sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Chevrolet VOLT, Nuclear Energy & Harry Reid

I am a vocal critic of the Chevrolet Volt (right), developed at vast taxpayer cost. And I'm not going on a complete anti-Volt rant here, much as you may have expected me to.

The Volt doesn't burn fossil fuels, but many of the energy sources that are drawn on to generate the electric power that run the volt do (coal, gas and petro-based combustion).  I don't see how buying a Volt for the absurd price of $42K will do much to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. They have a short driving range, take a long time to recharge and deliver modest performance.
Actually the Volt is a poor example of an electric car as of its 350 mile range only about 40 miles would be using stored electricity that came from the grid while the balance would be generated from a gasoline engine. So in a straight run most of its power would come using polluting refineries and that use electricity from polluting coal or other fossil fuels in addition to its exhaust emissions. The Volt cannot recharge its batteries using its gasoline engine.
The manufacturer of the Volt says that you can avoid paying high gas prices if you buy a Volt (for $42K), but you still have to plug it in all the time and pay for the electricity that it draws...And the batteries that are used to store the charge become TOXIC WASTE once they have been spent.

Building nuclear power plants will reduce America's need for foreign oil. We're not building them because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn't want spent nuclear materials stored in Nevada. Reid has said that he would continue to work to block completion of the project, and is quoted as having said: "Yucca Mountain is dead. It'll never happen." 
(Lando, Ben (December 4, 2006). "Analysis: Reid's Yucca and nuke waste plan". United Press International. Archived from the original on 2008-05-18)

The Yucca Mountain Repository is the United States' designated deep geological repository storage facility for spent nuclear reactor fuel and other radioactive waste. It is located between the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin Deserts in the U.S. State of Nevada. Although the location has been contested by environmentalists and residents; after characterization, review, and evaluation by thousands of scientists it was approved in 2002 by the United States Congress. In 2009 the Obama Administration stated that the site was no longer an option and proposed to eliminate all funding in the 2009 United States federal budget

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), a small, angry, aging politician

The government spent tens of billions of dollars to build it and now Yucca Mountain sits empty. No additional nuclear power plants will be built until we can safely store the spent fuel. Let's solve the clean power problems before we sink taxpayer funds into boondoggles like the Volt.


13 comments:

  1. I can think of a nuclear solution for Harry.

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  2. Looks like the Dems have had a few "defunding" projects of their own.

    I say let's defund THEM and their pet projects. Payback's hell.

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  3. The Volt allows rich liberals to say, "See! See what a liberal environmentalist I am." They will then say, "Put that back in the garage and get the Lincoln. We're going to a football game."

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  4. The Volt is niche market driven by GM's desire to stay competitive with Toyota. I like the concept of an electric car. I'd have one if I could plug it into my rooftop generated power source, but that isn't going to happen soon. Electric motors have more torque than gasoline and so they could be fun to drive etc.

    I have a diesel which is a much more practical way to reduce hydrocarbon consumption. Of course the state of CA hates diesels too. I've been researching the so-called clean diesels e.g. Adblue technology that M-B is rolling out. The catalysts inject ammonia into the exhaust stream to convert NOx into nitrogen and water. Guess where ammonia comes from? Haber process and the hydrogen comes from natural gas which is still a hydrocarbon. I will blog about this soon.

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  5. The Volt is a disaster. 7k from taxpayers for each one some moron buys. Many of them will no doubt be sold to government agencies, costing us the whole price tag plus the maintenance costs.

    The last I knew the battery for the thing costs 8k, so if you actually saved anything on gas, between the gas you did buy plus the recharging costs, say Goombye when you have to replace the battery. And who knows what other maintenance costs there will be.
    Total disaster.

    We should be using breeder reactors in our nuke plants because they consume their fuel and there is not waste. We don't because the fuel becomes weapons grade halfway through the process. Like Iran might come over and try to steal the fuel out of a running reactor, and get it back to Iran.... Gee, I'm thinking they'll just make their own. Any country that uses currencies more complex than bananas can have a nuke. No one would stop them.

    Maybe we should put the "Progressives" on these problems needing some progress.

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  6. ChickenLit - The Honda and Toyota contributions are far more commonsense approaches to the problem, and as The_Kid pointed out, they don't cost the taxpayers $7K a piece.

    Opus #6 - Defund-Defund-Defund

    Nickie - Oh, Yeah!

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  7. WoFat - I don't think that many liberals or progressives will buy one. They don't have much curb appeal (look like an Old Chevy Cavalier - which had a $15K price tag), cost $42K, and only go 40 miles before the gasoline engine (that doesn't charge the batteries) switches on.

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  8. I find the whole project on the electric car and its government subsidy re-volt-ing. I wonder how many greenies consider just how polluting the Volt truly is.

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  9. With my tinfoil hat firmly in place

    I think the promotion of the electric car by Govt is yet another way of keeping the serfs and peons in one place along with higher air taxes, increased road taxes, rail and bus fares through the roof.

    As noted in this article The Madness of Green in the 1830's you could travel by stagecoach from London to Edinburgh in 2 days. Today by electric car, it took 4.

    Who would bother, who didn't have to?

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  10. The electric car is scam the rivals central banking. As are many leftist environmental solutions.

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  11. Electric cars may some day have reached a point where they make sense. There will be non-toxic batteries or perhaps another storage device that is in inexpensive. Today you either drive a golf cart from here to there or you drive an expensive "electric car" with a gasoline engine that carries the load most of the way.

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  12. I believe in the electric car - not this one, not this way. If the government has to subsidize it - it aint worth it. I have been saying since the year 2000, should't we have flying cars by now? All the movies in the '80s said so!

    Oh, and they can take those spent fuel rods and shove them up...

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  13. Just found your blog. I have a slightly (not much) different opinion of the Volt. I don't own one and won't buy one. It's not practical. I typically drive more miles than it will run on electricity and completely agree with your point, electricity (mostly) comes from the same fuels it's trying to eliminate.

    Here's where I differ. I think our government needs to do something to encourage development of alternatives. In order to be competitive with other countries (e.g. China), we need alternatives. Oil & coal prices will increase dramatically as China modernizes, we need alternative transportation that is financially efficient.

    Almost everything you use in a given day came by way of truck. Low transportation costs over the last few years have kept prices low. If these costs go up, Americans will spend more of their money on transportation.

    How the government should actually encourage the innovation is a question I have not evaluated yet. Maybe when I win the presidency in 2014....

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