In a Cabinet of Dim Bulbs, Rick Perry Shines

June 19, 2017

In a cabinet full of fawning, shamelessly pandering, dim bulbs, Rick Perry, well, shines.

It would appear that 97 percent of below-average ex-cheerleader animal husbandry majors do not believe in human caused climate change.  That’s good enough for me.

By the way, you’ll see above that Perry pays lip service to “innovations..coming out of our national labs”, while he and the Trump administration move to gut the very innovation hubs that made the US a leader in the technologies vital to a new century.


Energy Secretary Rick Perry is cooking up a case to stifle further federal support of renewable wind and solar energy. He’s ordered a dubiously sourced staff study that is aimed to paint renewables as an unreliable source for the nation’s electric grid.

The study, due June 23, seeks to determine whether federal tax and subsidy policies favoring renewable energy have burdened “baseload” coal-fired generation, putting power grid reliability at risk. It is being spearheaded by Energy Department political appointee Travis Fisher, who’s associated with a Washington policy group that opposes almost any government aid for renewable energy.

Fisher wrote a 2015 report for the Institute for Energy Research that called clean energy policies “the single greatest emerging threat” to the nation’s electric power grid, and a greater threat to electric reliability than cyber attacks, terrorism or extreme weather.

Washington Post:

A congressionally mandated study has found that a key federal energy research program, which the Trump administration is seeking to defund almost entirely, is “not failing and is not in need of reform.”

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, is a freestanding office designed to operate nimbly and without bureaucracy as it funds breakthrough energy innovations that increase U.S. security and fight climate change.

It was created under a law signed by President George W. Bush and granted its first major funding under President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus legislation — but the Trump administration would like to slash its funding from $ 290 million in 2017 to just $ 20 million in 2018, a 93 percent decrease.

A new study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) certainly won’t help that quest. The study, mandated by the law that created ARPA-E itself, finds that the agency, while still quite young, has had many successes — although it has done a poor job of singing its own praises.

“I think this report looked at a lot of documentation, collected a lot of evidence, and found that ARPA-E is indeed making progress towards its stated goals and its mission,” said Pradeep Khosla, the chancellor of the University of California-San Diego and chair of the committee.

ARPA-E is a perfect instance of a scientific and industrial mindset that, while previously a matter of bipartisan consensus, has recently become imperiled — the idea that government dollars should fund innovation and help create new industries and initiatives.

The agency was created in 2007 by the America COMPETES Act, which was designed to stoke U.S. innovation and was signed into law by President Bush. By late last year, ARPA-E had spent more than $ 1 billion on more than 500 individual projects, ranging from better batteries for electric cars, to technologies to capture carbon, to “plants engineered to replace oil.”

Among its biggest investments so far  is energy storage, especially in advanced battery technologies for cars and the electric grid.


15 Responses to “In a Cabinet of Dim Bulbs, Rick Perry Shines”

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    When you use the first two paragraphs to attack somebody with names and lies, you lose the attention of anybody not a dim bulb as you put it . All those cabinet guys have made a lot of money, a lot more than you, in a cut throat world. They are not dim bulbs and you know it, they simply have different ideas about the world than you.

    To win your argument you can do what the left is currently doing, riot in the streets, murder people, and burn down cities. Sometimes that works, worked in Russia and in China. It might not work in the USA.

    Why not do the sane thing, argue about what the data shows us? Is that to hard to do? We know the world seems to be warming a bit as it is warmer than 400 years ago. The actual data is not 97 percent anything, it is a bunch of here and there. How much warming is out of our control is not even discussed only an endless repeat mantra it is all our fault.

    That mantra is the tenets of a religion, not of science.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      They are not dim bulbs because they have money. Brilliant reasoning, Bates.

      They just have “different ideas about the world”? They think the laws of physics can be ignored, Bates. That’s a “different idea about the world” that reasonable people call stupidity.

    • mboli Says:

      It is a conundrum. I can’t call them stupid if they are beating us. On the other hand they do say some stupid things. Hmmm….

    • redskylite Says:

      The argument of money doesn’t stack up when you look at estimated personal wealth.

      Rick Perry (Forbes): Rick Perry: $2 million (Secretary of Energy)

      Since Perry left the Texas governor’s office in 2015, he has banked at least $100,000 from speeches and another $250,000 consulting for a Caterpillar heavy equipment dealer. About 20% of his portfolio is in oil-and gas partnerships and energy stocks.

      Al Gore (businessinsider):Gore wasn’t even a multi-millionaire when he ran for office against George W. Bush in the 2000 election, but several recent moves have put his personal fortune at a point where it “may exceed $200 million,” according to Bloomberg:

      Elon Musk (Forbes): CEO and Chairman, Tesla Motors
      Real Time Net Worth — as of 6/19/17 $17 Billion

      I do not accept personal wealth is measure of fitness to run for public office, or have an acceptable position on climate change, it is disconnected and totally irrelevant.

      Plenty of rich people on both sides of the coin.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      Bates Motel: “All those cabinet guys have made a lot of money… in a cut throat world” Sooooo… they are cutthroats, is what you’re saying. Thanks for the confirmation.

    • webej Says:

      Regardless of his views or business success, watching his performance on that video merits “dim bulb”. No two ways around it.

  2. Tom Bates Says:

    I notice not a word about the real reason, unchecked population increases. If we had one man and one women on the planet they could set off H bombs every week and burn all the coal they could dig up, nobody would notice. When you have 7 plus billion our actions have visible and hard consequences. Most of the problems of the world are pollution and destruction of the environment, all that is caused in the end by to many people living who simply do not care about the planet outside of their door.

    • Too many people emitting too much CO2 maybe? Or is that a step too far? I did’t have you down as a concerned greeny? Psst, better not tell your Tea Party friends.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      “the real reason, unchecked population” You see. For the Fourth Reich, it’s always going to come down, in the end, to Auschwitz. We need a ‘final solution’. Fortunately, Master Bates is here to give us one.


    Are solar and wind really killing coal, nuclear and grid reliability?

    U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April requested a study to assess the effect of renewable energy policies on nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

    Some energy analysts responded with confusion, as the subject has been extensively studied by grid operators and the Department of Energy’s own national labs. Others were more critical, saying the intent of the review is to favor the use of nuclear and coal over renewable sources.

    So, are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think. Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, not where the grid’s technology and regulations have been modernized. In those places, overall grid operation has improved, not worsened.

    As energy scholars based in Texas – the national leader in wind – we’ve seen these dynamics play out over the past decade, including when Perry was governor.

    Let’s use the case study of Texas to illustrate. Since Texas has its own grid, known as the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT, and has installed more wind capacity than the next three wind-leading states combined, the Texas experience shows what variable renewables like wind power do to the grid.

    In the end, Secretary Perry has posed good questions. Thankfully, because of lessons learned while he was governor of Texas, we already have answers: despite concerns to the contrary, incorporating wind and solar into the grid along with fast-ramping natural gas, smart market designs and integrated load control systems will lead to a cleaner, cheaper, more reliable grid.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Talking about bright bulbs among the dim, does anyone else find the latest act of plagiarism by Pres. Trump, comedically cheesy and desperate.

    Like an episode of the comedy “Arrested Development”. Front page of world news from the reasonably impartial auntie BBC.

    Trump talks up solar panel plan for Mexico wall. . .

    US President Donald Trump has told supporters that his proposed wall along the border with Mexico could have solar panels fixed to it.
    Addressing a rally in Iowa, he said the panels would provide cheap energy and help to pay for the controversial wall.
    He suggested the plan was his own, saying: “Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea.”

    • webej Says:

      He is being a little provactive and trying to be funny.

      Still, he’s a practical guy, not an idealogue. Maybe there is some hope..

  5. redskylite Says:

    And on the subject of Mr. Perry the illustrious ClimateFeedback scientists are on hand to put wrongs to rights . . .

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry incorrectly claims CO2 is not primary cause of climate change

    While oscillations in the distribution of ocean temperatures are an important source of natural variability, this does not change the total amount of energy in Earth’s climate system. The increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is the primary reason for modern global warming.

  6. redskylite Says:

    And still on the subject of Perry, proof he doen’t want any objective science aboard his outfits.

    EPA axes 38 more science advisers, cancels panel meetings

  7. webej Says:

    This guy is disingenuous to the point of malevolence — only his stupidity isa mitigating circumstance.

    “Excited about innovations coming out of our public … labs”
    Which have been defunded, so nothing will be coming out.

    “Being a wise and intellectually engaged … entitled to being a little skeptical”
    Ha ha, intellectually engaged you say. So wise.
    Entitled to being a little skeptical — I tried that one on my history teacher when I didn’t get around to studying the last chapter. It didn’t work.

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