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strange bedfellows

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  • J.H. Crawford
    This is interesting. I don t trust my source, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, but the article apparently originates with the Washington
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 15, 2005
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      This is interesting. I don't trust my source, World Business
      Council for Sustainable Development, but the article apparently
      originates with the Washington Post, which is somewhat more
      reliable.


      http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=14062


      An Unlikely Meeting Of the Minds - For Very Different Reasons, Groups Agree on Gas Alternatives

      The Washington Post
      31 March 2005

      Environmentalists aren't the only ones applauding the sales stumble of big SUVs and pickups in the face of high gas prices.

      Groups of conservative Republicans see an opportunity to step up a campaign to promote alternative-fuel vehicles and wean the nation from dependence on foreign oil. While skeptical about links between autos and global warming, the conservatives have concluded that cutting gasoline consumption is a matter of national security.

      A who's who of right-leaning military hawks -- including former CIA director R. James Woolsey and Iraq war advocate Frank J. Gaffney Jr. -- has joined with environmental advocates such as the Natural Resources Defense Council to lobby Congress to spend $12 billion to cut oil use in half by 2025. The alliance highlights how popular sentiment is turning against the no-worries gas-guzzling culture of the past decade and how alternative technologies such as gas-electric hybrids are finding increasingly widespread support.

      "I think there are a number of things converging," said Gary L. Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate and former head of the Family Research Council who has signed on to a strange-bedfellows coalition of conservatives and environmentalists called Set America Free. "I just think reasonable people are more inclined right now to start thinking about ways our country's future isn't dependent on . . . oil from a region where there are a lot of very bad actors."

      The war in Iraq and escalating terrorism in the Middle East have shaken Americans' faith in cheap, plentiful gasoline. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $2.153 yesterday, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, and benchmark crude oil closed at $53.99 per barrel, compared with $36.25 a year ago. Last week a survey sponsored by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute in Boston found that two-thirds of Americans feel it is "patriotic" to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

      At the same time, the success of the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape Hybrid has demonstrated that drivers don't have to sacrifice fun, performance or status to achieve better gas mileage. The Civil Society survey of more than 1,000 people -- evenly divided between men and women -- found that nearly two-thirds worry that Japanese and other foreign automakers are pulling ahead of their U.S. counterparts in alternative-fuel technology.

      Such fears are changing many long-standing positions on the issue of fuel economy. While Democrats have rallied against America's oil dependence -- Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) termed the issue a national emergency during last year's presidential campaign -- Republicans have been more likely to advocate further exploration for oil reserves than to sound the alarm about the need for new technologies.

      On Monday, 31 national security experts wrote to President Bush on behalf of the Energy Future Coalition, a nonpartisan think tank founded in 2001, calling for action to urge industry to develop alternative-fuel vehicles. The group included prominent Republicans -- such as Robert C. McFarlane, President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, and C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush -- as well as Democrats, including former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart.

      Environmental advocates at the Natural Resources Defense Council said they were surprised late last year when several conservative groups called about working together to promote alternative-fuel vehicles. The idea of using federal funding to encourage industry to change, instead of just handing out punishment for not meeting fuel-efficiency guidelines, was especially attractive, said David Doniger, policy director for the NRDC Climate Center.

      "Our belief is that there is a lot of merit to policies that I guess you'd call 'carrot and stick' policies," he said. "You need the limits on pollution . . . but in addition we recognize that the industry could benefit from some incentives to convert technology more quickly and at lower cost."

      Such legislation "may be both more enactable and more successful than focusing only on the limits, or on the stick, so to speak," Doniger said.

      The United Auto Workers also has come around to accepting the need for alternative-fuel vehicles. The UAW has long viewed efforts to boost federal gas mileage standards as a threat to Detroit's success with truck and SUV sales and as bad for U.S. jobs. Now the union sees a new threat from the increasing popularity of foreign-produced hybrid and advanced diesel technology, which a recent University of Michigan study said could cost the United States as many as 200,000 jobs.

      So the UAW, in cooperation with the nonpartisan National Commission on Energy Policy, has begun promoting a proposal for a federal program to encourage U.S. manufacturers to develop their own alternative-fuel technology and keep those jobs here. "The guts of what we're proposing -- which is really an investment tax credit -- that's not a Republican or Democrat idea. That's sort of motherhood and apple pie to business folks and conservative folks. In theory I do think we have support across the political spectrum to this type of approach," said Alan Reuther, legislative director at the UAW.

      Domestic automakers are considering support for the UAW proposal. "We've been engaged in discussions with them to see if there's something we can all agree on," said Dennis Fitzgibbons, a lobbyist for DaimlerChrysler AG.

      Set America Free is advocating a combination of manufacturer and consumer tax credits, as well as federal research funding, to help U.S. companies rush to the marketplace with vehicles that run on alternative sources of power. They favor a wide mix of technology including methanol, wider use of ethanol and development of plug-in hybrids that can go long distances on batteries. The Rockville-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, an energy policy think tank founded after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, formulated the plan late last year and has sought support from the right and left on the political spectrum.

      Now the group is creating unexpected pairings of conservative defense policy wonks and environmental activists to lobby members of Congress for support and last week staged a briefing for Capitol Hill staffers.

      Gaffney, who runs the Center for Security Policy think tank, said he had something of an epiphany on the issue last year after attending a conference on the outlook for Saudi Arabian oil reserves. A longtime advocate of nuclear energy and ballistic missile defense, and a member of the neo-conservative movement that pushed for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Gaffney said he realized it's no longer tenable to send billions of dollars in oil proceeds to the Middle East.

      "It's a recipe for disaster," he said. "Most of the places we import from have regimes that are at best unstable and at worst openly hostile to the United States. . . . What are we doing giving all this money to the people who are trying to kill us?"

      The emergence of China as an industrial powerhouse is compounding the problem, he said, creating a huge rival to the United States for the world's dwindling oil reserves. "We have a national security emergency on our hands," Gaffney said.

      Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week that he plans to form a bipartisan "Oil and National Security Caucus" to build political support for action. His staff members declined to say which Republican colleagues are being approached about joining the group, but Engel said at a joint appearance with Gaffney on Capitol Hill that there is interest on both sides of the aisle.

      "This isn't a Republican or a Democrat issue, or a right-wing or left-wing issue. It's an American issue," Engel said.

      Ultimately, though, it's also a consumer issue. And advocates of alternative technology are going to have to make the case that Americans will see tangible benefits from switching to fuels other than gasoline, said Lindsay Brooke of the auto industry consulting firm CSM Worldwide.

      "There's a lot of public discourse about energy independence and so on," Brooke said. "But I still think we have a ways to go. The public's concern really is for its own wallet."



      ------ ### -----
      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
    • Todd Edelman
      note: Original article from Washington Post follows my response. Joel, Trust your sources. Just because people are neo-Cons etc etc clearly does not mean they
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 15, 2005
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        note: Original article from Washington Post follows my
        response.

        Joel,

        Trust your sources. Just because people are neo-Cons
        etc etc clearly does not mean they are stupid.

        As much as they are interested in the part of
        "Aggressive Oil Exploration" that puts Hummer-sized
        bank notes into the arms industry , they also imagine
        quite well riots from the East coast to the West (or
        possibly the other direction?) over a lack of
        Entitlement Vitamins (coincidentally the same initals
        as electric vehicle).

        So, while this is obviously just a wolf in wolf's
        clothing in regards to the "auto-negatives" (all the
        bad things about cars) aside from emissions/peak oil
        stuff, I think it could actually be dressed as the
        proverbial sheep in regards to bringing back nuclear
        energy to America. In fact, I think the nuke mafia are
        possibly present at meetings with NRDC, dressed as
        that animal (having kept the larder full for the past
        few years with consultant fees from the 20+ nuke
        station projects in China, perhaps).

        Ok, I cant prove anything right now. BUT that the
        Neo-Cons are backing Prius-isation is no surprise.
        Decreasing emissions in the USA (if that is a goal)
        and decreasing deaths in the Middle East is a good
        thing (of course one condition for Israel is a
        "victory" in Iraq - only then will the bombs - thank
        you all for meeting the April 15 deadline! - be
        redirected).

        But, in sum, I think this is like a party where
        vegetarian hors d'oeuvres are brought around... but
        where some of guests are vegans, and there is no main
        course, and no plan for one....

        UNLESS!! you think that Neo-Cons etc are in fact
        fooling themselves and unintentionally preparing for a
        carfree future - but this depends on nuclear and
        possibly also "superclean" coal being rejected.

        Then the battle will be about the new or possibly
        third generation space shuttle developed to aid in
        exporting methane from Titan.

        Not impressed,
        Todd




        --- "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > This is interesting. I don't trust my source, World
        > Business
        > Council for Sustainable Development, but the article
        > apparently
        > originates with the Washington Post, which is
        > somewhat more
        > reliable.
        >
        >
        >
        http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=14062
        >
        >
        > An Unlikely Meeting Of the Minds - For Very
        > Different Reasons, Groups Agree on Gas Alternatives
        >
        > The Washington Post
        > 31 March 2005
        >
        > Environmentalists aren't the only ones applauding
        > the sales stumble of big SUVs and pickups in the
        > face of high gas prices.
        >
        > Groups of conservative Republicans see an
        > opportunity to step up a campaign to promote
        > alternative-fuel vehicles and wean the nation from
        > dependence on foreign oil. While skeptical about
        > links between autos and global warming, the
        > conservatives have concluded that cutting gasoline
        > consumption is a matter of national security.
        >
        > A who's who of right-leaning military hawks --
        > including former CIA director R. James Woolsey and
        > Iraq war advocate Frank J. Gaffney Jr. -- has joined
        > with environmental advocates such as the Natural
        > Resources Defense Council to lobby Congress to spend
        > $12 billion to cut oil use in half by 2025. The
        > alliance highlights how popular sentiment is turning
        > against the no-worries gas-guzzling culture of the
        > past decade and how alternative technologies such as
        > gas-electric hybrids are finding increasingly
        > widespread support.
        >
        > "I think there are a number of things converging,"
        > said Gary L. Bauer, a former Republican presidential
        > candidate and former head of the Family Research
        > Council who has signed on to a strange-bedfellows
        > coalition of conservatives and environmentalists
        > called Set America Free. "I just think reasonable
        > people are more inclined right now to start thinking
        > about ways our country's future isn't dependent on .
        > . . oil from a region where there are a lot of very
        > bad actors."
        >
        > The war in Iraq and escalating terrorism in the
        > Middle East have shaken Americans' faith in cheap,
        > plentiful gasoline. The average price of a gallon of
        > regular gasoline reached $2.153 yesterday, according
        > to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, and benchmark crude
        > oil closed at $53.99 per barrel, compared with
        > $36.25 a year ago. Last week a survey sponsored by
        > the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute in Boston
        > found that two-thirds of Americans feel it is
        > "patriotic" to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
        >
        > At the same time, the success of the Toyota Prius
        > and the Ford Escape Hybrid has demonstrated that
        > drivers don't have to sacrifice fun, performance or
        > status to achieve better gas mileage. The Civil
        > Society survey of more than 1,000 people -- evenly
        > divided between men and women -- found that nearly
        > two-thirds worry that Japanese and other foreign
        > automakers are pulling ahead of their U.S.
        > counterparts in alternative-fuel technology.
        >
        > Such fears are changing many long-standing positions
        > on the issue of fuel economy. While Democrats have
        > rallied against America's oil dependence -- Sen.
        > John F. Kerry (Mass.) termed the issue a national
        > emergency during last year's presidential campaign
        > -- Republicans have been more likely to advocate
        > further exploration for oil reserves than to sound
        > the alarm about the need for new technologies.
        >
        > On Monday, 31 national security experts wrote to
        > President Bush on behalf of the Energy Future
        > Coalition, a nonpartisan think tank founded in 2001,
        > calling for action to urge industry to develop
        > alternative-fuel vehicles. The group included
        > prominent Republicans -- such as Robert C.
        > McFarlane, President Ronald Reagan's national
        > security adviser, and C. Boyden Gray, White House
        > counsel for President George H.W. Bush -- as well as
        > Democrats, including former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart.
        >
        >
        > Environmental advocates at the Natural Resources
        > Defense Council said they were surprised late last
        > year when several conservative groups called about
        > working together to promote alternative-fuel
        > vehicles. The idea of using federal funding to
        > encourage industry to change, instead of just
        > handing out punishment for not meeting
        > fuel-efficiency guidelines, was especially
        > attractive, said David Doniger, policy director for
        > the NRDC Climate Center.
        >
        > "Our belief is that there is a lot of merit to
        > policies that I guess you'd call 'carrot and stick'
        > policies," he said. "You need the limits on
        > pollution . . . but in addition we recognize that
        > the industry could benefit from some incentives to
        > convert technology more quickly and at lower cost."
        >
        > Such legislation "may be both more enactable and
        > more successful than focusing only on the limits, or
        > on the stick, so to speak," Doniger said.
        >
        > The United Auto Workers also has come around to
        > accepting the need for alternative-fuel vehicles.
        > The UAW has long viewed efforts to boost federal gas
        > mileage standards as a threat to Detroit's success
        > with truck and SUV sales and as bad for U.S. jobs.
        > Now the union sees a new threat from the increasing
        > popularity of foreign-produced hybrid and advanced
        > diesel technology, which a recent University of
        > Michigan study said could cost the United States as
        > many as 200,000 jobs.
        >
        > So the UAW, in cooperation with the nonpartisan
        > National Commission on Energy Policy, has begun
        > promoting a proposal for a federal program to
        > encourage U.S. manufacturers to develop their own
        > alternative-fuel technology and keep those jobs
        > here. "The guts of what we're proposing -- which is
        > really an investment tax credit -- that's not a
        > Republican or Democrat idea. That's sort of
        > motherhood and apple pie to business folks and
        > conservative folks. In theory I do think we have
        > support across the political spectrum to this type
        > of approach," said Alan Reuther, legislative
        > director at the UAW.
        >
        > Domestic automakers are considering support for the
        > UAW proposal. "We've been engaged in discussions
        > with them to see if there's something we can all
        > agree on," said Dennis Fitzgibbons, a lobbyist for
        > DaimlerChrysler AG.
        >
        > Set America Free is advocating a combination of
        > manufacturer and consumer tax credits, as well as
        > federal research funding, to help U.S. companies
        > rush to the marketplace with vehicles that run on
        > alternative sources of power. They favor a wide mix
        > of technology including methanol, wider use of
        > ethanol and development of plug-in hybrids that can
        > go long distances on batteries. The Rockville-based
        > Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, an
        > energy policy think tank founded after the Sept. 11,
        > 2001, terrorist attacks, formulated the plan late
        > last year and has sought support from the right and
        > left on the political spectrum.
        >
        > Now the group is creating unexpected pairings of
        > conservative defense policy wonks and environmental
        > activists to lobby members of Congress for support
        > and last week staged a briefing for Capitol Hill
        > staffers.
        >
        > Gaffney, who runs the Center for Security Policy
        > think tank, said he had something of an epiphany on
        > the issue last year after attending a conference on
        > the outlook for Saudi Arabian oil reserves. A
        > longtime advocate of nuclear energy and ballistic
        > missile defense, and a member of the
        > neo-conservative movement that pushed for the
        > overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Gaffney said he
        > realized it's no longer tenable to send billions of
        > dollars in oil proceeds to the Middle East.
        >
        > "It's a recipe for disaster," he said. "Most of the
        > places we import from have regimes that are at best
        > unstable and at worst openly hostile to the United
        > States. . . . What are we doing giving all this
        > money to the people who are trying to kill us?"
        >
        > The emergence of China as an industrial powerhouse
        > is compounding the problem, he said, creating a huge
        > rival to the United States for the world's dwindling
        > oil reserves. "We have a national security emergency
        > on our hands," Gaffney said.
        >
        > Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), a member of the House
        > Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week that
        > he plans to form a bipartisan "Oil and National
        > Security Caucus" to build political support for
        > action. His staff members declined to say which
        > Republican colleagues are being approached about
        > joining the group, but Engel said at a joint
        > appearance with Gaffney on Capitol Hill that there
        > is interest on both sides of the aisle.
        >
        > "This isn't a Republican or a Democrat issue, or a
        > right-wing or left-wing issue. It's an American
        > issue," Engel said.
        >
        > Ultimately, though, it's also a consumer issue. And
        > advocates of alternative technology are going to
        > have to make the case that Americans will see
        > tangible benefits from switching to fuels other than
        > gasoline, said Lindsay Brooke of the auto industry
        > consulting firm CSM Worldwide.
        >
        > "There's a lot of public discourse about energy
        > independence and so on," Brooke said. "But I still
        > think we have a ways to go. The public's concern
        > really is for its own wallet."
        >
        >
        >
        > ------ ###
        > -----
        > J.H. Crawford
        > Carfree Cities
        > mailbox@...
        > http://www.carfree.com
        >
        >
        >
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        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >

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      • Todd Edelman
        Hey Group, In response to my commentary on the tryst (trust?) of the Conservatives / Neo-Cons and the NRDC, my father ... than ... To which I responded: Dear
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 15, 2005
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          Hey Group,

          In response to my commentary on the tryst (trust?) of
          the Conservatives / Neo-Cons and the NRDC, my father
          wrote:

          > Funny...your letter.
          >
          > Gas prices, adjusted to inflation, were higher in
          > the 70's..."oil
          > crisis." Diesel for my VW Rabbit (Golf) was cheaper
          than
          > gasoline.
          >
          > Otec (Slovak for "father")

          To which I responded:

          Dear Member of the "You think this is bad?!? 500
          million years ago we didn't even have bones..."
          Association,

          The difference now, more than thirty years on, is that
          despite the reduction in automobile size and
          increase in efficiency and blah, blah, blah it is
          becoming common knowledge (based on scientific
          evidence) that that oil production will be decreasing
          soon.

          Also, there is more environmental awareness and
          possibly more war fatigue, though how these ultimately
          affect things is a mixed-bag.

          So, back in the "oil crisis" people bought Rabbits
          (which evidence has showed breed like crazy) and now
          in the "(too early to give it a name) crisis" people
          are buying Priai (plural of Prius?) which like the
          name itself feels like something but means less than
          we want to believe.

          The interesting thing is if the perception that gas is
          more expensive now is based on something more than
          distortions of memory... if and how people are
          becoming more cognizant of the other costs of car
          ownership (everything from high repair costs to high
          environmental and societal costs).

          Maybe automobile associations will tell people to
          "blame it on oil prices" when announcing car divorce,
          rather than individual and group decisions from the
          conscious to the unconscious.

          Todd



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        • Karen Sandness
          The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long been in favor of mass transit, so not all Republicans are knee-jerk car potatoes. In transit, Karen Sandness
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 16, 2005
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            The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long been in favor of mass
            transit, so not all Republicans are knee-jerk car potatoes.

            In transit,
            Karen Sandness
          • Andrew Dawson
            ... Karen you made a very good point, just because some one is a conservative dosen t mean that they are right winged. Just as there are liberals who are not
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 18, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Karen Sandness wrote:
              >The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long been in favor of mass
              >transit, so not all Republicans are knee-jerk car potatoes.

              Karen you made a very good point, just because some one is a conservative
              dosen't mean that they are right winged. Just as there are liberals who are
              not left leaning.

              Andrew Dawson
            • Todd Edelman
              The lovely, talented and fair-minded Karen Sandness wrote: ...The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long been in favor of mass transit, so not all
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 18, 2005
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                The lovely, talented and fair-minded Karen Sandness
                wrote: "...The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long
                been in favor of mass transit, so not all Republicans
                are knee-jerk car potatoes..."

                "...Karen you made a very good point, just because
                some
                one is a conservative dosen't mean that they are right
                winged. Just as there are liberals who are not left
                leaning." - replied the handsome and reality-checking
                Andrew Dawson, in attempted obfuscation :-) of
                political branding in the USA....

                ...and then:

                BUT! One is possibly more likely to support winged
                things and the other tilting trains (which lean both
                ways)... well, um, actually, do American liberals
                actually realise that airplanes are B-A-D for the
                environment and do Republicans reallllllllllly,
                honestly, and unabashedly... L-O-V-E trains?

                AHA!!! Lets just base political labels on ones "level
                of sustainability"...

                Todd,
                World Generalisation-Free and Metaphor-Lite Network

                ---------

                ads below? Buy the products, buy into them, just for
                once... redefine yourself!!!!!!



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              • Fred M. Cain
                ... conservative ... liberals who are ... Well, I consider myself as a convert. A life-long liberal who once voted for McGovern, I have left the fold and have
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 19, 2005
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                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Dawson"
                  <m82a1_dawson@h...> wrote:
                  > Karen Sandness wrote:
                  > >The arch-conservative Paul Weyrich has long been in favor of mass
                  > >transit, so not all Republicans are knee-jerk car potatoes.
                  >
                  > Karen you made a very good point, just because some one is a
                  conservative
                  > dosen't mean that they are right winged. Just as there are
                  liberals who are
                  > not left leaning.
                  >
                  > Andrew Dawson

                  Well, I consider myself as a convert. A life-long liberal who once
                  voted for McGovern, I have left the fold and have become very
                  conservative in recent years for a number of reasons that I won't go
                  into here.

                  But what really gets me about some conservatives is that they refuse
                  to apply the same tough standards for the highway and automotive
                  mode that they insist upon applying to rail transit.

                  Most conservatives are firm believers in the good of allowing free
                  markets to prevail - and I agree. But what many refuse to see is
                  that the automotive and highway mode have existed in anything but a
                  true "free market" environment - a fact that most of you on this
                  list are probably aware of. If we are to move ahead as a nation in
                  the field of transportation, changes need to be made.

                  Regards,
                  Fred M. Cain
                • Simon Baddeley
                  Hi Fred. Good to see the category breaking going on here. In the UK road-rationing or congestion charging is supported by the right on free market
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 19, 2005
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                    Hi Fred. Good to see the category breaking going on here.

                    In the UK "road-rationing" or "congestion charging" is supported by the
                    right on free market principles and by the left on the principle of
                    redistributing road space more fairly (with all the reservations about
                    simplistic left-right categories).

                    Simon



                    On 19/4/05 1:47 pm, "Fred M. Cain" <fredmcain@...> wrote:

                    >
                    > Most conservatives are firm believers in the good of allowing free
                    > markets to prevail - and I agree. But what many refuse to see is
                    > that the automotive and highway mode have existed in anything but a
                    > true "free market" environment - a fact that most of you on this
                    > list are probably aware of. If we are to move ahead as a nation in
                    > the field of transportation, changes need to be made.
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    > Fred M. Cain
                  • Fred M. Cain
                    ... by the ... about ... Simon, How are things going with the privatization of British Rail? Any better? Right now we re having a politicl fight in America
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 20, 2005
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                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Simon Baddeley
                      <s.j.baddeley@b...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Fred. Good to see the category breaking going on here.
                      >
                      > In the UK "road-rationing" or "congestion charging" is supported
                      by the
                      > right on free market principles and by the left on the principle of
                      > redistributing road space more fairly (with all the reservations
                      about
                      > simplistic left-right categories).
                      >
                      > Simon

                      Simon,

                      How are things going with the "privatization" of British Rail? Any
                      better? Right now we're having a politicl fight in America over
                      Amtrak. Any advice for us Yanks?

                      Regards,

                      Fred M. Cain
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