Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for December, 2012

Fossil fuels will still dominate U.S. energy usage in 2040

by Matt Rosenberg December 6th, 2012

In 2040 almost four-fifths of the energy the United States uses will be from the fossil fuels of oil, coal or natural gas. That’s just a bit less than last year but natural gas – seen by some as greener than oil or coal – will play a larger role in that mix, and coal and oil less. And by 2040 more than a tenth of the nation’s energy supply will come from renewables such as hydropower, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal power, and wave motion. That would be a good dollop more than the eight percent share for renewables in 2011.

These are some of recent facts and future projections in the baseline or “reference case” case scenario for the Annual Energy Outlook 2013 Early Release presented in a a Washington, D.C. briefing yesterday by Adam Sieminski, the head of the U.S. Energy Department’s data and forecasting unit, called the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

WA advisors give preliminary green light to mileage tax

by Matt Rosenberg December 4th, 2012

In a report released today, an advisory committee to Washington state transportation officials pronounced as “feasible” an envisioned and sure to be controversial working concept for charging drivers by the mile, to fund future surface transportation system needs in the state. In a draft feasibility assessment, work plan and budget reviewed today during a meeting in SeaTac of the Washington State Road User Charge Assessment Steering Committee, the body found the proposed mileage tax – which it prefers to call a road user charge – “is feasible in Washington” and warrants further study detailed in the report. Next steps would cost at least $3.5 million and present the state legislature with enough information to decide whether the mileage tax is desirable, and if so, exactly how it would be implemented. Lawmakers will decide in the coming 2013 session whether to proceed with more study.

U.S. report: Montana, Oregon in top tier for underage drinking

by Matt Rosenberg December 3rd, 2012

A survey by the U.S. government on drug use and health shows that from 2008 through 2010, both Oregon and Montana ranked in the top quintile nationally in self-reported underage use of alcohol as a percent of state population age 12 to 20. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health over those three years interviewed 93,700 representative respondents aged 12-20, in their homes across the U.S. to develop projected statewide rates. The resulting report, “State Estimates of Underage Alcohol Use and Self-Purchase of Alcohol: 2008 to 2010,” showed that nationwide on average 26.6 percent of the respondents – all under the legal drinking age of 21 in all 50 state – reported having drank alcohol in the last 30 days. Among the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Montana ranked fourth at 34.84 percent and Oregon seventh at 32.15 percent. More than in any other state except one, Oregon underage drinkers are not themselves purchasing the alcohol they drink, according to the report; only 2.57 percent did so.