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Comment: This brought a tear to my eye – this little boy has more insight into character than many adults. As a former teacher, it always amazes me just how bright kids are.
9-year-old boy who had Trump-themed birthday party to tour White House
The 9-year-old boy whose letter to President Trump was read during a press briefing last week has plans to tour the White House — after the President accepted his handwritten friend request.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read the letter from Dylan Harbin last week, kicking off a new White House tradition of reading mail from “some of the forgotten men, women and children that we are here to serve and that the President is fighting for.”
Appearing on Fox and Friends, Dylan’s mother, SuAnn Harbin, said the pair will “definitely” take the White House up on its offer to have them tour Trump’s residence.
Their television appearance dismissed suspicions held by some that Dylan, nicknamed “Pickle,” was not real and that the letter had been faked. “Theres no way a 9 year old boy wrote that. I work with kids and any kid who is called Pickle and wants to be buddies with Trump aint real,” a social media user wrote on Twitter.
She also added that they received little warning before Sanders read the letter publicly.
“It was a complete surprise. We were at a Giants game and they had called right before we went in to the stadium and they said, ‘Hi, this is so and so from the White House and we’re calling to let you know that we received Pickle’s letter and that they’re going to read it at the press conference in about 20 minutes,’” she told Fox News.
SuAnn said that Dylan’s family and friends are “supportive” of his admiration for the 45th president but that others have bashed the little boy.
“Other people have reacted different and have been mean. So when he said he wanted a Trump-themed birthday party I kind of shortened the list to just family. It was his day and that’s what he wanted and I didn’t want anything to be said or anyone to hurt his feelings,” SuAnn told the Daily News.
The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.
Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.
In recent months, Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated. Now Tesla’s U.S. subsidies face extinction. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero over an 18-month period. The same thing will happen to other EV companies that reach 200,000.
Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Free charging stations, and access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, further sweeten the deal. For those who can afford the entry fee, the ride is smooth indeed. In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies.
Where were all the government “offices of environmental justice” when this was happening? How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?
Perhaps recognizing the reverse Robin Hood injustice – or how unsustainable free EV stations are for cash-strapped cities – Palo Alto (where Tesla Motors is headquartered) announced that it will charge 23 cents per kWh to charge plug-in vehicles in city parking garages. Others communities and states may also reduce their rebates, HOV access and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey EVs.
Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are also decreasing the justification for shelling out $35,000 to $115,000 or even $980,000 for an electric car that gets very limited mileage per charge. Long excursions still need internal combustion engines or long layovers every few hundred miles to recharge EV batteries.
Intent on advancing its renewable energy and climate change agenda, the California legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla and the “bullet train to nowhere,” by increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest. State legislators are also close to passing a $3-billion EV subsidy program, primarily to replace the $7,500 federal rebate that Tesla could soon lose. Electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 for buying Tesla’s most expensive models! Coal-billionaire and California gubernatorial hopeful Tom Steyer vigorously supports the new subsidy.
We can also expect a battle royale over extending the federal EV subsidy beyond 200,000 vehicles – demonstrating once again that lobbyists are now far more important to bottom lines than engineers, especially when lobbyists can channel enormous contributions to politicians’ reelection campaigns.
As U.S. government agencies prepare to reassess climate change science, models and disaster predictions, it’s a good time to reexamine claims made about all the utopian electric vehicle and renewable energy forecasts, expanding on the land and raw material issues I raised in a previous article.
In his Forbes article on Battery Derangement Syndrome, energy and technology analyst Mark P. Mills notes that Tesla is also getting $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies to build a huge $5-billion lithium battery factory in Nevada. Batteries, it’s often claimed, can soon replace fossil fuels for backing up expensive, intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable wind and solar power. Mills explains why this is … deranged.
In an entire year, all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Wh per day. Worldwide, humanity uses over 50,000 billion Wh daily.
Focusing on solar power, Mills notes, that means storing electricity for 12 hours a day – to power homes and businesses around the globe for the 12 hours per day that photovoltaic systems will generate power on sunny days in the 100% solar world of the utopian future – would require 25,000 billion Watt-hours of battery power (ignoring future electricity needs to recharge electric vehicle batteries).
Replacing the gasoline in the tanks of 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide with electric power would require another 100,000 billion Watt-hours. That brings total global demand to wellover 125,000 billion Wh of storage. That means it would take 1,250 years of production from every existing lithium battery factory worldwide to meet this combined demand. Or we would have to build 1,250 times more factories. Or we could build batteries that are 10 to100 times more powerful and efficient than what we have today.
Says Mills, the constraints of real world physics on battery storage mean this latter option will not happen.
In a world where we are also supposed to ban nuclear (and most hydroelectric) power, the very notion of eliminating the 80% of all global energy that comes from oil, natural gas and coal – replacing it with wind, solar and biofuel power – is fundamentally absurd. Can you imagine what would happen when the power goes off and on repeatedly while we are smelting iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt or lithium ores … forging or casting metals into components … or running complex fabrication and assembly lines?
In the sustainability arena, has anyone calculated how much lithium, cobalt and other metals would be required to manufacture all those batteries? Where they would be mined – with nearly all the best U.S. metal prospects off limits to exploration and production, and radical environmentalists increasingly rallying to block mining projects overseas? The mines would have to be enormous, and operated by huge corporate consortiums. Will anti-corporate activists on our campuses suddenly have a change of heart?
Will homes, neighborhoods and communities have the electrical service (200 amperes or more per home) to handle all the lighting, computing, entertainment, air conditioning, medical equipment and other requirements of modern living – AND the power required to charge all the predicted electric vehicles? What will it cost to upgrade neighborhood power grids, and home and commercial electrical systems?
Lithium batteries and their component metals pose unique fire and explosion risks. What safeguards will be established to minimize those dangers, in battery factories, homes and public parking garages?
Some factories and batteries will invariably be poorly built, handled or maintained. Some will invariably malfunction – causing potentially catastrophic explosions. The bigger the factory or battery, the bigger the cataclysm. Will we apply the same precautionary principles to them as more rabid environmentalists insist on applying to drilling, fracking, pipelines, refineries, factories, dams and nuclear power plants?
What is the life expectancy of batteries, compared to engines in gasoline-powered cars? Two or three times shorter? What does it cost to replace battery packs compared to engines? Two to three times as much? What is the true overall cost of owning an EV? Four to six times higher than a gasoline car? How will we dispose of or recycle millions or billions of batteries and their dangerous, toxic components?
Is the real goal of all this crony-corporatist wind, solar and battery enthusiasm – and anti-fossil fuel activism – to slash living standards in industrialized nations, and ensure that impoverished nations are able to improve their health and living conditions only marginally?
We would do well to raise – and answer – these and other essential questions now, before we let activists, journalists, legislators and regulators con us into adopting more of their utopian, “planet-saving” ideas.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.
I shall drive my petrol car to the bitter end in defiance. The carbon footprint of an electric car is actually higher than that of a petrol vehicle once the manufacturing processes are factored in. What on earth does the government think powers and electric vehicle, Scotch mist?
It should be entirely a matter for the market to determine the demand, or otherwise, of electric vehicles. The electric vehicle industry is almost wholly dependent upon tax-payer subsidies.
Whilst the US and China power ahead with coal, oil and natural gas, we will be tootling along in our electric cars, subject to an intermittent power supply as a consequence of coal decommissioning, crumbling infrastructure and over-priced nuclear generated power from the French.
Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040
Plans follow French commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road owing to effect of poor air quality on people’s health
Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.
The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle.
The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health. Ministers believe it poses the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, costing up to £2.7bn in lost productivity in one recent year.
Ministers have been urged to introduce charges for vehicles to enter a series of “clean air zones” (CAZ). However, the government only wants taxes to be considered as a last resort, fearing a backlash against any move that punishes motorists.
“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” a government spokesman said.
“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”
The final plan, which was due by the end of July, comes after a draft report that environmental lawyers described as “much weaker than hoped for”.
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, will be hoping for a better reception when he publishes the final document on Wednesday following months of legal wrangling.
A briefing on parts of the plan, seen by the Guardian, repeats the heavy focus on the steps that can be taken to help councils improve air quality in specific areas where emissions have breached EU thresholds.
Measures to be urgently brought in by local authorities that have repeatedly breached EU rules include retrofitting buses and other public transport, changing road layouts and altering features such as roundabouts and speed humps.
Reprogramming traffic lights will also be included in local plans, with councils being given £255m to accelerate their efforts. Local emissions hotspots will be required to layout their plans by March 2018 and finalise them by the end of the year. A targeted scrappage scheme is also expected to be included.
Some want the countrywide initiative to follow in the footsteps of London, which is introducing a £10 toxic “T-charge” that will be levied on up to 10,000 of the oldest, most polluting vehicles every weekday.
Sources insisted that while the idea of charges were on the table, there was no plan to force councils to introduce them, and that other measures would be exhausted first.
They hope the centrepiece of Wednesday’s strategywill be the plan to ban diesel and petrol sales completely by 2040, in line with Emmanuel Macron’s efforts across the Channel.
That decision was hailed as the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine’s dominance of motor transport after more than a century.
Prof David Bailey, an automotive industry expert at Aston University, said: “The timescale involved here is sufficiently long-term to be taken seriously. If enacted it would send a very clear signal to manufacturers and consumers of the direction of travel and may accelerate a transition to electric cars.”
Britain’s air quality package also includes £1bn in ultra-low emissions vehicles including investing nearly £100m in the UK’s charging infrastructure and funding the ”plug-in car” and “plug-in grant” schemes.
There will also be £290m for the national productivity investment fund, which will go towards the retrofitting, and money towards low-emission taxis.
The report will also include an air quality grant for councils, a green bus fund for low carbon vehicles, £1.2bn for cycling and walking and £100m to help air quality on the roads.
A judge had said the government’s original plans on tackling the issue, which included five clean air zones, were so poor as to be unlawful. The government was asked to present a new draft policy to tackle air pollution from diesel traffic before the election.
It was then called to court to explain why it had made a last-minute application to delay publication of its draft policy until after the election.
James Eadie QC, representing the government, said the policy was ready to be published but it would be controversial and should therefore be withheld until after the election.
“If you publish a draft plan, it drops all the issues of controversy into the election … like dropping a controversial bomb,” he said, adding that it could risk breaching rules about civil service neutrality and lead to the policy being labelled a Tory plan.
However, judges said the government did have to publish a draft plan with the final version needed by the end of July.
May’s draft contained few concrete proposals and did not specify the cities and towns where polluting vehicles might face charges, the level of any charges or the scope or value of any scrappage scheme.
Instead, the plan put the onus for action on local authorities: “Local authorities are already responsible for improving air quality in their area, but will now be expected to develop new and creative solutions to reduce emissions as quickly as possible, while avoiding undue impact on the motorist.”
Analysis in the documents showed increasing the number of CAZs from the current six planned to 27 would make by far the greatest impact in cutting pollution and provide cost benefits of over £1bn. The CAZ policy would cut more than 1,000 times more NO2 than a scrappage scheme, even if that scheme required old diesels to be replaced by electric cars.
But it required local authorities to exhaust all other options before introducing CAZ charging for diesel vehicles, such as removing speed bumps and retrofitting buses.
The coalition government had already set out a vision for almost every car and van to be ultra-low emission by 2050 – a move which the government acknowledged would require “almost all new cars and vans sold to be near-zero emission at the tailpipe by 2040”. So it is unclear to what extent the new pledge will further boost Britain’s ability to achieve air quality requirements.
ClientEarth, the campaign group that has successfully pursued the government through the courts over the UK’s air pollution crisis, gave a cautious welcome to the announcement but said ministers must take immediate action to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis.
“The government has trumpeted some promising measures with its air quality plans, but we need to see the detail,” said CEO James Thornton. “A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.
“However, the law says ministers must bring down illegal levels of air pollution as soon as possible, so any measures announced in this plan must be focused on doing that.”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has been calling for tougher measures to tackle air pollution, which kills 9,000 people a year in the capital.
A City Hall source was sceptical about the government’s announcement. “We need to look at the full details but what Londoners suffering from the terrible health impacts of air pollution desperately need is a fully-funded diesel scrappage fund – and they need it right now.”
Areeba Hamid, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “The high court was clear that the government must bring down toxic air pollution in the UK in the shortest possible time. This plan is still miles away from that.
“The government cannot shy away any longer from the issue of diesel cars clogging up and polluting our cities, and must now provide real solutions, not just gimmicks. That means proper clean air zones and funding to support local authorities to tackle illegal and unsafe pollution.”
Pantheon Resources plc (“Pantheon” or “the Company”), the AIM-quoted oil and gas exploration company with a working interest of 50%-58% in several conventional projects in Tyler and Polk Counties, onshore East Texas, is pleased to provide the following information:
VOBM#2H – Frac date confirmed
The operator has signed a service agreement for the planned fracture stimulation treatment (“Frac”) on the VOBM#2H well in Polk County. Equipment is expected to be on location on or about 4 August, 2017 in order to complete the Frac. The Company’s recently appointed technical consultants, Sierra Hamilton, are working closely with the operator to design the optimum Frac treatment, to remediate the near wellbore damage caused during horizontal and deviated drilling of the VOBM#2H well. Well logs over the Eagle Ford sandstone in this location compare favourably with the higher quality well logs from the Double A Wells field, and to our own VOBM#1 well. Frac and testing procedures are expected to take 2-3 weeks on a trouble free basis. Results will be reported at the conclusion of testing operations.
VOBM#4 – wellbore sidetrack
The Company is pleased to announce that it has agreed terms with Energy Drilling Co., for drilling of the sidetrack at the VOBM#4 well in Tyler County. Mobilization is estimated to commence in the last week of August. Operations are expected to take +/-30-40 days on a trouble free basis with testing to occur thereafter. Results will be reported at the conclusion of testing operations.
Jay Cheatham, CEO, said:
“We are very pleased to announce these updates on VOBM#2H and VOBM#4, which, along with the previously announced contract with Kinder Morgan for a 15 million cubic feet per day gas processing facility in Polk County, provides further clarity of the near term value upside opportunity for shareholders. The Frac on VOBM#2H is a relatively small procedure and is designed to penetrate the wellbore damage. The sidetrack on VOBM#4 will present a clean wellbore unencumbered by surplus cement, allowing us to test the Wilcox formation, which flowed hydrocarbons during drilling of the original well and showed an excellent log response.”
Pantheon Resources plc
+44 20 7484 5361
Jay Cheatham, CEO
Justin Hondris, Director, Finance and Corporate Development
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Nominated Adviser and broker)
In accordance with the AIM Rules – Note for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies – June 2009, the information contained in this announcement has been reviewed and signed off by Jay Cheatham, a qualified Chemical & Petroleum Engineer, who has over 40 years’ relevant experience within the sector.
The information contained within this RNS is considered to be inside information prior to its release.
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