In Mid-December, Senator Carl Levin posted a position piece supporting further battery technology spending by taxpayers in Michigan. He states:
That's why an announcement in November by the Department of Energy was so important to Michigan. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a consortium of government, university and private-sector research labs aimed at revolutionizing battery technology.
Fittingly, Michigan is playing a key role in the effort. The consortium, headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, will include research hubs at Johnson Controls in Holland, and on the University of Michigan campus. Dow Chemical in Midland is also a key corporate partner.
The JCESR is nothing short of a Manhattan Project-styled effort to blow through the technical and economic limitations imposed by existing battery technology. Despite enormous progress that has allowed impressive accomplishments in hybrid vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, today's batteries are still bigger, heavier, more expensive and lower capacity than we'd like. With technical improvements, we can bring down costs, reduce our dependence on imported oil and protect our environment.
The answer to this challenge is an effort that, as my colleague Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois put it, "brings together, under a single organizational roof, the world's leading scientists, engineers and manufacturers in energy storage and provides them with the tools, resources and market reach necessary to produce major breakthroughs."
In other words we have failed miserably in our efforts to date, and we should really double down.
"But now you're getting it. Reporters who visited the Michigan factory of the South Korean company LG Chem, which got $151 million in stimulus money to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, discovered workers sitting around playing Monopoly and poker. The employees said it wasn't their fault: "What do you do when there's no work?" "
Sure why not follow THESE successes with additional money thrown around.
As far as going all-in with these schemes, one might better be served with the proverbial 'fool me once .." advice. Frankly, Senator Levin should take the advice given to Harry Reid by the weeper last night.
At least the recipient would be 'getting it' voluntarily.