> On Aug 6, 7:38 am, "Crusher" roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> Both Obama and McCain have put together something resembling energy
>> Here are some questions they don't seem to be answering.
>> McCain says "drill here, drill now" and from somewhere comes the number
>> "86", allegedly the number of billions of barrels available from drilling
>> off the continental shelf. How does he or anyone arrive at the number
>> when there has not been a single hole drilled in those areas? If the
>> is that accurate, from whatever source, why don't the oil companies know
>> with similar accuracy how much oil is under the 68 million acres they
>> already have under lease- which cost them over $2 billion. If, for
>> reason, they aren't drilling in these areas, what makes us so sure
>> even drill in these new offshore areas anytime soon, let alone actually
>> produce oil?
>> Exxon made a $15.8 billion profit in the second quarter, but allocated
>> $7 billion to exploration *annually.* Most of their profits were
>> to shareholders. Fine, but recognize that drilling decisions are made by
>> the oil companies for *their* reasons, not those of the average citizen,
>> the whims of politicians trying to get reelected.
>> More amusing is McCains proposal for 45 new nuclear plants. How did he
>> arrive at the magic number "45." Note that he ignores the NRC permitting
>> process, as well as NIMBY's, and the problems with getting approval for
>> Yucca flats nuclear storage facility. Again, building nuclear plants in
>> quantity is a decision that the privately owned power companies will
>> not government, and not electioneering politicians.
>> Alternative fuel proposals have the same problem. Both McCain and Obama
>> fail to mention that all their alternative energy proposals add up to is
>> *enabling* private companies to act, neither requiring them to act nor
>> contributing much other than a little seed money to the process. Neither
>> them can even guarantee they can effect the permitting processes to any
>> McCain laughingly wants Congress to return from recess and solve the
>> problem they, and he, have ignored for decades. The classic reason for
>> recess, asside from fundraising, is to find out from constituents,
>> businesses, what they want done- and are willing *to pay for.* His
>> is nothing more than a cheap shot at the Democratic majority.
>> So what are we going to gain out of these posturings. Not much, I
>> ** Posted fromhttp://www.teranews.com
> I like the Paris Hilton Plan.
> (Have you seen that cute little video-commercial? She really made
> McCain look like the tool he has become.)
Different strokes for different folks, but don't let me
interfere with your turning to Ms Hilton for political
instruction. I prefer the WSJ, which herein, exposes
Obama as the _fool_ he has ...always been:
The Green Hornet
August 6, 2008
_The Wall Street Jounal_
Al Gore said the other day that "the future of human civilization" depends
on giving up fossil fuels within a decade -- and was acclaimed as a prophet
by the political class. Obviously boring reality doesn't count for much
these days. Even so, when Barack Obama wheels out an energy agenda nearly as
grandiose as Mr. Gore's, shouldn't it receive at least some media scrutiny?
On Monday, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. must "end the age of oil in our
time," with "real results by the end of my first term in office." This, he
said, will "take nothing less than a complete transformation of our
economy." Mark that one down as the understatement of the year. Maybe Mr.
Obama really is the Green Hornet, or some other superhero of his current
The Senator calls for $150 billion over 10 years to achieve "energy
independence," with elevated subsidies for renewable alternatives and
efficiency programs. He also says he'll "leverage billions more in private
capital to build a new energy economy," euphemistically referring to his
climate plan to tax and regulate greenhouse gases. Every President since
Nixon has declared "energy independence," as Mr. Obama noted. But this time,
he says, things will change.
They won't. And not because of "the old politics," or whatever. Currently,
alternative sources -- wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal --
provide less than 7%% of yearly domestic consumption. Throw out hydro and
geothermal, and it's only 4%%. For the foreseeable future, renewables simply
cannot provide the scale and volume of energy needed to meet growing U.S.
demand, which is expected to increase by 20%% over the next two decades. Even
with colossal taxpayer subsidies, renewables probably can't even slow the
rate of growth of carbon-based fuel consumption, much less replace it.
Take wind power, which has grown rapidly though still only provides about
two-thirds of 1%% of all U.S. electricity. The Energy Department
optimistically calculates that ramping up merely to 20%% by 2030 would
require more than $2 trillion and turbines across the Midwest "wind
corridor," plus multiple offshore installations. And we'll need a new
"transmission superhighway system" of more than 12,000 miles of electric
lines to connect the wind system to population centers. A mere $150 billion
won't cut it. Mr. Obama also didn't mention that this wind power will be
more expensive than traditional sources like coal.
Wind, too, is intermittent: It isn't always blowing and can't be accessed on
demand when people need electricity. Since there's no cost-effective way to
store large amounts of electricity, wind requires "spinning reserve," or
nonalternative baseload power to avoid blackouts. That baseload power is now
provided largely by coal, nuclear and natural gas, and wind can't displace
much. The same problem afflicts solar energy -- now one-hundredth of 1%% of
net U.S. electric generation. One of the top uses of solar panels is to heat
residential swimming pools.
Mr. Obama also says he wants to mandate that all new cars and trucks are
"flexible fuel" vehicles, meaning that they can run on higher concentrations
of corn ethanol mixed with gasoline, or second-generation biofuels if those
ever come onto the market. Like wind and solar, this would present major
land use problems: According to credible estimates, land areas larger than
the size of Texas would need to be planted with fuel feedstocks to displace
just half the oil America imports every day. Meanwhile, the economic
distortions caused by corn ethanol -- such as higher food prices -- have
been bad enough.
And yet there's more miracle work to do. Mr. Obama promises to put at least
one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. That's fine if
consumers want to buy them. But even if technical battery problems are
overcome, this would only lead to "fuel switching" -- if cars don't use
gasoline, the energy still has to come from somewhere. And the cap-and-trade
program also favored by Mr. Obama would effectively bar new coal plants,
while new nuclear plants are only now being planned after a 30-year hiatus
thanks to punishing regulations and lawsuits.
Problems like these are the reality of "alternative" energy, and they
explain why every "energy independence" plan has faltered since the 1970s.
But just because Mr. Obama's plan is wildly unrealistic doesn't mean that a
program of vast new taxes, subsidies and mandates wouldn't be destructive.
The U.S. has a great deal invested in fossil fuels not because of a
political conspiracy or because anyone worships carbon but because other
sources of energy are, right now, inferior.
Consumption isn't rising because of wastefulness. The U.S. produces more
than twice as much GDP today per unit of energy as it did in the 1950s, yet
energy use has risen threefold. That's because energy use is tethered to
growth, and the economy continues to innovate and expand. Mr. Obama seems to
have other ideas.