Marc Steiner interviewed Charlie Garlow and others for an hour on EVs. Give it a listen.
They call for 25% of new cars as EVs by 2020. This is HUGE.
First, to focus on the electrification of the vehicle. There’s a huge amount of support for making us independent of foreign oil. Eighty-two percent of Americans want to see that. In fact, 84 percent of Americans believe that we should be promoting a national policy that makes us more energy efficient and has us relying more on alternative fuels. So, if that’s the case, and of that 75 percent are Republicans-not of that, but 75 percent of Republicans want to see a national policy that does that. Electrification of the vehicle is one way to get there. Pew’s goal is to get 25 percent of the electric vehicles as the first car sales in-by the year 2020. So, that’s an ambitious goal, but very important. Also to increase fuel efficiency. So on the transportation sector, there’s a lot of support, Republican and Democrat. With respect to energy efficiency, huge amount of support. Can I give you just a quick example of that is industrial energy efficiency, for example, combined heat and power in America with all these plants, factories, etc. We have a huge amount waste heat. If you could capture that waste heat and use it to power a plant or an industrial facility, that’s a huge savings for that facility. We don’t have a whole lot of them in this country. They’re used all over the world. Our goal is to double the number of combined heat and power installations and encourage further energy efficiency on the industrial side. That has huge bipartisan support as well. As well as support from industry. Third is getting a clean energy standard, do that of course, encourages renewable energy and sense of market signal to those who we want to encourage to invest. That includes an energy efficiency resource standard. And then the fourth is more investment in research and development related to clean energy technology. All four of those are bipartisan supported policies. All four are the ones we want to take on the road to America and bring back to Washington and hopefully see some policy adopted this year.
Monica Trauzzi: So, there’s all this talk about revitalizing the manufacturing sector here in the U.S. Can we do that with EPA coming out with all of these air rules, including the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Jennifer Granholm: Let me just say that it is very clear to me that we can have a robust manufacturing sector and good clean energy policies. Let me just say that I just got back from China last week and I went with Securing America’s Future Energy. China has adopted policy which is encouraging investment, which is creating jobs in their country that would set your hair on fire. It’s so incredible! They’ve got 25 cities that they’ve identified as the cities that they’re going to invest in the electrification of the vehicle through the infrastructure. They’ve got 20 companies. They want to put 30 battery vehicle models on the street by 2012. They are investing! The amount of investment in this sector globally has gone through the roof, an explosive amount, 600 percent or more investment since 2004, increases on the private sector. The whole point I’m making is that all of that manufacturing, it’s going on. It’s just not going on here. So if we don’t adopt a policy that encourages and sends the right market signals and helps the businesses become competitive here, they’re going to be doing it. They’re just going to be doing it in China. They’re going to be doing it in Germany. They’re going to be doing it in other countries. So standing by and doing nothing will ensure that America becomes weaker and weaker, both with respect to jobs and with respect to energy security.
40 Pct of Nissan LEAF Owners in California Also Use Solar
The nationwide desire for more fuel efficient vehicles has led to an explosion in popularity for hybrid cars, including those that use a combination of gasoline and electricity. Many of the people who own these vehicles also turn to solar energy to help defray the higher electric bills that come with them.
A new study by a nonprofit called the California Center for Sustainable Energy recently found that 40 percent of consumers who own the all-electric Nissan Leaf also have solar panels on their homes, according to a report from the North County Times.
For those who think that wind turbines are a major threat to birds, give it up.
If the fight is “who can kill the most birds,” the cats are way ahead, says a new study in the Journal of Ornithology. For sheer avian death tolls, wind turbines can’t even hold a candle to the feline contingent — they kill 440,000 birds a year, to cats’ 500 million. Even with expanded wind power over the next 20 years, turbines are only expected to kill a paltry million of our feathered friends.
Germany is the world leader in installed solar photovoltaic panels — and they also just shut down seven of their oldest nuclear reactors. It’s worth noting that just today, total power output of Germany’s installed solar PV panels hit 12.1 GW — greater than the total power output (10 GW) of Japan’s entire 6-reactor nuclear power plant.
When summer comes, Germany’s solar panels will but out more, about 17 GW. I betcha that Japan’s ailing reactors will be putting out no power for some time to come.
Hooray for Senator Bingaman:
First, he explained that the price of gas follows the price of oil. Then he explained that the price of oil is set on the global market. It is largely unaffected by domestic policies like EPA carbon restrictions and Gulf oil permitting. It is only barely affected, and only at the margins, by U.S. supply, which flows from just 2 percent of the world’s reserves. (After all, U.S. production has been rising even as oil prices rise too.) The price of oil is shaped by supply constraints in petrostates, demand growth in developing countries, OPEC policy, and unrest in the Middle East. None of those, you’ll note, take place in America.
What follows is an inescapable conclusion:
But what can Congress do to help ease the burden of high prices for U.S. consumers, when oil prices are determined mostly outside our borders? I think a realistic, responsible answer has to be focused on becoming less vulnerable to oil price changes over the medium- and long-term. And we become less vulnerable by using less oil.
That means fuel efficient cars, driving less in them, and electric cars.
Some have suggested that higher [or any]gasoline taxes or mileage mpg requirements constitute a “War on Cars” and suburbs. I disagree, as does Todd Wilton, who said:
“Critics are wrong to claim that raising road tolls, parking fees or fuel taxes is unfair. Does charging admission at movie theatres constitute a “war on film viewers”? Does charging for bread constitute a “war on eaters?” Motor vehicle user fees only finance about half of roadway costs and a much smaller portion of parking facility costs; the rest is financed indirectly through general taxes (for local roads), higher retail prices (for business parking), lower wages (for employee parking), and higher housing costs (for residential parking) (Litman 2009; Subsidy Scope 2009). This funding structure forces people who drive less than average to subsidize their neighbors who drive more than average. Automobile travel also imposes other external costs, including congestion delays, accident risk, pollution emissions, and various economic and environmental costs from fuel consumption. North American fuel taxes are among the lowest among developed countries and have not been raised to account for inflation during the last two decades. These low user fees exacerbate traffic and parking congestions. The pricing reforms that critics call “anti-car” are often the most effective way to address the problems motorists face.”
So, we should tax pollution by raising gasoline taxes and eliminate other hidden subsidies, like free parking.
COST OF ELECTRIC POWER REPORT: HUGE WATER AND HEALTH IMPACTS DETAILED
If you haven’t taken the time to read the Civil Society Institute’s January 25, 2011 report with Synapse Economics, here are some highlights: