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Electrify the Roads
Rasmussen Reports ^ | June 22, 2010 | Froma Harrop

Posted on 06/22/2010 5:18:29 PM PDT by upchuck

My magic wand is on the fritz, otherwise we'd have a big, new federal program to free America from its dependence on oil. Like other environmentalists, I'm sad that the calamity in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't spurred Washington to more vigorously promote America's exit from thiscurse.

The fault may lie with President Obama's timidity, a public scared by major new government programs or fossil-fuel interests flashing their campaign dough. Probably it's all three, but the bottom line is this: An all-out effort to unchain America from hydrocarbons is essential to national security, a healthy environment and economic prosperity in the 21st century. But it's not politically possible.

And so we must look at what's passable. Fortunately, there's one piece to the escape strategy that business leaders, military brass and the buying public all like -- and would create jobs. Most importantly, it has bipartisan support in Congress.

We speak of electric cars, specifically the "Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010." Sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the bill's goal is to electrify half of America's cars and trucks within 20 years. That, its backers say, would cut America's dependence on petroleum by a third. Similar legislation is before the House.

The Senate bill would name at least five communities to be modelsfor electric-vehicle transportation. They would build stations wheremotorists could recharge their cars' batteries. Residents would be offered a $10,000 tax credit to buy electric cars. And the federal government would put $1.5 billion into research for improving electric-car technology.

Electric cars don't appear to be a very hard sell to those who would buy them. The first all-electric model, the Nissan Leaf, will hit the U.S. market at the end of the year. (The batteries will be made in Smyrna, Tenn.) But you won't be able to just pick one up, because the year's production is already sold out. More than two-thirds of the 19,000 preorders are from the United States.

The Chevy Volt will reach showrooms around that time. Its battery range of 40 miles is considerably smaller than the Nissan Leaf's 100 miles, but the Volt has a small gasoline engine to keep the car going if a recharging station is not handy.

In any case, more than 75 percent of Americans commute 40 miles or less a day. That means most of them could plug in their Volts at the end of the day and drive off fully charged in the morning.

Being both an environmentalist and a fan of high automotive performance can be awkward. But car makers are learning to put zoom into their fuel-efficient models. The Ford Fusion Hybrid, for example, gets 41 miles-a-gallon in the city, but can pull away from a stoplight at a respectable pace. "Sustainable mobility solutions" need not be as boring as they sound.

What about the source of the electric power? Although an all-electric vehicle puts out zero emissions, that is probably not true of the plant that provides the electricity. While California has moved its mix of electricity sources toward clean, renewable energy, other parts of America are still highly dependent on dirty, coal-powered plants.

However, electric cars cut global warming pollution even where coal supplies the power, according to a study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. That's because cars plugged in overnight employ unused capacity in the current electric system.

So let the brawl over cap-and-trade proceed. Outside of the oil business, most everyone seems enthusiastic about accelerating a move toward electric cars. Nothing should stop Congress from revving up the process.

Right?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: barf
The target is large. The target is close. The target is not moving. The ammo is free.

I'm gonna duck outta the way and let y'all have at it :)

1 posted on 06/22/2010 5:18:30 PM PDT by upchuck
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To: upchuck

The stupid is strong in this one. LOL


2 posted on 06/22/2010 5:20:37 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: upchuck

She’s a well known ditz.


3 posted on 06/22/2010 5:20:50 PM PDT by rahbert (Our enemy has yet to reveal himself...)
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To: upchuck
Wow.

Q: Why'd the chicken cross the road?

A: It was fried-day.

I'd guess the writer is the one person who never stuck a 9-volt battery on their tongue when they were little...or never heard of rain.

4 posted on 06/22/2010 5:23:35 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: cripplecreek

Just patch the patched pot holes will ya!


5 posted on 06/22/2010 5:23:48 PM PDT by Dem Guard (Throw the trash out on November 2nd!)
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To: upchuck

Yeah..the target is large and it is us.

We send tens of billions a month to OPEC and lots of that comes back and kills our treasure through weapons, madrassas, mosques, etc.

We have a choice: Either become energy independent by drilling more OR electrify the nation - electric cars—sounds real good.


6 posted on 06/22/2010 5:25:09 PM PDT by eleni121
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To: cripplecreek
The stupid is strong in this one. LOL

What are you talking about?

Everyone knows that when you turn on a switch, electricity just happens. What could the downside be? (And it could even be used to melt the snow in the winter!)

ML/NJ

7 posted on 06/22/2010 5:25:09 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: upchuck
My magic wand is on the fritz, otherwise we'd have a big, new federal program

Sheesh - you don't have to read any farther than this, do you?

8 posted on 06/22/2010 5:25:16 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: cripplecreek
The stupid is strong in this one.

I thought it was satire at first, but no, this loon believes.
9 posted on 06/22/2010 5:26:40 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: Smokin' Joe

It ain’t just the 40 mile a day commute, it’s the occasional 300 mile trip to another city to visit the relatives or do some business.

Recharge time is a _key_ parameter.


10 posted on 06/22/2010 5:27:20 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: upchuck

They always make it sound like the Elektricity somehow
comes out of the thin air absolutely free.

Forty mile daily commute?

Where some kind of gated community?

Might as well have a golf cart or bicycle.

Socialistenviros, a plague on them.


11 posted on 06/22/2010 5:28:22 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

I’m with you. I read that first sentence and thought, this has got to be on FR.

Keep shooting y’all.


12 posted on 06/22/2010 5:28:47 PM PDT by upchuck (Don't let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go ~ Kitty Werthmann - Google her.)
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To: upchuck

I would buy one if they got over 100 miles a charge and if the charging for a week was less then the 50 buck I spend each week now for driving over 50 miles a day to work and shoping.


13 posted on 06/22/2010 5:29:20 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: ml/nj
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
14 posted on 06/22/2010 5:29:20 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: upchuck

FRee ammo? Oh man .. I better close my bunker hatch.


15 posted on 06/22/2010 5:29:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
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To: Nepeta
& the loons great-great- grandchildren will visit her grave in gasoline powered cars.

Albeit with High Pressure Stratified Charge Fuel Injection w/exhaust so clean you can drink the distilled water it produces.

16 posted on 06/22/2010 5:29:31 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: upchuck
That's because cars plugged in overnight employ unused capacity in the current electric system.

Which means that you won't really have to burn coal to produce the electricity to power the car. (Do I really need the sarc tag?)

17 posted on 06/22/2010 5:30:11 PM PDT by NurdlyPeon (Sarah Palin: Americas last, best hope for survival.)
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To: eleni121

There’s no logical reason to use anything other than petroleum products for transportation of goods and people. Nothing else is as efficient, plentiful, and cheap. The oil is there, and we have more than we could possibly ever use.

We should use it....anything else is just fanciful nonsense.


18 posted on 06/22/2010 5:30:12 PM PDT by rottndog (Be Prepared for what's coming AFTER America....)
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To: upchuck
“While California has moved its mix of electricity sources toward clean, renewable energy.....”

Hmmmm......then why is California abandoning so many of its electric producing reservoirs........?

19 posted on 06/22/2010 5:30:29 PM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply!)
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To: Nepeta

20 posted on 06/22/2010 5:31:04 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: upchuck

Oh great, lets all go to electric vehicles and crash the grid and force more coal power on America.


21 posted on 06/22/2010 5:31:43 PM PDT by ully2 (ully)
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To: upchuck

The buyers of electric cars don’t need incentives. They just need available cars.

But the problem with electric cars, are many. Heavy expensive batteries that discharge rather quickly and charge quite slowly. The life of the batteries is also a problem posing a $5000 + investment every 6 or 7 years, and of course the recycling of them. The limited range is probably not a big problem for most users. Those who have longer commutes will not buy them.

Additional problem; Quick charge solutions will add to risk and potential explosions of the batteries. And will also reduce battery life.

Are any battery technology breakthroughs on the horizon. I don’t see any. The batteries convert electrical energy into a chemical reaction, and then convert it back to power the vehicle. Regardless the actual power which comes from the batteries must first be delivered from the power grid.


22 posted on 06/22/2010 5:32:00 PM PDT by RDasher ("El Nino is climate, La Nina is weather")
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To: NormsRevenge
FRee ammo? Oh man .. I better close my bunker hatch.

Free ammo for all. Kinda like free beer for all :)

23 posted on 06/22/2010 5:33:22 PM PDT by upchuck (Don't let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go ~ Kitty Werthmann - Google her.)
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To: rottndog

OK—but not OPEC’s.


24 posted on 06/22/2010 5:38:17 PM PDT by eleni121 ("Superficiality: the psychic disease of our age, .. more than anywhere ..reflected in media.")
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To: glorgau
Imagine where I live, with -30 air temperatures fairly common in winter. Drifting snow. Wind chills off the chart. And 120 miles to the next major town.

It isn't "green", it's a death warrant.

25 posted on 06/22/2010 5:42:16 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: RDasher
Heavy expensive batteries that discharge rather quickly and charge quite slowly.

Your reasoning is good. In addition, consider what might happen to that "chemical reaction" in a bad accident.

Fellow FReeper 60gunner, an ER nurse, wrote an excellent vanity about this. Amusing.

26 posted on 06/22/2010 5:42:46 PM PDT by upchuck (Don't let freedom slip away. After America, there is no place to go ~ Kitty Werthmann - Google her.)
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To: upchuck
Electric cars don't appear to be a very hard sell to those who would buy them.

Duhhhhh.....

27 posted on 06/22/2010 5:43:17 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: ully2
Oh great, lets all go to electric vehicles and crash the grid and force more coal power on America.

And don't forget, kiddies, the coal won't be mied here, but in one of the three fine deposits from the Clinton era--in Kosovo, under the Escalante Staircase National Monument (oops, out of play!), or in Indonesia (Low-ash, low sulfur lignite).

Of course, the hardworking folks at the UMW won't be allowed to produce enough.

28 posted on 06/22/2010 5:48:20 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: ml/nj

But, but, but - doesn’t the wall make electricity? That’s why it’s got that little pluggie thingie...


29 posted on 06/22/2010 5:48:43 PM PDT by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php?area=dam&lang=eng)
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To: RDasher
The life of the batteries is also a problem posing a $5000 + investment every 6 or 7 years

I've been driving the same Ford F150/300cui/6 cly truck for 15 years. 6 or 7 years $5000 reinvestment.....NOT!!!!

30 posted on 06/22/2010 5:50:57 PM PDT by 2aberro (D)
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To: upchuck

I could see where families would have cheapo electric cars....Second cars, for hops around town. Burn coal to run electric cars....This would fill in some gaps. Get fleets burning CNG.


31 posted on 06/22/2010 5:52:31 PM PDT by dennisw (History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid - Gen Eisenhower)
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To: 2aberro

& I have a 24 year old Toyota, pennies on the dollar to any golf cart in this century or the next!


32 posted on 06/22/2010 5:53:11 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: 2aberro

Let me add,,, I HATE OBAMA and everything he represents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


33 posted on 06/22/2010 5:54:03 PM PDT by 2aberro (D)
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To: norraad
& I have a 24 year old Toyota,

Do you drive it 50 miles everyday like I do on my F150? Just curious.

34 posted on 06/22/2010 5:56:17 PM PDT by 2aberro (D)
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To: 2aberro

Long term, the socialist goal is to make new cars too expensive (via regulated complexity) and force old cars out (via emissions and safety inspections).

Mass transit is a huge priority with leftists because it allows govt to control movement.


35 posted on 06/22/2010 5:56:37 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: upchuck

Do they have an electric vehicle that will survive the winter in a northern-tier state and pull a 35’ 5th wheel?


36 posted on 06/22/2010 5:56:58 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (Does not play well with others.)
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To: nascarnation
Long term, the socialist goal is to make new cars too expensive (via regulated complexity) and force old cars out.

From my cold dead hands do they take my Ford!

37 posted on 06/22/2010 6:00:26 PM PDT by 2aberro (D)
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To: GOPJ
But, but, but - doesn’t the wall make electricity?

I once heard some liberal schmuck advocate for electric cars. And there were others who heard him who thought it was a pretty good idea. (This was ten or more years ago.) So I asked one of them where he thought the energy for the electricity came from. I asked him if he would like to burn more coal. The guy was Harvard educated and pretty smart, but he told me he never thought about that.

ML/NJ

38 posted on 06/22/2010 6:00:46 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: upchuck

I drive 50,000 miles a year. That’s 1,000 miles a week.

I’m going to need a very long extension cord.


39 posted on 06/22/2010 6:02:13 PM PDT by Peter W. Kessler (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: upchuck
Oh yeah, cuz all you gotta do is plug the car into the magic outlet, right? Whoever wrote this is an idiot!
40 posted on 06/22/2010 6:05:48 PM PDT by pepperdog (As Israel goes, so goes America!)
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To: eleni121

agreed.


41 posted on 06/22/2010 6:06:47 PM PDT by rottndog (Be Prepared for what's coming AFTER America....)
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To: ml/nj
Good one, ml/nj.

I've also seen liberals who want electric cars standing four square against nuclear power plants. Is that rich or what?

Where or where do they think electricity comes from? My guess? They really do believe it comes from "the wall"... no smoke stacks coming from the wall - no coal mining - or drilling or any of those ugly conservative realities... sticking out of their wall. Just a plug and an outlet... soooooo clean. So simple. So stupid.

42 posted on 06/22/2010 6:08:38 PM PDT by GOPJ (http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php?area=dam&lang=eng)
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To: 2aberro
Not such a traveler anymore, but it's up for it, I keep it well maintained.

Which isn't hard at all, the Toy's of that era were built uber-tough, the quality dial at the factory was really dialed up high.

43 posted on 06/22/2010 6:15:54 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: upchuck

Better still, lets make giant electric conveyor belts for people to drive on, ha ha! They’d shut off their cars while on the belt. I’d have to go slow enough for people to enter and exit, or have entrance and exit ramps of succeeding speeds. The cost to build it would be horrendous, though. I don’t know how much electricity it would use.


44 posted on 06/22/2010 6:26:38 PM PDT by Greg123456
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To: upchuck
That's because cars plugged in overnight employ unused capacity in the current electric system.

Uh, if a hundred million cars are using "unused capacity" every night, it's not really "unused" anymore, is it?
Which means it will become just as expensive as daytime electricity. If not more.
And it still has to come from somewhere.

45 posted on 06/22/2010 6:54:04 PM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: upchuck

Electric cars have unique safety issues:

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/767422-196/electric-cars-have-unique-safety-issues.html


46 posted on 06/22/2010 7:33:27 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but will give us the shaft.)
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To: cripplecreek
In my college days (1965-1969) my professors would have graded an effort like this as “GG” - glittering generalities and I would have to re-accomplish the paper with the minimum requirement being twice the original length.

Loads of fancy good sounding words and NOTHING to back them up. Magic Wand my.... What does she think sits in the White House.

No more glittering words and nice ideas - just the facts and nothing but the facts.

47 posted on 06/22/2010 8:59:01 PM PDT by Nip (Islam - a religion of piece (your head and life). Truth depends on the spelling)
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To: NurdlyPeon

***Which means that you won’t really have to burn coal to produce the electricity to power the car. ***

Your sarc tag has meaning. Some turbine dirven gas fired plants can shut down after the peak load drops. Coal plants are so complicated to start that they NEVER shut down in the evenings.

Also, there is no “unused’ power being produced. If you plug in electric autos after the peak load the plants must still produce more electricity to charge those batteries.


48 posted on 06/22/2010 9:31:37 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar ( Viva los SB 1070)
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To: upchuck
" But it's not politically possible. "

No, silly: it's not yet economically possible for us to maintain our lifestyles on batteries.

I am not going to address the rest: the author's argumentation is at a sophomore level.

49 posted on 06/23/2010 9:57:52 AM PDT by TopQuark
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