Cowardice in DoE

Recall that Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tried a cross-country trip in her electric vehicle convoy and that, along the way on a hot and humid Georgia day, a staffer driving a gasoline-powered vehicle blocked off an EV charging station so that when the rest of Granholm’s group arrived, one of the EVs in her convoy would have a place to recharge. Police were called over the behavior by a separate EV driver who needed a charge and had a small baby in the car.

Electrifying Transportation

A Wall Street Journal editorial centered on California’s idiotic push to fully electrify cars and trucks—yes, including heavy duty freight trucks—within the next dozen years, has this tidbit, which is canonical in exemplifying such foolishness anywhere in the US:

One trucking company wanted to install charging stations for 30 trucks at a terminal in Joliet, Illinois, only to be told by local officials they would draw more power than the entire city.

And this, specific to California and its already existing green ideology:

In January northern California utility PG&E told a charging provider that one of its large fleet customers couldn’t charge its trucks on summer afternoons owing to a power crunch.

Achieving Energy Security

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thinks it would be good for our energy security were we to eliminate the 60% of our oil-centered energy that we import and switching over to 100% clean electricity by 2035.

It’s true that wiping out that 60% of our oil imports would help our energy security, but only if it’s done right. We shouldn’t be importing any energy, much less from enemy nations or from nations vulnerable to enemy nations. The right way to eliminate those imports is to release our own oil—and natural gas and coal, come to that—producers to produce from our own, domestic, hydrocarbon-based sources. It’s highly important, too, to get the regulators out of the way of our producers’ ability to produce nuclear power. Sadly, though, Granholm—Energy Secretary Granholm, mind you—seems unable even to say the words “nuclear power,” or at least she never does say them.

Buy These Backup Electric Power Stations

California is moving against the fossil-fuel energy generation industry, along with making its gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles meet ever more extreme mileage and emission criteria in the State government’s effort to run ICE vehicles off the road and…encourage…Californians to buy battery-powered cars and trucks.

Now California’s captive, if not outright State-owned, utility PG&E is proposing a new electricity feed into its greed to supplement its wind and solar generated electricity.

Using electric cars to charge the power grid.
PG&E…sees “great potential” for EVs to act as power grid backup generators. “The grid needs those electric vehicles. We need to make it available, and it can be a huge resource[.]”

A Bogus Beef is Swatted

When Congress passed and President Joe Biden (D) signed the recent debt ceiling bill, one of the items included was a requirement for construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline to proceed to completion and for the pipeline to begin operation. In conjunction with that, the bill removed from lower courts their jurisdiction over questions  regarding the natural gas pipeline.

The Fourth Circuit, when “environmentalists” got their cases to it, blocked construction while it sorted out whether it could rule on the matter.

The Supreme Court has sorted the matter out for the Fourth Circuit, at least temporarily: the pipeline will be completed with no further delay; the Court has lifted the Circuit’s stay.

BLM and Fairness to the Taxpayer

The Bureau of Land Management is moving finalize its two-yr-old effort to increase the minimum price oil and gas developers must pay to lease Federal land for oil and gas development by five times: from $2 per acre to $10 per acre. BLM also wants to increase the minimum bond those developers must pay from $10,000 to $150,000.

Those increases, on their faces, look like chump change, but those minima are for miniscule fields that are far too small even to think about drilling an exploratory well. Also included in the BLM’s move are these cost increases and production limitations:

Not Successful?

The Wall Street Journal thinks so regarding Texas border security. Here’s their headline and subheadline from last Friday:

Texas Spent Billions on Border Security. It’s Not Working.
Operation Lone Star, with $4.5 billion spent so far, has had little effect on migration while facing charges of civil-rights abuses

And this, in Findell’s third paragraph:

The program is an explicit challenge to the national government, which by law controls international borders and immigration enforcement.

The rest of her piece follows closely on her headline while largely ignoring that key datum in her third paragraph.

A Better Solution

Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) is reintroducing his energy project permitting reform bill in the Senate. He also re-cited the need for reform in his remarks introducing the bill.

In the United States, it often takes between five and ten years—sometimes longer—to get critical energy infrastructure projects approved, putting us years behind allies like Canada, Australia, and more recently the EU, who each have policies designed to complete permitting in three years or less[.]

A Step in the Right Direction

But it’s a small step, and much more needs to be done. A bill has moved through the Texas legislature—it’s now on Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) desk—that would create a $200 annual registration fee for battery vehicles.

State Senator Robert Nichols (R), who sponsored the bill in the Senate:

As more of these vehicles drive on Texas roads, there are concerns about how they contribute to the funding of the roads which they use. Currently, Texas uses the gasoline/diesel fuel tax to fund transportation projects; however, with the growing use of EVs, the revenue from the fuel tax is decreasing, which diminishes our ability to fund road improvements for all drivers.

Some Questions Arise

The just-achieved ability to get more energy out of a controlled fusion process than was put into the process is a tremendously positive step in generating power for our economy.

Some questions arise, though, that want answers before this achievement can be brought to actual, economic, widespread fruition.

  • What is the efficiency of released energy capture? If the energy actually captured is less than the energy input, the process (so far) wouldn’t seem economically feasible.
  • How long did the test last—not so much in terms of time, but over how many hydrogen fuel “pellets” in the stream fed into the process?