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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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« Economics 101 As I Remember | Main | President Obama, Guess I'll Need a Gun After All »
Wednesday
Jan072009

Throw Another Trillion at a Failed Energy Strategy

Let's throw another trillion dollars in ill-conceived government ideas about energy. Why not? Let's waste another five years to find we are further in the hole. Why not? All you dreamers who believed in fusion, shift your weird thinking to chase new dreams. But, please, please never look back at our track record.

As I've written about in earlier entries, we have wasted billions trying to develop clean coal. We can do clean coal, it's just the Greenpeace definition of clean that we can't do. Too many want clean to be too clean. Not just safe clean, but past than to "Garden of Eden" clean. So we spent the money and got no where.

The great success of the government is ethanol. How very proud they should be about that. A product that uses more fossil fuel BTU's to produce than the end value. A product that has taken billions in tax dollars to keep competitive. A product that drives up food costs. A product that lines pockets of Archer Daniels Midland, a company that has lined the pockets of many a politician. Their headquarters is in Illinois. I wonder why. 

Then there's the alternative energy federal and state vehicle requirements. Mandated, but no one who drives them buys alternative energy. They buy 93% gasoline because it's convenient and less costly. There's a great waste of your tax dollars. 

Has Obama learned anything from all this? Of course not. He carries Al Gore's picture in his wallet. He is an ardent supporter of the idea that the government will find the answers to our future fuel needs and all it takes is more of our money to do that.  His big idea today for stimulating the eocnomy, make government offices more energy efficient. At ten times the normal price to do that, he will get about 10% of the offices done. Show's where his priorities are.  

One thing I've learned in this great life is the private sector is where things get solved, not in the public sector. You can argue that the government put the men on the moon, and that's true. But, it was the private sector that figured out how to make the space program pay. The satellites that man your cell phone and lap top came from that. NASA is still a black hole where billions of dollars and a few lost lives are put so that a lot of scientists with big brains and no common sense get to hold jobs and spend our money to study things that interest them. Value added is not part of the deal. 

So the private sector is pulling back from clean technology just as Obama is gearing up. Why? In 2008 $8.4 billion was spent there up from $6.1 in 2007 and very little produced any value added. Chump change to Obama. He'll throw $100 billion at it. The result in 3 years will be the same as it has been in the private sector. The difference, the private sector walks away when it doesn't work. The  private investment fell 35% in the fourth quarter and is expected to fall more in the 1st quarter of this year. 

So, hug those trees and wait to freeze. It isn't going to happen. While we could be covering our energy needs right here at home by drilling for oil and gas, nuclear, and reasonably clean coal, shale, and other known sources of energy to run our businesses and heat our homes, we are going to the Land of Oz. Or, down the rabbit hole. Just keep buying into the idea that someone is going to find a magic bullet in their garage.

Look at what Russia is doing to Europe. That doesn't even register here. We go merrily along our way thinking our future is bright. Hang on to that last government issued log.

Reader Comments (4)

The above said it's not enough to clean the coal,but so many want clean to be too clean..nice and attractive..there is a wastage of dollars...

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercleancoaltech123

I like Charles Krauthammer's idea -> http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/949rsrgi.asp

I liked the idea when it was suggested by Thomas Freidman of the New York Times but I figure you'll like it better coming from Krauthammer and the Weekly Standard.

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Johnson

Chris:
Help me out, what idea?

Bill

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill Robertson

The site is very much informative. The concepts of growing the caol plants is a better idea but it may take more time for implementation. I also appreciate the ideas which is been planned to be implement.

January 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClean Coal Energy

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