrels of proved oil reserves as of January 1, 2001, twelfth highest in the world. These reserves are concentrated overwhelmingly (over 80%) in four states -- Texas (25% including the state's reserves in the Gulf of Mexico), Alaska (24%), California (21%), and Louisiana (14% including the state's reserves in the Gulf of Mexico). U.S. proven oil reserves have declined by around 20% since 1990, with the largest single-year decline (1.6 billion barrels) occurring in 1991"
- U.S. Energy Information Administration

America's remaining oil reservess are about 10% of what we started with and represent roughly a 1000 day (2.7 year)supply for U.S. consumption until complete exhaustion, if it could be extracted that fast, which it couldn't. In October, America's crude oil production reached it's lowest rate since 1943, at much less than half of it's peak production level in 1970.

The price of gasoline recently lowered to roughly pre-Katrina levels for two main reasons - We are importing gasoline from Europe's emergency reserve (which we will have to stop soon), and we are preferentially refining gasoline at the expense of diesel fuel and heating oil. Checked the price of diesel lately?

There is nothing artificial about the fuel supply constraints that will be limiting our travel and changing the way we live. That mass of 16 year olds is going to face a much different reality than we did at their age. They may be better for it. They will be much healthier than us because they actually walk much of the time, and they won't be trapped by foolish choices that put 30 miles of freeway between where they live and where they're expected to report to work every day.

11/01/2005 7:05 AM  

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