Are we the only ones getting screwed ?????

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Conrail was sold to CSX and Norfolk Southern in '99, so it isn't involved federally any more.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Go back about 150 years. Fed Gov and the railroads were in bed together for decades to settle the west, to the point where the line between the railroads and the government got real fuzzy in spots. Railroads had land grants, exclusive hauling rights, all sorts of sweetheart deals. Not saying that was always a bad thing (unless you were a Native American or a Buffalo, of course), just that it is what happened.
But in modern world, for human cargo, railroads only make economic sense in certain locations, where the traffic flow will pay the costs. In US, BOWASH corridor, SF-SD corridor, and <maybe> the Chicago-Detroit corridor, would qualify. Perhaps a few more where they could share existing freight ROWs. The interstates just have too much of a head start.
-- aem sends...
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On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:00:54 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

Don't forget that interstates are completely subsidized. Taxes pay for the wars to guarantee the oil flow. Taxes pay for the interstate system. Why shouldn't taxes pay to maintain railway lines? Especially if the railway lines can save the nation some wars and pollution?
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Interstates are largely (especially in the beginning before earmarks) paid for by fed gas taxes, various excise taxes, in other words user taxes. Hardly "completely subsidized".
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From the Wikipedia entry on Amtrak (please check wikipedia.org for original citations):
<Critics claim that gasoline taxes amount to use fees that entirely pay for the government subsidies to the highway system and aviation. In fact this is not true: gas taxes cover little if any of the costs for "local" highways and in many states little of the cost for state highways.[43][44] They don't cover the property taxes foregone by building tax-exempt roads. They also don't cover policing costs: Amtrak, like all U.S. railroads, pays for its own security, the Amtrak Police; road policing and the Transportation Security Administration are paid for out of general taxation.>
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wrote:

Perhaps that would work out in the hinterlands but most interstate ROWs near the cities where land is hard to come by are pavement to pavement with a concrete barrier down the middle these days because they kept adding lanes to the existing ROW

We would still have wars in the middle east. Oil is just the excuse, the reason is Israel
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

israel is just another excuse. The reason they fight is because they can. Where else is religion and statesmanship viewed as blood sports.
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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 16:37:03 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

You should read the wikipedia entry on Amtrak. Amtrak is held to much more stringent self sufficiency requirements than either the airline system or the automobile systems, which are very highly subsidized.
glen www.glenstark.net
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wrote:

The real problem is the places that need light rail the most, are least likely to have the real estate to put it and nobody wants a train running behind their house so the effective footprint of the track is close to a mile wide.
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The alternative is that in 5 years, you'll still be paying huge amounts for gas, but you WON'T have mass transit. That's even worse. We screwed up mass transit a long time ago, and correcting that will be costly, but not impossible. Furthermore, you don't have to have rails for MT. You CAN use busses, which don't take anywhere near 5 years to implement, and the routes can be changed immediately at no cost as situations warrant. Not the best answer, but it is and answer.
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On Mar 30, 5:19 pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

I can't disagree with most of what you said. The efficiency with which tax money is spent is a major issue, somewhat separate from the encouragement of fuel efficiency by raising its cost. Two problems, two solutions that might be related.
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The gas tax revenue is fairly small, but is supposed to be used to fund roadways and improvements. Kill the tax, and in a few years the roadways are in bad shape, at which time you pay more for repairs, detours, etc. Dropping the tax is a short-term answer that creates a long-term problem. Anyway, if you kill the tax, and stop funding needed roadwork, you now have roadworkers out of work, which adds to the unemployment. The gas tax hasn't kept up with inflation and increased road needs for many years now.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The "special interests" are a counter to the mob. Sort of a checks-and-balances, a division of power. The "mob" won't let the special interests get too far afield, and the "special interests" act as a brake on "gimme (oil, drugs, etc.) for free."
George Will proposed a simplified campaign finance law:
1. No cash, 2. No foreign contributions, 3. Instant disclosure.
That's it.
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 07:02:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Oh yeah, that's a great idea, because short-sightedness is in such short supply already! Let's make sure to remove any financial incentive to actually get away from our dependence on foreign oil. We also get the lovely side benefits of more pollution and less safety. Fantastic.
Frankly, what's happening now is a reckoning that's been long in the coming. If we as a nation had maintained the focus on reducing oil consumption and dependence we had in the seventies, even in a toned down fashion, we wouldn't be in the straits we are now.
The solution now is to explore alternatives. I'm looking into building a zero-energy home right now and I'm amazed at how cheaply and practically it can be done, depending of course on what part of the country you're living in. Geothermal heat pumping (e.g. http://rebeeco.com/content / view/15/15/ ) works pretty much anywhere in the U.S. and would greatly reduce our environmental footprint. With fuel oil as high as it is, this will greatly reduce our fuel costs as well.
Basically we've been lucky, spoiled and short-sighted for the last 30 years, and now we're paying for it. In order to solve the problem we need less short-sightedness, not more. Or we could use your solution, and leave the problem to our kids.

I agree with you in principle on that one.
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wrote:

maintain. A short-lived talk about maybe doing something, but other than producing a few years of Vegas and Pintos, nothing of any real consequence.

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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 05:23:50 -0700, Smitty Two

Would that be he same RFKjr that blocked Cape Wind, the wind farm off Nantucket? (along with his drunken uncle Ted, John Kerry and Mitt Romney)
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 07:41:21 -0700, "Bill"

They are also paying .55 Euro for the electricity. They hide the real cost from the consumer by burying it in the massive taxes they pay
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Environmentalists and shutting down oil wells? That a factor?
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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4 years ago, I suspected that the cost of petroluem and NG heating was going to go up considerably in the near future. Based on that and on the fact that we probably have the cheapest electric rates in North America (6 cents KWh), for our new house I decided to go with an electric heat pump. We had an American Standard (Trane) 14 SEER system put in and haven't missed the ever increasing LARGE increases in gas & oil heat.
R
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wrote:

Hi Rudy,
Good call! The previous owners of my home used 5,700 litres of heating oil in the year prior to my purchase. I got that down to roughly 2,000 litres through various efficiency upgrades and a new oil-fired boiler, indirect hot water tank and Tekmar control system.
Three years ago I installed a ductless heat pump and, with that, my fuel oil consumption over the first two years fell to 827 and 830 litres respectively. This winter, whilest somewhat colder, it should come in at 750 litres or less -- I'll know the exact number when my tank is topped-up later this month or next.
I use roughly 500 litres for domestic hot water purposes with the remaining 250 or so for backup space heating during the times when the heat pump can't keep up. Next month I will be installing a small 58 litre, 1,500-watt electric water heater to pre-heat the water that is feed my indirect tank. By eliminating the bulk of my DHW demand, I expect my fuel oil consumption to fall in the range of 300 litres/year (80 gallons).
Long term, I hope to install a second ductless heat pump to better serve the lower level and a heat pump water heater. At that point, I will be able to eliminate oil altogether.
Cheers, Paul
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