Friday, September 26

PopMech: The Candidates' Infrastructure Plans

This is a short article about the differences between Obama and McCain's plans regarding infrastructure. Here is a short snippet under the topic of electric grids:

Backing clean coal and the seemingly inevitable tide of plug-in hybrids aren't exactly unique political choices, which might help explain the policy overlap. But drilling into the specifics of each campaign's energy infrastructure plans, the differences are clear. On the topic of electricity generation, McCain is making nuclear power a priority, with a stated goal of building 45 new plants by 2030. He hopes to eventually have 100 U.S.-based nuclear power plants to rival the number planned for Russia, India and China combined. Renewable generation sources, such as wind and solar, are generally supported by McCain, but his campaign has yet to lay out a detailed plan. Obama's proposal for boosting generation is, in many ways, the inverse of McCain's. Additional nuclear power will be considered, but the emphasis is on renewables. Obama's plan calls for renewables to supply 10 percent of the nation's power by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025. To fund that push for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources, Obama proposes investing $150 billion over 10 years.

The other topics are dams/levees and roads/bridges. For an incredible article about the details of transforming our infrastructure, check out this by Eric Lofge.

I have become a weird infrastructure geek over the past 14 months since the I35W Bridge collapse. I consider myself to be relatively smart but it honestly never occurred to me that bridges in America could do that. I remember what happened to some bridges after the Northridge earthquake in 1996, but that was a natural disaster. Bridges falling down had always seemed like something only in morbid songs for kids. I have written other link posts here , here and here about infrastructure if you are interested. Also, Intrepid Liberal Journal had a well-written piece I will link to again because it was that good.

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