William F. Buckley Jr. said a conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling stop at a time when no one is inclined to do so.

By this definition, Gov. Greg Abbott must be a conservative when he says he’s going to fight President Joe Biden on climate change at the same time General Motors announced it would switch to all electric vehicles by 2035.

Both Marathon Oil and Chesapeake Energy joined the oil majors in promising to reduce climate changing emissions. The private sector is far ahead of our politicians and isn’t inclined to listen to anyone yelling stop.

I wonder if we could interest the governor in some buggy whip stock.

David Hyde



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(46) comments

Carlos Ponce

"General Motors announced it would switch to all electric vehicles by 2035." Do you REALLY believe that???? At most they'll produce a few more hybrids. The GM claim is just more political rhetoric to appease the environmental elected officials just in case they need another bailout.

Gary Miller

Carlos> Auto industry estimates are that electric car sales, Under 3 % now, will be 10 % by 2025 and 20 % by 2035. GM will not reduce it's sales to only 20% by 2035. Ford expects to increase electric production by 2035 but still selling more gas or desiel by then.

Gary Scoggin

Gary M - Like you, i have my doubts that the EV market grows that fast. It may in certain geographies, like big urban areas for example, but not in rural areas, and especially not outside certain areas of the US, Western Europe and China.

Mary Gillespie


Mike Zeller

Get out of the way or get run over. Electric vehicles, they are coming, and coming quick. My next new vehicle will be an all electric 2022 Ford F150. [ohmy]

Jim Forsythe

You are right that we are about to see a explosion of electric vehicles. One thing to be careful about , is in a parking lot or other places where people are walking be careful as your new truck will be super quite, and people will not hear you coming. Also my son's acceleration was amazing in his car.

"The boom is part of what propelled Tesla CEO Elon Musk into becoming the world's richest man earlier this month with a net worth of about $182 billion. Tesla now has a market value of $700 billion, more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM, and Ford combined according to the BBC."

Carlos Ponce

Mike Zeller, according to Car and Driver the starting price is $70,000 (Lariat), $80,000 (King Ranch), $90,000 (Platinum), and $100,000 for the Limited. Get one with a removable range extender motor which fits in the bed of the truck to recharge the battery. It runs on either diesel or high alcohol gasoline E-85.

Bailey Jones

William F. Buckley Jr. had a wicked sense of humor. I miss seeing him on TV. He had the greatest gift a thinker could have - the ability to evolve.

Shanna Hager

My father, a Democratic Socialist in the 60's of all things, ALWAYS watched Firing Line even though he was diametrically opposed to Buckley's Conservatism. He totally respected him and taught us children to always take the path of "Agree to Disagree" with an opposing view...and not to denigrate your "opponent..." I now am enjoying Hoover'ss s bbbbs

Bailey Jones


Shanna Hager

Oops. I was trying to type that i am currently enjoying Hoover's Firing Line on PBS. THINKERS.

Gary Scoggin

It’s the corporate world and big investors that are leading the way on climate change.

Some of you may be interested in Larry Fink’s latest annual letter. Fink is head of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $8.5 Trillion under its management. BlackRock, along with some other large investors are putting lots of pressure on the companies they invest in. BlackRockowns 4% of GM by the way.


Jim Forsythe

Just as electric vehicles have become the newest advancement in transportation, so has autonomous vehicles. Add to these advancements is dynamic wireless charging (DWC).

"Coventry is assessing the feasibility of Scalextric-style technology that would charge electric vehicles (EVs) as they go.

Known as dynamic wireless charging (DWC), the technology would ensure an uninterrupted power supply for EVs while in motion. The £419,000 'DynaCov' project, backed by Coventry City Council, Toyota, National Express, and others, would see electric coils embedded under asphalt on certain stretches of the city's roads.

These coils, which would be connected to a mains supply, would wirelessly transmit power to a receiver in vehicles' wheels.

Electricity would then be relayed from the receiver to the EV's battery, providing it with a continuous source of power while in motion."

Follow the money.

"Billions of dollars have poured into research and testing by companies like Waymo, GM-backed Cruise, Amazon’s Zoox and startup TuSimple to teach cars and trucks how to drive themselves. Meanwhile, transit was an afterthought. That’s changing as North America’s biggest maker of city buses has created a heavy-duty autonomous model it hopes to put into service next year."

Gary Scoggin

While the dynamic wireless charging sounds cool, I would be interested in how efficient if really is. It seems the transmission losses through the infrastructure would be really big, especially without creating public safety measures. It reminds me of the trains with the power lines overhead.

Bailey Jones

I hope they get these autonomous vehicles working by the time my kids take my keys away.

This is going to be another huge job displacement. In many states, "truck driver" is the most prevalent job. And distribution hubs, like the Amazons and Walmarts, are typically built right on highways - they're perfect for robot drivers. Corporations will go autonomous to save money and increase productivity (robots don't need to sleep) and that's going to leave a lot of drivers out in the cold.

Carlos Ponce

"autonomous vehicles" Think of Westworld", Bailey. Remember: "where nothing could go wrong...."

They will still require driver training so if something does go wrong, a human can take over.

Jim Forsythe

Gary, I have the same concerns. But if this technology does not work out, it may lead to a system that works. Gary, I have a question, would some type of fiber optics system work to provide the power needed? Below is a link to using electro power over fiber. It has not been proven that higher voltages can also be transmitted.

Fiber Optics Transmit Data and Power Over Same Cable | Electronic Design

Another question would be, is there a way that running over the dynamic wireless charging system embedded in the payment could generate power. If possible, this would eliminate some of the problems that having to run power lines. I was thinking that it could use the technology that some cars use to generate power from the functions of the cars, such as the brakes.

I'm excited to be living in a time when new technology could lead to advancements that we can not even dream of.

My son is excited about Hyperloop technology, and what it could do for advancements in transportation.

Gary Scoggin

I'm not familiar with fiber optics much, but I've always thought of them as a way to transmit data, not power. Evidently, there may be some breakthroughs there, With all the talk of smart streets, etc, I suppose you could add a charging infrastructure but, in my opinion, the future of power generation may be more decentralized than centralized. I think hybrids are not getting the attention they deserve as they seem well suited for start-stop applications like school buses and all of those Amazon delivery vans you now see everywhere.

Bailey Jones

Power over fiber is limited to the amount of laser light you can squeeze through a fiber, so I don't see it as ever being for more than powering small things - like WIFI at the end of a fiber cable. I agree about decentralization. A few solar panels and a battery and you've got reliable power anywhere on the planet. To me, that's the hugely attractive thing about solar. Connect a neighborhood of solar panels with a microgrid and you've got an extremely reliable power source with built-in redundancy. I also agree about hybrids - until a charging infrastructure is created comparable to the retail gasoline infrastructure that we have, an onboard generator is the way to go. I wonder when filling stations will start adding charging stations?

Gary Miller

Auto industry estimates that half the 300,000,000 american vehicles on road today will still be in use by 2035. If production is increased to 20,000,000 a year from 17,000,000 today it would take 25 years to become all electric because the average age of cars in service is increasing a month each year from 11 years today..

Dan Freeman

Your next truck or SUV may be electric. Soon as 2022:https://rivian.com/

David Hardee

While these energy efficiency experts comment about what and when the future will be and look like - I interrupt with a statement relative to the articles calling out Governor Abbott for the position on Green projects. It is not so much being a "conservative" Abbott is taking a position of caution related to the GREEN circumstances and timing. Some in this thread claim to be engineers. That profession gets the job done by contributing to design and specifications.

Well here are questions engineers hardly ever ask - The why do tt, is it appropriate now, will it have unforeseen circumstances, and what is the ROI.

Well, Abbott is asking those questions - the answer is TOO FAR TO SOON. The transition TALK as presented has many detrimental effects on the status quo.

Can someone figure out what Abbott is fearing will happen to the status quo? HInt - current employment and the economy. Another hint - ask those that were employed on the XL pipeline. TOO FAR TO SOON.

Do any of you remember -


The Board declined to provide additional funding for the Soledad project.

SAI Soledad would be liable for any further sum due to Oeberst. ... On November 16, 1995, SAI Soledad Energy, Inc. filed this voluntary Chapter 11 petition,


The owner of a federally funded $1 billion solar project in Nevada told a Delaware judge Friday it hopes to quickly move along the Chapter 11 ... ETC.

Gary Scoggin

A lot of engineers know a lot about business. And most of them know the difference between anecdotes and data.

Ted Gillis

Pessimism has taken up a permanent residence in all conservatives’s minds.

Carlos Ponce

Not really, Ted. How many years ago did the Democrat Party give a DOOM and GLOOM scenario for the planet. They claimed TEN YEARS and there's no more Earth. Wasn't that back in the nineteen eighties? Or does the calendar keep pushing back another ten? Now THAT'S PESSIMISM!

Jim Forsythe

David, as with anything new, failures happen. In Texas we have a lot of power that is from solar. These are just a few of the solar farms in Texas, supplying power to Texans.

Samson Solar --- A 1,310-megawatt solar farm in northeastern Texas. Samson Solar will be constructed in five phases over the next three years, with each phase commencing operation upon completion. The full project will be operational in 2023. When complete, it will produce enough energy to power nearly 300,000 American homes. The solar farm is currently under construction. The Samson Solar Energy Center, will support five major consumer brands and supply power to three Texas municipalities: AT&T: 500 MW Honda: 200 MW McDonald’s: 160 MW Google: 100 MW The Home Depot: 50 MW City of Bryan, TX: 150 MW City of Denton, TX: 75 MW City of Garland, TX: 25 MW

Alamo Solar Project, 450 MW ---It was constructed at different locations across San Antonio,

Roadrunner Solar Farm, 212.5 MW --The solar plant will be able to generate approximately 1,200 GWh annually. The project will sell its energy in a 65 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Mondelēz International and a 70 MW PPA with The Clorox Company.

Buckthorn Solar Farm, 202 MW--- the power supplied by the plant now makes Georgetown the first city in Texas to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Rose rock Solar Farm,212 MW--- Pecos County, Texas.

Rambler Solar project in Tom Green County---200-megawatt

The Upton 2 Solar Farm,180 MW ---it will generates enough energy to power approximately 56,700 average Texas homes! The solar farm is west of San Angelo

West of the Pecos Solar Project, 100 MW--- Reeves County, Texas, approximately 75 miles southwest of Midland-Odessa.

Carlos Ponce

What do back up generators use for fuel when the sunlight is hidden by volcanic ash? Coming soon to a planet near you! Then there's that thing called NIGHT. Solar panels don't do well in moonlight.

Mike Zeller

"I don't need no stinkn' engine for my buggy" Carlos Ponce, circa 1900

Bailey Jones

Those things are so expensive and unreliable, Mike. They'll never catch on. And think of all the horse and buggy related jobs that are going to be lost.

Carlos Ponce

In 1900 in Galveston County there were hardly any "machines" as the Galveston Daily News called automobiles. Oil was not drilled until 1901 in Spindletop in Beaumont. There was a Galveston automobile club in November 29, 1906.


The first automobile to cross the causeway crossed on December 3, 1911.

So in 1900 in Galveston County, everyone who rode somewhere used a horse, whether bareback, saddle, wagon or buggy.


But I probably would have used a bicycle in 1900.

Bailey Jones

Yep. We got wind. We got sun. And we got a whole lot of space where nobody lives. Texas will remain an energy leader no matter what happens to the fossil fuel industry. Assuming we don't have Luddites in control, that is. There's money to be made in clean energy, and investors know it.

Carlos Ponce

We got the South Texas Nuclear Power Plant which does not depend on a sunny day nor wind.

Jim Forsythe

A battery storage system provides power at night and during peak times.

The “peak hours” for power usage in the summer coincide with the hottest, most dangerous part of days that have already been record high temperatures. A battery facility stores energy during off-peak times and releases it back into the grid during peak times.

Having a gigantic storage facility tied to the grid can make a huge difference.

The 200 MW solar farm and associated 300 MW lithium-ion battery storage project will be constructed south of Bonshaw, near Inverell, New South Wales . Most if not all large solar farms have A battery storage system in place or are planning one.

In the first quarter of 2020, the Solar Energy Industries Association ranked Texas fifth among states in installed solar capacity, with 4,606 MW in place and an estimated 10,261 jobs tied to solar power.

Some people do not like solar power for some reason, but it is not the case with Texas government.

The remarkable growth of Texas renewable energy sources is due at least in part to the state’s Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program.

The amount of solar power produced in Texas will just increase.

Sunny West Texas in particular offers excellent potential for solar energy and, as costs for photovoltaic panels fall and transmission access improves, the state’s solar capacity can be expected to increase; the Solar Energy Industries Association ranks Texas second nationally for projected growth during the next five years.

Carlos Ponce

The batteries will not last as long as a volcanic dust cloud. Go nuclear.

Bailey Jones

Con Edison is adding a 100-megawatt/400-megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery project that will help balance its grid. PG&E is adding 182.5 MW / 730 MWh of Tesla batteries at the Moss Landing Power Plant.

As you note, the advantage of batteries is that they allow for leveling the load even with fossil fuel plants. Charge batteries at times of lower usage and discharge them into the grid at peak use. You don't need as much peak capacity - which means we can squeeze more out of the power plants we have now.

Similarly, you can use batteries for short time high power applications - like a household charging station. You don't need to add another 40 amp circuit to your 100-year-old house, just a battery. Charge it with your existing capacity then use it to boost your capacity when you charge your car.

Household batteries are the end of service outages and brownouts. A battery that can power your whole house for 12 hours a day will give you several days of emergency power during a hurricane or other catastrophe. Of course, with solar panels on the roof, you still have full power after a hurricane - no hunting for an open gas station to fill your emergency generator during the inevitable after-hurricane gas shortages.

David Smith

Yes ....Houston metro area.. All people plug your car in for a recharge @ 6 pm..

And watch what happens

Jim Forsythe

David, with a battery system, electricity will still flow at 6 p.m.

Just as Bailey said, batteries are being used now. You have likely used power that was stored in batteries.

A batteries system does away with power companies having to build to cover peak times, which reduces cost.

If a homeowner has a home battery system, they will have emergency power.

Gary Miller

Jim> Will it cost more or less? Owning a battery system will add cost of maintaining it. How often will the Battrey(s) need replacing? What raw material be used to make solar panels and battrey's. Oil or Nat gas is used today. Solar panels generate electric power but solar panels can't be made from electricty.

Gary Scoggin

Gary M - that's a legit point about battery maintenance and both the life cycle costs and environmental impacts of batteries. Also, there are strategic dependencies on certain rare earths which are mainly available from China. (10 points if Charles responds here with "Beijing Joe.")

The good news is that other than Covid and Cancer there is little on this planet that is being researched more heavily than battery storage. Breakthroughs are pretty common now; if they continue hopefully we can work our way past these limitations.

Jim Forsythe

To charge your Electric Vehicle at home you are required to have a charging station. If you do not want a battery charging station you can use the power that comes from the power company.

Level 1 Charging Stations: These chargers are usually included with your car. They plug directly into any 120-volt outlet, which makes them portable. They may take up to 24 hours to fully charge a battery, however, so they are generally only good for people who drive short distances or less frequently. If you need a second charger or a replacement, expect to pay up to $300

.Most EV owners invest in Level 2 stations. They charge batteries much quicker, with most reaching a full charge in just a few hours. They require a 240-volt outlet, and they can be portable or mounted and hardwired to your home. Some are specific to the type of car, while others charge any car with an adaptor. They come with features like wi-fi and other add-ons. Costs range from $300 for a basic charger to $1,200 for a charger with many features.

Bailey Jones

It will cost more, Gary, at least in the short term. Just as pre-Model T cars cost more than a horse and buggy. My 100-year-old house didn't come with air conditioning, but people seem to want that now for some reason. Just as you can't buy a new house now without AC, you soon won't be able to buy a new house without solar panels and batteries - because that's what people will want and that's what the market will demand.

Jim Forsythe

The batteries system the power companies having already build, helps with having reliable power.

If you want a backup system they run less then $1,000 to whatever you want to spend.

Ted Gillis

I’ve always had an issue with CenterPoint, TNMP, Entergy and the others with just continuing to place electrical power on sticks, even after they have been blown over repeatedly. They continue this practice, while paying contractors to go around the area trimming trees away from these lines. Any high to moderate winds will interrupt power to most of us these days. This is now expected normal day to day operations for these providers, with the expectation that you (the customer) should be prepared for this occasion and have already purchased a whole house generator. There is even now a new market out there, selling and shaming the person to purchase these units, pressuring anyone who would not consider providing this for his family. Because who wants to be the only family on the street without a back up generator these days?

We customers have been paying for years to keep this lousy electrical grid in place. We should expect more. Our electrical grid should be by now hardened, buried and uninterrupted, not vulnerable wires on sticks. This expectation is not much to ask after years and years of all of us paying for this service.

Bailey Jones

We have a neighbor down at the end of the street with one of those natural gas generators. Even during a hurricane their porch light is always on. You can't help but hate them a little bit.

I have some friends in Dickinson with both a Generac and solar panels - but they won't buy a battery. Go figure.

I borrowed a generator after Ike and found that it was more trouble than it was worth. For this year's threatened storms I bought a deep discharge 12V battery and an inverter. It's plenty of power for lights and a fan - that's all I need to survive until the electricity comes back on.

Dan Freeman

The switch from oil to electric vehicles may parallel that from coal to oil in the US Navy.

“The use of oil-fired boilers changed battleship design dramatically and contributed to the development of massive new battleships. On July 2, 1910, as the Navy converted from coal to oil-burning ships…. By 1916, the Navy had commissioned its first two capital ships with oil-fired boilers, the USS Nevada and the USS Oklahoma. To resupply them, “oilers” were designed to transfer fuel while at anchor, although underway replenishment was possible in fair seas.

During World War I, a single oiler refueled 34 destroyers in the mid-Atlantic – introducing a new era in maritime logistics. The sailors’ rating of “coal passer” passed into history by 1917.”


Given the history, a 15 year projection for a complete conversion to electric is at least plausible.

Bailey Jones

Dan, if I recall correctly, and military history isn't my thing, Britain was slow to abandon coal for oil - because they had a lot of coal. In 1904 Lord Selborne, the First Lord of the Admiralty, said, “The substitution of oil for coal is impossible because oil does not exist in this world in sufficient quantities. It must be reckoned only as a most valuable adjunct.” Does that sound at all familiar?

But the advantages were crystal clear - oil was superior in every way, except supply. Hence came the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP) and its shenanigans in Persia (now Iran) leading to the overthrow of a democratic secular government in 1953 and the installation of a Shah with absolute power, which led to the rise of militant Islam which haunts us to this very day, and for decades to come, I imagine.

Energy is power, both literal and political. History is being made - if we're not the ones making it, future generations of Americans will look back and wonder why their nation ceased to be the world's greatest superpower, as our English cousins do now.

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