#Greenfail: Obama Cars Not Safe Around Salt Water

Russ Steele

A total of 16 Fisker Karma extended-range electric cars, each costing more than a $100k each, have gone up in flames after reportedly being partially submerged by flash floods caused by Hurricane Sandy. The brand new cars were parked in Port Newark, New Jersey, and are believed to have caught fire last night.

Images of the wrecked Karmas are at Jalopnik, The damage to each of the cars to be quite extensive.

Fisker has since released the following statement:

“It was reported today that several Fisker Karmas were damaged by fire at the Port of Newark after being submerged in sea water during Superstorm Sandy.  We can report that there were no injuries and none of the cars were being charged at the time.

“We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern.  While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port.

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/10/31/fisker-karmas-catch-fire-after-being-submerged-by-hurricane-sandy-flood/#ixzz2B0QLKF9h

Posted Another Win at AGW Defeat – Climate RIP as political issue?!

Russ Steele

First time climate change was ignored in debates since 1984 – Obama in ‘climate denial’

Climate Depot’s Morano: ‘Global warming activists are justifiably outraged by Obama’s climate silence…What happened? How did climate change get reduced to a comedic punch line in 2012?

The answer is clear. The man-made global warming fear movement never overcame having a partisan figure like Al Gore being its public face and suffered from having the scandal ridden and distrusted UN IPCC as the source of its science’

More HERE.

#Greenfail: Obama’s Solar and Battery Initiatives File for Bankruptcy In Same Week.

Russ Steele

It has been a bad week for the Obama Green Jobs Initiative as two more companies with Federal Loans file for bankruptcy. In the A123 case there is clear evidence of how crony capitalism works. The government picks the winner and looser, and so far the Obama administration has picked more losers than winners.

Here are some details:

Troubled battery maker [A123] won private meeting and phone call with Obama, a trade mission slot and $250 million in stimulus money before it went bankrupt

Executives of an energy company that received $250 million in federal money made donations to members of Congress while the company was facing bankruptcy.

Even as advanced battery maker A123 Systems struggled for financial viability, it played the Washington insider game, where political money and access go hand in hand.

The Massachusetts firm dished out nearly $1 million to hire a powerhouse lobbying firm with close ties to President Barack Obama between 2007 and 2009, and two of its top executives made personal donations to several high-profile Democrats in Congress as it won federal funding for its efforts to build the next generation of lithium batteries for electric vehicles.

The company produced and sold zero batteries More details HERE.

But there is more:

A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.

Satcon Technology Corp. announced the decision in a Wednesday news release. “This has been a difficult time for Satcon,” president and CEO Steve Rhoades said. “After careful consideration of available alternatives, the Company’s Board of Directors determined that the Chapter 11 filings were a necessary and prudent step, allowing the Company to continue to operate while giving us the opportunity to reorganize with a stronger balance sheet and capital structure.”

Satcon received a $3 million DOE grant in January to develop “a compact, lightweight power conversion device that is capable of taking utility-scale solar power and outputting it directly into the electric utility grid at distribution voltage levels—eliminating the need for large transformers.”

More details HERE.

When there is no market for your product, there is no hope of success. All the government grants in the world cannot create sustainable markets. Government mandates can create the illusion of potential markets but they vanish when the subsides run out.

#greenfail: WaPo GM’s vaunted Volt is on the road to nowhere fast

Russ Steele

 I have written about this before, but how the Washington Post has some thoughts on the Chevy Volt:

 No matter how you slice it, the American taxpayer has gotten precious little for the administration’s investment in battery-powered vehicles, in terms of permanent jobs or lower carbon dioxide emissions. There is no market, or not much of one, for vehicles that are less convenient and cost thousands of dollars more than similar-sized gas-powered alternatives — but do not save enough fuel to compensate. The basic theory of the Obama push for electric vehicles — if you build them, customers will come — was a myth. And an expensive one, at that.

Now what is the Governor and CARB going to do?  Here is an excerpt from the Governors Executive Order B-16-2012

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these entities establish benchmarks to help achieve by 2025:

  • Over 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles will be on California roads and their market share will be expanding; and
  • Californians will have easy access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure; and
  • The zero-emission vehicle industry will be a strong and sustainable part of California’s economy; and
  • California’s clean, efficient vehicles will annually displace at least 1.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuels.

Customers are not interested in buying GM electric vehicles.  Only in California is it possible to command that we buy electric vehicles!

Good News: Paul Ryan on Climate Change

Russ Steele

Romney was never one of my candidate choices in 2012 because of his wishy washy attitude on the climate change issue. He was all over the map. As Mass governor Romney spend some political capital hammering out a sweeping climate change plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in his first 18 months in office. He was a warmer. Then he said he was not so sure.  According to his domestic policy advisor:

“ He doesn’t know the extent to which climate change is occurring or that human activity is causing it.”

Now that Ryan has been chosen as Romney’s VP, a choice designed to pull in more conservative voters like me,  I am more encouraged that the Romney administration might be heading in the right direction after the election. That is if Ryan has any influence of energy and environmental policy.   According to Ryan’s voting record on energy and oil, Ryan is about as conservative as they come:

  • He voted yes to opening up the outer continental shelf for oil drilling.
  • He voted yes to authorizing permits for new oil refineries.
  • He voted yes for the construction of new oil refineries.
  • Ryan voted no to enforcing limits on CO2 pollution.
  • He voted yes to barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

If Ryan’s voting record is any indication of his personal beliefs, then he is the right pick for Romney. He will surely attract conservative voters who think that AGW is a cruel hoax being forced on the American public by the EPA. Let’s hope Ryan has Romney’s ear on the climate change issues, as we need to see some swift changes at EPA right after the election.

H/T to Global Warming Skeptics  for voting record.

#GreenFail: Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, heavy federal subsidies

Russ Steele

Hubble Smith writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal has the details:

The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, heavily financed under an Obama administration energy initiative, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility 14 months after it opened.

Officials at Amonix headquarters in Seal Beach, Calif., have not responded to repeated calls for comment this week. The company today began selling equipment, from automated tooling systems to robotic welding cells.

A designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits and a $15.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to build the plant in North Las Vegas.

Rene Kenerly, a former material and supply manager at Amonix, said the plant has been idle since May 1, when he was laid off. At its peak, the plant had ramped up to about 700 employees working three shifts a day to produce solar panels for a utility customer in Amarosa, Colo., he said.

“I don’t think they had a lot of training,” Kenerly said. “There were a lot of quality issues. A lot of stuff was coming back because it had some functionality issues.”

Once again, proof that the Governement cannot pick winners and quality control is the key to success, or failure. All the Federal money in the world cannot save a company that turns out shoddy products. When they ran out of other peoples money, they closed the plant. This seems to be the history of the Obama stimulus.

 

Wrangling for the AB-32 Cap and Trade Slush Fund

Russ Steele

As I have been reporting, AB-32 Cap and Trade was all about creating a tax payer supported slush fund, now our political leaders are trying to figure out how to take control of the AB-32 pig trough.

Details at KQEDz’ Climate Watch: The New Cap & Trade Battlefront: How to Spend the Revenues

AB 32 requires California’s largest emitters to meet carbon reduction targets. If a firm’s emissions are below state-mandated targets, it may auction off its remaining “allowances” to firms that exceeded their emissions targets.

Since the enactment of AB 32 in 2006, California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction law, analysts have speculated about how to spend the money generated from the law’s cap-and-trade carbon allowance auctions, the first of which is set for this November.

On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed new legislation, AB 1532, that narrowed the options. The bill, which the California Chamber of Commerce has described as a “job killer” and an “illegal tax,” passed 47-26 and awaits action in the Senate. If ratified, it would establish a “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account” within the state Air Pollution Control Fund and authorize spending auction proceeds on clean energy technology, low-carbon transportation, conservation and green energy research and development.

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board held a public hearing to discuss where auction funds might be spent, as a panel of speakers from across the state and country — representing a broad array of industries and interests — sounded off on where this sizable stream of new funding might be best directed.

Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, said that the funds should be spent on improvement of transit networks and infrastructure. Ellen Hanak, a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, suggested that a best fit is renewable energy and efficiency projects. Lester Snow, director of the California Water Foundation (and former head of Water Resources for the state), pointed to habitat restoration on the Delta and making California’s vast, energy-intensive water delivery systems more efficient.

The governor’s 2012-13 budget [PDF] also lays out a general framework for where cap-and-trade auction funds might be allocated.

    • Clean and efficient energy
    • Low carbon transportation
    • Natural resources protection
    • Sustainable infrastructure development

“These are obviously broad categories,” said air board chair Mary Nichols of the governor’s proposals in her remarks. “No one has yet suggested any precise breakdown or amounts of money to go to specific programs.”

Decisions are being made piecemeal. For instance, revenues from utilities will be returned to electricity customers, though exactly how is still being worked out.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that no one yet knows how California’s auction funds will be spent. There is still debate over whether the funds should be considered a fee or a tax — a legal determination that, under Proposition 26, could potentially limit where money is directed.

And as Climate Watch senior editor Craig Miller reported earlier this month, no one can predict with any certainty at what price carbon will trade in the California market. Most estimates put the figure at between $15 and $30 per metric ton, which means that when the market is fully up to speed in 2015 it could pull in as much as $6 billion a year. (The governor’s budget stated the program could generate as much as $1 billion in its first year.)

As for how cap-and-trade might state boost the state’s economy, Nichols pointed to a recent analysis of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade system, which includes ten  states in the Northeast. That program has reportedly injected $1.6 billion into the regional economy through such measures as consumer bill reductions and sales of energy efficient equipment.

The period for public comment on carbon auction funds spending (click for online comment form) is open until June 22.

Let them know how you think they should spend the Cap  and Trade Slush Fund

Sacramento Cannot Stop Spending Even When the Wallet is Empty

Russ Steele

California is $16 billion in the hole, but our spendthrift political leaders want to waste $3.5 million a day building a high speed rail that no one will ride, and is really not high speed over 1/4 of the route. It will cost less in time and money to fly.  The LA Times has the construction story:

If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law.

The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.

Over four years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority would need as many as 120 permits, mostly from a tangle of government regulatory agencies not known to rush their business. It would need to acquire about 1,100 parcels of land, many from powerful agriculture interests that have already threatened to sue. And it would need to assemble five teams of contractors with giant workforces positioned from Fresno to Bakersfield, moving millions of tons of gravel, steel rail and heavy equipment across the valley.

What could possibly go wrong with this massively expensive boondoggle?  This is exactly the sort of thing that will insure we become a bankrupt ward of the Federal government.  The eventual cost of the project will be $98 billion!  We cannot afford a crippled high speed rail that no one will ride?  Time to throw out the big spenders!

Climate mania impoverishes electricity customers here and abroad

Russ Steele

Several readers have forward the Financial Post article below on how climate mania is impoverishing citizens ad alternative energy schemes are used to drive up the cost of energy.  Even though this is a world wide impact,  there is also a connection to California.  First this from the Financial Post: Lawrence Solomon: Green power failure

The North American exemplar of acting on the perceived threat of global warming is Ontario, which dismantled one of the continent’s finest fleets of coal plants in pursuit of becoming a green leader. Then, to induce developers to build uneconomic renewable energy facilities, the Ontario government paid them as much as 80 times the market rate for power. The result is power prices that rose rapidly (about 50% since 2005) and will continue to do so: Ontarians can expect power prices that are 46% higher over the next five years, according to a 2010 Ontario government estimate, and more than 100% higher according to independent estimates. The rest of Canada may not fare much better — the National Energy Board forecasts power prices 42% higher by 2035, while some estimates have Canadian power prices 50% higher by 2020.

Another reader saw the California connection on the CARB website:

If you go to the CARB web site, http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm, you’ll find this sentence, “California is working closely with British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba through the Western Climate Initiative to develop harmonized cap and trade programs that will deliver cost-effective emission reductions.”

The question is if Canadian Provinces are going to harmonize Cap and Trade programs, that will also result in the harmonization of energy costs. We can also expect our power prices to go up 45 to 50 percent as well. However, the Financial Post article points out that the rest of the US is seeing stable or slight declines in the price of electricity. As energy prices rise in California, they will be  declining in the rest of the US as power companies adopt more cheap natural gas. As fracking produces more gas the price continues to drop.

The question one reader asks is:

Will the abundant supply of cheap natural gas overcome the renewable mandates to keep California’s rates from rising or will California’s rate payers see price rises like they did in Ontario?

Given what we know about CARB’s single minded focus on creating a Cap and Trade slush fund and the environmental wacko legislators in Sacramento, who are taking big time political donations from all the “go green” VCs, I have serious doubts that California will ever take full advantage of cheap natural gas and move away form the more expensive alternative energy schemes, there is just too much money involved, and too little political power in the hands of rate payers.

More Green Fail: Fisker Karma Bursts in Flame in Garage

Russ Steele

Autoweek has the story:

Last week, a fire badly damaged the home of a new Fisker Karma owner, and authorities are saying that the electric car was the source of the blaze.

According to Fort Bend County, Texas, chief fire investigator Robert Baker, the Fisker Karma started the fire that spread to the house.

“Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don’t know at this time,” he said. The car was a complete loss.

According to Baker, the driver arrived home in the Fisker, pulled into the garage, and less than three minutes later the car was in flames. It reportedly was not plugged in at the time of the fire and the Karma’s battery remains intact.

Right before the fire, the owner reported a smell of burning rubber.

“The car was brand-new,” said Baker. “He still had paper tags on it, so it was 60 days old at [most].”

You can read the rest of the story HERE.  Electric vehicle seem to be a fire looking for a place to ignite. Interesting part of the story is that in Houston they have about 50 golf cart fires a year.  The Fisker Karma is nothing more than $100,000 electric golf cart, apparently looking for a places to ignite just like your standard golf cart!

The New Class Warfare

Russ Steele

Joel Kotkin the Contributing Editor at The City Journal has written an extraordinary assessment of California’s social decline of the middel-class with a very dim view of our future under the the thumb of the states super-wealthy progressive elites.

Joel’s introduction to The New Class Warfare:

California’s super-wealthy progressives seem intent on destroying middle-class jobs.

Few states have offered the class warriors of Occupy Wall Street more enthusiastic support than California has. Before they overstayed their welcome and police began dispersing their camps, the Occupiers won official endorsements from city councils and mayors in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Irvine, Santa Rosa, and Santa Ana. Such is the extent to which modern-day “progressives” control the state’s politics.

But if those progressives really wanted to find the culprits responsible for the state’s widening class divide, they should have looked in a mirror. Over the past decade, as California consolidated itself as a bastion of modern progressivism, the state’s class chasm has widened considerably. To close the gap, California needs to embrace pro-growth policies, especially in the critical energy and industrial sectors—but it’s exactly those policies that the progressives most strongly oppose.

You can read the rest of this very long article HERE. Worth your time to read, as it summarizes may of the issues that I have posted on this blog and my former blog NC Media Watch.

Joel concludes on a modestly positive note:

California doesn’t even need to abandon its progressive tradition to narrow the class divide. Homebuilding, manufacturing, and warehousing could expand if regulatory burdens other than those associated with fighting climate change were merely modified—not repealed, but relaxed sufficiently to make it possible to do business, put people to work, and make a profit. New energy production could take place under strict regulatory oversight. Future industrial and middle-class suburban development could be tied to practical energy-conservation measures, such as promoting home-based businesses and better building standards. California’s agriculture industry—currently thriving, thanks to exports—could be less burdened by the constant threat of water cutbacks and new groundwater regulations.

Even from an environmental perspective, increased industrial growth in California might be a good thing. The state’s benign climate allows it to consume fossil-fuel energy far more efficiently than most states do, to say nothing of developing countries such as China. Keeping industry and middle-class jobs here may constitute a more intelligent ecological position than the prevailing green absolutism.

More important still is that a pro-growth strategy could help reverse California’s current feudalization. The same Public Policy Institute of California study shows that during the last broad-based economic boom, between 1993 and 2001, the 10th percentile of earners enjoyed stronger income growth than earners in the higher percentiles did. The lesson, which progressives once understood, is that upward mobility is best served by a growing economy. If they fail to remember that all-important fact, the greens and their progressive allies may soon have to place the California dream on their list of endangered species.

If your are aspiring to the middle-class, and your have the resources, it would be better for your to  look beyond California for you future.  You can return after the economic collapse and help us survivors rebuild this once great state.

Troubling Numbers for California’s Future

Russ Steele

There are growing signs that California, the once Golden State, is in serious trouble. Tax revenues are in decline and the educated middle class is fleeing the state for more job friendly locals. The Governor’s solution is to double down on green energy projects which are raising energy prices,  which will push more manufacturing and other blue-collar energy users out of the state.  Here are some of the scary numbers culled from my morning reading:

From the Summary Findings of the LAO Report on 2012-2013 budget

  • Franchise Tax Board collections are a couple of billion short.
  • Employment Development Department is $250 million short.
  • Personal Income tax is over $2 billion short.
  • Corporation taxes are $150 million short or 10% below predictions.=

Joel Kotkin writing in the Daily Beast

  • California energy costs are 50 percent above the national average, and expected to rise
  • Middle-skilled jobs (those that require two years or more of post-secondary education) increased by a mere 2 percent compared to a 5.3 percent increase nationwide, and almost 15 percent in Texas over last ten years.
  • In the science-technology-engineering and mathematics field the state has lost its edge, growing just 1.7 percent over the past 10 years compared to 5.4 percent nationally and 14 percent in Texas.
  • The middle class is proportionately smaller and has shrunk more than elsewhere. Adjusted for cost of living, it stands at 47.9 percent in California compared to nearly 55 percent for the rest of the country.
  • Nearly two-in-five Californians pay no income tax, and one in four receive Medicaid.

The Governor solution to these growing problems is to increase income and sales taxes, increase energy costs at the pump by mandating low carbon fuels, mandate more unreliable high cost renewable energy for the manufacturing sector, and implement cap and trade to raise the cost doing business in the state.

It is clear that California economy is not going anywhere but down, and the fall will be accelerating with the next round of housing foreclosures already in the pipeline.

How do we get out of this economic death spiral?

More Green Fail in The News

Russ Steele

Bloomberg:

First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the largest thin- film panel maker, will cut 30 percent of its workforce, about 2,000 jobs, as demand in Europe slows faster than the company can expand in emerging markets in Asia. The shares surged.

Most of the jobs to be eliminated will be at a factory it’s closing in Germany and in Malaysia, where it’s idling four production lines, the Tempe, Arizona-based company said today in a statement. The company will pay $245 million to $370 million in severance and related costs.

Breitbart.com:

A recent lengthy report by Reuters confirms what many conservatives have long known: President Obama’s promise to create millions of so-called “green jobs” has been a colossal and expensive failure.

A few highlights from the report:

   1)  Since 2009, the wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs, even as the energy capacity of wind farms has almost doubled.  By contrast, the oil and gas industry have created 75,000 jobs since Mr. Obama took office.
   2)  “A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal.”  The program was so bad that “the Labor Department’s inspector general recommended last fall that the agency should return the $327 million that remained unspent.”  They didn’t.  And now, the department “remains far short of its goal of placing 80,000 workers into green jobs by 2013.”
    3) According to the Labor Department’s own figures, the push for so-called “green jobs” has been an abysmal failure.  “By the end of 2011, some 16,092 participants had found new work in a “green” field, according to the Labor Department – roughly one-fifth of its target.”
 

Even with all this evidence,  California under CARB’s guidance, continues to plunge forward into the green economy, seeking green jobs in alternative power.

Obama Seeks to Control “Fracking”, Drive Up Price of Natural Gas

Russ Steele

With the price of natural gas sliding lower and lower, the future of costly green energy grows dimmer and dimmer. The greenies have decided that something has to be done to slow the development of low cost natural gas resulting from the application of new technologies like “fracking.”  Or, it’s more technical name hydraulic fracturing.

Last week the price of natural gas slipped below $2.00.

Also last week the President took action to put some federal controls on “fracking”

President Obama signed an executive order Friday establishing a high-level task force charged with coordinating federal oversight of domestic natural-gas development.

The task force is charged with ensuring that rapidly growing efforts to tap vast natural-gas supplies in the country’s shale formations, which require advanced drilling techniques including “fracking,” are “safe and responsible.” …

“While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards,” the executive order says.

The EPA tried to throttle “fracking” and they lost the battle in court when their testing science was found to be less that perfect. Pure water samples were found to have “fracking” chemical contamination by the EPA testers. The courts stop short of calling it fraud, but then again how did the fracking fluids get into pure water samples. Case dismissed.

With the EPA on the run it was time for Obama and the greenies to try another approach, this time by executive order. An order that was included in the Friday document dump last week in the hope it would not attract any attention.

As the natural gas supply expands, the price goes down and it becomes almost impossible for the President to sell his expensive green energy programs to the voters.  Low cost energy is a pocket book issue, and people vote their pocket books. My guess is we will see the price of natural gas start increasing, rather than declining, to make green energy more attractive.

Do you think this new task force was created to aid the development of low cost natural gas, or to slow it’s development?

Hey Rick, I have been writing about it?

Russ Steele

Rick Moran writes at American Thinker: Why isn’t anyone talking about the failure of Obama’s ‘Green Economy?’

The whole article is HERE. Rick’s conclusion:

Obama’s promises on green energy in 2008 made him sound modern, forward looking, even cool. But the truth was there for anyone who cared to see it; most of his program – including the $90 billion for green energy in the stim bill – was unrealistic and deceptive. It’s not clear that all that money added a significant amount of renewable electrical generation to the national grid that wouldn’t have been built in the first place, and plenty of evidence that much of it was misdirected (Solyndra and many other loan recipients as well as money for job training gone to waste).

For all his promises, Obama’s green plans have utterly failed. The question is: Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

Well we have been writing about it , but we only have about 5,500 unique visitors a month.  This is an issue which needs a larger audience spread the word!

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