Energy

The South Rises Again! (In Automobile Manufacturing, that is)

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Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama.  read more »

Guzzling BTUs: Problems with Public Transit in an Age of Expensive Gas

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As gas prices inch up toward $5 per gallon, many environmentalists and elected officials are looking to public transit as a solution to higher transportation costs and rising fuel consumption. A closer look at the numbers, however, warrants more than a little skepticism that public transit can fulfill the nation’s energy conservation goals.  read more »

Sprinting Blindfolded to a New Equilibrium

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Everyone except the fabulously wealthy and the truly disconnected knows energy has become much more expensive in recent years, but it's worth taking a step back and examining just how much it has jumped and what we should (and should not) conclude about the impact on nearly all aspects of modern life.  read more »

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Which Cities Will the High Cost of Energy Hurt (and Help) the Most?

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A high cost energy future will profoundly impact the cost of doing business and create new opportunities, but not necessarily in the way most people expect.

By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires

The New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the rest of the establishment press have their answer: big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco will win out. Our assessment is: not so fast. There’s a lot about the unfolding energy economy that is more complex than commonly believed, and could have consequences that are somewhat unanticipated.  read more »

Energy Makes a Super-city

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Superlatives can no longer describe Dubai – there are simply too many. It is now the fastest growing city in the world with $300 billion of construction underway. Once Dubai was a sleepy Arab port nestled between its larger and more famous oil rich neighbors: Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Now tiny Dubai is home to the “world’s tallest building,” and more construction cranes than China and its 1.4 billion people. What is more amazing is that Dubai has a population of just 200,000 native Emirates within a land area one-half the size of Orange County, California.  read more »

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The New Boom Towns

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The steep hike in gas and energy prices has created a national debate about the future of American metropolitan areas -- mostly about the reputed decline of suburbs and edge cities dependent on cars. But with all this focus on the troubles of traditional suburbs, one big story is overlooked: the rapid rise of America’s energy-producing metropolitan areas.  read more »