Ecolocalizer Link Drop: America’s Best & Worst Commutes, Kansas Getting New Coal Plant, How to Win the Race for Jobs

Weekly news roundup from other sites.

TheStreet and Bundle Special Report: America’s Best and Worst Commutes

Whether you live in a city, the suburbs or farm country, commuting by car to and from work can be an unavoidable expense.

Beyond the obvious cost of gas, there are other ways a commute lightens your wallet — wear and tear on your car, repairs and the value of your time as you are stuck behind the wheel in traffic.

An analysis of commuting costs and trends by TheStreet and Bundle set out to determine not only what people throughout the U.S. spend each year for transportation, but what cities are the worst off in terms of expenses. A ranking of how 90 U.S. cities fared can be found on the last page of this story….

Who Wants to Turn Brooklyn into a Big Parking Lot?

What is one of the absolute worst uses of land, environmentally speaking? A surface parking lot. In other words, the type of parking lot you see in front of Wal-Mart—one level, not above or below any buildings. (They’re also just plain ugly…can you think of anything uglier than a large, surface parking lot?)

Where is the worst place to build a surface parking lot? How about in the middle of the downtown areas of one of the most densely populated counties in this nation….

Granholm: How to Win the Race for Jobs

In just over a year, we have attracted 18 domestic and international companies, which are projected to create 63,000 private-sector jobs in Michigan. With breathtaking speed, we built an entire advanced-battery “ecosystem” for the purpose of electrifying the automobile.

If the states are the laboratories of democracy, Washington can take a lesson from what is happening in Michigan.

Kansas Issues Permit for New, Massive Sunflower Coal Plant While Other States Begin Retiring Existing Coal Plants

Today, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued a permit for the highly controversial coal plant Sunflower Electric seeks to construct near Holcomb. The coal plant has been the subject of a multi-year controversy after being denied a permit in the fall of 2007.

Today’s action and the controversy it has generated is expected to provoke a review by the federal government. A top Environmental Protection Agency official wrote in an open letter on November 27….

100 Rally to Protest Walker’s Rejection of Rail Money

More than 100 people joined Monday in a protest against Governor-elect Scott Walker’s rejection of a federally financed high-speed rail line.

Based on Walker’s stand, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week withdrew an $810 million grant that would have paid for the 110-mph line connecting Milwaukee and Madison. The next day, Spanish-owned Talgo Inc. announced it would shut down its Milwaukee train manufacturing operations in 2012, leaving only a maintenance base for the two trains it is building for Amtrak’s existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line….

Photo Credit: th.omas

  • Len Pipkin

    Re: Kansas Issues Permit for New, Massive Sunflower Coal Plant While Other States Begin Retiring Existing Coal Plants

    The key to structuring a global economy that can sustain fiscal progress is the creation of an honest market. We need to begin insisting on knowing the ecological truth behind business decisions and their long-term effects. Lest any of us forget, myriad economic systems of the past have collapsed due to the engineers of that era being precluded from telling the underpinning, economic truth; likewise, capitalism itself will eventuate in ruination, as well, if today’s architects do not allow for transparency or expect full disclosure regarding their actions inherent ecological truth being made manifest.

    Big-Coal has thrived, to date, because the bona fide cost of air pollution, acid rain, miner’s safety, mountain devastation and the ubiquitous, global warming are subtle, collateral damage affecting all. I assure you there will never be a surtax on our electric bills which itemizes the deleterious effects these facilities have on their surrounding communities and its inhabitants: increased asthma attacks in children, upper respiratory conditions in the aged, deforestation, destruction of natural habitats, all, empirically linked to the unrestricted (CO2) carbon emissions belched into the atmosphere from these complexes.

    I wonder if many of us fully grasp the depth and breadth of what a kilowatt, indeed, costs in human currency?

    Len Pipkin

    Jonesboro, Arkansas