Conservative commentators and many Republican politicians blame everything bad that happens in the world on President Barack Obama. Boeing’s revolutionary 787 Dreamliner has been grounded by the FAA for problems with its batteries and sure enough conservative carbon-pollution advocates are saying it is all because of Obama’s green energy programs.
Obama must have caused the problem “retroactively” because Boeing applied for certification of the Dreamliner battery design in 2003 when Bush was President, six years before Obama took the oath of office.
POLITICO reports that anti-green energy commentators and bloggers are trying to tie the Boeing battery problem to Obama’s green energy and climate change policies. They are even trying to use it as grounds to go after electric cars like the Chevy Volt.
“The grounding of the entire fleet of Dream liners earlier this month was 'another black eye' to Obama’s energy programs," Richard Pollock, a reporter for the Washington Examiner’s Watchdog Team, wrote in an article last week.
Paul Chesser, an associate fellow at the conservative National Legal and Policy Center, also blamed the incidents on the federal government for encouraging lithium-ion batteries as a way to increase energy efficiency according to POLITICO.
“The ‘green’ Dreamliner was supposed to be about big savings via fuel efficiency, new technologies and construction materials, all which were supposed to be made to magically appear, thanks to billions of dollars in government incentives, primarily to fight the cause of global warming.”
Chesser, Pollock and others were also quick to connect Boeing’s problems with the future of electric cars. But the main (or lame) stream media has also seized the opportunity to make their gas and oil company advertisers happy by adding a Fox News-like connection between the Dreamliner problem and green energy.
“Boeing’s battery woes could short-circuit e-cars,” NBC News blared in a headline last week. A column by the editors of RealClearEnergy said clean energy suffered “a huge setback” because of the Dreamliner’s problems. The Associated Press also quoted an emeritus professor of aeronautical engineering earlier this month who claimed that Boeing was “running into the same problems with the 787 as the problems that have shown up in electric cars.”
The minute there is an opportunity to help big oil, Republican politicians rise to the occasion. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also known as the kill green energy committee, Darrell Issa (R-CA) tried to seize the opportunity last year to go after electric vehicles that hurt gas company profits immensely. Expect him to use the Dreamliner issue as grounds for another taxpayer funded “investigation”
As POLITICO reported John Voelcker of Green Car Reports addressed the issue soon after the Dreamliner problems began to emerge.
“Here’s the problem: While the battery cells in Boeing 787s and, say, Chevrolet Volts are both in the lithium-ion family, they use very different chemistries. Voelcker pointed out that the Tesla Roadster is the only electric car on the market that uses the same lithium-ion battery chemistry as those on board the Dreamliner.
Last Tuesday Tesla owner Elon Musk tried to differentiate his company from the Dreamliner problems in anticipation of the witch hunt saying that the architecture of the Dreamliner’s batteries make the design “inherently unsafe,” unlike those used in his cars. Tesla did receive funding from the Department of Energy under the Obama administration and Republicans ran ads in the last election claiming falsely that those dollars created jobs in Finland.
As Darius Dixon and Kathryn Wolfe of POLITICO wrote, Boeing didn’t design the Dreamliner in response to an Obama administration mandate but instead with a more capitalistic aim in mind: conserving fuel in an effort to save money for the company’s airline customers, giving the aerospace company a competitive edge in a world of increasing fuel costs.
One company’s profits mean smaller profits for oil companies. Exxon and Chevron made $71 billion in profits last year. In the Tea Plantation the abbreviation for gas, oil, and profits is “GOP” so Boeing is in for a fight.
Meanwhile, it might turn out that the batteries aren’t even the source of the fire and overheating problems plaguing the Dreamliner. Japanese transportation officials said this week that inspectors there have found no flaws in a Dreamliner battery that overheated earlier this month.