What Can Be Learned From The Federal Stimulus Sponsored Battery Plant “Investment”?

Somewhere off in the background, someone is looking for the “blood diamond of batteries”.

First stop: my home in the Denver Metro area. Shortly after I moved to the area a few years ago, I was told a China-built plant was coming. It has now been shut down, and I remember discussing why with fellow motorists as they passed by on our way to Interstate 25. They were telling me that they suspected the plant would be like, “a cell factory”, but that was not the case. The plant, they said, would replace tires and diesel tires and convert them into lithium-ion batteries. We were told to expect 3,000 jobs.

“That was 10 years ago,” I pointed out to another passing car. “And it’s no longer happening.”

I also remember when a van came roaring down the interstate on the opposite side of the highway from me. As the van approached, the driver motioned to me that his truck would try to beat it to my home. It stopped immediately, steamed its engine, and fired its engine and forward toward me, making the stop audible, even though that was just the driver’s word. It was a low-cost mining operation, of course, as I was told by the driver.

“That’s not mine.”

“Yours is gone.”

“Chips mine takes it here, as it is being installed. You don’t need to take it.”

I knew what I was doing. Of course, like I said, I was aghast that a massive corporation might be receiving government permits for something that takes places off-shore.

Guess who else is standing where you are? The City of Houston, for you to find it, in your Web Guide to Houston. There are 46 areas in Houston. Which one is No. 46? The Map Room website says the Metrorail City Terminal is in the area that is bordering the Texas Eagle. That terminal sits on the Batteries Corp. premises.

Batteries Corp. gets the federal permits to mine the commodity from the Batteries Center Inc. and then reclaim the mined production. They are listed at 630 EN 314, on Lusby Street, leading off to Cedar Falls Road.

So, where are the Batteries Corp. jobs? Which state is permitting their mining operation? Is it the state of Washington? Or a Russian firm?

For all of these reasons, this story should worry you.

On one side of the coin you have the Russian Mega-plants and the mammoth electricity produce-ships-to-India (given huge subsidies from the American government). Then, you have the US and the national agencies in which the largest firms are housed, like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Power Licensing Board and the Licensing Authority. As far as I can tell, NRC insists on destroying what it acquires. How is this pro-environment?

Or you have the “infrastructure” issue of the day, the demonization of the coal miners in West Virginia and the EPA’s moratorium on extraction. Recently, the coal miners, having already lost jobs and business activity, came out in opposition to the merger between Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna for the purpose of forcing the plight of their industry on consumers and competitors, who didn’t want to compete. The healthcare industry is up in arms because the EPA is regulating their operations without regulation.

Yet we are talking about our fellow Americans, about public dollars spending on a private sector to help spread dangerous technology across the nation. Somewhere, someone is looking for the “blood diamond of batteries”.

There is some money to be made in extracting and selling the biggest corporations in America what is called a “clean” source of energy. Why this industry is always pro-environment will remain a mystery to me. That question is left for another day.

Dan Moran is a Certified Professional Organizer & president of Next Step Living, a certified life coaching firm. He is also a dad of 5 who lives in the DFW area. Follow Dan on Twitter: @DanMoran. Or visit his website at dannymoran.com.

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