California Seeks Ban On Fossil Fuel Cars, Laying The Groundwork To Ban Human Driven Cars

By Aaron Kesel

California known as the sunny state is eyeing a ban on sales of fossil-fuel cars in hopes of reducing carbon emissions as they seed the deeper agenda to eventually ban humans from driving as we switch to an autonomous lifestyle.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has reportedly “expressed an interest” in the restrictions, according to Bloomberg, which cited California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair, Mary Nichols.

California may become the first U.S. territory to take action, similar to ChinaFrance, and the UK—all of which plan to phase out gas- and diesel-car sales over the next three decades.

“I’ve gotten messages from the Governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Nichols told the news agency. “The Governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 requires the state to have a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in an effort to return to 1990 levels in three years, and drop 80 percent lower by 2050.

To reach these “ambitious” goals, “we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy,” Nichols told Bloomberg. “We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward.”

But deep beneath banning internal combustion engines is the ulterior eventual agenda of banning human beings from driving at all, as Yahoo UK  proposed last year, because “driverless cars make roads safer by eliminating human error.”

“While humans can become distracted behind the wheel and drive drunk or tired, autonomous cars lack this ability,” the publication wrote.

“Long term, these vehicles will drive better than any human possibly can,’” Danny Shapiro, senior director of automotive at Nvidia Corp told Bloomberg, noting that this technology has “superhuman intelligence.”

“We’re not there yet, but we will get there sooner than we believe.”

The main problems besides humans keeping driverless cars off the road is actually federal laws and infrastructure, but that soon may change.

The U.S. government has released policy proposals on driverless cars, meaning that both industry and policy are shifting gear to prepare for the future to remove you from the road.

Two similar bills one by the Senate and one by the House would allow automakers each to operate more self-driving cars per year on U.S. roads if the measures are signed into law. The key difference between the pieces of legislation is that the Senate wants to slowly increase the number of driverless cars on the roads, while the House bill proposes to just put 100,000 self-driving vehicles on the road and hope for the best.

A top Senate Democrat told Politico that “there are a number of differences” between the Senate’s draft and what the House just passed.

The Senate’s self-driving bill would also allow the Secretary of Transportation to grant exemptions to federal motor vehicle rules that require cars to have human operators. Initially, 50,000 cars per automaker could be operated by companies if they can prove they meet existing safety standards. After a year, the number of exemptions per manufacturer would increase to 75,000, and would eventually increase up to 100,000 in the third year.

The House’s bill titled the SELF DRIVE Act (Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In-Vehicle Evolution) would allow for a speedier deployment of self-driving cars on America’s streets. The SELF DRIVE Act recently passed unanimously earlier this month with overwhelming bipartisan support, Wired reported.

Now the Senate has to pass its own bill. Then both branches will work together to come up with a compromised piece of legislation that will eventually end up on president Donald Trump’s desk to allow driverless cars in all 50 states.

Both versions of legislation prohibit states and other local jurisdictions from adopting regulations related to cars’ design, construction, software or communication. And instead, give that power to regulate the vehicles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.)

States would still have authority over vehicle registration, safety inspections, insurance and licensing, under the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV.)

Automakers would be able to apply for exemptions to operate more than 100,000 self-driving cars after five years under the landmark legislation. The current limit for such exemptions to federal auto standards is 2,500 cars for two years at a time.

The Senate held a hearing on September 13 on the deployment of self-driving trucks, Reuters reported.

The final version of the Senate’s drafted bill amended the legislation and removed driverless trucks, Detroit News reported.

“Legislation like the bill introduced today will allow manufacturers to conduct more testing and to safely deploy self-driving vehicles to realize the safety, mobility, congestion, environmental, land-use and other benefits of this transformative technology,” General Motors Co. said in a statement earlier this month.

Twenty-two states have either passed legislation related to autonomous vehicles or adopted regulations through a governor’s executive order. Those include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. and Canada advocates for autonomous vehicles are preparing the final puzzle piece to replace humans the infrastructure and have proposed a shift toward ‘driver-free zones,’ starting by banning human drivers from car-pool lanes on a 150-mile stretch of Interstate 5 between Seattle and Vancouver.

Other consumer advocate groups are worried about the potential risks involved with exempting so many autonomous vehicles from safety standards. The California-based advocate group Consumer Watchdog said in a statement that “The autonomous vehicle bill just passed by the House leaves a wild west without adequate safety protections for consumers.”

We may soon see human driving outlawed in congested city centers like London, on college campuses and at airports, Kristin Schondorf, executive director of automotive transportation at consultant EY told Auto News.

“In city centers, you don’t even want non-automated vehicles; they would just ruin the whole point of why you have a smart city,” Schondorf, a former engineer at Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said. “It makes it a dumb city.”

John Krafcik, head of Google’s self-driving car project, echoed her sentiment stating in an August interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that the tech giant is developing cars without steering wheels and gas or brake pedals adding “we need to take the human out of the loop.”

Ford CEO Mark Fields also feels the same way stating Ford would begin selling robot taxis without any steering wheel or gas and brake pedals by 2021, TechCrunch reported.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post and is Director of Content for Coinivore. Follow Aaron at Twitter and Steemit.

This article is Creative Commons and can be republished in full with attribution. Like Activist Post on Facebook, subscribe on YouTube, follow on Twitter and at Steemit.

Image Credit: Pixabay


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38 Comments on "California Seeks Ban On Fossil Fuel Cars, Laying The Groundwork To Ban Human Driven Cars"

  1. This article is based on the fallacy of argumentum ad absurdum.in the form of drawing a ridiculous conclusion from a good idea (to reduce pollution). In fact, the people of California have already voted with their pocket books for electric and hybrid vehicles were, for many years, the best selling vehicles.

    We Californians love our roads…….but we also love clean air. I remember as a youth going to LA and getting sick from the thick smog. We will have our roads and our clean and lean vehicles. My 2001 Prius, first generation, gets 50mpg…….and this encourages me to enjoy the open road.

    So stop with this absurd bullshit about how transitioning to clean transportation will mean the end of the open road.
    That is really really a stupid argument!

    • BugsBunnyPatriot | September 30, 2017 at 10:59 am | Reply

      It is so easy to sell more control to naive people.

    • I agree, the article is stupid, but regarding clean air, you may want to google chemtrails. Your air is not polluted by cars as much as it is polluted by the government spraying toxic chemicals on all of us.

      • Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Reply

        why did john p wheeler iii kill himself and throw himself away in a landfill
        just after he was seen at DuPont parking garage & govt learned he was planning to blow the whistle on their weather modification by use of software to control solar panel mirror farms and massive poisoning of atmosphere program
        which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of birds/animals/fish ?…

        • He was seen wandering at many places and not AT Dupont but around Dupont and other buildings. Your paranoia has inflamed your brain! You have mixed up many disparate elements into a paranoid brew.

    • Do more research.
      Start with NHTSA Docket Id # NHTSA-2016-0126, you can find it on regulations dot gov
      All new cars will have mandated connectivity to talk to each other – that is phase 1
      Then take “Ben’s Journey – Mobility as a Service”.
      Then internet search (don’t google – they are evil), “kids born today will never drive” – see how many conditioning articles you will find.
      The plan is to end human drivers – it will take another 20-30 years and will come in stages 1) first get the two way radios in every new car, 2) then get after-market devices mandated for all older vehicles, 3) make it mandatory for left-hand assist and automatic braking to be in every car, 4) then make them mandatory to engage and then 5) take away the driver.
      Start reading V2V articles, reports and video’s from government and industry.
      Follow V2G to see how all electric vehicles will be connected to Grid.
      Follow V2I and V2P to understand why so much money is needed for infrastructure. Our infrastructure isn’t “crumbling”. Our infrastructure is lacking the necessary technology to complete their wet dream of a technocracy.

    • Anyone who has been to LA knows Californians don’t care as much about clean air as they say. Anyone who cared about clean air would have figured out how to have basic rail and bus systems in LA 30 years ago.

      The article does not speak about the end of the open road, just that legislation like this will help push driverless cars. Self-driving vehicles have a huge lobby in Silicon Valley.

      At best, this kind of legislation will just mean Californians will build electrical plants in places like Nevada, so that someone else will have to deal with their dirty air.

      • I first visited LA 70 years ago; the air was thick burning smog. Today, after numerous laws to clean up the air, it is breathable if not totally clean.
        Here is from an article in the LA Times Magazine, 1998: “On Sept. 13, 1955, Los Angeles endured its smoggiest day in history. Ozone levels hit a record peak, and the city prepared to shut itself down……we (should) never forget how close Southern California came to self-asphyxiation. While far from perfect now, the air has grown dramatically more breathable since the fall of 1955, even as the region’s population has tripled and the number of vehicles has quadrupled. Progress is possible.”

        KCET reports: “During 2010, the Los Angeles metropolitan area suffered through three “red alert” smog days and 69 other “smog days……… in the 1970s, “when the air hit unhealthy levels of pollution more than 200 days a year.” And this New York Times infographic shows decreasing area pollution woes from 1984 to 2004.

        That’s good news, because for decades smog was so synonymous with the City of Angels that those same Angels couldn’t fly without packing inhalers. Pollution one day in 1903 was so severe residents thought an eclipse was nigh. The San Gabriels used to be so regularly shrouded that Fuji-san seemed like a camera hog. The county as early as 1947 opened the nation’s first “air pollution control program.” One October day in 1955 was said to be L.A.’s smoggiest ever. Some smog-boggling photos have been collected on this page by KCET colleague Nathan Masters – including a Boy Scout wiping air pollution-produced tears from a girl’s face; an underground backyard smog shelter; and Miss Smog Fighter 1951, with sash, recoiling from a just-opened jar full of the stuff.

        Some of those Los Angeles air quality horrors have improved however, thanks to a range of legislative, regulative – and many other significant – reasons.”

        Clearly, You have not been to LA during it’s era of suffocating smog and experienced the vast difference from today! We in California do care about air pollution, and that is why we have he strongest anti-pollution in the country.

        We had electric transportation 130 years ago but the oil industry destroyed it to introduce the polluting system that still prevails. Today, our progressive representatives are working to build a system that will unite the entire state: “California has researched a plan to create a high speed “bullet” train from Los Angeles (LA) to San Francisco by the year 2030. This route would ideally get a train passenger from 1 end of California to the other in only 2 hours and 40 minutes. ”

        By 2025, the Silicon Valley will connect to Fresno in an hour; ” the nation’s first high-speed rail system will integrate California’s affluent coast and its poor interior — among other ways, by cutting travel times from the San Joaquin Valley to Los Angeles and the Bay Area enough for some valley residents to commute to coastal jobs. It will form the backbone of the state’s attempt to reduce the role of conventional cars in favor of light rail, ride-sharing, bicycles and electric, even driverless cars. Central Valley locales that house the rail line’s stations — initially, Madera, Fresno and sites near Visalia and Bakersfield⁠ — will be transformed too as development radiates from the stations.

        California’s population, now 39 million, is expected to grow to 50 million by 2055⁠, putting more strain on already clogged highways and airports. Shifting some of those travelers to the bullet train would almost certainly reduce road and air traffic congestion, car accident casualties and fossil fuel emissions. A 2012 analysis by Caltrans and the High-Speed Rail Authority estimated, perhaps optimistically, that in the first 50 years of the train’s life, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 58.7 million metric tons. That number sounds grander than it really is — it’s the equivalent of a little more than a third of the California transportation sector’s emissions in 2014 — but it still moves the state closer to its ambitious renewable energy goals.” latimes

        You are also wrong about building solar plants. California has millions of rooftops for distributed energy and vast uninhabited deserts for solar plants. Latimes reports:
        “The California Legislature has mandated that one-half of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030; today it’s about one-fourth. That goal once was considered wildly optimistic. But solar panels have become much more efficient and less expensive. So solar power is now often the same price or cheaper than most other types of electricity, and production has soared so much that the target now looks laughably easy to achieve.”

        In fact, in March, California gave free solar energy to Arizona: “On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power.

        Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines.
        It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power.”

        You clearly don’t know what you are talking about.

        ‘California ranked first nationally in 2014 for installed solar electric capacity at 4,316 MW. There are 2,226 solar companies employing 54,700 people across the state. Wikipedia reports:
        “Solar power in California has been growing rapidly because of high insolation, community support, declining solar costs, and a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 33% of California’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2020, and 50% by 2030.[1] Much of this is expected to come from solar power.
        In 2016, California reported a total of 19,783 GWh in solar electricity generation, approximately 9.97% of all electricity produced. This represented 35.8% of the state’s non-hydro renewable energy generation.[2]
        At the end of 2016, California had a total installed solar capacity of 18,919.8 MW, making it the highest solar power generating state in the nation.[3] In April, 2017, this capacity generated 5,045 thousand MWh, or 13.78% of the total electricity generated that month[4] SEIA currently estimates that California’s solar capacity powers 4,885,000 homes in the state, and employs 100,050. It is estimated that the state will add an additional 13,670 MW of capacity over the next five years, 2017-2021. As part of California’s legislative and regulatory strategy there will be an additional 300MW of solar power for disadvantaged and low income communities.’

        Educate yourself and demand that your state follow the footsteps of California in transitioning to a green energy state instead of repeating lies promoted by the dirty energy oiligarchs who damage your health and then shift the cost back to you to pay for it.

        • Dr Kenneth Richman RET | October 24, 2017 at 10:49 am | Reply

          Hi Dale I grew up in the LA area and witnessed the same. Remember in the late 50’s when nuclear power was being pushed as the answer? Many of us knew better and pushed for wind and other alternate forms of energy however that fell on deaf ears back then. We were labeled communists. Oh well thankfully things in this state have changed for the better. Now if we could just impeach Trump! Best of luck.

          • Thanks for the positive words! I love my 2001 Prius (50-60 mpg)….writing from Barcelona longing to protest for independence.

            Dump el Trump, big mistake of Deep State…..another catastrophic leader without consent leading to ‘military despotism’ jefferson warned us of.

    • Ask yourself why are self driving cars being proposed without any controles rather than designing cars with optional autopilot ? Because the psychopathic control freaks want to program those cars to only travel on certain roads. It’s called Agenda 21.

      • It is the private auto makers developing these cars and doing the promoting. And this has nothing to do with whether the engine is a polluting gas guzzler or electric. Agenda 21 is a voluntary set of proposals to protect the environment, promote rights of women and children,and promote promoting prosperity for all as a solution to poverty and overpopulation.

        Shake off the propaganda, friend.

        • Are you familiar with Rosa Korie ? I never said anything about gas or electric. Why are you changing the subject from self driving cars ? Watch this video if you want an explanation of Agenda 21. Stop being such a know it all, you don’t. https://youtu.be/bMeXSlGJZYc

      • lol, ole Dale, ever the friend of the satanic elite.

  2. The electric car will only become a massive reality when charging while driving becomes possible. Before the automobile or trains became widespread the roads and rails were constructed. The massive increase in energy consumption upon conversion to electric is seldom addressed. The primary reason electricity has not flourished is because the difficulty with billing from a central grid which with today’s computer technology is now possible.

    • “The massive increase in energy consumption upon conversion to electric is seldom addressed”

      That’s because it’s a myth. Look up the study done at the Argonne National Laboratory regarding the electrical power requirements in the refining of crude oil. In addition, EV owners that also own their homes can vastly benefit from installing solar panels and a power storage system to charge their cars.

      • Argonne is a DOE funded laboratory. It is like all government funded research whose primary goal is theft and corruption and secondary goal is to provide support for political conclusions by ignoring any results that don’t support the preordained conclusion. Government funded scientists and intellectuals are much like the educated clergy of the monarchs of yore who provided the proof of the king’s right to rule was divine providence. I’ve done the math. A 1 megawatt windmill with take 17 years to payout its costs assuming no maintenance expense without government subsidy. It would take 110 acres of solar panels to have as much energy as a 10 barrel per day oil well. Based upon using coal to generate electricity it would take around 3.8 times as much coal energy to move an electric car the same distance as 1 gallon of gasoline.

  3. who can effort 100% electric Tesla??? Even for Prius, after certain amount of years, one needs to pay for the smog check, in order to get registered by the DMV… Btw. all roads belong to the nation, who pays TAXES for their maintenance, and NOT to the corrupt politicians and lawyers only, who aggressively try to take over every aspect of human existence..

  4. So the kkkops can stop your shit when you try to drive away

  5. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Reply

    where will California get the revenue to pay the cal-pers pension debt ?

    • Why is Cal-pers in he hole. Thank you George Bush! ” Although CalPERS has three sources of income — contributions by workers, contributions by employers and returns on investments — the system counts on investment returns to cover the lion’s share of the costs. But two recessions helped drag returns well below what CalPERS had expected, digging a deep hole of “unfunded liability.”

      Here is the partial answer to your question: ” (by) reducing benefits for newly hired workers, negotiating larger contributions from current employees and kicking in more money themselves. CalPERS’ board also agreed in December to gradually lower the amount it expects the fund to earn from 7.5% to 7%, starting next year — a more realistic target, but one that will drive up the pension contributions that workers, local governments and the state have to make.

      In the meantime, there’s still the shortfall to deal with. CalPERS duns state and local agencies an extra amount every year in the hope of filling the hole bit by bit, and that extra amount comes straight out of taxpayers’ pockets. But it’s a tough slog: Even as CalPERS pays down its unfunded liability each year, the leftover shortfall grows a bit to reflect the returns CalPERS would have earned on that money if it hadn’t been lost.”

      Here is the solution that our brilliant Governor and Treasurer have proposed: “Brown and Chiang are proposing to narrow the shortfall by pre-paying $6 billion in pension debt, or about 10% of the unfunded liability on state worker pensions. The state would borrow the money from the pool of cash it uses for day-to-day operations, then repay the in-house loan by 2030 with interest, leaving its coffers a little better off than they would be if the cash had been left unused. That interest rate would be pegged to two-year Treasury bills, which currently earn about 1.3% annually.

      The idea is to substitute a low-interest loan for higher-interest debt, much like one might refinance a mortgage. This bit of arbitrage would save the state an estimated $11 billion over time, reducing the amount the state contributes to CalPERS by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”
      source: latimes

      This is similar to a plan that Trump proposed during the campaign on how to lower costs on the Federal Debt. Here then is Trump’s somewhat muddled explanation: “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game, and your odds are so much better.” …

      Quick: “I understand that you’ve done this in business deals, but are you suggesting we would negotiate with the U.S. credit in such a way?”

      Trump: “No, I think this. I think there are times for us to refinance. We refinance debt with longer term. Because you know, we owe so much money. … I could see long-term renegotiations, where we borrow long-term at very low rates.” …

      Quick: “But let’s be clear. I mean, you’re not talking about renegotiating sovereign bonds that the U.S. has already issued?”

      Trump: “No. I don’t want to renegotiate the bonds. But I think you can do discounting, I think, you know, depending on where interest rates are, I think you can buy back. You can — I’m not talking about with a renegotiation, but you can buy back at discounts, you can do things with discounts. … I would refinance debt. I think we should refinance longer-term debt.”

      California has the world’s 6th largest economy and is the world center of high tech innovation and investment. If nothing else, it is always possible to raise taxes on the very rich, who have grown rich on the California infrastructure (Silicon Valley is where it is because of the quality of university education, from Stanford to UC Berkeley, that afforded a world class creative tech workforce) to help the public workers who provide the foundation of California’s great economic power.

  6. Electric cars are too technological for my old failing brain. I vote we go back to horse and buggies like the Amish! lol

  7. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Reply

    US Published National Debt..$19,846,205,419,111.

    The Truth….$101,800,291,866,096

    Your Share of odious debt : $313,000

  8. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Reply

    California court rules American flag t-shirts must be turned inside out
    because the American flag t-shirt hurts the feelings of the illegal aliens
    who attend taxpayer funded public schools.Ninth Circuit Upholds Ban on American Flag Shirts in a California High

    • how about a T-shirt depicting Satan Anna being sodomised aboard ship on his way to meet President Polk, after the Alamo and Mexican war? True story.

      • Texas rebelled against Mexico because Mexico had outlawed slavery and the Texans wanted their slaves. By the time the Civil War started, 28% of Texas household had slaves, according to the 1860 Census. The Alamo was part of a campaign to create a slave state in Texas. it is part of our national shame.

    • It was not a California Court but the Federal Court of the 9th Circuit, which covers many states:
      The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:
      District of Alaska.
      District of Arizona.
      California.
      District of Hawaii.

      This incident was at ONE high school, which had had over 30 fights between “whites’ and Latinos.
      The courts held that the fear of disruption (ie more fights, since the wearing was banned on only one day, the Cinco de Mayo. “Today, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a decision by a lower federal court in San Francisco that upheld a school district’s ban on the wearing of American flag shirts on a California high school campus in 2010 during Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)—a Mexican holiday.”

      Most Latino students at Live Oak High School are US citizens.

      • Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 11:26 pm | Reply

        Mar 29, 2015 – A California school dispute that arose when students wore shirts … from school for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo

  9. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | September 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Reply

    ..
    Taxpayers Now Face Postal Union’s $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities.
    The postal labor union insists that nothing is wrong —
    nothing a taxpayer funded postage $tamp fee increase bailout wouldn’t solve
    .

    • “The Postal Service has set-aside cash totals of more than $335 billion for its pensions and retiree healthcare, exceeding 83 percent of estimated future payouts. Its pension plans are nearly completely funded and its retiree healthcare liability is 50 percent funded – much better than the rest of the federal government. But getting to this well-funded position has been painful. The Postal Service’s $15 billion debt is a direct result of the mandate that it must pay about $5.6 billion a year for 10 years to prefund the retiree healthcare plan. This requirement has deprived the Postal Service of the opportunity to invest in capital projects and research and development.

      As things stand now, retiree healthcare, pensions, and workers’ compensation are unfunded by about $86.6 billion. But our paper says any discussion of unfunded liabilities should take into consideration assets that could be used to satisfy the liabilities, such as real estate. The Postal Service’s real estate assets have a net book value of $13.2 billion. But fair market value of these properties is estimated as high as $85 billion. Neither is factored into the Postal Service’s ability to meet future liabilities.

      In addition, the liabilities are not exact or static amounts and they require certain assumptions, such as interest rates and demographic inputs, to estimate the future costs of these programs. For example, interest rates are at historic lows. Even slightly higher interest rate assumptions would reduce or eliminate the estimated liabilities.” https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/be-careful-what-you-assume

      It doesn’t help that a Republican law requires the Post Office, unlike any other enterprise, to prepay liabilities. “The Postal Service is required to pay the full estimate of its liabilities, currently estimated at nearly $404 billion, even as that estimate moves around and is based on assumptions that are highly uncertain and can frequently change over the life of the liability……. The Postal Service’s $15 billion debt is a direct result of the mandate that it must pay about $5.6 billion a year for 10 years to prefund the retiree healthcare plan. This requirement has deprived the Postal Service of the opportunity to invest in capital projects and research and development..”

      A future Post Office could serve as a wifi center as well as a bank. The state of North Dakota has a government bank which has been very successful and did not fail when all the other private banks were collapsing and needed government bailouts. It clears checks and also guarantees student loans business development loans, and state and municipal bonds. it has never failed. This is a good model for the Post office to operate as a bank, especially in rural areas where private banks may not be present. But to become the Post office of the future requires money that is currently being used to prepay liabilities.

      pbs reported: “Operationally speaking, the USPS nets profits every year. The financial problem it faces now comes from a 2006 Congressional mandate that requires the agency to “pre-pay” into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. Under the mandate, the USPS is required to make an annual $5.5 billion payment over ten years, through 2016. These “prepayments” are largely responsible for the USPS’s financial losses over the past four years and the threat of shutdown that looms ahead – take the retirement fund out of the equation, and the postal service would have actually netted $1 billion in profits over this period.”

      Why did the Republicans force the Post Office into a kind of bankruptcy, despite the fact that it nets oherwise a profit? The goal is to make it fail so it can be privatized (more than it has). Privatization is a scheme to transfer public funds into private pockets. And that is the Republican agenda as it relates to the Post Office, Social Security, the VA, and other other government agencies that are targets to privatization.

  10. (((They))) want the sheep trapped in large urban areas where you can be controlled and farmed more easily.

    • THEY are the corporations which build factories in cities and hire people, who come for jobs. Our new President is famous for building very dense buildings. There is no evidence that urban populations are easier to control than rural people, whose views, like everyone, are formed by propaganda. The difference is that more urban people have educations with critical thinking skills than rural people.

  11. Has anyone figured out how they will recharge all of these electric cars?
    Without fossil fueled power plants, these cars will just be very expensive lawn ornaments.

    • Well, here in California, our electricity mostly comes from natural gas, and of course, you can charge your car at home with solar power. Have you ever heard of that? it creates electricity out of sunlight and can fuel your business, your home, and your car. it pays for itself in 5 years and then gives you 20 years of clean FREE energy.

    • It takes a tremendous amount of electricity to refine crude oil. Most electric car charging will also occur and night and can be incentivized with lower off-peak electricity prices to encourage EV owners to use the time-of-day charging settings built into the car to take advantage of the lower rates. This will be a tremendous boon for electricity generators who will be able to level out demand between night and day and fill in the “bathtub”.

      Over time more used battery packs from vehicles will become available. Some will come from vehicles that have been in accidents and some will be repurposed after their capacity drops too far. A pack that was 60kWh when new might be unwanted when it drops to a capacity of 40kWh, but that is still a lot of power. There are companies engineering the surrounding electronics to use these packs in home installations where they can be recharged from solar and/or charged up when rates are low and charge drawn off when rates peak. Some enterprising company is likely to come up with a DC fast charging interface so people can get the same charging rate as they would with a commercial DC fast charger at their home. The home based pack would charge throughout the day or multiple days and would then be able to fast charge a car in less than an hour.

  12. Kenneth_Brown | October 1, 2017 at 1:16 am | Reply

    Government drones such as Moonbeam Brown and the California legislature are mostly lawyers, one of the largest non-technical/technophobic groups in the world. While autonomous driving may become more possible over time in large cities, it’s much more difficult in smaller towns and on secondary roads. GPS is only useable to within 10 feet (3.3M) and it’s accuracy can be much worse. In the event of an emergency, such as PRNK lofting a missile towards the US, the commercial/consumer part of the system would be shut down. 10 feet, while good enough for aircraft that usually are spaced miles apart, it isn’t good enough for cars where an error of 10 feet can mean an interaction with pedestrians on a sidewalk or a telephone pole. Vision systems that augment the GPS rely heavily on robust lane markings on the road. Just this morning I went to a job on a house that was a quarter mile down a dirt road. The entire area was mostly dirt roads and paving isn’t likely to be put in for decades as the density of homes is low (not enough of a tax base to justify the enormous expense).

    Self-driving and shared vehicles are utopian at this point and may always be. Level 5 autonomy or cars that can navigate from and to any address in North America are still far off. Google’s dirty little secret is their cars drive on routes/roads that have been highly surveyed and have key nav points stored in an onboard computer. That works for a small area, but becomes a vast database very quickly for every mile of radius added. Shared cars have their own set of limitations that a state like California needs to consider. Sharing requires a network, probably using the internet, to book and verify user requests for a vehicle. We have seen in 2017 what happens when a hurricane passes through an area and for California, a major earthquake could knock out power and internet for a considerable period of time. Without a network connection, a shared car service couldn’t move.

    An argument for shared vehicles is that most cars are sitting unused for 90% of their life. Automakers know about this and build cars to last a certain number of years based on that usage rate. A car that is only sitting idle for 10% of the time will need to be much more robust. Fortunately, EVs need much less power train maintenance and repairs than an ICE based power train. Also and again, in the case of a natural disaster, having a big redundancy in vehicles means that people can evacuate an area. A shared car might not be available if everybody is requesting one and they may be restricted in the area they will serve. There could also be a big scramble to charge all of the cars at once instead of a more steady state of smaller numbers of cars charging at any one time.

    Manufacturers will have to watch out. Any new technology has a “infant mortality” rate while designs shake out, regulations tighten and relax and unknown assumptions are found out. A spate of accidents or a few spectacular accidents will have the media (although they will say it’s the “people”) screaming for lawmakers to do something about the menace that big corporations have unleashed on the uninformed public. The politicians will have to be seen doing something, so they will go to what they have always done and start banning things left and right and holding (grandstanding) inquiries along with forming committees to investigate something. The effect will be to push autonomous driving back another decade.

    California embraced the personal vehicle lifestyle faster than any other state in the union. Business, workplaces and shopping are located large distances from residential enclaves. Public transportation was torn out to make room for more roads. When it was rediscovered that public transportation is a good thing, there wasn’t the right-of-ways left to put routes in that made sense. Why isn’t there a tram or subway line between LA Union Station and LAX? Why does the LA Blue Line to the convention center and Staples Center have a stop several blocks away in a bad neighborhood instead of pulling up right in front? Would that eat too much into parking fees at those places?

    On a final note: EVs with enough range and available at a price point accessible to larger numbers of people are just starting to come on to the market. In the next 5 years we will see an accelerating uptake in EVs as more models are introduced and there is a bigger variety of styles to meet people’s needs and desires. Trying to pass laws now to mandate the extinction of the internal combustion engine is very premature. In another 10 years, those laws might not even need to be considered. Lawmakers should instead look for ways to add technologies such as pumped storage into reality by streamlining government red tape. Other things they can sink their teeth into are zoning problems/corruption in cities and how many people can the state really have as residents and in certain area. LA’s water grab to be able to keep adding population not only affects farmers and residents in the northern part of the state, it impacts the food supply of the rest of the country and, to some extent, the world. Cow burps aren’t as much of a problem as incompetent government.

  13. The California legislators have been shitting in their own nest in every conceivable direction for decades, so this comes as no surprise to me.

  14. Dr Kenneth Richman RET | October 24, 2017 at 10:44 am | Reply

    I was born in the Los Angeles area in 1923 and still live here. I remember the heavily polluted air in the Los Angeles basin from the late 1930’s to the early 1980’s when the anti pollution regulations were beginning to have an effect on our air. We need to to much more and the elimination of petroleum powered vehicles is one more step in the right direction.

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