Thursday, September 01, 2022

California goes haywire! Electric car owners are told NOT to charge their vehicles because of heatwave - just days after announcing 2035 ban on gas cars

Californians are being advised not to charge their electric cars during certain hours as a 90-degree heatwave rolls in.

The move comes just weeks after the California Air Resources Board voted to ban gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has called for residents across the state to 'reduce' energy usage between 4 and 9pm 'when the system is the most stressed because demand for electricity remains high.'

Starting on Wednesday and running until Tuesday, residents are being asked to not charge their electric vehicles between those hours, set their thermostats at 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances, and turn off unnecessary lights.

'Lowering electricity use during that time will ease [the] strain on the system, and prevent more drastic measures, including rotating power outages,' the bulletin said.

California has officially become the first in the world to enforce a ban on the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035, following a public hearing on Thursday that ended with the California Air Resources Board voting to approve the policy.

Automakers are now required to reduce the number of gas guzzlers they sell in order to reach the first quota of the plan that mandates 35 percent of new cars, SUVs and small pickups sold in California by 2026 be zero-emission vehicles.

The quota increases every two years, with 51 percent by 2028, 68 percent by 2030 and then 100 percent of all new vehicles sold should be battery-powered five years later - 20 percent of those sold can be hybrid plug-ins.

The new policy may be a step in the right direction to combating emissions, but officials have several obstacles to make sure each of the targets are met.

One such hurdle is installing enough charging stations across the state.

Although California has the most in the nation, it will need 2.1 million by 2030 to meet the demand of the new massive fleet of electric vehicles.

More than 73,000 public and shared chargers have been installed to date, with an additional 123,000 planned by 2025.

These numbers fall short of the state's goal of 250,000 chargers by 54,000 installations.

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, said the mandate would be 'extremely challenging' for automakers to meet.

'Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage,' Bozzella said in a statement.

'These are complex, intertwined and global issues.'

In addition, officials have not mentioned how they plan on enhancing the power grid to deal with the onslaught of more electric vehicles, nor how it will deal with an overwhelmed power grid during heatwaves in the future because of it.

The CA ISO told that the primary stress on the power grid in the summer is air conditioners, but said it was too soon to know the last effects more electric vehicles will have on the power grid as driver switch over.

'It’s too soon to tell what the impacts of the 2035 ban will be, but for now, we are asking EV owners to avoid charging during 4-9 pm on Flex Alert days, if possible,' CA ISO Public Information Officer Anna Gonzalez told on Wednesday.


Republicans are cracking down on ESG

The politicisation of green investing remains a “peculiarly American” culture war, local commentators say, but there are signs the debate is already emerging in Australia.

Texas is cracking down on investment funds and companies it considers to be boycotting energy companies. The giant US state, which has a population larger than Australia’s, is implementing a 2021 law that could require state-based pension funds to pull investments from companies it considers hostile to the energy sector.

Texas comptroller Glenn Hegar, a Republican, last week released a list of 10 companies and 348 investment funds deemed to have boycotted energy companies, including heavy-hitter US investor, BlackRock.

Those companies and investors on the comptroller’s blacklist list are subject to divestment provisions brought into law in 2021, which forbid state-run and owned entities, including pension funds, from doing business with those that have fallen foul of the law.

The comptroller is basically the chief financial officer for Texas and, by extension, its oil sector, which produces almost 43 per cent of the US’s crude oil supplies, making it the biggest oil-producing state.

For the likes of investment giants BlackRock and Vanguard, both named on the comptroller’s list, it’s a case of, “Houston, we have a problem”.

ESG ‘opaque and perverse’

BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, UBS and Schroders also made the 10 financial companies, joined by Danske Bank, Nordea Bank, Swedbank, Svenska Handelsbanken and Jupiter Fund Management.

Announcing the list, Hegar accused the environmental, social and governance movement of producing an “opaque and perverse system”, which has meant some financial companies no longer make decisions in clients’ and shareholders’ best interests.

Instead, they “use their financial clout to push a social and political agenda shrouded in secrecy”, he says.

“Our review focused on the boycott of energy companies, rather than a review of the entire ESG movement.

“This research uncovered a systemic lack of transparency that should concern every American regardless of political persuasion, especially the use of doublespeak by some financial institutions as they engage in anti-oil and gas rhetoric publicly, yet present a much different story behind closed doors.

“This list represents our initial effort to shine a light on entities that are engaging in these practices and create some clarity for Texans whose tax dollars may be working to directly undermine our state’s economic health.”

Several companies on the list have rejected the comptroller’s list, claiming they are not boycotting the energy sector.


Australians, Americans ‘most divided over climate change’

Australians and Americans are more divided over the push to fight climate change than voters in any other developed nation, according to a new Pew Research survey which finds fear of climate change nevertheless tops a list of voter concerns around the world.

The gap between the share of “right” and “left” leaning voters, respectively, who said climate change was a “major threat” was highest in the US, followed by Australia, whose “left-leaning” voters were also more concerned about climate change than those anywhere else.

“In Australia, 91 per cent of those who place themselves on the left side of the political spectrum say climate change is a major threat, compared with only 47 per cent among those on the right,” Pew said, a 44 per centage point gap that turned out to be double that of the UK, and quadruple the gap in France.

In the US, 22 per cent of right leaning voters thought climate change was a major threat, compared to 85 per cent for those inclined to vote Democrat.

Israelis cared the least, overall, given only 52 per cent of those who voted left thought climate change was a major threat, and 37 per cent of those on the right.

“Despite the dire concerns about climate change in Europe, concerns are relatively muted in the US, as they have been for years,” the survey, published on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) in Washington, found.

Women and younger voters were consistently more likely to express concern about climate change across countries, the survey of over 24,500 adults in 19 nations, also revealed.

“In Australia, 85 per cent of those ages 18 to 29 say that climate change is a major threat, compared to 63 per cent of those 50 and older,” the survey, conducted from February to June this year, as a soaring summer heatwave and record energy prices engulfed Europe, concluded.

Pew asked respondents to compare five potential threats: climate change, cyber-attacks, the spread of online false information, the prospect of a recession, and the spread of infectious diseases.

A median of 75 per cent of respondents across the 19 nations said climate change was the biggest threat, followed by the spread of mis and disinformation.

A little over 60 per cent said the threat of disease was a major threat, the lowest among the five, and substantially lower than in 2020, when Covid-19 emerged as a global pandemic.

“Concerns about cyber-attacks, possibly heightened by the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and prominent instances of hacking across the world, are at all-time highs,” the authors said.


Questions for the cult of climate hypocrisy

Ron Pike

In my recent article When truth is flummoxed by sophistry, hopefully I rationally and successfully established that not only is Climate Change a fraud, but that present government policy to fight Climate Change has failed.

As I highlight in that article, there is no dispute that CO2 concentrations have risen from around 280 parts per million to a present concentration of around four hundred parts per million in the last thirty years or so.

There is equally no dispute that this increase in CO2 has been advantageous, not prejudicial, to life on earth.

It is widely agreed that our planet is ‘greener’ and more productive than previously. Not only that, dreaded apocalyptic heating has not occurred despite these increases in CO2 concentrations.

So why, dear leaders, are you pursuing policy that cannot make any difference to a hyped problem that does not exist?

Why are you touting the obvious nonsense that ‘renewable energy’ sources can supply our power needs, and then extending the lie by claiming that this so-called ‘renewable power’ will be cheaper than our previous power sources? Do you expect those of us who are impacted by your productivity-killing efforts to applaud this policy madness?

Why are our leaders (in name only) insisting that the main source of their ‘renewable power’ should be the sun when it falls dark for around thirteen hours per day?

Where, dear leaders, do we get our power from when the sun does not shine? Could it be from our old coal-fired power stations? If so, how do you justify using solar at all? Why not just let the coal-fired power stations do what they have done so effectively for over one hundred and twenty years and produce cheap power twenty-four hours per day?

In summary, if the production of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is doing no harm to our planet, and given that most other countries are presently increasing CO2 emissions by building new coal-fired power plants (many using Australian coal), why are we destroying our previous advantage of abundant and cheap power? Why are you making it difficult for our businesses to compete with other nations who are using cheap power and gas, often supplied from Australia.

Surly, dear leaders, this is hypocrisy writ large… You are destroying Australian jobs, not creating them.

It is time for our leaders to answer these questions.

Why did we vote for you in the first place?

Why are you not acting in the interests of the Australian people?

Why can’t you accept truth and act accordingly?

Why should the people accept anything you have to say on this subject?

Why can’t you acknowledge that ‘privatisation’ of power production and distribution was not in the interests of the Australian people? It only benefited the numerous monopolies created; all now gouging Australian consumers.

Why indeed… Because every day you perpetrate more questions, but answers are nowhere to be found.




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