structure, consider alterna- tive revenues to finance this vision and make this vision sustainable: financially, envi- ronmentally and politically. For much of the latter part

of the last Century, China unleashed a massive infra- structure program that is dif- ficult to find in other parts of the world, accept for maybe in the United Arab Emirates, but certainly not in America. Tech Insider reported on 33 giant Chinese infrastructure projects that are reshaping China and the world. By the year 2030, China will have invested approximately US$4.4 trillion on infrastruc- ture projects in real estate, transportation, telecommunications, utilities and science. It takes this kind of large-scale capital pro-

gram to support 1.3 billion people, including provisions for housing, education, medical, energy and food. But this economy creates employment for millions of Chinese that have been displaced by some of the hydro- electric generation projects that power the massive urban centers. This is especially rel- evant to the megacity of 42 million in the Pearl River Delta that is expected to hit 80 million. In the Middle East, infrastructure projects worth US$540 billion are underway. The City of London is improving its metro rail system, adding an additional 60-mile tun- nel, Crossrail to connect Heathrow Airport with important financial and cultural areas in the city and existing metro stations; it will cost almost US$23 billion and is scheduled to open in May 2018 as the Elizabeth Line.

FOLLOW THE LEADER There are legitimate reasons for other coun- tries to be ahead of America in infrastruc- ture investments. It is often overlooked that America led the world in these areas for about a quarter of the 20th Century. After the Second World War America maintained a healthy portfolio in capital spending: the interstate highway system; schools and utilities to support the growth in families, communities, medical research, leadership

Photo: CERA Archives 53

 In less than 15 years time China will have invested over US$4 trillion on intrastructure projects

in technological innovation and suburbia. So, in a sense we have been there and done that. But now many of these capital investments are failing due to age and use, but are ripe for innova- tive technologies that can add value; be made more productive and efficient? Think of our water supply vis-à-vis the City of Flint, Michigan; the upgrades to

“While the rest of the world is heavily leveraged on infrastructure spending, it behooves America to adjust our focus on capitalism and envision an expansive intelligent infrastructure”

 The United States led the world during the capital spending of the 20th Century on interstate highway system and other infrastructure

our telecommunications, including soft- ware, algorithms and hardware; and alter- natives in energy, including wind and solar power utilities. Along with evolving our vision with the

21st Century, it is critical that we consider the threat to our reliance on taxes on fuel revenue that have become unproductive. More specifically, the fuel tax revenues at various levels of government are declining and being displaced by alternative fuel vehi- cles that pay no direct fuel tax. For compari- son, if you drive 1,000 miles at 25 miles per gallon, and you pay US$3.00 per gallon of fuel, you pay US$120.00. Electricity is paid for per kilowatt-hour, an electric car such as a Chevy Volt gets 2.7 miles per kilowatt-hour used, meaning you pay US$0.12 per kilowatt- hour, or US$44.44. It is estimated the electric vehicle market will grow for the foreseeable future, especially when consideration it’s given to innovations in battery storage, the advent of a process to reduce the time to fully recharge a battery, competition in the market between electric vehicles and tech- nology improvements that increase energy efficiency in fuel powered vehicles.

CAPITAL GAINS So, given the scenario above two alterna- tives are postulated: raise the fuel tax to increase revenue to continue transporta- tion capital building, or go to a vehicle

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