Highest Paid Public Employee in Every State


Nick Saban, the head coach of the University of Alabama football team, earns close to $7 million per year — more than any other public employee in the country. While the case can be made that Saban and other college coaches and university employees who earn many times the national median salary are not fully government funded, many still argue that taxpayer money should not fund even a portion of the millions of dollars these coaches make.

In the vast majority of states, college football and basketball coaches are the highest-paid public employee. When a millionaire coach is not the leading earner, high-ranking medical officials at state-run hospitals and college presidents are usually the next in line. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the highest-paid public employees in each state.

Click here to see the highest paid public employee in each state.

While many coaches earn several millions of dollars per year, there are caveats to these paychecks. For one, a typical major school’s athletic program can bring a public university tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Saban has led the Alabama Crimson Tide to three national championships, and the program’s success has resulted in several tangible and intangible revenue streams. According to The Wall Street Journal, University of Alabama’s athletic program brought in $68 million before Saban became head coach. In 2013-2014, revenue had increased to $153 million.

Another important factor to note is that unlike most government positions, while these public schools are partially funded by taxes, usually the college coaches’ salaries are not primarily funded by the states’ tax revenues. All but $200,000 of Saban’s salary comes from a foundation sustained by ticket sales and advertising deals generated by the Crimson Tide program.

Still, these highly-paid college coaches are employed and being paid by a publicly-funded institution. Newly-hired University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh receives a $500,000 base salary from the school. Critics argue that while such coaches are part of programs that bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue to the school, the actual value of their contribution to this revenue is debatable. They argue that they talent of the actual players is far more intrinsic to victories, prestige, and ticket sales. The players, of course, receive no salary for their efforts apart from a partially-funded or free education and small stipends.

Outside of the college sports world, the highest-paid employees are also in programs where the public and private worlds intersect. Many of the university programs where these employees work are often fully or partially self-sustained with other sources of income and receive some to no tax dollar. In many states, the executives at public utility trusts and funds earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Chief medical examiners, medical school deans, and university surgery chairmen can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year at state school-run hospitals.

While coaches can earn such high salaries, most state employees — including the state governor — earn much smaller salaries. In Idaho the Boise State football and basketball coaches are each compensated over half a million dollars annually — a stark contrast to the more than one-third of Idaho state employees who earn less than $40,000 a year.

Because the salaries of even the highest state officials are funded entirely by tax dollars, they also make significantly less than public university coaches. While many coaches’ salaries are in the millions of dollars, not a single state governor makes more than $200,000 a year. In California for example, UCLA football coach James Mora’s salary is nearly 20 times that of California Governor Jerry Brown.

To determine the highest-paid public employee in each state, 24/7 Wall St. considered reports of public salaries based on state government payrolls and public documents. All college football and basketball coach salaries are based on USA Today’s consolidated list of NCAA coach salaries, which includes school pay for 2014 in the case of football, and 2015 in the case of basketball. In the case where a coach received a raise or was newly hired, the more recent available information was used. All data are based on the most recent available information.

These are the highest paid public employees in every state.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER of WIH RESOURCE GROUP
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Published by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

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For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

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  • Business and Assets Appraisals & Valuations
  • Collection, Processing, Transfer & Disposal Procurement
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  • Waste to Energy & New Technology Evaluation Environmental Services
  • Expert Testimony/Litigation Support
  • Facility Planning & Design
  • Finance and Economic Analysis
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
  • Operations & Performance Assessment (OPAs)
  • Planning – Solid Waste, Recycling and Program
  • Program Management & Capital Project Planning
  • Rates, Financial Analyses & Appraisals
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  • Recycling Program Design
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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

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WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
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Issues to Consider for Converting Your Garbage Truck Fleet to Natural Gas


Issues to Consider for Converting Your Garbage Truck Fleet to Natural Gas

ARTICLE OVERVIEW
This article looks at the practical implications for waste management firms and organizations, both private and public sectors, for moving their fleets to alternative fuels including what the options are, as well as some of the challenges and the benefits. This Article provides a high level of key issues to consider and “how to” guide on the subject looking at the practical considerations of making the switch including infrastructure. Many fleet managers and owner/operators are weighing their options when it comes to purchasing natural gas trucks vs. diesel trucks. The big question is “When it comes to diesel or natural gas trucks, which is best for my bottom line?” If fleet managers and owner/operators want to make an informed decision about their business, it is crucial to understand the differences between diesel and natural gas trucks.

A growing number of fleets have already made the switch to natural gas after weighing the benefits and challenges. Private waste companies such as Waste Management and Republic Services are buying thousands of new natural gas vehicles (NGVs), based mainly on the economics of switching. The public sector is lagging behind private haulers in making the switch largely because governments have a harder time securing the capital needed to buy the new equipment, even though there is typically an eventual payoff. However, some cities and other local governments are moving in the same direction as the private sector in order to generate the economic and environmental benefits that are available from compressed natural gas (CNG).

INTRODUCTION
Every day in every major City, Town or Community, one vehicle type, besides school buses, passes through every residential street – the garbage / recycling collection truck. Garbage Trucks (aka as refuse collection vehicles – RCVs) operate daily in various parts of every residential part of every City, collecting garbage, green waste, recyclables, food waste and bulk waste. In most cities or towns, these trucks are still powered by traditional diesel or biodiesel, spewing tons of carcinogens and relatively high amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere and our communities.

Those plumes of diesel exhaust emit dangerous levels of CO2 and in the United States alone approximately 180,000 refuse trucks operate and burn approximately 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year, releasing almost 27 billion pounds of the greenhouse gas, CO2. Every gallon of diesel fuel burnt emits more than 22 pounds of CO2.

In the U.S., there has been increasing interest in fuelling waste and recycling collection fleets using alternative fuels, primarily either from CNG from the gas-utility grid, or in some cases from landfill or biogas (aka bioCNG) captured at their own waste processing facilities.

CNG OR LNG FUEL
There are two types of natural gas fuels – compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. CNG is the lower priced of the two fuels and is much more readily available. CNG requires somewhat more payload displacement for equal fuel capacity vs. LNG. However, the disparity had been reduced in recent years due to lighter CNG-storage cylinders and more efficient cylinder configurations on the trucks. The other major challenges with LNG are the fuel delivery, storage and actual vehicle fueling. For the purposes of discussion, this article focuses on CNG, since it is a more readily available both in terms of fueling facilities and vehicles, the abundance of infrastructure, and lower cost.

FUEL ECONOMY & COSTS COMPARED TO DIESEL
Garbage trucks have poor fuel efficiency, typically around 3 miles per gallon, which has been compounded in recent years since the price of diesel has hovered around $4+ per gallon for the last five years.

Currently, CNG is competitively priced with diesel. The price of a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) of CNG has steadily fallen compared to the price of a gallon of diesel. Although the market price of natural gas was fairly volatile in the previous decade, it has stabilized due to significant increases in discovery and production of natural gas in the U.S. It now appears the price of natural gas has decoupled from the price of oil and has therefore not been as volatile as gasoline and diesel prices.

The expansion of natural gas vehicle (NGV) usage holds the promise of reducing carbon emissions, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and lowering fuel and transportation costs. Viability of natural gas as a transportation fuel has grown partly because the availability of shale gas resources has dramatically expanded and gasoline and diesel prices have spiked. NGVs are also appealing because the high-pressured fuel system is sealed, so very little fugitive emission occurs during fueling and use.

Natural gas trucks can save on fuel costs, but the up-front costs are significant. The most costly element is installing a natural gas fueling station, which depending on its size, can cost several million dollars to permit, design, and construct. An alternative to constructing a new fueling facility is to locate a nearby facility that allows third-party access for fueling. In addition, fleet maintenance facilities have to be upgraded to accommodate CNG fleet maintenance, which requires gas detection as well as improved ventilation to manage possible gas leaks that can be ignited through an inadvertent spark.

The trucks themselves can also cost between $30,000 and $50,000 more than their basic diesel counterparts. However the savings for operating NGVs add up quickly. A DGE of CNG costs less than $1.15 to produce, including the cost of the gas commodity, electrical power for system operation and a maintenance allowance .

LANDFILL BIOGAS (BIOCNG) & RENEWABLE NATURAL GAS (RNG)
Fueling a vehicle with food waste was a concept made famous by the movie Back to the Future in the 1980s. Now, almost 30 years later, what was once a futuristic idea has become a reality. In some places, garbage trucks run on the methane captured from the same landfills where they drop off their payloads.

Biogas, also known as renewable natural gas (RNG), produced at locations such as landfills dairy farms, or anaerobic digesters can supply gas to onsite fueling infrastructure for vehicles such as refuse haulers and dairy trucks. Bacteria breaks down organic waste to produce the methane, which is then filtered and compressed for use in the trucks as a vehicle fuel creating RNG.

There is equipment costs associated with refining RNG for use as vehicle fuel, which includes processes to remove moisture, CO, CO2 and heavier hydrocarbons. Once the RNG has been refined, equipment and installation costs for a fueling station using RNG are similar to those for a fueling station that is connected to a utility pipeline. Increased use of CNG vehicles opens the door to use of RNG. The great news it that RNG is a fully sustainable fuel and with over 30 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW) being food waste and green material, refuse fleets are uniquely positioned to capitalize on a “closed-loop” approach, collecting and processing organic waste to produce RNG for fueling vehicles hauling the same waste.

Producing RNG captures greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural waste and landfills that would otherwise migrate into the atmosphere, turning a costly pollution problem into a revenue-generating product that serves regional climate goals. In fact, RNG has the lowest carbon intensity (CI) values of all fuels rated for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. According to the California Energy Commission (CEC), CNG from landfill gas and dairy-digester biogas reduces life-cycle GHG emissions to 85–90 percent below those of diesel fuel, while biomethane derived from high-solids anaerobic digestion can reduce life-cycle GHG emissions to roughly 115 percent below those of diesel. And the operating economics are good, as the cost of the gas commodity is zero, though the processing system does have capital and operating costs.

The use of landfill gas as a vehicle fuel is becoming more common as organizations seek to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of the availability and sale of renewable energy. In July 2014, the EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Pathways II Final Rule to identify additional fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.

 

BENEFITS OF CNG
The expansion of natural gas vehicles (NGV) usage holds the promise of reducing carbon emissions, lessening dependence on foreign oil, and lowering transportation costs. Viability of natural gas as a transportation fuel has grown partly because the availability of shale gas resources has dramatically expanded and gasoline and diesel prices have spiked. NGVs are also appealing because the high-pressured fuel system is sealed, so little evaporative emission occurs during fueling and use.

MUNICIPALITIES ARE REQUIRING CNG TRUCKS
Cities, Counties and States are increasingly requiring that CNG refuse trucks be used as a condition of granting solid waste and recycling collection contracts. While California jurisdictions have been leading the charge, the town of Smithtown, NY also pioneered this approach in 2006, becoming the first locality outside of California to mandate use of CNG trucks for refuse collection. The approach has since become commonplace elsewhere. Even in communities that do not mandate use of CNG trucks, proposing to use a CNG fleet can improve a firm’s competitive position in the bidding and evaluation process, with the promise of lower contract costs for fuel, reduced emissions and lower noise pollution.

FLEET OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT
In determining whether it is practical and cost effective to consider converting a garbage truck fleet to CNG, it is necessary to perform the proper due diligence by reviewing the operations and fleet needs as follows:

  • Existing vehicle requirements for conversion to CNG / fleet vehicle-replacement schedules;
  • Typical fuel use per day including travel routes, mileage, stops, capacity by vehicle type;
  • Maintenance capabilities including facilities operational requirements, location, and personnel knowledge and training;
  • Expected growth in services, customers, etc. as related to future vehicle numbers and use; and
  • Proximity to customers with the potential for CNG fueled fleets.
    Feasibility of locating a CNG-fueling facility at the fleet yard, including consideration of adequate space, electrical power, and vehicle circulation.
  • Evaluation of fast-fill (fueling 1-3 NGVs simultaneously within 5-10 minutes, similar to a conventional petrol fueling sequence) vs. time- or slow-fill (fueling the entire fleet simultaneously with individual dispenser hoses installed at NGV-parking spaces, typically over 8-10 hours each night).

The answers to these primary factors are critical in assessing the practicality of converting a fleet to CNG.

FLEET VEHICLES COST – BENEFITS ANALYSIS
In addition to the due diligence collected from the fleet operational assessment, fleet managers should assess the qualitative and quantitative comparisons of using CNG for new RCVs such comparisons to include:

  • Cost of new vehicles;
  • Lead time between vehicle order and delivery;
  • Cost of diesel fuel;
  • Five (5) and ten (10) year spreads on a miles per equivalent gallon basis based on projected supply/demand of fleet use in the US of various fuels;
  • Fuel tank capacity, fueling frequency, and mileage;
  • Expected vehicle performance in terms of productivity, number of stops, starts, unit life, speed, performance, acceleration, vehicle range, etc.;
  • Emissions based on expected use of the fueling options;
  • Cost per mile comparison;
  • Payload capacity impacts;
  • Gross Vehicle Weight, weight difference and impact on route numbers or timing of routes;
  • Noise generation comparison; and
  • Analysis on issues stemming from the mounting of the fuel tanks to the body, specifically addressing:  1. Height restrictions; and 2.Tank serviceability by mechanics and required fall protection.

OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL IMPACT ANALYSIS
Conducting a operational and financial impacts analysis includes reviewing personnel (headcount) requirements for repairs, fleet maintenance, and operations of the fleet assuming vehicle replacement schedule for the next five (5) and ten (10) years with CNG vehicles, including the following:

  • Expected service life of the vehicle
  • Routine/scheduled maintenance requirements including timing and materials;
  • Required maintenance including maintenance facility requirements/modifications and personnel;
  • Vehicle inspection requirements (including fuel tanks) and licensing fee comparisons;
  • Cost and availability of replacement parts, including if vehicle fuel type increases in use or is phased out of manufacture;
  • Number and skill level of personnel for maintenance;
  • Initial and ongoing training requirements for service and maintenance personnel;
  • Comparison of cost of in-house maintenance and/or outsourcing maintenance;
  • Modifications to the maintenance garage as needed to make the garage CNG-safe;
  • Initial and ongoing training requirements for mechanics and drivers; and
    Identifying local private sector repair and service facilities and providers.

FUELING FACILITY SITE ANALYSIS
The US Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center website offers a free alternative fueling station locator for finding alternative fueling stations near a specific address or ZIP code or along a route in the United States. It allows users to enter a state to see a station count and specific fueling facility locations (see http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/)

In the event a local CNG fueling facility is not available, a fueling facility will need to be designed and constructed. In this scenario, it is important to consider the following as part of the decisions as to where to site the facility:

  • Location of natural gas distribution lines in relation to the planned CNG facility and requirements to adequately serve the compressors;
  • Location of electrical service in relation to the planned CNG facility and the cost and requirements to adequately connect and operate the compressors;
  • Footprint of the locations to house the entire solid waste fleet;
    Footprint of the locations to house required vehicle maintenance structures and the requirements and costs for those maintenance structures/changes to existing structures;
  • Logistical comparison of each with respect to ingress and egress as related to CNG fueling;
  • Operational cost impact including any route modifications required of each CNG refuse trucks based on vehicle fueling requirements;
  • Operational cost impact including any route modifications of all non-CNG refuse trucks including vehicle fueling requirements;
  • Design-engineering and permitting requirements including timing;
    estimated infrastructure costs;
  • Maintenance and operational costs for the station(s) and related equipment;
  • Useful life of major station equipment and estimated replacement cost;
    Consideration of developing a coop or shared-use CNG facility with nearby fleet(s), as well as consideration of the public sale of CNG as a revenue stream;
  • Suitability of time-fill and fast-fill CNG station(s) and/or a combination thereof; and
  • Should procuring for such services be required, estimating the timing for the possible design, permitting, and construction for all locations, including a temporary station (if applicable) needs to be considered.

If a fueling facility is to be designed and constructed, it is necessary to determine a baseline for function and performance for the needed CNG fueling facility, as required to meet the planned use. Once the key design parameters have been determined – i.e. number of fast and/or time-fill dispensers, standard cubic ft. per minute (SCFM) capacity of the compressor system, compressor-redundancy levels etc. – site-specific configurations and conceptual equipment layouts will be prepared that account for variations in gas-supply pressure, total available space, and even shape of the space (perhaps a single duplex skid would fit better than two separate skids at a given site). This would also include assessing cost and operational factors for fast-fill vs. time-fill solutions, such as reduced fueling-labor costs for time fill, verses reduced dispenser costs and improved fuel-use tracking for fast-fill configurations.

Once the equipment configuration and conceptual site layout for two or three candidate locations has been established, that information can be used to prepare preliminary construction-cost estimates for the fueling facility. This needs to include site-specific allowances for ancillary factors, such as paving, fencing, lighting, supply-utility upgrades, and added sound-mitigation requirements.

FUELING FACILITIES LOCATION IMPACTS
In the event a local CNG fueling facility is not available, a fueling facility will need to be designed and constructed. In this scenario, it is important to consider the following as part of the decisions as to the optimal location(s) of permanent fueling station(s). Some of the critical factors that need to be included in the analysis are:

• Permitting, design and construction costs;
• Timing of permitting;
• Selection of a suitable design-consulting firm to prepare engineered drawings and specifications;
• Selection of Equipment;
• Operational and maintenance costs of the station(s);
• Analysis of the long term costs or operational benefits;
• Operational impact (if any) on the routing of the RCVs.

Optimal projects should assume a RCV fleet-replacement schedule for the next five (5) and ten (10) years is accomplished with CNG vehicles.

Optimal fueling facility locations should also consider opportunities to provide service to the public and/or commercial customer(s) whose fleets may be served by a conveniently sited station(s). With a production cost of less than $1.15 per DGE and a typical sale-price range of $2.00 to $2.90 per DGE, a reasonable margin per DGE is available.

It is also important to note that it may be necessary to determine if a temporary (or mobile) fueling facility will be required, and if so, the costs, operational requirements, timing of completion, location, and the vehicle fueling capacity of the temporary station.

GRANT AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
It is important to conduct research and identify funding and grant opportunities as well as any tax or government rebates or credits for which a specific fleet may qualify. Various incentives may be available in the forms of tax credits, grants, rebates and voucher-based vehicle price buy-downs which can further accelerate payback period for fleet conversions.

Along with Federal incentives, several states such as California, Colorado, Florida, Texas and Indiana offer strong incentive programs for purchasing vehicles that run on CNG. Other states offer incentives as well, and some states offer incentives for building CNG fueling infrastructure.

The federal government has for several years provided for an excise tax credit of 50 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of CNG used as a transportation fuel to be claimed on tax filings, as well as a tax credit of up to $30,000 of the cost of building CNG fueling infrastructure. The federal tax credits expired on the last day of 2014; however there is a high likelihood that during its current session, Congress will renew these tax credits retroactive to the first of January 2015. Depending on the type and amount of incentives received, ROIs for fleet conversions to CNG RCVs can be reduced to just two or three years. A listing of incentives available for deploying CNG trucks can be found at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws and at ngvamerica.org/government-policy/federal-incentives/.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The recent discoveries of massive natural-gas reserves in the U.S. are creating greater scales of economy in support of long-term planning and fleet conversions to NGVs. NGVs are helping the U.S. and Canada to break free of dependence on foreign oil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, NGVs typically emit 25 percent less greenhouse gases than diesel-powered vehicles.

In addition, natural gas is lower priced than diesel, approximately $1.50 to $2.50 less per gasoline gallon equivalent (DGE), depending on whether the CNG is purchased at a retail location or is produced at a fleet’s own facility. About 50 percent of new garbage trucks and 25 percent of new buses in the U.S. operate on natural gas. In several cities, all RCVs and buses are now running on natural gas, either in city collection fleets or contracted private-sector fleets.

While diesel prices have declined in recent months, fleet owners and managers need to take a long-term view about petroleum costs and fleet conversions to CNG. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected that natural gas prices will remain significantly lower than the price of petroleum for at least the next two decades and that natural gas prices will exhibit only one-third the price volatility of diesel fuel.

Fleet standardization in terms of vehicle type, manufacturer, model, chassis, body and other specifications is an excellent way to gain greater productivity out of fleet operators, fleet maintenance, reducing spare parts inventory, and increased utilization the fleet.

If you are considering the switch to a natural gas fleet, work with experienced experts such as WIH Resource Group to assist you in deciding what is best for your business.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC)http://www.afdc.energy.gov/ – The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies. The AFDC offers transportation decision makers unbiased information, data, and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

Alternative Fuels Vehicles Group on Linked Inhttp://goo.gl/SvYYTN – The Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) Group on Linked In was created as a catalyst for sharing information on AFVs and promoting the use of AFVs and fleet conversions. The AFV Group was founded and is sponsored by WIH Resource Group (http://www.wihrg.com). The AFV welcomes new members and encourages member participation in the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Group (AFV) discussions.

California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnershiphttp://www.cngvp.org/ – The California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership is an alliance of air quality, transportation and energy agencies; vehicle and engine manufacturers; fuel providers; transit and refuse hauler associations; and others interested in supporting and increasing deployment of natural gas vehicles throughout California. The website provides additional NGV facts, general industry news and success stories.

CNG Nowhttp://www.cngnow.com/ – The official Pickens Plan site promotes natural gas for transportation and provides information on vehicles, fueling and energy news.

NGVAmericahttp://www.ngvamerica.org/ – This national trade association promotes development of the U.S. market for natural gas vehicles, and advocates for supportive federal policies, publishes a weekly newsletter and provides fact sheets and other resources for NGVs and CNG facilities.

NGV Global – http://www.ngvglobal.com/ – The International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles provides news and information on the industry from around the world.

Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forumhttp://goo.gl/RZAgSA – Run by the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation and supported by the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, the NGVTF aims to advance natural gas vehicle and infrastructure technology and deployment.

Natural Gas Vehicle Institutehttp://www.ngvi.com/ – The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute provides training and consulting to address a full range of natural gas vehicle and fueling needs.

CALSTARThttp://www.calstart.org/ – The nonprofit CALSTART works with the public and private sectors to develop advanced transportation technologies and help clean transportation companies succeed.

Energy Information Administrationhttp://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/ – Statistics on and analysis of natural gas supply, production and use from the U.S. Department of Energy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Reb Guthrie is a Principal and co-founder of Fuel Solutions Inc. He has managed most of the projects performed by the company since its inception 1n 1994, including the assessment, specification, development and installation of more than 130 CNG fueling stations for municipalities, transit authorities, counties, school districts and federal agencies throughout the U.S. Reb’s recent project-management work includes providing lead technical consulting to the Los Angeles County MTA in the procurement of a $6.2 million fast-fill CNG facility at Division 13 in downtown Los Angeles, and the design and construction supervision of a $2.1 million fast- and time-fill fueling facility for the City of Denver Sanitation Department. He has also been certified by the NGV Institute and Southern California Gas Company as an NGV Fueling Facility Planner. Reb has a BS in Economics from the College of Business at Arizona State University.

Published & Written by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

For More Information, visit WIH Resource Group’s You Tube by Clicking HERE

SOURCE: WIH Resource Group & Fuel Solutions

You Tube: Click HERE to visit WIH Resource Group’s You Tube Channel

Contact WIH Resource Group
For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

  • Waste Management Consulting
  • Recycling Programs Optimization
  • Alternative Fuels for Truck Fleets
  • Research & Polling – Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Landfill Operations Consulting
  • Business and Assets Appraisals & Valuations
  • Collection, Processing, Transfer & Disposal Procurement
  • M&A Due Diligence
  • Waste to Energy & New Technology Evaluation Environmental Services
  • Expert Testimony/Litigation Support
  • Facility Planning & Design
  • Finance and Economic Analysis
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
  • Operations & Performance Assessment (OPAs)
  • Planning – Solid Waste, Recycling and Program
  • Program Management & Capital Project Planning
  • Rates, Financial Analyses & Appraisals
  • Rates and Regulatory Support
  • Recycling Program Design
  • Renewables / Clean Energy Technology

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WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

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2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted – WIH Resource Group


In September 2008, as the worst of the financial crisis engulfed Wall Street, George W. Bush issued a warning: “This sucker could go down.” Around the same time, as Congress hashed out a bailout bill, New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, the leading Republican negotiator of the bill, warned that “if we do not do this, the trauma, the chaos and the disruption to everyday Americans’ lives will be overwhelming, and that’s a price we can’t afford to risk paying.”

In less than a year, Wall Street was back. The five largest remaining banks are today larger, their executives and traders richer, their strategies of placing large bets with other people’s money no less bold than before the meltdown. The possibility of new regulations emanating from Congress has barely inhibited the Street’s exuberance.

But if Wall Street is back on top, the everyday lives of large numbers of Americans continue to be subject to overwhelming trauma, chaos and disruption.

It is commonplace among policymakers to fervently and sincerely believe that Wall Street’s financial health is not only a precondition for a prosperous real economy but that when the former thrives, the latter will necessarily follow. Few fictions of modern economic life are more assiduously defended than the central importance of the Street to the well-being of the rest of us, as has been proved in 2009.

Inhabitants of the real economy are dependent on the financial economy to borrow money. But their overwhelming reliance on Wall Street is a relatively recent phenomenon. Back when middle-class Americans earned enough to be able to save more of their incomes, they borrowed from one another, largely through local and regional banks. Small businesses also did.

It’s easy to understand economic policymakers being seduced by the great flows of wealth created among Wall Streeters, from whom they invariably seek advice. One of the basic assumptions of capitalism is that anyone paid huge sums of money must be very smart.

But if 2009 has proved anything, it’s that the bailout of Wall Street didn’t trickle down to Main Street. Mortgage delinquencies continue to rise. Small businesses can’t get credit. And people everywhere, it seems, are worried about losing their jobs. Wall Street is the only place where money is flowing and pay is escalating. Top executives and traders on the Street will soon be splitting about $25 billion in bonuses (despite Goldman Sachs’ decision, made with an eye toward public relations, to defer bonuses for its 30 top players).

The real locus of the problem was never the financial economy to begin with, and the bailout of Wall Street was a sideshow. The real problem was on Main Street, in the real economy. Before the crash, much of America had fallen deeply into unsustainable debt because it had no other way to maintain its standard of living. That’s because for so many years almost all the gains of economic growth had been going to a relatively small number of people at the top.

President Obama and his economic team have been telling Americans we’ll have to save more in future years, spend less and borrow less from the rest of the world, especially from China. This is necessary and inevitable, they say, in order to “rebalance” global financial flows. China has saved too much and consumed too little, while we have done the reverse.

In truth, most Americans did not spend too much in recent years, relative to the increasing size of the overall American economy. They spent too much only in relation to their declining portion of its gains. Had their portion kept up — had the people at the top of corporate America, Wall Street banks and hedge funds not taken a disproportionate share — most Americans would not have felt the necessity to borrow so much.

The year 2009 will be remembered as the year when Main Street got hit hard. Don’t expect 2010 to be much better — that is, if you live in the real economy. The administration is telling Americans that jobs will return next year, and we’ll be in a recovery. I hope they’re right. But I doubt it. Too many Americans have lost their jobs, incomes, homes and savings. That means most of us won’t have the purchasing power to buy nearly all the goods and services the economy is capable of producing. And without enough demand, the economy can’t get out of the doldrums.

As long as income and wealth keep concentrating at the top, and the great divide between America’s have-mores and have-lesses continues to widen, the Great Recession won’t end — at least not in the real economy.

Source: Cross-posted from Robert Reich’s Blog and WIH Resource Group

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Is Man-Made Global Warming Real? – The Number of Skeptics is Swelling – Many Scientists Beg to Differ…


Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven’t heard of this politician, it’s because he’s a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country’s carbon-emissions scheme.  Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

[POTOMAC WATCH] Associated PressSteve Fielding

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as “deniers.” The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)

The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

Credit for Australia’s own era of renewed enlightenment goes to Dr. Ian Plimer, a well-known Australian geologist. Earlier this year he published “Heaven and Earth,” a damning critique of the “evidence” underpinning man-made global warming. The book is already in its fifth printing. So compelling is it that Paul Sheehan, a noted Australian columnist — and ardent global warming believer — in April humbly pronounced it “an evidence-based attack on conformity and orthodoxy, including my own, and a reminder to respect informed dissent and beware of ideology subverting evidence.” Australian polls have shown a sharp uptick in public skepticism; the press is back to questioning scientific dogma; blogs are having a field day.

The rise in skepticism also came as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, elected like Mr. Obama on promises to combat global warming, was attempting his own emissions-reduction scheme. His administration was forced to delay the implementation of the program until at least 2011, just to get the legislation through Australia’s House. The Senate was not so easily swayed.

Mr. Fielding, a crucial vote on the bill, was so alarmed by the renewed science debate that he made a fact-finding trip to the U.S., attending the Heartland Institute’s annual conference for climate skeptics. He also visited with Joseph Aldy, Mr. Obama’s special assistant on energy and the environment, where he challenged the Obama team to address his doubts. They apparently didn’t.

This week Mr. Fielding issued a statement: He would not be voting for the bill. He would not risk job losses on “unconvincing green science.” The bill is set to founder as the Australian parliament breaks for the winter.

Republicans in the U.S. have, in recent years, turned ever more to the cost arguments against climate legislation. That’s made sense in light of the economic crisis. If Speaker Nancy Pelosi fails to push through her bill, it will be because rural and Blue Dog Democrats fret about the economic ramifications. Yet if the rest of the world is any indication, now might be the time for U.S. politicians to re-engage on the science. One thing for sure: They won’t be alone.

Source:  Wall Street Journal

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467,000 Jobs Cut in June – National Jobless Rate at 9.5 Percent


Employers cut a larger-than-expected 467,000 jobs in June, driving the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, suggesting that the economy’s road to recovery will be bumpy.

The Labor Department report, released Thursday, showed that even as the recession flashes signs of easing, companies likely will want to keep a lid on costs and be wary of hiring until they feel certain the economy is on solid ground.

June’s payroll reductions were deeper than the 363,000 that economists expected and average weekly earnings dropped to the lowest level in nearly a year.

However, the rise in the unemployment rate from 9.4 percent in May wasn’t as sharp as the expected 9.6 percent. Still, many economists predict the jobless rate will hit 10 percent this year, and keep rising into next year, before falling back.

All told, 14.7 million people were unemployed in June.

If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.5 percent in June, the highest on records dating to 1994.

“We were on the road of things getting less bad in the jobs market, and that has been temporarily waylaid,” said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. “But this doesn’t change my view that the recession will end later this year. We’re probably two months away.”

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 6.5 million jobs.  As the downturn bites into sales and profits, companies have turned to layoffs and other cost-cutting measures to survive. Those include holding down workers’ hours and freezing or cutting pay.  The average work week in June fell to 33 hours, the lowest on records dating to 1964.

Layoffs in May turned out to smaller, 322,000, versus the 345,000 first reported. But job cuts in April were a big deeper — 519,000 versus 504,000, according to government data.

Even with higher pace of job cuts in June, the report indicates that the worst of the layoffs have passed. The deepest job cuts of the recession came in January, when 741,000 jobs vanished, the most in any month since 1949.  And there was some other encouraging job news Thursday.

In a separate report, the department said the number of newly laid-off workers filing applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 614,000, in line with economists’ predictions. The number of people continuing to draw benefits unexpectedly dropped to 6.7 million.  Still, job losses last month were widespread.

Professional and business services slashed 118,000 jobs, more than double the 48,000 cut in May. Manufacturers cut 136,000, down from 156,000. Construction companies got rid of 79,000 jobs, up from 48,000 the previous month. Retailers eliminated 21,000, up from 17,600. Financial activities cut 27,000, following 30,000 in May. The government cut 52,000 jobs, up from 10,000 the previous month. Leisure and hospitality cut 18,000 jobs, erasing a gain of the same size in May.  One of the few industries adding jobs: education and health services, which added 34,000 positions last month and 47,000 in May.

Mayland and other economists said a good chunk of June’s job losses likely were affected by shutdowns at General Motors Corp. and fallout from the troubled auto industry, which should let up later this summer. The government said employment at factories making autos and parts fell by 27,000 last month.  Payroll losses and the unemployment rate are derived from two separate statistical surveys. The jobless rate probably would have moved higher if not for people dropping out of the labor force.

With the weakness in the job market, workers didn’t see any wage gains in June. Average hourly earnings were flat at $18.53. Average weekly earnings fell from $613.34 in May, to $611.49 in June, the lowest level in nearly a year and the first drop since March. That raises fresh questions about consumers’ willingness to spend in the months ahead.  The worst crises in the housing, credit and financial markets since the 1930s have plunged the country into the longest recession since World War II.

Many think the jobless rate could rise as high as 10.7 percent by the second quarter of next year before it starts to make a slow descent. Some think the rate will top out at 11 percent. The post-World War II high was 10.8 percent at the end of 1982, when the country had suffered through a severe recession.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicts the recession will end this year, with many economists forecasting that the economy will start to grow again as soon as the current July-September quarter.  But recoveries after financial crises tend to be slow, which is why economists predict it will take years for the job market to return to normal. Some predict the nation’s unemployment rate won’t drop to 5 percent until 2013.

An elevated unemployment rate could become a political liability for President Barack Obama when congressional elections are held next year. The last time the unemployment rate topped 10 percent, the party of the president — then Ronald Reagan’s GOP — lost 26 House seats in midterm elections in 1982.  So far, many people are saving — rather than spending — the extra money in their paychecks from Obama’s tax cut, blunting its help in bracing the economy. Much of the economic benefit of Obama’s increased government spending on big public works projects won’t kick in until 2010, analysts say.

The White House last week said federal money was being shoveled out of Washington quickly, but states aren’t steering the cash to counties that need jobs the most.

Large job cuts have continued this week. Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. said it plans to cut 1,400 jobs in the next few weeks, about 3 percent of the work force, as it faces a prolonged slump in advertising revenue. Farm machinery company Deere & Co. said 800 salaried employees, or 3 percent of its salaried work force, took a voluntary buyout offer.

Source:  United States Labor Department Report – Released July 1, 2009

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Ocean Renewable Energy Has Huge Potential But Not Without Giant Hurdles


Since 1844, when the first tide wheel was built, inventors have been trying to harness the immense power of the ocean with little success. Now the next generation of engineers is trying to break the course of history and turn this niche industry into a major energy player.

In 1894, currents were used to compress air and run a turbine; today, waves are being used to compress air in an oscillating water column. In 1923, a patent was issued for a snake-like machine that used waves to run a hydraulic pump; today, Pelamis Wave Power has deployed (and since removed) an almost-identical machine off the coast of Portugal. And in 1946, a horizontal-axis turbine was invented to harness the currents of the ocean; today, Verdant Power is testing a similar device in the East River near New York City.

any people think this industry is new, but these devices have been around for a long time. You see a lot of the newer designs that are based on older designs. The marine energy industry is generally broken up into a number of different technologies: wave, tidal, current, salinity gradient, ocean thermal and offshore wind. Offshore wind — while still very nascent — is one of the only technologies being deployed on a commercial scale.

There’s a lot of excitement about wave and tidal technologies today, a result of the broader interest in clean energy. But some are cautious about some of the claims being made by companies. Many tout the benefits of their technologies, but few are actually close to achieving those claims. The small bits of electricity actually being generated usually come in at the US $0.40 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) range.

Technological successes in marine energy over the last 165 years have been incremental. But with the emergence of new materials, sophisticated electronics and unprecedented amounts of money being invested in new ocean energy technologies, the industry is looking far different than it did in the past.

Today’s marine renewable energy industry is commonly compared to the wind industry of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. At that time, there were many competing technologies being developed and thousands of turbines were broken during the testing process. Eventually, certain designs won out, parts for those machines were standardized, and a supply chain was created to service them. The marine energy industry will have to go through the same culling process. Ocean energy is about 15 years behind wind energy, but it won’t take 15 years to catch up.

With only 10 megawatts of installed marine energy capacity around the world, the industry has a long way to go before it catches up with the more than 120 gigawatts of global wind capacity. In theory, the oceans could supply us with a lot of energy. The International Energy Agency estimates that tidal, wave, current, salinity gradient and ocean thermal technologies could represent more than 100,000 terawatt-hours of energy each year.

The high cost of demonstrating projects remains a significant problem, especially recently because of the lack of capital available due to the financial crisis. Once technologies are ready to be deployed on a commercial or pre-commercial scale, a long and complex permitting process must be completed. This process can also be a problem for inexperienced, cash-strapped companies — especially in the U.S.

Source: RenewableEnergyWorld.com

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From Refuse to Refueling: Linde and Waste Management Discuss Landfill Gas to LNG Plant


Construction on the world’s largest plant to convert landfill gas into clean vehicle fuel is nearing completion. As start-up approaches, joint venture partners Linde North America and Waste Management will share project details during a presentation and discussion today at the National Biomethane Summit in Sacramento, California.

Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, one of the world’s leading gases and engineering companies; Waste Management is North America’s largest waste management company. The companies are installing systems to purify and liquefy landfill gas, a source of renewable biomethane fuel, at the Altamont Landfill near Livermore, California. When the plant begins operating later this year, it is designed to produce up to 13,000 gallons a day of liquefied natural gas that could fuel hundreds of waste collection trucks in California.

Media are invited to attend the summit, which is being held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. Legislators, researchers, scientists, practitioners and other stakeholders are convening to discuss the latest biomethane information, applications, success stories and technologies.

Attendees will be able to see “From Refuse to Refueling,” a multimedia presentation from Linde and Waste Management about the Altamont project, which offers a unique opportunity to “close the loop” by fueling collection trucks with clean fuel produced from garbage. The presentation also is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjCjWVY3MOw

The Altamont project is one of several LNG and biomethane projects around the world in which Linde is participating, and is an industry Linde says is ripe for growth. “Biomethane is a truly renewable and readily available green source of high quality fuel. Although it is still an emerging commodity, its economic and environmental value is rapidly being recognized,” said Bryan Luftglass, manager of Linde North America’s energy segment. Kent Stoddard, vice president of public affairs for Waste Management’s West Group said, “Waste Management’s partnership with Linde will allow us to tap into a valuable source of clean energy while greatly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Natural gas is already the cleanest burning fuel available for our collection trucks and the opportunity to use recovered landfill gas offers enormous environmental benefits to the communities we serve.”

Experts from Linde and Waste Management also will be on hand at the summit to discuss project details during a separate panel discussion, “Down and Dirty Case Studies and Examples of Creating Biomethane from Landfills and Dairy Farms.” Landfill gas is produced by the breakdown of organic waste under anaerobic conditions. Once purified, biomethane can be compressed or liquefied to fuel cars and heavy transport vehicles. As a replacement for natural gas, biomethane is becoming an increasingly desirable alternative fuel — far more environmentally friendly than existing fuels — emitting up to 90 percent lower carbon dioxide and 75 percent less particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the atmosphere than diesel fuel.

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 52,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2008 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 12.7 billion (USD 15.9 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com.

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit http://www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

Source: The Linde Group and Waste Management

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