Destroying the Commonwealth in Order to Save It

(This was first published today by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy)

by Barbara Hollingsworth

Members of the General Assembly who voted for a bill in 2021 mandating that new vehicles sold in Virginia must be all-electric by 2035 forgot to do the math to show exactly how that would work in real life.

As the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy noted in February when we unsuccessfully made the case for repeal of this ill-advised legislation, the Commonwealth simply does not have the technological capacity to make such a massive switch from internal combustion engines in such a short period of time.

Replacing the energy stored in one pound of oil takes 15 pounds of lithium battery. To mine the materials found in the typical 1,000 pound car battery will mean mining and processing about 250 tons of rock and dirt.

Nobody told Virginians that the level of subsurface mining required to manufacture the millions of new batteries required to store electricity generated by wind, solar and other “renewable” energy sources will dwarf current production levels, scarring the earth.

Consider our planet — including Virginia, which has deposits of copper, manganese and zinc — pockmarked with ten times the current number of mines, resembling craters on the moon. This in a state that won’t even allow an underground natural gas pipeline to be built.

Turns out, going all-electric will require an astonishingly high amount of digging, according to Dr. Simon Michaux, University of Queensland Associate Professor of Mineral Processing and Geo-metallurgy. He is apparently one of the only people in the world to actually do the calculations.

In an August 2022 seminar available on YouTube, Prof. Michaux explained that a 1,000-page study he did for the Geological Survey of Finland stated that “the quantity of metal required to make just one generation of tech units to replace fossil fuels is much larger than first thought. Current mining production of these metals is not even close to meeting demand. Current reported mineral reserves are also not enough in size. Exploration for more at required volumes will be difficult.”

“There was no long-range planning at all,” Michaux noted. “The European Commission, bless their cotton socks, would actually make a prediction like they wanted a 100 percent system replacement by 2030 …It’s not going to happen.”

That’s because in the headlong rush to completely phase out fossil fuels, no one bothered to answer one basic question: “What quantity of minerals will be needed to do this?” Especially since as recently as 2018, “84.5 percent of global primary energy consumption was fossil fuel based and less than one percent of the vehicle fleet was electric.”

Since there are not a sufficient number of e-vehicles to recycle needed materials such as copper, lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and graphite, “the first generation will have to be sourced from mining,” he explained.

The amount of additional electricity worldwide needed to power industry and the entire transportation sector that currently runs on oil and gas comes to 36,007 trillion kilowatt hours (TWh). To generate that amount, the world would need 586,032 new non-fossil-fuel power plants – or more than ten times the existing number (46,423 in 2018), which includes a four-week buffer to even out highly intermittent wind and solar power.

So imagine ten times more power plants in Virginia in addition to hundreds of new mines. And we’re still not finished.

Giant batteries will be needed to store the power to meet increased demand, such as those used in Elon Musk’s highly touted Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia. But the “elephant in the room,” as Prof. Michaux put it, is that there would have to be 15,635,478 Hornsdale-size plants built just to store this non-fossil-fuel generated power.

And some of those battery storage facilities would of necessity have to be built in Virginia. Perhaps in your county.

Even if everybody is on board with this, there are still non-negotiable physical limitations, according to Prof. Michaux. The total amount of metals needed to manufacture just the first generation of all-electric vehicles and the components of the corresponding power stations is enormous. For example, based on global metals production rates in 2019, it would take more than 9,000 years to mine enough lithium worldwide for all the lithium-ion batteries that would be needed.

Here’s the timeline for other tech metals needed to replace fossil fuel:

Copper: 189.1 years

Nickel: 400.2 years

Lithium: 9,920.7 years

Cobalt: 1,733 years

Graphite: 3,287.9 years

Silicon: 5.9 years

Vanadium: 7,101.2 years

(And we won’t even mention the rare earth metal germanium, which would take 29,113 years to produce enough for first-generation batteries at the current levels.)

Even worse, “global reserves as stated at the moment [are] less than 5 percent of what we need” to create just one generation of fossil-free infrastructure.

In practical terms, that means an explosion of exploration and mining over the next two decades to produce the same amount of metals that humans have extracted from the earth since 4,000 BC – and that’s if such large deposits can even be found, which is problematic because unlike iron ore or aluminum, rare earth metals are usually not found in bulk quantities.

“The idea that we’re going to do this in seven or eight years is very amusing,” Prof. Michaux says.

It’s also very scary. In 2035, under current law, Virginians won’t be able to buy a gas-powered car and there won’t be the quantity of minerals available to manufacture enough electric ones. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of acres of Virginia countryside will be covered by hundreds of new mines, industrial-sized solar farms, windmill arrays, and massive battery installations.

Sounds a lot like destroying the Commonwealth in order to save it

Barbara Hollingsworth is Visiting Fellow with the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. She can be reached at barbholl3@gmail.com.

 

 


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114 responses to “Destroying the Commonwealth in Order to Save It”

  1. Lefty665 Avatar
    Lefty665

    Picky, picky, picky. Actually calculating the size of the change required to achieve the conversion to electric vehicles and green generation. How rude of you. It is so much more fun and easier to say “Follow California. All green (and poop on all Virginia’s sidewalks) by 2035”. That sounds good and requires a lot less actual thought. What more could we ask for?

    1. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      It will be something to see the rolling blackouts when everyone is forced off gas appliances and onto electric vehicles.

      Had a coworker from South Africa who had an inverter and batteries because they had mandatory outages.

      1. Lefty665 Avatar
        Lefty665

        We’re getting previews of it in California already with last years demands to not charge cars because of fires and limited grid resources. Nationally there are forecasts of regional outages this summer if we have high heat and not enough generating capacity or grid resources.

        With a little luck, sporadic and regional outages will wake folks up. But I’m not holding my breath. Virginia could not manage to unhook itself from California in the GA last year. OTOH, Virginia still gets more than half it’s electricity from nukes, so we have some more resiliency than some other folks.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          The well to do don’t feel the impact unfortunately, so unless it impacts them directly nothing will happen.

          They were just upset their houses burned, not that it could’ve been prevented with proper Forrest management.

  2. Lefty665 Avatar
    Lefty665

    Picky, picky, picky. Actually calculating the size of the change required to achieve the conversion to electric vehicles and green generation. How rude of you. It is so much more fun and easier to say “Follow California. All green (and poop on all Virginia’s sidewalks) by 2035”. That sounds good and requires a lot less actual thought. What more could we ask for?

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “Replacing the energy stored in one pound of oil takes 15 pounds of lithium battery.”

    Probably right. But burn that oil, it’s gone. You can recharge that battery and do it again.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      A lot of that sort of math in this piece…

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Wait, have to shutdown while I refuel my John Deere laptop before making further comment. The pull start usually catches on the third pull so I’ll be back in 10.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar
          Lefty665

          You guys are something, the “that sort of math” was mostly what is required for conversion to electric, not recharging a battery.

          “That sort of math” is how we get from here to green. It’s going to take a lot more than just the wave of a magic wand and poof we’re green. “That sort of math” gives an idea about how very big that poof will have to be.

          I agree with y’all that green’s a good goal, but we ain’t going to get there from here in the next decade or so.

          Mostly local electric cars around town, likely, but long haul, not so much. Local charging overnight at home on a dryer circuit, sure. Nationwide 10x rebuild of our electrical grid for large scale fast charging, not gonna happen. Nor will massive battery backup of intermittent green generation. More green generation with natural gas generators to pick up the load when needed, seems a pretty good bet.

          “That sort of math” describes the scope of the change.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            But her people believe it.

          2. Lefty665 Avatar
            Lefty665

            And I believe, like lunch, there ain’t no free energy, especially a paradigm shift to green electric.

      2. DJRippert Avatar
        DJRippert

        Gas @ 6 ibs per gallon. 22 gallons of gas = 132 pounds of gas on a full tank. 132 * 15 = 1,980 pounds of battery?

        The electric car has to drag just under a ton of batteries around with it?

        An ICE sedan weighs about 3,500 pounds. Adding another 2,000 pounds must change the driving dynamics of the car, no?

    2. Tony Weddle Avatar
      Tony Weddle

      And you can refill the tank. Takes only a few minutes.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        No. The analogy would be, “Now, while I’m recharging my battery, you go make another pound of oil.”

        It’s moot. Lucid sells an EV with a 500 mile range with a 20-minute Express charge to another 300 miles. That’s 12 hours of normal driving. They have replaced the ICE.

        1. Tony Weddle Avatar
          Tony Weddle

          Oil is being produced constantly by oil companies. At this point, it’s a constant energy supply. It’s moot because EVs aren’t a solution, partly because of what is written in the article, partly because oil is needed at almost every stage of the lifecycle. But 20 minutes to refuel is still 19 minutes longer than it took me to refill my tank.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Where do the oil companies get that oil they are producing? If it’s a “constant energy supply,” why does the cost vary?

          2. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            It’s currently running at nearly 100 million barrels per day. Price varies with marginal production.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            What’s the time-cost curve to make another dinosaur? Hint: it’s the fossil in fossil fuels.

          4. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            What’s the time-cost curve to make another dinosaur? Hint: it’s the fossil in fossil fuels.

          5. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            Oil is not derived from dinosaurs. That is a complete fallacy.

          6. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Another government conspiracy, eh?
            https://www.energy.gov/fossil#:~:text=Fossil%20energy%20sources%2C%20including%20oil,buried%20by%20layers%20of%20rock.

            Please, pray tell, what do you know the source to be?

          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            “Petroleum is a fossil fuel derived from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae.”

            It doesn’t rule out larger organic forms that wind up in the stew.

            Nevertheless, since we are in agreement with where the stuff comes from and roughly how it is made, “Now, while I’m recharging my battery, you go make another pound of oil.”

          8. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            The battery is the same as the fuel tank. The point of the article, though, is that there is no way to transition to so-called renewables (only the raw energy source is renewable, not the harnessing machines) in a meaningful timescale. That, and the fact that renewables are also quite environmentally damaging means it’s the wrong path. At best, energy use needs to be drastically reduced but even that may not be enough to avoid bad consequences of centuries of poor choices.

          9. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You keep using the keyword, “renewable”.

            The fallacy is comparing the energy in one pound of oil to that in a 15lb lithium battery. That battery, with a solar panel charger, can have 1000s of cycles within 1000s of days. That pound of oil can have one cycle per millions of years, as of now. Even if we ever manage to use algae to produce a “contemporary” petroleum product, it’ll still be more than a day to cycle, albeit far more environmentally friendly than its fossil counterpart, maybe even friendlier than the panel/battery. Maybe.

            Let’s go with bio-fuel production. Now you can make a direct comparison. How many square meters of algae pond is required to produce the same bio-fuel equivalent of the energy produced in the same area of solar panels. It’s all sunlight at this point.

          10. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            You forget that the oil has already been made. The oil companies just extract it. Of course, it’s finite, like the materials used to make the batteries, solar panels, etc. The battery needs to be refilled. The fuel tank needs to be refilled. Eventually, both will become impossible. The latter because oil will eventually be too expensive to extract and refine, the former because minerals become too expensive to extract and refine, to replace the battery, the solar panels and the wind turbine.

          11. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            “ Of course, it’s finite, …”

            Tada! There it is!

          12. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            All resources are finite, even renewable resources. No materials are 100% recyclable and, if they were, a completely cyclical economy is a non-growing economy. We need a different approach, a different discussion. EVs and renewables are not a solution, even if a transition were possible.

          13. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            How much of the lead in lead-acid batteries is recycled?
            How much of the steel manufactured is recycled? Aluminum?
            90%
            60%
            50%
            And the last two is only that low because we callously pitch those metals in the trash. They are both 100% recyclable.

          14. Tony Weddle Avatar
            Tony Weddle

            Recyclable and recycled are two different things. Nothing will be recycled 100%. Also, before something can be recycled, it has to be built. As this article points out, building the first generation for the transition will use enormous quantities of materials. Most of the second generation will do likewise, as something can’t be replaced (and, so, recycled until its replacement is ready). So we really need resources for two generations of machines, at least (though that is an unachievable ideal, given the impossibility of recycling 100% of materials).

          15. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            The materials used to make the panels and batteries, while also finite, are also “recyclable”. That fossil fuel isn’t.

            Oh, and let’s at least stop using food, e.g., corn, to make our bio-fuel.

          16. CJBova Avatar

            Skip the algae and figure out how to adapt ICE to handle bio-fuel from kudzu, phragmites, and may as well throw in cattails from state ditches.

          17. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Booyah! Game over! There’s a cookbook for Kudzu. Apparently, some lady down in Louisiana decided it can be good food. There’s recipes all over the net.

  4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “And some of those battery storage facilities would of necessity have to be built in Virginia. Perhaps in your county.”

    Let’s hope so. Of course if the Youngkin administration has its way they will all be built in other states… like, say, Michigan. The base must be fed…

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Yeah, god save us from huge stacks of milvans hidden in the woods emitting, ah, um, nothing into the air or water.

      Batteries are fascinating things. People who work with them have no fingers. All the rules of thumb.

      Did you know Dell has a custom charger setting that triples the life of your battery? Of course, you have to enter the BIOS to select it, but it only starts charging at 50% discharged and stops at 90% of full charge. Basically it keeps you from short cycling at top of the charge.

      1. Lefty665 Avatar
        Lefty665

        That’s a pretty neat feature. Better living through software. I like it:)

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          You don’t have to restart and continuously hit F11 to find it. Go to the power management app and select that profile.

          Not that it will really impact the battery life, they still have a finite number of charging cycles.

        2. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          It’s only available in the BIOS in Windows 10. It’s not available in the Power Mgt App. It’s the “Custom” charge profile. You can select your own limits but 50-90 are the default.

          1. Lefty665 Avatar
            Lefty665

            I haven’t bought any Dell stuff since Michael was selling parts out of his college dorm room in the mid ’80s as PCs Unlimited from ads in the back of Byte. Unfortunately the receipts he signed back then went in the dumpster even before the parts got obsolete several years later. They’d probably be worth something today.

      2. how_it_works Avatar
        how_it_works

        My experience has been that the laptop is beyond obsolete by the time the battery fails.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          It’s a bit of a hobby now, but I’m keeping my Latitude D630 limping on Windows XP because I have a MatLab with Simulink and all the toolboxes. That would cost $7K to replace.

          My “new” one is a Latitude E with, yech, Windows 10 bloat pigware.

        2. Lefty665 Avatar
          Lefty665

          I’m still running older hardware on Linux. It’s fairly low overhead, and replacement batteries are cheap. It steps along right smartly. Actually, a lot of hardware back to the mid teens runs relatively clean installs of Win 10 decently too for things like browsing and word processing if you throw some memory at it.

    2. DJRippert Avatar
      DJRippert

      People already object to solar panels. Why would you think they won’y object to batter storage sites?

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        People approve of solar panels and welcome the change. Battery storage is no different.

        1. WayneS Avatar

          Many people object to solar panels near their own property, though. Sometimes the majority of residents in a community.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Many people object to oil fields, pipelines, terminals, and refineries as well as nuclear power plants near their properties. I suspect that there is far less NIMBY involved with solar panels and batteries.

          2. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            There’s a pipeline that runs through Manassas and I guarantee you that 95% of the people who live there have no clue it’s there.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            I am fairly certain that at least since 2015, the people of Centreville know that Colonial Pipeline runs through their community…

          4. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            I drove by that site every day on the way to work. The impact was very limited.

          5. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Substation fires can be pretty dramatic, too:

            Ives Dairy substation in Miami, Florida. Happened in 2001.

          6. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            I could walk away from that. A pipeline explosion?

          7. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            If you were far enough away from it. I’ve seen substations crammed in next to buildings.

          8. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Nice!

          9. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            If you’ve got gas heat, there’s pipelines in your yard. Look around the neighborhood, you’ll find a 12” pipeline someplace.

          10. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Well, it’s possible to have gas heat…with a propane tank.

            That’s a pretty expensive way to heat, and one reason my house has a heatpump instead. Nearest natural gas is probably 4-5 miles away.

          11. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Keep it that far away. You may only need to patch a hole in your roof.

        2. Lefty665 Avatar
          Lefty665

          Battery storage is different. Unlike solar panels batteries can and do burn. Big batteries burn bigger and hotter and are even harder to put out. I’d much rather live closer to an unsightly solar farm than a big battery backup.

    3. WayneS Avatar

      Facility locations aside, what are your thoughts on how we will obtain the materials to build enough of these battery storage facilities to meet our needs?

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        I believe other options will be forthcoming or we will adjust our goals to match supply if supplies do not meet demand globally.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar
          Lefty665

          Do you mean like our GA repealing the follow the California lemmings off the cliff all electric vehicles by 2035 insanity?

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            No

          2. Lefty665 Avatar
            Lefty665

            Well then, what pray tell do you mean by “we will adjust our goals to match supply if supplies do not meet demand”?

          3. Lefty665 Avatar
            Lefty665

            Well then, what pray tell do you mean by “we will adjust our goals to match supply if supplies do not meet demand”?

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Deadlines can be extended. Laws do not need to be repealed to do so…

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Here is a point-by-point refutation of Michaux’s claims. https://ageoftransformation.org/energy-transformation-wont-be-derailed-by-lack-of-raw-materials/

    1. walter smith Avatar
      walter smith

      And Nafeez is not challengable? Who funds him? The most obvious problem is the intermittent production of solar and wind. Besides all the other arguments like rare earths and destruction of farmland and killing birds and whales…for bogus science, a Marxist wet dream of power (ha ha) and control.
      Why not nuclear all you save the planet types?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Sure he is, Walt. Do so.

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          Already did, reading challenged Snark Master. The single biggest, elephant in the room, is the production capacity vs actual production. And then why not nuclear. The uncontrollable nature of when the energy is produced vs when it will be needed – by itself – makes it untenable as any major source to rely on. Your turn.

      2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        Of course, Nafeez is challengable. I don’t know enough about Nafeez. Michaux, or the subject to say who is more credible. However, Hollingsworth seemed to take Michaux as the last word on this subject.

        I agree that we should be considering nuclear as the best alternative to fossil fuels.

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          Hollingsworth is making his argument, not the other side’s, but this is part of the problem. We can’t have a real debate. UVA is all in on the new religion of Climate Change. No professor would file for a grant challenging it. The govt will only fund the new religion, and if you raise your hand to object, you are derided as a nut case, a climate denier (I do not deny the climate. I deny Man can change it. I believe we should be good stewards of all of the Earth, but when the weatherman can predict 30 days of weather perfectly, I’ll maybe start giving some credence to 30 to 100 year models – but not much!). Think of the question askers during Covid…who have been proved right. And also maybe worry about the govt/private partnership to censor. Should bother people.
          Anyway, having to have private organizations to raise skepticism of so-called “science” indicates a real problem with funding and incentives and the real “climate” of inquiry at our so-called scientific academies is very troubling. The academies are destroying the value proposition – and the price is doing that quite well also.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Well now, that takes the fun out of it…
      (His first sentence is wrong. Every able bodied seaman knows it’s 90 degrees to the storm’s path that leads to open water)

      “ Nobody told Virginians that the level of subsurface mining required to manufacture the millions of new batteries required to store electricity generated by wind, solar and other “renewable” energy sources will dwarf current production levels, scarring the earth.”

      And this compares to fracking and burning tap water, how exactly?

      1. Rafaelo Avatar

        Not able bodied. Able seaman. A member of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years’ experience at sea and considered well acquainted with his duty. Nancy perhaps fascinated with sailors’ bodies. Then they run 90 degrees away.

        1. WayneS Avatar

          So what does the “B” in AB stand for?

          1. Rafaelo Avatar

            First two letters of Able.

            “In 1653 the Royal Navy introduced a new pay scale as part of reforms following defeat in the Battle of Dungeness the previous year. Included in these reforms were, for the first time, separate pay scales for more experienced seamen that distinguished between an ordinary seaman and an able seaman. The higher ranked able seaman was required to be competent in steering, use the lead and working aloft,[1] and received about 25% higher pay than an ordinary seaman.

            In the middle of the 18th century the term “able seaman” (abbreviated AB) referred to a seaman with more than two years experience at sea and considered “well acquainted with his duty… etc.”

            –As we know, everything on Wikipedia is true.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            It’s a blood typing.

        2. WayneS Avatar

          So what does the “B” in AB stand for?

      2. Lefty665 Avatar
        Lefty665

        “And this {mining} compares to fracking and burning tap water, how exactly?”

        Orders of magnitude greater. And, unlike with burning tap water you can’t use mine tailings to grill your dinner.

    3. DJRippert Avatar
      DJRippert

      “Unlike fossil fuels, the costs of solar, wind and batteries have decreased exponentially at a rate of nearly 10% per year for the last few decades.”

      I don’t have time to dig through his research but a steady 10% per year decline over “decades” would not meet my definition of exponential.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        Clearly the person who wrote that statement doesn’t understand a straight line vs a hockey stick.

        y=1/2x
        y=e^x

        1. WayneS Avatar

          I stand corrected. Thank you.

      2. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        Clearly the person who wrote that statement doesn’t understand a straight line vs a hockey stick.

        y=1/2x
        y=e^x

      3. WayneS Avatar

        10% per year is not an exponential decrease. It is a diminishing decrease.

  6. Lefty665 Avatar
    Lefty665

    Last numbers I saw were that 80-90% of rare earths come from China. How will that work out with our current war with China hysteria? Get 10x-1000x more materials from a place we’re insulting and agitating to go to war with? Fat chance.

    Why do we get rare earths from China? It’s like Willie Sutton and why he robbed banks. That’s where the money is, or in this case where the rare earths are. That’s also why we call them “rare”, they’re not everywhere.

    That’s on top of 30 years of moving manufacturing to China, everything from toilet parts to tractor parts to televisions. Virginia would grind to a halt without Chinese industry. But that’s another story for another time.

    1. The US has a good supply of the rare earth minerals, but the enivornistas won’t allow for the mining.

      1. Lefty665 Avatar
        Lefty665

        Zat pretty much the same group that’s pushing for all electric everything and all renewable generation?

      2. Nathan Avatar

        The US also has an abundance of coal waste. That holds some potential, if we are able to harvest it.

        Coal waste could become domestic source for mineral industry

        https://www.northcentralpa.com/life/coal-waste-could-become-domestic-source-for-mineral-industry/article_15154ada-0958-11ee-b643-17e89b5687ea.html

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    So, five guys are sitting in a submersible, and one of them says, “I understand that engineers and scientists say that carbon fiber laminates have a limited number of flex cycles.”

    “Who ya gonna believe, engineers or the guy who’s done this four or

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Alternate last line, “Smoke?”

  8. Environmentalists will do everything in their power to obstruct the mining of these minerals in the United States. Inevitably, the mining will take place in Third World countries where environmental protections are weak and, in places like the Congo, life is dispensable and working conditions are literally the most abysmal on the planet. But as long as these abuses are out of sight, they are out of mind and environmentalists will sleep well at night convinced that they are saving the earth.

    1. Courtney Clements Avatar
      Courtney Clements

      The math of the article is great & deplorable conditions of 3rd world countries…child labor, no worries. I’m with you James. “Environmentalists” are ok with sound bites, don’t look into facts too closely!

    2. WayneS Avatar

      They are using what can only be described as child slave labor in the Congo.

      But “progressives” can’t loudly decry it because if miners were paid a decent wage, lithium batteries would be so expensive that it would be obvious to everyone we are nowhere near being ready to switch to 100% “sustainable” electric cars – nor will we be by 2035.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        NIMBY at its finest.

    3. WayneS Avatar

      From NPR, February 2023:

      https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/02/01/1152893248/red-cobalt-congo-drc-mining-siddharth-kara

      “We shouldn’t be transitioning to the use of electric vehicles at the cost of the people and environment of one of the most downtrodden and impoverished corners of the world. The bottom of the supply chain, where almost all the world’s cobalt is coming from, is a horror show.”

      Siddharth Kara – fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    This report brought to you by Erewhonian Power and Light.

  10. Instead of showing us rebuttals, they should show a feasibility study of the issue from before the plan was legislated. That would show proper planning, not CYA denial, which seems be on display.

  11. Nathan Avatar

    The push for all electric makes no sense, even if your priority is to reduce carbon emissions. From what I’ve read, hybrid cars are somewhat less dependent on rare minerals, which allows what we have to go farther.

    On the mineral issue, domestic mining is indeed required, as reliance on our global adversaries like China presents an enormous risk.

    BTW – China not only controls its own mineral resources, they are also securing supplies elsewhere around the world. China wants to dominate and control this market.

    The U.S. departure from Afghanistan will benefit China toward this end.

    Afghanistan’s vast mineral reserves were once valued by its government at as much as $3 trillion – hinting that it could become the ‘Saudi Arabia of lithium.’

    The geopolitical and macroeconomic significance of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan is that China can now expand its sphere of influence to include Afghanistan in regional projects involving Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq. Geographer Halford Mackinder placed Eurasia and the Asian heartland at the center of geopolitical importance in the 19th century, and now, for the first time in 200 years, the Western powers seem to be leaving the Eurasian continent to other polities to govern. While China expands its influence in Afghanistan, it also blocks India and other U.S. allies from Central Asia, and thereby threatens the post-World War II and NATO-ensured liberal world order.

    https://www.chinausfocus.com/energy-environment/rare-earth-minerals-chinas-key-to-afghanistan-and-the-talibans-chance-to-raise-living-standards#:~:text=In%20the%20past%2C%20Afghanistan%20produced,mercury%2C%20uranium%2C%20and%20chromium.

    1. WayneS Avatar

      I agree. I think hybrids are the way to go for most motor vehicles.

    2. Lefty665 Avatar
      Lefty665

      It’s not just rare earths.

      Don’t forget that about a decade ago the Clintons greased the skids for the sale of much of our uranium resources and processing to the Russians.

      I read the other day that our small nuclears reactor are delayed by two years waiting for non Russian sourced fuel.

      Nothing to see here folks, move right along. Everything will be just hunky dory in our bright green wonderful renewable future once we get rid of those evil dirty old hydrocarbons.

  12. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    2035 you can’t buy a gas powered car in Virginia? Somebody needs to mention this to Buc-ees. 75,000 square foot gas station coming to New Kent. 120 fueling stations. Only a handful of ev charging stations. This has to be the largest gas station in the state.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a2386dba4b6dfa1608d7c4fe9f16b50e632aae18b8e61b076c4018bdb6a80090.jpg

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Oh, we’ll still own them. Look how many early 2000 Buick LeSabres are in the Food Lion parking lot sometime. I sometimes have to traverse two or three rows to find a spot that isn’t next to one.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        Don’t forget all of the 1990s Toyota Corallas. Bullet proof motor. I drove one for years waiting for it to die. Gave it away to the local handyman. Love Food Lion. I grilled a pair of t bones last night. 7 bucks and some change at Food Lion.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          The only thing wrong with our Food Lion is the aisles are always — always — packed with boxes. Often you have to back out to move to the next aisle.

          Oh, and old people. Really, really old people with Buick LeSabres.

        2. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          The only thing wrong with our Food Lion is the aisles are always — always — packed with boxes. Often you have to back out to move to the next aisle.

          Oh, and old people. Really, really old people with Buick LeSabres.

          1. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            The old people mobile in Northern VA is the Toyota Avalon.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            If it’s a Buick, foot over the brakes.

          3. WayneS Avatar

            Or foot actually resting on the brake pedal…

            Speaking of motoring around, I got a chance to ride a friend’s 2022 KTM Duke 890R over the weekend. It’s something like 405 lbs curb-weight with 111 hp in stock trim. This one was in “race trim” – street legal but just barely.

            I gave it a run on some of my favorite roads and nicknamed it “the wolf in wolf’s clothing”. It looks fast and aggressive and it is fast and aggressive.

            My boring, law-abiding, rational side says something like that should not even be allowed on public roads.

            My hooligan motorcyclist side is still pretty much speechless, other than whispering “I want one”.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bbd1acc802796084b945cbbd330fc1b62b20a073673d2ea3db8b0b46ff64465c.jpg

          4. WayneS Avatar

            Or foot actually resting on the brake pedal…

            Speaking of motoring around, I got a chance to ride a friend’s 2022 KTM Duke 890R over the weekend. It’s something like 405 lbs curb-weight with 111 hp in stock trim. This one was in “race trim” – street legal but just barely.

            I gave it a run on some of my favorite roads and nicknamed it “the wolf in wolf’s clothing”. It looks fast and aggressive and it is fast and aggressive.

            My boring, law-abiding, rational side says something like that should not even be allowed on public roads.

            My hooligan motorcyclist side is still pretty much speechless, other than whispering “I want one”.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bbd1acc802796084b945cbbd330fc1b62b20a073673d2ea3db8b0b46ff64465c.jpg

          5. WayneS Avatar

            Or foot actually resting on the brake pedal…

            Speaking of motoring around, I got a chance to ride a friend’s 2022 KTM Duke 890R over the weekend. It’s something like 405 lbs curb-weight with 111 hp in stock trim. This one was in “race trim” – street legal but just barely.

            I gave it a run on some of my favorite roads and nicknamed it “the wolf in wolf’s clothing”. It looks fast and aggressive and it is fast and aggressive.

            My boring, law-abiding, rational side says something like that should not even be allowed on public roads.

            My hooligan motorcyclist side is still pretty much speechless, other than whispering “I want one”.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bbd1acc802796084b945cbbd330fc1b62b20a073673d2ea3db8b0b46ff64465c.jpg

          6. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Looks like a monster bug out of a B-rate horror movie. Maybe in blue?

          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            You do realize you’re reaching the age where a classic 100-RT looks best on you.

          8. WayneS Avatar

            My boring, law-abiding, rational side realizes that, but…

  13. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    This discussion lacks the context of time as it applies to the history and future of energy. Take a deep breath and read–https://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2017/70272ausubel/ndx_ausubel.pdf–The Next 100 Years of Global Energy: Density, Key to Fake and True News about Energy and Environment.

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