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Colorado Editorial Roundup

August 28, 2019

The Gazette, Aug. 27, on zero-emission vehicles pollution levels:

Just as the state forces battery cars onto Colorado consumers, emerging evidence consistently show the so-called “zero-emission vehicles” pollute more than internal combustion vehicles.

The latest evidence comes in a report by the German-based IFO Institute for Economic Research, released about the same time Colorado air commissioners voted 8-1 to adopt California’s “Zero Emission Vehicle” (ZEV) standards. The new rule requires at least 5% of any automotive company’s vehicles for sale in Colorado run on electricity.

It is all part of an initiative launched by former Gov. John Hickenlooper and advanced by Gov. Jared Polis to mandate cleaner air.

We all want clean air. Hickenlooper and Polis probably believe battery cars advance the goal. No credible evidence suggests they do any such thing.

The IFO study concludes the CO2 emissions from battery cars are “in the best case, slightly higher than those of a diesel engine, and are otherwise much higher.”

That could explain at least part of the reason California’s air quality has gone down since the state forced the sale of more battery cars.

The institute’s study included everything that emits CO2 from the moment production of the vehicle’s energy source begins. When accounting for the emissions involved in producing diesel fuel and emissions involved in producing mining-intensive battery production, the Tesla Model 3 in Germany (battery car) emitted up to 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer - including emissions involved in producing kilowatts for the battery. That compares to 141 grams of CO2s produced by the diesel-powered Mercedes C22d.

A 2018 study by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Berylls Strategy Advisors came to a similar conclusion, citing the extraordinary amount of carbon pollution caused by the production of lithium-ion batteries. The research concluded the average vehicle owner in Germany could drive a conventional car more than 31,000 miles before catching up to the emissions caused by a Nissan Leaf battery car.

The New York-based Manhattan Institute in 2018 came to the conclusion Elective Vehicles produce more CO2 pollution than new gasoline vehicles.

“Today’s vehicles emit only about 1% of the pollution than they did in the 1960s, and new innovations continue to improve those engines’ efficiency and cleanliness,” said economist Jonathan Lesser, who authored the Manhattan Institute study.

In addition to the pollution they cause, electric car owners should know about the social injustice their vehicles cause around the globe.

“The extraction of essential ingredients to make cost-effective lithium-ion batteries generally leaves environmental and human devastation in its wake,” explains an article published by Green Tech Media.

“Industry leaders have come closer to solving how to store energy and power cars without fossil fuels on a large scale, but they’re just beginning to grapple with the moral implications of a clean energy industry supported by the ugly truths of child labor and pollution.”

Green Tech quoted Stefan Sabo-Walsh, head of commodities research at Verisk Analytics.

“It’s quite an interesting case, where you have the benefits of moving to green technology being outweighed, in some cases, when you look at the mine production” Sabo-Walsh explained.

The state’s new ZEV standard is nothing but a feel-good fraud. There is no such thing as a free lunch, a unicorn, a perpetual motion machine or a zero-emissions car.

Editorial: https://bit.ly/2ZvZMn4

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The Durango Herald, Aug. 27, on phone scammers coming to an end:

Several years ago, thinking we might have a use for a Google Voice account, we created one. It is basically an internet-based telephone service without a telephone: You get a number and you can make and receive calls, have voicemail and voice and text messaging, anywhere in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. And it is free.

We never used ours and never gave the number to anyone. So there it sits, this number, like a Venus flytrap for phone scammers. And we get calls. Lots of them; probably 500-600 a year_which is still peanuts compared to scammer calls to some more real numbers. There were an estimated 50 billion robocalls made last year.

Each time, Google transcribes the message and emails it to us. From this morning:

“Parts system with Visa Mastercard account services with important changes to your account before the next billing cycle. If you received your new rates by mail and wish not to be contacted, press three. Congratulations on your excellent payment history you now qualify for a 0% interest rate on all your credit card accounts. This is a limited-time offer and you must respond immediately. Press one now to speak to our qualification department and complete the enrollment process.”

Are there people who take this recorded call and press one?

Yes. That is why the scammers keep doing it, to fleece the elderly and the unaware.

Who are they?

Josh Stein, the North Carolina attorney general, is in a position to know. “These guys are criminals,” he explained on NPR’s Morning Edition last week.

“They’re smart, they’re creative and they’re greedy. So they’re not going to stop. That’s why we have to up our enforcement. But for us to enforce the law, we have to know who is the culprit, who’s doing this work. And a lot of what we’re trying to do is take the darkness that exists, that allows this activity to go on, and shine a bright light so that we can go after those perpetrators.”

Phone carriers are applying technology to be able to trace the calls, he said, “and then they’re going to share that information with us so we can go after them.”

Stein was referring to a settlement reached last week by a coalition of all the states’ attorneys general, that he helped lead. As a result, the 12 biggest carriers have pledged to spot and block robocalls as part of eight principles they will adopt.

What is new here, Stein says, is that for the first time, the companies will actively monitor their networks to prevent chicanery. The AGs have compelled them to do something that none has done for its customers before out of the goodness of its heart or wallet or because it makes good business sense.

It is not an end to scammers or robocalls, but with a little luck it is the beginning of the end of some of it.

The companies have agreed to implement network-level blocking technology at no cost to customers, and to give customers free, easy-to-use blocking and labeling tools. They include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Winstream.

The customers still may have to demand these things, and the attorneys general will have to keep up the fight, most likely. Coloradoans should look to the office of Attorney General Phil Weiser for that help.

Editorial: https://bit.ly/2MCEvGh

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The Greeley Tribune, Aug. 24, on farmers investing in hemp:

With no sign of relief from the international trade war and tariffs growing between the United States and China, it’s an unsettling time to be in the agriculture industry. The loss of big markets only makes it harder for farmers to decide what crop to invest in.

The rapid growth in the hemp industry, thanks to the nation’s tardy realization that it’s a safe, useful commodity, gives farmers another chance to diversify their business.

A welcome sign of that locally is the construction of a hemp facility in west Greeley.

Construction is underway on a hemp manufacturing and distribution center in the HighPointe Business Park in west Greeley, just off U.S. Highway 34. Vantage Hemp Co. reports it is investing $30 million in the project that could employ 100 when up and running.

While the company plans on sourcing the hemp from fields near Longmont, it may open up opportunity for Weld County farmers.

The principals of Vantage Hemp credited the city of Greeley’s open arms and encouraging attitude for helping them make the choice to build the plant here.

Greeley’s economic health and housing director Benjamin Snow described it as ”...an obvious economic opportunity for us ... so we’re pursuing it with that sort of temperament.”

The fastest growing use for hemp since its legalization appears to be Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, that proponents credit for a long list of positive effects on easing pain, inflammation and assisting in sleep, among others. It’s also used as fiber to manufacture clothing and ropes, as well as a food supplement.

With retail sales first limited to a few boutiques and online or mail-order businesses, now stores that CBD oil in various forms are popping up everywhere, including Greeley.

A scan of reports from agriculture states shows many farmers jumping into hemp growing as they search for crops that can sustain them in these uncertain times.

With none of the positive effects of CBD oil clinically proven, or approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it is unclear how the eventual market will be, and how competitive.

It’s positive to see investors choose Greeley to jump into the new, rapidly growing industry, and to see Weld County’s agriculture sector finding a way to diversify and strengthen.

Editorial: https://bit.ly/2ZgWpoO

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