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Keyword: boondoggle

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  • B.C.'s Site C hydro power boondoggle shows real cost of 'clean' energy

    01/11/2021 8:56:01 PM PST · by Pining_4_TX · 16 replies
    Financial Post ^ | 01/06/21 | Terence Corcoran
    If you’re looking for an example of green and clean energy policy in action, let’s take a walk around British Columbia’s massive $10-12-billion hydro dam project. Officially described as the “Site C Clean Energy Project” by its developer, B.C. Hydro, the project on the Peace River — some 1,185 kilometres by flying crow north of downtown Vancouver — is unfortunately a little messy and unstable at the moment, so watch your footing, and your wallet. Under foot, according to Premier John Horgan, “there is instability on one of the banks of the river.” Early last year B.C. Hydro identified “structural...
  • ‘Horrible sequence of mistakes’: How bullet train contractors botched a bridge project

    08/10/2020 8:25:59 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 69 replies
    L A Times ^ | 08/10/2020 | Ralph Vartabedian
    A series of errors by contractors and consultants on the California bullet train venture caused support cables to fail on a massive bridge crucial to the project, triggering an order to stop work that further delayed a project already years behind schedule, the Los Angeles Times has learned. The bridge is longer than two football fields and is needed to shuttle vehicles over the future bullet train right of way and existing BNSF freight tracks in Madera County. Authorities have yet to finalize a plan to repair the bridge. Late last year, crews installed temporary steel supports to prevent it...
  • General Motors and Honda to co-develop electric vehicles

    04/05/2020 9:07:43 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    Fox News ^ | 04/03/2020 | Gary Gastelu
    General Motors will work with Honda to design and develop two electric vehicles using GM’s new EV platform, the automakers announced Thursday. Details on what type of vehicles they are building were not revealed, but Honda will design the bodies and interiors and expects to start selling them in North America by 2024. Honda is already an investor in GM’s Cruise autonomous car division, and they have previously worked together on battery technology. Honda recently said it would discontinue sales of the electric version of its Clarity model, which was the only all-electric car it sold in the U.S. …
  • Journalism Needs a Stimulus. Here’s What it Should Look Like

    03/25/2020 9:39:10 AM PDT · by Drango · 4 replies
    CJR ^ | MARCH 24, 2020 | Craig Aaron
    THE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 HAS UPENDED everything, including business as usual in Washington. In a matter of days, facing the reality of a nationwide shutdown and a worsening economic crisis, Congress got serious about spending money—a lot of it. A recovery package in the trillions of dollars is expected soon, and more stimulus bills are likely to follow. While the most powerful lobbies in Washington—the airlines, the oil companies, the chambers of commerce—are ready with their wish lists, the media and policymakers aren’t talking enough about how recovery and stimulus bills could help journalism. Free Press, the independent, nonprofit advocacy organization...
  • Biden Says High-Speed Rail Will Get Millions of Cars Off the Road. That's Malarkey. This is what happens when you think all of America looks like the Acela corridor.

    03/17/2020 6:50:48 AM PDT · by karpov · 70 replies
    Reason ^ | March 16, 2020 | Scott Shackford
    In the midst of Sunday's presidential debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Biden blurted out that his campaign's high-speed rail plan would take "millions of automobiles off the road." This is the second debate in which the former vice president brought up the belief that bullet trains will get people out of their cars. This is, to put it mildly, extremely unlikely. Biden's campaign site calls for "the construction of an end-to-end high speed rail system that will connect the coasts, unlocking new, affordable access for every American." Would bullet trains passing through major cities scattered across the U.S....
  • Astronomers want public funds for intelligent life search

    02/15/2020 11:04:54 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    The UK's Astronomer Royal, Professor Lord Rees, is the chair of the organisation's international advisory group. He told the BBC that, given that the multi-billion pound Large Hadron Collider had not yet achieved its aim of finding sub-atomic particles beyond the current theory of physics, governments should consider modest funding of a few million pounds for Seti. "I'd feel far more confident arguing the case for Seti than for a particle accelerator," he said. "Seti searches are surely worthwhile, despite the heavy odds against success, because the stakes are so high". Nasa once funded the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence to...
  • If You’ve Dreamed of a Cross-Country Bike Trip, This Nearly 4,000-Mile Trail Could Make That a Reality

    02/14/2020 1:12:53 PM PST · by rktman · 94 replies
    getpocket.com ^ | 5/8/2019 | Lyndsey Matthews
    A road trip may be the classic way to traverse the United States, but cyclists will eventually be able to make the cross-country bike trip a reality on a newly created trail system. Once it is completed, the Great American Rail-Trail will connect more than 3,700 miles of repurposed train routes and multi-use trails—all separate from vehicle traffic—across 12 states from Washington, D.C., to Washington State. Here’s everything we know about it so far. Where Will the Route Go? In May 2019, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) revealed the route that will connect 125 existing trails with another 90 “trail gaps,”...
  • California High-Speed Rail Cost Rises By Another $1 Billion

    02/13/2020 2:34:36 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 45 replies
    cbs5SanFrancisco ^ | 02/12/2020
    California High-Speed Rail Authority on Wednesday bumped its overall cost estimate for completing the rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles to $80.3 billion, blaming inflationary increases and better cost projections... After years of embarrassing cost overruns and delays, managers of California’s ambitious bullet-train project insisted that they are on pace to meet a preliminary 2022 federal deadline for laying track along the first segment in the Central Valley. But that will use up virtually all the money the project has available. The authority’s latest business plan comes amid unrelenting pressure from state lawmakers, some of whom want to...
  • Trump’s Budget Proposal Would Kill Loans for EV Projects, Including Lordstown Motors

    02/11/2020 9:54:25 PM PST · by RomanSoldier19 · 42 replies
    Car and Driver• ^ | February 10, 2020 | Colin Beresford ,Car and Driver•
    President Trump's budget would eliminate the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, an Energy Department initiative to lend money to retool factories and advance the progress of electric-vehicle manufacturing.
  • A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online (costing taxpayers $737 million)

    01/07/2020 8:57:09 AM PST · by karpov · 22 replies
    Bloomberg Businessweek | January 6, 2020 | Chris Martin and Nick Querolo
    No excerpt from Bloomberg allowed, story here. Another article, ungated: This $1 billion solar plant was obsolete before it ever went online. The article says taxpayers are liable for $737 million in loan guarantees. The waste in a Green New Deal could be in the trillions.
  • The Men Who Walked Away

    12/06/2019 5:51:41 AM PST · by Rummyfan · 8 replies
    Steyn Online ^ | 5 Dec 2019 | Mark Steyn
    Friday December 6th marks the thirtieth anniversary of the "Montreal Massacre" - a grim day in 1989 when fourteen female students at the École Polytechnique were murdered by a man known to posterity as "Marc Lépine". Much followed from that terrible slaughter, including various useless "gun control" measures - and the formal annual commemorations that, three decades on, are attended by as many eminences as Remembrance Day or Dominion Day. The men present in that classroom are now in their mid-fifties; the women are not. I was far from home that December and was not back in Quebec until Christmas....
  • FRA Issues $24MM Maglev NOFO [i.e. Notice of Grant Funding Opportunity]

    10/30/2019 6:54:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Railway Age ^ | October 30, 2019 | Andrew Corselli
    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently published a Notice of Grant Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for a shade over $24 million for the Magnetic Levitation Technology Deployment Program (Maglev Grants Program). […] Published in the Federal Register, the NOFO notes that existing projects proposed for Pittsburgh, Baltimore-Washington and Atlanta-Chattanooga are the only ones eligible for the full $24.03 million. Applicants with otherwise eligible Maglev projects may apply only for the $10 million in 2019 Funds. …
  • Hiring begins for 250 construction workers at $250 million solar farm (Michigan)

    10/25/2019 5:10:12 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 16 replies
    WJRT-TV ^ | October 22, 2019 | Staff
    SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (10/22/2019) - The construction contractor for a $250 million solar farm in Shiawassee County is ready to start hiring 250 workers to build the development. McCarthy Building Companies, which is the general contractor for Ranger Power's Assembly Solar project in Hazelton and Venice townships, is looking for pile drivers, forklift operators, layout crews and general laborers. The jobs all start at $15 an hour with higher wages possible based on experience. On the job training will be provided, along with health insurance, paid time off, retirement savings and seven paid holidays in 2020. Construction is expected to...
  • Ohio planners looking at a 30-year timeline for hyperloop project between Pittsburgh and Chicago

    10/18/2019 8:37:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 38 replies
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | October 17, 2019 | Ed Blazina
    Ohio planners will move full speed ahead on a proposed hyperloop system that would carry passengers between Pittsburgh and Chicago in about 58 minutes for a one-way cost of about $93. But the full system, known as Mid-West Connect, probably wouldn’t be finished until about 2050. Thea Walsh, director of transportation and funding for the Columbus, Ohio-based Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, said this week the agency is putting the finishing touches on feasibility and environmental impact studies but has concluded it should pursue the hyperloop system. The system being developed by Virgin Hyperloop One would move passengers and freight in...
  • $2 million study looks at hyperloop – 700 mph transit – that would cross Pennsylvania

    10/13/2019 8:19:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 63 replies
    The Patriot-News ^ | September 26, 2019 | Jana Benscoter
    Will a hyperloop work in Pennsylvania? That’s the question officials from legislative and executive branches, statewide agencies, organizations and departments, as well as a handful of private business leaders are trying to answer. Fifty people, invited to a workshop at Dixon University in Harrisburg on Wednesday, met to talk about the possibility of building a hyperloop system in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has until April 2020 to complete a $2 million state-legislative commissioned study on its viability. Media wasn’t permitted to attend the invitation-only meeting. According to the turnpike’s research, a hyperloop combines a magnetic levitation train and...
  • 50 World Mayors Fly to Denmark and Pledge to ‘Do Something About Climate

    10/14/2019 7:55:59 AM PDT · by ChicagoConservative27 · 69 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 10/14/2019 | Simon Kent
    Mayors from 50 world cities flew to Denmark last week to discuss ways to address the “global climate emergency,” pledging to “do something about it” before they headed homewards again on Sunday. Telling adults to eat less than 300 grams of red meat – about the equivalent of two fillet steaks – a week was one initiative they could agree on.
  • Police Robot on Patrol Completely Ignores Woman Trying to Summon The Police

    10/12/2019 9:04:46 AM PDT · by simpson96 · 19 replies
    ScienceAlert ^ | 10/10/2019 | Dan Robitzki
    Those Knightscope security robots may not be so great at their jobs. When a woman in a park near Los Angeles saw people fighting and tried to summon help via a police robot patrolling nearby, the robot merely told her to "step out of the way" and continued along its pre-determined route, according to NBC News. No help came until the spectators called 911 directly, raising the question of what, if any, function these robots are actually supposed to serve. It turns out that the robot, a K5 model named "HP RoboCop", patrols the park on behalf of the police...
  • The MAX Yellow Line: A Look Back After 15 Years

    09/28/2019 5:41:25 AM PDT · by Twotone · 6 replies
    Cascade Policy Institute ^ | September 12, 2019 | Rachel Dawson
    TriMet’s MAX Yellow Line first opened 15 years ago in May 2004. The Yellow Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) made a myriad of predictions for the year 2020, which makes now the perfect time to reflect on what officials promised and what taxpayers and transit riders have since received. Yellow Line History The Yellow Line originated in 1988 as a 21-mile project connecting Vancouver, Washington with Downtown Portland and Clackamas Town Center. This plan was scrapped after Clark County voters defeated a proposal to raise $236.5 million in 1995 and Oregon voters turned down a $475 million regional ballot...
  • Austin’s [TX] $2 Billion Biomass Boondoggle

    09/19/2019 11:14:50 AM PDT · by JeepersFreepers · 27 replies
    Texas Scorecard ^ | 5/30/19 | Jacob Asmussen
    Austin Mayor Steve Adler recently announced the city’s taxpayers will be paying a whopping $460 million to buy a biomass power plant in East Texas, a plant Austinites had already coughed up $128 million to build and were paying $54 million every year to operate. Even after all that cash over the span of six years, the plant produced energy for only two months. The story began in 2008, when Roger Duncan, then-Austin Energy’s general manager, sketched out a plan to help achieve Austin City Council’s renewable energy goals. He wanted local citizens to pony up the cash to build...
  • NASA's Mighty Moon Launcher Moves to Rocket Pad for Solo Testing

    07/08/2019 8:43:31 AM PDT · by Jagermonster · 14 replies
    Space.com ^ | July 8, 2019 | Elizabeth Howell
    NASA's lunar mobile launcher is one step closer to sending its first spacecraft to the moon. The launcher is now in final testing for Artemis 1 — an uncrewed test trip around the moon of the Orion spacecraft slated for 2020 or so — after making its last solo trip to the Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B on June 27. The launcher will remain at the pad for two months before going inside the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to join the Orion capsule and its rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS). One day, this same system could...