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Germany’s Green Energy Follies Are A Warning To The United States


BY: HELEN RALEIGH | SEPTEMBER 14, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/14/germanys-green-energy-follies-are-a-warning-to-the-united-states/

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

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Germany is reportedly working on reducing the nation’s economic dependency on Communist China due to concerns about “human rights abuses and the risks of being beholden to an increasingly assertive authoritarian state,” Reuters reports. Berlin finally learned one lesson from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: it’s dangerous to economically rely on authoritarian regimes. 

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies — building an economy based on Russia’s energy supply and China’s market demand — were primarily responsible for German’s economic predicament today. Zealous in fighting climate change, Merkel shut down coal mines and retired the majority of nuclear power plants in Germany while relying on Russia for energy and raw materials, despite repeated warnings from the Trump administration. By 2020, Russia supplied more than half of Germany’s natural gas and about a third of all the oil that Germans burned to heat homes, power factories, and fuel vehicles.

While paying Russia billions of euros for energy supply (the money no doubt helped finance Putin’s war chest), Merkel neglected to invest in German’s armed forces, even after Putin annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. She outsourced Germans’ and, to a larger extent, Europe’s security to the United States and simply hoped for the best. When Merkel retired in 2021, after being in office for 16 years, German’s military was left “in a weak position and require years of renewal to become a credible deterrent to Russian aggression,” according to The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.  

Strengthened China Ties

Besides empowering and enriching Russia, Merkel was keen on strengthening Germany’s economic ties with China while in office. No other leaders from Western democracies had visited China more often than Merkel (she had 11 state visits to China).

To promote Germany’s export-oriented economy, Merkel was indifferent to China’s aggression in the South China Sea, its geopolitical expansion through the “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, and its increasingly assertive foreign policies. In addition, she avoided criticizing China’s mishandling of Covid-19 in the early days of 2020 and turned a blind eye to many human rights abuses in China, especially the genocide of Uyghur Muslims and suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. 

Under Merkel, China became Germany’s largest trading partner in 2016. German’s auto industry especially relies on China — about 50 percent of German car maker Volkswagen’s profit comes from China. Merkel’s China policy has made Germany’s economy vulnerable and helped speed up the Chinese military’s modernization.

Beijing reportedly focused on investments in Germany to obtain critical technologies, especially those with dual-use, meaning both civilian and military applications. For example, engines made by German companies have powered several types of Chinese navy warships, Deutsche Welle found.  

Although Merkel retired in 2021, the effects of her economic policies continued. According to a German Economic Institute (IW) study, Germany’s economic dependency on China has continued to grow in 2022. “China’s share of German imports rose to 12.4 percent in the first half of 2022, compared with only 3.4 percent in 2000. German imports of Chinese goods… have surged by 45.7 percent year-on-year in the comparable period of the first six months. Germany’s trade deficit with the country had leapt to almost EUR 41 bn by mid-2022.”

A Wake-Up Call

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany joined other EU nations in imposing punitive economic sanctions on Russia. Putin retaliated by weaponizing his energy supply to Europe, sending energy prices soaring and dealing a blow to the German economy. 

Inflation in Germany has reached a 40-year high. Suppose Putin shut off the natural gas supply to Europe, as he threatened. In that case, many predict an energy-induced recession in Europe is inevitable, and Germany could lose close to $240 billion in economic output over the next two years.

The grim economic outlook, and the fact that Beijing refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and helped Russia evade the West’s economic sanctions by purchasing Russian energy and agriculture products, have become a wake-up call for Germany. Additionally, Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy that has kept dozens of cities and millions of Chinese people in lockdown means German businesses have had limited access to the Chinese market, and the trend will continue in the foreseeable future. 

The German Economic Institute called for the government to change its economic policy, “specifically a reduction in incentives for doing business with China and a shift towards more trade with other emerging markets.” It also warned German businesses to “curb their dependency on China.” Otherwise, companies may expose themselves to bankruptcy due to Western sanctions imposed on China in the event of the People’s Liberation Army’s invading Taiwan. 

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing also warned, “When it comes to dependencies, we also have to face the awkward question of how to deal with China.” He appealed to the German government to decouple economically from China and acknowledged such a move would “require a change no less fundamental than decoupling from Russian energy.” 

Germany Stepping Back

These calls for action have reached their desired audience. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged Germany couldn’t afford to “just behave following the motto ‘business first,’ without taking into account the long-term risks and dependencies.”

Reuters reports that Germany’s economic ministry is considering several actions to cut Germany’s reliance on China, including reducing or scrapping investment and export guarantees for China and no longer promoting trade fairs and manager training there. It is also contemplating screening not just Chinese investments in Germany but also German investments in China. It also might submit a complaint to the World Trade Organization about unfair Chinese trade practices, together with the Group of Seven, an intergovernmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

While Germany is waking up to the risks of economic dependency on authoritarian regimes, the Biden administration has deepened our nation’s economic reliance on China with a green revolution that centers around replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind, and gas-powered cars with electric vehicles (EVs). China dominates the global supply chain of raw materials and parts for EV batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. The nation has been able to keep the manufacturing cost low by burning coal and employing forced labor from Uyghur and other ethnic minorities.

Even Politico has had to admit the dirty truth: “The U.S path to clean energy goes straight through China.” Germany’s economic woes should serve as a timely warning to the Biden administration that relying on an authoritarian regime is both dangerous and foolish.


Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She’s a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Helen is the author of several books, including “Confucius Never Said” and “Backlash: How Communist China’s Aggression Has Backfired.” Follow her on Parler and Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks.

    Studies Show the Electric Vehicles Democrats Insist You Buy Are Worse for the Environment and Lower Quality


    REPORTED BY: HELEN RALEIGH | JULY 11, 2022

    Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/11/studies-show-the-electric-vehicles-democrats-insist-you-buy-are-worse-for-the-environment-and-lower-quality/

    Tesla

    Two recent studies have shown that electric vehicles have more quality issues than gas-powered ones and are not better for the environment. 

    Author Helen Raleigh profile

    HELEN RALEIGH

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    Many people believe electric vehicles are higher quality than gas-powered vehicles and are emissions-free, which makes them much better for the environment. But two recent studies have shown that electric cars have more quality issues than gas-powered ones and are not better for the environment. 

    J.D. Power has produced the annual U.S. Initial Quality Study for 36 years, which measures the quality of new vehicles based on feedback from owners. The most recent study, which included Tesla in its industry calculation for the first time, found that battery-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles have more quality issues than gas-powered ones. According to J.D. Power, owners of electric or hybrid vehicles cite more problems than do owners of gas-powered vehicles. The latter vehicles average 175 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), hybrids average 239 PP100, and battery-powered cars — excluding Tesla models — average 240 PP100. Tesla models average 226 PP100. Given the average cost of an electric car is roughly $60,000, about $20,000 more than the cost of a gas-powered car, it seems owners of EVs didn’t get the value they deserve.

    Some blamed the supply-chain disruptions caused by pandemic-related lockdowns as the main reason for EVs’ quality issues. EV makers have sought alternative (sometimes less optimal) solutions to manufacture new vehicles. But the same supply-chain disruption affected makers of gas-powered vehicles. Yet the three highest-ranking brands, measured by overall initial quality, are all makers of gas-powered vehicles: Buick (139 PP100), Dodge (143 PP100), and Chevrolet (147 PP100).

    Some pointed to the design as a main contributing factor to EVs’ quality issues. According to David Amodeo, global director of automotive at J.D. Power, automakers view EVs as “the vehicle that will transform us into the era of the smart cars,” so they have loaded up EVs with technologies such as touch screens, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. EV makers also prefer to use manufacturer-designed apps to “control certain functions of the car, from locking and unlocking the doors remotely to monitoring battery charge.” Increasing technical complexity also increases the likelihood of problems. Not surprisingly, EV owners reported more infotainment and connectivity issues in their vehicles than owners of gas-powered vehicles. Amodeo acknowledged that “there’s a lot of room for improvement” for EVs. 

    Electric Vehicles Are Worse for the Environment

    Besides quality issues, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that electric vehicles are worse for the environment than gas-powered ones. By quantifying the externalities (both greenhouse gases and local air pollution) generated by driving these vehicles, the government subsidies on the purchase of EVs, and taxes on electric and/or gasoline miles, researchers found that “electric vehicles generate a negative environmental benefit of about -0.5 cents per mile relative to comparable gasoline vehicles (-1.5 cents per mile for vehicles driven outside metropolitan areas).”

    Researchers specifically pointed out that despite being treated by regulators as “zero emission vehicles,” electric cars are not emissions-free. Charging an EV increases electricity demand. Renewal resources supply only 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The remaining 80 percent were generated by fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, despite billions of dollars in green subsidies.

    “The comparison between a gasoline vehicle and an electric one is really a comparison between burning gasoline or a mix of coal and natural gas to move the vehicle,” according to The American Economic Review.

    Batteries Create Pollution

    NBER’s study doesn’t cover all the reasons that EVs are worse for the environment than gas-powered cars. For instance, most of today’s EVs are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Due to heavy government subsidies, China dominates the global production of lithium-ion batteries and their precursor materials, especially graphite. China’s graphite production has notoriously contributed to significant pollution in the country. 

    Pollution can come “from graphite dust in the air, which is damaging whether inhaled or brought down to the earth in the rain,” a Bloomberg report found. More pollution results from the hydrochloric acid used to process mined graphite into a usable form. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can cause great environmental damage if leaked into groundwater or streams. China’s Shandong province, which is responsible for 10 percent of global graphite supply, had to suspend some of its production capacity due to environmental damages. But the growing demand in the west for EVs means such suspensions will only be temporary.

    A typical electric car needs 110 pounds of graphite, and a hybrid vehicle needs around 22 pounds. Ironically, the U.S. government’s EV subsidies end up subsidizing China’s highly polluted production. So, if you think you are doing your part of saving the planet by driving an EV, think twice. We also know from past experiences that pollution in China ends up harming the rest of the world. 

    Compelling Americans to switch from gas-powered cars and trucks to electric ones has been crucial to President Joe Biden’s plan to fight climate change. He signed an executive order last year to have electric vehicles make up half of new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2030. These recent studies show that Biden’s plan will result in Americans spending more money on vehicles of inferior quality while having little effect on climate change. More importantly, his plan will enrich the Chinese Community Party at the expense of the environment and U.S. taxpayers.  


    Helen Raleigh, CFA, is an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She’s a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her writings appear in other national media, including The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. Helen is the author of several books, including “Confucius Never Said” and “Backlash: How Communist China’s Aggression Has Backfired.” Follow her on Parler and Twitter: @HRaleighspeaks.

    Dems Don’t Want You To Know How Much Fossil Fuel Electric Cars Use | Batteries Are Fancy/Expensive/Toxic Fossil Fuel Tanks


    Posted on March 19, 2022 by TonyR

    Read more at https://dailybrowse.wordpress.com/2022/03/19/dems-dont-want-you-to-know-how-much-fossil-fuel-electric-cars-use-batteries-are-fancy-expensive-toxic-fossil-fuel-tanks/

    In reality, one of Tesla’s Supercharger stations was reported to get 13 percent of their energy from natural gas and 27 percent from coal. Power plants burn coal to generate electricity to power electric cars and emit a higher fossil fuel footprint than the left would care to admit. 

    While these vehicles may be falsely advertised, many who invest in these overpriced cars are able to avoid paying the currently outrageous gas prices. Still, Americans’ growing reliance on electric cars and the batteries they require will increase our dependence on countries such as China for materials. 

    I love the idea of electric cars until I think of all the pollution they cause. Rare earth mineral mining is a pollution nightmare. Filling the batteries with power from fossil fuel is asinine, a shell game. Disposal of toxic batteries is a disaster in the making.

    And don’t get me started on the disaster of wind power. Concrete and metal skyscraper factories that litter or rural areas. Just wait till they rot, leave massive concrete foundations and pollute a once beautiful landscape.

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