Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

>Western Tribune Column December 17 2008

December 17, 2008

>(Read more about and see pictures of Masdar here.)

Tribune column

When will America begin to take the energy crisis seriously? It looked like we were beginning when gas was hovering around $4.00 a gallon. People began to drive less, to run multiple errands at a time and to carpool. Average miles driven decreased significantly, and the consumption of energy in the form of gasoline dropped.

Now that gasoline prices have fallen our old habits are beginning to return.

In other countries energy conservation is ahead of us. Way ahead. For instance, in Abu Dhabi the leaders believe that petroleum is a thing of the past. They are building a city named Masdar, which is Arabic for “source.”

Masdar, will be a zero-waste, zero-carbon city, powered mostly by sunlight, which is plentiful in the desert.

The city will house 50,000 residents and 40,000 commuters. There will be 65 million square feet of office space.

Cars will be banned within the city limits. Garages are available outside of the city for parking, and electric transportation pods will transport people throughout the city.

Wastewater will be used to irrigate fields that grow biofuels.

In many aspects it is easier to build a city like this from scratch rather than convert and existing city. But American planners should look closely at the innovations in Masdar as new developments are proposed.

Green building technology is on the rise on our country. While individuals may be slow to adapt new habits regarding energy usage, architects are realizing more and more the advantages of designing from a conservation and renewable standpoint.

Construction costs may be a few percentage points higher with green technology, but we must realize that the dollars spent on construction are not the only costs associated with building. In fact, even future savings in energy costs (which can offset construction costs) are not all that should be considered.

The simple fact that we are using less of the earth’s precious resources should make small increases in price more acceptable. Some resources really are limited, in spite of what some politicians may want you to believe.

The leaders of oil rich Abu Dhabi are convinced that the world will wean itself from oil and we should join them. We can either face the end of the petroleum era on our terms, or allow it to force us into a crisis much worse than what we just went through. The choice is ours.

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>Obama’s Energy Policy

August 5, 2008

>Not many people outside of Lansing, Michigan listened to Barack Obama’s speech yesterday, and obviously the media did not, because the candidate outlined an energy policy that makes perfect sense and offers real relief in the near term and the long term. Here is the 30 minute video, or just read my synopsis.

So the media and others focus on “inflating your tires,” a real conservation measure that actually would help, but is presented in a critical fashion. Truth of the matter is that conservation should be a part of any energy plan, and Obama was right to mention it.

But in the address in Lansing, Obama agrees with McCain:
“(McCain) said, and I quote, “Our dangerous dependence on foreign oil has been thirty years in the making, and was caused by the failure of the politicians in Washington to think long term about the future of the country.” He also mentioned that the republican neglected to mention that “during the 30 years he (McCain) was in Washington for 26 of them.”

McCain voted against increased fuel efficiency standards, opposed legislation for tax credits for fuel efficient cars, voted against renewable energy sources, against clean bio-fuels, against solar power, against wind power.

McCain’s answer, to a country that is addicted to oil, if to feed the addiction, and drill for more oil. McCain knows his plan will not provide any relief for at least 7-10 years, and admits it will just give “psychological relief.” Just what we need to go along with the mental recession we are experiencing.

Obama quotes T. Boone Pickens in the speech, “This is one emergency we can’t drill our way out of.”

Here are Obama’s Short Term Steps that the media is all but ignoring.

  • $1000 energy rebate to every family paid for by profits of oil companies.
  • Increase domestic production, first by drilling on the 6 million acres the oil companies already have access to.
  • Invest in technology to recover oil from existing oil fields and from shale.
  • Release 70 million barrels of crude from strategic petroleum reserve and replace later with heavier crude.
  • Over 5 years, lease more of the national petroleum reserve in Alaska.

Long Term
Obama has set a goal of eliminating the need for oil from the Middle East and Venezuela over the next 10 years by spending $150 billion over 10 years to ($15 billion a year):

  • Help America build fuel efficient hybrid cars that get 150 miles per gallon, and have 1 million of these on the road in 6 years.
  • Have 10% of energy coming from renewable sources by the end of his first term. Wind, solar, next generation bio-fuels, solar were mentioned along with safer nuclear power and addressing nuclear waste, and cleaner coal plants.
  • Call on American business, people and government to reduce the need for electricity by 15% over the next decade. He says this is the easiest, fastest and cheapest measure to reduce energy consumption. Utilities profits should depend on energy saved, not energy used.

McCain’s energy policy, on the other hand, consists of the following:

  • Drill
  • Nuke
  • Give more tax breaks to the oil companies

Sharing Our Nuclear Technology with Saudi Arabia?

June 18, 2008

While we ponder ruining our coastlines?

If you read nothing else, at least read this piece from the Wall Street Journal that I mention down the page a bit.

But first,

“President” Bush needs to realize that concerns about the environment do not end when Americans are inconvenienced. Bush asks congress to go along with forgetting the environment.

I realize that the high gas proces ar more than an inconvenience to some, in fact, a hardship. But the Bush administration’s failure to seek alternative, progressive forms of energy over the last 7 years is no excuse to endanger the fragile environs of the seas and shores.

I know it is the Republican way to be reactive rather than proactive, and this is just another example of lack of forethought (in spite of scientists and environmentalists and progressives thinking and speaking out about it for a decade).

It would probably take a decade before we saw any oil from offshore drilling. It’s not like you can just go out there, insert a tap and start the flow. If we have to wait 10 years, even 5 years before we stop the escalating of gas prices that is not going to help John Q. Public.

Hopefully Congress will not fall for this “destroy the earth but help out big oil” ploy that was probably designed by Bush’s oil buddies.

And flip flop McCain is just as bad, thinking this will gain him the Virginia electoral votes.
Meanwhile, why did Saudi Arabia decide to increase production recently. Maybe in return for the U. S. handing over nuclear technology to the nation with all the oil and sunsine (as in solar).

From the Wall Street Journal: In a ceremony little-noticed in this country, Ms. Rice volunteered the U.S. to assist Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear reactors, training nuclear engineers, and constructing nuclear infrastructure. While oil breaks records at $130 per barrel or more, the American consumer is footing the bill for Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions.

That was written in this opinion piece, and it just shows the whole world is screwed with Bush as the screwdriver.

Good Lord, bring us Obama!!!

>Sharing Our Nuclear Technology with Saudi Arabia?

June 18, 2008

>While we ponder ruining our coastlines?

If you read nothing else, at least read this piece from the Wall Street Journal that I mention down the page a bit.

But first,

“President” Bush needs to realize that concerns about the environment do not end when Americans are inconvenienced. Bush asks congress to go along with forgetting the environment.

I realize that the high gas proces ar more than an inconvenience to some, in fact, a hardship. But the Bush administration’s failure to seek alternative, progressive forms of energy over the last 7 years is no excuse to endanger the fragile environs of the seas and shores.

I know it is the Republican way to be reactive rather than proactive, and this is just another example of lack of forethought (in spite of scientists and environmentalists and progressives thinking and speaking out about it for a decade).

It would probably take a decade before we saw any oil from offshore drilling. It’s not like you can just go out there, insert a tap and start the flow. If we have to wait 10 years, even 5 years before we stop the escalating of gas prices that is not going to help John Q. Public.

Hopefully Congress will not fall for this “destroy the earth but help out big oil” ploy that was probably designed by Bush’s oil buddies.

And flip flop McCain is just as bad, thinking this will gain him the Virginia electoral votes.
Meanwhile, why did Saudi Arabia decide to increase production recently. Maybe in return for the U. S. handing over nuclear technology to the nation with all the oil and sunsine (as in solar).

From the Wall Street Journal: In a ceremony little-noticed in this country, Ms. Rice volunteered the U.S. to assist Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear reactors, training nuclear engineers, and constructing nuclear infrastructure. While oil breaks records at $130 per barrel or more, the American consumer is footing the bill for Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions.

That was written in this opinion piece, and it just shows the whole world is screwed with Bush as the screwdriver.

Good Lord, bring us Obama!!!