Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Progressive Vision for America

List of topics:

1: Build a nationwide high-speed rail network. Make this the focus for federal transportation spending, just as building the original nationwide freeway network beginning in the 1950s was the focus during that period of time (and from then until the 1990s, when the focus shifted with ISTEA). Use federal incentives to encourage concentration much of the continued urban growth in the country around the nodes on the high speed rail network. Make the network triple-tracked everywhere to allow for a mix of uses, i.e. passengers as well as freight. Begin construction as soon as possible, using American engineering, labor and materials so as to provide the maximum boost to the domestic economy. Consider raising the gas tax to fund it, but also consider cost recovery from uses fees on built-out system, i.e. passenger fares and freight charges.

2: Raise federal gas mileage standards to 40mpg fleetwide. Encourage biofuel production. Legalize industrial hemp for biofuel input.

3: Look for alternative sources of electricity. California's "Million Solar Roofs" initiative provides one model, of distributing electrical production to, potentially, ever consumer of electricity. Household wind turbines, rooftop solar cells, and biofuel processors/fuel cells could contribute to this. New larger plants could include offshore wave/tidal plants, onshore wind/solar plants, geothermal plants, etc.

4: Continue/expand programs such as HOPE VI that direct federal funding into turning failed public housing projects into mixed-income livable communities.

5: Health care: Let John Kitzhaber's Archimedes Movement lead the way in finding solutions, using Oregon as a testbed. Nationwide, let this be an 2008 issue, aknowledge it as an issue in 2006 but don't start throwing out too many ideas just yet.

1 comment:

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