Blogs

Gas Crushes Coal

Coal electricity declined by 12.5 percent in 2012, mostly driven by the switch to natural gas, which increased by almost the exact same amount (217 terrawatt-hours) as coal declined (216 TWh), according to new annual numbers released by the US Energy Information Administration.

Wind electricity increased as well — by about one-tenth (20.5 TWh) as much as gas. Solar increased a little more than one-hundredth as much as gas (2.5 TWh).  read more »

Churches and Parking

A recent story over at Atlantic Cities got me thinking about a debate that’s heated up over the last few years: urban parking policy for churches.

Per Atlantic Cities, San Francisco has decided to start charging for metered parking on Sundays. This is starting to happen across America. In San Francisco, as in Chicago and elsewhere, the driver (no pun intended) appears to be revenue raising, plain and simple.  read more »

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A Fly-Over State Change of Mind

Google the phrase “fly-over state.” You will find some unkind and a few nasty characterizations of the states that occupy the middle of the country. Nobody goes to these boring, unremarkable places with their ignorant people, uncultured lifestyles and awful weather. "Fly-over states" are where people never actually go but just fly over to get from the East Coast to the West Coast where the interesting places are.  read more »

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New Zealand Housing Hits Political Hot Button

The release of the 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey on Monday appears to have caused a political storm in New Zealand. This year’s Survey was particularly controversial in New Zealand for two reasons.  read more »

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Applying the Urbanophile's Beliefs About Cities to Houston

Last month The Urbanophile posted his statement of beliefs about cities, and a lot of them resonated with me about Houston.  Here are some favorite excerpts along with my own thoughts.  read more »

First Impressions of Rhode Island

My latest post is online over at GoLocalProv. It is called “My First Impressions of Rhode Island” and is a first take on the Providence region after six months of living there. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

China Freeways: Continuing Expansion

Beijing's xinhuanet.com reported on December 30 that 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) of new freeways (motorways) were built in 2012. This is equivalent to more than 150 percent of the freeway mileage in California.  read more »

Moving to North Dakota: The New Census Estimates

The new state (and DC) population estimates indicate a substantial slowdown in growth, from an annual rate of 0.93 percent during the 2000s to 0.75% between 2011 and 2012. This 20 percent slowdown in growth was driven by a reduction in the crude birth rate to the lowest point ever recorded in the United States (12.6 live births per 1000 population).  read more »

Big things that were never built in Los Angeles

One of my lesser historical obsessions has been the grandiose stuff that's been proposed for the Los Angeles area and never built. Things like the amusement park that Walt Disney proposed for Burbank before he put Anaheim on the map with Disneyland, or the assorted hotels, parks, monorails and highways that were given ink in the newspapers but either fell through or were never that real to begin with.  read more »

IRS to Continue Migration Data

" The IRS should be applauded" --- it is hard to imagine a public statement to this effect, other than from a government insider. But this was the Tax Foundation, improbably and correctly complimenting the Internal Revenue Service in announcing that its annual income tax migration data would continue to be produced.  read more »

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