Of tricycles and coal PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 June 2017 14:04


San Jose, CA. — It’s more than 10 years since the retirement of supersonic Concorde jets and as The Wall Street Journal reports, “the drive for easy and affordable access to space has inspired proposals for a new generation of superfast airlines able to streak across continents in minutes.” And the end of people-driven cars is in the horizon as auto companies develop driverless cars and robot taxis. On the average, conventional cars in the United States get replaced every 60 months.

In some Philippine cities, the terrible traffic problem is being addressed with remedial transport measures. The traffic issue is becoming critical as hundreds of people will move to “urban Zamboanga” already suffocating with pollution and tightly knotted to traffic congestion.

Zamboanga has not developed a mass transit system for the hundreds of daily commuters that include students, state workers, laborers and professionals that depend on 12-seater jeepneys or tricycles whose drivers arrogantly overcharge their passengers. There are also the minivans that take people from place to place for unregulated fares. In many instances, drivers of east and west coast-plying public vehicles load as many passengers as possible and drive fast and furious, opening up the propensity to tragic mishaps. Besides, these vehicles are poorly maintained and unsafe because of used-up tires that the vehicles run on and faulty shock absorbers.

What about the three-wheeled mosquitoes? Councilor Jimmy Villaflores plans to masquerade as a “probinsiano” and take a tricycle ride from the bus terminal to KCC, or from one point to another, so he can apprehend overcharging tricycle drivers.

Jimbo, for as long as passengers pay for the fare demanded by the tricycle drivers, no amount of policy will correct the devilry of overcharging drivers, most of them bisaya-speaking. SOAB! These mini monsters are the cause of our monstrous traffic everywhere in the city. Imagine one car, two public jeepneys, two motorcycles and six tricycles trying to get around traffic on the same road space that measures eight feet in width. Madre de cacao.

Almost often, cars, tricycles, motorcycles, delivery vans are bunched in intersections and T-streets — which is a good-bad thing — because it gives the city the chance to appropriate more funds to open up new interconnecting roads within city limits. New road lanes are infrastructure investments that will create jobs and eventually reduce congestion.

But, seriously, the city council and the Tricycle Adjudication Board are nonfunctional offices when dealing with erring tricycle drivers and operators. The only way to stop them — and the councilors nor City Hall won’t do it — is to put them out of business by permanently revoking/cancelling their driver licenses and/or franchises if caught gyping passengers. There should be some kind of Hitlerism to this useless tricycle ordinance.

But, as I said, City Hall and the city council won’t take this bold step of passing such a garroting legislation for fear of vote retaliation. Like all past city administrations, they’re simply lily-livered. The fact is, ladies and gents of the city council: for as long as there are three-wheelers, there will always be overcharging.

Now, for clean coal energy.

In the U.S., coal industry and the U.S. Department of Energy refer to carbon capture and sequestration as the latest in clean coal technologies. The CCS is a means to capture carbon dioxide from any source, compress it to a dense liquid-like state, and inject and permanently store it underground.

The first large-scale U.S. clean coal plant went into operation run by an energy firm NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration Corp. Their Petra Nova project near Houston, Texas has captured carbon dioxide from the process of coal combustion and has piped 100,000 tons of it from the plant to the West Ranch oil field 80 miles away where the carbon dioxide is used to force additional oil from the ground, Wikileaks reports.

The companies claim that the plant can capture over 90 percent of the carbon dioxide released from the equivalent of a 240 megawatt, or million watt, coal unit. Mauricio Gutierrez, president and CEO of NRG said that installing the carbon capture and storage technology in coal plants “will have a pretty significant application” in the current plants that exist throughout the U.S. “and for that matter, throughout the world.”

The Washington Post reported that the DOE hailed the plants “as the world’s largest Post-combustion carbon system ever.” The Petra Nova project “confirms that carbon capture and storage technologies can play a critical role in ensuring the nation’s energy security and providing good jobs for American workers, while helping reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

That, in short, is what the coal-fired power plant owned by Alsons Power Group in San Ramon will bring, aside from assurances of affordable, reliable and sustained power for the Independent State of Zamboanga.