Democrats & Liberals Archives

I Want A Real Energy Policy

I cannot believe Senate Republicans want to hand us all a $100 dollar check to cover high gas prices. Are these people retarded? Buying Americans a couple tanks of gas is not an energy policy.

Bolivia just nationalized it's natural gas fields, Nigerian rebels are targeting oil facilities, Venezuela is not friendly to the US, oil production in Iraq will take at least two years to get back to pre-war levels -- if the fighting stops today, we're going to slap sanctions on Iran (or worse), Russia is playing hardball with their energy resources, China is scrambling to secure exclusive energy deals all over the globe, Saudi Arabia can't pump oil any faster than it's doing now... And everybody knows that oil is a finite resource which will become very scarce within the next 30 years.

I don't want a $100 check. I want higher fuel efficiency standards. I want bigger incentives for hybrid cars. I want a massive, Apollo-style project to develop a hydrogen infrastructure. I want bio-fuels. I want at least 20% of America's energy coming from renewable sources like solar, wind and geothermal by 2020. I want clean coal and carbon sequestration. I want nuclear power. I want a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system. I want America to beat Kyoto and Kyoto II greenhouse gas reduction targets. I want America to become the leader in alternative energy technology. I want my standard of living to increase while eliminating my country's debilitating dependence on oil from places where people hate us.

A $100 check buys me nothing, Mr. Frist. I want a real energy policy for the 21st Century.

Posted by American Pundit at May 2, 2006 11:09 AM
Comments
Comment #144793

I couldnt agree more.

Great post.

Posted by: jwl at May 2, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #144798

AP:
“Are these people retarded?”

Clearly, yes. Yes, they are.
Nice post. I also want the same things as you do (except for the nuclear energy).
If the NeoCon-fused are intent on running our government into more debt to the tune of 10 billion dollars in order to hand out these checks that won’t help majority of us at all, maybe us Liberals might consider donating that money to help the folks on the Gulf Coast? All these checks going toward that one cause could add up very nicely and make a world of difference.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 2, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #144799

I want my standard of living to increase while eliminating my country’s debilitating dependence on oil from places where people hate us.

But you don’t want us drilling in the US while these alternative sources are being developed. This show the hypocracy of the Left.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #144801

Please Ron,
He listed umpteen other ideas. But if one doesnt support arctic drilling they are hypocrits? You show the deception of the right.

Let’s just trust Cheney for the energy policy. Has he ever let us down?

Posted by: Schwamp at May 2, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #144804

I agree. The handout of $100 is condescending. However, what if the our elected officials wanted to dole out $5,000 to everybody? Why should the Congress give us anything? It’s not their job to make sure we have our right to gas less than $2.00/gallon. We act as though we are entitled to low priced gas. This problem isn’t new. Clinton had similar issues and crises like this don’t happen overnight and take us by surprise.

My guess is that if gas was under $1.50/gallon we wouldn’t be talking about alternative fuels at all.

Posted by: ILIndCon at May 2, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #144805

Schwamp
These ‘umteen’ ideas are going to take time to develope. And I’m for them.
In the mean time what are we going to run on?
Answer, OIL!
If yaall don’t want the US dependant on foregin oil, then we have to drill here for it.
As far as Cheney is concerned, I don’t trust him anymore than I trust Kennedy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #144807

Ron
If you think the “umteen” ideas are going to take time —
What do you call the 10 years it will take before a single drop of oil from the ANWR makes it’s way to China? (you don’t think WE are going to see it do you?? — Just like the North Slope oil does not get delivered to the U.S. either — — were you aware of that?)
So exactly how does that help any sooner than developing more LONG TERM solutions?

Posted by: russ at May 2, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #144810

russ
Have I said anything about ANWR? There’s plenty of oil in the lower 48 states. There’s oil wells that have been drilled that aint being used.
Crank up these wells. Drill new ones where there’s oil that hasn’t been tapped.
I understand that Utah has an oil deposit that has more oil than Saudi Arabia. Dill and get it out. This will make a big dent in our dependency on foreign oil, if not eliminate it all together.
In the meanwhile, we can be developing these other sources of energy. While I don’t personally believe that we will ever totally replace oil, I believe that we can cut our dependency on it in half or better.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #144813
I understand that Utah has an oil deposit that has more oil than Saudi Arabia.

Which shows how much faith we should have in your understanding.

Wow.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 2, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #144817

Good post. I’d also argue that we should fully fund ethanol production. Take Brazil as an example. They have been using sugar cane to produce ethanol since 1975, and next year is planning to declare full energy independence - meaning that the entire country will be free from having to import foreign sources of oil. We can, and should, be doing more in this country by finding more economically feasible ways to produce etahnol on a massive scale from the boatloads of corn we grow.

Rather than relying just on hybrid technology (which is a great alternative and a good step in the right direction) for our vehicles, we should also be looking at ways to build Flex Fuel cars, which are able to run on pure gasoline, pure etahnol, or any combination of the two. An inexpensive sensor inside the vehicle determines which type of fuel is being put into the tank, then sends a signal to the engine to adjust itslef accordingly. With Flex Fuel cars, there is no need to replace an entire, and expensive, battery pack – as is the current case with hybrids.

By 2007, 80 percent of all new vehicles sold in Brazil are expected to be Flex Fuel vehicles. Sure, this isn’t the only option we should investigate, but Pundit is right. The only way to have a forward thinking energy policy is to invest in technologies which do not rely on a finite resource to power our cars and our country. The current mindset to keep drilling our way to energy independence only perpetuates more short-term fixes.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at May 2, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #144818

To back up my dismissal of Ron Brown’s claim, here’s what the Utah Dept of Energy says about their Oil Reserves:

Utah ranked 12th in the United States in crude oil proved reserves and 11th in natural gas proved reserves (including Federal Offshore areas) in 2003. (Energy Information Administration)

If their reserves are 11th in the country, there’s no way they’re bigger than Saudi Arabia’s, the largest in the world.

(BTW, I think it’s funny that I used their, there, and they’re in the same sentence - it was unintentional).

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 2, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #144824

opec, has 75% of the worlds oil reserves. the u.s. has about 4%. but where do we buy most of our oil from, saudi arabia? no. canada, 1. exports 2.23 million barrels a day to the u.s. 2. mexico, exports 1.8 million barrels of oil a day to the u.s. what did that little guy say! can you hear that giant sucking sound!!!!!

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at May 2, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #144827

AP:

Great post!

I like especially the “Apollo-style project.” Let’s DO something.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at May 2, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #144831

The united states, has 78% of the reserves of oil shale. close to 2 trillion barrels of it. but i won’t touch that one.

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at May 2, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #144833

Nuclear power is safe. Nuclear power is cost efficient. Homes and buisnesses can be heated and lighted by using this energy source. The technology exists today to convert diesel engines to run on WASTE cooking oils. Every available site should be utilized to harness wind energy. Research dollars have to be used to create more effective solar panels. The International Space Station should be used as the stepping off platform for the engineers who will build orbital solar energy collecters. Lets leave the oil thats left for the important manufacturing of plastic.

Posted by: jblym at May 2, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #144835

I’m with ya American Pundit!! I have no problem with drilling in Alaska as do most Alaskans, by the way, too. Obviously, it needs to be done responsibly.Where is Mr. Bush and Cheney, our visionary oil men? In the pocket of big oil.

Posted by: gergle at May 2, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #144845

Just a note-the Utah oil reserves are in the form of oil shale, which is not economically feasable to extract quite yet (similar to Canadas oil sands). We’re near the cost level to where it would be workable,however.

Posted by: Brian Poole at May 2, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #144848

AP , serious let’s start a corporation ,with that $ 14.5 billion. i would make you the ceo,I would make Jack, the cfo, and in charge of stocks and investing, you both agree on nuclear power,that’s a big start.you and Jack can select all of the talent. you both like alternative energy . bio fuels, ect ect. it’s a win win alternative to what we have in d.c., and the big oil companies!.

Posted by: jim c at May 2, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #144860

The $100 buy out is sad attempt a pain releif - a short sighted political quick fix and - extremely blatant pander to the lowest common denominator.

You can’t cure cancer with pain medicine. And if we make the problem temporarily betterm it will be all the worse later.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #144876

If we started building Newkewler power plants today, and could assure they would not be no-bidded or low-bidded out, and that they would be built in safe areas (not on fault lines, etc), how long before the first one went on line?

If we took the money that building enough of those Newkewler power plants would cost, and applied it to development of renewable sourse fuels, how long before we replaced much of our need of oil?

Posted by: Marysdude at May 2, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #144880

I keep hearing this crap about “alternative” energy sources being 10-15 years away. I’ve seen/video taped homes that are main stream that use approx. 20% of the energy a typical home uses. Geothermal heating and air, super heaters for hot water, solar panels… And the up front cost is basically $35-$50 more per month.

Not all energy and oil dependance problems relate to automobiles… but this is also all consumer talk - Industry holds the key to true energy reliability and independence.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #144901

tony,

It’s better than that.
Get a load of THIS:

www.earthshipbiotecture.com

Nobody is going to do this for you. You gotta find these folks, get off the grid and live FREE.
Your only overhead should be property tax.
…That’ll put the dirty-energy industry where it needs to be!

RGF

Posted by: RGF at May 2, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #144930

These options need to be sold for what they are - extremely cost effective, long term solutions (REAL SOLUTIONS) instead of “alternative” or “non-mainstream” experiments.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #144936


(There Will Come Soft Rains)

How about a house that produces it”s own energy needs, recycles all of it’s waste materials, recycles and purifies all of it’s water and as a by product, makes hydrogen that can be used to run your car.

Although their house looks like something out of a Lost in Space episode, they claim that they can build their systems into a new home that will fit right into a normal suburban setting. And, that they can tailor their systems to work in any region of the country. The cost, about $30 per month added onto a 30 year mortgage.

I know nothing about posting links so I will get close and if anyone is interested, some one more adept than I can get it right.

www.angelsnest.org

p.s. they are looking for apprentice/contractors

Posted by: jlw at May 2, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #144941


Can someone please tell me what is going on?

Summer is still right around the corner, oil is more scarce than it was yesterday, the war still goes on in Iraq, Iran is still threatening the western world with nuclear destruction and yet, the price of gas has dropped by more than 25 cents per gal. in my area.

Posted by: jlw at May 2, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #144942

AP

We agree on higher prices and nuclear energy. Higher prices will take care of most of the other things.

I don’t want incentives for hybrids. It is not that I am against hybrids. I own one. But I am not sure we want to lock into any particular technology. Government is not good at picking winners. Remember synfuels.

Make gas cost $5 a gallon and people will figure something out. I do think we need to tax or cap the carbon. Otherwise they will figure out how to make more fossil fuel.

After they get used to $5 gas, make it $10.

You know that people don’t care about mileage. They only notice the cost of a fill up. If you merely increase mileage, people drive more.

Posted by: Jack at May 2, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #144943

AP

I enjoyed your post. I really like the Apollo idea, I referenced the space program yesterday in another thread.
The problem I see is something I expressed sadness about yesterday as well. There is no well left to dip into for a massive public works project such as that. Legislators have squandered any capital for that on giveaways to corporations and lobbies plus your everyday pork until they could not back something like this in the national interest.
That is unless they continue on a “deficit be damned” course.
I know this will sound very “rep” of me (I actually am currently none of the above) but if we start by supporting private sector advances with tax breaks and various incentives while increasing the tax load on petrolium based fuels it can help stem the gap.
Enough with the $100 “buy my seat back” pandering.

Posted by: Ted at May 2, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #144944


www.angels-nest.org

Posted by: jlwilliams at May 2, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #144947

Oh yes and one other thing…
Retroactively remove the oil industry tax breaks, hold them in trust until they earn them or I blow out the candles on my birthday cake at my 139th birthday party…
Whichever comes first.

Posted by: Ted at May 2, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #144949
I don’t want incentives for hybrids. It is not that I am against hybrids. I own one. But I am not sure we want to lock into any particular technology.

Jack, I own one as well, so you know as well as I do that hybrid cars are not an alternative that you “lock into”, it’s just a more fuel efficient car. We absolutely should have incentives for people to buy more fuel efficient cars no matter what the underlying technology.

I’m all for the market sorting out alternatives to oil. I’m sure you noticed I listed many.

As for the price of gas, I just can’t agree with you. Running up the price of gas would not improve my standard of living and it would kill less fortunate Americans.

America can’t afford to wait for the market to dictate the switch. It would be an economic, environmental and humanitarian disaster to wait until the market drives prices up to the point where oil companies aren’t making a profit on oil anymore — if that’s even possible.

No, moving beyond oil for transportation and power requires government intervention. Our dangerous dependency on oil is a national security issue, and that properly makes it the government’s job to guide us through it.

It’s heartening to finally hear President Bush acknowlege our “dangerous dependency” on oil, but he and the current crop of Republican leaders lack the vision and the moral will to do something about it. They’d rather slap a $100 band-aid on the problem.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 2, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #144954


Jack: I think you are absolutely right about raising the price of gas.

I had to take a 30 mile trip up the highway yesterday. I was traveling along at 65 mph. the speed limit. Every vehicle going my direction passed me. Not some of them, most of them, but everyone of them did not just pass me, but left me in their tracks.

Posted by: jlw at May 2, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #144968

Now all yaall griping about the $100 rebate need to lighten up. After all yaall’s government is powerfully concerned about what it’s costing yaall to fill up these days. It wants to ease your pain.
Except that $100 with deep gratitude and be sure to vote for your incumbent congress person this November. After all they’ve shown such grate concern for yaall by sending ya that rebate check.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 3, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #144969

Oh yes and one other thing…
Retroactively remove the oil industry tax breaks, hold them in trust until they earn them or I blow out the candles on my birthday cake at my 139th birthday party…
Whichever comes first.

Posted by: Ted at May 2, 2006 10:42 PM

And your how old? 21? Sounds good to me.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 3, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #144980

>>Make gas cost $5 a gallon and people will figure something out. I do think we need to tax or cap the carbon. Otherwise they will figure out how to make more fossil fuel.

After they get used to $5 gas, make it $10.

You know that people don’t care about mileage. They only notice the cost of a fill up. If you merely increase mileage, people drive more.

Posted by: Jack at May 2, 2006 10:11 PM

None of this would be necessary if we had leadership at the top who would use the ‘bully pulpit’ to push a renewable energy program in the way Kennedy did the space program, or Rooseveldt did the TVA, CCC, Social Security and other anti depression medicines.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 3, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #145042

BT, I heard that the $100 would be considered taxable income.

Posted by: Rocky at May 3, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #145066


I have heard many republicans defend the oil companies by saying that the corporations only make 9 cents on each gal. and that the real culprit is the fed. and state taxes which are needed for roads and bridges. I have also heard that the corporations don’t make 9 cents per gal. but actually they make 9 cents on every dollar of product they sell. If this is true it is a very big difference.

Another argument I hear is how would you like to pay 5,6, or 7 dollars a gal. like they do in Europe? Their high tax rates on gas not only promote conservation, it is my understanding that much of those taxes are used to fund health care. I wish that someone who is good at internet research would check these things out and post it.

Posted by: jlw at May 3, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #145113

$100 is the equivalent of approximately 2 1/2 average tanks of gas.

How does that compare with 5 years of runaway prices at the pump?

RGF

Posted by: RGF at May 3, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #145167

Ron Brown,

Thank you,(LOL) although my wife would say you have the numbers reversed.

RGF,

I have a tercel and could get 3 1/2
Still not enough to drive to DC to throw it back at them. My vote is no longer for sale.

Posted by: Ted at May 3, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #145204

AP

We are going to get either the high prices or the equivalent of high prices through rationing and shortages. Changing over from cheap oil to something else will lower our standards of living or - if we are lucky - merely slow the improvements.

The market can be flexible, government less so. The synfuels debacle should have taught us something. Government can help by letting prices rise. The government can fund some basic research, but the “reward” for conservation or alternative fuel is included in the price. The higher the price, the greater the reward.

The problem with oil is that it is cheap. Even with the high prices we are paying for gas now, it is still lower adjusted for inflation than it was in 1980 AND if you adjust for rising incomes it is lower still. We actually do not currently have a crisis. We just have been spoiled by cheap oil for so long that we think of it as a type of human right.

You can produce alternatives today. They just cost more than oil. We burn oil because it is cheaper than the alternatives. It is actually a logical choice. We have to change the paradigm to make the logic favor renewables.

I think you all are making this way to complicated. There is no easy way out, but it is simple.

Posted by: Jack at May 3, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #145216
Another argument I hear is how would you like to pay 5,6, or 7 dollars a gal. like they do in Europe? Their high tax rates on gas not only promote conservation, it is my understanding that much of those taxes are used to fund health care. I wish that someone who is good at internet research would check these things out and post it.


I saw it. I payed 6 dollars for gas. And I researched it again.
Correct, the havy taxes on gas in europe are partly used to boost the social security system (e.g. Germany), the rest is used to pay of some of the huge debt they have over there (Germany and France didn’t need a war to get a national deficit of a trillion or two…)

But much more important than the direct benefits of the green taxes are the indirect benefits: NOBODY in Germany drives SUVs. NOWBODY owns a pickup truck because they look so cool.
and certainly NOWBODY drives a car to the mailbox every morning.

Posted by: Simon Diesch at May 3, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #145217

I am baffled as to why no one is talking about Coal to liquids technology. Our country has abundant coal reserves, and the technology to convert coal to natural gas and gasoline exists today. It is currently being done on a commercial scale by Sasol Ltd. in South Africa, where it supplies 28% of South Africa’s needs. Ref. Business Week, Feb. 27, 2006. The governors of Wyoming and Pennsylvannia are both promoting this idea, for obvious reasons, but no one seems to be listening. Just one more solution to add to the list. This one just takes investment and commitment.

Posted by: Will at May 3, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #145358

ummm Will, one of the reasons is the cost, which is approaching viability,but not quite there, and the other is that you still have the problems of creating carbon dioxide pollution which is tied to global warming.

Posted by: gergle at May 4, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #145938

Amen, Amen.
You are totally right.
We need to vote our politician out and get new ones who will hear us, the taxpayers.

These politician have been too long in their post and they think that they above the law.

So Citizens of USA, remember they work for us, and we pay their salaries.

We need limited terms, we have power at the election time.

VOTE ON ALL THE ELECTIONS, KNOW THE ISSUES AND MAKE INTELIGENT DECISIONS, OTHERWISE WE GET THE SAME AS WE HAVE NOW.

VOTE-VOTE-VOTE…WE CAN GET OUR COUNTRY BACK

Posted by: Ginny Lendennie at May 6, 2006 8:32 PM
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