DOT Invests $100 Mil to Help Disadvantaged Communities by Fixing Broken EV Chargers thumbnail

DOT Invests $100 Mil to Help Disadvantaged Communities by Fixing Broken EV Chargers

By Judicial Watch

Besides subsidizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry with a staggering $15.5 billion, the Biden administration is investing an additional $100 million in federal funding to prioritize the repair and replacement of EV charging stations throughout the U.S. The venture will “ensure disadvantaged communities benefit from upgraded charging infrastructure,” according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is doling out the money. The costly EV charger project is part of the administration’s Justice40 Initiative which requires 40% of all federal government investments to flow to “disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened with pollution.” The president signed an executive order within days of taking office to allocate unprecedented public funds to poor minority communities in the name of environmental justice.

The multi-million-dollar EV charger restoration project will operate under a Justice40 initiative known as National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program that provides states with money to strategically deploy charging stations and establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access and reliability. “The Biden-Harris Administration has set a goal of building a convenient, affordable, reliable, equitable, and Made-in-America electric vehicle (EV) charging network along the Nation’s highways and within our communities,” according to the grant announcement issued this month by the DOT. Because it is a Justice40 program the feds will use a White House Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to track how assisted chargers aid needy communities. “Recipients of awards under this program can also use the tool to ensure disadvantaged communities benefit from upgraded charging infrastructure,” the grant document states, adding that “the tool can be used to help prioritize and sequence projects to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities.”

The White House launched the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool in response to the president’s January 2021 order to tackle the “climate crisis at home and abroad.” The directive includes an extensive section dedicated to securing environmental justice for disadvantaged, historically marginalized and overburdened communities, by among other things, creating a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council consisting of top government leaders. The heads of key federal agencies—including the attorney general, secretaries of defense, labor, transportation and energy—were essentially ordered to address environmental justice in minority and low-income populations. “Agencies shall make achieving environmental justice part of their missions by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts,” according to Biden’s order.

It is not clear what the EV ownership rate is in marginalized or overburdened communities or the demand for chargers because the government has failed to provide that information. However, the administration does reveal that as of this month, 6,261 public charging ports out of 151,506 nationwide were identified as being temporarily unavailable. California has the largest number (1,707) of broken chargers followed by New York (541), Texas (379), Florida (356) and Massachusetts (265). The objective of the administration’s $100 million investment is to enhance and maintain the reliability of the charging network by focusing on the repair or replacement of existing chargers that are currently non-operational, a goal it asserts “will be aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.” The connection is not fully explained.

Just weeks before the charger allotment the administration announced that, as part of the president’s Investing in America agenda, the Department of Energy is disbursing $15.5 billion to “support a strong and just transition to electric vehicles.” The money will focus on “retooling existing factories for the transition to electric vehicles,” according to the agency. Jennifer Granholm, Biden’s energy secretary, claims the funding shows that the president “understands that building the cars of the future also necessitates helping the communities challenged by the transition away from the internal combustion engine.”


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EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Desperate Governors Beg For Offshore Wind Cost Relief thumbnail

Desperate Governors Beg For Offshore Wind Cost Relief

By David Wojick

Six Atlantic shore Governors are begging the Feds to bail them out of a huge looming offshore wind cost overrun. They sent Biden a joint letter asking for a list of relief measures ranging from tax breaks to revenue sharing.

The outcome is far from clear but my guess is the largess is unlikely to appear, especially given the ongoing federal budget battles. Maybe later. However most of the requests also likely require major regulatory changes, which could take years. They might even take legislation which could be never.

But the need is urgent as the offshore developers are demanding immediate power price increases of around 50% lest they leave for better opportunities elsewhere. They can do this because offshore wind is a global boom. Even mid-income developing countries like Indonesia are talking big offshore numbers.

Ironically, it is this boom that is driving some of the sticker-shocking price increases. There is even a shortage of highly specialized crane ships to erect these huge towers. The supply chain is a seller’s market, at least on paper. Rising interest rates are another big driver.

The letter is pretty vague, but there are basically three kinds of federal relief requested. These are tax credits, revenue sharing, and streamlined permitting. I am sure there is lots of lobbying going on by the developers, as well as the Governors. Unfortunately, it is all secret so the specific issues are well hidden, making the following brief analysis somewhat speculative.

The letter is here:

There look to be two tax credit issues. The first, which the IRS might actually be able to do something about, involves the definition of the renewable energy project that gets the investment tax credits. At present, probably only the generating assembly counts. This likely includes the tower and monopile foundation as well as the turbine generator and enormous blades.

But it may not include the extensive undersea connector cabling, the massive offshore substations, the huge export cabling, and the costly onshore transmission upgrades. These system components make up a sizable fraction of the project cost.

The second issue is the bonus tax credits awarded under the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. This is a 10% credit bump that developers get if they meet certain domestic content specs. Offshore wind already gets a big break under IRA because their content requirement is just half that of all other renewable projects.

As far as I can tell, they want the presently measly requirement to be even less. This is likely because most of the components come from overseas. America has very little specialized offshore component production capability since we have never built any here. Building this kind of industrial capacity will take a long time.

However, since the specific domestic component requirements are in the law, the IRS may have very little leeway, and what they have should require rulemaking. How this works out will be very interesting to watch. It might take legislation, which is uncertain, to say the least.

On revenue sharing, the States want a piece of the billions of dollars developers are paying the Feds in offshore site lease payments. Single sites have paid over a billion. Some sites are at least partially within State waters, but most are not.

Here the question is why taxpayers in, say, Wyoming should, in effect, pay to lower electricity bills in New Jersey? The agency in charge of offshore leasing is the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Interior Dept. They are gung ho for offshore wind, so might not mind sharing revenue if it keeps the project coming.

I have no idea what the legalities are here except they are likely to be complex. BOEM has been doing offshore oil and gas leasing in the Gulf for a long time, so there should be a big body of law to deal with.

Who gets how much is an interesting question, especially for projects set to sell juice to several States. Plus, the States expect to sell some to other States. Given that many of the power purchase contracts at issue are with utilities, not States, maybe they should get the money.

For that matter, if this revenue sharing happened, the Gulf states might want a piece of the oil and gas action. None of this is simple, for sure. (Aside: maybe the Feds should collect royalties on the harvested wind power, like the 18.75% they get on offshore oil production.)

As for speeding up permitting, that is already a hot topic in Congress, but there is no consensus on what it even means, much less how to do it. I think BOEM is already going as fast as it can, ignoring many issues in the process, such as whale deaths. And, of course, the Biden Executive Branch cannot speed up the Judiciary, where a lot of the project delay lies in litigation.

In short, this seemingly simple letter is pointed at some really hairy issues. The talks are going on in secret, and I have yet to see any detailed analysis of the potential policies and ramifications thereof. If the fate of Atlantic offshore wind really depends on taking these hairy steps, then we are in “Nobody knows land” for sure. This cannot be good from the investment point of view so more stocks may drop.

Stay tuned to CFACT to see how this wacky offshore drama plays out. It might be a while.


This article was published by CFACT, The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

VIDEO: UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Speaks Sense on Net Zero thumbnail

VIDEO: UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Speaks Sense on Net Zero

By Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, was denounced before he’d uttered a word on net zero ahead of his short remarks on Wednesday.

WATCH: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Net Zero press conference

Lord Deben, the recently departed chair of the statutory Climate Change Committee, took to the airwaves to accuse the government of stupidity. Lord Zac Goldsmith, son of the billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, who resigned from the government earlier this summer, said the prime minister had no mandate to change any net zero commitments and should call an immediate election.

As it turned out, Sunak’s remarks did not substantively change very much. “I’m absolutely committed to reaching Net Zero by 2050,” the prime minister insisted. True, the prime minister pledged that the government wouldn’t force families to rip out their gas-fired boilers and replace them with expensive heat pumps. And, he announced that the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars would be pushed back to 2035, which former prime minister Boris Johnson had brought forward to 2030 in one of his periodic fits of climate jingoism. What Sunak didn’t say was whether the rising quota of electric vehicle (EV) mandates squeezing out sales of conventional vehicles would remain in place.

This, though, would be to miss what the prime minister had done: politically, everything has changed. “No one in politics has had the courage to look people in the eye and explain what that involves,” Sunak said of net zero. “That’s wrong – and it changes now.” He promised that his approach to net zero would be pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic.

Of course, net zero by 2050 is none of those things. It is ideological, disproportionate, and unachievable. So why the vehemence of the climate lobby’s attacks on Sunak? In their eyes, Sunak has committed the worst crime of all: he has broken the net zero omertà, which enforces a pact of silence on discussing the policy’s true costs. In public, net zero should only be spoken of as the growth opportunity of the century, something that’s good for the economy as well as the planet. That it might inflict cost and hardship must never be said.

Sunak has destroyed this silent agreement. He has made it possible for mainstream political discourse to mention possible downsides to net zero. In this respect, he’s been assisted by his opponent’s reaction. Labor could have closed the issue down by saying it would be counter-productive to bring forward the ban. Instead, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer immediately pledged to reverse Sunak’s reversal of the 2030 ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars. With EV sale mandates still in place, there is very little before and after difference – except Sir Keir now owns the downsides of the net zero anti-car policy.

Commentary on EVs focuses on the user experience – the vehicles’ cost premium, for example, or problems such as range anxiety and the inconvenience of re-charging them compared to filling up with a tank of fuel. These issues make EVs either a luxury purchase for individuals or a tax-efficient purchase made by businesses on behalf of their employees. There’s been much less focus on the implications for the electrical grid of mass EV adoption. As Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills discusses in a recent paper, “Electric Vehicles for Everyone? The Impossible Dream,” transitioning automotive energy derived from molecules to electrons has enormous implications for the grid and local distribution networks.

It’s not solely about the relative costs of electricity versus liquid hydrocarbons. (Electricity is much more expensive before taxes, a net zero fiscal hole Labor also needs to address.) According to Mills, transporting a unit of electrical energy using wires and transformers is about 20-fold more expensive than transporting the same quantity of energy as oil in pipelines and tankers. When you fill up your tank with gasoline, the same amount of energy per second is going into your car as being generated by four 5-megawatt wind turbines. The electrical grid and local distribution networks are simply not designed to accommodate the enormous increase in electrical power required for mass EV adoption – and the faster the EV charger, the more power it needs.

Upgrading Britain’s electrical network for EVs will cost many tens of billions of pounds. Who pays? That’s now a question for Sir Keir and Labor to answer. Will electrical utilities discriminate between electricity used to charge an EV and boil a kettle? Some 55% of British households don’t own a car. Does Labor expect the 55% of non-car owners to subsidize the cost of grid and local network upgrades for the benefit of the small proportion of the 45% of car owners who have EVs? Labor’s green socialism inverts traditional socialism. It envisions less well-off community members subsidizing better-off EV owners through their electricity bills.

The prime minister can have had few illusions about the consequences of breaking with the climate consensus to speak of costs and downsides. The climate lobby is well-funded and deeply networked throughout politics and the media. It required courage and conviction for Sunak to have taken this step. Thanks to him, Britain’s climate policy debate will never be the same.

This article originally appeared at Real Clear Energy

Rupert Darwall

Rupert Darwall is a Senior Fellow at the RealClear Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

A Shocking Sight in Tucson thumbnail

A Shocking Sight in Tucson

By Craig J. Cantoni

Something was seen in the city that is common in other cities but rare in Tucson.

My wife and I saw a shocking sight on a recent trip to the Barnes and Noble bookstore on East Broadway Blvd. in the City of Tucson.

The bookstore’s parking lot was crumbling, unkempt, and devoid of any landscaping.  But that wasn’t the shocking sight.  After all, the property resembled the many barren parking lots and ugly strip malls that we had passed for miles across the city on our drive to the bookstore, a drive almost totally devoid of any aesthetically pleasing properties or thoroughfares.

Two office buildings near the bookstore also weren’t shocking, although they were unusual for Tucson.  They were attractive class-A buildings of about eight stories.

The shock was the Marriott Courtyard hotel on a side street across from the office buildings. Its grounds were beautifully landscaped and maintained, with no bare dirt, weeds or litter along its frontage.  It looked so out of place in Tucson that I thought that we had been magically transported to another Sunbelt city or to one of the other cities where we used to live before moving to Tucson six years ago for family reasons.

An unfair, hyper-critical exaggeration?  Not at all.  Even a neighborhood ward office had foot-high weeds and litter in front of it.

Does Tucson look like this because it is poor, or is it poor because it looks like this?  Are the conditions the result of decades of bad governance, citizen apathy, or what?

A clue to the answer can be seen in the wealthy part of the metropolis known as the Foothills, which is in unincorporated Pima County.  (An astonishing 36 percent of metro Tucson is unincorporated.)

Actually, with a median household income of about $91,000, the Foothills is not very wealthy compared to truly wealthy locales in America.  However, relative to the City of Tucson, it is wealthy.  As such, unlike Tucson, it doesn’t have poverty and a low tax base as excuses for its subpar upkeep and bad governance.

The saving grace for the Foothills is its pretty natural setting on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, its views of city lights and mountains, its abundance of natural vegetation, and its large residential lots.  But those positives don’t hide the negatives.

The negatives are the result of human actions, or inactions, not nature.  They include deteriorated roads, bare dirt and scraggly and poorly maintained shrubs in medians and rights-of-way, illegal signs on roadsides and on utility poles, tacky signs and banners in violation of sign ordinances in front of businesses and apartments, and my top annoyance, litter, which my wife and I pick up on our daily five-mile walks.

Local government and utilities don’t help matters.  After completing work along roads, they typically leave behind barricades, sandbags, piles of dirt, and litter.  Likewise, car parts and broken glass aren’t swept up after auto accidents.

A subject for another day is the fact that in the roughly 30 square miles of the Foothills, there is not one civic center, municipal park, or public ball field, except for ball fields at public schools.

The operative word is “bizarre.”

Why do Tucsonans settle for less?  I have no idea, but an experience of mine might be instructive.

Becoming tired of picking up trash and litter every day, I politely asked property owners along a one-mile stretch of a major street if they could help out by keeping their frontages clean.  The property owners were a gated community of homes costing more than a million dollars, a private golf course where an annual membership costs $18,000, and a high-end resort.  Only the resort agreed to do so.

Something is clearly amiss with the culture in Tucson.

This is in marked contrast to my experience in a city that Tucsonans think isn’t relevant to them, because they see it as hoity-toity and uber-wealthy, although it has the same median household income as the Foothills and was not very prosperous in its earlier years.  It just looks wealthier than it is, due to having a good government that makes attractiveness and competitiveness high priorities—and a government with nonpartisan elections that had a vision years ago of what the city could grow up to be.

The city is the City of Scottsdale, a municipality 100 miles north of Tucson with a population of 241,361.

I was on the board of an ungated HOA in Scottsdale with approximately 4,000 homes.  The desert landscaping along the HOA’s miles of public roadways was beautiful and well-maintained. It was also free of litter, for the simple reason that we had a worker drive around on a work cart once a day to pick up litter.

It helped that the City of Scottsdale, like other cities in metro Phoenix and across the land, has strict and strictly enforced ordinances and codes governing landscaping, property maintenance, and signs.

For example, one Scottsdale ordinance requires that property owners maintain the public rights-of-way along streets bordering their property, up to the curb of the street or the pavement.  Dead, dry, or bare dirt areas are prohibited, and it is required that desert landscaping be maintained free of grass and weeds.

Another ordinance requires a detailed landscaping plan for all new construction, specifying which of the city’s authorized shrubs and trees will be planted, what authorized ground cover will be put down, and the number of plantings and their spacing in accord with city requirements, including a specified ratio of trees to parking spots in parking lots.

The City of Tucson and Pima County also have ordinances governing landscaping, property maintenance, and signs, but the codes are obviously inadequate or unenforced.

There’s no mystery as to where high-paying companies would prefer to locate their headquarters or major operations.  But Tucson’s political, governmental and business establishment doesn’t seem to realize that curb appeal matters.


Photo credit: Craig Cantoni for The Prickly Pear


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Electric cars in Turin at the beginning of the 20th century thumbnail

Electric cars in Turin at the beginning of the 20th century

By Wallace Bruschweiler

They were abandoned when the petrol engine triumphed on the market, noisier and more polluting but allowed you to travel greater distances in less time.

At a certain point the blue thinned out, a clear, precise landscape emerged. Hector found himself on the street of a city, driven by electric cars, at least a hundred years old.” This is how Paolo Aresi , author of science fiction novels, imagines a dystopian future. Yet, this is not fantasy, it is history. Electric cars older than a century exist and drove along the streets of Turin at the beginning of the twentieth century, driven by elegant ladies.

At that time, various workshops were making hybrid and electric-powered cars , technologies that seemed to adapt very well to urban roads but which were soon abandoned when the petrol engine triumphed on the market , noisier and more polluting but which allowed you to travel greater distances in less time.

Since the beginning of the 1860s, there has been talk of applying the first electric motors to wheeled vehicles. The reason is simple, at the time steam vehicles were bulky, expensive and heavy and few could afford a vehicle that required the use of three or four people. Furthermore, they risked colliding with horse-drawn carriages. Compared to the steam engine and the internal combustion engine, the electric engine appeared the most promising, for several reasons. Firstly, because it was a simple technology to use: all you had to do was press a button or pull a lever to activate it.

The internal combustion engine was more complicated, as Davide Lorenzone, curator of the National Automobile Museum , explains : “The ignition was not yet constant, they were noisy and sometimes they exploded. Even finding petrol was almost impossible. The only place where you could buy them was the pharmacy where they provided ten liter cans. There were no filling stations.” Instead, with the electric motor and charged batteries, you could travel the entire city.

An advertisement for an electric car from Turin from the early twentieth century announced that it could travel from 80 to 100 km on a single charge. They were lead batteries and the manufacturing companies gave them the possibility of recharging them in the factory or special panels were sold , which could be installed near homes or companies. As did the textile industrialist Napoleon Leumann who used only hybrid vehicles for his transport.

A major problem of early urban mobility was the noise of steam and combustion engines which frightened carriage horses. Otherwise, electric cars were silent and for this reason they were used as public transport when the first taxi service was born under the masses. Those cars were simple to drive, elegant to admire and looked perfect for the ladies. From a 1906 catalog of «Dora», the Alpignano company that produces electric cars and accumulators, we read: “Electric cars are the best suited for the city, because they do not require too heavy a mechanism for their construction, they are more streamlined and therefore more elegant, they parade silently , and they do not pollute the air with emanations of burnt oil and petrol, therefore rightly preferred by our ladies who can appear splendidly on them during public walks.”

Electric mobility was not only widespread in Piedmont, from the documents in the archive of the Turin Automobile Museum (where some ancient electric cars are on display) it emerges that in Manhattan already in 1910 there were 44 charging stations and some shopping centers even had car charging areas on the ground floor. People thus had the opportunity to charge their cars while doing errands and shopping. The green future of mobility seemed to be sealed, non-polluting and silent cars would make expanding urban centers more livable. Yet, in Turin almost all electric car manufacturers closed their doors between 1915 and 1916. The car manufacturing companies decided to bet all their cards on the petrol engine which had been perfected in the meantime. Engines that respond to the needs of modernity: faster, more performing and which allow you to travel long distances even outside urban centres, where roads increasingly suitable for cars are starting to spread. The internal combustion engine thus takes over and electric car manufacturing companies see no outlets for a technology that was considered obsolete at the time and which appears to us today as innovative.

Davide Lorenzone concludes: “At the beginning of the twentieth century, several factories were founded in Turin that produced electric vehicles and in the first decade of the last century those cars were widely sold. There were also hybrids with a second motor that recharged the battery while the vehicle moved. Nothing was invented, everything was already invented more than 100 years ago.”


Dario Basile

Electric cars in Turin (computer translation)

©2023. Wallace Bruschweiler. All rights reserved.


Before Tesla: Why everyone wanted an electric car in 1905

Worth the Watt: A Brief History of the Electric Car, 1830 to Present

Unintended Consequences: The California Electric Truck Mandate thumbnail

Unintended Consequences: The California Electric Truck Mandate

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

If you own a trucking company that picks up shipments from California ports, you now have to deal with the consequences of a new law designed to reduce your carbon footprint.

Trucking is one of the vital ingredients in our infrastructure that virtually all parts of the economy rely on. About two-fifths of all containerized imports to the US come through one of California’s twelve commercial ports. According to a recent report in National Review, beginning January 1, any trucker doing “drayage” (the technical term for transporting stuff to or from a seaport) in California can only buy zero-emission vehicles, although they can hang on to their existing diesel fleet for a while.

Trucks don’t last forever, however, and evidently the court of wisdom otherwise known as the California legislature decided this was the best way to get truckers used to the additional coming mandate that in 2035, all trucks entering California seaports and intermodal rail yards (where the containers are loaded onto trains) must be zero-emission types.

The ostensible motivation for these laws is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, of course. And careful analyses do show that over the lifetime of an electric vehicle, even if you include the fossil fuels used in the different types of manufacturing (electric versus internal-combustion) and in producing the electricity for the vehicle, less carbon dioxide results from using electric vehicles. That’s the intended consequence, and unless the law is later modified, it will be achieved.

But the devil is in the details, and some truckers interviewed about the mandate pointed out several unintended consequences that may follow from these laws. For one thing, the number of electric trucks in California will have to go from about 300, where it is today, to around 500,000, and some way will have to be found to charge all those trucks, and to keep them running farther than the alleged 60 miles that the California regulators said was the typical drayage daily mileage. A lot of truckers drive a lot farther than that every day, and if you add several hours a day to charge the trucks, it turns a normal workday into a 20-hour day.

And then there’s the cost. Even if you can find a zero-emission truck that will do the job, it will cost three or four times what a diesel vehicle costs. And one trucker asked what bank will finance such a purchase if you can’t show where you’re going to charge it and how you will work out a schedule that will let you stay in business.

So, if California doubles down on enforcement, we can anticipate something like a gradual strangling of commerce flowing through its ports as the few truckers who manage to jump through the hoops of regulation are all that’s left. And maybe that was what the lawmakers really wanted anyway. If the idealist dream of a zero-emission society were to come to pass in the next couple of years, millions would die of starvation and cold, and those few who are left would be reduced to living a life that would be familiar to a denizen of 1880.

At the very least, essentially shutting down 40% of containerized imports to the US would cause massive supply-chain disruptions that would make what happened during COVID look like a hiccup. If you say no one would let things get that bad, well, we did let things get that bad during COVID, and it can happen again.

I recently came across a true story that should become the paradigm cautionary tale for those who close their eyes to the unintended consequences of legislation.

In England in the mid-1800s, dogs were quite commonly used for transportation. Poor people who couldn’t afford a horse and wagon to carry their goods to market could nevertheless use a dog and a “dog-cart” (not to be confused with the horse-drawn carriage referred to in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales). But in 1841, the recently founded Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) successfully lobbied to pass a law prohibiting the use of dogs for transportation. In urging this measure, the SPCA cited a few highly publicized instances of cruelty to transport dogs, although it appears that many if not most of the dogs were well-treated. For good measure, a dog tax was also passed around the same time, further discouraging the use of dogs for business purposes.

I can’t be positive, but I suspect that the SPCA members were largely upper-class types who, if they thought ahead at all, imagined all the dogs formerly used for transport would revert to being beloved pets. Think again. According to Stanley Coren, a dog psychologist and historian, when the law took effect it led to something close to a dog holocaust:

“Dreadful massacres of dogs took place all over England when they could no longer legally be used for cartage but were now taxable. In Birmingham, more than a thousand were slaughtered, and similar carnage took place in Liverpool. In Cambridge, the streets were littered with dead dogs. Because these bodies were becoming a health hazard, the high constable of Cambridge arranged a mass burial of four hundred dogs.”

So much for good intentions. The SPCA survived this debacle somehow, and so did the use of dogs for transportation in other parts of the world, but no longer in England.

No one can be certain of exactly what will happen if California enforces their zero-emission truck mandate. But they are meddling with a piece of infrastructure that is crucial to the entire US economy, and if the law has the unintended consequence of disrupting commerce in ways that harm millions of US citizens, those harms should be weighed against whatever essentially unmeasurable good that may eventually come a century or so after California’s greenhouse-gas emissions go down by a few percent as a result of this law. In my view, the law will do a lot more harm than good, and most of the California truckers think so too.



Karl D. Stephan is a professor of electrical engineering at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. This article has been republished, with permission, from his blog Engineering Ethics, which is a Mercator partner site. His ebook Ethical and Otherwise: Engineering In the Headlines is available in Kindle format and also in the iTunes store.


Like Gulliver, tied down by thousands of of little strings, we lose our freedom one regulation at a time

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 25, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This MERCATOR column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Here’s the climate dissent you’re not hearing about because it’s muffled by society’s top institutions thumbnail

Here’s the climate dissent you’re not hearing about because it’s muffled by society’s top institutions

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

As the Biden administration and governments worldwide make massive commitments to rapidly decarbonise the global economy, the persistent effort to silence climate change sceptics is intensifying – and the critics keep pushing back.

This summer, the International Monetary Fund summarily cancelled a presentation by John Clauser, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who publicly disavows the existence of a climate “crisis.” The head of the nonprofit with which Clauser is affiliated, the CO2 Coalition, has said he and other members have been delisted from LinkedIn for their dissident views.

Meanwhile, a top academic journal retracted published research doubting a climate emergency after negative coverage in legacy media. The move was decried by another prominent climate dissenter, Roger Pielke Jr., as “one of the most egregious failures of scientific publishing that I have seen” – criticism muffled because the academic says he has been blocked on Twitter (now X) by reporters on the climate beat.

The climate dissenters are pressing their case as President Biden, United Nations officials, and climate action advocates in media and academia argue that the “settled science” demands a wholesale societal transformation. That means halving US carbon emissions by 2035 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 to stave off the “existential threat” of human-induced climate change.

In response last month, more than 1,600 scientists, among them two Nobel physics laureates, Clauser and Ivar Giaever of Norway, signed a declaration stating that there is no climate emergency, and that climate advocacy has devolved into mass hysteria. The sceptics say the radical transformation of entire societies is marching forth without a full debate, based on dubious scientific claims amplified by knee-jerk journalism.

Many of these climate sceptics reject the optimistic scenarios of economic prosperity promised by advocates of a net-zero world order. They say the global emissions-reduction targets are not achievable on such an accelerated timetable without lowering living standards and unleashing worldwide political unrest.

“What advocates of climate action are trying to do is scare the bejesus out of the public so they’ll think we need to [act] fast,” said Steven Koonin, author of Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

“You have to balance the certainties and uncertainties of the changing climate – the risks and hazards – against many other factors,” he adds.

These dissenters don’t all agree on all scientific questions and do not speak in a single voice. Clauser, for example, is a self-styled “climate denialist” who believes climate is regulated by clouds, while Pielke, a political scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Bjørn Lomborg, the former director of the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute, acknowledge humans are affecting the climate but say there is sufficient time to adapt. The dissenters do, however, agree that the public and government officials are getting a one-sided, apocalyptic account that stokes fear, politicises science, misuses climate modelling, and shuts down debate.

They also say it is a troubling sign for scientific integrity that they are systematically sidelined and diminished by government funding agencies, foundation grant-makers, academic journals, and much of the media. Delving into their claims, RealClearInvestigations reviewed a sampling of their books, articles, and podcast interviews. This loose coalition of writers and thinkers acknowledges that the climate is warming, but they typically ascribe as much, if not more, influence to natural cycles and climate variability than to human activities, such as burning fossil fuel.

Follow the science

Among their arguments:

• There is no climate crisis or existential threat as expressed in catastrophic predictions by activists in the media and academia. As global temperatures gradually increase, human societies will need to make adjustments in the coming century, just as societies have adapted to earlier climate changes. By and large, humans cannot control the climate, which Pielke describes as “the fanciful idea that emissions are a disaster control knob.”

• Global temperatures are increasing incrementally, and have been for centuries, but the degree of human influence is uncertain or negligible. Climate sceptics themselves don’t agree on how much humans are contributing to global warming by burning fossil fuels, and how much is caused by natural variability from El Niño and other cycles that can take centuries to play out. “The real question is not whether the globe has warmed recently,” writes Koonin, “but rather to what extent this warming is being caused by humans.”

• Rapidly replacing fossil fuels with renewables and electricity by mid-century would be economically risky and may have a negligible effect on global warming. Some say mitigation decrees – such as phasing out the combustion engine and banning gas stoves – are not likely to prevent climate change because humans play a minor role in global climate trends. Others say mitigation is necessary but won’t happen without capable replacement technologies. It’s unrealistic, they say, to force societies to rely on intermittent energy from wind and solar, or wager the future on technologies that are still in experimental stages.

• The global political push to kill the fossil fuel industry to get to “net zero” and “carbon neutrality” by 2050, as advocated by the United Nations and the Biden administration, will erase millions of jobs and raise energy costs, leading to a prolonged economic depression and political instability. The result would be that developing regions will pay the highest price, while the biggest polluters (China and India) and hostile nations (like Russia and Iran) will simply ignore the net-zero mandate. This could be a case where the cure could be worse than the disease.

• Despite the common refrain in the media, there is no evidence that a gradually warming planet is affecting the frequency or intensity of hurricanes, storms, droughts, rainfall, or other weather events. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has expressed low confidence such weather events can be linked to human activities. Still, “it is a fertile field for cherry pickers,” notes Pielke.

• Extreme weather events, such as wildfires and flooding, are not claiming more human lives than previously. The human death toll is largely caused by cold weather, which accounts for eight times as many deaths as hot weather, and overall weather-related mortality has fallen by about 99 percent in the past century. “People are safer from climate-related disasters than ever before,” statistician and author Bjørn Lomborg has said.

• Climate science has been hijacked and politicised by activists, creating a culture of self-censorship that’s enforced by a code of silence that Koonin likens to the Mafia’s omerta. In her 2023 book, “Climate Uncertainty and Risk,” climatologist Judith Curry asks: “How many skeptical papers were not published by activist editorial boards? How many published papers have buried results in order to avoid highlighting findings that conflict with preferred narratives? I am aware of anecdotal examples of each of these actions, but the total number is unknowable.”

• Slogans such as “follow the science” and “scientific consensus” are misleading and disingenuous. There is no consensus on many key questions, such as the urgency to cease and desist burning fossil fuels, or the accuracy of computer modelling predictions of future global temperatures. The apparent consensus of imminent disaster is manufactured through peer pressure, intimidation, and research funding priorities, based on the conviction that “noble lies,” “consensus entrepreneurship,” and “stealth advocacy” are necessary to save humanity from itself. “One day, PhD dissertations will be written about our current moment of apocalyptic panic,” Pielke predicts.

• The warming of the planet is a complicated phenomenon that will cause some disruptions but will also bring benefits, particularly in agricultural yields and increased vegetation. Some climate sceptics, including the CO2 Coalition, say CO2 is not a pollutant – it is “plant food.”

Curry, the former Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, expresses a common theme among the climate refuseniks: that they are the sane, rational voices in a maelstrom of quasi-religious mania.

“In the 1500s, they used to drown witches in Europe because they blamed them for bad weather. You had the pagan people trying to appease the gods with sacrifices,” Curry said. “What we’re doing now is like a pseudoscientific version of that, and it’s no more effective than those other strategies.’

The climate change establishment occasionally concedes some of these points. No less an authority than the newly appointed head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has urged the climate community to cool its jets: “If you constantly communicate the message that we are all doomed to extinction, then that paralyses people and prevents them from taking the necessary steps to get a grip on climate change,” Jim Skea recently said to German media. “The world won’t end if it warms by more than 1.5 degrees [centigrade]. It will, however, be a more dangerous world.”

In testimony before the Senate Budget Committee in June, Pielke said human-caused climate change is real and “poses significant risks to society and the environment.” But the science does not paint a dystopian, catastrophic scenario of imminent doom, he added.

“Today, there is general agreement that our current media environment and political discourse are rife with misinformation,” Pielke testified. “If there is just one sentence that you take from my testimony today, it is this: You are being misinformed.”

Doom and gloom

Still, the overwhelming impression conveyed is one of impending disaster, with the menace of global warming rhetorically upgraded in July by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to “global boiling.” Climate scientists announced in July that the planet is the hottest it’s been in 120,000 years, an old claim that gets recycled every few years. Meanwhile, three vice-chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of mass starvation, extinction, and disasters, saying that if the temperature rises 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels, “children under 12 will experience a fourfold increase in natural disasters in their lifetime, and up to 14 percent of all species assessed will likely face a very high risk of extinction.”

Many of these predictions are based on computer models and computer simulations that Pielke, Koonin, Curry, and others have decried as totally implausible. Koonin’s book suggests that some computer models may be “cooking the books” to achieve desired outcomes, while Pielke has decried faulty scenarios as “one of the most significant failures of scientific integrity in the twenty-first  century thus far.” Curry writes in her book that the primary inadequacy of climate models is their limited ability to predict the kinds of natural climate fluctuations that cause ice ages and warming periods, and play out over decades, centuries, or even millennia.

Another critique is the use of computer models to correlate extreme weather events to multi-decade climate trends in an attempt to show that the weather was caused by climate, a branch of climate science called climate attribution studies. This type of research is used to bolster claims that the frequency and intensity of heat waves, floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events could not have happened without climate change. An example is research recently cited by the BBC in an article warning that if the global temperature rises another 0.9 centigrade, crippling heat waves that were once exceedingly rare will bake the world every two-to-five years.

One question looms: Does a warming climate contribute to heat records and heatwaves, such as those that were widely reported in July as the hottest month on record and taken as overwhelming proof that humans are overheating the planet? The United States experienced extreme heat waves in the 1930s, and the recent spikes are not without precedent, climate dissenters say. Pielke, however,  concedes that IPCC data signal that increases in heat extremes and heat waves are virtually certain, but he argues that the societal impacts will be manageable.

Koonin and Curry say that the global heat spikes in July were likely caused by a multiplicity of factors, including an underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic explosion last year that increased upper atmosphere water vapour by about 10 percent, a relevant fact because water vapour acts as a greenhouse gas. Another factor is the warming effect of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which has shifted to an active phase recently.

Koonin says that greenhouse gas emissions are a gradual trend on which weather anomalies play out, and while it’s tempting to confuse weather with climate, it would be a mistake to blame July’s heat waves on human influence.

“The anomaly is about as large as we’ve ever seen, but not unprecedented,” Koonin explained on a podcast. “Now, what the real question is, why did it spike so much? Nothing to do with CO2 – CO2 is … the base on which this phenomenon occurs.”

Climate dissent comes with the occupational hazard of being tarred as a propagandist and stooge for “Big Oil.” Pielke was one of seven academics investigated by a US Congressman in 2015 for allegedly failing to report funding from fossil fuel interests (He was cleared). A New York Times review of Lomborg’s 2020 book, “False Alarm,” described it as “mind pollution.”

Climate advocates see climate scepticism as so dangerous that Ben Santer, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, publicly cut ties with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory two years ago after the federal research facility invited Koonin to discuss his sceptical book, Unsettled. Santer, a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, said allowing Koonin’s views to go unchallenged undermined the credibility and integrity of climate science research. For similar reasons, the IMF postponed Clauser’s July presentation so that it could be rescheduled as a debate.

Another critique: scientists arbitrarily forcing the facts to fit a prescribed catastrophic narrative, often by ignoring plausible alternative explanations and relevant factors. That’s what climate scientist Patrick Brown said he had to do to get published in the prestigious journal Nature, by attributing wildfires to climate change and ignoring other factors, like poor forest management and the startling fact that over 80 percent of wildfires are ignited by humans. Brown publicly confessed to this sleight-of-hand in a recent article in The Free Press.

“This type of framing, with the influence of climate change unrealistically considered in isolation, is the norm for high-profile research papers,” Brown wrote. “When I had previously attempted to deviate from the formula, my papers were rejected out of hand by the editors of distinguished journals, and I had to settle for less prestigious outlets.”

These frustrations serve as a reminder that the world has entered what the United Nations and climate advocates call the make-or-break decade that will decide how much the Earth’s temperature will rise above pre-industrial levels. This decisive phase is “unfolding now and will intensify during the next several years,” according to Rice University researchers. “Accordingly, what happens between now and the late 2020s, in all likelihood, will fundamentally determine the failure or success of an accelerated energy transition.”

In response to this call for global action, political leaders in Europe and North America are vowing to reengineer their societies to run on wind, solar, and hydrogen. In this country, California is among a dozen states that have moved to ban the sale of new gasoline-engine cars in 2035, while states like Virginia and North Carolina have committed to carbon-free power girds by mid-century.

In the most detailed net-zero roadmap to date, the International Energy Agency in 2021 identified more than 400 milestones that would have to be met to achieve a net-zero planet by mid-century, including the immediate cessation of oil and gas exploration and drilling, and mandated austerity measures such as reducing highway speed limits, limiting temperature settings in private homes, and eating less meat.

In the IEA’s net zero scenario, global energy use will decline by 8 percent through energy efficiency even as the world’s population adds 2 billion people and the economy grows a whopping 40 percent. In this scenario, all the nations of the world – including China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia – would have to commit to a net-zero future, generating 14 million jobs to create a new energy infrastructure. Nearly half the slated emissions reductions will have to come from experimental technologies currently in demonstration or prototype stages, such as hydrogen, bioenergy, carbon capture, and modular nuclear reactors. Reading this bracing outlook, one could almost overlook the IEA’s caveat that relying on solar and wind for nearly 70 percent of electricity generation would cause retail electricity prices to increase by 50 percent on average and destroy 5 million jobs, of which “many are well paid, meaning structural changes can cause shocks for communities with impacts that persist over time.”

A critique of the IEA’s scenario issued this year by the Energy Policy Research Foundation, a think tank that specialises in oil, gas, and petroleum products, warned of “massive supply shocks” if oil supplies are artificially suppressed to meet arbitrary net zero targets. The report further stated that “if the world stays committed to net zero regardless of high costs – the recession will turn into an extended depression and ultimately impose radical negative changes upon modern civilization.” (Disclosure: The report was commissioned by the RealClearFoundation, the nonprofit parent of RealClearInvestigations.)

Already, societies have fallen behind their emissions reduction targets, and it’s widely understood that fast-tracking net zero is an unattainable goal. Transforming existing energy infrastructures within several decades would require installing the equivalent of the world’s largest solar farm every day, according to the International Energy Agency. Carbon-free energy accounts for only 18 percent of total global consumption, and fossil fuels are still increasing, according to a recent analysis.

The IEA reported this year that investments in oil exploration and drilling have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, while global coal demand reached an all-time high last year. Globally, nations are spending more on clean energy than on fossil fuels, but fossil fuels are still vital to economic growth; for instance, the IEA noted that 40 gigawatts of new coal plants were approved in 2022, the highest figure since 2016, almost all of them in China.

“We live in this world of exaggerated promises and delusional pop science,” Vaclav Smil, the University of Manitoba environmental scientist and policy analyst, told The New York Times last year. “People don’t appreciate the magnitude of the task and are setting up artificial deadlines which are unrealistic.”

A government push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting back on livestock farming has led to public protests in the Netherlands, a conflict over resources that Time magazine predicts will spread elsewhere: “This may be just the beginning of much wider global unrest over agriculture. Scientists say dealing with climate change will require not just gradual reform, but a rapid, wholesale transformation of the global food system.”

Climate dissidents say what happened in the Netherlands is a foretaste of the political backlash that is inevitable when net-zero policies start becoming implemented and people have to travel across state lines to buy a gasoline-powered car.

“The urgency is the stupidest part of the whole thing – that we need to act now with all these made-up targets,” Curry said. “The transition risk is far greater than any conceivable climate or weather risk.”

To Koonin, these challenges indicate that the catastrophic climate narrative will collapse when put to the test of practicality and politics. The more sensible route, he said, is a slow-and-steady approach.

“There’s going to be a deep examination of science and the cost-benefit issues,” he said. “We will eventually do the right thing, but it’s going to take a decade or so.”

This article has been republished from RealClearInvestigations.



Biden Regime Unleashes 50-Year Mining, Oil Drilling Ban Across Thousands of Acres in New Mexico thumbnail

Biden Regime Unleashes 50-Year Mining, Oil Drilling Ban Across Thousands of Acres in New Mexico

By The Geller Report

Trump 2024. The only choice to save America.

Biden admin unleashes 50-year mining, oil drilling ban across thousands of acres in New Mexico

Biden admin says actions intended to protect wildlife and cultural resources in region

By: Thomas Catenacci, Fox News ,September 18, 2023:

Texas Public Policy Foundation VP Chuck DeVore reacts to Biden talking about the ‘climate crisis’ while surveying Florida’s Hurricane Idalia damage on ‘Fox & Friends.’

The Biden administration proposed to block of thousands of acres from future oil drilling or mining in northern New Mexico in an effort to protect Native American lands.

According to the Department of the Interior (DOI), the proposal would ban new mining claims and oil and gas development across more than 4,200 acres in Sandoval County, New Mexico, located north of Albuquerque. If finalized and implemented, the action would remain in place for up to 50 years.

“Today we’re responding to call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”

“We recognize the importance of the Placitas area, both for Tribal Nations and for the local community who visit and recreate in this area,” added Melanie Barnes, the state director of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) New Mexico office.

Keep reading.


Pamela Geller

RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s the climate dissent you’re not hearing about because it’s muffled by society’ top institutions



— il Donaldo Trumpo (@PapiTrumpo) September 21, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Fear-Mongering UN Chief Wants $100B to Combat ‘Climate Chaos’ thumbnail

Fear-Mongering UN Chief Wants $100B to Combat ‘Climate Chaos’

By Discover The Networks

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the annual U.N. General Assembly debate on Tuesday – where over 100 heads of government are expected to speak – demanding $100 billion from “developed countries” to fight allegedly deadly “climate chaos.”

“No more dirty production. No more fake solutions. No more bankrolling climate denial,” he declared.

Guterres’ call for countries to invest $100 billion in “developing country climate action” and another unspecified amount in the U.N.’s “Green Climate Fund” follows the publication of a report last week revealing that his organization’s claims to carbon neutrality are largely fraudulent, based on a system known as “carbon credits” where the U.N. pays off allegedly “green” projects to offset its own emissions.

Many of those projects, non-profit news agencies Mongabay and the New Humanitarian found, are of dubious value to combating climate change and some actively hurt their local environments.

U.N. agencies emit pollution “roughly equal to the annual emissions of 1.5 million gasoline-powered cars,” the agencies found.

Guterres nonetheless portrayed the UN as a leader in the fight against “climate chaos,” a phrase he used repeatedly throughout his speech, and which the fear-mongering globalist called “the most immediate threat to our future.”

Global Warming / Climate Change

In May 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent,” he added. Three days earlier, President Obama tweeted that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” What is the basis of these claims?…

To learn more about Climate Change, click here.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pope to Bill Clinton: Let’s Work Together to Stop ‘Ecological Catastrophe’

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Keep Virginia’s lights on! CFACT submission on natural gas generating plants thumbnail

Keep Virginia’s lights on! CFACT submission on natural gas generating plants

By Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

Wind and solar are wholly inadequate for Virginia’s energy needs.  CFACT makes plain the hard math that explains Virginia’s need to generate abundant, efficient electricity.

To: Virginia State Corporation Commission
Re: PUR-2023-00066
From: Craig Rucker, President
1717 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Suite 1025
Washington, D.C. 20006
Via SCC comment portal

Comments of CFACT regarding Dominion Energy’s 2023 IRP and their need for additional gas fired generating capacity during the 15 year planning period


In their latest IRP, Dominion Energy argues that they will need to add some gas-fired generating capacity during their 15-year planning period. We support this expansion. Several lengthy comments have been filed in opposition to their proposal. We believe they are misguided. In actuality, Dominion must not just add what they propose, but add considerably more gas-fired capacity to their operations. This is because the amount of battery storage the company will need to reliably make their proposed renewable energy expansion possible is far greater than they currently have planned.

The economics are clear. The required storage is prohibitively expensive. Thus, gas-fired backup is a better alternative as it is far less costly. Moreover, given the much higher capacity factor and low cost of gas-fired capacity, it would be more cost effective to use fewer renewables. This is especially true of the offshore wind capacity, which is a serious threat to whales and other marine life. Offshore wind should not be built.

These issues are discussed briefly below. Additional analysis by Dominion is called for to address them properly.

Grossly inadequate storage

Dominion’s preferred option, Option B, calls for 2,370 MW of battery storage in the planning period. MW are the battery discharge rate, not the storage capacity. Assuming these are standard 4-hour batteries, the storage capacity is 9,480 Mwh.

This is an extremely small amount of storage, nowhere near enough to back up the proposed increase in renewables. A simple analysis makes this clear. Figure 1.1.1 projects an increase in DOM Zone summer peak of over 10,000 MW.

Dominion will likely see load increases of 5,000 or more, possibly often. This load is supposed to be met using renewables and batteries. This isn’t likely to happen. Consider the simple case of a 12-hour night with low wind fulfilling that load. The storage requirement is 60,000 MWh, over six times the proposed storage capacity. Even if the batteries had a 10-hour capacity, they would not come close to meeting the need.

Even worse, this simple case is far from worst likely to occur. Multiple cloudy, hot and cold days with low wind are common in Virginia. Detailed historical analysis will be needed to correctly estimate the likely maximum required storage capacity, and it will certainly be in the hundreds of thousands of MWh.

Even assuming huge battery price reductions, this much storage would be prohibitively expensive. Gas-fired backup power is a better option.

Dominion has indicated it plans to meet some of this need with imported energy. But, all the neighboring utilities are pursuing a similar dependence on renewables. The spatial extent of protracted low wind cloudiness with high load is often very large, including all the states near Virginia. Therefore, it is very likely that energy will not be available to import during these episodes. In fact, Dominion made this very point in its 2022 IRP Update. A much better path than relying on out-of-state electricity will be for the company to expand its gas-fired generating capacity.

Low projections of load growth

Dominion says the large projected load growth in the IRP is mostly due to new data centers rather than the electrification of other energy uses. However, the load growth from electrification will also be very large under present policies. A great deal of gas-fired generation will be required to meet this additional load.

The reality is complex, but if we keep it simple enough, one can readily see the stark general picture.

To begin with, consider electrification of gasoline usage, most of which is for cars and light trucks. According to EIA, Virginia’s estimated 2021 gasoline consumption is around 440 trillion Btu. The conversion is 3,412,000 btu = 1 MWh. So that is about 130 million MWh in gasoline energy. Also, in 2021 Virginia’s electric power generation is 93.5 million MWh. Thus, the gasoline energy is 1.4 times the total power generation. If it takes this much energy to power cars and light trucks in the Old Dominion, then it becomes necessary to build a new generation capacity that is almost one and a half times the Commonwealth’s present generation to make the transition. We have seen no plan that even begins to address this issue seriously.

Of course, a real analysis, which Dominion should do, would get very technical. For example, car engines are only around 40% efficient. One might argue that only 40% of that 130 million MWh, or 52 million, is needed to run the electric version. That is still well over half of the present generation. But the electric power and electric car system is also far from 100% efficient. There are line losses, storage losses, motor losses, etc. But the bottom line holds true: if 52 million MWh has to be used, then a lot more has to be generated. And this is just with respect to gasoline. The present policy goal is to electrify as much fossil fuel use as possible. Natural gas use is huge. EIA says Virginia’s 2021 consumption was about 700 trillion Btu or almost twice as much as gasoline, and many gas uses are efficient. Distillate oil, including diesel and heating oil, is roughly another 200 trillion Btu. Even coal is around 70 trillion Btu.

Therefore, widespread electrification could easily double the load increase from that projected for the planning period in the IRP. Many new gas-fired generation will be needed to meet that load. Dominion needs to include this case in its IRP.

Offshore wind is expensive, redundant, and environmentally destructive

Instead of building new gas-fired generating capacity to backup renewables, it will be far more cost-effective to use gas as a primary energy source. Having gas capacity sit idle simply because the wind is blowing or the sun is shining for part of the day is redundant and expensive. Dominion should analyze this issue.

The case of offshore wind is particularly extreme. Dominion projects 3040 MW of new wind in all five options, mostly offshore, on top of the 2,600 or so MW already in process. The total cost is projected to exceed $8 billion per 1,000 MW or over $45 billion. This for a technology that seldom produces full power and sometimes produces none at all, including during periods of peak load.

Moreover, the projected cost of offshore wind projects has increased dramatically in recent months, on the order of 50% at this point. It is likely that the IRP needs to be redone to take such huge increases into account.

In addition to this exorbitant cost, offshore wind has been implicated in numerous whale deaths — including the extremely endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. Strangely, the IRP does not include this issue.

IRP Appendix 5L is a five-page list of the many Environmental Regulations that Dominion is scrutinized under. On page 194, in a section called “Wildlife”, there are just three entries. These entries are all about the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon, threatened by hot water from nuclear power plants. There is no mention of the Marine Mammals Protection Act harassment authorizations, even though the present offshore wind construction and operation is waiting for one. They cannot start the offshore portion of the project without it. Also not mentioned are the crucial Environmental Impact Statement and BOEM approval of the project.

This is preposterous, as the threat to whales is clear. The project creates an intense noise wall that forces the whales to go around, either to the East or the West.

Immediately to the East lies the westernmost lane of the very busy coastal ship traffic. To the West lies the equally busy coastal barge traffic. Both are deadly to the species.

It seems the project was deliberately located where there is the least shipping traffic. This would make sense if it were not for the whales and other marine mammals. As it is the project closes  the low shipping corridor, which the whales undoubtedly use. Being hit by ships is the leading cause of death for whales, and the placement of wind turbines in these waters will facilitate more such collisions.

In summary

CFACT supports Dominion’s construction of new gas-fired power plants. The company will need a great deal of new gas-fired generating capacity to meet its vastly increased base load that is projected over the planning period. Many factors and drivers involved are not included in the present IRP, and Dominion needs to address them properly. In the meantime, however, given all these factors, it would seem building more gas-fired capacity is both a proper and responsible course to set.



CFACT — We’re freedom people.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Lawsuit: ‘Green Greed’ Behind Lahaina Deaths thumbnail

Lawsuit: ‘Green Greed’ Behind Lahaina Deaths

By Hawaii Free Press

News Release from Bottini & Bottini Inc. (

On September 11, 2023, BOTTINI & BOTTINI, INC. and TAMASHIRO SOGI & BONNER filed the first lawsuit seeking to hold the Board of Directors of Hawaiian Electric liable for the tragic loss of life and property due to the Maui Fire on August 8, 2023.

The case — Rice v. Celeste A. Connors et al., Case No. 1CCV-23-0001181, is pending in Honolulu, Hawaii in the First Circuit court.

The new complaint alleges that between 2019 and 2022, Hawaiian Electric invested less than $245,000 on wildfire-specific projects on the island. Instead of spending necessary funds to prevent fires caused by its equipment, Hawaiian Electric instead spent millions of dollars towards efforts to achieve a 100 percent renewable energy goal, which earned the Company bonuses that the Company’s executives used to increase their own compensation. Defendant Seu, CEO of the Company, was paid 32 times the median compensation of all employees in 2022.

The members of Hawaiian Electric’s Board of Directors were also well aware of the need to adopt and implement a power-shutoff system, as San Diego Gas & Electric and PG&E had done years before, but failed to do so. Darren Pai, a spokesperson for Hawaiian Electric, admitted that the Company did not have a formal power shutoff plan at the time of the Maui fire. The complaint also alleges that the Defendants new about the connection between passing hurricanes and wildfires. In 2020, researchers from the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center established a causal relationship between fires on Maui and O‘ahu to winds from Hurricane Lane.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants breached their fiduciary duties by causing Hawaiian Electric to haul away fallen poles, power lines, transformers, conductors and other equipment from near a Lahaina substation starting around Aug. 12, 2023, before investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrived on scene. One of the attorneys for the shareholders, Addison Bonner of Tamashiro Sogi & Bonner, said: “The Defendants’ actions may have violated national guidelines on how utilities should handle and preserve evidence after a wildfire and deprived investigators the opportunity to view any poles or downed lines in an undisturbed condition before or after the fire started.”

Frank A. Bottini, of Bottini & Bottini, a co-counsel for the shareholders, said: “Rather than spend its customer’s money to improve infrastructure maintenance and safety, the Board of Directors of Hawaiian Electric funneled ratepayers’ money to boost their own profits and compensation. This pattern and practice of favoring profits over safety left Hawaiian Electric vulnerable to an increased risk of a catastrophic event such as the Maui fire, which was the worst natural disaster in Hawaii’s history and the deadliest U.S. fire in over a century.”

The complete complaint can be downloaded from the link below.

PDF: (2023-09-11) Conformed Verified Shareholder Derivative Complaint.pdf

SA: HEI board accused of skimping on safety

NOTE: If PUC finds HECO management negligent, ratepayers cannot be made to foot bill for rebuild.


Lahaina: “I will rebuild on my land”

‘Toxic Ash’ is excuse to keep residents away from burned homes

“How ’bout give the people their homes back.”

Rebuild? Give More Rights to Lahaina Property Owners

EDITORS NOTE: This Hawaii Free Press column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden Plans To Target America’s Industrial Backbone With New Climate Crackdown: REPORT thumbnail

Biden Plans To Target America’s Industrial Backbone With New Climate Crackdown: REPORT

By The Daily Caller

If President Joe Biden wins a second term, his administration aims to undertake even more climate initiatives that would target key industries, according to The New York Times.

Biden, in a potential second term, would target industries he views as heavily polluting, including steel mills, cement plants, factories and oil refineries, according to the NYT. The new green initiatives could threaten his chances in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, though, as steel and cement manufacturers in swing states who are often unionized could turn on him after hearing about his climate plans for their industry.

“If you are seen as imposing debilitating regulations on heavy industry that employs large numbers of people, you’re not only going to get a backlash from manufacturing, but labor as well,” David Axelrod, chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns, told the NYT. “How to do that without looking like you are stabbing these industries in the back, or in the front for that matter, is a real political challenge.”

Biden’s plan to go after industrial emissions involves subsidizing new technologies that he believes would cut down on factories’ carbon footprint, including wind and solar power to create green hydrogen to power steel mills and cement production methods that do not release carbon dioxide when heating limestone, according to the NYT. The second half of his plan involves imposing tariffs on steel, cement and aluminum based on their carbon emissions.

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has delivered on the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in history.

This week, the Administration advanced that commitment with new actions to protect lands and wildlife in the Alaskan Arctic.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 8, 2023

The Biden administration has already pledged $370 billion to climate initiatives through the $750 billion spending bill, the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation includes a multitude of subsidies for domestic manufacturers of green energy technologies.

The move to place new restrictions on industry follows the president’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Biden has pumped huge subsidies into the electric vehicle industry to meet this goal, aiming for half of all new cars to be electric by 2030.

In addition to electric vehicles, the president has also targeted power plants in an attempt to encourage greener energy sources like solar and wind power, creating new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that have yet to be finalized that would compel the phaseout of coal-fired power plants, according to the NYT. The Biden administration has also put restrictions on oil and gas production through tightening requirements related to methane emissions.

“Apparently skyrocketing gas and energy prices weren’t enough for Biden, he wants to raise the prices on building and infrastructure costs and put hard working Americans further into debt,” Emma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, told the NYT. “Biden will not be elected to a second term — American families can’t afford it.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.





DAVID BOSSIE: It’s Not Really Joe Biden On The Ballot Next Year. It’s Someone Much Worse

Kamala Harris Thinks Government Must Enforce Equal Outcomes – Also Known as Communism

The greatest threat to America’s power grid is not what you think

Reaching Aggressive 2050 Climate Targets Could Cost Nearly $75 Trillion, Analysis Finds

Texas ‘Stop 30×30’ Summit Opposes Biden’s ‘Radical’ Environmental Plan – Texas Scorecard

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact

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Biden Wants to Shrink Marine Sanctuary That Protects Endangered Whales to Accommodate Wind Energy Factory Owned By Dem Donor

By The Geller Report

In case you were still in the dark how evil and full of shit these Democrat environ-mentalists are……

The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is a biodiversity hotspot, with a range of habitat types from coastal estuaries to deep sea canyons, and migratory paths frequented by marine mammals such as dolphins and whales.

The Democrats would burn it all down.

Just like mining for EV batteries (lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and graphite) destroys the environment. Solar panels and wind turbines never degrade – they are put in landfills where they will sit in eternity.

And inefficient offshore wind turbines are decimating the whale population and use tons of oil to operate and kill whales.

Biden Wants To Shrink Tribal Marine Sanctuary to Accommodate Wind Energy Factory Owned by Dem Donor

By: Susannah Luthi, Washington Free Beacon, September 12, 2023

President Joe Biden wants to shrink a Pacific Ocean marine sanctuary meant to protect endangered whales in order to accommodate offshore wind energy factories—one of them owned by a major Democratic donor.

The Biden administration late last month proposed cutting about 1,400 square miles of ocean and coastline from an Indian tribe’s proposed national marine sanctuary to make room for wind turbine infrastructure. One of these factories would belong to Invenergy, whose founder and CEO Michael Polsky has given more than $400,000 to Democrats since 2016. His company shelled out $2.4 million to lobby the White House, federal agencies, and Congress this year.

The proposal reflects a conflict between efforts to fight climate change and those to preserve natural habitats. The Biden administration’s proposal would benefit green energy companies and generate renewable energy, but environmental groups have sounded the alarm on such projects noting that they kill birds and whales—the very wildlife that the marine sanctuary seeks to preserve. The proposal also reflects the green energy industry’s status as a major player in the Democratic Party. Biden has invested billions of taxpayer dollars into renewable energy projects backed by liberal billionaires, enriching them in the process.

Polsky’s major contributions from the past several years include a total of $72,000 to the House Democrats’ campaign committee in 2020 and 2022, and $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2016—the same year he poured $75,000 into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Polsky has also donated to Republicans and Invenergy’s political campaign committee, but of the roughly $500,000 he has contributed to political causes since 2016, more than $400,000 has gone to Democrats according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

While Polsky did not contribute to Biden’s presidential bid in 2020, Invenergy employees gave more than $120,000 to his campaign, federal contribution records show.

This isn’t the first time Democrats have rewarded Polsky’s energy companies. In 2016, a Pennsylvania Democrat whose campaign Polsky funded helped secure him a $1.2 billion natural gas plant, the Free Beacon reported at the time. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Invenergy received more than $20 million in taxpayer-funded grants.

The Northern Chumash tribal council first petitioned for a 7,600 square mile marine sanctuary in the region in 2015, years before the Biden administration announced it wanted massive offshore wind turbine development in the same vicinity. The wind turbines will be built just outside the sanctuary’s northwestern boundary.

The feds’ latest proposal to cut into the marine sanctuary would slash about 29 miles of coastline and a total of about 1,400 square miles from the preserve as it was originally conceived, the tribal council said. Its final boundaries will be determined after a public comment period that ends Oct. 25. Meanwhile, the Biden administration already awarded ocean leases to Invenergy and two other energy corporations late last year, although they haven’t started construction.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—which is in charge of creating the Chumash marine preserve—noted in proposing its alternative boundary to allow for industrial development that “certain concentrations of this infrastructure may not be compatible with a national marine sanctuary.”

The administration’s proposed revision must undergo public comment before being finalized. Regardless, the wind turbines could sabotage the preserve’s goals by killing off the whales, birds, and other marine life that it is supposed to protect. Environmentalists have warned that offshore wind factories on the East Coast may be killing whales—concerns that the Biden administration has condemned as “misinformation” even though more than 70 whales have died since December.

A spokesperson for the Department of Interior division overseeing the offshore wind development did not respond to questions about the turbines’ potential harm to whales but deferred to NOAA for queries about the sanctuary.


Pamela Geller


Let’s talk about cobalt mining, Mehdi.

Children in the Congo earn less than $10 / USD a day mining cobalt for your precious EV batteries.

Windmills use tons of OIL to operate and kill whales.

Solar panels and wind turbines never degrade – they are put in landfills where…

— Sissy Cheek (@VikingQueen888) September 11, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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The Unconscionable Surge At The Border Must End

By Dr. Thomas Patterson

The immigration crisis is crushing New York City. According to ABC7 news, last week alone 2900 new “asylum seekers” entered one of the city’s 200 new emergency shelters.

Mayor Eric Adams says the city spends $383 per day per family on food, shelter and other expenses, which are deemed the migrants’ right to receive for no charge or obligation because well…just because.

The formerly elegant Roosevelt Hotel has been designated the nerve center for services to accommodate the 120,000 illegal immigrants now in the city. Mayor Adams estimates the city will incur a $12 billion deficit as a result of the influx, meaning that “every service in the city is going to be impacted”.  Fifteen percent across-the-board budget cuts are seriously looming.

Yet the expenditures are not adequate to address the surge. Immigrants are occupying the sidewalks in front of the Roosevelt, locals are fuming over the takeover of schools, parks, and other public facilities while reports of subway crime are beginning to pop up. Maybe the sanctuary status the Mayor pressed for, when the costs were borne elsewhere, isn’t such a great idea after all.

Mayor Adams correctly points out that since border law is a federal matter, the feds should help alleviate the distress they are causing. What we’re getting instead is outrageous gaslighting.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insists that President Biden has actually done a great job of protecting the border “and you have seen him do that.”

We have? This is the president who unilaterally eliminated policies like Remain in Mexico and Title 42, which effectively reduced the number of illegal border crossings. The result has been a surge of approximately 2.7 million people on Biden’s watch, 260,00 this August alone.  That doesn’t include the “getaways”, who are uncountable, but estimated to number at least 1.5 million during the Biden administration.

It’s no wonder Americans are starting to feel the strains in social services, healthcare, schools, and prisons. Their advocates claim illegal immigrants are an economic boon, but if that were so, why do leftist enclaves complain bitterly about receiving them instead of requesting more?

Truth check: immigrants cost taxpayers $150 billion annually and growing. Even worse is the humanitarian crisis caused by cartels victimizing women and children vulnerable to “human trafficking“.

Illegal immigrants are often erroneously referred to in the popular press as “asylum seekers“. That’s a lie.  Imaginary asylum-seeking is the (very successful) strategy used to circumvent lawful border enforcement. Immigrants not otherwise eligible for entry are coached to say “I feel unsafe” to border agents. That automatically entitles them to an asylum hearing, which, because of the crowding at the border, is scheduled years in the future.

It’s a farce. They pretend to be seeking asylum and we pretend to believe them. Fewer than 10 percent are eligible for legitimate asylum.  Most never show up for their hearing.

Democrats also like to pretend there is nothing they can do about the ongoing border invasion because Republicans once voted against a bill that included additional border funding. But if Republicans were willing to discuss comprehensive immigration reform, maybe we could talk…

That gives away their game. “Comprehensive” reform is a euphemism for citizenship. The Biden administration willingly pays a high price politically for their devastating border policies.  The hardships caused by unlimited immigration are causing widespread resentment. An election looms.

Yet they soldier on, refusing to consider even the most reasonable measures to reduce the ongoing surge. There’s only one possible explanation: they are playing the long game, taking hits now to achieve future political domination.

They see the 20 million or so foreign nationals now living here as future Democrats, who they will relentlessly portray as victims if not eventually granted citizenship. The gambit  will work again. The American political landscape will be changed forever.

There is a way out. It’s not more money. It’s not more laws.  It’s not even a wall.  We must simply follow the example of decent self-respecting nations throughout history and employ the lawful force of government to maintain our sovereign borders.

Follow the Law.  It’s doable, it’s moral and it’s necessary to protect legal immigrants, American citizens, and America’s future.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

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The Collapse of the EV SPACs: Another One Goes Bankrupt, Others on the Verge

By Wolf Richter

Editors’ Note:  As the news rolls in of one EV disaster after another, the easy money and greed of Wall Street have to be examined. However, it also should be noted this is part of a government, top-down, problem of central planning. Politicians have a dream and if the dream does not comport with reality, they will still use the government to cram it down our throats. Many eager investors followed the aims of the “Green New Deal”, and are now paying a heavy price. If EVs were so good, why would they need overt government subsidy and support? And why are people not choosing them as a form of transportation? There is a special kind of greed at work here. Greed to get government subsidies and to virtue signal with other people’s money.

The SPAC [Special Purpose Acquisition Company] boom will surely go down in history as one of the biggest stock-market heists ever, made possible by Consensual Hallucination. 

EV maker Proterra, which makes mostly a few electric buses a year – when giant competitors make many thousands – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today [8/9/23], 25 months after having gone public via a merger with a SPAC. It once had a market cap of nearly $4 billion.

It was by no means a record in terms of how long it took for an EV SPAC to go bankrupt; that record is held by Electric Last Mile Solutions, which took only 12 months to get it over with. EV maker Lordstown made the trip from SPAC merger to bankruptcy in a little over two-and-a-half years. The shares of other EV SPACS have totally collapsed, and most of them are headed for bankruptcy.

Proterra’s shares, or rather the SPAC’s shares before the merger, spiked after the merger was announced in January 2021 from around $10 to $31.06 and then began to collapse. Five days ago it was still at $2. Today, it plunged to 17 cents, down by 99.4% from the peak.

We’ll get to a bunch more charts like this at the moment, with lots of scandals around them. The SPAC boom in 2020 and 2021 will surely go down in history as one of the biggest stock market heists ever. It has left behind a trail of investigations and settlements and scandals. Short sellers had a big party.

But it left no victims behind, just a bunch of eager players that tried to weasel out some money from other eager players, and some succeeded, and others got cleaned out. It was the era of consensual hallucination when the Fed’s free money reigned. These creatures have long been populating my pantheon of Imploded Stocks….


Continue reading this article at  Wolf Street.

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The Greatest Threat to Science is from Within

By John Droz, Jr.

A Progressive tips his hand about how they are trying to undermine Science.

One of Lincoln’s most powerful speeches is the Lyceum Address. The key message is that we should not be so worried about overseas enemies, as corruption from within is our most serious threat…

“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

I thought of this as I read the interview of one Stanford professor of another. The title is “How To Beat Bad Science.” If that wasn’t enticing enough for me, the person being interviewed (Dr. Jonathan Osborne) was identified as a “science education expert.”

I thought wow! Since I’m a K-12 science education expert, this should be right up my alley, in my lane, fit me like a glove, etc. However, it was a major disappointment.

Interesting note: At no time in the interview does Jonathan define “Bad Science!” Reading between the lines here, the implied definition is when scientists advocate anything that goes against government technical policies (like the net negative consequences for school children to wear masks for COVID-19 — e.g., here).

Ignoring the significant deficiency of the missing key definition, Jonathan says that for students to beat “bad science” they need to learn three skills: 1) be aware of conflicts of interest, 2) evaluate the source’s qualifications, and 3) more rigorously question those who go against consensus!

Point one would evidently be to look for one of the thousands of scientists who are funded by the fossil fuel industry — even though in 40+ years I have yet to find any.

Point two might be to ignore any evidence presented by a scientist, not a specialist — e.g., “only climatologists are qualified to evaluate the claims in climate science.” (This is to deceive the public, as real Scientists know that any Scientist can legitimately comment on the adherence to scientific principles by those in any field of Science.)

To reinforce the surprising third point he goes on to say that: The whole goal of science is consensus! OMG. Here I’ve been laboring for over four decades under the assumption that the goal of Science was: to give us a better understanding of our material existence. Now I find out that The whole goal of science is consensus!

I thought that politics was the field that focused on consensus, not Science. Maybe Jonathan wants us to equate real Science with political science. I’ve written about that problematic deception before (e.g., here), as it is a plague of our times.

It also occurs to me that if the objective of scientists is to agree with other scientists, how can we possibly make any societal progress? If scientists live and work in an echo chamber, nothing substantial will ever change. What sense does that make?

Further, I was always under the impression that the great scientists in history were outstanding because they looked at things differently — which almost always was against the current consensus. Apparently Jonathan does not understand that.


As misguided as the above are due to what is said in that interview, arguably the worst parts are about what is not said. For example, there is not a word of advice for students to learn and apply the Scientific Method. It has been around in some form or other for some 4000 years — and used by people like Newton, Curie, Einstein, etc. Seems that if it was helpful for those giants of Science, it might be useful to K-12 students. But not a word in this interview is advocating the Scientific Method!

Why would Progressives hate the Scientific Method? Because almost every Progressive technical policy (e.g., industrial wind energy) that is subjected to the Scientific Method, fails. That left them two choices: a) advocate technical policies that are actually science-based, or b) get rid of the Scientific Method. They chose b.

Worse is the glaring omission of Critical Thinking. Why wouldn’t the top advice of an “expert science educator” start out with the importance of Critical Thinking? In fact, it could be argued that his first two points would be assumed subsets of a genuine Critical Thinker’s methodology.

But his third point is where the S hits the fan. Having a default position supporting consensus (i.e., conformity) is the exact opposite of Critical Thinking! In the subject area of Science, K-12 students are supposed to be taught to question everything — especially consensus!

Why are Progressives opposed to Critical Thinking? Because their worst fear is to have a citizenry of Critical Thinkers! They want compliant citizens who don’t ask questions, and who go along with whatever policies are proposed, regardless of their scientific sensibility. Think COVID-19 policies.

The more I thought about these two glaring omissions (the Scientific Method and Critical Thinking) the more it struck me that these exactly reflect the anti-Science mentality conveyed in the NGSS and its basis, the Framework, — now used by some 45 states in their K-12 education. (See my Education Report for more details.)

On a whim, I decided to check out a hunch I had, so I just looked up who were the Progressive authors of the Framework (which became the NGSS). Here they are.

Scroll down and — mirabile dictu —there is Jonathan Osborne! Who woulda thunk?

This should convey a VERY clear idea of the mentality of the select Progressive clique that wrote the K-12 Science Standards — again, now used in some 45 states!

Please read about my success in reversing some of that in North Carolina, plus a subsequent post about how committed citizens can do the same in their state…

PS — I emailed both of these co-conspirators and stated my primary objection. If I get anything of value back, I’ll post it here. So far zip, so don’t hold your breath!

©2023. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

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The Cavernous Hole In American Energy Policy

By David Holt

In an abundant year for American energy policy ideas that are the equivalent of shooting the economy in the foot, one stands out for its simplicity: the giant, empty caverns known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

When gasoline prices surged in 2021, the Biden Administration first started tapping the SPR. It was just 11 months into a term that had seen the rapid rise in energy prices following the Administration’s open declaration of hostility toward the American oil and gas industry. The Russian invasion of Ukraine goosed prices higher, and the Administration again turned to the SPR in 2022 in an effort to show America that it was doing something to alleviate the pain at the pump. It drained the SPR to the lowest level in 40 years, while continued higher energy prices contributed to the highest inflation in 40 years.

The Administration bragged about the oil depletion as “record releases,” which is like gloating about emptying the household savings account to invest in a worthless boondoggle. That is exactly what happened; the SPR releases provided a few days of temporary relief before prices shot higher. As energy prices stayed high, inflation worsened.

Today, those giant storage caverns – created to aid the U.S. in a global energy crisis, not for political expediency – remain empty, with apparently no plan for them to be replenished. In fact, one report predicts it will take decades to restock the reserves from their current all-time low of a mere 20 days supply. Consumer Energy Alliance warned over a year ago that draining the SPR for political purposes without lifting restrictions on American oil and gas production would prove a costly mistake.

So here we are, watching gas prices streak past an eight-month high. At the same time, the Administration continues to send negative market signals by – for the first time in history – failing to produce a new federal offshore leasing plan, as required by Congress. Due over a year ago, it will not be ready until the end of this year, according to the Interior Department.

In late July, the National Marine Fisheries Service agreed to restrict oil drilling activity in more than 10 million acres right in the middle of the Congressionally mandated Lease Sale 261 in the Western Gulf of Mexico. The unprecedented terms of a legal settlement with a coalition of environmentalist groups also include restrictions on oil and gas vessels while other vessels traversing those waters are exempt. This action could severely curtail energy development opportunities in the Gulf.

In sum, we no longer have a meaningful SPR, nor a plan to refill it; we are taking overt steps to kill the offshore oil and gas industry despite the clear instructions of Congress to develop the Gulf.

Ironically, just as two executive branch agencies do everything to make offshore oil and gas drilling unviable, the Administration touts its support for conservation and National Parks under the Great American Outdoors Act. This law mandates that “50% of all energy development revenues from oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy development on Federal land and water, up to $1.9 billion per fiscal year” must be used for our nation’s parks and conservation. With more development in the Gulf, much of the funding will dry up.

The policies coming out of Washington mirror those that failed in Europe, California, and New York. Look at the cancellations or renegotiations of offshore wind contracts in the Northeast to account for higher financing and materials costs. This means that families relying on that electricity will be paying more. As for California, it is still a basket case railing against nuclear power and natural gas on one hand, while quietly extending the life of its sole nuclear plant and continuing to use natural gas to keep the lights on.

These are the practicalities dictated by realities that have smashed headlong into ideology. Our only hope is that the poorly thought-out policies will lose their luster when votes may be at risk. However, ideology is notable for its persistence in the face of failure. To wit, this just in from New York: Ratepayers in New York City will see their bills go up by roughly 20% to pay for the State of New York’s ill-conceived energy policy.

Briana Delvecchio, a resident of the suburb of White Plains, shared a too-familiar concern: “It’s upsetting. And I feel bad for my parents. They pay over $800 a month and my mom would like to retire but she can’t. It’s ridiculous, it’s not fair. How are we going to live?”

Our energy policy is so broken that it took a second Supreme Court decision, which follows an Act of Congress, to give final clearance for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to begin construction.

Everyone desires cleaner energy and an improving environment – and we are getting it. For the past two decades, the U.S. has had the largest emissions reductions on the planet, while China contributes 66% of the developed world’s emissions every year.

American families and businesses are paying far too much for energy policy gone mad without any clear indication that what they are paying so much for will have any meaningfully positive impact on our shared environment.

It’s simple. We can, we must, and we are… producing the energy we need while improving our environment. We are proving that thoughtful energy diversity that allows space for wind, solar, oil, natural gas, and nuclear will work for all Americans by delivering affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy. The con of an ideologically driven energy policy that picks winners and sets arbitrary deadlines is clear. Energy and environmental improvement go hand in hand, and there is more than one road to success. Those who block the roads don’t have our interests at heart.

We only have ourselves to blame if we don’t stand up and tell our elected representatives to correct course rapidly and ignore those who offer false choices, pitting one energy resource against another.

If those forces are left unchecked, our wallets will be as empty as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.


This article was published by CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

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CFACT: Empowering American Farmers To Stand Up, Take Action

By Tom Deweese

Farmers across the nation have found themselves on the front lines of the Globalist/Davos drive to reset society. From massive wind and solar farms to the growing land grab called Carbon Capture Pipelines, usable farmland for growing our food is disappearing faster than any of the bogus predictions of melting polar ice caps.

The farmers are facing intimidation from powerful corporations and pressure groups as many elected officials stand by, shuffling their feet in nervous inaction. Something has to be done.

Well, CFACT is there! As the new CFACT Grassroots Coordinator, I just made a barnstorming trip through three affected states — Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. I made presentations in six cities, was interviewed on five radio programs, and talked with several elected officials. The mission was to arouse local citizens and provide a clear plan on how to stand up to these determined Global forces

First, I explained to the crowds who these forces are, the true purpose of their destructive policies, and how they will affect everyone personally. Secondly, and more importantly, I provided a detailed plan on how to organize and stand up to protect their rights. I call it building a “Freedom Pod” right in their own local community.

In my address, I warned folks that these elitists are using climate as a scare tactic to get them to surrender their liberties voluntarily. They paint a picture of “Environmental Armageddon” and frighten us by warning “It doesn’t matter how many rights you think you have – if you don’t have a planet to stand on!”

Of course, such hype is overblown. In my lecture, I showcase how such alarmists “are not protectors of the environment, they are destroying it as well as human society.”

While many of the people have expressed fear that nothing can be done to stop this onslaught and that elected officials will not listen, we at CFACT try to encourage them. “Do you want to be an isolated pessimist or an effective activist to save your farms?” we inquire. This is followed by reassuring them, “We are not outnumbered, we are out-organized.ClimateAo

As I traveled from city to city, I made stops at local radio stations, including Town Square Media with host Aaron Flint, in Billings, Montana. Host Matt Smith of Riverfront Broadcasting in Rapid City, South Dakota even attended my talk in that city. When Tom Schultz interviewed me on Voices of Montana, he said, “Powerful! I’m with you.” I had an opportunity to also go on the national network VCY American with Jim Schneider. Many people told me that hearing his program was what made them decide to attend the programs.

As I traveled across the states, I got a chance to meet several elected officials. In Billings, Montana, I sat down with two members of the city council. They confirmed much of what we suspected, namely that Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who surround elected officials often place pressure on them to put these “sustainable development” policies in place. They told me that Billings alone has more than 100 such groups, pushing with sample legislation and grabbing lots of dollars from the federal grants they obtain. The council members affirmed that’s how the poison of the policies is driven — by private NGOs and grant money.

I spent a full day traveling and talking with South Dakota State Senator Julie Frei Mueller. As she hosted me on a personal tour of Mount Rushmore, we had an energetic chat about how state legislators, and even governors, are pressured to impose radical policies that impact private property, the farm industry, and our whole system of elected representation. Mueller is a fierce advocate of limited government and has paid a huge price for it.

In addition, I was honored to have the opportunity to meet and talk with South Dakota Jared Bossly, who was accused of threatening two corporate surveyors who walked into his house uninvited, scaring his wife. This is an example of the growing intimidation farmers are facing to surrender their land.

The response to my presentations and leadership was enthusiastic. One of my hosts said, “It is our pleasure to work with you.” Another said, “God bless you. I knew you would be on top of this!” And a very enthusiastic local activist said, “Valuable information. I’m looking forward to the formation of a Freedom Pod to take action.”

The goal now is to keep these folks motivated and involved in building an effective response. Organizing local Freedom Pods will allow concerned Americans to stand up and say they know how to tackle the growing attacks they are facing. This is my task as I work through CFACT, building an effective grassroots team to provide leadership, tactics, and inspiration that keep ordinary Americans in the fight in every city in the nation.

Is this a daunting task? Yes. Will we succeed? Absolutely, there is no other option.


The article was published by CFACT, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

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Biden Energy Secretary’s EV Clown Show

By Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

Check out this unbelievable story at CFACT’s Climate Depot.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thought a showboat electric car road trip would be great PR.  Wrong!

NPR (of all outlets) covered the mess that resulted, and our Marc Morano picked it up at the Depot:

Granholm approaches a charging station to charge the Cadillac Lyriq she was riding during a four-day road trip through the southeast early this summer. The electric vehicle had charging problems due to an “isolated hardware issue,” Cadillac says. But Granholm’s team encountered plenty of not-so-isolated problems too. … Not every vehicle in Granholm’s caravan was electric. The Secret Service, for instance, rode in large traditional SUVs. …

Her advance team realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station’s four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy. That did not go down well: a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger?

In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police.”

So let’s get this straight.

Granholm’s luxury EV didn’t work right.  There weren’t enough chargers to go around, so they blocked one with a gas powered vehicle, denying a charge to a family with a baby on board who called the police on the Secretary of Energy!

It turns out that in Georgia it is perfectly legal to park an efficient gas-powered vehicle at an EV charging station, but this wasnt the PR the Biden Administration was looking for.

They sent some of their EV entourage down the road looking for slower chargers, and eventually found a place for the young family who’s battery was running out.

Fortunately none of the vehicles caught fire.

These are just a few of the issues that have left consumers rejecting electric vehicles in favor of less expensive, more efficient, long-range, quick fill-up gasoline vehicles.

Business Insider reports that, “New car inventory on dealer lots is sitting at about a 54 days’ supply, according to Cox Automotive. But for electric vehicles, that number is almost two times as much, with 92.2 days’ supply at dealerships —  up 343% from a year ago.”

Leaving consumers free to choose the vehicles of their choice, however, is not a consideration for the EV zealots in the Biden Administration, nor in California.

California even went so far as to issue a rule banning sales of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035.

Secretary Granholm’s EV clown show gives us all a taste of the frustrations in store if the Left succeeds in forcing us to drive the cars they choose for us.

Assuming, of course, they allow us to have cars in the first place.

For nature and people too.

©2023. CFACT. All rights reserved.

DAVID BLACKMON: Every Problem With The Texas Grid Is Caused By Government Policy thumbnail

DAVID BLACKMON: Every Problem With The Texas Grid Is Caused By Government Policy

By The Daily Caller

Grid managers at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) were forced to move to stage 2 emergency measures Wednesday evening when record-high power demand threatened to overload the system as solar power declined with the setting sun and the state’s fleet of wind generation delivered lower-than-expected inputs. A check of ERCOT’s data at 7:29 CT, a few moments following its stage 2 emergency notice showed that thermal generation consisting of natural gas and coal-fired units was accounting for more than 82% of overall system generation.

The Daily Caller reported that Wednesday’s emergency, combined with forecasts of 100+ degree high temperatures across most of the state Thursday and Friday, led Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to issue an emergency order allowing ERCOT to exceed emissions limits to continue to input increased thermal inputs to preserve the integrity of the grid. While Granholm’s declaration is commendable, it is key to point out that the arbitrary emissions limits imposed by DOE on the Texas and other regional grids play a large role in creating the lack of grid stability in the first place.

There is no reason other than such irrational regulations why a state so incredibly rich in energy resources should ever experience capacity shortages on its power grid. The same holds true for every other regional grid across the nation. This is entirely a government-created situation. It’s a truth no one wants to discuss, though, so the conversations invariably go off on tangents that, while relevant, are not the actual cause of the problem.

A report in the Dallas Morning News from Thursday afternoon provides a great example. The headline reads “Texas power emergency hinged on stranded wind farm supplies.”  The report details an explanation by former ERCOT interim director Brad Jones that Wednesday’s emergency came about due to a single overloaded transmission line designed to transport electricity generated by South Texas wind farms to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in North Texas.

“The grid was facing the potential of congestion overload on the line coming from South Texas toward Dallas,” Jones said during an interview. “All the wind that was on in the south was struggling to get to Dallas to help meet demand. So right in the middle of this, ERCOT had to reduce generation in the south to prevent that line from being overloaded.”

Well, ok, that makes sense, as far as it goes. But nowhere in its report does the Morning News question why Texas must transmit power generated by wind farms sited hundreds of miles away to the DFW area, enduring a high percentage of line loss, when that market sits smack dab in the middle of the Barnett Shale, one of America’s biggest natural gas reserves. Wouldn’t it make more sense just to use that prodigious natural resource to generate electricity from power plants sited right in the region?

We should also ask why Texas has allowed those wind farms to be constructed right in the middle of the migratory pathways for hundreds of species of birds, creating an annual slaughter of untold thousands of them. Did the state have any real need for the power these wind farms generate outside of arbitrary targets set by state and federal governments? The answer to that question is clearly and unambiguously “no.”

The Texas grid is in no way unique here. The simple fact of the matter is that every problem related to stability and reliability of every power grid in this country has its germinating cause based in government targets, mandates, subsidies, and other policies. All these policies distort markets, create perverse incentives, and ignore what should be the main goal of any power grid, which is to protect and preserve the safety of the people in the service area.

But these are questions few in the media want to ask, because they don’t fit the prevailing narrative. And they are questions no one in government wants to answer, since honest answers to them invariably trace the causation back to their own policies and actions.

The inevitable outcome is a never-ending crisis that no one ever effectively addresses. None of this will get any better until this dynamic changes.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.



David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.


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