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RE: E-M:/ Great Lakes Shipping and Economics of a Modal Shift



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Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Coscarelli" <mcoscarelli@pscinc.com>
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I interpret the $55 million not as a net figure but simply the additional cost of transferring cargo on other modes in lieu of ocean-going vessels. It does not appear that the figure incorporates secondary benefits such as those that would accrue to a marine terminal and local economies. But to a large extent those secondary benefits would simply shift in a reallocation within the transportation industry. My impression is that the research will provide a foundation for a cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) going forward. The role of CEA in this case is to identify the "least-cost" method of achieving the environmental goal--prevention of introduction of invasive species in the Great Lakes. CEA can help society and sectors within it to select the most efficient approach. Whether that occurs through retrofitting ships with new technology to treat ballast water or a shift in transportation modes is open for debate. The perceived challenge, as pointed out in the article, is developing a credible assessment of invasive species damage in economic terms that can be compared against the $55 million in additional costs to move cargo on other modes of transportation. Some argue that body of knowledge already exists. 

Mark Coscarelli
Public Sector Consultants

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
[mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net]On Behalf Of jmgear
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 1:26 PM
To: E-M
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Great Lakes Shipping and Economics of a Modal Shift


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Enviro-Mich message from jmgear <jmgear@acd.net>
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Is that a net figure?  (i.e., claim is that there is $55M in benefits in 
excess of costs?) 

I don't know anything more about the issue than anyone else, but I would 
have no problem believing that there are millions of dollars of benefits 
that flow to some from GL shipping (while possibly much larger costs are 
spread to the public and, therefore, made invisible).

Mark Coscarelli wrote:

> FYI - 2 links.
>  
> Snip: *Chicago* - The emerging debate about the future of overseas 
> ships plying the Great Lakes took center stage on the shore of Lake 
> Michigan on Wednesday.
>
> Authors of a controversial study that puts the value of overseas ships 
> operating in the Great Lakes at $55 million a year appeared before an 
> independent panel of transportation experts at the Shedd Aquarium to 
> defend their work.
>
> That $55 million figure is important because many argue that the 
> economic benefits of overseas shipping in the Great Lakes is a 
> pittance compared with the ecological and economic costs wrought by 
> shipborne invasive species.
>
> http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov05/374448.asp
>  
> http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/12/01/news/top_news/ff25354d19c75b0c862570ca000fb1ef.txt
>  
> Regards,
>  
> Mark Coscarelli
> Public Sector Consultants



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