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Archive for the 'Clean Energy' Category

OBAMA’S STIMULUS PACKAGE REWARDS LONG SUFFERING GREENS

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Eco -Chic, Global Warming, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Living, Will Wonders Never Cease Department on February 16th, 2009

PACKAGE CONTAINS OVER 60 BILLION IN DIRECT SPENDING ON GREEN INITIATIVES AND ANOTHER 20 BILLION EARMARKED FOR GREEN TAX INCENTIVES

The final stimulus package which President Obama is expected to sign into law today, President’s Day, contains many victories for environmentalists with over $6o billion in direct spending on green initiatives and another $20 billion earmarked for green tax incentives.

While this package is by no means a cure-all, it is a vital he first step into a new green age and is necessary to combat the ever-worsening effects of Global Warming.

That being said, here in no particular order is the breakdown:

$11 billion for the construction of an advanced Digital Smart Grid and $7.5 billion for renewable energy and transmission-line construction, which will enable the renewable energy to be moved from the rural areas that best lend themselves to wind, solar and thermal installations, to the cities where the power is needed;

$2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable-energy research;

$6.3 billion for local government energy-efficiency grants;

$400 million for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy for the development of alternative energy sources;

$500 million for green jobs programs through the Workforce Investment Act;

$5 billion to weatherize old buildings;

$4.5 billion to boost the energy efficiency of federal buildings;

$2.25 billion for the HOME Investment Partners Program to fund energy-efficiency retrofits for low-income housing;

$5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program to fund the retrofits of 1 million modest-income homes, saving the families living there an average $350 a year;

$6.3 billion to improve federally backed and public housing projects with new insulation, windows and furnaces. For every dollar spent, such programs are expected to produce about $3 in electricity savings. The legislation also provides tax breaks for higher-income households making similar improvements;

$1.2 billion to fund the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental cleanup programs, including the long neglected Superfund;

$510 million for energy-efficiency retrofits for Native American housing programs;

$420 million for energy-efficiency improvements at the Department of Defense;

$300 million for Department of Defense research on energy efficiency at military installations;

$6 billion for cleaning up toxins on former military sites;

$6 billion for new loan guarantees for wind and solar;

The package also extends tax credits for wind-energy production for three years where previously they had to be renewed year to year. But more importantly, the legislation allows renewable-energy developers to get cash grants in exchange for the tax credits, which is crucial in light of the current economic downturn and the fact that many companies engaged in renewable-energy haven’t had the profits against which to take a tax credit;

Over $17 billion for public transportation;

$8.4 billion for transit capital assistance programs;

$9.3 billion for high-speed rail, intercity rail and Amtrak;

$27.5 billion for highways though some of that highway money could be redirected to fund public transit, if states and municipalities decide it should;

$300 million in grants and loans for technologies that reduce highly toxic diesel emissions;

$6 billion for improvements to drinking-water systems;

A tax credit of up to $7,500 for families that buy plug-in hybrids;

The new bill also allocates $300 million for a federal fleet of hybrid vehicles.

But perhaps the best of all is what was left out of the final draft of the stimulus package: the $50 billion in federal loan guarantees to the nuclear industry, as well as all money for coal and for the farce that is clean coal.

Denis

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A BRIGHT SPOT IN A NASTY DARK CLOUD

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Sustainable Living on January 11th, 2009

FEDERAL BAILOUT PROGRAM CONTAINS BENEFITS FOR GREENS

Editors Note! I realize I am a little bit late getting around to the following posting, but for the last month or so – - basically since the Presidential Election – - I just haven’t have the urge to come to this place and spew down logic, sanity, or in some instances. vitriol for public consumption, no matter how loyal that public is. Blogger burnout, I hear the malady is known as! And to be honest my friends, it has been a long time in coming – seven long years here and over ten at the Recoveringliberal.com. Millions of words, most of which I’m proud of, though I do wish that I had spent more time on occasion getting the grammar and sentence construction better. But no matter, what’s passed is passed. I am now back and as critical and caffeine deprived as ever.

So here goes…

In the time I have been regrouping, much has happened. One of the major events worthy of comment is George Bush’s $700 billion dollar parting gift to the financial industry, know in financial circles and among those trying to sound smart as the TARP, which is short for the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Talk about Christmas for adults, this bold and blatant giveaway to administration cronies on Wall Street and in the banking industry is just the latest clusterfuck in a presidential administration known for its clusterfucks. (Think Katrina, Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Afghanistan, tax breaks for the wealthy, etc.)

The sad fact is with over 50% of the cash disbursed, no one, not Congress, not the White House, no one knows what the hell the money went for. It was supposed to bolster the sagging financial industry with enough ready cash so they could start making loans again, and refinance the ones already issued that were troubled. But to date it appears that neither of these things has occurred, nor does it seem that they will be done any time in the future.

In essence friends, once again the American People (us) have been screwed!

But all is not gloom and doom, I am happy to report. First off, Congress could have, but did not release all $700 billion dollars requested to the Bush administration. Whether this was due to an inherent distrust of the Texas Mob Family – which I would like to think (and would probably be wrong thinking) was the reason, or the more likely reality that Congress just couldn’t get its shit together quick enough to hand out all the cash before Bush left office – is a matter for discussion. What needs no discussing is the good news that only half of the Tarp money – $350 billion dollars – is missing. But best of all – and the reason that this clusterfuck is even being discussed in an environmental blog – are that while Congress had the administration and the boys and girls on Wall Street over a barrel, someone or ones in congress had the good sense to tack some well deserved gifts for environmentalists onto this shit worthless piece of legislation.

These include:

A $3,000.00 credit for the purchase of plug-in hybrids;

The extension of the 30% tax credit for new solar power facilities through 2016; and

The replacement of the $2,000.00 tax credit limit for those who install solar panels on their homes with a more generous 30% federal tax deduction. The best part is that this deduction is in addition to any state incentives, which may be available.

Also included in the legislation were incentives for bio-fuel and wind, which while they are less generous than those offered for solar and for plug-in hybrids are real all the same.

Now we just have to have the money to buy the plug-in hybrids and the solar panels, which in our country’s current economic tailspin is not that easily forthcoming.

What the incoming administration needs to do – - among the thousands of things already on its plate – - is to figure out a way to make cheap, affordable financing available to homeowners to finance their conversion to solar. I think a program, which would allow homeowners to pay for the installation over ten or twenty years would be in order. This way the money that they would normally pay to Edison could be redirected to finance the conversion.

What do you think?

LIB

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WIND ADVOCATE, T. BOONE PICKENS DELAYS BUILDING WORLD’S LARGEST WIND FARM

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, News Brief, Sustainable Energy on November 12th, 2008

CITES LOWER COST FUEL ALTERNATIVES AS HIS REASON

The poster child of wind energy, Texas billionaire, T. Boone Pickens, has announced that he is delaying plans to build the world’s largest wind farm. Pickens, famous for his self financed multi-million dollar media campaign extolling the virtues of wind energy as a key part of a national strategy to break our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, cites the fall in natural gas prices as the reason for his decision. At current prices it is cheaper to generate electricity from natural gas than it is from wind power.

Apparently the carbon that this method of energy generation would produce is of little concern to Mr. Pickens. But then, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t he an oil man until reinventing himself as the guru of the wind turbine?

Pickens is expected to begin taking delivery on $2 billion in wind turbines, starting in 2010.

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THE EFFORTLESS WAY TO SUPPORT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Ethical Living on October 9th, 2008

SWITCHING YOUR HOME TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY MAY BE AS EASY AS MAKING A PHONE CALL

Clean Renewable Energy

Clean Renewable EnergyPutting your money where your principles are for many of us means switching our homes to alternatively produced sources of renewable energy. Now contrary to what you might think, this does not mean running out and purchasing a roof full of solar panels, nor does it mean that you will have to did up that precious backyard veggie garden to make room for an ugly old windmill. No my friends, it is not that complicated. Usually all it takes is a phone call to your local energy provider. And best of all, powering your home with clean, green, renewable energy doesn’t cost all that much more than your current electrical service.

To learn more, contact your local energy provider.

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COMMENTARY! WHAT THE WALL STREET MELTDOWN COULD MEAN TO THE GREEN ENERGY BUSINESS

Posted in Clean Energy, Renewable Energy on September 29th, 2008

TIGHTER CREDIT COULD MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO FUND THE SOLAR AND WIND INSTALLATIONS THAT ARE THE BACKBONE OF THE GREEN ENERGY REVOLUTION

While Congress battles back and forth on the pluses and minuses of the Wall Street bailout, this is as good a time as any to ponder what this financial mess could mean to the survival and expansion of the wind and solar energy industry in this country.

But before doing this, it might be good if we take a minute and define what sets wind and solar energy apart from more traditional energy sources such as oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power, as there appears to be quite a bit of confusion on this matter.

For the record, wind and solar energy are renewable; meaning as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the supply is limitless. They are also non-toxic, and can be harvested without destroying mountains, poisoning rivers and streams, or ruining the health of unsuspecting people and animals.

Even better, wind and solar energy are local, they’re ours and they are free. And after years of being screwed by Middle East oil despots, free is a good thing.

Lastly, wind and solar energy leave no carbon footprint. There are no tankers, trucks or trains for it to be loaded on. Simple transmission lines from the facility to the grid are all that is required.

Considering the positives that wind and solar energy bring to the table, you would think that Corporate America would be tripping over one another in the rush to take significant positions in this new and futuristic industry. But with the exception of a few mavericks, most notably oil billionaire, T. Boone Pickens, the investments have been few and far between.

This ho-hum, wait and see business model on the part of our nation’s energy companies is surprising behavior considering the public demand for clean renewable energy. And while many of these same companies have moved in and bought up the entire inventories of privately funded wind and solar operations, few have opted to invest in infrastructure.

If I had to speculate as to the reasons for the hesitancy, my best guess would be that it stems from a decision by many of the older, more established energy companies to see if they can ride out this whole renewable energy thing, until such time as the public moves on to something else, and they can go back to business as usual. To help move things along, many of these companies are sponsoring big-dollar television advertising campaigns hoping to confuse the public into thinking that older, dirtier fuel sources such as coal and the so-called clean coal, natural gas and nuclear power are clean and environmentally friendly. Here in Orange County, California, three such campaigns are currently running.

Now this would be laughable, if it wasn’t so damn sinister. But the sad truth is these campaigns are being effective. Part of this is the tenor of the times. It is very difficult to think clearly on such a (for now) non-important matter as to where your electricity comes from and if it is renewable, when you are worried about hanging onto your house and putting food on the table.

The energy companies know this and they are using it to their advantage. Where in better economic times, all but the most out of touch would see these obviously false ads linking nasty, toxic coal, highly explosive, natural gas and the most destructive element known to man, nuclear power to renewable energy, they would rise up and in one voice yell, Hell No!

Because everybody knows that coal is not clean, and while science may have taken steps in that direction, to date there is no such product. Nor has the nuclear industry developed a way of treating and safely disposing of spent nuclear material, or for that matter of preventing Chernobyl sized meltdowns.

It’s almost surreal to think of these energy sources as being anything other than what they are. But much about life today is surreal. Wall Street falling almost eight hundred points, yesterday, and loosing over a trillion with a “t” dollars is surreal. Our county having to come up with 700 billion dollars to cover the asses of a bunch of elitist, arrogant, well-connected, so-called financial experts is sure as hell surreal, as is the people in jail for stealing mere hundreds. Pondering the lesson that our children will take from this – - to steal billions and not hundreds – – is surreal. But the surrealist of all is the uncertainty, the not knowing what the future will bring and if, as a nation, we will have the money necessary to buy into it.

My big fear is that with the problems on Wall Street, the collapses in the banking industry, and tightening of the credit market, it will become difficult, if not impossible, to raise the massive amounts of capital that it takes to construct the solar and wind installations that form the backbone of the green energy revolution

To realistically compete with the older, more established energy sources, wind and solar installations require extensive land commitments. Significant sums must then be spent, not only on the hardware, which captures and converts the energy into electricity, but also on the feeder lines, which carry the power from the often remote locations of these installations to the electric grid. The good news is that once wind and solar installations come on line, their operational cost is minimal, perhaps pennies on the dollar.

Without serious government subsidies, which may not be possible in the wake of our current financial woes, tougher to obtain credit could be a real game changer for the Green Energy industry, as it would force developers to turn to private and corporate entities for their financing, which when available usually comes with unwanted and unneeded encumbrances and partnerships.

The there is also the matter that neither of these sectors has shown any interest in participating in the green energy industry.

The expected credit crunch will also have serious effects on the companies building wind and solar apparatus. Many of these are smaller entities dependent on lines of credit and other financing vehicles for their survival. Tight or more expensive credit could force many of the smaller players out of the marketplace. All of which leaves the market wide open for the coal and nuclear industries with their deep pockets and government contacts to make even further inroads into the energy industry.

And the sad thing is there is probably not a damn thing we can do about it.

- – Denis Donovan

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NEWS WATCH! SENATE RENEWS TAX BREAKS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy on September 24th, 2008

LEGISLATION EXPECTED TO TRIPLE INVESTMENT IN RENEAWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY AND CREATE UP TO 440,000 JOBS.

It was good to see bailout mania in the US Senate grind to a halt long enough, yesterday, for the Senators to take up a matter critical to Environmentalists – -the new tax bill.

As we reported on this site as early as August 12th of this year, the current investment tax credits for the solar power industry and for homeowners installing solar and wind equipment were due to expire at the end of he year. The fact that Congress had to date failed to renew these credits was widely being blamed at that time for the slowdown of investment in the renewable energy sector.

The action, which the Senate took yesterday in overwhelmingly passing the new tax bill by a vote of 92-2, will correct that situation. Besides renewing, through 2016, the investment tax credit for those investing in the solar power industry, and for homeowners who install solar and wind equipment at their home, the package worth a total of $17 billion dollars, is expected to more than triple investment in the industry to $325 billion dollars, while creating about 440,000 jobs between now and 2016.
Source: Solar Energy Association as reported on MSNBC.com.

Additionally, Taxpayers will be able to claim a credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing plug-in electric cars, and production credits are extended to wind, biomass and wave and tide facilities. There are incentives to use smart meters for more efficient home energy use.

- – Denis

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NEWS WATCH! BAD DAYS MAY BE AHEAD FOR SOLAR INDUSTRY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Congressional Inaction, Cool Products, News Brief on September 17th, 2008

CONGRESS DRAGS ITS FEET RENEWING FEDERAL INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT

solarmodul1.JPGThe way it looks today, the federal investment tax credit (ITC), the financial instrument that powers many American homeowner’s move to solar power, may go away at the end of this year, unless Congress puts their partisan differences aside and renews the credit.

Should the ITC be allowed to expire, the cost to the US’s fledging Solar Industry could be as much as $8 billion dollars in investments and more than 39,000 solar-related jobs in 2009 alone.

Whereas should the ITC be renewed between now and the end of the year, “it could create enough solar energy to power as many as five million homes and provide tens of thousands of new jobs while eliminating 130 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year”, according to NatGeo’s Green Guide.

Hopefully we will not have to wait until the next administration to see action on this all-important measure. What our elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, need to appreciate is that besides significantly reducing our nation’s carbon footprint, support of green industry and the jobs that it would create, would go a long way toward healing the ills created by the outsourcing of so many American jobs. Fix the job situation in this country and everything will work itself out.

– Denis

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THE ENVIRONMENTAL SINS OF SARAH PALIN

Posted in Clean Energy, News Brief on September 12th, 2008

LISTEN UP, THIS WOMAN IS NO FRIEND OF THE ENVIRONMENT

palin-with-gun1.jpgNow that the cutesy statements and campaign hyperbole has run its course, and the media has started to take a closer at Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, it’s time for greenourscene.com to delve into the environmental positions of the woman who could become our nation’s next Vice President.

What follows, in no particular order, are her environmental decisions as Governor of Alaska as well as a brief summary of what she pledges to do if elected Vice President in November.

Governor Sarah Palin vetoed money for a major wind energy project.

Governor Palin opposed a crucial clean water initiative that would have banned metal mines from discharging pollution into salmon streams.

Governor Palin approved legislation allowing Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste that it dumps into Cook Inlet, one of the state’s major fish breeding grounds. Ms. Palin took this action with the knowledge that the pollution and increased ship traffic would be devastating to the area’s beluga whale population and could in time result in the species extinction.

Governor Palin enthusiastically supported drilling in the Prudhoe Bay area, even with the knowledge that each year this activity resulted in “hundreds of spills involving tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and other petroleum products.” At last count over 17,000 acres of wildlife and marine habitat had been destroyed.

Governor Palin opposed the Bush administration’s decision to award the polar bear protection under the Endangered Species Act. Her position was that protecting the polar bears would cripple energy development offshore. Governor Palin has been quoted as saying that “if the ice in the polar bears habitat should go away, the bears will adapt to living on the land.” Her administration is currently suing the Bushies to get them to reverse this decision.

Governor Palin has repeatedly, aligned herself with the discredited, fringe and ignored Global Warming’s effect on the Arctic summer sea ice, despite the fact that the ice cover has shrunk to about 1.65 million sq miles, or nearly 40% less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000.

Governor Palin supported allowing big game hunters to stalk and shoot wolves and bears from helicopters and planes. Ms. Palin supported an initiative, which if successful would have offered a bounty of $150 per wolf, as long as the hunter provided the wolf’s foreleg as proof of the kill. She even spent $400,000 on a state-funded campaign to block attempts by environmentalists to end the hunt. Thankfully, the measure did not pass.

Big game hunters are happy to pay lots of money to shoot wolves and bears from the air. They also chase them across the snow to the point of exhaustion and then land the planes on skis, shooting them from point-blank range. The animals are considered endangered across the “lower 48″ states of America, but not Alaska. The hunters keep and sell the animals’ pelts.

Vice Presidential candidate Palin, has called for the expansion, without reservation, of nuclear power. Ironically, opposing her on this issue is the Bush administration’s in-house nuclear agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has stated that it considers an atomic renaissance, at this point in time, a bad idea.

Vice Presidential candidate Palin says that she would push for drilling along the entire Alaskan coastal plain, as well as in the Arctic Preserve, the latter home to migratory caribou herds, musk oxen, wolverines, grizzly and polar bears. Furthermore, Governor Palin is quoted as saying that she favors drilling, even when nothing may be found, because not finding oil “is no excuse to do nothing at all.”

Vice Presidential candidate Palin favors opencast coal mining in Alaska’s Brooks Range Mountains. This is just a fancy way of saying strip mining, the process where the top of the mountain is torn of for easy access to the minerals that lie beneath. Most environmentalists consider this process of mining “rape of the earth”.


BREAKING NEWS!
In what can only be described as a major environmental flip-flop, Vice Presidential candidate Palin has stepped away from her earlier assertion that man’s actions have played no part in Global Warming. The candidate now believes that “attributing some of man’s activities to potentially causing some of the changes in the climate right now.”

- Denis Donovan

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ANTIQUATED ELECTRIC GRID HAMPERS THE SPREAD OF WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, News Brief, Sustainable Energy on September 1st, 2008

UPGRADING THE GRID IS A LOGISTIC NIGHTMARE WITH 500 OWNERS AND FIFTY STATES WEIGHING IN.

windturbin11.jpgAs is so often the case when discussing ways to reduce our carbon footprint, there are good and bad issues that need to be addressed.

In this instance, the good news is that wind and solar power are finally being seriously recognized for their ability to generate massive amounts of clean, non-toxic, relatively inexpensive eclectic power.

The bad news, however, is that our nation’s eclectic transmission “grid” – - the superhighway of sorts that you hear so much about and through which energy travels from point of generation to point of use – - is so hopelessly outdated that significant amounts of this clean new power is unable to make its way to the areas that need it the most.

Simple problem you might say. Just build a new one the way T. Boone ‘Windaddy’ Pickens is doing way down yonder in ole’ Texas town. Problem solved, you say with the smirk of one who have merely spoken the obvious, and is sorta’ amazed that others didn’t mention it first.

But my friends, it is not so easy…

The current grid is not only over a century old, and held together with chewing gum and band-aids, but bits and pieces of it are owned by over 500 separate entities.

Before renovations could proceed, all 500 of them would have to agree on the plan that would then have to be approved by the 50 sates that maintain regulatory control over those companies and this system. Then there are the permits – - mountains of state, federal and local permits – - not to mention the battles with the property owners that must approve every addition to the “grid”.

In short, this is one long drawn-out logistical nightmare.

Of course, we could always go in another direction and kiss off the grid altogether and adopt a more localized model. This would differ from our current system in that the power generated in an area would stay in that area and not be parsed out to wherever.

But even this is inferior to the idea that is starting to take hold among independent minded men and women lately, which is for homeowners and apartment owning entities to generate their own electric power through a combination of rooftop wind and solar generating apparatus.

This would be the best scenario, as it would allow individuals and families to get totally off the grid and say goodbye to out of control eclectic bills that will only continue to rise in the months and years to come.

Now I know your going to tell me how expensive going solar or adding wind turbines can be. Here, there is more good news, which is that as the apparatus becomes more mainstream; costs are coming down from previous sky-high levels.

As of this writing, numerous additional manufacturing companies – - both domestic and foreign – - have entered the business of manufacturing the technology for such conversions, meaning not only is their greater flexibility in pricing, but more options in terms of styling and materials used.

These include the introduction of ordinary looking ceiling tiles that are actually photovoltaic panels, as well as numerous styles of low profile wind turbines intended to replace those huge propeller drive assemblies in areas where space is at a premium.

Furthermore, numerous states and the federal government now have financing options – - in the form of tax credits – - available for homeowners seeking to make the switch to wind and/or solar.

Additionally, some of the panel-manufacturing companies have started offering long-term lease/purchase agreements allowing homeowners to install now and pay over time with the money that otherwise would have gone to the power companies.

Now thats a win-win if I ever heard one.

- DENIS

EDITOR’S NOTE! In the coming months we will make it a point to feature some of the latest technological advances in this field.

Continue reading about the “grid”

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CAMPAIGN 08: OBAMA & MCCAIN WEIGH IN ON THE KEY GREEN ISSUES OF THE DAY

Posted in Clean Energy, Global Warming, Sustainable Living on August 30th, 2008

CANDIDATES OFFER DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS TO THE SAME PROBLEM

obama-montage-large.jpgAfter eight years of the Bush administration deficating all over all things green, it is refreshing to not only have a presidential campaign where both candidates agree that global warming is real, that it is man made, and that it is the job of the Federal Government to play a part in reducing the threat, but one where both candidates are willing to get specific as to the steps that they will take to make our country a saner, healthier, more sustainable global citizen.

This being said, there are a rash of differences in the two men’s approaches to the crisis, which I, with the help of research from thedailygreen.com, have outlined below.

When I was putting this posting together, I could not resist from time time editorializing on some of the candidate’s positions. MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS!

GLOBAL WARMING

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would cut emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; NOT ENOUGH!

His cap-and-trade regulation would include an auction of all pollution credits;

Would use the money generated to pursue aggressive renewable energy and energy efficiency goals that would create millions of new “green collar” jobs. ‘BOUT TIME!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would support a 60% cut below 1990 levels of pollution; DEFINATELY NOT ENOUGH!

Would allot credits to existing polluters, rather than auctioning them off. WHY SHOULD THE POLLUTERS NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THESE?

NATIONAL SECURITY

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would wean the nation off of Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil within 10 years;

Would invest heavily in renewable energy technologies;

Would improve the energy efficiency of cars and buildings;

Would enact new rules to make burning coal more expensive and to encourage the use of alternatives. ALL GOOD IDEAS!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would support drilling for more oil; VERY BAD!

Would support using more renewable and alternative forms of energy, including (so-called) “clean coal;” CLEAN COAL IS A FANTASY!

Would support greater use of nuclear power for electricity. WHAT ABOUT THE NUCLEAR WASTE?

NUCLEAR ENERGY

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

While he does not oppose the use of nuclear power, he always acknowledges the safety and radioactive waste arguments; NOT STRONG ENOUGH!

Would redistribute cash from the oil and coal industries to renewables. GOOD!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Has made expanding nuclear power a central part of his energy platform by calling for the construction of 45 new plants by 2030. 45 MORE CHANCES TO POISON US ALL!

OFFSHORE DRILLING

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would accept offshore drilling only as part of a compromise to achieve broader energy policy goals, which include massive investments in renewable and alternative energy. ENOUGH COMPROMISES!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Supports increased offshore drilling. “Drill here now” is his common refrain.A SERIOUS FLIP-FLOP FROM MAVERICK MCCAIN!

ETHANOL

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would maintain subsidies and tariffs that support the corn-based ethanol industry.
OLD BAD HABITS DIE HARD!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Talks about opposing subsidies for corn growers; GOOD!

Strongly opposes the tariff on Brazilian ethanol, which protects domestic corn growers; BAD!

Supports the use of ethanol and the development of Cellulosic ethanol, but doesn’t get specific.
AT LEAST HE’S THINKING OF SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES

ENERGY COSTS

CANDIDATE OBAMA:

Would enact a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to give families a $1,000 “Emergency Energy Rebate;” GOOD!

Would invest in plug-in hybrid cars and boosting fuel economy, to help reduce oil imports; GOOD!

Would also take expensive grades of oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and swap it for cheaper grades; WHO CARES?

Would spend money generated by a cap-and-trade regulation designed to lower carbon emissions on projects to boost home energy efficiency, and to provide credits to people struggling to pay higher electricity bills; WISE!

Would require local utilities to derive 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2025.
NOT NEARLY ENOUGH!

CANDIDATE MCCAIN:

Would expand domestic production of oil and natural gas; SO 20TH CENTURY!

Would offer a $5,000 tax break to those who buy zero-carbon vehicles, (which do not yet exist); COULD BE PROMISING!

Would eliminate the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, which experts say would have a modest effect on price; HURTS AMERICAN FARMERS!

Would oppose a windfall profits tax on oil companies; A PAYBACK TO BIG OIL FOR THEIR SUPPORT!

Would focus on improving the energy efficiency of the federal government, hoping to drive down price by slackening demand; WISHFULL THINKING!

Favors the installation of so-called “SmartMeters” so individuals can better monitor their energy consumption and its cost; GOOD IDEA TO MAKE PUBLIC CONSCIOUS OF USE!

Would create predictable tax incentives for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
COULD BE GOOD!

- DENIS

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