Aug. 24, 2022

Flipping the Switch and the Script – Powering Energy Literacy – with Tom Pyle – [Ep. 134]

Flipping the Switch and the Script – Powering Energy Literacy – with Tom Pyle – [Ep. 134]

Flip the switch and flip the script. Reliable sources and secure supply chains for food and fuel are necessary for a healthy, well-functioning society. We often take both for granted. Are politicians protecting our best interests as they create energy...


Flip the switch and flip the script. Reliable sources and secure supply chains for food and fuel are necessary for a healthy, well-functioning society. We often take both for granted. Are politicians protecting our best interests as they create energy policies? Are we being told the truth? Higher prices at gas pumps, empty grocery shelves, and soaring inflation remind us not all politicians make wise decisions to benefit constituents. Linda interviews Tom Pyle, President of American Energy Alliance and The Institute for Energy Research, to discuss current energy rhetoric and policies. As we flip light switches on, let’s also flip misleading scripts and focus on facts to increase our energy literacy and promote safe, reliable energy solutions. 

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Transcript

Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author of Prosperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.

 

My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity101.com.

 

Thank you for joining with us today. Elections have consequences and policy matters. I repeat that phrase often. And we can see the effect the last election and the policies that came, as a result, have had on American citizens. Inflation is soaring. And many policies have negatively impacted American businesses and families. In fact, in 2020, we were energy independent. We were an exporter of energy. Now in 2022, we are energy dependent. With prices at the gas pump and our utility bills soaring, it’s time to discuss our energy issues. How did we get here? How can we fix it?

 

My guest today is my good friend and a repeat guest, Tom Pyle. Tom Pyle is the President of American Energy Alliance and The Institute for Energy Research, both based in Washington D.C. Tom brings a unique backdrop of public and private sector experience to help manage his organizations, AEA and IER, their staff, and operations. He also helps to develop the organization’s free market policy positions and implement education efforts with respect to key energy stakeholders, including policymakers, federal agency representatives, industry leaders, consumer entities, and the media.

 

Tom, as I mentioned, has been a previous guest on this podcast and I always enjoy welcoming him back so he can provide insights on energy issues, plus we tend to have a good laugh or two. So, [laughs] thank you, Tom, for joining us the last time you were with me at the microphone was when you were quarantined with COVID. So –

 

Tom Pyle: Yes, I remember. Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: I hope you’re feeling better today [laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: Oh, much better, much better. Thank you. 

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yes.

 

Tom Pyle: Thanks for having me back, too. It’s just so great to catch up with you.

 

Linda J. Hansen: It’s always good and I always enjoy learning from you. Every time we discuss things I just, you know, feel enlightened, but also more determined to help impact policy and help educate people about how important policy issues are to their daily life. So, where would you like to start this episode? I think we should talk about the pain at the gas pump because everybody feels that every single week.

 

Tom Pyle: Sure. I mean, the pain at the gas pump, the pain at the grocery store, the pain at the utility bill, these are all related to each other. And they are in large part because – as you mentioned, because of policy. You know, we’ve seen in just the, you know, short time that the current administration has been in power, massive, massive amounts of money being printed for Washington for subsidies to promote certain types of energy and to handcuff other types of energy.

 

And the main – the largest problem with all of this is that we shouldn’t be running – politicians aren’t grid experts. Politicians aren’t drillers.  Politicians aren’t wildcatters.  Like, they don’t understand the complexities out there in the energy markets and how one thing has a ripple effect on the whole system. And yet, they continue to go down this road.

 

This past week or two with this, in this named inflation Reduction Act is a perfect example of that. Four hundred billion dollars of our money, you, me, your listeners’ tax money is going to be distributed to large corporations, automobile companies like GM and Ford, to push an agenda that is literally impacting consumers in a negative way. Increasing the price of cars, increasing the price of gas, increasing the price of our utility bills, putting pressure on manufacturers, who are already competing with labor around the world – with cheap labor around the world, where we’ve had this amazing – we’re blessed with all this affordable, reliable energy, so our energy prices have historically been good.

 

But then these politicians come and they try to pretend that they can somehow magically transform the way we do everything. And it’s terrible policy. It’s terrible policy and it’s led to exactly what you said. We went from being independent to once again dependent for our energy. And that’s just – it doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t even have a real purpose because they claim it’s for the climate.

 

But I just have to have your listeners understand, China is building more coal plants this year that will burn for 15, 20, 25 years than we actually burn in total. So, the new coal plants that China is building this year – so if this was about the climate, you can’t – I mean, we can’t do it alone. It’s the whole world is involved in that conversation.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.

 

Tom Pyle: So, either they’re not – either they’re – sorry for my rant – but either they’re naïve or they’re misleading us intentionally. In either case, that’s not good.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. In either case, it’s not good. And, you know, you mentioned that politicians should not be energy regulators or energy experts. You know, some can know more than others, obviously. But we have to be aware, too, how Washington works and/or how state capitals work. And a lot of times, it is the staffers.

 

The staffers who are putting the language into the legislation, the staffers who are creating the dialogue and informing the legislator on how to actually vote. And a lot of times those staffers are definitely not experts either. They may be influenced by special interest lobbyists or current culture, whatever, and not really understand the full long-range impact of these policies. So, whether you have the legislators themselves, who are not experts and may be ill-informed about the true effects of different policies, or you just have the staffers feeding the information to people.

 

You know, there’s clearly a need for better education regarding energy issues, but also helping the average person understand why these policies matter to their daily life. Whether you’re a business owner, employer, employee, whether you’re a parent, a student, it matters. And that’s why we’re having this conversation, so we can help people understand how to impact policy by using their voice, but also being a better-educated voter. So, what would you say people need to look for first when they think about candidates or election policies?

 

Tom Pyle: Well, I would say, you know, start off with your local and work your way up. If there are organizations in your neighborhoods or areas that are – you know, if you align with a certain party, you know, check in with that local party. See what your employer thinks about this stuff, right?

 

It’s weird that, like, people don’t recognize or feel – I don’t know – that’s like an awkward conversation or something between employers and employees about politics, but like, what’s affecting your business? Right? Well, it – is – are these things going to lead to potentially you losing your job? You should express that. Right? Say, “Hey, I’m concerned about the stuff I’m reading that’s going on in Washington. How does it impact our business?” Right? And then look to organizations.

 

Here’s a shameless plug. The American Energy Alliance has a voter education scorecard and we track votes that affect our energy independence. Right? That impact negatively the ability for American energy producers to do their thing in Washington, and all of your federal elected officials receive a score from us from 100 to zero. And you can track that. You know, just go on AmericanEnergyAlliance.org and see where they are. And if they’re not where you want them to be, write them.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.

 

Tom Pyle: Write them. Say, “Hey, I’m your constituent. Here’s my address. What are you doing? What are you doing to me?” Like, people are paying an extra $700 a month right now just to live. That’s $700 every month just to live.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: Just to do what they did two years ago or let’s even go back before COVID because, you know, everything just got crazy. And that’s just money out of their pocket for vacations, for, you know, school supplies, and everything is going up. So, you know, people are literally dipping into their savings or buying things on credit. The savings rate is plummeting right now.

 

And you know, there was an economist, the famous economist Milton Friedman – I’m sure your listeners know who he is – he said there’s only one entity that creates inflation, government. There is no other entity that creates inflation. Inflation is a function of how much money the government is pumping into the system. And I have not seen it in my 30 years, in the last 4 or 5 years, how much money the government is spending?

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, it’s crazy and it is so alarming because our children and grandchildren will be paying the price for this. Our children and grandchildren will be suffering and paying the price for this overspending. And if by chance our country does not survive in its current form with our system of government and things the way it is, we don’t know what the price will be for this. Because it isn’t just energy policies, it’s all these other policies that are coming along with this.

 

But the so-called Green Energy mindset, while you know in theory is great – you know, we all want to take care of the environment. We want to have clean air, clean water. But these policies are not necessarily doing that. And as you mentioned, China and other countries are polluting much worse than the U.S. and even during the Trump administration, when he took so much criticism for leaving the Paris Climate Accord, but our emissions went down, you know. So, America led the way in carbon emission reduction. But these other countries kept soaring.

 

And, you know, yet American citizens are treated as if we are, you know, greedy climate haters because we believe fossil fuels can lead to a good future and human flourishing. And we don’t stop to realize all the different facets of energy production that go into a secure energy grid and a secure supply. So, this is national security. It’s health and safety. It’s all of the above. And so, to have a well-rounded grid, you need all of it. You can’t just have wind and solar.

 

Tom Pyle: Well, you can’t and it wouldn’t work, and it doesn’t work. And we’ve seen examples of that. Look what’s happening in Europe. It is a full-blown energy crisis. Residents, citizens of these countries, are paying unbelievable amounts of money just for basic electricity. And it’s going to get worse. The prices keep going up.

 

And then governments panic because they don’t want to lose their – politicians don’t want to lose. So, they try to subsidize it or they create bad policies that overlay the crisis. And you have this sort of strain, this sort of almost religious adherence to this notion that fossil fuel – and I don’t really love the term –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: – but for lack of a better term is somehow destroying the planet. It is responsible for the inter – industrial revolution. It is responsible for plummeting mortality rates. It is responsible for it, you know, us, medicines, plastics, everything that we have come to expect to have a comfortable life comes from these resources. And that is just a fact. You can’t change that fact. And you also can’t change the laws of physics.

 

And a lot of these policies are attempting miserably to do that. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars subsidizing wind and solar. This bill alone is going to cost taxpayers another, say, $98 billion to do that. And yet our – the usage of energy, total usage of energy has barely changed.

 

Eighty percent of our energy, total energy comes from three sources coal, oil, and natural gas. Now, that number changes within those three. So, coal may go down or gas may go up. But that number is still 80. It was 80 percent 30 years ago, it’s 80 percent today, in spite of all of this massive wealth transfer to renewables. They’re only – in this country alone, they’re only supplying 5 percent of our total energy. It’s unsustainable.

 

Linda J. Hansen: It is.

 

Tom Pyle: It’s unsustainable and it’s unnecessary because we can have it all. Just we’d need to have a mix that makes sense for each area. Right? Why are we putting solar panels in Minneapolis? Because of a mandate. Right?

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. Well, and I used to live in the Twin Cities, and I would say that solar panels might not be the most efficient source of energy.

 

[Laughter]

 

Tom Pyle: Exactly. It’s just ridiculous, like, but is – but really what it is about is control and power. Because if you control energy, you control the economy. And there’s just a perspective in us, you know, in Washington that says, we know best what’s best for people. We want them to do certain things. And if they don’t do it, we’ll force them to.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. Well, and I’m so glad you brought that up because that is something I wanted to mention that it isn’t always about energy. So, for listeners out there, if you’re thinking, “What do you mean it’s about control and power?” You know, food and fuel are our two basics. And those who control the supply or the usage of fuel and the supply of food tend to control populations.

 

And so, we have to look at this. We’ve seen these disruptions in supply chain operations. We see food shortages. We see empty shelves at the grocery store. I just saw last night that an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania, who has a farm that organically feeds over 4,000 families in their community, the federal government came down on them to regulate their farms that they can’t keep farming because they have so many cows.

 

And so, they’re not using any oil or gas or anything in their farming. They’re doing everything organically, and they’re providing food. But the problem is the government isn’t controlling that, you know –

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: – the government is not in between the grower and the consumer like the government wants to be. So, that’s just one small example of an impact of a government wanting control. I mean, it’s a huge example to the people in that community and to the farmer –

 

Tom Pyle: Of course.

 

Linda J. Hansen: – [laughs] but, but it just shows us it is about control. So, if we look and say, “Okay, we want to have an efficient energy supply, a secure energy grid, we need to make sure we keep this balance with coal, oil, and natural gas.” And then, you know, we talk about renewables all the time. But I – as you know, I am a proponent of nuclear as well. And we don’t talk enough about that.

 

I – for those who may never have heard us discuss this or know anything about me, one of the consulting pleasures that I’ve had has been to work with eGeneration Foundation. And their goal has been to promote the development and commercialization of molten salt reactor technologies and the use of the different fuel sources that molten salt reactors can use including thorium energy.

 

And I just saw last night – so glad I saw it before this interview. But China has now been developing their molten salt reactor technologies, which they stole from us, their IP. And they are actually wanting to secure the intellectual property rights to that technology. Now, that technology was invented, tested, and proven at Oak Ridge National Labs here in the U.S., and this is something that, you know, could provide the small modular reactors, like the molten salt reactors, and others can provide a great security to the grid, a great addition to these other aspects of energy production.

 

And yet, we see China taking the intellectual property, China moving ahead with it. You know, we’ve educated them in our higher education systems and allowed them to come over and learn our technologies, assuming all would be well. And here – so, you know, we’re – basically, we have aided and abetted an enemy of the United States and we do so through energy sometimes. So, this is truly not just even about price at the pump. It’s about the future of our nation and national security.

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah. You hit on a lot there.

 

Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: I’m going to try to unpack it a little from my perspective. Cows is a great example. I just read somewhere that California is literally, like, exporting their cows because they want to – like, their geographic border, they want to, like, be able to report that their emissions of methane are down. Right? So, move the cows to Nevada. Like, that’s somehow good for the planet. You’re killing dairy farmers in Visalia and in the Central Valley.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. Right.

 

Tom Pyle: Right?

 

Linda J. Hansen: And I haven’t –

 

Tom Pyle: Just stupid. I call it stupid energy policies.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. And I haven’t noticed a lot of pasture land in Nevada.

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah, exactly. So, you just have stuff like that all the time. Like California is, you know, they claim to be this Golden Green state. They’re importing more oil, a higher percentage of their oil than any other state from Saudi Arabia. I don’t know how you can claim that your emissions are down when you’re shipping that stuff from the Middle East as – and you have it right in your own backyard.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: But then they ban production in California. So, they’re playing games with Math and ledger sheets about their “emission success.” It’s just stupid stuff and it hurts people, hurts businesses.

 

Linda J. Hansen: It does.

 

Tom Pyle: That’s one. The other is nukes. Amen. And let me just back up real quick here. I love oil, coal, and natural gas. But if something came along that was better, cheaper, cleaner, I’d be 1,000 percent for that. Right? That’s not going to happen by, you know, the government picking winners and losers. It’s going to happen by technology. It’s going to happen by, like, ingenuity, human beings, like, being amazing machines learning.

 

And this is how we get all these advancements in the world. Right? We went from airplanes, Wright Brothers, and Kitty Hawk to like, you know, working our way to Mars. Right? Like, this is how it will happen. Oh, by the way, that’s jet fuel. That’s not going to be running on solar panels.

 

Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs] Right.

 

Tom Pyle: So I’m not for these resources because of what they are. I’m for them because of what they do for people, for us. Right?

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. And it’s the big –

 

Tom Pyle: That’s the reason.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, that’s the big picture. Every single resource has positives and negatives, just like all of life. Right? Every issue has, you know, two sides to it. Right?

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah, like being a husband.

 

[Laughter]

 

Linda J. Hansen: I might edit that one out. Anyway, but – [laughter] you know, every resource has such great positive elements to it. And then they have a downside. And that’s why we need a varied supply to make sure our grid is secure and stable. And when I say secure, I also mean, you know, secure from attacks, secure from, you know, failure.

 

But stable, I mean, that it is – for those who may not understand the stability of the grid, too, but you have brownouts and blackouts, and the power levels are ebbing and flowing. And it takes so much more energy to bring power back up than to keep it stable, and to keep it supplied to add an even rate.

 

So, when we are using wind and solar, and things, and letting things ebb and fall based on what’s happening in the weather, we are really impacting that stable supply of energy to American citizens. And it is less efficient to have that up and down than it is to just keep it a stable supply. And that’s where utilizing all of these energy resources can be so helpful because you can have nuclear.

 

And especially the new generation nuclear, they can, you know, be turned off, turned on, it’s so efficient and carbon-free. So, I don’t – and safe. So, I don’t really know why people would be opposed to it. But that also some of these nuclear technologies have really been proven to help create cleaner fuel technologies for coal, oil, and natural gas.

 

So, you know, we can use this all in a compliment and this is one of the things I really hope people take away from this is that, you know, we are not bashing any single energy source. You know, I think wind has its place; solar has its place; hydropower has its place; and coal, natural gas, and oil have their place; and so does nuclear.

 

And this is what’s important for American citizens. And really, if America has a steady energy supply and affordable energy for their citizens, you know, we can again be, you know, a leader. We can begin to be energy independent, which brings energy security. And we can be an exporter, which helps all of American citizens –

 

Tom Pyle: It helps the world.

 

Linda J. Hansen: – and the world.

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah, it helps the world, too. And that’s a couple of other points I wanted to make is nuclear. Nuclear power is great because much like coal, it’s – you can cite it. Right? It’s just a small footprint. And you can produce power continuously for decades. And in this case, it’s carbon-free. Right?

 

Obviously, the spent fuel is an issue, like you said, there are trade-offs, but it can be managed efficiently. One of the challenges with nuclear from my perspective is you have an infrastructure and apparatus, a regulatory apparatus, that’s stuck in the old world of, like, uranium –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yes.

 

Tom Pyle: – Three Mile Island. That’s it.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: So, there’s no innovation for these other things that you mentioned, small scale, modular things like that. But you know, I think the nuclear thing is a really good example. If the Green Movement believed that we’re headed for doom in 10 years, these bills would do nothing to – these massive amounts of money we’re spending on renewables would do nothing to prevent that.

 

You could spend – Senate is spending $400 billion subsidizing large corporations, which is exactly what this is. Let’s just get down to it. We’re subsidizing General Motors, Ford, Tesla, giant investor-owned utilities, and giant international renewable wind and solar companies. That’s what this bill does. They took that money instead.

 

And if it wasn’t the existential threat that they say it is, the Defense Department could build 15 nuclear plants. They could cite them, say, in the Presidio, in Nancy Pelosi’s backyard or somewhere in New York in Chuck Schumer’s neighborhood. Right? But the point being is, is that that’s – if that is indeed the threat they claim the level that it is, then that’s what they should be doing with government money instead, is building carbon-free –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.

 

Tom Pyle: – electricity.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle:  So –

 

Linda J. Hansen: You mentioned the downside in nuclear – spent nuclear fuel, there are some of these small modular reactors. And I believe molten salt reactors is one that can be fueled through spent nuclear fuel. So, I’ve often thought, “Well, that’s the ultimate in recycling.” So –and I’m certainly not a nuclear engineer. So, I can’t, you know, go into detail about it. But I invite listeners to look.

 

And I’ll put in a plug for eGeneration Foundation, too, just because they have really a lot of information about that. But, you know, this is great. And I know, we have worked with you and IER and AEA on different things as well, just helping one another in the sense that promoting all of these energy supply sources is important. So, I always like our listeners to have action items. 

 

And, you know, we talk about how employers can help employees understand these issues. You mentioned what employees can do going and talking to their employers about these energy issues. But if you were going to have a dream action point for the listeners in terms of how they can help create better energy policy for America and impact this for, you know, themselves, America, and the world, what would you tell them?

 

Tom Pyle: You know, I don’t have a magic bullet. I would say this though and you touched on it earlier. Energy literacy is a big challenge. Just understanding how amazingly complex it is that the electricity gets to yours when you flip the switch that it comes on. It is not like it’s just not sitting in the wall, like waiting for you. Right?

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: So, understanding and getting past the sort of, you know, emotional like scaremongering-type narratives that you’re hearing and really understanding the importance of energy, both to you as a family, to your employer, to your community, hospitals, schools, police, et cetera, to the country, and to the world. Energy and food are the source of most riots, source of most disruption, the source of coups, the source of, like, power for people. Right?

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: Petro dictators, they call them, like Vladimir Putin. The only reason he’s in Ukraine right now is because 40 percent dependency in Europe on Russian gas. And the rest of Europe did it to themselves. They created the conditions for Vladimir Putin to go where he would look – where he has always wanted to go, which is beloved Russian expansion. Right? KGB guy was never for glass, nose, or any of that stuff. He’s been sitting there quietly waiting for this moment.

 

China – if you look at what we’re doing here in this country, the goal of some of the politicians and the activists is to get us off of coal, oil, natural gas – which by the way we have the most in the world more than anybody – and get us all electrification, all batteries, all renewables. Guess what? Guess who controls or directly processes 80 percent of all the materials, critical minerals, and things that go into batteries, solar panels, polysilicon, all that stuff? China.

 

Linda J. Hansen: China. Yeah.

 

Tom Pyle: China and Russia, and soon to be Iran. And our good friend, Steve Moore, just wrote a piece about this, is the new axis of evil. And guess what? It’s all about energy.

 

Linda J. Hansen: It’s all about energy. Yes.

 

Tom Pyle: So, I would say, I guess, just listen, take time to understand these issues and the complexities. And don’t just be like sort of knee-jerk about it. And if you are more informed, you are more energy-literate, you are better prepared to understand a lot more about the world, but also, like, how to help your family and your neighborhood, and your community, and everything else. So, learn and participate. Right?

 

Another shameless plug, in addition to the scorecard, where you can find out where your legislators stand on these issues, we have so many great resources on the Institute for Energy Research’s website that talks about these things in ways you can understand. You know, we throw around big numbers, but we try to, like, take it down to your level. Like, how much does it impact you? Like, how much – what does it cost you?

 

And so, again, as you said, it’s not about demonizing. We’re not for and against. I’m for you, guys. I’m for consumers. I’m for businesses, I’m for the economy. I’m for our national security. That’s why I believe what I believe about energy –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.

 

Tom Pyle: – ignore the reason.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. And you brought up energy literacy, which was a great term. And it is so important. People do take it for granted. And just a couple of examples, you were talking about electric vehicles. And I’ve been reading articles lately. I’m sure maybe others have possibly seen some, you know, where people were testing like a long drive with an electric vehicle. And you get to the charging stations and they don’t work. Or, you know, there’s no charge to them or, you know, they’re not spaced enough where, you know, you run out of your fuel before you get to a charging station.

 

The other thing is it’s hard to measure because they’re fairly new. It’s hard to measure, you know, the effects of towing. Like, what if you’re towing a big trailer? What if it’s a big truck? You know, these things – people have had so much trouble with the charging stations. And I was reading something in one of your publications about how in this inflation Reduction Act or so-called Inflation Reduction [laughs]. They were mentioning, and correct me if I’m wrong, that in order for these subsidies to be handed out, these charging stations had to be operable, but so many of them were not. You know, either the technology of them didn’t work or they were maybe damaged or something. And I mean, it’s just so unreliable.

 

So, that’s one thing I wanted to talk about. But then also – so, as people are thinking about getting an electric vehicle – I do want to touch on that before we close – but also, for those of you listening, maybe some of you have been through power outages at home. I mean, usually, most of us have. There’s been a storm. There’s been a, you know, some sort of storm or some outage. And usually, it’s just a short time. Okay?

 

We don’t necessarily think about what it is to be out of power for a long time unless you’ve lived through hurricanes, massive tornadoes, you know, massive floods. Those people all know what it’s like to be without power. And you know, what – how it affects life. I was overseeing care for my mom when she was still alive and she needed oxygen because she had COPD. Right?

 

There was a downed tree – several downed trees in the area. And her building did not have power for three days. And it was in the heat of summer. She couldn’t take the heat. She needed her oxygen. She would have died had I not been around to be able to bring her over to my home, which my power was restored before hers, so she could stay here. And I was so thankful for that. But it just reminds us again, how critical our energy supply is.

 

So, whether it’s [laughs] through electric cars or through these other varied sources, you know, we have to think about how we take care of our families, our businesses, our nation by having a secure and stable energy grid. So, before we close though, I do want you to touch on the electric cars because you’re grinning.

 

[Laughter]

 

Tom Pyle: Well, just – my favorite is the charging stations that are powered by diesel generators [laughs].

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah.

 

Tom Pyle: So –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah. I think – who was it that was asked? A legislator in Washington, D.C. was asked once. I can’t remember the interview. But they were touting – they were in an interview touting, you know, electric vehicles. And someone asked her, “So, where does the electricity come from?”

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah. Well, the plug here. The switch here. Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah. Yeah, and I mean, she could not answer.

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: And I thought, “Oh, my goodness. It’s like we go back to the beginning of this interview when we were talking about how legislators and the staffers who helped draft the bills really have no understanding. They do not have energy literacy, like you mentioned.

 

Tom Pyle: yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: I mean, some do, but most do not.

 

Tom Pyle: So, again, I don’t have anything against electric vehicles. You know, your – consumers should feel free to choose the types of vehicles that make the most sense for them. The governments are trying to force them on people. They’re not ready for primetime. Keep saying, “Oh, well, the technology is going to improve so much that the price is going to be low enough to compete with these amazing internal combustion engine vehicles, which by the way, cleaner and cleaner, and cleaner every year, to the point where the total emission sort of, you know, footprint for either is pretty negligible.”

 

But the average price of an EV in the United States is about $66,000. Okay, the average price of a conventional car internal combustion engine vehicle is about $46,000. That’s too high for me anyway.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right [laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: But you see the difference, right? And you mentioned towing. Right? The F150 Lightning, the fancy new Ford electric vehicle. They did test. Consumer Reports tested it with an RV, tow RV. They reduced the travel distance by 50 percent.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Amazing.

 

Tom Pyle: If you’re going on a trip – you know, two couple of summers ago, I did an RV trip. We had five weeks. We were blessed to have the time. We never would have seen half the stuff we saw if we had to spend as much time charging as we would have if we were towing it around an EV Ford or whatever.

 

So, yeah, I mean, it looked just – it will come maybe, maybe not. But, like, you’re not getting much for it. And yeah, the notion that you’re saving all this money when – the tax credit $7,500 bucks. Right? It still doesn’t cover the total increase in EVs and they keep saying the price is going to go down. But they’re actually increasing the price, year after year, because they’re putting pressure on the supply chain. Supply and demand, when lithium demand is high, the price is – it’s a commodity, the price goes up, input costs higher. They charge more.

 

So, it’s not going down. It’s going up. So, all this stuff is just to say, EVs aren’t the like panacea for anything. And there’s not – they’re not for everybody. We shouldn’t have these industrial policies of Washington or California, for example, saying that we have to have them. It’s ridiculous. So –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. Yeah. Same about cows – going back to the cows.

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: We shouldn’t have these things from Washington or California about cows but – okay, well, I know you have to get going. And I thank you so much for this again and just reminding people how to get the information. I want to make sure they go to AmericanEnergyAlliance.org and view the scorecard.

 

So, listeners, please do that. If you want to know how your elected officials are voting on energy issues that matter to you, you want to go to AmericanEnergyAlliance.org and view the voter scorecard. The Institute for Energy Research has a lot of educational information for you. Could you give the website for that?

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah, it’s a mouthful. InstituteForEnergyResearch.org.

 

Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: We couldn’t get IER.org because someone owns it and wants to charge us like $50,000 bucks for it or something.

 

Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs] So, if there’s a donor out there that would like a shorter URL, send money.

 

[Laughter]

 

Tom Pyle: Please, please help me out.

 

Linda J. Hansen: So, InstituteForEnergyResearch.org, you can find all sorts of information there to help your energy literacy improve. And Tom, you also host or co-host a podcast. Would you like to tell the listeners about that?

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah. It’s called the Unregulated Podcast and I co-host with a good dear friend of mine named Michael McKenna, who’s a commentator at the Washington Times. And we do a weekly podcast that talks about these issues, and then whatever other thing we feel like talking about.

 

Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: So, it’s politics and –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Little Baseball –

 

Tom Pyle: – sports and –

 

Linda J. Hansen: Little Baseball recently. Yes [laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: Energy and primaries. So, we kind of get it. We kind of run the gamut on that.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right.

 

Tom Pyle: We have a lot of fun with it, too. So, the Unregulated Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Right. And you can access that through the website as well.  So –

 

Tom Pyle: Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: – All right. Well, thank you, Tom. And if people want to contact you directly, they can just go to either one of the websites and do the contact form, look up stuff, and they can reach you through there.

 

Tom Pyle: Sure. Yeah.

 

Linda J. Hansen: All right. Well, any closing comments?

 

Tom Pyle: Thank you for having me back. It’s a pleasure always.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Always [laughs].

 

Tom Pyle: You do amazing work.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you.

 

Tom Pyle: Keep it up.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you so much. It’s always great to have you. I look forward to next time. Thank you.

 

Tom Pyle: Okay.

 

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don’t forget to visit Prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library, to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Paychecks. 

 

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