Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Department of Energy

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texas

During a presidential debate in 2011, Rick Perry made an unforced error when he tried to explain three government agencies he would eliminate. While gesturing to Ron Paul, the Texas Governor stumbled saying, “It’s three agencies of government, when I get there that are gone, commerce, education, and the . . . umm . . . what’s the third one there, let’s see.”

The Perrynator later explained, “It was Energy!”

Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Showing that the Presidential Transition Team has a sense of humor, multiple sources are telling the media that Rick Perry has been picked to head the Department of Energy.

While Perry may be a good pick for the DOE’s responsibility in regulating domestic energy production – specifically the regulation-loving Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), voters may not be comfortable handing Perry the keys to the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

The Department of Energy does what it implies, regulating energy, but is also responsible for nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste and for some reason, the largest body of research in genomics.

Perry an Eagle Scout who graduated Texas A&M with a bachelors in Animal Science, went on to become a C-130 pilot in the Air Force.

After finishing his service in 1977, he went home to Texas to farm cotton with his father.

When the future governor entered politics in 1984, he was elected to the Texas statehouse . . . as a democrat, voting for a $5.7 BILLION tax increase.

By 1989, Perry switched parties and starting hanging out with Karl “turdblossom” Rove who went on to be his campaign manager.

As governor, despite signing Grover Norquist’s pledge to oppose tax increases, Perry proposed and approved several tax increases and debt measures.

Within a 10-year span under Perry’s leadership, Texas’ debt ballooned from $13 billion to $38 billion . . . yes, he nearly tripled the state’s debt.

So while Kellyanne Conway and the rest of Trump’s transition team may find it amusing to tap Perry for this top position, taxpayers may have to pay the price for a bad joke.

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car program

A scandal-plagued “green” auto program that’s fleeced American taxpayers out of huge sums just got another $58 million from the Obama administration to support the development of advanced technology vehicles that meet higher efficiency standards.

The experimental program is known as Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and it’s one of the president’s many disastrous green-energy investments. The public funds are funneled through the Department of Energy (DOE), which is handing out cash like candy on Halloween. In all, the administration has set aside an astounding $25 billion for the cause and a chunk of it has already been lost on initiatives that have failed miserably.

Among them is fly-by-night electric car company called Fisker Automotive that shut down after getting an eye-popping $193 million from the government. The Obama DOE originally pledged $529 million for the California startup but the cash finally stopped flowing when Fisker laid off three quarters of its employees and announced it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Judicial Watch has an ongoing investigation into the Fisker scandal and has sued the DOE for records detailing the government “loan” that will obviously never be repaid because the company went under. The Obama administration touted it as a great investment in a company that would create thousands of jobs in a region hit hard by unemployment. The administration also promised Fisker would develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could run up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. None of this ever came close to materializing and instead taxpayers got stuck with the huge loss of this failed experiment.

Soon after Fisker’s collapse another startup called Vehicle Production Group (VPG) went under after losing $50 million in taxpayer funds. VPG was supposed to create special vans for the disabled that run on compressed natural gas. Here’s how the Obama administration justified funding this experiment with public dollars: “This project invests in a socially and environmentally responsible product that will create new jobs, promote the use of alternative fuels, and help the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the automotive industry.” The DOE eventually took the page down, but JW got the quote straight from the agency’s announcement touting VPG, which turned out to be yet another costly failure for taxpayers.

This hasn’t stopped the administration from pouring big bucks into these dubious green energy initiatives. In announcing the $58 million ATVM allocation this month, the DOE has the audacity to claim that the controversial program has enjoyed great “successes.” The agency press release says the funding will solicit projects across vehicle technologies like energy storage, electric drive systems, materials, fuels and lubricants and advanced combustion.

The technologies will help save American consumers money and decrease carbon emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of conventional cars and trucks, according to the agency. It will also support the administration’s goal to make electric vehicles as affordable as gas-powered vehicles by 2022. “These successful investments in next-generation vehicle technologies are a clear example of the impact innovation can have on industry and consumers,” said DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

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