Energy Bullet Points: Government Mandates & Car Consumers Are at Loggerheads; A Boxer Tribute; And Much, Much More

by William Yeatman on January 14, 2015

in Blog


  • In a recent post, I lamented the fact that the auto industry is basing its investment decisions on government mandates rather than consumer preference. We find more evidence of the same in today’s Financial Times. In a story ($) on GM’s new electric car, the Chevy Bolt, Sarah Gordon reports:

GM’s investment in the market also raises questions about why U.S. carmakers continue to devote substantial shares of their product development budgets to a vehicle class that accounts for a tiny share of sales…The reality for GM and other carmakers is that, as they face strict new fuel economy standards that provide incentives for the development of electric vehicles, they have little choice but to produce them.

  • And yet, in contrast to the bullet point above, consumers continue to prefer gas guzzlers, especially during the recent period of ultra-forgiving gas prices. Indeed, President Obama last week admonished Americans to not buy fuel inefficient cars and trucks, despite sub $2 gas in much of the country. Evidently, they’re ignoring him.
  • Also last week, Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she won’t seek reelection. Ironically, this is a major loss for proponents of sane energy policy. Doubtless she is a wonderful person, but thanks to her inept leadership, the only climate cap-and-trade to ever pass a house of Congress—the American Clean Energy and Security Act—died a quick death in the Senate. She could be counted on to unintentionally inhibit bad policy. Without further ado, I present my favorite two Boxer-focused posts, as a tribute.

1. “Boxer on Cspan: Unemployment Is Great for the Environment,” 5 October 2009

2. “S. 482: A Skeptical Review of Boxer’s Tirade” 31 March 2011

  • “A “revolving door” between US regulators and banks emphatically exists,” reports ($) today’s Financial Times’s Companies and Markets section ($), regarding a new Federal Reserve report. Unfortunately, the same can also be said for green energy executives and green energy loan programs. Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay yesterday reported that

“Michael Whalen, who will serve as Ex-Im’s vice president of structured finance…was previously an executive of SolarReserve, which received millions in taxpayer financing after investors with deep ties to the Obama White House backed the company.

Incredibly, Whalen’s former company has a business plan that is based on exporting solar power technology. And the slush fund known as the Ex-Im bank has moved into green energy subsidies since President Obama took office. Sounds like a perfect  match (sigh).

  • Last Friday, InsideEPA’s Bridget DiCosmo reported ($) that President Obama might not veto a congressional action to block the EPA/US Army Corps of Engineers “clarification” of federal jurisdiction pursuant to the Clean Water Act, so that he might save his political capital to defend congressional attacks on his climate regulations.

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