Obama's energy crisis

Administration's energy policy is ruinous to U.S. interests

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Even under the best of circumstances, America will need increasing amounts of energy as the years go by. We have a growing population with an expanding array of gadgets to power.

This year's biting cold, and the resulting power shortages in the South and Southwest, indicate that merely maintaining a comfortable standard of living will require more energy.

But certainly the energy issue becomes vastly more urgent should the worst occur: the collapse of the dollar, hyperinflation and/or political upheaval that forms a clog in the international oil pipeline.

The best answer to any crisis is preparation. So it makes sense to do what we can to become energy sufficient, right?

Yet, the Obama administration is doing the precise opposite: Rather than seek to increase America's energy self-sufficiency, the White House is blocking offshore drilling.

That might be foolhardy enough. But the administration is also doing it in violation of a court order.

The administration has actually been cited for contempt of court over the matter.

"A federal judge who struck down the Obama administration's initial moratorium on deepwater drilling in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill," writes the Associated Press, "is holding the Interior Department in civil contempt for what he called its 'determined disregard' of his order.

"(Judge Martin) Feldman chided the department for its 'dismissive conduct' after he overturned the department's decision to halt approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspend drilling on 33 exploratory wells.

"The department responded to Feldman's June order by issuing a second moratorium that its critics say was virtually identical to the first."

In doing so, the judge said, the Obama administration provided "clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt."

Contempt not just for the judge's order, either: for our energy and national security as well.

The administration's contempt extends to taxpayers -- who will now have to fork over attorneys fees to the oil companies suing the government -- and to the unemployed, particularly in the Katrina-ravaged Gulf of Mexico area, where jobs have been eliminated by the administration's drilling moratorium.

"We're losing good jobs and paying higher energy prices during a time when Americans are already tightening their budgets," Sen. Lisa Murkowsi, R-Alaska, said. "The turmoil in the Middle East and rising energy prices serve to highlight why the administration cannot continue to slow walk this process, ignoring Congress and the courts. Our national security and national economy are at stake. I applaud the court for holding the Interior Department responsible for ignoring the law."

We do, too. We just wish the national media wouldn't ignore this crucial story.

A suspension of offshore drilling after the gulf oil spill was prudent. But the Obama administration's flouting of the law in continuing the moratorium, and in contradiction to a court order, is the stuff of dictatorships. When did Hugo Chavez arrive in Washington?

We are a nation of laws, and this White House is breaking the law -- while harming national security in the process.

Second only to a national debt that could bring down the country, the Obama administration's biggest legacy may be an energy policy that is actually counter to vital U.S. interests.

If the federal government won't listen to the courts when ordered to open up drilling, why should the states listen to the federal government when it says not to drill?

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Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 02/08/11 - 03:33 am
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Do you really think the Koch
Unpublished

Do you really think the Koch brothers have a long-term vision for environmentally sound energy independence?

Riverman1
93700
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Riverman1 02/08/11 - 05:00 am
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Democrats are so anti

Democrats are so anti anything that gives us energy, they'll probably start attacking oil rigs at sea with Green Peace ships next.

carcraft
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 05:20 am
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Riverman-No they won't! The

Riverman-No they won't! The Obumbler administration is working very hard to see there are no oil rigs at sea!

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 05:23 am
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Obumbler's energy policy is ,

Obumbler's energy policy is , to put it bluntly, insane! One needs only look to Spain to see where all this "green" energy is going. People who went for "green" energy training can't find jobs. China is becoming polluted (of course China is allowed to pollute under keyoto etc) producing "green" energy products for the west like the millions of dollars of stimulus money sent to China to produce windmills.

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 05:26 am
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Jon Lester- Do you really

Jon Lester- Do you really think Obama has a long term vision for any kind of independant energy policy, environmentally sound or not?

nofanofobama
6993
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nofanofobama 02/08/11 - 06:27 am
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besides socialism** what is

besides socialism** what is obama official policy on anything? we have enough natural resources and the technology to use it enviromentally friendly.. great jobs**great revenue for all govts..local and federal..instead of pumping billions out of the country monthly it would stay here...give me one good reason why especially with the newest threat in the middle east are we not doing anything but wind mills and solar panels..the only answer i can think of is that the dims and obama want us to be dependant on the world instead of being a great country..for you libs they hate america and its greatness. ..

Chillen
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Chillen 02/08/11 - 08:57 am
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Obama's energy policy is

Obama's energy policy is designed to line the pockets of his friends, to increase govt control over our lives and to make America weaker and more dependent on other nations.

If he was serious about making us energy independent he'd be scrambling to build nuclear power plants, he'd be throwing resources into cold fusion technology, he'd be allowing us to drill off our own shores (instead of paying other countries to to it) and he'd allow us to drill in Alaska.

This President is not a believer in a strong, independent America. He has made that very clear with his actions. He is just flat out bad for America - in many, many ways.

faithson
5527
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faithson 02/08/11 - 09:42 am
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PEAK OIL... it is a delusion

PEAK OIL... it is a delusion to think that more and more drilling is going to have any effect upon the 'down side' of the bell curve we are approaching on the Peak Oil bell curve. SAYING something, does not make it TRUE. The AC gives to much 'credit' to this administration. What they should do is go over the last 4 administrations to see what policies were put into effect. Any crisis in Energy will be the result of many years of deference to the issue. But as the AC is wont to do, BASH OBAMA.

kmb413
533
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kmb413 02/08/11 - 10:07 am
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wow, let's not even mention

wow, let's not even mention the "energy saving lightbulbs" that are shipped from China we will be forced to use in the future.

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 11:20 am
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WOW-Faithson how would you

WOW-Faithson how would you know, we haven't even tried! Not to mention coal gasification, natural gas, oil sands, etc, etc, etc, Of course Obama is dong every thing he can to stop any "fossil fuel" production or any energy produciton from these sources. We have more coal than Saudi has oil. Of course it was Obumbler that said "you can produce a coal fire plant but you will go bankrupt trying to run it"!!!!!

carcraft
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 11:32 am
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I just read an article about

I just read an article about how a "green energy plant" in south Georgia has gone bankrupt now that all the goevernment subsides have run out! The owners have milked the government for "ethenol production" and now that corn prices have skyrocketed and food prices have climbed the owners are bailing out. The other irony of this "green energy" plant is the fact that more energy is spent than is produced from this boondoogle but I am sure Obama's other "green Energy" programs will work better..LOL

Rather
56
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Rather 02/08/11 - 11:54 am
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Wait until all the new all

Wait until all the new all electric cars are plugged into our homes! It remains to be seen if they will be cost efficient with our existing gas and diesel cars. It takes just as much energy burning fossil fuel to generate electricity as burning oil or gasoline. "Law of Conservation of Energy” In engineering 101. Nuclear power plants, if cheaper, might help but it will take 6-10 years to build them. They are adding about 15% ethanol to gasoline but now reports show up to a 15% reduction of efficiency when this is done. Electric cars, more expensive up front, very expensive batteries to replace (about $15,000). Hybrids - 2 sets of motors to maintain. Do we know what we are doing?

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 02/08/11 - 01:11 pm
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rather, good question. most

rather, good question. most of these government and private initiatives seem to be pipe dreams in search of perpetual motion devices

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 02:17 pm
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"If he was serious about

"If he was serious about making us energy independent he'd be scrambling to build nuclear power plants, he'd be throwing resources into cold fusion technology, he'd be allowing us to drill off our own shores (instead of paying other countries to to it) and he'd allow us to drill in Alaska."

1) President Obama actively supports nuclear power plants, and has renewed billions in loan guarantees for nuclear development. Just in the CSRA, there are 4 new reactors in the active construction process. There are multiple other sites being investigated, both at new locations, and as expansions of existing plants. Unfortunately, this is a multi-year process, not something that one can "scramble" to complete.

2) Fusion research, hot or cold (good luck on the latter), is actively funded by the federal government through grants. Bear in mind that scientific research funding reached all-time lows in the period from 2000-2008, and that this type of funding is also known as (drum roll please) an earmark.

3) Energy firms from other countries are allowed to work off-shore oil and gas leases because the U.S. abides by privatization and the free market -- if you want nationalization of energy reserves, Venezeula is the place you want to be.

4) "The total production from ANWR would be between 0.4 and 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Refuge_drilling_controversy

Granted, this would help Murkowski line her pockets a little bit, given Alaskan oil royalties, but this does literally nothing to assuage future energy concerns.

follower
92
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follower 02/08/11 - 02:45 pm
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Afternoon Burn, What do you

Afternoon Burn,

What do you know about the Bakken field in N.D.? I've read there are reserves from 150-500 billion barrels.

Thanks

seenitB4
97580
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seenitB4 02/08/11 - 03:03 pm
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Attached is a picture of a

Attached is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes. Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch! I immediately turned off the lights. But I'm sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there. Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room.

I took the bulb to the Fire Department to report the incident. The Fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence. Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire. He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs from China.
This info. was sent to me.

Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by "Globe" in China seem to have the lion's share of problems. Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting. Mine was installed in a normal light socket.

I can't prove or disprove this........but I know we have had trouble with dry wall & baby milk...so I'm saying be careful with bulbs.

seenitB4
97580
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seenitB4 02/08/11 - 03:07 pm
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rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 02/08/11 - 03:31 pm
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All I know, I'll be glad when
Unpublished

All I know, I'll be glad when the frigid weather returns. I've had all of the "global warming" I can stand.

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 04:19 pm
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follower, did a little

follower, did a little reading on the Bakken field. The U.S. has a HUGE oil capacity in reserves such as these from the upper Midwest to the Basin and Range and intermontane West -- basically, from the Dakotas west into western Nevada.

The problem is that these are oil shales. Traditional oil wells primarily tap sandstones: they have pore space for oil to accumulate and, most importantly, those pores are interconnected, allowing you to tap into the reserve in one location, and the resultant pressure difference allows the oil to flow through these interconnected pores to the well.

Shales also have an abundance of pore spaces for oil to accumulate, but they are not interconnected as they would be in a sand; they are too "tight". As a result, you can't drill a well and have the oil flow through the formation to it. This is why hydraulic fracture was developed, which you've probably heard about in the news. Fracturing the shale creates the interconnectivity, along induced cracks in the rock, that lets material flow to the well. This works great for natural gas, which will move along smaller fractures, and which is easily separated from the fluids used to fracture the rock in the first place. Unfortunately, this procedure isn't especially effective for petroleum.

Instead, oil shales have to be strip mined, pulverized, and treated with hot water and various chemicals to release the oil from the rock. This is very water-intensive, and the resultant water is essentially untreatable, at least in a cost-effective manner.

This raises two main issues with oil shale: 1) most of our oil shale is in arid parts of the U.S., where water is a serious and ongoing concern for municipalities and farmers already (note this is also a big barrier to nuclear development in the West -- lots of land, but little water, and nuclear facilities are water intensive (for cooling the reactors)); and 2) the costs of mining/extracting the oil from the shale makes it non-competitive with traditional oil reserves.

I have heard some commentaters blame energy policy/conservationists for these oil shales being untapped, but in reality it is an economic issue. Oil shale requires a huge investment up front, and to date, oil prices have been too volatile for any producers to take it as a serious business opportunity. If oil prices stay consistently high for consistently long, then the economics may eventually favor going after it.

Currently, Canada is developing a lot of its oil sand deposits, but only as an operation highly subsidized by Canadian tax dollars -- there are no purely private companies willing to pursue the resource as, given the current economics, it is a guaranteed money loser (much of the same processing problems that exist with oil shale exist also with oil sands).

Here's the American Petroleum Institute's web portal on oil shale: http://www.api.org/aboutoilgas/oilshale/index.cfm

The API is excited about exploring the resource and supporting R&D, but currently it is not economically viable without substantial government subsidy.

follower
92
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follower 02/08/11 - 04:01 pm
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Burn, Thank You. Several of

Burn, Thank You. Several of the articles I've read were slanted toward questioning WHY we didn't pursue this avenue. Rarely do you get the positves as well as the negatives. On top of that, who do you believe? There's always an agenda.

Appreciate the reply!

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 04:17 pm
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follower, I've been trying to

follower, I've been trying to find the link, but haven't been able to yet -- I once found an article from the proceedings of an oil shale conference, and there was a keynote speaker from the API who bluntly laid out the reasons why it was currently non-viable economically. If I find it again, I'll post the link. That's where I learned about the connection between oil price volatility and lack of industry investment in production. The rest of the comment is from personal knowledge, being in the earth sciences field.

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 04:16 pm
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Here's one link on the

Here's one link on the economics:

"Economic Issues

Because no commercial in situ oil shale project has ever been built and operated, the cost of producing oil and natural gas with the technique is highly uncertain. Current estimates of future production costs range from at least $70 to more than $100 per barrel oil equivalent in 2007 dollars. Therefore, future oil shale production will depend on the rate of technological progress and on the levels and volatility of future oil prices.

Technology progress rates will determine how quickly the costs of in situ oil shale extraction can be brought down and how quickly natural gas and petroleum liquids can be produced from the process. The in situ retorting techniques currently available require the production zone to be heated for 18 to 24 months before full-scale production can begin.

In addition to price levels, the volatility of oil prices is particularly important for a high-cost, capital-intensive project like oil shale production, because price volatility increases the risk that costs will not be recovered over a reasonable period of time. For example, if oil prices are unusually low when production from an oil shale project begins, the project might never see a positive rate of return."

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/aeo_2009analysispapers/eos...

The next section after the one I pasted talks about the regulatory hurdles:

"Public Policy Issues

Development of U.S. oil shale resources also faces a number of public policy issues, including access to Federal lands, regulation of CO2 emissions, water usage and wastewater disposal, and the disturbance and remediation of surface lands. If the petroleum industry were not permitted access to Federal lands in the West, especially in Northwest Colorado, the industry would be excluded from the largest and most economical portion of the U.S. oil shale resource base.

In addition, current regulations of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management require that any mineral production activity on leased Federal lands also produce any secondary minerals found in the same deposit. On Federal oil shale lands, deposits of nahcolite (a naturally occurring form of sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda) are intermixed with the oil shales. Relative to oil and other petroleum products, nahcolite is a low-value commodity, and its price would fall even further if its production increased significantly. Thus, co-production of nahcolite could increase the cost of producing oil shale significantly, while providing little revenue in return."

So there are also policy barriers, but these are essentially moot as long as the economics don't bear up. Once the process becomes economically viable, if the barriers remain, then the narrative that policy is standing in the way of these developments will be in fact correct. For now though, people claiming that policy is currently standing in the way are not speaking truthfully.

Edit: The comment about access to Northwest Colorado is an interesting one, as there is currently a debate out there in regards to natural gas and uranium mining access. As it turns out, the opposition is primarily from private land owners, not Federal agencies -- the Feds held a lease auction there a year or so ago amidst strong public opposition.

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 04:33 pm
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Burninator-You haven't said

Burninator-You haven't said anything about coal into gasoline. This has been done in Germany at the end of world war 2 and South Africa today runs on it. America's largest clean coal reserves are in Utah and Clinton made it a National Monument as a pay off to the Ryadi Family for illegal campaign contributions funneled through John Hung. Hung sent to jail in 2008 when he started the same Garbage with Ms Clinton..

follower
92
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follower 02/08/11 - 04:40 pm
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Burn, I remember in a

Burn, I remember in a previous battle [lol] that you were in the earth/science field. Thanks again for the extensive research.

As the technology advances, as it most assuredly will, perhaps it will meet economic as well environmental concerns.

Being the automotive field and attempting to look ahead for more than a few years, as to the direction of the industry, is daunting. Electric, hybrid, CNG, combustion, bio-fuel, ethanol.....and who knows what else.

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 05:01 pm
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Didn't know about coal into

Didn't know about coal into gasoline carcraft, that's pretty interesting. I don't know if the possible Clinton deal plays into that or not -- I'd bet the primary opposition to it has been cost, as most everything we do, no matter what politicking goes on around it, is about money.

Apparently University of Texas at Arlington has developed an economical way to do this --

"We're improving the cost every day. We started off sometime ago at an uneconomical $17,000 a barrel. Today, we're at a cost of $28.84 a barrel," said engineering dean Rick Billo."

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=3242

Clearly, from that quote, it's been WAY more expensive than oil until recently. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

I can't find exact numbers, but it looks like even on large production scales -- such as S. Africa -- it's only recently becoming competitive with gas from oil. The S. African operation had to be subsidized by the S. African government for almost 30 years until reaching solvency in 2000.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06229/714268-28.stm

This is going to be huge though, as oil reserves get harder and harder to get to logistically ...

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 05:13 pm
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Burninator Look up South

Burninator Look up South African energy. They are almost completely independant of imported oil yet are heavily industialized.

The process was invented in petroleum-poor but coal-rich Germany in the 1920s, to produce liquid fuels. It was used by Germany and Japan during World War II to produce alternative fuels. Germany's annual synthetic fuel production reached more than 124,000barrels per day from 25 plants ~ 6.5 million tons in 1944
(http://www.fe.doe.gov/aboutus/history/syntheticfuels_history.html).

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 05:35 pm
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oops, edited my comment but

oops, edited my comment but not fast enough -- thanks for posting the added info ...

The public/private partnership that enabled this to occur in S. Africa would never fly in the current political climate in the U.S.. A few months of government involvement with -- and financing of -- GM led to a deafening chorus of "Socialism!" and "Nationalization!". Can you imagine the response if the government decided it wanted to be involved in this type of partnership for 25 years? There is not, unfortunately, the level-headedness required in the populace to support an energy-independence initiative like that which S. Africa took on in the 70's.

edit: The involvement with the nuclear industry is similar in the U.S. I suppose, but that's a totally separate issue with the national security components of safety and control of fissile material ...

oh, I forgot -- the GM bailout also, apparently, took away our freedoms! that was a classic ...

carcraft
28473
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carcraft 02/08/11 - 06:04 pm
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Burnionatar- I think I

Burnionatar- I think I mentioned earlier that the government subsidized bio fuel production ie. ethanol and now that the subsides are running out the system is in trouble. Why not subsidize coal to gas, stablize the price of gasoline and work to reduce the cost of production?

burninater
9935
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burninater 02/08/11 - 06:22 pm
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Distributed

Distributed emissions/pollution is probably the biggest barrier -- Americans really don't want their cities to look like Beijing. That's the single apparent benefit to electric cars -- emissions are centralized.

It'll be interesting to see how clean they can get this to burn.

The other barrier, I imagine, is from American car makers and petroleum refiners. They have a huge amount of investment in electric on the one hand, and oil to gasoline on the other. Don't think for a second that these groups don't help write policy.

Ethanol was never meant to be a serious threat to either interest group ... it was a farm welfare giveaway to a powerful, but fickle, voting block.

Rather
56
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Rather 02/08/11 - 07:21 pm
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Oil Shale may not be as cost

Oil Shale may not be as cost effective as "Drilled" oil. This has been the reason why it has never really got off the ground in the US. However, if the oil produced by processing oil shale comes from the USA, even if it costs more, it is still US money STAYING in the US and the money can be used here. On the other hand buying foreign based oil is money flowing out of the country, rarely ever used to buy American products. Does the President understand that money needs to stay here as much as possible? I don't think so. Get the oil here and keep it here

Go to a hardware store. Virtually everything is made in China. Same issue, money leaving the USA, likely gone forever. I have a friend, and his father before him, in LA who has been in the tool grinding business for 70 years. Once there were hundreds of machine shops he ground tools for and almost all have gone out of business. Most at least 10 or more years ago. Obama wants to bring manufacturing back to the US, paying taxes. Is he crazy? Once closed, these skills have been lost forever. And this was caused by both parties, not just by the Democrats. We have blindly sold out our country thinking of only NOW, not tomorrow.

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