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NS Announces Greenhouse Gas Initiative

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NS Announces Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 7:36 AM

https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/technology-business-norfolk-e5c68d42cb4ebac424dc2e5c7f93cc9a

A Squires press release lacking specifics as to how it will achieve this. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:10 AM

There is detail, and there are specifics, although why Trains hasn't been trumpeting some of it in Newswire is a little hard to understand.

NS submitted a detailed letter on its 'science-based' plan to SBTi on April 22 -- this of course would include both the methodology and technologies intended for practical development.  Presumably the present flackery involves SBTi's acceptance that the content of that letter does represent good and effective science.

Much more newsworthy to me is the $500 million in 'green bonds' that NS arranged for after submitting the letter.  You can do a great deal of development with that earmarked budget, especially with a science- and not consultants' design-build development model.

I have not been able to find the text of the NS letter either in the general PR stream or from SBTi; perhaps there are some who think it contains company advantage in the coming green transition.  Perhaps it's just inability to search coherently on  phone.  I'll put out the Mike MacDonald call to get a link or the letter's text -- or details of the approaches to be prioritized -- here so we can read it.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:49 AM

Well the AP article has no details.  Since that is what was posted,  why the correction?

Why the contemptuous tone?  "Flackery"?  You think it requires the polymath seal of approval? 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 5:24 PM

charlie hebdo
Well the AP article has no details.  Since that is what was posted,  why the correction?

What 'correction?'  You posted a press release, with implied snark about 'Squires' not providing any substantiation, then pointedly failed to do any research to put the PR in context.  I provided some of that detail... in the spirit of having an actual discussion on a funded science-based development initiative.  I should have expected that actual facts and forward planning would be found less interesting than another opportunity for ad hominem put-downs.

Why the contemptuous tone?  "Flackery"?

You were the one being contemptuous of the release as a piece of PR that was short on specifics.  My tone was and is positive about this... to unbiased readers; heaven knows I think a third-party-expert approved science-based research effort with half a billion in earmarked assured funding deserves better than you gave it. 
You think it requires the polymath seal of approval?
Fortunately this needs no answer in a rational discussion: the ongoing discussion can focus on the actual NS research plan and not on some attempt to make a press release guilty of not detailing what five minutes of Googling... the 'polymath' contribution in this thread so far... would give an intelligent forum poster.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 5:47 PM

There are several specifics in the article, and one does not need to be a polymath to see them.

Carbon offsets are not a new concept, but it will be interesting to see what sort of projects they choose, along with who will buy those green bonds.

The locomotive stuff boils down to moving more tonnage with fewer, newer, more efficient locomotives.  This will probably mean fewer, longer, heavier trains, which was already a corporate goal, along with more locomotives being fitted with Trip Optimizer and Leader.  I have my doubts about how much money and fuel those systems actually save, but their use makes for good PR and I'm sure the numbers will show whatever NS wants them to, just like CN's enforcement of throttle restrictions. 

It will be interesting to see how far the replacement of diesel-powered intermodal terminal equipment goes, will yard and local delivery trucks also be included?

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 9:59 PM

I simply made a factual observation as to the article.  Although it does talk about the carbon reduction of trains vs trucks,  it doesn't really indicate specifically how NS will get near zero on its primemovers.  No contempt of snark of Squires,  since this is simply a PR release. You used the term flackery,  hardly a flattering term. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 29, 2021 8:41 AM

What was not done was to go to the actual facts implied by the article, most notably that the article involved approval of a plan by the SBTi.  Naturally this would not necessarily contain information on what the SBTi had approved, or why the SBTi process is significant.  As it is copied from a press release, and is not an actual news story (which would have put the step in proper context).  We were forever rewriting United Press International stories to make them actual news; I'm not surprised AP isn't different in that respect.

The first thing that ought to be found (and put up here or 'linked to') is the text of what NS sent the SBTi.  If the Boston Trust/Walden Asset Management guide to the process is accurate, NS at least needed to provide a list of IPCC-approved mitigations and at least some methodology to show its targets can e achieved by the indicated 2034 timeframe.  While at this stage of the process that might not be 'granular' enough to indicate specific programs, it ought to tell us the areas of concentration (and the scope of the actions to be undertaken) as well as a couple of essential procedural issues such as zero-net-carbon vs. zero carbon.

I expect word to have gotten to Mike by now, so we should hear soon about it, or at least whether the April 22 letter text is considered 'public' material.

Meanwhile, the SBTi idea is highly interesting, although I hope this discussion will not get diverted into some Agenda 21 like theorization about the role of the SBTi in organizing corporate efforts for carbon reduction.  I'd like to keep this squarely on what NS will be prioritizing in its efforts, and perhaps mentioning what some of the more, ah, "PSR devotee" railroads might be doing with their own science-based programs.

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