Fentress Times Op-Ed

Caution Needed by Fentress County School Board over Electric Buses

by Anne Beckett

This article is in response to the June 22 article in Fentress Times, “Electric Dreams and Harsh Realities.”

The article did a good job of assessing a potential benefit of electric vehicle buses for Fentress County schools. However, new studies bring to light other serious issues to consider. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are still arriving upon the scene, and the demanding conversion from gas powered vehicles imposed upon us by the current federal administration is questionable as it creates additional demand on our already overburdened, and primarily fossil-fueled, electric grid, among other reasons.

This article will address research that indicates electric vehicles are not better for the environment and have more quality issues than gas-powered ones.

The current administration is in a push to convert the U.S. to electric vehicles.  However, only 20% of our energy needs are “renewable”, such as wind turbine. That means we are currently 80% dependent upon so called “fossil fuels” such as gasoline, coal, natural gas. Therefore, the comparison between electric and gas powered vehicles is really a comparison between burning gasoline or using a mix of coal and natural gas to produce electricity for an electric vehicle.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that EVs are worse for the environment than gas-powered ones.  EVs are not emissions-free:  charging an EV increases electricity demand — which is mostly provided by coal plants.  (Viva la coal!)  If the current administration’s plan is for EVs to reduce reliance on what is termed fossil fuels it is based on false pretenses and is going to fail miserably.

The argument over environment issues cannot be made if coal is the most used source to produce electricity. So where is the benefit? 

However, there are worse and bigger issues against electric vehicles.

J.D. Powers produces an annual “U.S. Initial Quality Study,” and has for the last 36 years. In their most recent study they compared the number of quality issues among electric, hybrids and gas-powered vehicles.  Per 100 vehicles (PP100), electric had 240 quality issues PP100, hybrids had 239 PP100 and gas had 175 PP100 quality issues.  Some of the issues are due to technical complexity which increases the likelihood of problems.  EVs are meant to “transform us in the era of the smart cars,” according to the article. So they are loaded with technologies like Bluetooth, touchscreen, and apps including remote door locks and battery charge. 

While gadget lovers may have fun with new ‘toys,’ most Americans prefer to use traditional gas vehicles because of “charging logistics, driving distance and maintenance costs.”  (Speaking of maintenance, owners of the 2014 Ford Focus will  have inoperable vehicles if and when the battery needs replacement: the cost would be $11,000, but batteries are no longer available.) 

Batteries for electric vehicles continue to be a problem. First, batteries are very expensive and not reusable. When they die, disposal in a landfill is problematic, as lithium batteries aren’t stable. They can cause fires that sometimes smolder for years. Toxic fumes are released, which not only are dangerous to breathe but can contribute to global warming. This defeats the original purpose of the EV.

Electric vehicles also contribute to the “greenhouse” effect they are supposed to be helping. This starts with the mining process. The process of mining the raw materials for the batteries releases CO2 emissions. Then these raw materials must be refined before they can be used in batteries; this causes more emissions.

The batteries for EVs require graphite. And there many problems with that.  China is the biggest producer of lithium-ion batteries and their precursor materials, especially graphite. So in effect, America is supporting an industry dominated and controlled by a hostile foreign power.  The “plan” to convert to EVs will enrich the Chinese Community party at the expense of the environment and U.S. Taxpayers.

A hybrid auto battery uses 22 pounds of graphite;  EVs demand 110 pounds of graphite.   Graphite production produces significant pollution.  China had to shut down production in their city of greatest graphite output.  Graphite dust is toxic whether inhaled or leached into the water supply. Worse, hydrochloric acid is used to process mined graphite into a usable form. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and damaging to ALL forms of life.

In its 2022 report, the U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey reports that in 2021, over 70 percent of the global cobalt production came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The problem, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, is that dust from cobalt mines often contains toxic metals such as uranium, and these mines may contain sulfur minerals that can generate sulfuric acid. When exposed to air or water, sulfuric acid can lead to acid mine drainage, polluting rivers and drinking water for hundreds of years. And, up to 40,000 children are estimated to be working in these mines under slave labor conditions.

Further, reports around the nation about vehicles bursting into flame should bring great concerns.  These are potentially due to the lithium-ion batteries.  More time is needed to determine if this is going to be a regular occurrence.

Electric vehicles may be more a part of a socialistic utopian dream than scientific reality.  Based on current research and experience, it may be a better idea to exercise patience as well as caution before jumping onboard with electric buses.  Further, it is never good to own the first of anything new. Wait until all the bugs are known, and a track record has been established. No matter how good it looks financially for now, even with “free” grant money, the “hidden charges” could bring buyers’ remorse with no recourse.

References for this article:

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/electric-car-battery-replacement-costs-more-than-car/ (This link was used for the quote on American’s preferring gas powered cars. It has since been removed.)

Sign Up For Legislative Alerts!

Will Tennessee Turn Blue? Tennessee is being targeted by the Left! The 2022 Legislative Session is critical with explosive issues about key freedoms being decided by the end of April. Our legislators are being bombarded by the opposition to approve radical agendas. What do you think about the following bills?:

• Do you want illegal immigrants to vote in Tennessee?
• Do you want K-12 textbooks to promote gay/lesbian and transgender lifestyles?
• Do you want covid vaccines mandatory for your K-12 children?
• Do you want laws that protect your medical and religious exemptions in the workplace?
• Do you want laws that keep churches open during pandemics?
• Do you want to be assured that our voting system is secure?

These key issues and others will be decided by the end of April with or without your input. Do you want your voice heard? Conservative voices are barely at a whisper. Legislators do count your calls and emails! And our elected men and women on the front lines want our help and support as they fight to make a difference.

Tennessee Action Group partners with other organizations and legislators to monitor upcoming bills. We send Alerts within 48 hours of voting – when calls and emails are most critical.

For Alerts that update on bills and how to contact your state legislators, sign up at:
https://www.tennactiongroup.org/contact

A Look at Public Education Purpose and Oversight

What do you want your child to learn in school? Do you want an emphasis on basic education? Or do you want public schools to oversee his/her mental health “needs?” (1)

The Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn, after her appointment in 2019, implemented a 5-year plan to focus on students’ emotional needs called the “whole child” approach. (2) Schwinn says educators have identified “emotional needs” as a top concern. Is that why you send your child to school?

Schwinn’s “concerns” included an attempt to send someone to see every child in TN to conduct “well-being” checks as a “new government initiative.” (3) Are you ready to have a stranger knock on your door to check on your child’s “well-being”? If a child simply uses the word ”uncomfortable” in an interview with a state worker it can incur bureaucratic intervention.

In 1963, a Tennessean congressman entered a list of communist goals into the congressional record. Centralizing governmental control over education is goal #34. (4) Are we headed there?

Gov. Lee appointed Schwinn without her submitting a resume or receiving any legislative overview or support. The legislature has voiced repeated concerns about her policies and actions (for 3 years) threatening a “no confidence” vote on her even as Governor Lee continues to support her. (5)(6) 
Schwinn, a native Californian, signed a state plan in 2021 to submit TN schools to federal oversight. Look for masks and vaccine mandates this Spring, and then call your legislator and ask why. For further details see our website. (7)

(1) http://stand.org/washington/blog/2013/02/12/what-does-basic-education-mean

(2) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2019/11/5/21109209/whole-child-among-tennessee-s-new-priorities-amid-concerns-about-student-mental-health

(3) http://www.silentnomorepublications.com/Money/files/Communist_Goals_1963.pdf

(4) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2020/8/27/21404921/tennessee-lawmakers-want-answers-from-schwinn-after-fallout-over-child-well-being-checks

(5) https://www.parispi.net/opinion/columns/article_255b39ce-5ab2-11eb-909c-c7df41e31c55.html

(6) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2020/9/10/21431460/gov-bill-lee-reasserts-support-of-education- commissioner-penny-schwinn-i-am-pleased-with-her-work 

(7)  On Telegram, look for “”The Great Takedown-TNDOEChat” to get all federal documents on how the federal government is planning a complete take down of education in Tennessee.  Expect masks and vaccine mandates by late Spring if TN is participating.

Appeared in January 26, 2022 Fentress Times

Duty to Oppose IIllegal Immigration in TN

Last June the TN legislature formed a committee to study illegal immigration in the state. They concluded their investigation but have not issued the final report.(1)

Committee member Senator Richard Briggs of Knoxville admits Tennessee has illegal immigrants, but says, “It is primarily a federally created problem.” He says Congress needs to take action. Congress is not acting. Why isn’t Tennessee?

Tennessee can not depend on Congress to protect its citizens from federally-permitted illegal activity.  Read the TN Constitution. (2)  It is the job of the state legislators to make laws to protect the citizens of Tennessee.

Sen. Briggs admits that Tennessee has an illegal immigration problem. But he says we are “not in crisis.” Really? Is crisis needed before any action is taken?

The federal government has zero transparency and is unwilling to communicate on any level with Tennessee. The feds have created an illegal problem, and our legislators’ job is to stop it at the border of Tennessee.

The issue is not about immigrants. It’s about illegal immigrants. And by doing nothing, TN is  participating in illegal activity. At the very least, start with laws to penalize business contracts with companies that transport illegals, as Florida’s Gov. DeSantis has done. Or, as Florida is also doing, budget $8 million to bus illegal immigrants to Biden’s Delaware. (3)

Your voice does matter. Call or write Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Kelly Kiesling to make sure committee members submit bills to penalize illegal immigration activity.

(1) https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tennessee-senators-fear-little-can-be-done-to-curb-illegal-immigration-within-state/

(2) https://www.capitol.tn.gov/about/docs/TN-Constitution.pdf

(3) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/12/13/desantis-seeks-8m-to-bus-illegal-aliens-out-of-florida-to-bidens-delaware-obamas-marthas-vineyard/

ADDENDUM: Report Issued https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/joint-study-committee-on-refugee-issues-releases-final-review-and-recommendations/

Appeared in January 12, 2022 Fentress Times

Who Rules Tennessee?

God warned his people about the danger of being ruled by a king, that is, one man. (1) Our country was founded on a division of powers to try and keep the same thing from happening. (2)

On March 11, 2020, Governor Bill Lee declared a State of Emergency with a lengthy executive order restricting life activities, including shutting down commerce, businesses and schools. (3, 4)

Tennessee statutes allow a state of emergency for 60 days in which time Gov. Lee can make temporary regulations called executive orders. (5) The state of emergency lasted 21 months.

During this time, the members of the General Assembly were unable to weigh in on any of these decisions. Instead, Gov. Lee ruled over covid restrictions through 62 executive orders.

The legislature is a coequal branch of government with exclusive responsiblity for making laws. (7) Several bills were submitted to limit a state of emergency and failed to pass. (8) We depend on our 133 representatives to juggle the many needs of Tennessee’s 6.9 million citizens.

The true definition of the word “emergency” is “an unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention.” A situation lasting 21 months is no longer an emergency.

Other states have more than 300 pending actions by their legislatures over governor’s powers. (9) (10) In January, its time for the Tennessee General Assembly to limit Gov. Lee’s ability to maintain a state of emergency. Thirty days is long enough. Call the offices of Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Kelly Kiesling and let them know we depend upon them to ensure these limits are enacted.

CONTACT INFO:

Senator Ken Yager:  Email,  www.kenyager.com ; Phone (615) 741-1449

Rep. Kelly Kiesling: Email, rep.kelly.keisling@capitol.tn.gov
https://www.kellykeislingtn.com/contact
Phone (615) 741-6852

References

(1) Samuel 8:10-18

(2) https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers-an-overview.aspx

(3) Tennessee EO22 Lee_0.pdf

(4) https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/tennessee/tn-code/tennessee_code_58-2-110

(5) The duration of the protection provided by this subsection (l) shall not
exceed thirty (30) days, but may be extended by the governor by executive order
for an additional thirty (30) days, if required to ensure the provision of
emergency medical services in response to the catastrophic or major disaster.

(6) (HB9081, HB9029,
SP9024, HB 9072, HB1235, SB1169).

(7) https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/covid-cases-soar-gop-state-lawmakers-keep-fighting-limit-governors-n1247801

(8) https://www.etymonline.com/word/Emergency

(9) https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/legislative-oversight-of-executive-orders.aspx

Legislative chambers in at least 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico introduced or considered more than 300 bills or resolutions in 2021 that provide expressly for legislative involvement in and oversight of governors’ or executive actions during the Covid-19 pandemic or other emergencies. These actions include legislation that relates to legislatures’  ability to meet in special session. (For other legislation changing emergency management laws or other laws related to COVID-19, see NCSL’s COVID-19 database.)

(10) https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2021/05/opinion-legislators-must-rein-in-governors-unchecked-emergency-power.html

Hospitals should not keep families from loved ones

Medical personnel should not have the right to keep families away from their loved ones in the hospital.

In November, Tennessee law makers added a new statute in the special session bill (HB9076) forbidding separation from a family member while in the hospital during a covid emergency time. (1)(2)

However, Governor Lee wants to change this law in January, so it only applies to patients during end of life. (3)

No patient deserves to be separated from family even during a national or state emergency.

Hospitals are facing drastic shortages of personnel. Across the nation additional medical personnel are needed to fill 35% more jobs than last year.

In a time of crisis, when demands on skilled care are higher, patients need to have a family member present at all times. Particularly during covid, conflict and confusion can arise between families and doctors over treatment options. Families have a right to be present and involved in all decision-making. (4)

Further, isolation under any conditions threatens recovery. Stress, depression, loneliness and hopelessness can undermine treatment. Isolation is particularly dangerous for the elderly. (5)

Lawmakers in Nashville will be considering a change to the new law in January which currently requires hospitals to let a family member stay in the room. Our loved ones are depending on us to be their voice.

We have 30 days to call and write Gov. Lee, Sen. Ken Yager, Rep. Kelly Kiesling and Speaker Cameron Sexton, and tell them to keep this law as it is and allow one person to stay with a patient in the hospital.

CONTACT INFO:

Governor Bill Lee: Email, (615) 741-2001

Senator Ken Yager:  Email,  www.kenyager.com ; Phone (615) 741-1449

Speaker Cameron Sexton: Email Phone (615) 741-2343

REFERENCES:

(1) https://legiscan.com/TN/text/HB9077/2021; 14-6-104,CH 5, Sec 12b)

(2)https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2021/11/12/gov–lee-s-office-announces-executive-actions-on-extraordinary-session-legislation.html

(3) https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=search&v=306710587943186

(4) (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hiring-crisis-health-care-job-postings-spike-35-george-anders/)

(5)(https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks)

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