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Time To Tap The Strategic Unicorn-Fart Reserves

Yeah, I've been out of touch for a little while. First, my extremely nasty bug wiped me out. Then, when I started coming back, I found my energies channeled into other areas of writing -- which I have been/shall be posting on other fora. And no, I won't be posting links to them -- they are utterly un-Wizbangish and I would actually deny a couple of them.

Today's Boston Globe has a fascinating column from reliable moonbat Derrick Z. Jackson. What's fascinating about it is that Jackson correctly identifies a major problem confronting the US, and correctly diagnoses the primary cause. But then his inner moonbat kicked in, and he prescribed precisely the worst possible solution.

Yes, Mr. Jackson, the price of energy in general and gasoline in particular is skyrocketing, and yes, a large portion of the blame is our dependence on foreign oil, and yes, the turmoil sweeping the Middle East is exacerbating the situation terribly. But your proposed answers? Good lord. "High-speed rail" and "commuter rail tunnels" will do very little to reduce our energy dependence. And jacking up fuel efficiency standards on cars to as high as 62MPG? Insane.

Liberals are obsessed with high-mileage hybrid and electric cars as the panacea for energy consumption. But what they don't seem to grasp is that these cars don't generally consume less energy -- they just shift the energy source away from the gas tank. The plug-in cars simply draw their energy from our electric grid -- and that energy has to come from some place.

We have a multitude of types of power plants that feed into our grid. Natural gas, oil, coal, wood, nuclear, hydroelectric, even some solar and wind are all tapped for electric generation. Currently, our grid is pretty much near its maximum capacity.

And there are few new plants coming online any time soon -- thanks in part to the Obama administration and their supporters.

Nuclear? Forget it. The environmentalists have convulsions and go into frothing fits at the mere mention.

Coal? We got tons and tons and tons of the stuff, and the technology to burn it more cleanly has gotten better and better. However, Obama vowed while campaigning that his administration would "bankrupt" anyone who tried to build a new coal plant.

Wood? Even nastier than coal, and it KILLS TREES!!!!!

Oil? Dependence on oil is what got us into this mess anyway.

Natural gas? It's usually found with oil, and drilling for it is usually treated like oil for development. Plus, it's far, far more explosive and dangerous to refine, store, and transport.

Hydroelectric? Cue the environmentalists who have hysterics over disrupting the natural flow of rivers.

Solar and wind? Way to unreliable and low-capacity.

The "long-term" solutions to the energy crisis, generally, have a common element: they actually cost us in the short term. They need more research and development (meaning: money, time, and resources) until they become even close to as efficient and productive as the established forms of energy. One doesn't treat a famine-stricken region by telling them that you're going to build them a new Whole Foods store in a year or two -- you'd help them a hell of a lot more if tossed up a McDonald's and gave out gift cards. (OK, it's not a great metaphor, but you get the point.) Yes, the Whole Foods stuff is a lot healthier for them, but it's more expensive and a long time coming. Waiting for the Whole Foods will kill a lot more starving people than the health risks associated with Big Macs.

We have several major problems right now -- a major economic slump, and skyrocketing energy prices. And we have one very simple short-term solution that would address both quite nicely. We could "toss up a McDonald's" by simply unleashing government restraints on increased domestic energy development -- permitting more oil development offshore and in places like Alaska; authorizing new power plants to be built; and loosening the regulations that constrain such things, like those Obama boasted he would use to punish any company that dared to even consider building a coal-fueled power plant.

All it would take would be for the rabid ideologues to look past their ideology and see the benefits of reducing the costs of energy -- and only the costs artificially created by government intervention. It would work wonders on our immediate needs.

That's all it would take, and that's the one thing that the Obama administration simply can't bring itself to do.

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Comments (31)

No, Barry cant bring himsel... (Below threshold)
914:

No, Barry cant bring himself to do that. However, that will not stop Barry from using that dirty oil to fly on vacations all over the globe.

Do as Barry says, not as Barry does.

Well Barry is getting his w... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well Barry is getting his wish. $3.80/gallon at the local station this morning.

It will do wonders for the economy.

Hey! Let's turn food stocks into fuel!

Will the second recession be named after Barry?

Sorry JT. I just have to t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Sorry JT. I just have to think that the majority of the Globe's circulation has to be conservatives looking for the epic moonbattery. The public hardly reads it. You ride the MBTA and as many people read the Boston Phoenix (a communist rag) as read the globe.

I would love to slap Barry ... (Below threshold)
914:

I would love to slap Barry with reality upside his dumb box. The greedy s.o.b.

As an aside, at least I have plenty of trees to burn and bark to eat.

High-speed rail - is there ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

High-speed rail - is there anything it can't do?

Seriously, when and why did the Reds and their fellow travelers become fixated on high-speed rail? It seems almost as if one night the hard-left cadre got together, decided on this as a panacea, and the next morning rolled out a PR campaign on an unsuspecting populace.

(Btw, this is exactly what leftists used to do at Berkeley back in the day, i.e., meet one night, decide on the Party line, and then have all of them screech in unison the next morning and thereafter, much the way JournoList functioned. So while the above suggestion is semi-jocular, it's entirely possible that that's exactly what happened.)

The Left-wing view of the w... (Below threshold)

The Left-wing view of the world is based on lies and Utopianism.

"Get out of my way, Luddite. Can't you see I'm building a Utopia here?"

Lower most speed limits and... (Below threshold)
hyperboist:

Lower most speed limits and offer tax incentives for purchasing weekly/monthly transit passes. Energy consumption: reduced.

Thanks for doing Your part ... (Below threshold)
914:

Thanks for doing Your part and reducing brain wave energy use Hyper

If paint chips were a usefu... (Below threshold)
hyperboist:

If paint chips were a useful fuel source, 914, your sole dietary expenditure would probably quintuple in value. You would starve.

So I'm right about what I said at #7, but "freedom" will trump good policy as per usual in wingnutville.

Hyper is right!It ... (Below threshold)
SER:

Hyper is right!

It is time to go back to the 1970's again with 55 mph speed limits. After all, Jimmy Carter is back in office! (I hope he not worse than the original Carter). Everyone knows how well we did economically in the 1970's right? Anyone want to Disco?

The left fell in love with ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The left fell in love with high speed rail when the French built the TGV. It was a great multi-billion dollar government project and while it is incredibly expensive to maintain and undoubtedly loses money, it actually works.

The left loves it because the French have a strong tradition of socialism coupled with snobbish elitism so they sense that being like the French will make them superior and elite.

Fools.

Until we can build and main... (Below threshold)
epador:

Until we can build and maintain a regular rail system again in this country that can service people safely and reliably while turning a profit, there is absolutely no reason to consider a high speed version subsidized by Federal Money!

Typical hyper -- to answer ... (Below threshold)

Typical hyper -- to answer a call for less government interference by pushing for more government control.

J.

Hyper,Actually, lo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper,

Actually, lowering speed limits is not the answer. In most areas the speed limit is below the optimum speed for fuel economy. What we should do is make the limit two fold: both a lower and an upper limit.

Speed should be a mandatory 55 miles per hour on all road ways including side streets where most travel is done. If I travel on the highway at 80 MPH I get far better mileage than I do at 25MPH around town. I also do 99% of my driving around town. Raising speed limits would raise average fuel economy for the vast majority of motorists.

Garad alludes to it, but it... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Garad alludes to it, but it is amazing that Jay went through his enire list without mentioning that biofuels are raising staple food prices.

Granted, talk about unintended, and unforseen consquences! I mean, who upon planet earth would ever posssibly fathom that if you dramatically raise the amount of grain being used for fuel, that the remaining percentage of grain would see prices for it rise on the market! My God, what mystical, unfathomable, and demonic forces could be at work here??

Ponder, if you will, that our moral betters who have driven this thinking forward, are essentially advocating taking food from the mouths of overseas poor and putting it into our gas tanks. Watch for when that fact starts to take public root. From the ususal suspects, it will immediately be "yet another example of greedy selfish Americans starving the world" without even the tiniest hint of shame or re-consideration for their own role in bringing that genuine starvation about.

Nothing new, I suppose. Such people have been starving the people they claim to speak for for decades now. Our universities et al have yet to know or care.

Yes, the left would rather ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes, the left would rather spend billions on turning corn into fuel to burn in our gas tank at the expense of brown skinned people on the other side of the world starving to death. After all, the eco left believes that there are too many people on earth to begin with so what better outcome that they should reduce the surplus population while satisfying their own greed.

Andrew, I've touched on the... (Below threshold)

Andrew, I've touched on the insanity of "biofuels" before, and probably should have mentioned them here, but I was mainly thinking about "dependency on foreign oil" and didn't put that in here. Hell, I could have gotten at least a couple more paragraphs of rants out of just that.

J.

I remember when the dimocra... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

I remember when the dimocrats were slamming Bush for buying oil in the 20-30-40's to refill the reserve. What a commodity fund trader Bush would have been. The dimocrats can't wait to empty it now that it is full. mpw

Jay - Not knocking you, my ... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Jay - Not knocking you, my good man, just noting how a list as extensive as yours STILL didn't cover the entirety of the appalling level of the left's relentless war on energy.

I do wonder if we approach a tipping point. Global Warming? Falling apart. Keynesian economics? A catastrophe. The Left's war on energy? Wait til gas hits that $5 mark. Obama the Messiah? It is to laugh.

We all keep waiting for that scale to truly tip, and these leftist fantasies do seem to have an astonishing staying power, but c'mon...

There has GOT to be a point, and it can't be far away. Too many chickenzzzz..... seem to be on their way home.

Andrew, I took your comment... (Below threshold)

Andrew, I took your comment as "constructive criticism" -- and I always try to take such in the spirit it is intended. Or, at least, should be.

Your point would have fit nicely into my piece. I can rationalize why I didn't use it, but the bluntly honest truth is I'm still not fully back up to speed.

I like to think I'm getting there, though, and even sick (pardon me while I go hack up another hunk of lung), I can still smack around dips like hyper...

J.

If this keeps up, bring on ... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

If this keeps up, bring on President Palin!Drill,Baby,Drill. This is the solution to all our problems. Cheap energy creates jobs,raises tax revenue, brings down the price of food and on and on. I just don;t understand the administration. They are even losing the revenue they get from oil drilling and selling leases.

Giving heavy-handed incenti... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Giving heavy-handed incentives for people to use less will drive down prices. If prices are what you care about then the policy options are pretty obvious.

But, again, "freedom" and such. Because less rules and regulations will always, without fail, produce more optimal results.

If writing good policy was really as easy as you seem to think it is, Jay Tea, schools of governance, policy and economics would be able to replace all course syllabi with Ayn Rand's shitty books.

hyper, it boils down to who... (Below threshold)

hyper, it boils down to who you trust more.

I trust the people more than I trust the government, so I advocate removing restrictions and "heavy-handed incentives" and letting them do as they see fit.

You trust the government and don't trust individuals, so you advocate limiting and outright removing people's rights to choose to act as they see fit. To you, people need Big Brother/Big Nanny to take care of them, to make their choices for them, to keep them from making "mistakes."

That about sum it up?

J.

Completely off topic - Leba... (Below threshold)
Darby:

Completely off topic - Lebanese bugs are evil...

You trust the people more? ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

You trust the people more? Which people, specifically? The ones who think your President was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim?

A lot of people are really fucking stupid. And just because your government is rife with retards, doesn't make government inherently awful. In countries where public servants are respected, intelligent people aspire to work in the public sector. You continuing to stigmatize civil service perpetuates the shittiness of your public sector.

Your contempt for average f... (Below threshold)

Your contempt for average folks is duly noted, hyper. Hell, it's legendary, but thanks for affirming it.

One has to wonder how you distinguish the elites who are fit to rule, and the proles who obviously aren't capable of deciding their own fates. I suspect that how much they agree with your worldview is the primary criterion.

Pity you live in a culture where your strain of elitism has been largely surpassed by democracy, and "benevolent dictatorships" like you espouse are largely supplanted with democratic republics.

J.

Sing it with me now....<br ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sing it with me now....
Blame Canada, blame Canada

What the fuck are you on ab... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

What the fuck are you on about? I'm talking about public servants, not politicians. Having elites aspire to work in the public sector is a good thing for society.

What the fuck are you on ab... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

What the fuck are you on about? I'm talking about public servants, not politicians. Having elites aspire to work in the public sector is a good thing for society.

11:52 is a little early for... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

11:52 is a little early for drinking on a work day, no?

Hyper"A lot of peo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

"A lot of people are really fucking stupid."

And hyper should know Jay Tea since he is the leader of that crowd.




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