In 2009 Google announced a project in which it would pursue a so-far elusive goal – to produce “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal” (“RE<C” was Google’s acronym). Why the Internet search giant thought it could succeed where other more experienced and knowledgeable companies (like electric utilities and alternative energy businesses) have failed for many decades shows the level of arrogance reached at the upper management levels. Either that or it illustrated how much Google’s leaders sought to ingratiate themselves with the Obama administration by following its “Green jobs” agenda.
But last week the company announced it will end RE<C, as part of an effort under CEO Larry Page to eliminate a number of non-core projects, which it called “spring cleaning, out of season.”
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” wrote Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of … Read More ➡
Last week, the sequel to 2009’s Climategate scandal was introduced to the global Internet audience, and preliminary reviews show it to be potentially more explosive than the original. Gems include iconic Hockey Stick scientist Michael Mann advancing a “cause” and admitting “we certainly don’t know the GLOBAL mean temperature anomaly very well,” and University of East Anglia scientist Phil Jones advising colleagues involved in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “to delete all emails at the end of the process,” so to avoid being subject to any Freedom of Information Act requests.
And the Solyndra-splattered Department of Energy doesn’t come off too well either, with Jones warning:
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and
… Read More ➡
NLPC has piled pixels in reporting the crony capitalism and gaming of government regulations by Duke Energy CEO James Rogers, who has favored a political engagement approach to the conduct of business rather than the delivery of services to consumers at affordable prices. That’s how the electricity business works: when you have monopoly control and are guaranteed a profit by your regulators, then you don’t have to worry about besting your competition to earn your customers.
No less passionate an advocate for regulatory favoritism – especially in support of greenhouse gas regulations such as cap-and-tax and carbon (dioxide) taxes – is Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe. While not as big a supporter of Democrats as Rogers, Rowe – like your typical corporate honcho – has thrown money to both Democrats and Republicans, most which have supported his GHG-restrictive policy beliefs.
Over the weekend National Journal published an … Read More ➡
Last week NLPC reported about a Consumer Reports reviewer’s unpleasant experience driving the all-electric Nissan Leaf. Despite Liza Barth’s frequent range anxiety and endurance of freezing temperatures so as to avoid using the Leaf’s heater to preserve its power, she declined to give it a “thumbs down.” Instead, she seemed to chalk up the inconveniences (like “numb fingers and toes”) to her own inability to adapt to new technology, rather than calling the electric vehicle what it really is: a failure that is massively subsidized by taxpayers.
Last month another Leaf customer wrote about his experience, and as opposed to Barth’s presumed objective perspective, this driver went into his purchase with eagerness and enthusiasm. Now he calls his EV “my 2011 Nissan Solyndra.”
“I am ready to turn over a new Leaf – my own,” wrote Rob Eshman, editor-in-chief of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
Eshman … Read More ➡
Two weeks ago Texas Gov. Rick Perry made what many formerly mainstream media pundits thought was his crowning debate gaffe in Michigan, when he could not remember the third of three cabinet departments (after Education and Commerce) he would eliminate if he were elected president.
The one he momentarily forgot, the Department of Energy, should have been the first one on his lips.
Republican presidential candidates like Gov. Perry (as well as Rep. Ron Paul and a couple others) aren’t alone in their view of the DOE as a frenzy of incompetence, waste, fraud, and crony capitalism – better known as (Secretary Steven) Chu’s Chum, which lures scavengers of subvention from the most desperate of bottom-feeders (Solyndra) to those at the top of the chain who need it least (like Duke Energy, Nissan). It’s the enclave where the top fish toggles between his unfailing-but-unfounded belief in catastrophic sea … Read More ➡
A scandal that won’t go away for Duke Energy CEO James Rogers revealed over the weekend, once again, that he will turn over every government rock he can to try to find money to pay for his irrational Green agenda, with reckless disregard for taxpayers and his customers.
The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday that Rogers, frustrated with the skyrocketing costs associated with the company’s experimental coal gasification plant that is under construction in Edwardsport, Ind., met with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in February 2010 to discuss problems with the project. Reporter John Russell obtained from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission documents that provided details about the meeting, which Duke and IURC previously tried to keep confidential. They were pried loose after some legal wrangling.
According to a copy of a memo the newspaper acquired, it appeared that Rogers wanted from Daniels some kind of mediation or intervention between … Read More ➡
Last month NLPC reported that during the holidays Coca-Cola will change its traditional red cans to white as part of an advertising campaign to raise $2 million for the World Wildlife Fund’s “polar bear conservation efforts.” This despite the fact that global polar bear populations are healthy (much larger than 50 years ago), their Arctic habitat is recovering, and the locations where a few of their numbers have declined in some cases are attributed to too much ice, not “global warming.”
Since polar bears are not endangered, it’s worthwhile to investigate what WWF activities the Coke money (which will also match other donations at the company’s Canadian Web site) will support. WWF is international, with separate chapters/Web sites for 48 different countries, but the Coke funding appears to largely go toward U.S. and Canadian efforts.
A visit to WWF-Canada’s polar bear “conservation” page provides some clues. The organization … Read More ➡
On Monday NLPC’s Mark Modica smartly called into question Consumer Reports’ sudden change in opinion about the electric hybrid Chevy Volt from a vehicle that they once believed “doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense,” to one the publication recommends. The next day, however, CR delivered an online review of the major all-electric vehicle on the U.S. market – the Nissan Leaf – and while not intended to be scathing, the account given by reviewer Liza Barth makes the car sound so unappealing, she should have panned it outright.
I wish I could reproduce her entire account here without a charge of plagiarism, to detail exactly what a turkey the Leaf is, so make sure you follow the link to Barth’s assessment. And while giving somewhat a nod of approval in a late September review based upon CR’s very controlled facility testing, Barth’s real-life experience told the true story.… Read More ➡
No matter how much Walmart officials pander to liberals and their institutions, or how much they implement alternative energy gimmicks, or how much they earn fawning media attention for “corporate responsibility” and “sustainability” gestures, a giant segment of the political Left will still resent the retail giant.
Still, the descendants of Sam Walton and company executives try. Last week CEO of Walmart International, Doug McMillon, made the now-familiar pitch at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington. Not surprisingly, rather than emphasize Walmart’s historical approach to business (before 2005) – which espoused low costs due to bulk purchasing and supply chain hyper-efficiency – and how that has improved the lives of millions of people with limited incomes, McMillon instead highlighted the company’s “social impact.” His drivel was likely welcomed by the elitist Beltway audience.
Sadly, as Walmart expands globally, the Third World that hungers for freedom and economic development desperately … Read More ➡
In March NLPC reported that Duke Energy guaranteed a $10 million loan to the Democratic National Committee to host its 2012 convention in Charlotte, NC – the utility’s hometown. Now Duke CEO James Rogers – who heads the fundraising effort as co-chair of the DNC host committee for the convention – is silent about how much money has been brought in so far.
“One of the things that the DNCC really impresses upon us is that we need to work hard, raise the money, not talk about how much we’ve raised at any time because we just need to keep the momentum going and continuing to raise the money,” Rogers told WFAE, Charlotte’s local public radio station and NPR affiliate.
According to the report, Rogers and his teammates are not allowed to solicit corporations and lobbyists for donations, and “the effort is challenging.” And the muteness about fundraising progress is … Read More ➡