Excelius t1_je77tpt wrote

I'm listening, I'm saying you're wrong.

> the return on investment is going to pencil out well for electrifying those smaller miscellaneous uses like lawn care

You've said that without providing any evidence whatsoever.

Whereas I've actually provided you concrete numbers that lawn equipment is less than a fraction of a percent of gasoline usage, which itself is only a portion of transportation carbon emissions, which itself is about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

You're chasing percentages with too many zeroes at the front to make a bit of difference. Climate change is not an "every little bit helps" problem, the only real solutions involving going after the big ticket items.


Excelius t1_je6yf8p wrote

Transportation accounts for about 27% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Americans burn about 135 billion gallons of gasoline per year, and lawn equipment uses an estimated 800 million gallons. Hundreds of billions versus hundreds of millions, it's not even a close comparison.

Saying that electrification of lawn equipment is more important to combat climate change than vehicles is just flat out wrong.


Excelius t1_je6xh09 wrote

> Gas-powered lawn and garden equipment is responsible for 24-45% of non-road carbon emissions

Correction: Your link says that gas-powered lawn and garden equipment is responsible for 24-45% of non-road gasoline emissions. Not non-road carbon emissions.

There are only so many things that use gasoline besides cars, and of those things lawn equipment is the largest consuming category.

> Operating a lawnmower for an hour produces the same amount of emissions as driving a typical car for 500 miles.

Health impacting pollutants like VOCs, yes. Climate change causing greenhouse emissions, not even close.

The average vehicle on American roads gets about 25mpg, so that 500 mile trip is burning about 20 gallons of gasoline.

I've always owned electric lawn equipment so I'm honestly not sure what's typical, but I'd guess that most people aren't burning 20 gallons in their lawn mower in an entire year.


Excelius t1_je6w07r wrote

> Electrifying lawn equipment should be priority #1 as opposed to electric cars

No. That's misunderstanding the problem.

The Edmunds article is talking about pollutants like carbon monoxide and NOx and so forth. They're high because gas lawn mowers don't have the emissions control systems that cars do. Some places do encourage people not to use gas lawn equipment on air-quality alert days.

Climate change is about CO2 emissions. Emissions control systems do basically nothing to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted, it's a straight function of how much gas has been burned. The only real way to reduce CO2 emissions is to burn less fuel, and cars and trucks burn way more fuel than lawn mowers.

That said I've literally never owned a gas mower, I've been using some form of electric mower for about 15 years now.


Excelius t1_jdwsh68 wrote

Heinz isn't really associated with pasta sauce in the US, don't think I've ever seen it. Double checking myself by searching the online ordering of Giant Eagle, don't see any Heinz branded pasta sauces. Nor does the US Heinz site list pasta sauce among their products.

I know Heinz has a different product mix in other countries. Like the Heinz Beanz that are a cultural staple in the UK, but that I've only ever seen here in the international imports aisle.

Apparently Classico pasta sauce is one of the many Kraft-Heinz sub-brands in the US, but as far as I know Heinz branded pasta sauce really isn't a thing here.


Excelius t1_jcloqac wrote

There is a state budget surplus currently. It's not unique to PA, most states are enjoying budget surpluses right now.

It's likely a temporary situation due to a confluence of factors, but of course many politicians are rushing to make big changes in taxes and spending as though this will be some sort of permanent condition.

States are still sitting on piles of Federal cash, from pandemic aid to infrastructure bills. In the short term inflation leads to a bump in tax revenues, as higher wages and higher prices translates to improved tax receipts. Corporate profits are still running strong.


Excelius t1_jcl6c49 wrote

There's a good chance they ran for school board precisely to do this kind of stuff.

There's been a concerted effort in the past few years for right-wing culture warriors to take over school boards. They're local races that people mostly don't care about for jobs that no one really wants to do, so it's easy for them to get on the ballot and win.


Excelius t1_jbfj5xm wrote

There's established procedures for that kind of thing, the bigger problem is money. Demolition isn't cheap and a lot of small towns can't afford it without outside help.

Probably every couple of weeks you'll see a story in the Tribune Review about some town in Westmoreland County using state/county funds to tear down some blighted properties. It's very common.

Here's one from last week regarding Vandergrift. Here's one from Greensburg in December. Arnold tore down ten buildings last year, New Ken tore down a dozen in 2021 and another ten in 2020.


Excelius t1_jan35ui wrote

The original press release also noted that the site would include stormwater runoff mitigation measures, since this property is within the drainage area of Washington Blvd with it's flooding issues.

I imagine that retention ponds or whatever probably aren't nearly as expensive as net-zero energy requirements, but it's an added expense none the less. I would argue that's a bit more practical with immediate local benefit, than trying to tie this project in with solving bigger far more complex issues around climate change.


Excelius t1_jajeq99 wrote

> The cost of relocating all of those operations from the strip would dwarf the revenue from what they would recouperate from selling the land and the added tax revenue. Its not even close.

Certainly, I wasn't imagining those things would somehow recoup the entire cost, merely offset it.

Apparently not all of the existing operations are on city owned property, in their press release the city claimed that the move would "allow the City to save millions of taxpayer dollars on leases of private properties used by the Department of Public Safety and to move key City-owned properties and parcels back onto tax rolls".

It didn't specify which operations were on city owned properties, and which are on leased properties, nor the time horizon that the "millions in savings" might be realized.


Excelius t1_jaj8g5j wrote

> It's not like their registers are too out dated to have a credit card feature.

A lot of times it's not the technology, as much as the processing fees.

From what I've seen transaction fees typically range from 1.5% to 3.0% of each transaction. According to this Square charges 2.6% of the transaction prices plus 10 cents per transaction.

These days nearly all businesses just accept that as a cost of doing business and raise their prices to match, but some don't.


Excelius t1_jaj75ef wrote

> And $120 million!?

I'd be really curious to see a detailed breakdown of where the costs are expected to go.

I'm actually wondering if the city might have gotten itself into a bad deal with the free land from the Federal government.

As far as I can tell the original buildings were all left in tact, which probably means the city is on the hook for the demolition costs. That could easily run into the millions of dollars before even talking about building anything new. And those buildings are old enough that I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they were filled with asbestos.

According to the City of Pittsburgh press release when the land was acquired, the facilities would be required to be "net zero" under 2019 city legislation, requiring them to produce as much green energy as they consume. Which sounds nice in theory, but undoubtedly adds substantially to the up front cost, unless they can get some state or federal grants to foot the bill.


Excelius t1_jaiqs31 wrote

What exactly do you think I've missed?

I already know the answer to my question, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a chance to explain your reasoning.

The answer is that any sort of reasoned analysis doesn't exist. It's kneejerk bandwagon activism based on little more than "cops are bad" and the vague similarity to the controversial project in Atlanta. The City Paper article spends more time on the situation in Atlanta than it does reporting anything meaningful about the Pittsburgh project.

I have no idea if the proposal in it's original or current state was a good use of taxpayer resources, and I'm virtually certain neither do you.


Excelius t1_jaila52 wrote

The land already belongs to the city, it was transferred in 2020.

They city may have scaled back their initial ambitions for the site given the ballooning costs, but the land will still be there and could be further built out at a later date. Assuming they didn't expand the scope of the police training center to include the portion of the land that would have been used for vehicle maintenance and storage.


Excelius t1_jaiibs0 wrote

> Also, by the time the city buys land and builds another facility, they would likely spend more than whatever was made by selling the property.

The city doesn't have to buy land. This site is the former Veterans Administration hospital campus and the federal government gave the land to the city for free.