Taxpayers Fund Impractical Cracker Barrel EV Recharging Scheme

CrackerBarrelIf you were going to run a pilot project that deploys charging stations in a network to enhance the use of electric vehicles, what kind of establishments would you locate them at? Whose customers might be most interested in that amenity?

Certainly Starbucks comes to mind, as might sustainability-crazy Walmart – but how about Cracker Barrel?

It’s true, the down-home chain of Old Country Store restaurants was chosen by Ecotality for a practice run in Tennessee as part of The EV Project, which is funded with a $115 million Department of Energy grant to create infrastructure to support EVs like the Nissan Leaf. The rollout features a dozen so-called “fast chargers,” which means they can provide an electric “fill-up” in 30 minutes, with the idea that an EV owner could consume his Cracker Barrel Sampler and a couple of sweet tea refills while the Leaf gets its electric infusion.… Read More ➡

Airlines Ballyhoo Greenhouse Plans, Then Complain About Cost

United jet photoU.S. airlines are addicted to the concept of nickel-and-diming customers for each additional cost they can pass along, from baggage fees, to food, to fuel, to imperceptibly “better” seats.

But for some reason they are upset about a European Union plan to charge them for their carbon dioxide emissions on flights going to and from EU countries, despite the fact that all the U.S. carriers who have complained about the EU plan boast about their strategies to lower their “carbon footprint.” USA Today reports that the scheme, beginning next year, could raise round-trip ticket prices to Europe by as much as $30.

“Airlines are fighting the program aggressively in court and in the political arena,” the newspaper reported. “The meter starts running Jan. 1 on fees that U.S. airlines estimate will cost them $3.1 billion over the next decade.”

A lawsuit has been launched in England against … Read More ➡

Edwardsport Scandal Dogs Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers photoThe Indianapolis Colts’ loss of future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning (neck surgeries) has led to a winless (0-7) season so far, which places the team in the lead for the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. By unanimity football experts project Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck – considered by many the best to emerge from the draft in many years – to be the top prize, so the “competition” to fail in order to attain the top choice has been deemed the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.

Meanwhile the locals who are following the costly boondoggle that is the Edwardsport power plant, which was intended to sequester carbon dioxide emissions from burning of coal that has been converted to gas, might want to call it the “Puke for Duke” project after regulators decide how much electricity customers will have to pay for it.

Of all Duke Read More ➡

White Coke Cans Fund Polar Bear Myths

white Coke canFor years Coca-Cola has given millions of dollars to eco-extreme group World Wildlife Fund, whose alarmism and perpetration of falsehoods are unmatched among its cohorts in climate activism. Now Coke has initiated a new campaign with WWF that features its iconic advertising species in an effort to drive more funding to the international nonprofit group to “protect the polar bears’ Arctic home.”

The promotion will include new packaging for Coke over the holiday season, changing its familiar red cans to white, and featuring an image of a mother polar bear and her cubs on the side. Coke says it will donate $2 million over five years to WWF for “polar bear conservation efforts,” and will also match donations made at iCoke.ca. Last year Coke gave WWF $1.64 million for its various activities globally.

“The planet is changing very quickly, and nowhere more quickly than in the Arctic,” says Gerald Butts, … Read More ➡

‘Green’ Apple Tortures the Environment — for Solar!

Apple logoWith all the forest clear-cutting, particulate emissions, and wildlife displacement with the widespread burning that is associated with Apple’s massive new energy-sucking data center in Maiden, NC, you’d think the folks at Greenpeace’s new Charlotte office and/or dozens of other environmentalist groups would be protesting non-stop over the damage inflicted on Mother Earth.

But such is not the case – at least not that the media is reporting. And why wouldn’t the eco-activists show up and show their irateness and infuriation? 

It’s because Apple is building a solar farm – you know, that environmentally-friendly alternative source of electricity that creates toxic liquid silicon tetrachloride during the production of solar panels, which is being dumped by the tons in China. As you may have heard, the Chinese lead the world in the production of solar panels, which is why the Obama Administration believes we must create hundreds – if not thousands … Read More ➡

Walmart-Endorsed Obamacare Can’t Save Employees from Skyrocketing Insurance Costs

Mike Duke photoWe told you so. Last week Walmart announced it will severely cut back health benefits for its employees, proving that the Obamacare law that the company endorsed will not save the day for its many low-income workers.

Under the new company policy, new part-time associates will no longer be eligible to receive health insurance. Reuters also reports that the amount Walmart puts in employee healthcare savings accounts will be cut in half.

“The current healthcare system is unsustainable for everyone and like other businesses we’ve had to make choices we wish we didn’t have to make,” said Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter. “Our country needs to find a way to reduce the cost of healthcare, particularly in this economy.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, costs of premiums and deductibles for employees could increase by up to 40 percent. The newspaper also noted that Walmart is in the minority of … Read More ➡

Duke Energy Gouges Ratepayers, Taxpayers

Jim Rogers and windmill photoRather than big policies like cap-and-trade and federal tax credits, sometimes it’s the little ways that corporations snooker taxpayers and their own customers that really annoy the masses.

As has been well documented by NLPC, Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers has been a big advocate for levies on carbon dioxide emissions, government giveaways for renewable energy, and Democratic conventions.

Each example shows how the Charlotte-based utility is far more interested in gaming government regulations in its favor – keeping its bottom line and shareholder returns healthy – rather than delivery of its product efficiently and affordably, which is a better and more American way to maintain profitability.

This attitude of Duke and Rogers has manifested itself in two absurd situations in North Carolina. First is the revelation that Duke has a sweet contract with Charlotte that gives the utility nearly $10 per month to maintain and operate … Read More ➡

Ghosn: Nissan Business Plan Now Based on Government Subsidies

Nissan LeafWhile sales of the Chevy Volt languish, the maker of the all-electric and better-selling (but not great-selling) Nissan Leaf maintains that his company’s fortunes and that of his alternative vehicle have a promising future – with two big “ifs.”

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told Reuters he expects 2012 sales to surpass this year, barring “economic ‘armageddon’” and “ a ‘Lehman-style’ crisis.” According to Ghosn, “the highest level of uncertainty is Europe,” but he is confident “that 2012 will be another record year for the car industry no matter what Europe does.” But anyone paying attention to the debt crisis knows it has the potential for total economic collapse and to spread to other continents, including North America. 

Ghosn also attributes his optimism to the prospects for electric vehicles. Reuters reported that Renault-Nissan is investing 4 billion euros ($5.57 billion) in the technology, and Ghosn has predicted sales of 1.5 million … Read More ➡

DOE Bet on EV Charging Technology Puts Taxpayers in Reverse

Volt recharging photoOn Friday NLPC reported that the Department of Energy may have made a bad bet on Ecotality, the car-charging company that is heavily dependent on $115 million in government grants to deploy stations for electric vehicles through its EV Project. It turns out that DOE may not only be gambling taxpayer funds on a shaky company, but may also have dumped a bunch of money into a technology with a questionable future.

Last week seven automotive companies – General Motors, Ford, BMW, Audi, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen – announced they would adopt a single standard, established by the Society of Automotive Engineers, for fast charging the electric vehicles (a speedy re-boost is what every EV owner wants, right?) they produce in the future. Sound good?

Unfortunately this new zip-charging standard is not compatible with the one used for the current No. 1 electric vehicle on the U.S. market … Read More ➡

Duke’s Rogers: Wind Subsidies Yield Big Profits

Rogers and windmill photoSay what you want about Duke Energy and the often-injudicious CEO James Rogers, but at least he is focused on his company’s profitability and the interests of shareholders.

Last week he composed an op-ed for The News & Observer of Raleigh in which he praised Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Sen. John McCain for their introduction of the Foreign Earnings Reinvestment Act. The bill would give American companies a “holiday” from the 35 percent U.S. corporate income tax, enabling businesses to – as James Valvo of Americans for Prosperity explained – invest in capital and R&D, hire and train employees, and pay dividends to shareholders.

“Duke Energy alone has $1.2 billion held hostage overseas by a tax system that penalizes U.S. businesses that want to bring their foreign earnings to America to create jobs,” Rogers wrote. “With the right changes to our tax laws, we can bring that … Read More ➡

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