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Running on empty

With the ever-increasing price of gasoline, once again all the politicians are talking about our "addiction" to oil -- especially foreign oil -- and the need for a new energy policy. Funny thing is, those most loudly blaming Bush for the problems tend to be the allied with the same folks who have spent their whole lives shooting down a lot of the alternatives for imported oil.

1) Expansion of our domestic oil production. Can't do THAT. Drilling is bad, evil, dirty, messy, and hostile to the environment.

2) Wind power. They're starting to turn on Ted Kennedy, who has been opposing a wind power project off Cape Cod that might infringe ever so slightly on his ocean view.

3) Nuclear. Oh, no! No nukes! Nuclear power is bad and evil and DANGEROUS and scary. After all, look at Homer Simpson!

4) Hydroelectric power. DAMN those dams and their evil, fish-killing ways!

5) Solar. This they might like, but it's just not feasible on any kind of scale yet. Take it from someone who lives in New England. Or ask anyone who lives in Washington State.

And when one looks at their policy on gas prices, it's even more schizophrenic. (Yes, I know that's not entirely accurate, but there really isn't a word that sums up the attitude so succinctly. Sue me.) Gas consumption is bad, so to discourage people from driving, we should raise the price of gas through taxes. But if market forces drive up the price of gas, that's bad and evil and must be investigated. Gasoline must be kept affordable for everyone until we can get around to taxing the hell out of it even more.

My more cynical theory is that the particulars are unimportant to them; they just want more and more money in government coffers and out of the private sector. As I said, it's a cynical theory, but it fits the available facts.

I'm left to conclude that John Kerry was indeed the perfect standard-bearer for the Democrats in 2004, because his attitudes seem to permeate their energy policy. They were for higher gas prices before they were against them. They are against our dependence on foreign oil, but oppose most of the viable alternatives -- just like a lot of people didn't vote FOR Kerry, but AGAINST Bush.

The day they harness that simple fact -- that people want to SUPPORT something, not just OPPOSE something -- and actually get behind something positive is the day that they will once again take power in Washington. And the day they do that, they will actually DESERVE to do so.

Until then, though... anyone know where gas is cheapest around Manchester, New Hampshire?


Comments (55)

Re: schizophrenicI... (Below threshold)

Re: schizophrenic

Irreconcilable?
Contradictory?

And how many of those screa... (Below threshold)

And how many of those screaming about $3 a gallon gas will happily pay $3 for an 8 oz cup of coffee.

Ah, fuhgeddaboudit...misspe... (Below threshold)

Ah, fuhgeddaboudit...misspelled my own name, what do I know.

"The day they harness th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"The day they harness that simple fact -- that people want to SUPPORT something, not just OPPOSE something -- and actually get behind something positive is the day that they will once again take power in Washington. And the day they do that, they will actually DESERVE to do so."

Ethanol produced from US grown crops is something everyone can get behind. Why hasn't the Republican leadership led us in that direction as an option towards energy self-sufficency?

Good Fricking Grief - we all know why, don't we -- their too busy hand-jobbing the "big oil" lobbyists.

"And how many of those screaming about $3 a gallon gas will happily pay $3 for an 8 oz cup of coffee."

Higher gas prices tend to lift prices on everything. Those who won't scream about paying $3 a cup for their coffee will scream when it hits $3.50.

their = they're... (Below threshold)
Lee:

their = they're

Ethanol is another of those... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

Ethanol is another of those energy conservation progams not quite ready. The Iowa corn lobby has the US placing a $0.54/gallon or bushel (don't remember if it was before or after refining) on ethanol or corn produced outside the US. Bush has mentioned it, but there is a reason it isn't common practice---it is more expensive. Plus, the enviros well start yelling when farmers try to put more corn into production. The enviros will be hopllering about destroying the "natural order" and wildlife preservation.

Right now it actually adds to the cost per gallon of gasoline to use ethanol. Say a study the other day (less than a week ago) that showed ethanol was actually bad for the vehicles. Don't have time to look for the article, otw to a Tee Ball tourney.

Just add an oil import fee ... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Just add an oil import fee sufficient to support investment in domestic sources such as tar sands and reduce down side price volatility. Let the market take care of which solution works best and send "windfall profits" to our treasury instead of some sheik's.

Ethanol not quite ready?<br... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Ethanol not quite ready?
Irreconcilable?
Contradictory?

GM is ready.

The Republican-led Congress should have been pushing tax incentives on this years ago. Instead they were too busy (see above).

Lee said, "Good Fricking... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

Lee said, "Good Fricking Grief - we all know why, don't we -- their too busy hand-jobbing the "big oil" lobbyists."

Lee, what is too much profit? Do you realize that these "record profits" are based on profit margins of 8-15%?

What is Microsofts profit margin? The NY Times parent company? Starbucks? Airlines? Automobiles?

Most companies that make profits of less than 10% aren't even considered good investments by the majority of investment advisors. Granted, gasoline is a volume thing, but if they were actually gouging or in collusion don't you think they would be making at least 25%?

The stupidity of people who know nothing about markets or supply and demand continually amazes me.

You realize an oil import f... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

You realize an oil import fee will increase the cost of gasoline? Along with every other petroleum based product?

It would be smarter to open more drilling and reduce taxes or at least shut the Hell up about "Windfall Profit Taxes"!

<a href="http://www.energyb... (Below threshold)
Msuv:

http://www.energybulletin.net/5062.html
A study done about the true cost to produce ethanol. Basically ethanol= more expensive; produces less energy than required to make it.

Hmmm.Etha... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Ethanol produced from US grown crops is something everyone can get behind. Why hasn't the Republican leadership led us in that direction as an option towards energy self-sufficency?

WikiPedia: E85

WikiPedia: Ethanol

Ethanol might have a future, but there are any number of issues with ethanol that still need to be addressed.

Like everything else it's not a magic bullet that'll suddenly make everything better.

Producing ethanol from corn is an idiotic idea.

Because Iceland is a volcan... (Below threshold)

Because Iceland is a volcanic island, it sits on a vast amount of geothermal energy. They're tapping it to turn into a hydrogen and presu-returbine economy.

Couldn't Hawaii and the Left Coast tap into their own thermal reserves of energy? Or Japan?

By assisting other countries off of the oil-teat, that frees up that much more oil.

msuv - ethanol will scale -... (Below threshold)
Lee:

msuv - ethanol will scale - and the tax incentives would have helped.

stmbuild - the windfall profits from US-produced oil should be taxed and plowed into alternatives. A large percentage of domestic gasoline is refined from oil production based in the US, and the oil companies have reaped windfall profits on that oil that originates on US soil. It's obscene, and needs to be dealt with.

Record profits = windfall. Whether the windfall should be taxed can be debated, but it is a windfall. A good explanation is linked here.


Politicians of both parties... (Below threshold)

Politicians of both parties reflect our society, which tends to talk a good energy game, but doesn't walk the walk. Also, because we're good at sound bites but not math and science, as a nation we have difficulty grasping the size and complexity of our energy use. A few windmills cannot replace a nuclear power plant, for instance (A few thousand might under the right conditions - but that's a very complex undertaking in itself.)

If Wizbang readers would like an entertaining way to learn about nuclear energy, see my thriller novel "Rad Decision", based on my two decades in the US nuclear industry. Available at no cost at RadDecision.blogspot.com, readers seem to like it, judging by their comments at the homepage. Stewart Brand, the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog who has called for a second look at nuclear energy, has said: "I'd like to see Rad Decision widely read."

Oh yes - any conversation about energy use (for transportation or electricity) should start with CONSERVATION. The cheapest, safest, best energy is that which you don't use.

You forgot to add coal to t... (Below threshold)
stan25:

You forgot to add coal to the mix, that the enviroweenies don't want to be mined. They still look at open pit coal mining from the days of the Peabody Coal Company stripping off the land and did not return it to somewhat the way it was before they went there in the first place. There have been a lot of changes from the days of the old Peabody days. Now days, Peabody and the other companies take steps to insure that the land is reclaimed.

Here in Wyoming, we have enough low-sulfer coal to power the whole east coast for 200 years, if we could just get it out of the ground.

Doesn't nuclear makes more ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Doesn't nuclear makes more sense than coal, given the Bush administration's ignorant stance on global warming?

Wow, with all of these alternatives and their associated lobbyists the Republicans in Congress are going to need a lot more lube.

So, Lee, you point as alway... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So, Lee, you point as always is...
IT'S ALL THE FAULT OF THE BUSHPUBLICANS

"So, Lee, you point as a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"So, Lee, you point as always is... IT'S ALL THE FAULT OF THE BUSHPUBLICANS"

Oh no, of course not. The author of this post tries to make the case that it's ALL THE FAULT OF THE DEMOCRATS, but we both know that's not true -- right?

There are so many people wi... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

There are so many people with different agendas to be anti and pro ethanol, I don't trust what any of the big players might have to say.

I don't even want to talk to this guy, but I do want to talk to someone who's used his plans and see what they have to say. If there's even a 50% truth to the prices claimed, I would have to wonder why we're not E85 already.

Because I have the same feeling about more drilling in US assets as a I have about dipping into the strategic reserves. Yes things are bad now but they could be made much worse. What if 5-10-15 years from now there's a nuclear war in the Middle East and the World's supply is choked down to a fraction for years? Or even worse, someone takes over the Middle East and uses all that oil to blackmail the world and counts on nuclear weapons to keep the rest of the world at bay.

Do we want that oil available to us now or then? If anything we should be exploring and putting on hold drilling for a rainy day. The Strategic reserve should be much much bigger. Its like running out of groceries and digging into the supplies you set aside for an emergency days before a Huricane hits.

Reducing oil dependancy is becoming urgent for our security, even if it isn't the low cost path.

Doesn't nuclear makes mo... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Doesn't nuclear makes more sense than coal

Absolutely enjoy hearing about how ignorant environmentalists are about nuclear power -- really love it. Once again demonstrates that the anti-environmentalists are fueled by inferiority and ultimately headed for the dumpster. (Remember telling us a decade ago that there was absolutely no such thing as global warming, that it was just a Gaian tree-hugger fantasy? You motherfuckers.)

What nuclear power fans never acknowledge is that, while nuclear done right is "clean & safe," the nuclear plant itself, wherever you build it, will only last about 25-30 years before the thing has to be decommissioned.

Put your tight little brains around that, ya dinks: it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, last about as long as yer average septic leech field, then it will have to be decommissioned -- and that ain't cheap. Go talk to the people of Wiscasset, Maine. Suddenly there's a big hole in their municipal budget.

And you can't use the site once the decommissioning is done, deary, not for a long time.

You can call this moonbat propaganda, because you're in a place where neocons with short resumes and cheap degrees are invited to vent bile on whatever blue state red herrings Jay and Kevin can scare up in a given week. It's what drives the whole talk radio thing: focus on leftward weirdness and idiocy, ignore the successes and the hard facts that bare out those "stupid" environmental warnings.

Well, it don't signify, as they say in Patrick O'Brian novels: this is history; this is fact. Call me any name you want, make fun of me. But if you build a nuclear power plant, the thing will eventually have to be decommissioned. You can sleeve the plumbing for just so long and then it all goes bye-bye, no longer safe to operate.

And that's the truth, and you would know it -- if you weren't actually engaged in convincing yourselves that the truth can only originate from one political compass point.

Shit. Now I'm going to get swine prints all over my pearls.

astifaga wrote- "The nuclea... (Below threshold)
msuv:

astifaga wrote- "The nuclear plant itself, wherever you build it, will only last about 25-30 years before the thing has to be decommissioned."
http://www.tva.gov/sites/brownsferry.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browns_Ferry

Browns Ferry Nuclear power plant- commissioned in 1973
Earliest reactor to be decommissioned is 2013. If my math is correct that would be 40 years of life from a single reactor(granted the reactor is down for repairs, but there are two other 30 year old reactors there as well).

From Lee: Recor... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

From Lee:

Record profits = windfall. Whether the windfall should be taxed can be debated, but it is a windfall. A good explanation is linked here.[Link found in comment above]
OK, I read Kinsey's article that you site. I can't really figure out if he is promoting a windfall tax on the companies or not. Knowing him, I assume he is for it. But if you are arguing for a windfall tax, or complaining about windfall profits, you ignore several facts:

*Corporations don't pay taxes. Yes, they do, in the short term, but where did the money come from? It came from the monies that they took in exchange for their goods- from the consumers that paid for them. A 'windfall tax' goes to the government, not back into the business. Kinsey seems to be arguing that the windfall should go to defray costs of the war. How does that help the oil supply, or increase production?

*What are profits used for? When oil was around $17/bbl, it didn't make sense for producers to attend to wells in the US that were costing more than that to produce. When prices are higher, it does. Shell just announced that they are building the largest refinery in the world. Where does that money come from? PROFITS. Bush announced that he wants the excess profits to be put back into increased production capacity and development. If, and when, they are allowed to develop new fields, offshore or on land in the US, they will be.

Couple of other points you make in different comments:

Ethanol produced from US grown crops is something everyone can get behind. Why hasn't the Republican leadership led us in that direction as an option towards energy self-sufficency?
Yes I can get behind ethanol production, and I believe scale and new methods will increase efficiency of production. But it's not going to fix current prices. That's what seems to be driving the arguments now. Everything I've read recently says that by current methods it takes at least 90,000BTUs of fossil fuels to generate one gallon of ethanol. The output of a gallon of ethanol is 77,000BTUs. How does creating a gallon of product that generates less energy fix our current problems?
Doesn't nuclear makes more sense than coal, given the Bush administration's ignorant stance on global warming?
I'm not going to address the global warming issue, that's a whole 'nuther post. I just want to ask, do you really believe that the Bush administration is the culprit in not building more nuclear facilities? He's already proposed that. But if -if- the process begins to permit a new facility in the US, do you really believe that the Democrats will be supportive, with their allegiance to the radical environmental crowd? Do you really think that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Ted the swimmer, et al., will be hailing it as a great solution to our problems? If so, why were these facilities not begun under the Clinton Administration. It takes about 10 years to get one on line. Just like it takes about 5-10 years to get a refinery going, and it would take 10 years to get the oil flowing from ANWR. Methinks, instead, we would be hearing about Three Mile Island, Cherynobl, and the fact that a waste nuclear transport cask might not withstand the blast of a nuclear tipped missle after being involved in a crash between the train and a gasoline tanker after after a 9.0 earthquake after being hit by a fully loaded and fueled 747 after... Incedentally, ANWR was defeated by Democrat obstruction in 1995. By my calendar, that was 11 years ago.

All these discussions on alternatives are good, but they do nothing -nothing- to solve the current mess we are in, now. All they promote is the line, Bush-bad, Liberal-good. All talk, no do.

Hmmm.Reco... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Record profits = windfall. Whether the windfall should be taxed can be debated, but it is a windfall.

Frankly the level of ignorance shown by Lee is amazing.

Here's a clue for you. The reason why they're being called "windfall" is because the energy companies have usually sucked ass when it comes to ROI. Blue chip, yes. Great investments? No.

And a 6%-10% profit margin is utter crap. And there's fucking Lee out there wanting to take it away.

Tell us all Lee, just why anybody would bother investing money into energy companies if they don't actually make a fucking profit? With WHAT would these energy companies invest in oil fucking shale? Where would they get the fucking money?

You're out here screaming about alternative energy and yet the very companies that you demand to accomplish this are being emasculated by ... you. Don't you frigging understand that it takes money to make shit happen? So you take their fucking profits away. Now fucking what? How on earth are they supposed to fucking pay for all this shit you want?

How about it Lee? And don't talk out of your ass this time, actually pull yourself together and write something worthwhile that actually includes logic.

And while you're at it why don't you explain why anybody would want to fucking invest in energy supply when the threat of having their extremely risky investments taxed into oblivion if they dare to actually fucking work.

Dumbass.

Hmmmm.And for all ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

And for all you liberals out there that just fucking discovered nuclear power I've got one fucking to say about it:

Yucca Mountain

What a frigging pain in the ass this whole subject is. Liberals demanding results with the one hand and then blocking any efforts at actually accomplishing them with the other.

I'm going to make some homemade pasta, decaf orange blossom tea and ignore this discussion because it's really pissing me off.

Judging by the comments her... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

Judging by the comments here, I think we won't solve the energy problem any time soon.

I think we all CAN agree, however, on the fact that people can always come up with a reason not to do something while blaming the other side for the fact that the problem isn't getting solved.

Hmmmm.Wha... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

What nuclear power fans never acknowledge is that, while nuclear done right is "clean & safe," the nuclear plant itself, wherever you build it, will only last about 25-30 years before the thing has to be decommissioned.

No shit asshole.

But what exactly is left to decommission? The fucking CONCRETE and rebar of the containment and control buildings.

So who gives a rat's ass if a nuclear power plant needs to be decommissioned in 40 years? That's 40 fucking years of producing megawatts of power dumbass. And the decommissioning process isn't exactly an impossible job either.

Here's yet another fucking liberal screaming about getting shit done and yet standing in the fucking way.

astigafa said:W... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

astigafa said:

What nuclear power fans never acknowledge is that, while nuclear done right is "clean & safe," the nuclear plant itself, wherever you build it, will only last about 25-30 years before the thing has to be decommissioned.
Put your tight little brains around that, ya dinks: it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, last about as long as yer average septic leech field, then it will have to be decommissioned -- and that ain't cheap. Go talk to the people of Wiscasset, Maine. Suddenly there's a big hole in their municipal budget.
I did a little research on the Oconee Nuclear Station [SC], operated by Duke Energy. I was familiar with it because we visited the visitor's center my freshman year in high school, the year it opened [1973]. It was the second nuclear station in the US to be licensed for an aditional 20 years of operation by the NRC, all facilities are licensed initally for 40 years. That puts the current licensing to 2033. Costs are high for decomissioning, but Duke contributes every year to a decomissioning trust fund. I believe they have 8 reactors total. The last figures I could find were for 2003, in which they contributed $259M, and $262M in 2004. I think I saw the total reserve in 2003 was $1.9B. They're planning ahead for the day of the units are to be shut down. Sounds like the town of Wiscasset, Maine that you site didn't. Most governments don't, they spend like drunken sailors. Got a dollar today, spend it and more, with no thought for tomorrow when you know that the gravy train is going to stop coming by.

the man who makes waves sai... (Below threshold)
Lee:

the man who makes waves said:
"How does creating a gallon of product that generates less energy fix our current problems?"

I'm not buying into your argument that it is a net loss to produce ethanol, but it is clear that it is way past due the time we focus on more than short-term solutions. Fixing our current problems isn't the answer.

and then the man who makes waves said:
"I just want to ask, do you really believe that the Bush administration is the culprit in not building more nuclear facilities?"

I believe that during a time when one political party controls both the White House and Congress that this political party bears the principal blame for the lack of progress in this area, yes.

BTW, that's 8 reactors tota... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

BTW, that's 8 reactors total in 3 different locations. Oconee has 3, and #3 is currently licensed through 2034.

Lee said: I'm n... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

Lee said:

I'm not buying into your argument that it is a net loss to produce ethanol, but it is clear that it is way past due the time we focus on more than short-term solutions. Fixing our current problems isn't the answer.
Just do a little research. Google is a wonderful thing. You can chose to stick your head in the sand, but I haven't been able to find any source that says that it takes less BTUs to produce ethanol than ethanol generates. Maybe they are there, but I haven't found it. Ask yourself this. If ethanol takes more BTUs to produce than it generates, then why do they produce ethanol with fossil fuels, rather than using ethanol? Seems like that it would make more sense if ethanol could generate ethanol.
I believe that during a time when one political party controls both the White House and Congress that this political party bears the principal blame for the lack of progress in this area, yes.
Since 1949, there have been 3 years total that your statement is true. Only 2003-2006 has the Republican party controlled the White House and both the house and the Senate. Yea, the senate was 50-50 in 2001, but when Jeffords bolted on 6/5/2001, the Dems took control of the Senate. Before that, there have been times that Republicans controlled the Senate, or the House, or both, but never all 3. So, in 3 years, it's all the Republicans fault for all the problems developed over the last 30 years.

Sounds like you subscribe to the Adam Savage credo of Mythbusters fame, I refuse to accept your reality and substitute my own.

Deja Vu: I had this exact s... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Deja Vu: I had this exact same discusion with my liberal friend the on Friday. And I brought up the same points Jay did, the only two Jay left unsaid were BANANA and NIMBY. I also brought up Ethanol and Brazil and the one thing we agreed on was it was far more efficient to produce ethanol from SUGAR CANE than corn by any measure, but of course, the ag lobby has that argument sewn up for corn via tariffs against cane imports and subsidies to farmers to NOT produce corn. My one point is, it is far easier to lobby AGAINST (a solution) than it is to lobby FOR (a solution) Those AGAINST can raise all sorts of spectres of disasters (negatives - easier to envision), than possible benefits (postives - harder to imagine). The environmental lobby has so cowed congress that paralysis is the effect. The BANANA crowd has won.

Ethanol bad for cars? Only those OLD cars (like my 34 yr old jeep). Ethanol and old cars do not mix. It dissolves old rubber and gaskets. I found that out. Newer vehicles were designed with alchohol based fuels in mind.

wave_guy -- 2003-2006</i... (Below threshold)
Lee:

wave_guy -- 2003-2006??? How much more relevancy and reality do you need?

Thanks for proving my point, dude.

From Lee:Thanks... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

From Lee:

Thanks for proving my point, dude.
I believe that the Republicans need to grow some gonards and stand up to the obstructionst Democrats and stop worrying what the antique media has to say. But to say that they could have solved all the problems, 30 years + in the making, in 2 1/2 years with the loyal [yea, right] opposition thwarting their moves at every turn, and with the media and their blasting drums of BS, that's lunacy. The Dems had 40 years to screw everyting up and develop a cycle of dependency, and everything was to be fixed in 2003-2006?

Thanks for proving my point, dude. Now go stick your head back in the sand before it explodes.

Your party took us to war a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Your party took us to war and created the instability in the middle east which is now exacerbating the problem of our dependence on foreign oil. The fact that the Republicans in power were (and still are) too short-sighted and myopic to have worked towards independence has been clearly demonstrated by the lack of progress during the last three years -- three years during which there was clear opportunity for Republicans to lead our country in this area.

And I'm sorry if me kicking sand in your face has gotten you upset Gilligan, but I guess that does prove your point that Republicans do need to grow some Gonads. Grow up, punk. If you can't stand the heat, go mop the bathroom.

Lee said:And I'... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

Lee said:

And I'm sorry if me kicking sand in your face has gotten you upset Gilligan, but I guess that does prove your point that Republicans do need to grow some Gonads. Grow up, punk. If you can't stand the heat, go mop the bathroom.
Look, dumbass, except for the 'head in the sand' comment, I've tried to keep the comments civil. But arguing with dipshits like you is a lost cause. You win, but only because I do have to clean house, including mop the bathroom. I prefer not to live in a pig sty. I'd love to engage you further, but I don't have time. I've got more important stuff to do than argue with you with your anti-war, anti-progress, hate Bush agenda. You only have the same old tired, worn arguments that you vomit out over and over. No solutions, just hate.

By the way, it's gonards. Gonads are the male reproductive organs. Just having them is no higher than any other mammal. Gonards are intestinal fortitude, backbone, balls. Something that I wish the Republican leadership would grow so they could shut the likes of you up. Oh well, you will never shut up, I'm afraid.

I'll try to be more civil next time, if you will. Name calling and dodging seems to be the thing the left does well. I'd rather discuss things in a calm manner. Name calling doesn't accomplish anything.

The first enormous rise in... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The first enormous rise in the price of oil, occurred in 1973 after the Arab oil embargo following the US support of Isarel in that war of that year..then the second major oil crisis and rise occurred after after the fall of the Shah and Iranian revolution of 79...the third after the first gulf war of 90 and fourth following the second gulf war 2003 and now the fifth after Bush threatened to nuke Iran following the standoff there. Actions have consequences..This is the connection the average American is making at the pump as he pays 3 dollars a gallon.

<a href="http://www.webster... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Gonards - riiight, got it - thanks for correcting me.

You Republican whiners have had every opportunity to make change happen in this country and have failed. Who would have guessed that electing an oil businessman to the office of President would have resulted in such an abysmal failure in our domestic energy policy and ability to deal with an oil crisis (Lee said, raising his hand).

However this is just one more failure to add to the list, along with securing our borders, fielding a cogent emergency management team during a time of war (bipartisan fix), overhauling Social Security, let's not talk about the Medicare fiasco, and now the states are suing the EPA over global warming -- as the ice melts and the oceans rise.

You clowns have had every opportunity to make things better and you've failed, and you have the fricking nerve to point the finger at others?

I stand by my previous use of the term Gonads, it fits here.

Apology not accepted by the way - see you later. Better yet, see you at the polls.

Alright Lee, make all the a... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

Alright Lee, make all the accusations you want, spout all the bilge that you can think of. Your last paragraph shows what kind of man you really are. At least your compadre mak44 can be civil at times. You obviously will always be a boor.

And I've heard those comments about the polls before. You may be right, but I suspect, when the rubber meets the road, after the campaigns, after the Democrats prove to America once again that they are just the opposition party without any new ideas, just the same old shopworn crap, that they will find themselves asking "what happened" again, and throwing around all kinds of accusations about stolen elections and such tripe.

And where do you come off accusing me of being a Republican? I never told you I was. That's just your assumption. Judging my the comments that I've read from you, you make a hell of a lot of them my friend.

We'll talk again, when I want to hear you. Otherwise, you will be just another troll spouting the same tripe that you always do, proving that you don't know your butt from a hole in the ground.

It's nice to see that Lee h... (Below threshold)
JD:

It's nice to see that Lee has received the proper troll indoctrination at DKos - his recitation of talking points is spot-on.

It is regrettable that he feels the need to grace us with multiple recitations of such pap, but such is the emotional and political education of the average Kossack.

However, it is instructive that he has yet to provide a positive answer to the problems, settling instead to, in his words, "point the finger at others."

For the current crisis, however, there is one clear way to help the pocketbook and the pump prices, and has barely been referred to above, and that is conservation.

I have been conducting an experiment of late on the road - I have been driving the speed limit using the cruise control on, instead of the typical 75-80 I used to do. Not surprisingly, my fuel economy (98 Taurus) went from 21 MPG to 26 MPG overall. Protracted out a 13-gallon tank, that is one extra round trip from my home to my office bought for that same amount of gasoline. Simply put, greater efficiency of driving will help the pocketbook more than you realize.

I would even favor a return to the 55 MPH speed limit for all urban and suburban freeways - with vigorous enforcement. There is no need for folks to be going 80 and 90 MPH on the in-city interstates.

This would stand as a solution that actual, thinking people could get behind, and might even save us from the Kossian trollery that Lee has been treating us to of late. What say you, Crickmore?

Obviously you guys hvaen't ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Obviously you guys hvaen't read the post on which your commenting -- but then that's not a suprise, since most of the posters at this site don't read the articles to which they link. It's all just one big burp-fest for the morally-challenged.

Burp-fest = You vent, and feel good afterwards, but the odor is awful for the rest of us. Lol!

Thanks for the definition o... (Below threshold)
JD:

Thanks for the definition of "burp-fest" there, Lee. It sure was a screamer. Pure poetry, man. Perhaps you should send it to Stephen Colbert. Who knows, he may even even use the "Lol!" with it as well.

Now, then...have you any solutions or suggestions to the problems JayTea posed or the other commenters have referred to, or are you going to keep on playing the howler monkey and continue tossing shit and making unpleasant noises?

Did someone say something a... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

Did someone say something about reading the original post? Oh well, maybe not.

Jay Tea hits the nail on the head with the post. Obstruction got us into this mess, and the obstructinists will do nothing in the future to get us out of it. Just create more dependency.

JD said quite well:

I would even favor a return to the 55 MPH speed limit for all urban and suburban freeways - with vigorous enforcement. There is no need for folks to be going 80 and 90 MPH on the in-city interstates.

Enforcement is the key. 55 is already the max in urban areas. Atlanta has a 61 mile loop, I-285, which locals refer to as 'The Perimeter'. It's at least 6 lanes wide, 12 in some places. The limit is 55, less in work zones. But ask 100 people that travel it every day, and 90 or more of them will tell you either 65 or 70, even with signs at least every mile.

A couple of years ago, DeKalb Police ran a saturation style enforcement on a section of the top end, starting around 9pm on Christmas Eve. They targeted people only exceeding 80, and wrote over 100 tickets in the first 2 hours. They took over 30 people to jail that were exceeding 95 during those same 2 hours.

I drove the top end for about a year. You take your life in your hands if you drive less than 70, no matter what lane you are in.

I don't agree with Lee, but... (Below threshold)
BenJCarter:

I don't agree with Lee, but he was simply opining on what he doesn't like about the current Republican controlled government. Like we don't each have our own pet gripes...

There were several good comments, then the attacks became personal. It didn't take long for the comments to aquire the venom of the DU or Kos.

Good arguments lose impact when the author stoops to insults. Perhaps people who don't share your opinions aren't stupid. Perhaps they would even agree with you, but they don't have all the facts.

Calling someone a "Dumbass" because they don't see things your way is a poor vehicle for delivering facts to a skeptical audience. It ends civil debate and may likely chase off any first time Wizbang readers that aren't already on-board. If someone wants to have a debate, debate. Insults aren't debate, they are crass and boorish.

When I read a blog and the comments are full of venom and spew toward counter argument, it makes me wonder what kind of people frequent the place. Insulting comments from the home team lessen the impact of posts they are attached to.

Lee was dead wrong IMHO, but calling him names only makes us look worse...

I agree, Ben. I try not to ... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

I agree, Ben. I try not to stoop to that level. Sometimes you say something, then wish you hadn't. It's real hard to resist doing when you read the same tripe and get the same nasty tone over and over and over and over again. Just go back through the archives and read most of the comments from the person mentioned who shall remain nameless. The tone is constantly arrogant, filled with name calling and baiting. He trives on it. And when we get caught up in it, including me, he wins. Thus he is now the person who shall remain nameless. Don't feel like getting in to it again. There are others on here who try to bait but they can be brought into the conversation in a rational tone. He can't. Read my later comments and you can see how I try to normally conduct myself.

Off to bed. Thanks.

Before I get prone, I'll co... (Below threshold)
wave_man:

Before I get prone, I'll come back and say that I don't want he who shall remain nameless banned. We need to be reminded of the attitude of many of those that are likeminded, with their DU/Kos mindset, and what we are up against. It's a great teaching tool. And it's a great test of our own character how we respond. Hopefully we can all pass the test, most of the time anyway.

It is curious that most of ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It is curious that most of the comments, both conservative and liberal, on how to get us out of this crisis, seem to reflect what the most maligned man ... Carter, on this blog urged 27 years ago ... In a way we all owe Dubya the courtesy of helping bring us to these high oil prices, a couple of years earlier than peak oil would have, and a giving us a glimpse of what the future looks like ..before we suffer the soft or probable hard landing because of global warming and the accumulation of carbon emissions. ..I am still pessimistic, since Carter had so little long term effect on our" addiction to oil" and Bush has never been a quick study, and I don't think his heart or the the oil interests which surround him and Cheney, are interested in change..

Hmmm.1. <a href="h... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1. Business Week on Ethanol

Don't like the article, yell at the author.

Carter, on this blog urged 27 years ago

What? That he "feels our pain"?

BUSH brought us to this?</p... (Below threshold)

BUSH brought us to this?

The rampaging thirst of China and India for oil doesn't factor into it? The NIMBY crowd making it darn near impossible to drill off the coasts of the US or in ANWR didn't contribute to this? The BANANA environmentalists who have fought tooth and nail to keep new refineries from being built and anything REALLY energy dense (like nuclear) from being pursued have no part in the responsibility?

Crap, crap, crappity crap - I REALLY wish some of you folks would get off the "Bush is responsible for everything" kick. It's getting old, and a cursory inspection of actual market conditions and demand show that it's a crock of shit in the first place. If Gore or Kerry were in the White House, there would STILL be the same demands on the world supply of oil, and there would STILL be a shortage of supply to meet those demands.

It's taken 30-40 years to get to this point. It's going to take a while to get away from it. Bashing Bush for causing this problem might feel really good - but he wasn't the cause.

astigaga, you are superbly ... (Below threshold)
John:

astigaga, you are superbly ignorant of nuclear power plant economics and maintenance and operation and decommissioning:

you wrote: "What nuclear power fans never acknowledge is that, while nuclear done right is "clean & safe," the nuclear plant itself, wherever you build it, will only last about 25-30 years before the thing has to be decommissioned. "

1. Every plant built in the US and Japan (not in Britain or France, where they are state-owned - socialism, hah) has a decommissioning fund it pays into every year. The fund passes from owner to owner. They are ready to pay to tear themselves down, so long as they run their planned life.

2. nuc plants last 40-60 years, not 25-30. Same as well-run coal plants.

"Go talk to the people of Wiscasset, Maine. Suddenly there's a big hole in their municipal budget. "

3. That's because while operating, plants are taxed on their revenues and nearby towns/counties tend to become addicted to that huge revenue. Thus, Wiscasset shot themselves in the foot by shutting down Maine Yankee with no back-up source of money. The town is not paying for the decommissioning, the utility is. The hole in the budget is as big as the holes in their heads.

"And you can't use the site once the decommissioning is done, deary, not for a long time."
4. This is a lie. The site where a Navy training reactor ran in Windsor CT for ~33 years (about 1960-93) is now greenfield. The sites of former plants at Humboldt Bay OR and Zion in IL and others are all either greenfield or brownfield, ready for redevelopment or to lay fallow. Just like Maine Yankee will be soon. I'd rather live there than near a chemical plant or in a big city like NYC or Boston.

"And that's the truth, and you would know it -- if you weren't actually engaged in convincing yourselves that the truth can only originate from one political compass point."
5. No, it is not the truth.

Nuclear is expensive, but in the U.S., no one has died due to civilian nuclear plants or spent fuel. Ever.
There were several poisoned uranium miners early in the industry, but that got resolved by giving them dosimetry and respiratory protection (radon, not uranium was the issue).

Re the economimcs of Ethano... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Re the economimcs of Ethanol - things have changed as gasoline hits $3.25 and is still rising. Last time I checked the price of corn wasn't rising as fast as the price of imported oil.

If you think the price of oil is going to drop - I'm not wit'cha on that. I think we will never see gasoline at less than $3 a gallon in this country ever again.

Since the arguments against ethanol seem to often fall on the side of "it's not cost-efficient" the current and future price of gasoline may have a significant impact on that equation.

in a 1965 franco-italian mo... (Below threshold)
dries:

in a 1965 franco-italian move "viva maria", some local bandit leader got his electricity from several mexicans running inside a giant hamster wheel dynamo. whenever his light bulbs dimmed, guy'd spray those campesinos with bullets from his prized maxim machine gun, so they'd run faster.

i guess mexicans are the future as a very renewable source of energy - no drilling & disturbing lemmings, no windmills & knocking geese out of a sky, no damming rivers & damning salmon to extinction. supply of mexicans is endless & i just hope we have enough hamster mills for them to run in.

Simply put we need a sensib... (Below threshold)
HeadCase:

Simply put we need a sensible energy policy that will encompass all of the energy options you discussed (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear). Of course not all of these options are availalbe in every area and that is why we need to explore them all. If incorporating solar power in every home and business in the sunshine states and wind energy in states along the oceans and prairiers will help reduce our dependence on our fast depleating oil then lets go for it! We just can't keep pushing this issue to the side. We need solutions before it is too late.

Until then, though... an... (Below threshold)

Until then, though... anyone know where gas is cheapest around Manchester, New Hampshire?

Here you go Jay!

Bookmark that link.

Lee, "Re the economimcs of ... (Below threshold)
Wendover:

Lee, "Re the economimcs of Ethanol - things have changed as gasoline hits $3.25 and is still rising. Last time I checked the price of corn wasn't rising as fast as the price of imported oil." The problem isn't the price of corn, it's the price of energy and other petroleum based elements in the growing of the corn and its conversion into ethanol. As the price of energy rises, the cost of ethanol creaion will rise very rapidly.




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