The Concrete Lobby?

It appears the Concrete Lobby is also taking a sophisticated approach with: whataretherealcosts.org, a campaign in favor of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (who could be opposed?) backed with research from MIT. I am getting press releases from Laura Braden, who works at Mercury, “a high-stakes public strategy firm”, about their recent CNBC ad, Fox News ad, etc. She has also sent me emails in the past about Building America’s Future (led by Ed Rendell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Michael Bloomberg), but this seems a different campaign.

The domain is registered in Portugal by someone with an Admin named “Domain Discreet”. Who is behind this?

Much as I wish it were true, transportation economists don’t finance marketing campaigns in favor of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis.
As an aside about different marketing approaches, compare with local efforts, where the lobby at least says who they are.

2 thoughts on “The Concrete Lobby?”

  1. Note that there is asphalt concrete and Portland cement concrete. It appears that this is a pro-cement lobby, not a pro-concrete lobby. Also note that the trade-offs between the two depend on the type of traffic served, the traffic levels, the location, and the assumed discount rate. I think it is indicative that high volume toll roads for passenger cars like the OC Toll Roads and the Garden State Parkway prefer asphalt paving. I would be surprised if the cement folks really benefit all that much from life-cycle cost analysis. Ideally, we’d have more toll lanes for heavy vehicles with strong PCC substructure and thinner asphalt lanes for general, light vehicle traffic.

  2. Laura Braden writes in to tell me:

    Hi David,
    Saw your blog post (for some reason it didn’t pop up in my google alert until today) and wanted to send you a quick note to clarify our campaign.
    Our website – WhatAreTheRealCosts.org is a campaign on behalf of the Portland Cement Association to promote the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub’s LCCA research. And while this disclaimer appears on the Hub’s website and our TV ad, I apologize that our website wasn’t clearer.
    I’m adding this to our website today, which will hopefully prevent any confusion in the future.

    So indeed it is the Portland Cement folks. (In common use asphalt concrete is ‘asphalt’, and Portland cement concrete in ‘concrete’, but I get @Charles_Dube’s point)

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