Sanctimonious Enviromentalism

I am all for conservation and the wise use of resources. I turn off the lights when I leave a room, I repair my leaky faucets, I reuse cardboard boxes or give them to small businesses who can, and I try to recycle most of the junk mail that comes into our house. That said, I don’t wear this on my sleeve as some environmental badge of honor. It is just part of my frugal nature given I was raised by parents who came of age during the Great Depression.

That is probably why the sanctimony of the owner of a Chevy Volt electric car with this license plate ticked me off.

That car is no more solar powered than my Honda Pilot. Electric cars like the Volt depend upon power generation plants that are powered primarily by fossil fuels. In our region, Duke Energy is the electric utility providing power. Other than a few hydro plants with minimal megawatt capacity (most in the single digit megawatt capacity), power is supplied by coal fired plants in Asheville and Cliffside. The Asheville plant is converting to natural gas but that still is a fossil fuel. The coal ash remnants are a sore spot for Duke Energy and have been a source of fodder for Democrat politicians.

Your car may put out no exhaust but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pollute. The moment you hook that Chevy Volt up to an electrical outlet, you are entering a pollution creating system. I’m not going to even get into a discussion of the heavy metals in the batteries in that car nor the power that was used in its manufacture of the Volt.

UPDATE: Thanks to the comment from BAP45, I found this clip from South Park’s Smug Alert episode. It was from Season 10, Episode 2. I haven’t watched South Park in years and had forgotten how wonderfully subversive it was.

Heath Becomes A Dookie*

My soon to be former congressman, Heath Shuler, has a new job lined up. He’s becoming the top “Federal affairs official” for Duke Energy aka Duke Power. That is Beltway-speak for lobbyist.

From The Hill:

The conservative Democrat won’t vote on any matters affecting Duke Energy for the remainder of his time in Congress, the company said in a statement that touted the hiring of the one-time Washington Redskins quarterback.

“Heath is well known in Washington for working with leaders from both political parties and for bringing people together in his district in Western North Carolina,” said Keith Trent, a vice president with Duke Energy’s regulated utilities.

Shuler, who announced in February that he was not seeking reelection, will be based in Duke’s Washington, D.C., office.

A Duke spokesman, citing House ethics rules, said Shuler would not be “actively lobbying” for one year but could do so after that period. Shuler will be overseeing and determining how to strengthen Duke’s D.C. office, spokesman Tom Williams said.

The environmental activist new site Grist offers this rather snide comment on the revolving door between Congress and K-Street:

That’s the commitment to ethical integrity our Congress is known for: No voting on issues related to your future employer. Strictly verboten. Hard line in the sand.

Plus, he’ll have to wait an entire year before coming back to Capitol Hill.

Wow! A whole year. That must suck.

If you wondered about his commitment to living in Waynesville with his wife Nikol and kids Navy and Island, wonder no more. His house is for sale. If you have $2.7 million lying around it can be yours.

If you listen carefully to the video below, you will notice Heath saying that they have enjoyed living in the house for six years. Hmm. How long did Heath serve in Congress? Six years. Do you think Rahm Emanual parachuted him into Western North Carolina to run for Congress? Yep.

*Dookie. A term of “affection” traditionally used for graduates of that politically correct university in Durham, NC where one is guilty until proven innocent if you are male and white. The same family that endowed Duke University founded Duke Power thus my use of the term Dookie.