California Turns to Bureaucrats to Make Energy Efficient Trucks

Posted: September 12th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

by Aaron Turpen, EVMeme

Apparently unaware of the oxymoron created when using the term “bureaucrat” and “efficient” in the same sentence, California’s Energy Commission has dedicated a new facility in Pasadena, California as the home of the California Hybrid, Efficient and Advanced Truck Research Center (CalHEAT, how catchy) to conduct research into newer meeting-extension technologies, faster paper shuffling efforts, and maybe trucks that use less gasoline.

Which, of course, is what bureaucrats are really good at.  Especially that last one, since most trucks on the road use diesel, not gasoline.  But hey, it’s not like this group plans to actually accomplish any real goals outside of soaking up more grant cash, government employment perks, and maybe the occasional “getaway jaunt” to a resort for “brainstorming.”

California, which has a $14 billion debt they can’t resolve, threw $3 million into the CalHEAT project to get it started.  Which is definitely not an illustration of the reasons behind CA’s budget woes, of course.

The project will involve the non-profit CALSTART, the University of California Riverside, and Southern California Edison.  They might also throw a bone to Caltech (if they’re nice), which is just down the street.  CalHEAT’s leadership touts the “innovation” rampant in Pasadena – which is very near where Bill and Ted built their time machine, of course.

The group plans to work with FedEx in partnership with the LA and Long Beach ports to facilitate hybrid medium and heavy duty truck development.  You know, like the Tyrano hydrogen fuel cell truck (already in service at those ports), like the electric truck FedEx just put into testing – the same one Navistar just began promoting -, not to mention FedEx’s already-existing fleet of hybrids, oh and the trailer spotters made by Vision and Capacity (electric and hybrid), plus the latest in high-efficiency hybrid technology from Capstone, ya and the electric trucks from Smith Electric, and don’t forget the electric drayage trucks already in service at those ports too…

All done without CalHEAT’s input…

So what’s the point of this new bureaucracy again?  Oh, ya, they let us know themselves, in case anyone decides to second-guess that $3 million investment:

“What you need is an intellectual group of experts that know how the market works, how to fund technologies and advance the need for it.”

Bureaucrat doublespeak translation: “You’re all stupid, we know all about this stuff and have been studying it (not doing, of course, just styding) for years, and we can tell other bureaucrats, in fancy words they’ll understand (probably while having caviar at a golf resort) where to send taxpayer funds (usually to our friends who’ve “greased the wheels”) and to others to whom we’ve explained the urgent need to, like those who haven’t contributed to our retirement funds yet.”

To find out if all of my statements are true, you need only look at the CalHEAT committee membership: representatives of the industry (i.e. those who want to “cash in” by being in position to “grease the wheels”), government (those whose wheels need the greasing), and the environmental community (so they can feel “a part of it” and blog about it later).

All of this taking place in the huge smog-filled, traffic-jammed, concrete jungle of a valley cradling LA and surrounds.  You know, where all the environmental stuff happens amidst Hollywood glamour.

Do I sound too cynical?


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