Loaded ships are still waiting off the coast of California because there aren’t enough trucks that meet the state’s emission standards to unload them – and it’s going to get worse in 2023 when more rules kick in. The ports are choked with cargo containers while perishables spoil and store shelves run empty. It’s a government created problem. What is the government’s solution? Mandate that port employees work overtime loading the trucks that aren’t there and reroute the ships to the east coast – so the cargo can be shipped by rail back to the west coast. It’s government problem solving 101.
The airline industry is plagued with cancellations and late flights. And it’s not because of climate change (bad weather) or mechanical failures. It’s because they don’t have enough pilots. When we tried to control a virus by closing the country, pilots retired, others refused to comply with the vaccine mandate and were fired, and some unknown number took the vax and found they could no longer pass their physicals. But this time, Pete is on the case. He’s told the airlines that the Department of Transportation will fine them if they don’t hire more of the pilots that don’t exist. That should light a fire under their executive tails.
But the deadliest transportation storm front is the approaching railroad strike. The Biden administration averted a strike in September by brokering a last minute deal with the railroad unions. Now Joe and Pete just need all 11 of the unions to approve the deal to avoid a strike before Christmas. There’s just one problem. It’s an “all or none” situation, and several unions, including the largest, have already rejected the deal.
If the deal falls through, 33 million tons of cargo per week will not be delivered. That’s a lot of baby formula and toilet paper. Factories will close, store shelves will run empty, power plants will go offline, and construction will stop. Joe’s administration is lining up alternatives to trains if the railroads shut down. They assure us that if they fumble this – and they may – we’ll just ship everything by truck. But there’s a problem with that also. It would take an additional 460,000 trucks to move the freight that trains move. Bumper to bumper, that number of trucks would stretch across America — twice. It may take Freightliner a few days to crank those out.
Even if we had those trucks, they would use 5 times more fuel than trains (see this and this). That would be the fuel we don’t have, because Joe decided to wage war on the industry that produces the fuel – because he thinks he can control the weather that way. Are you following that logic?
And speaking of fuel, that’s another problem. As we move into winter we are facing a diesel fuel shortage that is becoming critical. The Energy Information Administration has issued a report stating that as of October, we have only a 25 day reserve of fuel and shortages are expected this winter. That’s the lowest reserve America has had in 14 years.
If we run out, crops won’t be harvested and supplies won’t be delivered – even if the trains are still running. We’re just one natural disaster away from petrochemical Armageddon. What steps is the government taking?
- Cancelling pipelines
- Stopping the drilling on public lands
- Restricting fracking
- Selling our strategic reserve to China
But the Biden administration has a solution for the fuel shortage. Buy electric cars, which run on electricity generated by burning the fuel Biden’s trying to eliminate.
This is what a man-made storm convergence looks like. As cargo piles up in ports, a rail strike is looming – because of government dereliction. We don’t have the trucks to move the cargo – because of ill-conceived emissions standards. If we did have the trucks, we couldn’t fuel them – because our government has decided that it prefers batteries over the fossil fuels that charge the batteries.
It’s a perfect storm of life threatening crises – brought to us entirely by the Biden administration. So, who in our government should be fixing this mess? That would be our intrepid Secretary of Transportation – Pete Buttegeig, who has never fixed anything in his life, but checks all of the required intersectionality boxes.
So, let’s return to our opening question. While all of these problems have grown, where has Pete been?
- Attending the grand opening of an LGBC (lesbian, gay, bi, and confused) bar
- Taking maternity leave
- Looking for new ways to tax motorists
- Making sure our highways aren’t racist
That’s what passes for an “adults back in charge” administration these days. It kind of makes our outrage about mean tweets seem quaint – no?
So when the stupid front approaching from the west, collides with the dereliction front approaching from the east, and the transportation perfect storm dumps on all of us, we’ll find that
- We can’t buy groceries.
- We can’t heat our homes.
- We can’t go to work, even if there was something to buy.
When President “Soft-Serve” takes another long weekend while we shiver in our dark homes, we’ll know the consequence of entrusting fools to run our country. Only the grace of God will prevent those consequences from becoming grave this winter.