Re: [carfree_cities] John Kerry on energy and cities
- Does anybody have the numbers handy? US oil consumption is
about 20 million barrels/day, IIRC. I thought that we were
importing a lot more than 2 mbd from the Middle East. If
so, we ought to let the Kerry folks know about the mistake.
>> Kerry also has one of the best environmental voting records in-- ### --
>> the Senate. To suggest that there would not be an improvement under
>> Kerry in terms of progress towards the goals sought by carfree city
>> supporters- is naive. Please see
>I wouldn't disagree that his approach is superior to Bush's but there
>are still aspects of his plan that seem questionable or poorly
>explained. It may be better than execrable but it only shines in
>comparison to the other mainstream alternative.
>His energy plan is at the following URL:
>Now, I am not an American, but a Canadian recently moved to DC for
>work. Although I can't vote in the US elections, I think I can point
>out some points that Americans could encourage Kerry to rethink:
> From the introduction:
>"Kerrys plan will reduce oil dependence by two million barrels of oil
>a day, as much as we currently import from the Middle East."
>I wonder *when* this is supposed to happen? Twenty years from now, the
>date he sets for several of his targets? One suspects that the
>impending decline in cheap oil could well force the issue before that
>The section on "Priorities" several times proposes a future
>"hydrogen-based energy economy".
>Under "Reducing Oil Dependence by Two Million Barrels of Oil a Day":
>"Americans should drive the cars, SUVs, minivans and trucks of their
>choice, but that these vehicles can be safer, more efficient and
>affordable. Kerry believes that we should increase our fuel economy
>standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015 and will also provide tax
>incentives for consumers to buy the vehicles they want and incentives
>for manufacturers to convert factories to build the more efficient
>vehicles of the future. Taken together these proposals will enhance
>national security, strengthen the American auto industry, and protect
>and create jobs."
>Need I say anything here?
>"A Plan to Use Hydrogen Throughout the Nation By 2020":
>"While John Kerry believes our nation needs a strategy to reduce
>dependence on oil today, he knows we can harness technological
>innovation and ingenuity to develop a hydrogen-based economy for the
>He merely "believes" a strategy is necessary (!) but somehow "knows"
>that "they" will bring hydrogen down from the sky. This *fuel* for "the
>cars, SUVs, minivans and trucks of their choice", of course, will be
>"eventually" obtained "entirely from renewable sources from our farms,
>the wind, solar energy, hydropower and geothermal sources".
>He seems confident about predicting what *will* happen in the future
>(without providing dates!) but less so about the need for an
>oil-dependence strategy for today. Pies in the sky do look delicious,
>don't they? He also "knows" that we will have sufficient energy from
>various renewable sources to produce this hydrogen fuel, and presumably
>assumes that this leaves enough for other, primary uses of energy
>derived from these sources. Someone should be able to challenge him on
>his thinking here.
>"Making Our Homes, Offices, Schools, and Cities More Energy Efficient":
>"John Kerry believes that the government should promote the efficient
>use of energy in the places that we work and live. Kerry will cut the
>Governments energy bill 20 percent by 2020 saving the Federal
>government $8 billion over the next ten years - and will challenge
>municipalities, corporations, universities, small businesses, and
>hospitals to do the same. He will also provide tax credits for
>energy-efficient buildings and homes."
>Laudable, but is there room to be more aggressive in this area?
>He has two more sections, on gas and coal, which again leave much room
>A second area I find interesting is his section on "Urban America",
>which includes cities and their suburbs:
>I have copied a couple of quotes here:
>III. INVESTING IN COMMUNITIES.
> Urban areas are often the center for creative and scientific
>industries and technologies, which will provide the foundation for the
>nation's future prosperity. This prosperity is threatened, however, by
>persisting pockets of concentrated poverty, crime, under-performing
>schools, gridlocked highways, escalating taxes, and loss of community
>character. These threats lower the quality of life in urban areas and
>could undercut our metropolitan regions' capacity for growth and
>therefore our nation's economic security. John Kerry believes that
>investments in diverse, healthy communities will expand opportunity and
>help grow our economy.
>He notes the problem of gridlocked highways and loss of community
>character, but does not seem to understand that these problems are
>related to the mindset that says "Americans should drive the cars,
>SUVs, minivans and trucks of their choice". A look at the quote below
>reveals only a wishy-washy commitment to alternatives to a private
>car-centered transportation system; no hint of aggressive leadership on
>turning away from car culture and its voracious requirements.
> Federal Transportation Policy That Works For Communities. Federal
>transportation policy is a powerful tool for building more livable
>communities - those where people, businesses and neighborhoods have
>access to a variety of transportation choices. Transportation plays a
>major role in quality of life, influencing everything from access to
>economic opportunities to environmental quality and community safety.
>Having transportation choices means having the flexibility to use
>transportation dollars to best fit local needs such as building light
>rail and streetcar systems, redesigning neighborhood streets and
>sidewalks to be more pedestrian friendly, or reducing environmental
>damage caused by road projects. John Kerry will advance a federal
>transportation policy that gives communities this flexibility. John
>Kerry will also improve the transportation planning and decision-making
>process by strengthening the role of Metropolitan Planning
>Organizations and increasing the opportunities for meaningful public
>participation from important and diverse community voices.
>As I said, I'm not an American voter, but I think there is enough
>material here for concerned Americans to (try to) goad Kerry at least
>into improving on what he proposes today.
>...and when Paul Martin, the Canadian Prime Minister, calls an election
>sometime between now and this fall, I'd like to see if I can get
>together with Canadians on this list on challenging the parties on
>Washington DC, USA
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J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
- On Sat, 3 Apr 2004, J.H. Crawford wrote:
> Does anybody have the numbers handy?The "official" numbers are fairly well organized at:
Just don't pay any attention to their long-range projections ;^)
> US oil consumption isI haven't looked a the breakdowns recently, but total imports are
> about 20 million barrels/day, IIRC. I thought that we were
> importing a lot more than 2 mbd from the Middle East.
running at about 9 million bb/day, so...
As for Kerry vs. Bush on the environment, the differences are mostly
cosmetic. Like, Smirky, Kerry is an enthusiastic champion of the
global industrial machine that is gulping the planet's resources, and
spewing waste into every nook and cranny, as fast as possible. He's
just another bought-and-paid-for lackey of a system that is ensuring
that every drop of petroleum that can be pumped will be -- ASAP. To
believe that he is sincere when he makes pretty speeches about
protecting ANWR (or whatever) is truly naive.
Global industrial capitalism and environmentalism are incompatible.
Post Office Box 307
Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA
- Doug said:
>The "official" numbers are fairly well organized at:In fact, the 2 mbd figure is pretty accurate according to EIA.
>> US oil consumption is
>> about 20 million barrels/day, IIRC. I thought that we were
>> importing a lot more than 2 mbd from the Middle East.
>I haven't looked a the breakdowns recently, but total imports are
>running at about 9 million bb/day, so...
-- ### --
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
>As for Kerry vs. Bush on the environment, the differences are mostlycosmetic. Like, Smirky, Kerry is an enthusiastic champion of the global
industrial machine... To >believe that he is sincere when he makes
pretty speeches about protecting ANWR (or whatever) is truly naive.
Look, I'm not a massive Kerry fan, but there are serious differences
between Bush and Kerry. It's this kind of hyperbole which leads to
Nader votes, which leads to 4 more years of Bush in office, which I
don't even want to contemplate. If you don't believe Kerry's talk on
ANWR, then fine, check the voting record.
Here's Kerry according to an independent position-tracking website:
Here's Bill Frist, the "moderate" Senate Majority Leader:
And of course, here's Bush:
And here's Kerry vowing to filibuster the Senate along with Lieberman to
prevent an ANWR vote.
No, Kerry is not explicitly talking about demand reduction, compact
urban form, or even greater investment in transit. But he has gone on
record saying that we can't drill our way out of our energy problems.
Yes, I'd like to hear something more progressive from him, too, but this
is a step on the right path, and that's still important.
It's your choice- you can be ideologically pure about who you will
support, and cast your vote for some well-intentioned obscure person who
will not impact the national debate in any way. I choose to vote in a
way that maximizes the chance of success for my goals for my community
and my country, and that vote is not only a vote against Bush, but also
for John Kerry and Democratic candidates in Senate and House races, and
Democrats and Greens locally. Additionally, I believe that this is the
best voting posture for U.S. supporters of carfree or car-lite living