AMERICA IS RUNNING OUT OF ELECTRICITY
By Alan Caruba
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that overall energy demand will grow by 45 percent between now and 2030.
The effort to insure Americans will not have enough electricity is deadly serious. Take, for example, the exultant news release (January 17, 2008) from the Rainforest Action Network, “Proposed Coal Plants Losing Steam” celebrating “59 coal plants cancelled or shelved in 2007.”
Since coal-fired utilities provide over 50 percent of the electricity generated in America, the need for additional plants would seem obvious. A May, 2007, Business Week article about coal noted that, “Today, making electricity from coal can cost half as much as using cleaner-burning natural gas.” Half as much at the plant translates to half as much in the monthly energy bill to homeowners and others.
The Environmentalists, however, using the utterly bogus “global warming” hoax and asserting the false notion that carbon dioxide emissions will transform the climate of the earth, are successfully denying Americans electrical power.
There is no global warming and CO2 constitutes about 0.038% if the earth’s atmosphere. In past eras, there was a lot more CO2 and the result was the lush vegetation that kept a lot of dinosaurs munching away for several million years.
The brownouts in California are testimony to what happens when there is an insufficient number of plants to generate electricity, whether it comes from coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric power.
Right now, the population of America is just over 300 million. The rate of population growth is 3 to 4 million people a year. All will want and need electricity. Where will it come from if the Greens are successful in thwarting the building of power generation plants?
“Coal-fired power plants are the wrong investment for our climate, our health, and our economy,” said Becky Tarbotton, Director of Rainforest Action Network’s Global Finance Campaign. The truth: (1) Such plants do not affect the climate. (2) Americans now have the longest life expectancy ever, so our health is not an issue. (3) Our economy is entirely based on the availability and provision of electrical and other forms of energy.
The Greens opposed nuclear energy so successfully we haven’t seen a new plant built in thirty years. If you want to increase the amount of electricity and, at the same time, reduce the cost of electricity, build a few and watch what happens.
Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine points out that, “The construction of just one nuclear power station like Palo Verde (CA) in each of the 50 states, with a full complement of 10 reactors, would supply all of the energy that the United States currently imports — with, in addition and at current prices, $300 billion per year worth of excess energy to export.”
If we can’t get nuclear facilities built and we can’t get any new coal-fired plants, what does RAN propose? The same thing as the other Greens do. Socalled “renewable energy.” And “efficiency.”
Neither solar nor wind energy is EVER going to be able to produce the amount of energy Americans use and need. The laws of physics eliminate these “solutions” to our energy needs
Energy is measured in British Thermal Units, BTUs. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2006, the United States used 99.5 quadrillion BTUs of energy for electrical energy and for our transportation needs.
What energy sources were used to generate the power? Fully 40 percent came from oil, 23 percent came from coal, 22 percent came from natural gas, 8 percent came from nuclear plants, 2.9 percent came from biomass, including ethanol, 2.8 percent came from conventional hydroelectric dams, and less than 1 percent came from all other alternatives combined -- geothermal, wind, and solar power.
Along with the efforts to stop any means to provide the power America needs for its present and future energy, the U.S. government heavily taxes energy industries and has placed so many restrictions on new nuclear and hydrocarbon power production that there has been very little development for two generations. On top of this, it has mandated that a large portion of the nation’s corn crop, an essential element of our food supply, be liquefied and burned for fuel!
The most recent “energy bill” passed by Congress and signed by the President actually bans Thomas Edison’s most famous invention, the incandescent light bulb!
If this keeps up, we are going to run out of energy in America for electricity and for transportation. The vast oil tar deposits in Canada are a target of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has challenged the granting of permits required to expand refineries and pipelines on both sides of the border between the U.S.A. and Canada.
A recently proposed billion-dollar project by ExxonMobil to construct a storage facility and pipeline for liquefied natural gas off shore of New Jersey immediately drew criticism by environmentalist groups seeking to thwart access to this energy source. Meanwhile, the State’s largest daily reported on February 9, 2008, that New Jersey ratepayers “will see double-digit increases in their electric bills.”
Whether it’s coal, gas or oil, the Greens are doing everything they can to return the United States to the same conditions that existed from before the American Revolution to fifty years after the Civil War. The use and expansion of electrical energy did not really begin until the Twentieth Century.
An energy catastrophe is looming for the nation, and Americans cannot even look to Congress to avert it.
The Earth's Natural History, Global Climate Changes,
& the Future of Human Life & Civilization on the Planet:
Science, Ideology, & Public Policy
Political Economy -- Philosophies, Systems, & Public Policies:
Government, the Economy, & Economic Prosperity
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly commentary, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center, which is located at www.anxietycenter.com.
Caruba has a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.
Caruba’s new book, Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy, has been published by Merril Press.
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