Where’s the Energy?

During this past week, President Bush lifted the Executive ban on offshore drilling.  The response of the market was to start easing back the price of a barrel of oil.  That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it will be some time before that oil hits the market.  Once the speculators figure this out and the Middle East has its next crisis, the price will go back up.

So what is the answer?  Well, according to our favorite Global Warming cheerleader, we would all start driving electric cars powered by renewable, non-carbon emitting power generators.  That’s right, Algore wants us to change everything in ten years from the current carbon power generation (coal, natural gas) to depend exclusively on green energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal.  To quote the article:

His path to a decarbonized electrical supply doesn’t surprise: more investment in solar and wind, keeping nuclear in the mix, maximizing energy efficiency and implanting carbon capture and storage for existing fossil fuel plants, plus a shift to electric cars. But Gore’s message was subtly different this time. The man who has in the past called climate change a “moral and spiritual challenge” sounded more pragmatic notes. While sounding the alarm on melting Arctic ice and strange weather, Gore also emphasized the financial toll that high gasoline prices were taking on average Americans, and the security threat posed by our increased dependence on foreign oil.

So Al want us to go green at what cost?  While I admire the thought of getting away from foreign energy supplies, the economics of this is tremendous.  Let’s just think of this for a few minutes…

One of the reasons that we use the energy supplies that we have is that they are economical.  Yes, $4.25 is a lot to pay for a gallon of gasoline, but what is the alternative? 

  • Riding a bike may not be possible for many people because they live too far from their employment, and PETA will object to riding a horse (not to mention the streetsweepers union). 
  • Electric cars are not economical nor environmentally friendly at this point in time, and there would need to be a severe upgrading of the power generation and distribution needed to support millions of electric cars plugging in for a recharge.  Can you say brownout?
  • Wind turbines have their own problems besides not turning all the time.  There are reports of noise being generated by the turbines that will annoy nearby residents (and might just induce low frequency stress in structures).
  • Solar only works during the day, so what’s going to power and charge the cars during the night?
  • At one time, steam cars were driven, but they used various sources of fuel (coal, wood, alcohol) which may not be environmentally friendly in either carbon emissions or from their source.
  • Alcohol is not economically feasible at this time without massive subsidies.  This means that your tax dollars are used to produce this fuel.  The same can be said of other bio-fuels at this time.
  • There hasn’t been a new nuclear plant (or refinery) built in the past 20-30 years due to massive costs and mind-boggling environmental regulations.
  • Mass transit public transportation in this country is a joke.  Plans to implement light rail systems died on the vine as political wrangling and mismanagement ate up the funds (at least here in Detroit).

Many pundits and detractors flame the energy companies for not developing new sources of non-carbon energy.  There is a very simple reason for that – there isn’t a profit to be made from those sources (yet) unless they charge tremendous amounts for it, and the majority of consumers will not pay extra for it.  Until there is a substantial business case for developing and using an alternative to carbon-based fuels besides the controversial Global Warming argument, it’s not going to happen. 

That is, unless Maxine Waters convinces the government to nationalize the energy industry

Frankly, I’m not counting government to do anything for us.  Just look at the political idiocy going on over what to do about the price of gas, and you’ll understand how moronic & how out of touch with their constituents our elected Congresscritters really are.  For instance:

President Bush dropped the executive ban on offshore oil and natural gas exploration last week, and House GOP leader John Boehner plans to lead a congressional delegation to Colorado and Alaska to highlight America’s abundant energy resources this week. Polls show more than two-thirds of the public support increased domestic energy exploration and production. Guess who stands in the way.

Congress has its own ban on offshore energy exploration, and the Democrats who run Congress have shown no sign that they are willing to follow Bush’s example. They have preferred to make excuses–about why the price of oil is rising, who is to blame for its rise, and why increasing domestic supply won’t do anything to ameliorate the problem.

The rest of the article is damning for the Democrats.

I’m traveling back to Germany for another three-week stint on Monday.  I wonder if I’ll see Obama’s plane flying back as I’m flying over…

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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