Taxpayer-Subsidized Electric Vehicles Disappoint Consumers (Except Jay Leno)

Jay Leno and VoltLast 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 ➡

DOE’s Chu Can’t Manage Apology, Much Less Department

Chu photoTwo 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 ➡

Duke Energy CEO Rogers Wants Taxpayer Bailout for Edwardsport Boondoggle

Rogers and windmillA 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 ➡

Coke’s Polar Bear Campaign Funds WWF Disinformation

white Coke can

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 ➡

Taxpayer-Subsidized Nissan Leaf Fails Real-Life Test

Nissan Leaf photoOn 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 ➡

Walmart’s Appeasement of Left Continues to Flounder

Mike Duke photoNo 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 ➡

Should Duke Energy Shareholders Be Nervous About DNC Loan Guarantee?

Jim Rogers and windmill photoIn 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 ➡

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 ➡