AMERICA, ENERGY, TRANSPORTATION & POLLUTION

THE DIRTY SECRET OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERIES

This column originally appeared in the July 2021 issue of UTV Action Magazine, and, now that I’m posting either Sideways or Behind the Wheel columns every Tuesday, I’ve added to it with information from an article about EV batteries that coincidentally appeared in the July 2021 of The Limbaugh Letter. America lost Rush Limbaugh to cancer on February 17, 2021, and James Golden aka Bo Snerdley likely wrote the article “The Dirty Truth about EVs.” I was devastated when Rush died, and “Guide Hosts” carried on his radio show for months reporting on the news of the day then playing salient Rush soundbites dissecting each issue. Clay Travis and Buck Sexton have since taken over the EIB show, and the newsletter has also expired, but I’ll pass on what El Rushbo thought of Electric Vehicles and facts his research team presented.

 

AMERICA, ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION 

In May 2021, we reported that Polaris has teamed up with Zero Motorcycles for its “rEV’d up” initiative to offer its customers electric vehicles across its entire product line. Polaris has been helping hunters sneak up on Bambi with its Ranger EV since 2016. What we didn’t report is that among the first “rEV’d up” models will very likely be a Polaris Defense e-MRZR, or electric Military RZR. It’ll be interesting to see which countries go e-MUTV; the thing is American Armed Forces generate their own electricity, but most civilians are dependent on the power grid.

We applaud Polaris and other manufacturers for offering EVs as part of an all-of-the-above types of UTVs, joining gasoline and diesel. Likewise, I believe in an all-of-the-above strategy to produce the electricity that powers EVs. As we saw in Texas in February 2021, solar and wind can’t be our lone sources of power, and we have to resist efforts to get rid of so-called fossil fuels – coal, petroleum and natural gas – and also the original renewable, hydroelectric. It works like this: the Sun evaporates sea water, clouds of water vapor form, it rains when mountains push clouds upward, rivers flow into Tennessee Valley Authority-built hydroelectric turbines then into oceans, and repeat. Endless electricity!

Polaris unveiled its prototype Ranger EV last year, and the performance was amazing using Zero Motorcycles technology. But the truth is many northeastern states will be charging EVs via coal-fired powerplants.

Texas took advantage of federal subsidies and credits to erect vast wind and solar farms, resulting in 23-percent of the state’s power coming from those so-called renewables. But it’s dark half the time, clouds and snow can further impact e-production, and wind is also intermittent. Windmills and solar panels froze in Texas’ February blizzard, and millions lost power. Nearly 200 people died!

On the other hand, fossil fuels are billions of years of the Sun’s energy stored in Mother Earth, waiting for the two-sided brain and opposable thumb to extract it. Only nuclear power is more efficient at e-production and heating our homes than oil, coal and natural gas. France has 95-percent nuke-produced power. On the other hand, Bolivia has no national power grid; each town has a diesel generator that they cut off at night. So, we really need to rethink going all-electric by 2035 as they want with the Green New Deal.

USA Today had an article (“Can the grid handle a boom in electric cars?” March 24, 2021) wondering if the existing U.S. power grid could handle everybody going electric and charging EVs. The conclusion said “No worries.” However, it did not factor in that power-generation under the GND will also phase out fossil fuels and become more dependent on the least stable, storable, and efficient sources  – wind and solar.

We have it so easy today; thanks to the World Wide Web, anything we want is a few keystrokes away. But The New World’s first Pilgrims only had Wind and Wood. When the Mayflower sailed into Plymouth Harbor in 1620, the crew reported that Right Whales were “playing hard” off of the bow. Several bitter winters showed the surviving Pilgrims that wood was insufficient for home heating, and by 1640 the first Whaling operation began on Long Island, making the Pilgrims’ three “W”s Wind, Wood and Whale oil. Commercial deep-ocean whaling started in 1712 and lasted 150 years. 

The first steam engine was patented in 1705, but Britain had banned burning coal. It wasn’t until 1769 that James Watt invented the expanding-steam engine that started the Industrial Revolution and eventually replaced sailing ships. John Fitch navigated the Delaware River in a 45-foot steamer in 1787, and then he built a larger vessel to transport passengers and freight between Philadelphia and Burlington, NJ. Power source? Pennsylvania Anthracite coal. Next came steam locomotives, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was formed in 1829 with 13 miles of track. Pennsylvania coal and iron made the steel rails that would soon stretch west, carrying freight and settlers west and cattle east to feed growing cities. Coal also powered the locomotives.

In 1859, the first petroleum well was drilled in Titusville, PA. Environmentalists should love oil because it replaced whale oil for heating homes. I repeat, petroleum ended US whaling. In 1866, oil was discovered in Nacogdoches County, Texas, and the Spindletop gusher followed in 1901. Thus started the transportation revolution. Petroleum powered the Wright Brothers’ first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903, the same year that William Harley and Arthur and Walter Davidson stuffed a gasoline engine into a bicycle frame. It was also the year the first Ford rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. In 1926, American Airlines was formed with Charles Lindbergh flying mail for the USPS, and Western Air Express started carrying passengers.

It wasn’t until 1988 that Kawasaki introduced the Mule UTV.

So, do we really want to give up 250 years of American progress fueled by coal, petroleum and natural gas? When Fox News asked Patrick Moore, co-founder of whaling-protesting Greenpeace, what would happen if the Green New Deal became law, he said that two things would happen. “Every tree in America would be cut down for heating and cooking, and, when 18-wheelers stopped rolling, every person in every city would starve.”

Hey, Republicans in the House and Senate, when debating the Green New Deal, illustrate its absurdity by offering amendments to fund resumption of US Whaling operations. Whale-oil powered UTVs, anyone?

Gas prices in Dallas, Texas during the 2021 Democrat National Convention and Biden’s nomination. Prices rose after the election and again when he took office.

 

RUSH’S DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT EVS

The Hisun E Sector uses lead-acid batteries. The New York Post reports that while 99 percent of lead-acid batteries are recycled in the United States, estimated recycling rates for lithium-ion batteries are about 5 percent. In California, a recycling center fire from a lithium-ion battery caused $8.5 Billion in damages.

 

Snerdley opened the Newsletter article with, “Here we have liberal wishful thinking as federal policy. The truth is, electric cars represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. market, according to QZ, and a mere 3 percent globally. For all the globaloney about “net-zero” carbon emissions, the typical electric car contains SIX TIMES more minerals than a gas-powered car, according to the International Energy Agency. At the top of the list: the minerals in EVs’ rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.” To wit:

 

COBALT: “Some 70 percent of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – which is heavily reliant on child labor, much of it reportedly forced. According to the UK Daily Mail, 40,000 children work daily in mines of the DRC. In December 2019, International Rights Advocates sued multiple companies, including Tesla, for the maiming and deaths of multiple child miners.” The DRC produces 100,000 tons of cobalt, and Russia is #2 at 6,100 tons, so who’s Putin’s Puppet? The American Left, led by Joe Biden and his and AOC’s Green New Deal.

 

LITHIUM: “The United States is blessed with some of the world’s largest lithium reserves, according to the New York Times. But we only have one mine. Nevada’s Silver Peak produces just 5,000 tons of lithium a year, less than 2 percent of world supply. Instead of using our own resources, U.S. importers exploit the lax environmental laws in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Lithium mining uses enormous amounts of water in areas that can little afford it.”

 

Australia is #1 at 42,000 tons (2019), Chile is #2 at 18,000 tons, and China is #3 at 7,500 tons. China is also the largest consumer of lithium. Bo reported that Telecom TV said on 5/17/21 that, “Traditional lithium extraction is an energy-intensive and polluting process involving widespread use of toxic chemicals. including tens of thousands of tons of sulfuric acid, leaving a detritus of hazardous waste and massive spoil heaps that can affect localities for generations after mining has ceased.” And fossil fuels are the bad guy?

The knock on EVs is their short range compared to gasoline-powered machines. As batteries emerge with more power and range, so does environmental pollution.

NICKEL: “Nickel, the most-expensive material in electric vehicle batteries after cobalt, is processed far away from prying U.S. Environmental regulators: in Indonesia. IDTechEx reports that two nickel mining companies in Indonesia use DEEP-SEA DISPOSAL for millions of tons of raw waste material. Many automakers are aware of environmental concerns in nickel supply and that it can undermine the environmentally-friendly message of the electric vehicle.” So, polluting our oceans and impacting its wildlife and global food supply isn’t the bad guy, but burning clean natural gas is?

 

“Meanwhile, Reuters reports that, “The U.S. Government became the largest shareholder in mining investment firm TechMet, which controls a Brazilian nickel project, a Rwandan tungsten mine, and is also a major investor in a Canadian battery recycler.” The largest nickel producer is Indonesia at 1 million metric tons (2021), the Philippines is #2 at 370,000 MTs (and its biggest customer is neighboring China) and Russia is #3 at 250,000 MTs. China is #7 at 120,000 MT. So, once again, Biden’s GND will be further enriching Russia and China.

 

COAL: “Jeremy Michalek, professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told the New York Times, “If you’ve got electric cars in Pittsburgh that are being plugged in at night and leading nearby coal plants to burn more coal to charge them, then the climate benefits won’t be as great, and you can get even more air pollution.” Obama closed 100s of coal-fired power plants, and Biden’s GND threatens those remaining. Burning fossil fuels sounds better and better, doesn’t it? And fracking produces much cleaner-burning natural gas than the Anthracite coal of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the other coal-mining states.

 

“According to the UK Guardian, “The extra materials and energy involved in manufacturing a lithium-ion battery mean that, at present, the carbon emissions associated with producing  an electric car are higher than those of for a vehicle running on petrol or diesel – by as much as 38 percent.” China is by far the biggest producer of coal at 3.5 Billion metric tons (2020) and Russia is 6th at 430 Million MTs (2019). And which countries did Hunter Biden take the most money from? China, Russia, and Ukraine. Google “what minerals does Ukraine produce” and you get “abundant reserves of” coal, iron ore, graphite, manganese, magnesium, nickel, titanium, sulphur, salt, oil (Burisma?), natural gas, and mercury.

Nikola has the right idea – skip dangerous and highly toxic lithium-ion batteries and power electric motors with hydrogen cells.

 

Rush’s people concluded with, “Joe Biden campaigned on producing electric vehicle materials right here in the good ole USA. Two weeks before the election, he promised miners he would support domestic production of EV metals, according to Reuters. By this past May (2021), the Biden Regime had done a 180, telling Reuters the U.S. will rely on “ally countries” to supply the bulk of the EV metals.” So, China and Russia are U.S. allies in Biden’s Amerika? And U.S. miners and consumers come in last yet again. Do you miss America First yet?

Nikola’s Reckless military e-UTV is charged in-field by solar panels, but the machine guns on it represent what lithium-ion batteries will increasingly do to our environment. Urge your representatives to end Biden’s war on fossil fuels!

 

Gandhi said, “Poverty is the worst polluter,” and the Democrat’s Green New Deal will create way too much of both.

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