When environmentalists are present, any discussion of energy independence changes genetically from a laudable goal to a fairy tale
From the USA Today, November 14, 2008:
The meat in this story is first that there are a hundred coal-fired power plants proposed, a clear indication that the power companies are struggling to satisfy the country’s growing demand for electric power. A second meaty question is why coal is the choice as an energy source for all these plants. The answer is almost as clear, that coal as an energy source is available in virtually unlimited quantities within our continental borders, while the environmentalists, with government help, have shut down nuclear power as an energy source.
The above is the succinct storyline of our progress toward energy independence over the past 40 years. Obama’s goal of energy independence, particularly independence of foreign oil, is highly commendable, and should be pursued in all reasonable haste. His belief that by joining with environmentalists in this pursuit he will achieve any independence at all is a pipe dream. While his words put him on the right track, he is moving in the wrong direction with the wrong crowd.
The American economy runs on energy, day and night, rain or shine, 365 days a year. Any interruption in the steady flow of energy interferes with some part of the economy, and ripples through the rest of the economy like waves on a pond. The recent experience with $4.00 gasoline is all the evidence needed to validate the sensitive and critical nature of energy. A flood, a power outage, a hurricane, a terrorist attack, a union strike, or even pirates is all that is required to put a crimp in business as usual.
When the problem is temporary, recovery is usually uneventful. When the problem is chronic the consequences may be catastrophic. A chronic problem reared its ugly head on the energy scene several decades ago, and has grown like Topsy. This chronic problem is environmentalism and environmentalists. Environmentalists have become the fly in the energy ointment over the past fifty years, and wherever they are present any discussion of energy independence changes genetically from a laudable goal to a fairy tale.
Environmentalists’ influence in any discussion of energy independence is like the often quoted malady of dermatologists who claim that “the treatment cured the disease, but the patient died”. Environmentalists have zero interest in energy per se, as their primary interest is always upon something else tied to their notion of saving the planet. They wish to save the world from what they perceive to be our over-reliance on energy.
Initially environmentalists targeted coal generating power plants for their down-wind fallout. This was before effective scrubbers. With Three Mile Island they developed hysteric paralysis over nuclear energy, while the accident in Chernobyl put the nail in the nuclear coffin. More recently oil and gas have been demonized and placed on their avoid at all costs list. Environmentalists have a long and well documented history of obstructing both the discovery and development of known sources of reliable energy through placing as much land and sea as possible off-limits to every form of exploration and development. They justify obstruction in order to protect some remote and preferably unseen creatures, like snail darters, sea turtles or Arctic polar bears.
While the environmentalists have demonized many sources of energy, they have also elevated a few to God-like status, and then proceed to worship these gods regardless of known problematic consequences. Trees, particularly those in tropical rain forests, were elevated to God-like status first. Armed with this new religion, they advised us all to save the rain forest, one of the world’s renewable resources. Wind and solar power are currently considered nearly pristine. Most recently natural gas has been given a conditional thumbs up. While environmentalists oppose drilling, most remain blindly ignorant of the fact that natural gas comes from drilling. Smart! But nobody ever said environmentalists were smart.
Like ants through sheer numbers and blind persistence, environmentalists have infiltrated every branch of government and have infected bureaucratic policies which bring the wheels of energy progress to a complete standstill. In an economy which requires reliable energy, limiting the supply of energy increases the price of everything. Environmental constraints and obstructions over the past few decades are the primary explanation for our inability to more toward energy independence.
Renewable is the current catch-word by which all environmentalists live, eat, and breathe. If it is not renewable, it is evil by definition, and they oppose it regardless of the cost. Neither do they have any concern for the costs they impose to save the planet.
Unfortunately, virtually all of Obama’s positions are clones taken directly from environmentalists. As such they merge into one body indistinguishable from each other. They all merged to pass fairy tale legislation in the Energy Bill of 2005 to save the planet. The law provides a subsidy for the manufacture of ethanol from corn. Like waving a magic wand, farmers chose to increase the acreage planted to corn, and a huge proportion of the country’s corn crop, 17% in 2006 and 40% in 2007, was shifted from food to subsidized gasoline. This planet saving legislation was passed before all the energy-based ins and outs were fully understood.
Besides consuming more rather than less energy, ethanol manufacture caused an immediate food shortage and riots over the increased price of food world wide. Environmentalists chose renewable gasoline over food for the starving masses of the world. Now through science, we have renewable gasoline and a world-wide food shortage.
Enter Barack Obama, currently president elect of the United States. In his presentation on energy independence in 2006 he states “America’s dependence on oil is a major threat to our national security, and the American people deserve a bold commitment that has the full force of their government behind it.” When ethanol (E85) was the hottest renewable fuel in Washington, Obama’s goal was to blend 65 billion gallons into the country’s supply of gasoline by the year 2025. To achieve Obama’s goal by 2025 would require the country’s farmers to triple the acreage planted to corn, remove the same amount of cropland from food or feed production, and transport the crop to the nearest ethanol production conduit. After driving the price of food to astronomical levels, this bio-fuel might replace five percent of the demand for the country’s fuel at the time. We are still in need of 95% from somewhere, so what exactly have we achieved? Smart!
It is likely that for every acre of tillable land converted from food to gasoline, a dozen children die of starvation in Africa and India. This form of environmental brilliance not only produces renewable gasoline, but population control as well, and we criticize the Chinese for their birth control policies.
To help him manage his energy independence goal, Obama selected Carol Browner as his point person to populate the next Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the transition.
Obama states that he supports a cap and trade requirement, a government and environmental ponzi scheme designed to reward clean energy and punish dirty energy. The effluence of this policy will be designed to tax coal-fired electric plants into bankruptcy, skim off revenue from imported fossil fuel, and fatten Al Gore’s business trading carbon credits. The following statements reflect Browner’s, and presumably the president-elect’s position on energy:
This cap is a government imposed fiction which limits how much pollution is enough. By government fiat, the powers pass laws which turn carbon in the atmosphere into a tradable commodity. The rest of the fiction is an ability to buy and sell pollution (carbon credits) for cash, credit, or other legal contracts which may be used (traded) as readily as potatoes. This kind of witches-brew has turned Al Gore into a rich man, selling snake oil to an unsuspecting public. This is what is meant by a trading regime, government control of the energy market through regulating energy resources.
According to Obama, 96% of our transportation relies on crude oil, a fossil fuel. Exactly what carbon-free fuel will replace this 96% is not specified, but this is no concern to environmentalists. Dirty, coal-burning, electric generating plants will now pay a carbon tax to continue operating regardless of how much pollutant they emit.
This carbon tax will be used and abused in spite of the fact that scientists have not determined how much carbon is within normal limits for our planet, nor how much is damaging to the environment. These limits will be determined by the government, for the government, and the actual market for carbon credits will become a Ponzi scheme like the world has never seen before. Like any tax, the cost goes up, and it is passed directly to the consumer in their monthly utility and food bill. Wait till you see the cost of electricity for middle America double or triple. Smart!
Continuing with the executive structure that will monitor this conversion, Browner suggests a Director of Energy Security, an exercise in writing her own job description.
With full authority to coordinate across all levels of energy policy, and to approve major energy budget decisions, this person will have the authority to bring the economy of the nation to its knees, without any vote at all. Of course, it is Browner’s ambition to become the King of Energy of the most powerful nation on earth.
Unless Obama puts nuclear energy on a fast track, any talk of energy independence is political doubletalk. Come 2025, five more presidential terms will be required to realize Barack’s goal of energy independence, and unmask his eloquence as verbal garbage.
Within the next few days, we will discover whether or not Browner will become the first king or queen of energy. With her appointment, there will remain no question about Obama’s killing energy independence by aligning himself squarely with environmentalists. For them energy independence is solved through smoke and mirrors. Once they convert all food to gasoline, there is no more need for energy, as all the customers for energy have mysteriously disappeared.
Smart! Obama smart!