#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