Electric car dreams
Sean Mahoney wrote a nice OpEd in the Nov. 14 BDN about how electric vehicles can benefit Maine. He ignored one question that most electric vehicle proponents ignore and no one seems able to answer: If we make a major switch to electric vehicles, from whence will their electricity come?
My Google searches reveal the following: In 2016, the U.S. used about 19.69 million barrels of oil per day in total and 71 percent of that oil was used for transportation, which would be 13.98 million barrels of oil per day. One barrel is equivalent to 1,628.2 kilowatt hours. So if we switched all vehicles from oil to electricity, that would be 22,759.28 million additional kilowatt hours per day we would have to produce. Multiply that by 365 days, and we would need to produce 8,307,136.1 million new kilowatt hours per year, which could be stated as about 8.3 trillion new kilowatt hours per year.
In 2014, the U.S. used about 3.9 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity. This is less than half of what we would need to add if we were going to replace oil for transportation.
Obviously, we wouldn’t replace oil all at once, but how can we essentially triple our production of electricity? Basically, we can’t, without drastic increases in coal and nuclear power plants. Solar and wind are a drop in the bucket. Does anyone have the answers?
Lawrence E. Merrill
Men’s mistreatment of women
It’s about time. Nearly a century after we “gave” women the right of full citizenship, men are finally having to face the music for the “indiscretions” they have imposed on the other half of the human race.
For centuries, men have misused, abused and molested women for their selfish pleasure and satisfaction, without any regard for how the “fairer sex” felt. While we have called it “inappropriate conduct,” such behavior is nothing less than a crime, as much as slavery.
Sex can be, should be, a joyful expression of love and empathy, but it is nothing of the sort when it is the result of assault. But women know it is not all fun and games, and men too often ignore women’s feelings.
For thousands of years, societal norms have accepted the primal urge of men for procreation. It may be rooted in a biological difference, the power of hormonal variation between the sexes. Yet, whether it is Bill Clinton, Roy Moore or Donald Trump, our species is supposed to have a power of reasoning that overpowers animal instinct.
Anyone who says, “They just let you do it,” is thumbing his nose at justice and has no place as our top law officer, no matter what he did or didn’t do.
Investing in airport infrastructure
While there has been a lot of talk in Washington about needing to invest in our failing infrastructure, few tangible steps have been taken so far to actually make infrastructure investment a priority.
That is why we are pleased that Sen. Susan Collins has produced a transportation funding proposal to increase the passenger facility charge and bolsters the Airport Improvement Program to provide America’s airports with sustainable funding streams to upgrade their facilities, attract new air service and improve the passenger experience.
Airports across the country have identified $100 billion in infrastructure improvements they need to make over the next five years. In Bangor, this means developing a plan for future funding that will be utilized to support more than $30 million in necessary safety and capacity improvements. These infrastructure projects include runway and taxiway rehabilitation and terminal expansion to meet growing demand. These critical infrastructure investments are needed to keep Maine’s economy connected to the world’s air transportation network.
Collins understands that infrastructure investments lead directly to economic benefits for communities throughout Maine. The state’s airports support more than 19,000 jobs and have an annual economic output of $1.8 billion. With more than $320 million in infrastructure needs over the next five years, work at our airports has the potential to create another 7,000 jobs and millions more in economic output.
With so many politically divisive issues plaguing the country, it is refreshing to see Collins lead a bipartisan effort to modernize America’s aging infrastructure. Congress needs to take the next step and approve these essential infrastructure improvements. American travelers deserve updated facilities, lower airfares, shorter security lines and more airline competition. Let’s get to work.
Bangor International Airport
Building America’s Future