American Elephants

A Very, Very Bad Bill, Passed Without Understanding. by The Elephant's Child

What were they thinking?  President Obama said in his Saturday morning weekly address that :

For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil.  And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow.  We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security.  We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet.  And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth; the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

With all due respect, this is absolute nonsense.  The Waxman-Markey Climate bill attempts to switch our need for electricity from (evil) coal to “clean” wind and solar power. This has nothing whatsoever to do with our dependence on “foreign oil” which powers our transportation, not our electric power.  We are completely energy independent in our use of electric power.  Electricity generation accounts to a scant 1.5 percent of our petroleum use.

Our reliance on fossil fuels has not jeopardized our national security.  Oil from our own country, Canada and Mexico accounts for around 60 percent of our needs.  We buy 10 percent from Saudi Arabia and 7 percent from Venezuela, who could be considered somewhat unfriendly, but need the cash. The rest is scattered around the world market, but jeopardizing our security?  Let’s not exaggerate.

“Make no mistake,” the President said, “This is a jobs program.”  Spain has had vast experience with wind power, and an aggressive “green jobs” program. No other country has given such broad support to the construction and production of electricity through renewable resources.  A study by economist Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Rey Juan Carlos Universidad found that each new wind energy job cost $754,000, mostly installing towering turbines.  Switching to wind power destroyed 2.2 regular jobs for each “green job” because pricey “renewable” electricity caused employers to lay off employees.

New onshore wind power in the U.S. is 37 percent more expensive than new advanced coal technologies.  Solar-photo-voltaic technology is 300 percent more expensive.  And we have enough coal to last more than 300 years.  Mr. Obama has said several times that he wants to bankrupt coal companies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2008, on a dollars per MWh basis, the U.S. Government subsidizes wind power at $23.34 — compared to such reliable energy sources as natural gas at 25¢; coal at 44¢; hydro at 67¢; and nuclear at $1.59.

“This will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries.  And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced”  Mr. Obama said.  But critics say that the bill’s restrictions will cause many American manufacturers to shift their operations overseas.  A look at the costs enumerated here shows why.

The Senate may not pass the bill so easily, or with such disgraceful shenanigans as dumping a 300 page addition to the bill at 3:00 am just before the vote that does not integrate the changes into the original bill.  Nobody has read the whole bill.  It was not made available.   The phone lines were simply shut down before the vote.

This bill must be defeated in the Senate.


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