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One Reason For Rising Energy Costs

17 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

Supply and demand govern almost all of the prices that consumers face in the market. But there are factors behind the scenes that artificially alter elements of supply or demand, changing the ultimate price that we see. This may be regulatory hurdles and permits, foreign wars and supply chain pressures,…

Aii Asks a Yellowstone Environmental Educator

11 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

Have you ever been to Yellowstone National Park? How are national parks and infrastructure related? What can we learn about climate and conservation? If any of these questions intrigue you, check out our latest interview with an environmental educator. Aii sat down with Gabriel Ford to learn more about the…

What is Decarbonization?

11 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

In the United States, the conversation around decarbonization generally centers around the same handful of options. In large part, the policy approaches include tax, subsidy, grants, or favorable regulatory emphasis. The technological and industrial tools for decarbonization often include wind and solar as the popular energy generators, batteries as the…

A Longer View on Longer Trains: Part 3 Climate Impact

08 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Analysis, Blog Posts

This is the third and final policy blog in the series investigating train length. The purpose is to survey the impacts and implications of longer trains to the U.S. economy, public safety, and the world. Because railroads are so central to the nation’s supply chain and transportation network, it is…

Differences in Decarbonization

02 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

When it comes to decarbonizing the U.S. economy, one could be forgiven for thinking the answer is as simple as ramping up wind and solar. While that is an option – albeit one that on its own would take decades – a more realistic approach is to identify what the…

A Longer View on Longer Trains: Part 2 Costs

01 May 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Analysis, Blog Posts

In this blog series, we are tackling the question of what longer trains mean for the United States and the world. We are using three lenses to evaluate this policy issue: safety, costs, and climate impact. Be sure to read our first blog overviewing modern day freight rail and explaining…

How Soon Can Hydrogen Help Decarbonize?

12 Apr 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

There seems to be agreement from all sides that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. It is combustible and energy rich, and because its molecular formula is all H, there is no carbon in the equation to emit. If our utility-scale electricity on the grid, industrial and commercial heat,…

Pipeline Safety Agency Highlights Innovative Technology

05 Apr 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

Every year, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provides funding opportunities to states and stakeholders to improve and protect pipeline safety. One way that is done is by promoting the “damage prevention” process – known by many as the “Call Before You Dig” program. Through a number of…

How to Halve Excavation Damages in Five Years

08 Mar 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

Construction and excavation activity that damages buried infrastructure in the United States is on the rise. For over 10 years, damage numbers have risen – now exceeding 500,000 annual incidents of striking pipelines, cables, and wires below the surface. It is estimated that this leads to economic harm of over…

National Infrastructure Think Tank Launches Original Educational Campaign

01 Mar 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Washington, D.C. (March 1, 2023) — The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) today is launching its third annual Modern Roots March educational campaign to build up America’s infrastructure IQ and explain the importance of the relatively obscure issue of damage prevention. The campaign features original educational content and encourages the…

What is Causing 1,000 Derailments Each Year?

25 Feb 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

In one of his early responses to the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg referenced the apparent common phenomenon of derailments in the United States. Whether to downplay or simply place it in context, Buttigieg stated that around 1,000 trains derail every year – around three each…

A Longer View on Longer Trains: Part 1 Safety

22 Feb 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Analysis, Blog Posts

Longer trains can be a blessing or a curse, depending on where you sit. Certainly when stuck at a blocked crossing, one can only see the negatives. But what does a more wholistic assessment of longer trains reveal? Does the frustration outweigh the benefits, or are longer trains a key…

Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure Announces New Leadership

15 Feb 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 15, 2023)— The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) has tapped Benjamin Dierker (@BenDierker), its longtime researcher and public policy director, as the new Executive Director. “Aii has an incredible mission and has made a real impact on infrastructure policy over the past decade,” Dierker said. “It…

Uncoupling Derailment from Disaster in East Palestine

14 Feb 2023, Posted by bdierker in All Posts, Blog Posts

On Friday, February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern freight train moving through Ohio derailed in the city of East Palestine. While the definitive cause is still being investigated, reports indicate that 38 cars, including 11 carrying hazardous materials, derailed from a 150-car train with many damaged by fire. Subsequently, officials…