EGEB: The American Petroleum Institute wants a fight with Biden

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The American Petroleum Institute held its annual “State of American Energy.” It’s business as usual.
  • More than 100 elected officials in US western states call on Biden to protect lands and fight the climate crisis.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

API: It’s all fossil fuels as usual

The American Petroleum Institute held its annual “State of American Energy” event this week. And if you scroll down on its page (click this link) and look at the API’s plans for the present and the future, you can see that most (but not all) of them are at odds with the incoming Biden administration’s plan to prioritize tackling climate change by making a huge shift to green energy. It’s almost like API lives in an alternate energy universe to European Big Oil and those countries signed up to the Paris Agreement. Indeed, Biden says he will rejoin the Paris Agreement the day after inauguration.

Norwegian oil giant Equinor had this to say about the American Petroleum Institute in April, after Equinor quit the Independent Petroleum Association of America:

Our assessment of API’s climate position and climate policy principles shows some misalignment with Equinor’s position. We have however observed a positive shift over recent years reducing the gap. Based on our dialogue with API’s leadership we expect further progress.

Equinor will remain a member of this organization and engage in further developing API’s climate position.

For example, the API is keen to promote natural gas “as a foundation for a cleaner future,” and its report summary doesn’t even mention renewables. It takes the usual watered-down concession stance of “support the environment” (which you can’t do if you’re drilling it) and affordable energy, and energy efficiency. It does, however, actually use the words “climate change.”

First off, American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers is in favor of drilling on federal land, which is in direct conflict with the beliefs of President-elect Joe Biden and incoming Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (D-NM). In fact, he cited Haaland’s state of New Mexico’s Permian Basin, and argued that a restriction of drilling would cost the state jobs and money. (Did he not hear about the utter flop that was the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling auction last week in which no one bid but Alaska?)

As Electrek has previously reported in November 2020, Sommers said the API would use “every tool at its disposal” including legal action in order to frack on federal lands, which he says are meant for “multi-use.”

Sommers said this at the API’s event this week:

I hope that the new secretary of Interior, despite her previous positions on our industry, comes to understand the importance of development of our federal lands.

Further, Democratic progressives want the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines banned. Sommers’ take on that, besides also declaring that the US would need even more pipelines in the future?

Each one of them is a magnet for obstruction and litigation.

Further, President-elect wants to make the US grid emissions free by 2035. So Sommers cited California’s blackouts last summer during heatwaves as a cautionary tale, and the API’s solution is natural gas. Instead of suggesting putting effort into updating the grid to be able to transmit green energy, he said:

California is trying to force an energy change that it simply isn’t ready for and technology doesn’t exist to support, putting its residents at risk.

No one should be surprised when reality keeps interfering.

That last sentence may turn out to be ironic.

A cry for help from the West

More than 100 elected officials in US western states have called on President-elect Joe Biden, Deb Haaland, and Congress in a letter, asking them to protect lands, fight the climate crisis, and support western communities.

The letter, which can be read here on The Mountain Pact’s website, who organized the letter, includes calls to halt new oil and gas leases and industry bailouts; support local governments in relief packages; restore protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; increase environmental and public health safeguards; and work to conserve 30% of US lands and waters by 2030.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

Our communities are shouldering the burden of increased unemployment, added public lands infrastructure needs, and costly climate impacts. To address this untenable situation, the Biden administration and the new Congress should prioritize adopting reforms that will reverse the devastating impacts that the “energy dominance” agenda has had on Western mountain communities over the past four years. Public lands should no longer be given away for pennies on the dollar, financial support should be provided to local governments amidst the pandemic, and meaningful actions should be taken to both address the climate crisis and protect our public lands.

Some local officials weighed in on how climate change has affected their communities.

Mayor Jonathan Godes of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, said:

2020 was a hard year for Glenwood Springs. Between the quarry expansion and the Grizzly Creek Fire, our community has been dramatically impacted by a warming planet and the extraction industry. Our Federal government should prioritize helping small communities and businesses across the country, and focus on the new renewable energy economy.

Town of Hailey, Idaho council member Kaz Thea, said:

We have had significant wildfire impacts in our community and our entire community has been evacuated twice from large wildfires in the past several years. We have also seen flood impacts and early snow run off with spring conditions coming earlier and nights are overall warmer so our snow does not last as long. We have also been trending in a drought condition for many years which has impacted insect and disease infestation in our forests which then also increases wildfire risk. It’s a vicious cycle. Our mountain community will eventually lose its snow and lose our livelihood as being a skiing mountain town based on tourism if we do not reverse the impacts of climate change.

City of Moab, Utah Council Member Kalen Jones said:

COVID has been hard for a number of reasons and our community could use smarter federal help. Stimulus money, especially for small businesses and local governments, is still needed as we progress through the pandemic. Pre-2020 our vibrant economy was built on visitation to our beautiful public lands. Royalty relief and rampant leasing to subsidize fossil fuels sends counterproductive market signals, undermines Moab’s economy, is a distraction for our staff, council, and nonprofit partners, and is counter to our efforts to avoid the worst case outcomes of climate change.

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Tesla’s Answer To Lidar? Company Applies With FCC For New Radar System

We’ve seen the Tesla Model Y out driving in California with some sort of lidar or radar on top. However, some people suggest it’s not for production vehicles, but rather for mapping or some sort of testing process.

If you follow Tesla and Elon Musk, you’re likely aware that the company has no plans to implement Lidar, which is one of the most popular technologies among other companies pursuing self-driving cars. Musk continues to insist that computer vision, supported by cameras and radar is the way to go.

Electrek reported that just this week, Musk has once again told an analyst that Tesla will never use Lidar. Early on, it seemed the issue with Lidar was the cost. Prices have come down, and it only makes sense that they’ll drop significantly in the future, but Musk has other reasons he doesn’t believe in the technology. In fact, he has said in the past that he wouldn’t implement Lidar even if it was free.

According to an application with the FCC, Tesla has filed to use a new type of “millimeter-wave radar sensor.” Currently, all of Tesla’s vehicles have a forward-facing radar hidden at the front of the car. It is one of many hardware components involved in Tesla’s Autopilot suite, and the same hardware is what “drives” the company’s Full Self-Driving Beta technology.

According to Electrek, ”Tesla applied for confidentiality for the new device.” This means we may not know much more prior to July when that agreement expires.

Is this a big deal? Will it mark the turning point for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving technology? Or, is Tesla simply planning a minor upgrade to its current radar system? Hopefully, we’ll know more in the coming months. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tesla Model 3 dominates December in Norway, halts VW ID.3 winning streak

Tesla Model 3 dominates December in Norway, halts VW ID.3 winning streak


The Tesla Model 3 dominated the Norwegian electric vehicle sales figures in December, selling 4,232 units, nearly 2,000 more than the second-place VW ID.3.

Norway is one of the most heavily-concentrated EV markets in the world, with 54% of all vehicles sold in the country in 2020 being a battery electric vehicle (BEV). With the heavy demand for EVs in the market, Tesla faces stiff competition from European automakers like Volkswagen, Volvo, and Audi, who all hold tremendous sales figures in Norway, which have contributed to the phase-out of gas-powered cars.

In December, the Model 3 was delivered 4,232 times as it dominated its closest competitor, the ID.3 from Volkswagen, with 2,303 units. The ID.3 has been Norway’s top BEV since September 2020. It was considered the country’s new favorite EV, considering it had started to gain some serious ground on the Audi e-Tron, which is the most popular electric car in Norway.

However, the Model 3 quickly put a halt to the ID.3’s momentum in tremendous fashion by having its biggest month since March 2019, the EV Sales Blog reports.

Following the Model 3 and ID.3 were the Volvo XC40 EV, Nissan Leaf, and the Polestar 2, which is owned by Volvo.

For the year, the Audi e-Tron came out on top with 9,227 units sold for the year following a slow December that only had 454 units make their way to customers. However, the e-Tron holds 7% of the Norwegian market share. Following the Model 3’s dominating December, it moved from sixth to second for the year. Additionally, if Tesla only sold Model 3s in Norway in December, it would have still finished in sixth place by outselling the SAIC MG ZS EV, which sold 3,720 units in Norway in 2020.

Most impressive, however, is Norway’s ability to adopt EVs over the petrol-powered vehicles that dominate the planet’s automotive market share. The Netherlands also boosted EV market share considerably in 2020, and the sales figures seem to incite that the tide is turning in terms of favorable forms of passenger transport. As European countries have adopted petrol phase-out dates that are well into the future, some countries seem to show that their transition will be easier than others as EVs are already being preferred compared to their gas counterparts.

What do you think? Leave a comment down below. Got a tip? Email us at tips@teslarati.com or reach out to me at joey@teslarati.com

Tesla Model 3 dominates December in Norway, halts VW ID.3 winning streak





Tesla starts production of Model Y with massive single-piece rear casting

Tesla has started production of the Model Y with a massive single-piece rear casting, according to a picture of a new unit of the electric SUV. It’s the automaker’s latest move into massive casting techniques.

Tesla and massive casting

In recent years, Tesla has focused on making bigger casting parts in order to build bigger parts of its vehicles in single pieces to facilitate manufacturing.

We saw the first results of that effort in the rear underbody of the Model Y.

In Model 3, the rear underbody (left) is made of 70 different metal parts, but Tesla managed to change that into just two big parts in the Model Y (right):

Tesla didn’t just release diagrams, but it also shared actual pictures of the giant cast part used in the Model Y versus all the welded parts in the Model 3:

CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla wouldn’t stop there and plans to increasingly use bigger parts in its vehicles, including moving from two to one part for the underbody.

This new strategy is enabled by a new giant casting machine, the biggest in the world, that Tesla acquired, and subsequently ordered many more machines.

In September 2020, we reported on Tesla installing the first casting machine outside Fremont factory.

The machine is so big that it couldn’t be assembled inside the factory, so Tesla seems to have assembled it outside and built a roof over it.

A few weeks later, Tesla China announced that they started operating the machine.

Tesla Model Y with single-piece rear underbody casting

From starting production, we didn’t know how quickly Tesla would be able to use the new part in production Model Y vehicles.

Now we can confirm that the new single-casting rear underbody is in new Model Y vehicles.

The owner of a Model Y produced in late December removed the lining of his trunk for the installation of a third-party accessory and could see the new part:

We can see in the picture that there’s no joint in the middle, and it’s a single piece in which Tesla fits the trunk’s tub.

Tesla plans to produce more large cast parts in the future, and it is adding new giant casting machine at Gigafactory Berlin, Shanghai, and Texas.

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Tesla Model 3 And Model Y: A Comprehensive Guide

Popular YouTube influencer and Tesla owner Andy Slye has compiled a highly informative and well-put-together guide for Tesla owners. If you’re a new owner, prospective owner, or even someone who has had a Tesla for a time, it’s likely you’ll find plenty of valuable information in the video above.

As a website, and writer, covering Tesla, we often find it difficult to find important information. This is due in part to the fact that Tesla doesn’t provide a wealth of details on its official website. It’s also not very transparent when it comes to many specifics that most legacy automakers publish freely. Moreover, Tesla doesn’t really have a traditional press team, and it’s not the easiest company to contact via a phone call or email.

Instead of going the more traditional route, Tesla uses social media to make announcements and interact with customers and fans. It also counts on its followers to spread the news and help one another. If you have a question about your Tesla or some weird issue, you can probably get it answered or figured out in minutes by jumping on Twitter, Facebook, or a Tesla forum.

While Tesla does provide an owner’s manual for its cars, there’s not a lot of official information provided to owners online. It’s super simple to order a Tesla, but once you take delivery, it’s up to you to learn everything about the car. We suggest reading the owner’s manual in its entirety, though we’re well-aware most people don’t typically do that. Tesla also provides several helpful videos online.

Keep in mind, driving a Tesla isn’t much different than driving any car, though arguably much better. Most people should have no problem jumping in a Tesla and hitting the road. However, figuring everything else out requires time and research. This is especially true if you’re not big on computers and the latest technology.

Slye’s video provides a complete guide to owning and driving a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y in 2021. He says watching this video could allow you to “master” Tesla driving and ownership in under an hour. The video covers exterior, interior & controls, the touchscreen display, software, the mobile app, driving, Tesla Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving (FSD).

Set aside some time and watch the video above. Then, let us know your takeaways. Did Slye miss anything critical? If so, leave it in the comment section to help other Tesla owners.

Tesla Model 3 dominates December in Norway, halts VW ID.3 winning streak

Tesla can help solve Human Trafficking: A survivor explains how


Eliza Bleu went to the Vans Warped Tour with some friends. After meeting a photographer, she set her sights on the big city of Los Angeles, a far cry from her humble beginnings in rural Illinois.

When she got to LA, her visit wasn’t exactly what she expected it to be. It turned out that the photographer she had met was actually a recruiter for a human trafficking ring, and Bleu found herself in the middle of a trap, not knowing how she would get out.

Eliza and was sex trafficked for nine years total before gaining the courage to attempt an escape one night from her apartment. Now, she is a survivor advocate and a voice for those who don’t have one. Her primary focus is fighting to alleviate the highly-concentrated number of websites that harbor child sexual abuse and human trafficking materials. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 2019, there were nearly 17 million reported cases of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), 94% of which was found on Facebook and its platforms. According to The New York Times, there were over 45 million photos and videos of children being abused online in 2018, doubled from the previous year. Big Tech has a major problem with human trafficking material shared on social media websites, she says.

Fighting human trafficking imagery and videos isn’t going to be successful through human intervention alone; things move too quickly. Human intervention and current technology are not capable of tackling a problem of this scale. Bleu, who came across Tesla and Elon Musk a few years ago, believes that the key to ending online exploitation lies within a company with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence capabilities, brilliant engineers, and software that can filter harmful imagery faster than it can be uploaded. She believes that company could be Tesla.

“AI can save people from being trafficked,” Bleu says. “Human trafficking has moved predominately to a digital platform, and the tech space needs to get involved in the fight.”

Eliza Bleu attended the Tesla Parade Against Human Trafficking in Atlanta, Georgia, in December. She had the Tesla logo shaved into her head for the event.

Why Tesla?

“If traffickers saw Elon working on this issue, they would be terrified of the possibilities,” Bleu said in an interview with Teslarati.

While many websites have filters that try to remove some of the content once it’s been uploaded, it isn’t a 100% fix because most content slips through the cracks. Since so many sites with massive amounts of traffic have accessible imagery, it will be a difficult fix. However, Bleu believes that some real progress can be made if the right team is working on the issue. It starts with software and AI development that would have the ability to filter out harmful content. Once child sexual abuse and sex trafficking material are reduced online, it may lead to the beginning of the end of human trafficking as resources can be refocused to the fight on the ground.

Bleu knows it’s an uphill climb, and she knows that it will be difficult. But, her motto is a quote of Elon Musk’s, and every day she reminds herself that just because the odds aren’t in your favor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

“I think about Elon a lot because my mission, to me, is the equivalent of getting to Mars,” she adds. “It seems impossible, and I know the odds aren’t in my favor. But, I think it’s important, and I think it’s worth fighting for.”

Bleu was a speaker at a recent Tesla rally in Atlanta, Georgia, which raised money for the fight against human trafficking. She traveled to the event on her own dime and took time away from her day job as a human trafficking survivor advocate to speak at the event to raise awareness for this important issue.

Tesla has always been a draw to Eliza because of how brilliant the company is. Its research has culminated into an automotive empire that goes far beyond building a car frame and putting wheels and a motor on it. It’s about the brain of the vehicle, and Bleu thinks that there is enough talent at Tesla to take on the task. Additionally, AI is already being used to combat human trafficking, as described in the article from Forbes. Survivors are also learning to code through the Annie Cannons nonprofit program, and many choose to work on solving this problem (Wired).

Even after survivors of human trafficking are given the opportunity to be set free, the battle doesn’t end there. They may still be harassed or trafficked through images and video.

What Can Tesla Do?

The possibilities of what Tesla can do, Bleu says, are endless. “I know that Tesla employs some of the most brilliant people in the world. That is who we need to fight this problem. It is our children we are talking about here,” she says. Some of the things that Eliza described to me during this interview were jaw-dropping and wouldn’t be suitable to include in this piece. But trust me, it would be enough to influence you to get involved as well.

“There are so many forms of human trafficking, too. It’s not just about sex,” she says. “I see people with Nike shoes and Apple products, and I think, ‘Whoever made that was exploited for cheap labor.’” There is no limit to who Bleu wants to help, but she needs assistance in her journey to overcome the predators, the pimps, and the evildoers who use trafficking as a means of living.

Tesla can certainly help with code writing and AI work. It is a company that learns fast. It’s evident through several things: accelerating scalability, the constantly improving Full Self-Driving suite, and the company’s overwhelming domination as a software entity. All of these things speak to Bleu in a way where she was able to put 2 and 2 together and make 4. Tesla could be the answer to all of her prayers and is exactly the company she was looking for.

“I know Elon has held Hack-a-Thons in the past, and I think that could be very beneficial,” she says. “Putting a bunch of sharp minds in a room to figure out some of the world’s biggest problems seems like a great idea.”

What Has Brought Eliza Bleu’s Mission to Light?

The fight against human trafficking became a household conversation with the high-profile arrests of Jeffrey Epstein and later Ghislaine Maxwell. Bleu’s mission started to gain some momentum when survivors of Epstein, who she now works with as a part of Victims Refuse Silence, started to come forward. “That was a huge step in the right direction,” she says. “But we have to keep going, and people won’t know the truth about human trafficking unless you tell them.”

What is the Solution?

Bleu wants the world’s brightest minds to come together and work on a solution to this problem. While she is a firm supporter of AI because it has been proven to help in the past, there is no boundary on what she will do to end human trafficking. Nevertheless, she is looking at her hero, Elon Musk, who she has gained inspiration from, to help find a solution.

So, Elon, if you are reading this, consider talking to Eliza Bleu. She believes your help, and your mind, along with all of the brilliant minds at Tesla, could finally help solve the issue of human trafficking before it gets worse.

Tesla can help solve Human Trafficking: A survivor explains how