[guest post by JVW]
This story was making the Internet rounds yesterday. It’s the Biden Administration at their finest. This comes from taxpayer-funded NPR:
When Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm set out on a four-day electric-vehicle road trip this summer, she knew charging might be a challenge. But she probably didn’t expect anyone to call the cops.
Granholm’s trip through the southeast, from Charlotte, N.C., to Memphis, Tenn., was intended to draw attention to the billions of dollars the White House is pouring into green energy and clean cars. The administration’s ambitious energy agenda, if successful, could significantly cut U.S. emissions and reshape Americans’ lives in fundamental ways, including by putting many more people in electric vehicles.
NPR wouldn’t be NPR if they didn’t put in a plug (how do you like that pun?) for electric vehicles as vital to combatting Global Climate Change™, and NPR treats us to several more paragraphs about the urgency of switching from petroleum to electricity. But we’ll skip all of that and soldier on:
Granholm is in many ways the perfect person to help pitch the United States’ ambitious shift to EVs. As a two-term former governor of Michigan, she helped rescue the auto industry during the 2008 global financial crisis, and she’s a longtime EV enthusiast. (Her family recently switched from the Chevy Bolt to the Ford Mustang Mach-E.)
That makes her uniquely well positioned to envision the future of the auto industry and to sell the dream of what that future could look like.
Those of us of a certain age will remember when the academic/media/bureaucratic cartel was lamenting the fact that as a naturalized citizen born in Canada, the magnificent Jennifer Granholm would never be eligible to be President of the United States. Truth be told, she was a mediocre governor at best who oversaw zero population growth, who raised taxes, and whose signature economic initiative was a $2 billion jobs program which failed to keep unemployment in the Wolverine State from continuing to rise throughout her term. Upon leaving office she abandoned Michigan for a cushy academic job at UC Berkeley Law School, which has become a soft landing spot for failed politicians on the left, where she remained until called upon by President Biden to hector the rest of us with her inanities on energy.
Continuing with the story, and at long lest getting to the funny (and exasperating) part of the narrative:
But between stops, Granholm’s entourage at times had to grapple with the limitations of the present. Like when her caravan of EVs — including a luxury Cadillac Lyriq, a hefty Ford F-150 and an affordable Bolt electric utility vehicle — was planning to fast-charge in Grovetown, a suburb of Augusta, Georgia.
Her advance team realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station’s four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy.
That did not go down well: a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger?
In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police.
The sheriff’s office couldn’t do anything. It’s not illegal for a non-EV to claim a charging spot in Georgia. Energy Department staff scrambled to smooth over the situation, including sending other vehicles to slower chargers, until both the frustrated family and the secretary had room to charge.
The arrogance, the grandiosity, the warped sense of entitlement: these have become a hallmark of our political class here in the twenty-first century. And I know that Republicans toadies can be quite awful too, but I think that Democrats, especially when they are on one of their “we’re saving the world!” jags, are particularly loathsome where this sort of thing is concerned. For what it’s worth, Democrats also tend to exalt the government worker above the grubby private sector schnook as well. If I understand this story correctly, the family with the baby approached the charging station and very likely asked the government apparatchik to move aside so that they can charge. For all I know a family with a baby on a “sweltering” day might not have made the request particularly politely, and perhaps they aren’t even very pleasant people to begin with. But they were clearly in the right, and the fact that it apparently escalated to where law enforcement had to be called suggests that we have real impudence problem among our supposed “public servants.” And let’s not overlook the irony of the Energy Department bringing gas-powered automobiles along on their little electric vehicle tour — you know, just in case the secretary needed a reliable vehicle at some point during the trip.
Anyway, Secretary Granholm and her team apparently came away from their gay (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) jaunt with the idea that the federal government needs to spend billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to build thousands of more electric charging stations along the landscape of this great nation. I can’t wait until the day comes when charging your EV at a government station can be every bit as efficient as renewing your license at the DMV. In the meantime I would love for our government class to act with humility, decency, and respect towards us common folk, but perhaps that is too heavy of a lift.