You Can Release Your Hold On Your Gas Stove–At Least Temporarily

On Tuesday, Just the News reported that the House of Representatives has passed the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act. The act will at least temporarily keep the government away from our gas stoves.

The article reports:

The bill, which was introduced by Arizona Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko, “modifies the process by which the Department of Energy (DOE) amends, revokes, or implements energy conservation standards for certain consumer products (other than automobiles), such as household appliances,” according to an official summary of the legislation.

The legislation was introduced after the Biden Administration’s Energy Department proposed a rule that would have led to a ban on the sale of about half of the gas stoves currently on the market.

“My constituents in the north and northwest valley of Maricopa County, Arizona, do not want this government interference in their homes and lives,” Lesko told reporters on Tuesday, per Fox News. “I know that millions of Americans around the country feel the same way.”

The Department of Energy has no business making laws–that is supposed to be done by Congress. If a Congressman (or woman) finds it too burdensome to create laws, they should resign.

The article concludes:

No government bureaucrat should ever scheme to take away Americans’ appliances in the name of a radical environmental agenda,” Lesko added.

The House previously passed Lesko’s “Save Our Gas Stoves Act ” last year, which attempted to block the DOE from implementing a proposed efficiency standard for gas cooking products, but it never received a vote in the Democrat-led Senate. 

We could probably end 90 percent of the regulations passed by unelected bureaucrats and still live happily ever after.

Has Anyone In Washington Actually Read The U.S. Constitution?

On Saturday, The U.K. Daily Mail reported the following:

Biden invokes emergency wartime powers to boost heat pump production with $169M in federal funds in administration’s latest push to replace gas appliances

  • Biden will fund nine manufacturers with $169 million from last year’s climate bill
  • Funding is the first under emergency authority on the basis of climate change
  • Biden is using the powers under Defense Production Act to boost green energy

There is no reason to use emergency powers because of climate change. The first question here is how much money did these nine manufacturers pay Joe Biden or his family recently? It also should be noted that heat pumps are not efficient in temperatures below 40 degrees. We had a heat pump in our first house in North Carolina and on the rare occasions that the temperature dropped below 40 degrees, the house was cold and we had to resort to small portable heaters. There is no way that this is better for the environment than gas heat. Where does the Biden administration think that electricity comes from?

The article reports”

President Joe Biden will use special wartime powers to boost US production of heat pumps, by funding nine manufacturing projects with $169 million from last year’s climate bill, the Energy Department said on Friday.

The awards were granted under the emergency authority of the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA), which Biden invoked on the basis of climate change to boost spending on clean energy technology. 

‘The President is using his wartime emergency powers under the Defense Production Act to turbocharge US manufacturing of clean technologies and strengthen our energy security,’ said Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi in a statement.

Heat pumps can heat and cool homes and businesses more efficiently using thermal transfer, which moves heat from one area to another, rather than generating new heat.

President Biden’s wartime powers do not apply in this case, and I hope either Congress slaps him down or that a court case is quickly put together to stop this nonsense.

Banned By The Biden Administration!

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner posted a list of five things that the Biden administration has attempted to restrict.

This is the list:

Gas stoves

Incandescent lightbulbs

Plastic straws

Gas-powered cars

Washing machines

Anyone looking at this list three years ago would have called it a conspiracy theory, but here we are.

The article notes:

The Department of Energy estimated the rule would save consumers 9 cents per month after originally promising higher savings for consumers when the rule was proposed earlier this year. The backlash to the rule caused the House of Representatives to pass the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to enforce the rule on gas stoves. The bill has not been taken up by the Senate.

…One efficiency standard the Biden administration was successful in implementing was a lightbulb rule that outlaws nearly all incandescent bulbs from being sold. The standard went into effect in August.

…Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced in June that a plan would be implemented to phase out single-use plastics on public lands by 2032, citing environmental impacts.

In response to the proposed action, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would prevent the Interior Department from going forward with the effort. Rep. John Rose (R-TN), who introduced the amendment to deny the measure, argued the alternatives to plastics may not be more environmentally friendly.

…The Biden administration has been a strong advocate of electric cars and phasing out gas-powered vehicles, with the Department of Transportation’s proposed fuel efficiency rules being a recent example of this push.

The proposed rule would raise standards for fuel efficiency to 66 miles per gallon for cars and 54 mpg for trucks by 2032, something National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting Administrator Ann Carlson has said is “good news for everyone.”

…A proposed efficiency standard by the Department of Energy for washing machines, which could go into effect as early as 2027, has also been criticized as restricting more effective washing machines from being sold.

The Energy Department said the standards would save consumers $3.5 billion annually on energy and water bills, but opponents of the rule argue it would drive up costs for washers while also being detrimental to their effectiveness.

Let’s work together to make sure that the Biden administration has no more success in banning items that make life easier and more efficient for most Americans.

Will There Ever Be An Apology?

I really like Rand Paul. He is not afraid to say what he believes is truth regardless of the pushback. He was one of the more rational voices during the Covid pandemic and was ridiculed for the things he said (things that later turned out to be true). Will the Democrats and tech companies who maligned him ever apologize? Probably not.

The Washington Examiner posted an article on March 1st about Rand Paul and the information he provided on Covid during the pandemic.

The article reports:

The U.S. Energy Department and the FBI now agree that a lab leak is probably to blame for the spread of the COVID-19 virus, according to reports. The disclosure was made in “low confidence” earlier this week after the department received new intelligence on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Energy Department oversees 17 national labs and research centers and was investigating the pandemic’s origins. Meanwhile, the Energy Department’s admission was just the latest in a recent string of evidence vindicating Paul. A new study released this month revealed that immunity from a natural COVID infection was “at least as high, if not higher” than receiving the vaccine. Paul said this last year but was dismissed by many on the Left as spreading misinformation.

The article concludes:

Paul was heavily criticized by those on the Left for saying the same thing the Energy Department just now concluded. He was censored by Big Tech and vilified by Democratic politicians who claimed Paul’s now-vindicated assertions were detrimental to the country. But it was Big Tech and the Democrats who were harming the country, not the Kentucky Republican.

“Trust the science” evolved into “trust the tyrants,” and the Left sought total compliance to its authoritarianism during the pandemic. Anyone objecting, such as Paul, was vilified as an ignorant conspiracy theorist and, in some cases, accomplice to murder. What happened to Paul should serve as a warning of left-wing, Democratic totalitarianism and why they can never be trusted to regulate speech or information. Liberals, Democrats, the Left, and Big Tech all owe Rand Paul an apology. Will they ever do so?

Will the political left ever be held accountable for their lies?

 

This Seems Obscure, But Needs Watching

We have just experienced a month-plus shutdown of the American economy (along with many Americans experiencing cabin fever and many children abruptly being home-schooled). It will take a while for the economy to open back up and recover. However, what we are currently experiencing is nothing like the disruption that would be caused by an electromagnetic pulse attack (also by a particularly strong solar flare). The American power grid is very vulnerable to attack from many sources. Our power grid provides power for the computers that route trucking, support supply chains, guide airplanes, keep grocery store coolers cold, etc. The power grid is all interconnected and computerized. It is an attractive target.

On May 1, Just The News reported the following:

The Energy Department said Friday that President Trump has banned the purchasing and installation of specific types of foreign gear for power plants and the transmission system. The move is a strategic effort to block the U.S. grid from falling victim to attacks from Russia and China.

The president’s executive order increases the secretary of Energy’s ability to prevent the use of select equipment that creates a national security risk. It also allows the secretary to determine which parts of the grid system are at risk and therefore in need of replacement.

Officials leading the effort will assess recent threats from abroad based on information from the U.S. intelligence community. They will then make a judgment on which elements of the power system need replacing. Agencies have been warning for several years that America’s electrical grid is an attractive and vulnerable target to foreign hackers.

This is a great move, but somehow electromagnetic pulse protection seems to be left behind.

In November 2019, Politico reported the following:

Turnover in President Donald Trump’s national security staff may be having a little-noticed side effect: Worries about nuclear weapons zapping America’s electric grid will return to the fringe.

Warnings about electromagnetic pulse attacks have long inspired eye-rolls or outright guffaws among national security experts, but advocates of the issue briefly found a home on Trump’s National Security Council, and the president himself issued an executive order on the topic in March. That respectability boom shows signs of fading, however, as those advocates leave the administration.

On Sept. 13, controversial physicist, self-declared climate skeptic and backer of the fight against EMPs William Happer left the White House. Three days earlier, Trump had ousted national security adviser John Bolton, who according to people close to the congressional EMP effort was also a backer of hardening power plants and the electric grid against the threat.

“With Bolton gone and some of the people he had brought in … this has disrupted the process,” said Peter Pry, executive director of the now-disbanded congressional advisory board that studied EMPs.

Trump’s executive order on March 29 was meant to aid coordination between the departments of Homeland Security, Energy and Defense, as well as numerous other federal agencies, to address the long-debated risk. The utility industry has resisted hardening the grid to EMP attacks because of the high cost of addressing what it considers an unlikely threat.

“The bureaucracy does not want this executive order,” Pry added, referring to the president’s order on EMP resilience. “What they’re trying to do is lowball the EMP threat … to such a level that basically industry will have to do little or nothing.”

I really don’t know if I should credit this bad advice to the deep state or just to general ignorance, but we need to get the emp protection program back up and running. This is an area where we are truly vulnerable to attack (or a natural phenomina such as a giant solar flare).

Good News For Impatient People Who Like Clean Dishes

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about dishwashers–the kind that are installed in with your kitchen cabinets and take forever to clean the dishes about as well as your average cat. I realize that does not apply to all dishwashers, but since the environmentalists got involved, it applies to a lot of them. Well, that is about to change.

The article reports:

Consumers outraged about slow dishwashers are staunchly backing an Energy Department move, over industry objections, to create a new category of products that feature a one-hour washing cycle.

Individual consumers have flooded the public comment docket in support of the Energy Department proposal, which grants a petition made by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank. The agency proposal would establish a separate product class for dishwashers that clean and dry dishes within one hour, an action that would exclude those appliances from current energy and water conservation standards until separate rules are crafted.

The Energy Department could finalize the proposal as soon as next year.

“A First World country deserves a dishwasher that can actually clean soiled dishes in an hour – as it used to have before this regulation was enacted to ‘save’ us energy and money. It doesn’t,” one individual consumer, Chad Anderson, wrote in a comment submitted this week.

The article concludes:

The Energy Department, though, in its proposal said data and customer complaints show many consumers would value “shorter cycle times to clean a normally-soiled load of dishes.” Watkins argued that no dishwasher models currently exist on the market that have a normal one-hour cycle for washing and drying.

Mauer said a number of factors, including consumer preferences for more efficient and quieter dishwashers, have impacted the cycle times.

And she said the lack of standards for the new product class also means the Energy Department’s move likely violates a provision in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which prohibits the agency from loosening the efficiency standards.

Appliance makers also say the product class isn’t necessary, and they say the Energy Department action creates new regulatory burdens that will cost manufacturers.

Creating a new product class would lead to stranded investments for companies, “as manufacturers would essentially be required to abandon” innovations in efficiency they’d made to comply with the previous standards, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers wrote in comments.

The group, which represents more than 150 companies, wrote it has raised concerns about dishwasher cycle times previously but stressed this wasn’t the venue to address them.

Watkins of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, however, argued appliance makers don’t want the Energy Department to change the current limits because it would open up the market to new companies that haven’t spent the money to comply with conservation limits.

“They now view the regulations in some way as a barrier to entry” into the market, Watkins said. He also suggested that creating a new product class could relieve some of the pressure manufacturers face from ever-tightening standards due to the law’s “one-way ratchet.”

Plus, it’s hard to argue with the overwhelming consumer support, Watkins said, pointing to a recent survey the group conducted of more than 1,000 customers showing a majority prefer dishwasher cycles of one hour or less.

“Where can I get a MDGA* hat? (*Make Dishwashers Great Again),” one consumer wrote in the comments.

What has happened to dishwashers in recent years is another example of the government deciding what is good for the consumer without giving the consumer a voice in the decision. The idea of a dishwasher that effectively cleans dishes in an hour is a winner. Government regulation and interference kept it from being a reality.

We Wouldn’t Have Needed Sequestration If The Government Had Not Done Things Like This

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about government funding of the Fisker Automotive‘s manufacturing of electric cars.

The article reports:

Newly obtained documents show the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion dollar government loan, nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company’s statements.

An Energy Department official said in a June 2010 email that Fisker’s bid to draw on the federal loan may be jeopardized for failure to meet goals established by the department.

Despite that warning, Fisker continued to receive money until June 2011, when the DOE halted further funding. The agency did so after Fisker presented new information that called into question whether key milestones — including the launch of the company’s signature, $100,000 Karma hybrid — had been achieved, according to a credit report prepared by the Energy Department.

This is a familiar story in the Obama Administration. Solyndra was also going bankrupt as the government was funding the company. In 2009 Vice-President Biden stated that Fisker was planning to buy a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware to produce hybrid cars. The plant was never opened and no cars were ever produced.

The Wall Street Journal also reported on the Karma, a luxury car produced by Fisker that has a sticker price of over $100,000:

Mr. Simon says his car broke down four times over the span of a few months. Each time, Fisker Automotive Inc. picked it up and sent it by trailer from his home in Omaha, Neb., to a dealer in Minneapolis.

The Karma was “so vulnerable to software errors, and the parts used were of such poor quality that eventually I insisted they take the car back and return my purchase price, which they did,” he says. “It’s a real shame, the car itself was beautiful.” …

Troubles with suppliers and regulatory requirements added months to the Karma’s release. Its engineers expressed concerns that the software that ran the Karma’s display screens and phone connections wasn’t ready, people familiar with the situation say. Still, the Karma went out to customers. The company said that its problems were expected of any new model. …

Fisker stopped production of the Karma at a factory in Finland in July 2012 in an attempt to negotiate a cost-saving contract. The following month, Fisker recalled its cars for a second time to fix a cooling system flaw that was linked to battery fires.

It hasn’t built a car since.

American tax dollars at work. I would strongly recommend that after the Obama Administration leaves office none of its members become stockbrokers.

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An Interesting Perspective On America’s Economic Future

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about the role of hydrocarbons in the American economy in the future.

The article states:

Since becoming president, Mr. Obama has treated hydrocarbon production like an infectious disease to be eradicated. His administration had to commission a study to learn, as announced last week, that allowing American companies to export liquefied natural gas would be beneficial to the U.S. economy. Still, the Department of Energy says it can’t make “final determinations” on export applications until it hears from those who object. So much for property rights.

America currently has the fastest rate of growth in production of oil and gas in the world. This is happening at a time when the demand for energy in America is slowing.  However, the worldwide demand for energy is increasing, creating a market for American energy exports.

The article goes on to describe energy developments in America, Canada, and Mexico:

Three democracies, sitting on vast resources, each have their own comparative advantages to offer an integrated continental market that could lead the world. Greater North American energy supplies imply millions of new jobs, higher tax revenues, plentiful energy for continental manufacturing and the end of reliance on hostile producers like Venezuela. But to reach optimum potential, investors need the freedom to explore, exploit and refine hydrocarbons and move output at every stage of production throughout the continent. In other words, governments need to get out of the way.

We can find our way out of the economic mess we are currently in–we just need to use the resources we have.

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One Possible Reason The Presidential Race Is Still Close

Hot Air posted an article yesterday stating that 58 percent of registered voters were unfamiliar with Solyndra.

The article reports:

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 58 percent of registered voters are unaware or unsure of the company, which went bankrupt in 2011 after receiving an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009 to manufacture advanced solar panels.

Twenty-five percent of respondents had a negative view of Solyndra, 15 percent were neutral and just 2 percent held a positive view on the subect, according to the survey conducted in late September. …

The company’s collapse in late August of 2011, which put more than 1,000 people out of work, was an embarrassment for the White House. Obama had personally visited Solyndra in 2010 to cast it as an example of the emerging green economy.

Attempts to make green energy practical have cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Someone needs to launch an advertising campaign explaining how many government-financed companies related to green energy have been forced to lay off workers or have gone bankrupt. Meanwhile, it would help the Romney campaign to make sure everyone was aware of how much money has been wasted on Solyndra and other green energy companies.

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You Always Get In Trouble When You Try To Alter Things After The Fact

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Yesterday National Review Online reported that a number of press releases previously released by the Department of Energy have been retroactively changed in order to remove the name of a solar company that may fail.

CNBC reports:

The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar company Solyndra.

Both were changed to remove the name of a company that has received negative press attention in recent days, SunPower, and replace it with the name of another company, NRG Energy.

In the April case, the Department of Energy loan programs office announced in a press release on April 12 “conditional commitment” to a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, which it said was “sponsored by SunPower Corporation.”

But that release was later changed on one website to say the project was “sponsored by NRG Energy.” The date on the release remained “April 12, 2011.”

National Review Reports:

Naturally, the DOE blames ‘outside contractors,’ who “inadvertently” altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.

The article at National Review goes on to look at the financial situation of SunPower. The company is deeply in debt and has stated that it will lower its earnings projections for 2011. Meanwhile, the total value of company’s stock dropped from an all-time high of $13 billion to $800 million. Unfortunately, the company has a debt of $820 million. This does not bode will for the future of the company.

The problem here is that old press releases were altered in a way that looks questionable. Unfortunately that seems to be part of the lack of transparency and behind the scenes manipulation that seems to be inherent in this administration.

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Follow The Money On Solar Energy

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Yesterday the Associated Press reported that the Energy Department has approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona. These loans were approved under the same program that granted the Solyndra loans–a program that is scheduled to expire on September 30.

The article reports:

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department has completed a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for a 110 megawatt solar tower on federal land near Tonopah, Nev., and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150 megawatt solar plant near Phoenix.

 Fox News reports:

The Obama Administration is giving $737 million to a Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve. PCG is an investment partner with SolarReserve. Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law happens to be the number two man at PCG.

 It gets worse. The Washington Examiner reports:

Despite the Solyndra failure, the Department of Energy continues to provide loan guarantees to solar companies, today giving Tonopah Solar a $737 million loan guarantee for a project in Nevada. Mitchell (Steve Mitchell) serves as a “board participant” for Solar Reserve, the parent company to Tonopah Solar, and his Solar Reserve biography says that he “currently sits on the Boards of Directors of . . . Solyndra” and several other companies. Argonaut, Mitchell’s primary employer, owns 3% of Solar Reserve, according to reports.

The Mitchell connection to Solar Reserve brings George Kaiser into the spotlight with respect to this latest loan guarantee. Kaiser owns Argonaut and thus invested in both Solyndra and Solar Reserve. He also bundled over $50,000 into President Obama’s campaign.

I really hate the idea of another Congressional investigation, but I think we need one on the money the government is giving to ‘green energy’ and who has received the money.

The money given out this week was the last of the money from a renewable energy loan program approved under the 2009 economic stimulus. It seems to me that the money would have been better spent in other areas. This really does look like ‘pay to play’ on the part of the Obama administration.

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