With the recent endorsements of the Independence Party, some candidates might be at an advantage in November. Addabbo has secured the Independence Party’s endorsement in the 15th District and Frank Padavan has it in the 11th District. The reason why this endorsement matters is that, politically, it can help a candidate in a state where one party (the Democratic Party) greatly outnumbers the other party (the one represented by the big gray animal).
True independent voters belong to no party at all, but regardless of the Independence Party's platform, Republicans need this line and they usually require the Conservative Party line as well.
The Independence Party has some smart people as members, and their original intent was to be a force for smart policy and not partisan policy. That is no easy task when the purpose of a party is to act in a partisan manner most of the time. These endorsements are important in these interesting races.
Enviros not bolting for the Volt
Two weeks ago in Washington D.C., I was at the U.S. Senate appropriations mark-up. This is where the Appropriations Committee marks up their budget – adding some here, cutting some there. I was there to see the mark-up for the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee.
A guy next to me was there for the Energy and Water Subcommittee. He works for a Pennsylvania utility company. “We love the electric car,” he said. “Electricity comes from coal, and that means we are right back in business.”
There are people only now hearing about the new Chevy Volt electric car, and there are those of us that have been following the progress of this product for years. The Volt runs on a battery, but it still holds gasoline. What makes commuting in electric cars difficult to comprehend is that once the battery loses power, you cannot just pull up to a plug station and juice the battery (assuming there are plug-in stations, which there are not). The charging would take a long time, much longer than filling up your tank with gasoline.
A company called Better Place wants to be the first and biggest builder of battery stations. When your electric car needs a charge, you would pull in, and an attendant switches your battery for a charged one. This means you never really keep the same battery.
Does that sound like it might take some getting used to? That is where the Volt comes in. The Volt re-charges itself by utilizing the gasoline that you keep in the car’s tank.
The future of automotive activity is the hybrid vehicle, but it might not be the electric car. What people sometimes fail to realize when they rush toward battery operated cars is that they need lots of electricity, and electricity comes from coal – the dirtiest of the big dirty fuel sources.
Make no mistake; the battery-operated vehicle is a good idea, especially when combined with regular gasoline and biofuels. The answer is a combination of these energy types, and not one single energy source.
If we are wary of big energy companies monopolizing our economy and our environment, the answer needs to be a shared market, and not a “one-trick pony” style of engineering. The Volt is a valiant effort and the car looks cool to boot, but the Volt is not the best option. The answer is a car that combines alternative energy and traditional fuel - for now anyway.