Saying Yes to Infrastructure, or No, No, No

The buzz right now on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain’s VP pick. Until the news really develops, here’s at least an interesting item from Alaska news:

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) — TransCanada Corp., the nation’s largest pipeline company, won approval from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to build a $27 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from the Arctic to U.S. markets.

Palin on Aug. 27 signed a bill authorizing the state to award Calgary-based TransCanada a license to build the 1,715- mile (2,744-kilometer) link from Prudhoe Bay to the Alberta Hub in Canada, according to a statement. The license will be granted in 90 days.

Compare and contrast to the environmentalist obstruction around here to…bike paths! From The Examiner, an editorial about the Inter-County Connector:

Maryland officials included the 11-mile, off-road bicycle and pedestrian trail several years ago in a deal with litigation-happy opponents of the highway, who had blocked it for more than 40 years by appealing to the courts and regulatory bureaucracies at all levels of government. After fending off countless lawsuits and completing the most exhaustive environmental impact study ever done in Maryland, officials were finally able to begin construction earlier this year of the road, the Inter-County Connector that is scheduled to open in 2010. It is a desperately needed transportation improvement in the Washington region.

Now, the environmental extremists have turned against the bike trail, too, claiming it will increase runoff on local parkland. The runoff generated under the most extreme circumstances by a ten-foot-wide ribbon of asphalt crossing 87 acres of green space is negligible, but that’s not really the point. In any rational cost/benefit analysis, the minuscule amount of runoff will be more than offset by vehicle emissions that won’t be released into the atmosphere as less congested traffic flows more freely instead of idling at red lights and in bumper-to-bumper delays. But for bike trail opponents, taking the issue to court may slow or even halt construction of the road, again.

Two different world views.

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