Ubiquitous Battery-Powered Vehicles

These need things; here’s a partial list of Critical Items and some problems associated with their acquisition.

With respect to batteries, the raw materials—lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, among others—are expensive to mine and destructive of the environment to mine. Both the metals themselves and the mining tailings are highly toxic and expensive to handle and to dispose of.

Refining those materials comes with its own problems:

[The People’s Republic of China] processes some 70% of the world’s lithium and cobalt, and 99% of the manganese, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. [The PRC] also dominates the market for the parts that go into batteries, such as cathodes and anodes, as well as the production of batteries themselves.

Power to the People

Or not.

In a Friday op-ed centered on California’s hog-raising requirements for pork sold in the State, Robert Alt, President and CEO of the Buckeye Institute had this throw-away line:

California—which boasts of recent policies that require residents to reduce electricity use to prevent rolling blackouts….

The only State—and possibly the first nation in the world—to institutionalize steady state brownouts.

What a legacy for the Progressive-Democratic Party running California.

A Good Move

Finally.

The Biden administration has granted a waiver to the Jones Act so American shippers can ship diesel fuel directly from American refiners to Puerto Rico, which desperately needs the fuel—still—after Fiona ran over it.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that the administration granted the “temporary and targeted” waiver to “ensure that the people of Puerto Rico have sufficient diesel to run generators needed for electricity and the functioning critical facilities as they recover from Hurricane Fiona.”

An Energy Crisis

New England may face one this winter. Too many who should know better are laying this prospect off to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There are more proximate origins of the risk. One is the Biden administration’s naked war on our nation’s overall domestic energy production industry, including canceling pipeline projects in progress and denying permits for other pipelines—including one from Canada down into New England—canceling drilling leases and slow-walking permits (or outright denying them) to drill on other leases, withdrawing Federal lands from any sort of fossil fuel exploration or development, and on and on.

Manchin’s Permit Reform Legislation

It’s in serious jeopardy from House Progressive-Democratic Party members—70 of them—and Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) hasn’t even released the language of his permit reform proposal (but West Virginia’s other Senator, Republican Senator Shelly Moore Capito, has released hers). Despite this, Manchin blames Republicans for the jeopardy.

On top of that, Manchin says he’ll release his proposal in the coming days.

This, of course, is nonsense. Manchin, responsible Senator that he is, has had his proposal written since early in the days when he was negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) the price for which Manchin would sell his vote on the Progressive-Democratic Party’s then-latest spendthrift bill.

Inflation? What Inflation?

President Joe Biden (D) and his White House spokesmen have been bragging about what a strong economy we have.

Even CNN waved the BS flag at that. Here’s how strong our economy really is.

The Labor Department on Tuesday reported its consumer-price index rose 8.3% in August from the same month a year ago [albeit down slightly from the prior two months’ year-on-year inflation]

And

[C]ore CPI, which excludes often volatile energy and food prices, increased 6.3% in August from a year earlier, up markedly from the 5.9% rate in both June and July

And

Logistics Matters…

…far beyond the process of getting soldiers and consumables to a battlefield and to the battlers.

In the aftermath of Germany’s—and much of Europe’s—considered decision to make themselves dependent on Russian natural gas and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s equally considered decision to limit and cut off natural gas supplies to Europe to try to coerce behaviors acceptable to Putin, Germany, et al., are (re)discovering the need for better logistics and logistical execution.  The lessons are available to the US, too, if the government is willing to learn.

Europe’s energy crisis has unleashed a global battle over natural-gas tankers….

Food or Fuel?

That’s the choice being forced on Americans by the push for “clean” fuel for our cars, even as the Left and the Progressive-Democratic Party push for elimination of gasoline-burning cars. Dave Loos, Illinois Corn Growers Association’s Director of Biofuels and Research, actually is proud of that diversion of food to fuel.

Illinois has 13 ethanol plants that can produce 1.6 to 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually.

A bushel of corn produces 2.8 gallons of ethanol. That’s roughly 590 million bushels of corn diverted from food in Illinois alone. Illinois corn farmers produced 2.13 billion bushels of corn in 2019. The equivalent (because it’s not only Illinois corn in those plants) of more than 27% of Illinois’ corn production is diverted away from food production in Illinois’ plants.

In a Nutshell

In a Wall Street Journal article on the rising price of natural gas resulting from the current spate of hot weather, there’s this regarding the broader role of natural gas prices in inflation.

Pricier natural gas adds not just to the cost of dialing down the thermostat but also to that for making fertilizer, steel, cement, plastic, and glass.

And, through that fertilizer price increase, the cost of food—directly in the cost of wheat-, corn-, soya bean-based foodstuffs, and indirectly in the cost of beef, chicken, and other meat animals that are fed these plants.

Energy Crisis—It’s What We Deserve

Ignorant peasants that we are, we’re too dependent on fossil fuels. High prices and energy shortages are our due. The words of folks like the Sierra Club’s personage are just—to coin a phrase—code words for “stop arguing, and do it our way.”

Here’s Kelly Sheehan, Sierra Club’s Senior Director of Energy Campaigns:

Concerns about energy shortages in Europe and the spiking fossil fuel costs Americans are experiencing are both symptoms of our continued reliance on fossil fuels[.]

Shape up, guys. She added this:

As long as we rely on volatile global commodities like oil and gas, we’ll always be vulnerable to geopolitics and the whims of greedy fossil fuel executives.