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GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES

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5 hours ago, Ron Wagner said:

The Greens and socialists do work together against fossil fuel and nuclear power. 

Perhaps Ecocharger could have provided a bit of a narrative to explain the connection?

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10 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Enjoy hand tilling behind a horse from before the sun is up to after sundown.  Enjoy no medicenes as they are made from FF.  Let me know what your life expectancy is again.  Good luck with your average 40 year old life!

Oh right, you will be the slave owner, so you will have a nice pampered OLD life, while all the slaves die before age 30.  👍

I didn't state that I was against energy in general (tilling with electric-powered machinery would be just fine), nor did I call for a total ban on FF. I merely was pointing to research that shows CO2 emissions were not a causative factor in life expectancy.

I don't understand your slave owner comment--perhaps it is a Freudian projection on your part?

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22 hours ago, Ron Wagner said:

America has lowered its pollution by exchanging coal use with natural gas to a large extent. Renewables are also helping. Biden has artificially raised the price of diesel and gasoline by restricting pipelines and exploration and leasing. Natural gas exports are helping our economy despite him. The rest of the world is competing to produce or import more fossil fuels due to Russian aggression. 

Fuel use has little to do with life expectancy. Health habits and medical care are the main problems worldwide. Obesity is a major problem in some countries, including America. Obesity causes diabetes, heart disease, bone problems, cancer, depression, etc. 

I agree with much of what you have outlined here. Moving away from coal and toward natural gas and renewables has helped to reduce pollution. And my initial post was in support of your statement that the use of FF is not related to life expectancy. Finally, yes, there are other very important variables that are related to life expectancy including education, food supply, and health habits/medical care.

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5 hours ago, Ron Wagner said:

WHO speculation is only a guess. There are too many variables and many other ways to increase life expectancy. Losing weight, eating right, not smoking or abusing drugs of any kind, preventive health measures, health screening and treatment are sure ways of increasing life expectancy. 

Particulates, that can be eliminated, come mainly from coal. Dust is nearly impossible to control outdoors but can be and is controlled indoors in air conditioned homes, to a great extent. 

The availability of fentanyl is the main thing that is now reducing youthful lifespans. That has a far greater effect than the deaths of the old, feeble, and diseased. Thank China, Mexico, and others for that. Our ignorant drug users are killing themselves accidentally because they are impulsive, uninformed, naive, followers, or have suicidal tendencies. They may have parents or other influences that use drugs of their own with prescriptions. The ignorant equate one with another. Often they are trusting black market drugs which are fentanyl pills made in the form of safe drugs. 

I am not sure what you mean that the WHO speculation is only a guess. The WHO estimates (not guesses) what a reasonable/safe exposure to different-sized particulates is. The University of Chicago group who publishes the AQLI then calculate what the likely decrease in life expectancy is given what the actual level of particulates is.

As I noted in another post, there are other important variables that are associated with life expectancy, some of which you have mentioned.

Over the past couple of years, the main cause of the drop in life expectancy in the US (about 2.3 years) is from COVID, which was a result of both our government's and individuals' responses to the pandemic. I believe obesity/heart disease and (inequitable) access to health care continue to be key drivers, too.

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2 hours ago, Polyphia said:

Perhaps Ecocharger could have provided a bit of a narrative to explain the connection?

A tutorial for the village idiot's?

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8 hours ago, Eyes Wide Open said:

A tutorial for the village idiot's?

I think you mean "village idiots."

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(edited)

On 6/21/2022 at 3:13 PM, Ron Wagner said:

The availability of fentanyl is the main thing that is now reducing youthful lifespans. That has a far greater effect than the deaths of the old, feeble, and diseased. Thank China, Mexico, and others for that. Our ignorant drug users are killing themselves accidentally because they are impulsive, uninformed, naive, followers, or have suicidal tendencies. They may have parents or other influences that use drugs of their own with prescriptions. The ignorant equate one with another. Often they are trusting black market drugs which are fentanyl pills made in the form of safe drugs. 

Yeah all the American drug dealers are innocent...  Think, who exactly is making it "available?"

This reminds of people who blame other nations for the stolen cars that are shipped there.  Do you not realize the car thieves are American?

Without the domestic car thieves and drug dealers there is no crime. 

Scapegoating your problem.

Edited by TailingsPond

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On 6/21/2022 at 10:01 PM, Polyphia said:

You must not have read the article, or if you did, you didn't understand it. Stating that a research article has "highly biased analysis" without expressing what led you to that conclusion is a bit of a give away. And I doubt that you are anywhere near cornering the market on common sense.

The article fails to describe any pathways. Useless. What are the mechanics?

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(edited)

On 6/21/2022 at 10:15 PM, Polyphia said:

I agree with much of what you have outlined here. Moving away from coal and toward natural gas and renewables has helped to reduce pollution. And my initial post was in support of your statement that the use of FF is not related to life expectancy. Finally, yes, there are other very important variables that are related to life expectancy including education, food supply, and health habits/medical care.

Education, food supply, health/medical systems all rely on fossil fuels. The article is nonsense.

Edited by Ecocharger

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(edited)

Europe is still dependent on fossil fuels going forward and is ramping up coal production and usage.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Can-Europe-Actually-Afford-To-Kick-Fossil-Fuels.html

"The European Union has made big pledges to go green, but the energy crisis is making its plans exceedingly difficult to achieve.

To combat soaring natural gas prices, Austria, Holland, and Germany are firing up coal plants that were supposed to be retired. "

Edited by Ecocharger
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18 hours ago, Polyphia said:

I think you mean "village idiots."

Apparently mirrors work for you...

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6 hours ago, Ecocharger said:

The article fails to describe any pathways. Useless. What are the mechanics?

You still don't understand the article--got it.

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On 6/18/2022 at 9:47 PM, Ron Wagner said:

Aren't you English boat? I live in a city in a residential neighborhood, on an acre, with chickens, giant burr oaks, pines, maples etc. I am four miles from the civic center. The city is only 80,000 but many here have large lots or around an acre. I am retired but can get to and from anywhere here on half a gallon of gas depending on which vehicle I drive.  We are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland with many farm houses. Most of the country is similar and we intend to stay that way. 

Texas is different. If you took away solo plastic cups you could kill the keg beer market. Your right 80,000 is a different landscape than over 6 million. 

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3 hours ago, Boat said:

Texas is different. If you took away solo plastic cups you could kill the keg beer market. Your right 80,000 is a different landscape than over 6 million. 

I live in central Illinois. 90% of Illinois is similar to where I live. All of the Midwest is too, but we have some of the most intensive corn and soybean land as do Iowa etc. I have been through most of Texas several times. About of third is what I would call wasteland which is mainly devoted to oil and gas, wind farms, cattle, etc. That area is dry and generally not farmland compared to Illinois. We have plenty of wind farms right around where I live. We get about forty inches of rain a year and have no irrigation needs except for melons that are grown near our Mississippi border. They do fine with our wind and are right in the middle of our cornfields. We have little really scenic areas here but nice lakes and fringes of woods, The further south you get in Illinois the hillier and prettier it looks to me. Texans might disagree with me but I think I am right..Large parts of the Southwest are also very barren and would be great for wind farms. Enough wind for everyone. I am all for wind farms in those areas and away from homes. 

It seems that wind farms have a bigger future than solar but I guess that depends on the future costs and technology. I just want to see them both made in the U.S.A. or a friendly country not trying to subvert America and the rest of the world. The end cost to the consumers is just as important IMHO. That includes the transmission lines, replacement turbines, labor costs, etc. 

 

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https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/self-inflicted-emergency-the-biden-administration-and-electricity/

 

Self-Inflicted Emergency? The Biden Administration and Electricity

Tori Smith, Tom Lee

Executive Summary

  • In June, the Biden Administration declared a national electricity emergency and undertook a series of extraordinary executive actions to intervene in the electricity industry.
  • These questionable policies were, in part, forced by President Biden’s decisions to make combatting climate change his administration’s most important policy issue and implementing a risky strategy of significant reliance on wind and solar power production coupled with heavy-handed suppression of fossil fuels.
  • Federal interventions in the name of clean energy proliferation often raise costs and distort markets for such products, ultimately leading to lower access to competitively priced goods.

Introduction

On June 6 the president took extraordinary executive actions directed toward the energy sector: declaring a national electricity emergency using the Tariff Act of 1930, delaying anticipated anti-circumvention tariffs on solar modules, and issuing five memoranda directing Defense Production Act (DPA) subsidies for five clean energy sectors. Previous policy decisions made by the administration itself forced such an expansive use of executive power.

The Biden Administration has spent the better part of its first 18 months prioritizing its climate agenda. Namely, it has sought to “create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.” The administration sees these as essential components of fighting the “existential threat” of climate change. Seeking a cleaner environment is a noble goal, but the strategy adopted has produced a cascade of federal interventions in the economy.

President Biden has used expansive federal powers to force a rapid shift in domestic energy production and consumption away from conventional fuels and toward wind and solar power. The most substantial measures to force this shift in the energy market have been done through executive action to disincentivize or even block conventional fuel production, while providing new preferential treatment and subsidies for wind and solar power. These interventions have inflicted inefficiency and higher costs on consumers – which ultimately lowers utilization of clean energy – contrary to the administration’s objective.

Moreover, the overreliance on solar power is in direct conflict with the administration’s objectives concerning China, the largest producer of solar panels. At the same time, tariffs and other policies directed toward China are counterproductive to President Biden’s climate goals, producing something of a Catch 22. To add insult to injury, new subsidies could also lead to tariff retaliation by trading partners or the adoption of similar subsidies abroad, further distorting the global market and decreasing consumers’ access to competitively priced clean energy products.

The bottom line is that these policies have suppressed fossil-fuel-generated electricity even though solar capacity has still not expanded at a pace to immediately meet the country’s energy needs. Faced with potential electricity blackouts this summer, the president doubled down on his interventionist strategy by declaring a national emergency and invoking the Defense Production Act to insert the federal government into the production of solar power components.

Biden Administration Climate Actions

On his first day in office, President Biden revoked the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have allowed hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day to flow across the U.S. northern border. The president’s executive order stated that the pipeline was not “consistent with [the Biden] Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.” Canceling Keystone XL was the first of many actions taken by President Biden to disincentivize or even stop the domestic production and consumption of conventional fuels. The administration is carrying out its goal to “create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050” through the following actions:

  • Halting new oil, coal, and natural gas lease sales and preventing companies from using existing leases.[1]
  • Implementing methane regulations for the oil and gas industries that were imposed under the Obama Administration, but that had been reversed or paused under the Trump Administration.[2]
  • Proposing new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions for cars and trucks with the goal of phasing out the combustion engine.[3]
  • Advancing the Build Back Better Act which would, among other things, create new tax credits for domestically produced electric vehicles.[4]
  • Proposing more energy efficiency tests for consumer products.[5]

The Case of Solar Power

In addition to disincentivizing the production and use of conventional fuels, the Biden Administration has sought a rapid shift in the energy market toward the greater use of wind and solar power. A series of federal government actions, spanning across multiple administrations, has created a web of conflicting priorities on solar power in particular. In 2018, then-President Trump imposed tariffs on solar cell and module imports from nearly all countries under such authority as delegated in Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974.[6] The former president wanted to accomplish two main goals: raise the competitiveness of U.S. solar manufacturers and decrease U.S. solar consumers’ reliance on products from China. The tariffs failed to accomplish these goals and instead ultimately raised costs and lowered utilization of solar products in the United States. Due to these tariffs, in 2020, the U.S. average monocrystalline solar module price was nearly twice the global average.

The Biden Administration has to date elected to keep the Section 201 tariffs in place. Moreover, the administration in March initiated an anti-circumvention tariff investigation into solar cell and module imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam (CMTV). The mere threat of tariffs further increased cost pressures and resulted in the current solar panel shortage, with entire solar projects being put on hold. The decreased supply of solar cells and modules from CMTV countries is also incentivizing U.S. companies to once again source their solar products from China, as that is most likely their only other option.

Electricity National Emergency

In his latest energy intervention, President Biden declared a national emergency on June 6 for “electricity generation capacity” using relevant executive authority contained in Section 318(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930.[7] Section 318(a) allows the president, in times of emergency, to direct the Treasury secretary to eliminate tariffs on “food, clothing, and medical, surgical, and other supplies for use in emergency relief work.” President Biden claimed that “a robust and reliable electric power system is therefore not only a basic human necessity, but is also critical to national security and national defense.” The president also cited as justification for this declaration Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, extreme weather conditions, the current solar panel shortage, and the Department of Defense’s determination that climate change threatens national security.

Presidents have invoked Section 318(a) only a handful of times. President Harry Truman declared a national emergency in 1946 under section 318(a) to suspend tariffs on lumber imports, citing a post-WWII housing shortage for veteran families. This order was reversed eight months later. President Truman also invoked section 318(a) in 1951 to declare a national emergency the previous year during the Korean War. The 1951 order “[authorized] extensions of the statutory period in which imported merchandise may be held in a general order or bonded warehouse.” After declaring a national emergency in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued an executive order allowing the secretary of the Treasury to “temporarily extend deadlines, for importers suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID–19.”

The justifications for executive action in the Korean War and COVID-19 pandemic cases are certainly more directly connected to national security than those cited by President Biden. While there are domestic and international pressures affecting the domestic energy market, the rationale for a national security-based emergency is reminiscent of the dubious arguments for applying national security tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in 2018. Moreover, U.S. government intervention in energy markets has been key driver of the price hikes and shortages consumers are experiencing. The current situation faced by the domestic solar industry is a textbook case of the market effects of intervention.

The Case of Solar Products … Again

In announcing the national emergency, the president directed the Department of Commerce to pause for up to 24 months any additional antidumping, countervailing, and anticircumvention (AD/CV) tariffs on solar cell and module imports from the CMTV.[8] Reportedly, the pause eliminates the possible retroactive application of any additional tariffs on solar cell and module imports from these countries.[9] These actions were presumably taken to alleviate the current solar panel shortage in the United States, which the administration cites as one of the main reasons for its declaration of a national electricity emergency.

The Biden Administration did not end the anti-circumvention case announced in March. The case will continue with a preliminary decision expected in August, which could still result in the imposition of tariffs. The administration simply paused the future collection of these tariffs for up to 24 months. Since the threat of solar tariffs has been eliminated for the next 24 months on the CMTV countries, in this relatively short time U.S. solar firms may be able to source solar cells and modules again and continue with current projects and installations. It is unclear, however, the extent to which the pause on tariffs will benefit future projects, since the threat of tariffs and resulting market uncertainties still exist after 24 months.

The administration’s action on solar products is reflective of its broader goals to increase U.S. clean energy consumption – namely from solar and wind – and decrease U.S. reliance on oil and gas.[10] In 2021, roughly 12 percent of domestic energy was powered by clean energy, with the remainder of consumption reliant on conventional fuels.[11] The anti-circumvention investigation, as well as the broader tariff policy toward energy resources, run counter to the administration’s goal because they make these products less affordable, and therefore less viable substitutes for conventional fuels. The president’s action, while perhaps helpful in the short term, similarly falls short of increasing competitiveness in the energy industry.

Defense Production Act Memoranda

In addition to the emergency declaration, President Biden issued five memoranda[12] to authorize federal investment and purchases “to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies.” These sectors are insulation; electric heat pumps; transformers; electric power grid components; solar modules and components; and electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metals. The president is making these investments by invoking Section 303 of the DPA of 1950,[13] a law originally meant to help bolster the U.S. defense industrial base during the early years of the Cold War. President Biden determined that each of the five sectors were “industrial resources, materials, or critical technology items essential to the national defense.” A White House fact sheet describes these actions as “[putting] the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity by directing the development of master supply agreements, including ‘super preference’ status.”

At first glance, the relationship between defense needs and domestic electricity consumption may seem light-years apart. In 1980, however, Congress added synthetic fuels to the list of goods subject to DPA intervention. Furthermore, Congress has since expanded DPA’s purview to include emergency preparedness, natural disasters, and energy security.[14] President Biden’s DPA actions are not the first of their kind, but they are clearly more expansive than those of his predecessors. In 2012, President Obama used DPA to allocate $230.5 million toward biofuel production. More than $3.5 million from DPA was also put toward bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene production in 2013. Additionally, President Trump considered using DPA to support domestic coalmines in 2018 but did not act on it.

Defense experts at The Heritage Foundation have criticized these past uses of DPA for energy-related issues, characterizing them as “exploiting the DPA for non-defense reasons.” Todd Tucker at the Roosevelt Institute calls climate change a “slower-moving” crisis than those for which the DPA was used in the past, and questions the “legal and political precedent” for the way President Biden is using it. Tucker ultimately suggests, however, that President Biden’s actions on DPA “can increase consumer demand for clean products and make businesses change how they are thinking about their upcoming capital expenditures.”

There is precedent for using DPA to support energy production, yet the legitimacy of the Biden Administration’s unprecedentedly deep intervention in the electricity supply chain is questionable. The memoranda invoking DPA do not provide justification or evidence of deficient production in insulation, electric heat pumps, transformers, electric power grid components, solar modules and components, or electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metals. There is a shortage of solar modules, but it is largely due to tariff policy that has made importing solar products more expensive. Presumably, the administration is taking these actions in response to what it has called an “urgent crisis of changing climate.”

Implications of the National Emergency and DPA Usage

The appropriateness of the Biden Administration’s expansive use of the Tariff Act and the DPA is worth questioning, but it is just as important to discuss the potential international ramifications of invoking national security and defense in this way. The United States maintains commitments to trade rules under several trade agreements, but the institution of greatest consequence is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Invoking DPA can be construed as an intention to provide subsidies to domestic industries, which could violate our WTO commitments under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.[15] Presumably, the administration would claim that the invocation of national security as the justification for these subsidies falls under the national security exception in Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,[16] but the claim that these sectors are vital for national security is weak. Much like how trading partners challenged the U.S. use of national security to impose Section 232 tariffs, the United States could face challenges to these DPA subsidies. At the same time, U.S. national security subsidies for clean energy products could also open the door for other countries to provide similar subsidies to their favored industries. Finally, providing subsidies could make American exports of these clean energy products subject to countervailing duties abroad. All of these scenarios would further distort the global energy market, affecting consumers’ access to competitively priced clean energy products.

 

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https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-EV-Revolution-Is-Transforming-Rental-Companies.html

Not quite as rosy as the headline. This will take a long time.

 

By Felicity Bradstock - Jun 23, 2022, 3:00 PM CDT

image.png.4c9389dcf84bf4fbca55768f0c9b1bd5.png Join Our Community

Following a huge increase in investments in electric vehicles (EV) over the last year, with many major automakers announcing their plans for electrification, rental companies worldwide are beginning to make the switch. As governments launch green energy strategies to curb the sale of traditionally fuelled vehicles in favor of less-polluting alternatives, and energy companies invest in widespread charging infrastructure, consumers are becoming more open to the EVs that rental firms are getting ready to provide. 

Over the last year, car manufacturers from Volkswagen to Nissan to Toyota all announced new EV models, as they pick up the pace of the electrification of their production. With major powers around the globe aiming for an energy transition that will help them to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, automakers have realized that the only way to succeed long-term is to develop more eco-friendly vehicles. While the consumer market for EVs remains small at present, greater investment in the early development of EV batteries and other components will help automakers eventually produce lower-cost cars that will appeal to the growing consumer base. 

In response to the increase in production and consumer interest in EVs, rental companies are beginning to acquire EV fleets in favorable markets. The effects of Covid on the rental car industry have supported this shift, as many firms were forced to sell vehicles as demand plummeted, encouraging many to adopt EVs for their new fleets. Although buying new cars as business picks up is not so simple, with supply chains still badly affected by pandemic restrictions and delays. 

With the outlook appearing vastly different from that of the pre-pandemic era, rental companies are now looking to innovate and adapt to the consumer demands of the future. Hertz bounced back from its 2021 bankruptcy with a bold statement that it would be investing $4.2 billion in the purchase of 100,000 Tesla EVs by the end of 2022, as well as 65,000 electric cars from Polestar. Hertz hopes that EVs will make up over 30 percent of its U.S. fleet by the end of 2024. This impressive decision led other rental companies, such as Enterprise Holdings and Avis Budget Group, to announce similar aims, in a shift away from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. 

However, these grand ambitions are not without their challenges. There is no quick way to change a vast, international fleet of cars from ICE to electric. Rental companies must consider several barriers to the EV roll-out including varying levels of consumer demand in different markets, the charging infrastructure available, and the availability of the EVs themselves. 

But despite the challenges, Hertz and other rental firms believe the long-term investment needed to make the switch to electric will be well worth the cost and trouble. Hertz will mainly aim its EV fleet at corporate drivers, as lowering carbon emissions will help companies to achieve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets. Chris Woronka, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, explains “The initial research has shown that corporate accounts are going to be willing to pay a premium for EVs… because it helps them achieve some of their ESG objectives.”. Not to mention the current cost of petrol, which is already making EVs look more appealing to many different consumer categories. 

But with the EV market still in its infancy, it may not be easy to go and rent an electric option wherever. In 2021, EVs made up less than 1 percent of U.S. cars, accounting for around 3 percent of cars and trucks sold last year. And car rental companies that have yet to establish purchasing partnerships with EV manufacturers are likely to experience severe delays in access to EVs as the personal consumer EV market expands and supply chain disruptions cause further delays. 

Related: China May No Longer Be A Pillar Of Growth For Global Oil Markets

But Teslas and other EVs are already becoming available under rental and subscription services in major markets, such as the U.S. and Canada. Craig Hirota, vice-president of government relations and member services at the Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators (ACCRO) explained, “Public perception and public awareness of EVs, zero-emission and hybrid vehicles is growing by the month and there’s certainly a lot more consumer curiosity about those types of vehicles.” This means it is important to equip rental and subscription firms with an EV fleet, preparing them to meet the rapidly rising consumer demand. 

And small rental companies are gaining more traction by marketing themselves as EV specialists. For example, in Vancouver, rental car firm EV Rentals rebranded to become Zerocar in 2021, with a fleet of 50 Teslas, offering customers rental options from $8 an hour. Thanks to growing interest, it expects to triple its fleet by 2023. Other used-EV companies in Canada are trialing rental schemes to great success. Meanwhile, EV car-sharing companies, such as Communauto, Modo, and Turo, are also popping up across the country.  

As interest in EVs increases worldwide, with the rise of the environmentally-conscious consumer, car rental and subscription services will have to prepare themselves to respond to demand if they are to remain relevant. Although, as we’re seeing industry-wide, supply chain disruptions from Covid and the inadequate pace of mining for battery components may restrict this growth in the short term.

By Felicity Bradstock for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Edited by Ron Wagner

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17 hours ago, Polyphia said:

You still don't understand the article--got it.

The article is defective and devoid of explanation....get that.

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7 hours ago, Ron Wagner said:

https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/self-inflicted-emergency-the-biden-administration-and-electricity/

 

Self-Inflicted Emergency? The Biden Administration and Electricity

Tori Smith, Tom Lee

Executive Summary

  • In June, the Biden Administration declared a national electricity emergency and undertook a series of extraordinary executive actions to intervene in the electricity industry.
  • These questionable policies were, in part, forced by President Biden’s decisions to make combatting climate change his administration’s most important policy issue and implementing a risky strategy of significant reliance on wind and solar power production coupled with heavy-handed suppression of fossil fuels.
  • Federal interventions in the name of clean energy proliferation often raise costs and distort markets for such products, ultimately leading to lower access to competitively priced goods.

Introduction

On June 6 the president took extraordinary executive actions directed toward the energy sector: declaring a national electricity emergency using the Tariff Act of 1930, delaying anticipated anti-circumvention tariffs on solar modules, and issuing five memoranda directing Defense Production Act (DPA) subsidies for five clean energy sectors. Previous policy decisions made by the administration itself forced such an expansive use of executive power.

The Biden Administration has spent the better part of its first 18 months prioritizing its climate agenda. Namely, it has sought to “create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.” The administration sees these as essential components of fighting the “existential threat” of climate change. Seeking a cleaner environment is a noble goal, but the strategy adopted has produced a cascade of federal interventions in the economy.

President Biden has used expansive federal powers to force a rapid shift in domestic energy production and consumption away from conventional fuels and toward wind and solar power. The most substantial measures to force this shift in the energy market have been done through executive action to disincentivize or even block conventional fuel production, while providing new preferential treatment and subsidies for wind and solar power. These interventions have inflicted inefficiency and higher costs on consumers – which ultimately lowers utilization of clean energy – contrary to the administration’s objective.

Moreover, the overreliance on solar power is in direct conflict with the administration’s objectives concerning China, the largest producer of solar panels. At the same time, tariffs and other policies directed toward China are counterproductive to President Biden’s climate goals, producing something of a Catch 22. To add insult to injury, new subsidies could also lead to tariff retaliation by trading partners or the adoption of similar subsidies abroad, further distorting the global market and decreasing consumers’ access to competitively priced clean energy products.

The bottom line is that these policies have suppressed fossil-fuel-generated electricity even though solar capacity has still not expanded at a pace to immediately meet the country’s energy needs. Faced with potential electricity blackouts this summer, the president doubled down on his interventionist strategy by declaring a national emergency and invoking the Defense Production Act to insert the federal government into the production of solar power components.

Biden Administration Climate Actions

On his first day in office, President Biden revoked the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have allowed hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day to flow across the U.S. northern border. The president’s executive order stated that the pipeline was not “consistent with [the Biden] Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.” Canceling Keystone XL was the first of many actions taken by President Biden to disincentivize or even stop the domestic production and consumption of conventional fuels. The administration is carrying out its goal to “create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050” through the following actions:

  • Halting new oil, coal, and natural gas lease sales and preventing companies from using existing leases.[1]
  • Implementing methane regulations for the oil and gas industries that were imposed under the Obama Administration, but that had been reversed or paused under the Trump Administration.[2]
  • Proposing new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions for cars and trucks with the goal of phasing out the combustion engine.[3]
  • Advancing the Build Back Better Act which would, among other things, create new tax credits for domestically produced electric vehicles.[4]
  • Proposing more energy efficiency tests for consumer products.[5]

The Case of Solar Power

In addition to disincentivizing the production and use of conventional fuels, the Biden Administration has sought a rapid shift in the energy market toward the greater use of wind and solar power. A series of federal government actions, spanning across multiple administrations, has created a web of conflicting priorities on solar power in particular. In 2018, then-President Trump imposed tariffs on solar cell and module imports from nearly all countries under such authority as delegated in Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974.[6] The former president wanted to accomplish two main goals: raise the competitiveness of U.S. solar manufacturers and decrease U.S. solar consumers’ reliance on products from China. The tariffs failed to accomplish these goals and instead ultimately raised costs and lowered utilization of solar products in the United States. Due to these tariffs, in 2020, the U.S. average monocrystalline solar module price was nearly twice the global average.

The Biden Administration has to date elected to keep the Section 201 tariffs in place. Moreover, the administration in March initiated an anti-circumvention tariff investigation into solar cell and module imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam (CMTV). The mere threat of tariffs further increased cost pressures and resulted in the current solar panel shortage, with entire solar projects being put on hold. The decreased supply of solar cells and modules from CMTV countries is also incentivizing U.S. companies to once again source their solar products from China, as that is most likely their only other option.

Electricity National Emergency

In his latest energy intervention, President Biden declared a national emergency on June 6 for “electricity generation capacity” using relevant executive authority contained in Section 318(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930.[7] Section 318(a) allows the president, in times of emergency, to direct the Treasury secretary to eliminate tariffs on “food, clothing, and medical, surgical, and other supplies for use in emergency relief work.” President Biden claimed that “a robust and reliable electric power system is therefore not only a basic human necessity, but is also critical to national security and national defense.” The president also cited as justification for this declaration Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, extreme weather conditions, the current solar panel shortage, and the Department of Defense’s determination that climate change threatens national security.

Presidents have invoked Section 318(a) only a handful of times. President Harry Truman declared a national emergency in 1946 under section 318(a) to suspend tariffs on lumber imports, citing a post-WWII housing shortage for veteran families. This order was reversed eight months later. President Truman also invoked section 318(a) in 1951 to declare a national emergency the previous year during the Korean War. The 1951 order “[authorized] extensions of the statutory period in which imported merchandise may be held in a general order or bonded warehouse.” After declaring a national emergency in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued an executive order allowing the secretary of the Treasury to “temporarily extend deadlines, for importers suffering significant financial hardship because of COVID–19.”

The justifications for executive action in the Korean War and COVID-19 pandemic cases are certainly more directly connected to national security than those cited by President Biden. While there are domestic and international pressures affecting the domestic energy market, the rationale for a national security-based emergency is reminiscent of the dubious arguments for applying national security tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in 2018. Moreover, U.S. government intervention in energy markets has been key driver of the price hikes and shortages consumers are experiencing. The current situation faced by the domestic solar industry is a textbook case of the market effects of intervention.

The Case of Solar Products … Again

In announcing the national emergency, the president directed the Department of Commerce to pause for up to 24 months any additional antidumping, countervailing, and anticircumvention (AD/CV) tariffs on solar cell and module imports from the CMTV.[8] Reportedly, the pause eliminates the possible retroactive application of any additional tariffs on solar cell and module imports from these countries.[9] These actions were presumably taken to alleviate the current solar panel shortage in the United States, which the administration cites as one of the main reasons for its declaration of a national electricity emergency.

The Biden Administration did not end the anti-circumvention case announced in March. The case will continue with a preliminary decision expected in August, which could still result in the imposition of tariffs. The administration simply paused the future collection of these tariffs for up to 24 months. Since the threat of solar tariffs has been eliminated for the next 24 months on the CMTV countries, in this relatively short time U.S. solar firms may be able to source solar cells and modules again and continue with current projects and installations. It is unclear, however, the extent to which the pause on tariffs will benefit future projects, since the threat of tariffs and resulting market uncertainties still exist after 24 months.

The administration’s action on solar products is reflective of its broader goals to increase U.S. clean energy consumption – namely from solar and wind – and decrease U.S. reliance on oil and gas.[10] In 2021, roughly 12 percent of domestic energy was powered by clean energy, with the remainder of consumption reliant on conventional fuels.[11] The anti-circumvention investigation, as well as the broader tariff policy toward energy resources, run counter to the administration’s goal because they make these products less affordable, and therefore less viable substitutes for conventional fuels. The president’s action, while perhaps helpful in the short term, similarly falls short of increasing competitiveness in the energy industry.

Defense Production Act Memoranda

In addition to the emergency declaration, President Biden issued five memoranda[12] to authorize federal investment and purchases “to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies.” These sectors are insulation; electric heat pumps; transformers; electric power grid components; solar modules and components; and electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metals. The president is making these investments by invoking Section 303 of the DPA of 1950,[13] a law originally meant to help bolster the U.S. defense industrial base during the early years of the Cold War. President Biden determined that each of the five sectors were “industrial resources, materials, or critical technology items essential to the national defense.” A White House fact sheet describes these actions as “[putting] the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity by directing the development of master supply agreements, including ‘super preference’ status.”

At first glance, the relationship between defense needs and domestic electricity consumption may seem light-years apart. In 1980, however, Congress added synthetic fuels to the list of goods subject to DPA intervention. Furthermore, Congress has since expanded DPA’s purview to include emergency preparedness, natural disasters, and energy security.[14] President Biden’s DPA actions are not the first of their kind, but they are clearly more expansive than those of his predecessors. In 2012, President Obama used DPA to allocate $230.5 million toward biofuel production. More than $3.5 million from DPA was also put toward bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene production in 2013. Additionally, President Trump considered using DPA to support domestic coalmines in 2018 but did not act on it.

Defense experts at The Heritage Foundation have criticized these past uses of DPA for energy-related issues, characterizing them as “exploiting the DPA for non-defense reasons.” Todd Tucker at the Roosevelt Institute calls climate change a “slower-moving” crisis than those for which the DPA was used in the past, and questions the “legal and political precedent” for the way President Biden is using it. Tucker ultimately suggests, however, that President Biden’s actions on DPA “can increase consumer demand for clean products and make businesses change how they are thinking about their upcoming capital expenditures.”

There is precedent for using DPA to support energy production, yet the legitimacy of the Biden Administration’s unprecedentedly deep intervention in the electricity supply chain is questionable. The memoranda invoking DPA do not provide justification or evidence of deficient production in insulation, electric heat pumps, transformers, electric power grid components, solar modules and components, or electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metals. There is a shortage of solar modules, but it is largely due to tariff policy that has made importing solar products more expensive. Presumably, the administration is taking these actions in response to what it has called an “urgent crisis of changing climate.”

Implications of the National Emergency and DPA Usage

The appropriateness of the Biden Administration’s expansive use of the Tariff Act and the DPA is worth questioning, but it is just as important to discuss the potential international ramifications of invoking national security and defense in this way. The United States maintains commitments to trade rules under several trade agreements, but the institution of greatest consequence is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Invoking DPA can be construed as an intention to provide subsidies to domestic industries, which could violate our WTO commitments under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.[15] Presumably, the administration would claim that the invocation of national security as the justification for these subsidies falls under the national security exception in Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,[16] but the claim that these sectors are vital for national security is weak. Much like how trading partners challenged the U.S. use of national security to impose Section 232 tariffs, the United States could face challenges to these DPA subsidies. At the same time, U.S. national security subsidies for clean energy products could also open the door for other countries to provide similar subsidies to their favored industries. Finally, providing subsidies could make American exports of these clean energy products subject to countervailing duties abroad. All of these scenarios would further distort the global energy market, affecting consumers’ access to competitively priced clean energy products.

 

Bottom line, the phony war against CO2 is causing and will cause drastic reductions in the standard of living of the average American.....and for no good reason.

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7 hours ago, Ecocharger said:

The article is defective and devoid of explanation....get that.

Damnant quod non intelligunt.

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(edited)

Lithium prices are soaring and environmental concerns will keep lithium supplies constrained.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Will-Soaring-Lithium-Prices-Spark-Demand-Destruction.html

 "Last year, lithium prices rose by some 400 percent and are still rising. Some analysts expect them to peak this year, but with supply slow to respond to robust demand, that peak is far from certain. And this may slow down the energy transition that many governments are eager to help along.

Tesla has raised the prices of its car several times since the start of the year. While the company does not normally announce reasons for the price hikes, CEO Elon Musk this month complained about raw material prices and supply chain shortages.

In an interview with a Tesla owners group, Musk said, "Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now," adding that he was worried about how Tesla would keep these factories running without going bankrupt."

Edited by Ecocharger
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55 minutes ago, Ecocharger said:

Lithium prices are soaring and environmental concerns will keep lithium supplies constrained.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Will-Soaring-Lithium-Prices-Spark-Demand-Destruction.html

 "Last year, lithium prices rose by some 400 percent and are still rising. Some analysts expect them to peak this year, but with supply slow to respond to robust demand, that peak is far from certain. And this may slow down the energy transition that many governments are eager to help along.

Tesla has raised the prices of its car several times since the start of the year. While the company does not normally announce reasons for the price hikes, CEO Elon Musk this month complained about raw material prices and supply chain shortages.

In an interview with a Tesla owners group, Musk said, "Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now," adding that he was worried about how Tesla would keep these factories running without going bankrupt."

In reality Lithium peaked 3 months ago:

image.png.0b6ed36971242f3bb79d7490f3650934.png

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50 minutes ago, Jay McKinsey said:

In reality Lithium peaked 3 months ago:

image.png.0b6ed36971242f3bb79d7490f3650934.png

Lithium prices are up 400% on the year.

The EU may ban lithium production because of environmental concerns.

The EV revolution is over and done, a mere footnote to history.

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2 minutes ago, Ecocharger said:

Lithium prices are up 400% on the year.

The EU may ban lithium production because of environmental concerns.

The EV revolution is over and done, a mere footnote to history.

Ok everyone take note that Eco has said EV sales have peaked!   This is going to be funny when EV sales just keep going up.

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(edited)

59 minutes ago, Jay McKinsey said:

Ok everyone take note that Eco has said EV sales have peaked!   This is going to be funny when EV sales just keep going up.

You need to read the words...the EV revolution is circumscribed by lithium shortages.

Over and done.

Just a footnote in history.

Edited by Ecocharger
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