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.
The Associated Press has reported that new fires involving the Chevy Volt have prompted NHTSA to open an investigation to assess the risks for the vehicle. Two Volts that had been crash-tested by the government agency recently caught fire or "emitted smoke and sparks." This follows an incident that occurred about 6 months ago when a Volt burst into flames three weeks after a crash-test. Considering that NHTSA delayed informing the public of that incident, will it be possible for an agency of the Executive Branch of government to now give a fair assessment of the risks of a vehicle that General Motors and the Obama Administration have hyped and gambled much credibility (as well as billions of taxpayer dollars) on?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every once in a while I come across an article that sheds light on what a boondoggle the green initiatives of the Obama Administration are. The latest evidence comes as General Motors tries to prove high consumer demand for the Chevy Volt as it tries to meet its goal of 10,000 vehicles sold in 2011. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the town of DeLand, FL is buying five Chevy Volts. That is not the disturbing part of the story. The article reports that the town is using taxpayer money it has received from a $1.2 million federal grant that is earmarked partially to help with the purchase of alternative-fuel vehicles and other energy-efficient upgrades, including electrical charging stations at City Hall. From the information I gathered on DeLand, it has a population of about 25,000 people.
They might not have been Oscar-worthy performances. But the acting job by hundreds of Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) employees and their enablers was convincing enough to run a racket that could wind up costing U.S. taxpayers $1 billion or more. On October 27, FBI and New York State agents arrested 11 persons for operating a scheme by which retired workers at the heavily unionized LIRR allegedly visited doctors who would prepare phony medical histories, allowing retirees to receive outsized pension and "disability" checks, courtesy of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. One arrestee, in fact, was a former union president. The investigation was triggered by revelations a few years ago of unusually high rates of disability claims and awards. "This was a game where every retiree was a winner," said FBI New York bureau head Janice Fedarcyk.
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.
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.”