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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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Monday
Mar092009

A Third Grader Can Do the Energy Math

President Obama says he will double the nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years. Bush doubled the supply of renewable energy between 2005 and 2007.

What is the definition of renewable energy? Is hydro renewable? Hydro is now 16 times wind and solar but is dropping fast as dams are being dismantled and not built. Two hundred closed since 1999.

Here's the math. The U.S. consumed 4,118,198,000 megawatt hours in the past year. Solar and wind produced 1.1% of that. It's 76,000 barrels of oil equivalent from wind and solar. The U.S. uses 47.4 million barrels equivalent per day. Of that 47.4 million, 19 million is actually oil. Natural gas is 11.9 million per day. Coal is 11.5 million. Nuclear is 3.8 million. Hydro is 1.1 million.

Here's the current plan. We stop everything in oil, gas, nuclear, coal, and hydro and pray for solar and wind.

If I sat down with my grand son, who just turned 7, and used blocks to demonstrate how this country gets and uses energy and began to take away blocks for oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro since all are on the downswing, and piled up the best year we've ever had on wind and solar and asked him if we are going to run out of power, what do you think he would say? 

Someone needs to haul some Lego's off to Washington and do a little show and tell for the village fools. With only fifty billion a year for the DOE to increase renewable energy, what do you think the barrel equivalent of that increase will be in two years, three years? My best case: By the end of Obama's term that number will be no more than 1.2 million barrels equivalent. 

How much will the others fall off. Coal will drop the most. Nuclear will fall as plants close. Oil will drop since Obama is going to stiff offshore. The drops in the others will dwarf the little gain from the DOE. Dr. Chu will not get it done. Chew on that.

So we will lose power in the next three years. At the same time we plan to build electric cars. Makes sense. Another Gitmo. No planning, no forethought, no plan B. Just forge ahead and fall on our ass.

Just chew on the numbers Dr. Chu. It ain't going to happen. Can't do it. Why not stand up now and admit the truth? Can't do that, it would lose votes. It would anger Dr. Chu's friends in the environmental and academic communities. What would Al Gore say?

So find yourself a nice little cave that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You won't be able to pay your utility bills.

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