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.”
Over five months ago, a Chevy Volt that had been crash tested weeks earlier and was sitting in a government storage facility burst into flames. The story was just recently reported by news outlets like the New York Times, a source that certainly can not be accused of being on a right wing witch hunt to discredit electric cars. The Chevy Volt has been very controversial with questions raised regarding the rush to electrify America's auto fleet at the expense of taxpayers, particularly when the main player in the field is an entry of Government Motors. The latest question that has yet to be asked is, "why did NHTSA delay reporting the spontaneously combusting Volt?"
Has Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), met his match in Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)? Genachowski, a buddy of President Obama from Harvard Law School, has brought a culture of wheeling and dealing to the FCC, on whose decisions billions of telecom dollars often ride.
Grassley says that he will hold up two nominations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) until the Commission provides documents that he has requested relating to LightSquared, a broadband company owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund.
General Motors reported disappointing earnings yesterday and share price fell over 11% (compared to about 3% for broader markets) to $22 and change, down 33% from its IPO offering at $33 about a year ago. Taxpayers saw a paper loss of over $1 billion on their "investment" in just one day. Individual investors may have been confused by initial headlines that trumpeted an earnings beat by GM at the same time that pre-market share price signaled that the earnings report was a disappointment. Let's take a look at what drove the move as well as where GM may be heading.