GOV. Jerry Brown of California graduated from Yale Law School. Gov. Andrew Cuomo graduated from Fordham and also has a law degree. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts graduated cum laude from both Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
Likewise, the governors of Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont are well-educated and intelligent people.
So why did they pledge last week to work together to multiply the number of "zero-emissions cars"?
That is a misnomer because what they are promoting is an increase in electric cars.
As everyone in West Virginia knows, most electric energy comes from coal and other carbon fuels that generate emissions.
Indeed, less than a quarter of California's electricity comes from renewable sources. Ditto New York, which first harnessed the Niagara Falls for the generation of electricity a century ago.
Massachusetts is even worse with only 6 percent of its electricity coming from renewables, while coal provides 11 percent of the electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Electricity does not come from a wall socket but from a power plant, which is usually located near a river.
Why not generate electricity with renewables? Damming rivers to generate electricity interferes with ecosystems and may displace communities. Wind has its drawbacks as well, particularly with reliability and noise, as well with birds and bats.
As wonderful as electric cars and hybrids may be, any discussion should be frank. These are not zero-emissions vehicles and promoters should be candid about their disadvantages, which include the manufacture and disposal of their batteries.
The disconnect between how electricity is produced and how it is used is disturbing because it hinders development of a legitimate energy policy.