Sunday, March 09, 2014

ObamaCar Replacement Batteries Cost $34,000 According to GM Dealers

Here’s the good news about the ObamaCar known as the Chevy Volt: There haven’t been any reported fires connected with the ObamaCar since the company recalled 8,000 of the electric vehicles—that’s one in six vehicles.

That is no fires, if you don’t count the people who’ve been “fired” from the Volt production line as sales continue to make Obama’s “one million” electric car promise just another broken dream in a crooked scheme.

Obama promised that by the time he finished as president, he’d put a million electric cars on the road.

Thankfully, he won’t quite make it.  No telling how much it would cost to put a million on the road after calculating the costs of putting 60,000 on the road.

So far the GM has manufactured only about 62,000 cars, if you count sales of the European model the Ampera.

“Sales of the Volt meanwhile fell 25.6 percent from February 2013 to 1,210 units last month,” says the GM Authority blog. “And while the Volt still holds on to the overall sales lead over the Leaf, Volt sales appear to be slowing in 2014. In January, Chevrolet moved 918 units of the Volt, down from 1,140 in January 2013 and 2,392 in December 2013.”

And despite slashing the price by $5,000, 2013 saw fewer Volt sales than 2012.

“The Volt saw a boost upwards from a November slump and sold 2,392 units in December,” says AutoblogGreen. “That puts the plug-in hybrid's annual total at 23,094, just down from the 23,461 sold in 2012.”

If Ralph Nader contended that the Corvair was “unsafe at any speed,” then I contend that the ObamaCar demand has reached it’s apex and is “unwanted at any price.”

That might be because no one can actually tell buyers what it might cost to replace the batteries in the car.

Continues the AutoblogGreen:

We called up Keyes Chevrolet in Los Angeles and were quoted a broad price range of between $3,400 and $34,000 to replace a "drive motor replacement battery" in a 2012 Volt. Tellingly, perhaps, the dealer we spoke with was not sure what replacing a 'drive motor replacement battery' (and the 'Grade B' version, at that) entails, and told us we'd have to bring a Volt in to see what's wrong with the pack to get a real estimate. We got the same confusion and numbers to replace the battery from Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We asked GM to clarify what this $34,000 charge includes, but that information was not forthcoming.

GM’s hilarious official response to this was a non denial denial: "The high end of what you provided is not consistent with what we would expect the customer to pay," says Kevin Kelly, manager of electrification technology communications for General Motors.

And that’s the ObamaCar problem.

GM actually has manager responsible for “electrification technology communications”?

So THAT’s where the $11 billion…and more… went in the auto bailout that taxpayers got stuck for.

Divide by two, carry the one and… for only $215,696 per battery taxpayers could provide FREE batteries to every Chevy Volt owner.

That is if they could rely on a plant to manufacture the things.   Because here’s where it gets really silly.

GM expected sales of the Chevy Volt to be so robust that they got the government to “invest” $150 million in a third party manufacturing plant owned by Korean company LG Chem that can produce 50,000 to 600,000 batteries per year.

For a car that’s selling only 25,000 per year? And supposedly has batteries that last 8 years or 100,000 miles?

And still they can’t quite nail down how much it will cost to replace the batteries in the Chevy Volt.

And that’s the great telltale: We know, despite denials from the White House and GM, that the Chevy Volt really is an ObamaCarm designed by the softest minds in the federal hierarchy.

And its problem isn’t its power source.  No.  Its problem is the same that all great, signature ObamaProducts have.  Its problem is simple math.  It doesn’t add up.


Has the EPA lost its mind?

Here’s a bright idea. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a new regulation requiring retrofitting or that some new technology be used by energy providers, perhaps they should double-check to see if the technology actually exists yet.

That is the subject of an amendment to H.R. 3826 by Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) that would ensure that EPA standards for all types of new power plants are achievable using existing technology.

The bill itself, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) passed the House by a vote 229-183 on March 6.

Smith all but called carbon sequestration mandates fictitious in his statement: “By requiring carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that doesn’t even exist, the EPA’s new power plant proposal effectively bans new coal power. There is no coal power plant anywhere in the world that can meet the EPA’s radical proposal.”

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is already required to set standards using the “best system of emission reduction” with technology that has been “adequately demonstrated.”

The Smith bill would reinforce that aspect of the law and guarantee that the agency is not setting an impossible standard, thus killing the electrical grid when no provider could meet the new requirements.

Coal as a percent of the net electricity generation has dropped from 49 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in 2012, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA). For now, this is being partially offset by increases in natural gas.

But, that actually represents a smaller piece of a smaller pie, EIA data shows. While natural gas has increased electricity production by 330 billion kilowatthours (kWh) to 1.132 trillion kWh a year in 2012, coal production has dropped by 498 billion kWh to 1.5 trillion kWh.

Largely as a result of the coal plant closures, overall electricity generation in the U.S. has dropped from 4.005 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2007 to 3.89 trillion kWh in 2012 meanwhile end use has only decreased from 3.89 trillion kWh in to just 3.832 trillion kWh.

The difference between electricity generation and end use, or implied spare capacity, has dropped from 115 billion kWh to 58 billion kWh from 2007 to 2012.

That’s a decrease of almost 50 percent — leading to worries that very soon the ability to keep up with demand could be compromised and brownouts could be on the horizon.

But by requiring that providers use technology that does not even exist as a prerequisite to selling electricity, the outcome could be devastating, with more than one third of the supply at risk.

To paraphrase the words of the immortal Harold Ramis, we could wind up with a grid that is substandard and completely inadequate for our power needs.

Considering the practical, potential impact of the new EPA regulation, one has to wonder if that isn’t precisely what the agency has had in mind all along.


EPA’s Latest Ban Has Chilling Consequences For Many Rural People

Greenies are passionate about "renewable" resources  -- except for practical ones like wood and hydro power

It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore.  The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.

While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe.  Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context,EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.

The impacts of EPA’s ruling will affect many families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey statistics, 2.4 million American housing units (12 percent of all homes) burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7 percent that depended upon fuel oil.

Local governments in some states have gone even further  than EPA, not only banning the sale of noncompliant stoves, but even their use as fireplaces. As a result, owners face fines for infractions. Puget Sound, Washington is one such location.   Montréal, Canada proposes to eliminate all fireplaces within its city limits.


Another people hater

She doesn't like food very much either  -- by the look of her.  An interview with The Guardian and her below

Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of The Sixth Extinction, which argues that a catastrophe that may be as significant as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs is under way around us. But whereas the previous five mass extinctions were caused by natural phenomena, Kolbert shows us that this one is manmade. One third of all reef-building corals, a third of all freshwater molluscs, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds, says Kolbert, "are heading towards oblivion".

When did you first hear the phrase the Sixth Extinction, and how did it become the subject of your book?

Not that long ago. I read a paper in the National Academy of Sciences that set me down this whole road. That came out in 2008 and it was called Are We In the Midst of The Sixth Extinction? That was sort of the beginning of this whole project. Then I wrote a piece for the New Yorker called "The Sixth Extinction?" , and it involved amphibian-hunting in Panama. I knew I hadn't scratched the surface, that there was a book there.

Your previous writing on climate change met with scepticism. Do you think this broader approach might have a more engaged reception?

Climate change, especially in the US, has been extraordinarily politicised, and that is a real barrier to getting people to even think about the issue. The other issues in the book, which are all contributing to this mass extinction – invasive species and ocean acidification – have not been politicised. But acidification is completely the same phenomenon as global warming. It's all about carbon emissions. Unfortunately the public discourse has really taken leave of the science and just exists in its own realm.

The irony of the previous catastrophes is that we wouldn't be here without them…

Yes, there's a consensus that the dinosaurs were doing just fine 66m years ago and presumably could have done fine for another 66m years, had their way of life not been up-ended by an asteroid impact. Life on this planet is contingent. There's no grand plan for it. We are also contingent. Yet although we are absolutely part of this long history, we turn out to be extremely unusual. And what we're doing is quite possibly unprecedented.

Reading your book, one wonders if it might not be good for the rest of the planet if we died out?

A few species would be worse off if we weren't here but probably most would be better off. That's sounds like a radical or misanthropic thing to say but I think it's evidently true.

It seems that from the moment we arrived we've been busy wiping out species.

There is incontrovertible evidence that when people reached Australia, 50,000 years ago, they precipitated the extinction of many species. Giant marsupials, giant tortoises, a huge bird – all were gone within a couple of thousand years of people arriving.

Those "people" arriving were Aborigines  -- one of those wonderful primitive people who lived in harmony with nature!


How Many Jobs Are Threatened by the EPA in YOUR District?

The Obama Administration is trying to regulate Americans’ livelihoods away. Will Congress do anything to stop it?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing regulation of “greenhouse gases”—something even its own officials have admitted would have no noticeable impact on the climate.  New Heritage research shows the devastating impact it would have, however, on American manufacturing jobs.

EPA regulation has been dubbed the “war on coal,” but Heritage’s Nicolas Loris and Filip Jolevski report that “the casualties will extend well beyond the coal industry, hurting families and businesses and taking a significant toll on American manufacturing across the nation.”

Just what would happen if these regulations went forward? Jolevski and Loris, the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, found that by the end of 2023 (emphasis added):

"nearly 600,000 jobs will be lost, a family of four’s income will drop by $1,200 per year, and aggregate gross domestic product decreases by $2.23 trillion"

And they broke down those numbers on the local level. You can actually see just how many manufacturing jobs would vanish in your own state and congressional district. A few notable points:

Average of more than 770 jobs losses per congressional district
Districts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois hit especially hard

19 out of the top 20 worse off congressional districts located in the Midwest

As if that weren’t enough, this extends beyond local jobs. The negative effects on manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries would damage America’s competitiveness in the world, in addition to hurting those at home.

Squeezing major energy sources like coal would drive up energy prices—and that hits poor Americans the hardest. They are already spending a higher proportion of their income on running their households.

The House is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would tie greenhouse gas regulations to standards on economic damage vs. environmental benefits. But as Loris and Jolevski said, “Congress should stop the EPA and all other federal agencies from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Obama Administration is already going around Congress to accomplish many parts of its agenda. Members of Congress shouldn’t let bureaucrats bypass them to kill jobs.


Australia's Great Barrier Reef: Hoagy is squawking  again

Disaster looming, says the director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, writing for  But to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, "But he WOULD say that, wouldn't he?"

I have had a look at Hoagy's "report" and the evidence he musters for bad things happening is mostly quotations from his own writings and the the writings of his  fellow Warmists.  Andrew Bolt points out that other reef scientists say the reef is doing fine and bounces back swiftly from setbacks.

Hoagy's own research showed a resilient reef  a few years ago and Hoagy retreated into embarrassed silence for a while but the embarrassment seems to have faded. Maybe he needed to do a screech to hang on to his job.

But a point that nobody can deny is that the reef is most luxuriant in the WARMEST part of its range e.g. the Torres Strait.  The reef LIKES warmth

The Great Barrier Reef will suffer “irreversible” damage by 2030 unless radical action is taken to lower carbon emissions, a stark new report has warned.

Unless temperatures are kept below the internationally agreed limit of 2C warming on pre-industrial levels, the reef will cease to be a coral-dominated ecosystem, the report warns.

Coral bleaching, which occurs when water becomes too warm and coral’s energy source is decimated, is now a “serious threat” to the reef, having not been documented in the region prior to 1979.

The increase in carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere, 90% of which is absorbed by the oceans, has already caused a 30% rise in the hydrogen ions that cause ocean acidification. This process hinders the ability of corals to produce the skeletal building blocks of reefs.

Co-author Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, told Guardian Australia that current climate trends signal “game over” for the Great Barrier Reef.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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