Our 2016 Harvest began before September, the first time ever on August 30th, and ended one month later, September 30th , never touching October for the first time ever! With this vintage showing earliest-ever Budbreak and earliest-ever Harvest timing and with almost non-existent rain, this could be California! However, it wasn’t all Baja-Oregon in nature, since the heat didn’t bake things as searingly as the last three years....Note the "first time ever" and "earliest-ever" bits.
Even though the fall so far has been crappy and wet, because the nights haven't cooled off October has still been much warmer than usual here.
|October has been 3 degrees warmer than average|
So it is especially frustrating to read in the latest round of SRC memos an additional note on "Energy Impacts."
As stated in Section 4.2.1 of the draft Energy Final Technical Report Addendum, the preferred alternative would result in a 16.1 percent increase in operational energy consumption in 2040 compared to the No Build Alternative (Section 4.2.3 of the draft report mistakenly noted a “3.9 percent increase...” -- that value should also be “16.1”; this has been corrected in the draft report). However, current and future improvements in non-fossil fuel vehicle technologies as well as coordinated land use and transportation planning efforts may substantially offset these energy usage impacts. Mitigation efforts to offset potential increased energy usage could include increasing non-single-occupancy vehicle mode share across the Willamette River, such as those outlined in the Salem Willamette River Crossing Alternate Modes Study (CH2M, 2010). Encouraging the use of alternatively?fueled vehicles and developing the needed associated infrastructure throughout the study area should also be supported.Farrago? Can I use the word farrago?
Although it is forecasted that there would be more energy usage under the preferred alternative than under the No Build, the regional emissions analysis findings show that vehicle operations of the preferred alternative would contribute fewer overall emissions to the project area than they would under the No Build Alternative (see Table 4.2-1 of the draft Air Quality Final Technical Report Addendum). The reason the No Build Alternative would result in higher criteria pollutant emissions in 2040 than the preferred alternative is because under the No Build there would be a greater amount of delay and a lower average speed compared to the preferred alternative. [italics added]
Let's start with:
- coordinated land use and transportation planning efforts may substantially offset these energy usage impacts. Mitigation efforts to offset potential increased energy usage could include increasing non-single-occupancy vehicle mode share across the Willamette River
Don't build a new giant bridge and highway that will induce more demand and create more greenhouse gas emissions!
Holy crap, the language in the memo is a whacked-out Orwellian doublespeak. The "needed associated infrastructure throughout the study area" should be build instead of, not in addition to, or to offset, the new problems created by a giant bridge and highway.
|Table 4.2-1 in Air Quality Addendum|
One hypothesis: The pollutant analysis isn't over the same area as the energy analysis. The energy analysis was regional, accounting for more of the effects of "induced demand," and this analysis might just be of the bridge. In the narrower scope, it might possible to tweak results to appear to show that minimizing delay and idling on the bridge crossing itself would also reduce pollution. But this analysis would exclude effects caused by the larger total VMT that the analysis also suggests the SRC will also induce.
The Air Quality Addendum (which says decreased emissions) says
Appendix D provides the calculated emissions burden values for 23 origin-and-destination pairs. These values include the forecasted VMT, average speeds used, and the 2012 and 2040 MOVES2014a emission factors.
The Energy Addendum (which claims the 16% increase) says
Automobile and truck traffic volumes and speeds were calculated separately for each of the routes between the 152 analysis links described in Section 2.1So from here "23 origin-and-destination pairs" looks like a considerably smaller data set than "152 analysis links."
That is reason to think this is might not be an apples-to-apples comparison, and that the SRC team could be, by accident or by design, skewing results in order to greenwash the SRC and argue that it has less effect on greenhouse gases than is likely to have.
This conclusion must be tentative at the moment, but "there are questions" about the two analyses and whether the claim that the bridge will reduce emissions is actually a reasonable one or the best one.
Postscript (still Oct 22nd)
Yes, the Energy Addendum appears to confirm a different analysis method. From the intro to Section 3.1:
The FEIS employs a traffic link-level analysis for the purposes of calculating energy consumption, as opposed to the Origin-Destination (O-D) Pair analysis employed in the DEIS Energy Technical Report. The link-level analysis was employed in order to maintain consistency with the Transportation Technical Report, which did not use O-D Pair-level information, and also represents current best practices for transportation and energy impact analysis. The link-level approach employed in the FEIS analyzes a greater number of shorter street link distances when compared to the DEIS O-D methodology; as a consequence, energy consumption results are substantially lower when compared to the DEIS.While this passage addresses directly only a shift between draft and final EIS Energy reports, the difference between a "traffic link level analysis" and "Origin-Destination Pair analysis" looks directly relevant to the differences between the Air Quality and Energy Addenda.
Even if it is not a direct attempt to greenwash, though it might be, it is also a careless moment in apples-to-oranges analysis to say
Although it is forecasted that there would be more energy usage under the preferred alternative than under the No Build, the regional emissions analysis findings show that vehicle operations of the preferred alternative would contribute fewer overall emissions to the project area than they would under the No Build AlternativeAn Air Quality analysis that used the same method as the Energy analysis, which found an increase in 16% energy consumption, seems likely to find an increase in pollutant emissions.