How is this new $40 Million project ‘Environmentally Friendly’?

President Obama made some good comments earlier this year at his inaugural address, when he spoke in favor of the environment:

“…We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations….”

And now, six months later, Transportation Secretary Foxx is crediting President Obama as the force behind a new ‘Center of Excellence’. Here is an excerpt from a September 13, 2013 FAA Press Release announcing FAA will be spending $40 Million over ten years in collegiate research programs to find cleaner alternative aviation fuels:

“This innovative partnership supports President Obama’s national plan to address climate change,” said Secretary Foxx.  “The Center of Excellence will tap talented universities to help us take environmentally friendly, alternative jet fuel technology to the next level.  Airlines and their customers will both benefit from their work developing cleaner fuel that supports the environment and continued aviation growth.

But, wait. What Secretary Foxx said was an alternative jet fuel  “…that supports the environment and continued aviation growth…” A cleaner fuel may help the environment, but continued aviation growth will still increase CO2 emissions, and thus will NOT help the environment. (…and this really is a no-brainer!)

So, what’s the REAL plan? What is FAA REALLY doing (and planning to do) to REALLY ‘support our environment’?

For example, here are four areas where FAA could ‘support the environment’…

  1. …is FAA really doing anything to manage aviation growth, to discourage the least efficient flying (such as subsidized EAS flights and business jets) that generates the most CO2 for the least net passenger-miles traveled?
  2. …is FAA doing anything to stop duplicative airport development, where nearby airports create a combined capacity that far exceeds any reasonable future demand?
  3. …is FAA fixing the helicopter noise problems in New York and L.A. and over Grand Canyon, and at so very many impacted locations, or are they just delaying these fixes to enable continued ‘aviation growth’ and environmental impact?
  4. …is FAA getting the toxic lead out of general aviation fuel, and when they do, how many decades of net delay will have passed since FAA was supposed to have fixed this environmental impact?