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  • #31
    Re: Oil Drilling

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Andy, I disagree, the technology is here and has been here. People who have solar panels on their homes do save electricity, and at certain time send electricity back into the grid turning their electric meters backwards! The systems are not perfect, but they are worth expanding and most of all they do produce real savings. If they were done on a large scale we could save plenty, why depend soley on research when the savings could be now?

    Windmills work, they are in many places around the world and right here, they do produce a lot of electricity. People argue they don't want them in their backyard because they are noisy. Ted Kennedy and his crowd didn't want them ruining the view in his favorite Summer spot, but they work. There were plans to build a windmill farm along Long Island NY , I believe that would have provided all the power for a local community.

    We are foolish and wasteful to put off any longer reductions in consumption we could have today. We would be employing many thousands of Americans to produce these products, which by the way are produced abroad and are currently being installed throughout the USA.

    I suggest we encourage research for better technologies, but make use of the current alternatives that do work and are being used all over the world today.

    I can't imagine the downside to having solar panels on as many homes and businesses as we can manage, providing energy when the Sun is shining?
    I can't understand why we should wait erecting windmill farms. harnessing the power of the wind and reducing our energy dependence on oil?

    Come on, what's the problem? Do you ahve any idea how many folks commute less than fifty or fewer miles a day? Plug in hybrids could save enormous amounts of oil and reduce pollution too. Battery technology must improve and disposal as well, but to keep putting it off is not necessary.
    All I can say is, if solar cells and wind farms and plug in hybrids with 50 mile range were economically viable alternatives, we would be well down the road to energy independence. But we're not, because as of today they aren't economically viable - or in the case of the car, won't sell enough.

    We knew how to make a silicon photocell over 50 years ago. Yes, they can convert energy. But they aren't economically sound, or you would be seeing them all over just as you suggest. They would be blanketing the countryside and we would never burn another ounce of fossil fuel. The government wouldn't have to do anything. If it were just a question of manufacturing, China would have the damn things blanketing THEIR countryside. But the fact is they're not viable, and in most cases they take more energy to manufacure than they produce in their lifetime. There are small private energy startups trying to beat the problems but they haven't yet and may not.

    I'm exhausted. In ten years, remember this conversation. You will either say, "Boy, that Andy sure missed the boat" or, "Guess that damn guy was right". But you will probably be saying the second thing in Mandarin.
    Last edited by Andy_M; 04-03-2010, 02:28 AM.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Oil Drilling

      Funny how during the campaigns the Democrats were all against exploration and drilling and now? Give me a break.

      Still, most credible geologists will tell you that there is well over 300 years in oil reserves still beneath the ground not to mention natural gas. Thus far the sources of alternitave energy have been disappointing at best. Fuel made from vegetable matter are expensive and have negative impact on the economy and food supplies. Wind power though viable is expensive, unreliable, environmentally unfriendly to animals that live in the area and noisy. Solar cell technology is improving but thus far has not reached the point of true viability. When looking at current alternitaves you have to consider one thing. If the technology was truely viable you would not need the government to subsidise it, in fact, people and investors would flock to it. That said, alternitave energy development should continue while at the same time we need to strengthen our current technologies. Neuclear as well as petroleum based. We are slaves to middle east oil because at the time it was economically better to purchase from there as compared to drilling at home. In fact, it still is less expensive to buy foreign oil.
      sigpic

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      • #33
        Re: Oil Drilling

        Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
        All I can say is, if solar cells and wind farms and plug in hybrids with 50 mile range were economically viable alternatives, we would be well down the road to energy independence. But we're not, because as of today they aren't economically viable - or in the case of the car, won't sell enough.

        We knew how to make a silicon photocell over 50 years ago. Yes, they can convert energy. But they aren't economically sound, or you would be seeing them all over just as you suggest. They would be blanketing the countryside and we would never burn another ounce of fossil fuel. The government wouldn't have to do anything. If it were just a question of manufacturing, China would have the damn things blanketing THEIR countryside. But the fact is they're not viable, and in most cases they take more energy to manufacure than they produce in their lifetime. There are small private energy startups trying to beat the problems but they haven't yet and may not.

        I'm exhausted. In ten years, remember this conversation. You will either say, "Boy, that Andy sure missed the boat" or, "Guess that damn guy was right". But you will probably be saying the second thing in Mandarin.
        Andy, please don't give up on this conversation just yet. Let's at least discuss and explore whether these alternatives work, why they are not widely used and what could be done to change that.

        Modern windmill farms do work and do exist here and in many countries, if they were a waste of time and money, more would not be built and used. The problems here in the USA involve legal issues where individuals, groups or local communities block their installation. People don't want to see them along "their" coastlines or along "their" countrysides. There are plenty of very workable places in the vast USA where their use would provide a great deal of power, we would see a drastic reduction in fossil fuel consumption.

        I have priced solar power installation for my house, and for a basic system which would power my home "only" during good sunlight, the cost would be just over $50,000 with a $15,000 government rebate or incentive of some kind. Can you imagine how many homes would use such a system if the cost were only $10,000? The saving in electricity cannot be denied or ignored, the only deterents are cost and the stubborn backward mindset of some or most Americans. People who say that solar panels on homes "don't look good" are not addressing the real savings.

        Plugin hybrids work, they are dependable, quiet, and provide an amazing saving when compared to gas cars running on $4.00 a gallon foreign oil. Here too,we are not faced with a problem of poor technology but rather cost and behavior. Instead of these cars costing $30,000 take some of those billions going to bailouts, stimulus, wars, foreign aid and every other government program and put them towards a program that would make a difference. Bring the cost of those cars down to $15,000 and see how many get sold!

        Fifty to one hundred miles per charge is nothing for today's plugin hybrids. Imagine how many cars would no longer be stopped at the gas staions if they could go a hundred miles on a charge? They can!

        Sure, given a choice between a three hundred horsepower sedan costing $30,000 and a smaller, less powerful hybird which may take four months to get, most folks will opt for the old gas guzzler. I think if gas was over $5.00 a gallon and hybirds cost under $15,000 they could not keep up with production.

        The technology exists, prices must be lowered, production must ramp up, and the mindset of those who resist change must open to the benefits. Less dependance on foreign oil, lower electricity bills, less pollution. Do we want change, or do we just want to ingore the options and await the higher costs?

        Yes, the iron horse was noisy, scared the animals and stunk. Modern windmills and solar panels change and clutter the landscape, plugin hybird cars cost a lot, are slower than their gas guzzler counterparts and have limitations at the present time.

        Do we still need to argue whether or not these things work, or if widely used would not have a big impact on consumption and cost of fossil fuel?
        Please, look again at how well the technology does work, is used and why it is not more widely used here. I think you will realize the problem is not with the windmills and soalr panels, but with initial costs and more importantly the attitude of Americans who refuse change.
        Last edited by Frankiarmz; 04-03-2010, 10:35 AM.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Oil Drilling

          Frankie, I would estimate that somewhere around 80% of the so called green technologies are not cost effective without government incentives.

          The big problem with wind farms is the tremendous cost of purchasing and maintaining windmills that are large enough to supply power to a large number of consumers. The costs are staggering compared to traditional methods of generating electricity. The other problem is the noise factor. If you have ever been within 10 miles of a wind farm you would understand the problem there.

          Hybrid cars still cost more to manufacturer and operate than the return on the dollar not to mention the decidedly unfriendly environmental issues with the batteries, the plastics they are manufactured from and the fact that you are still plugging them into a power source that most likely uses coal or oil to generate the power.
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          • #35
            Re: Oil Drilling

            Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
            Frankie, I would estimate that somewhere around 80% of the so called green technologies are not cost effective without government incentives.

            The big problem with wind farms is the tremendous cost of purchasing and maintaining windmills that are large enough to supply power to a large number of consumers. The costs are staggering compared to traditional methods of generating electricity. The other problem is the noise factor. If you have ever been within 10 miles of a wind farm you would understand the problem there.

            Hybrid cars still cost more to manufacturer and operate than the return on the dollar not to mention the decidedly unfriendly environmental issues with the batteries, the plastics they are manufactured from and the fact that you are still plugging them into a power source that most likely uses coal or oil to generate the power.
            My point exactly regarding government incentives, right now our tax dollars are going towards bailouts, payoffs and other programs and sweethearts deals that do nothing to reduce oil consumption. Change that now, by mass producing the solar panels, employing Americans instead of paying them to sit home and wait for jobs that are never coming!

            I have not been within ten miles of a windmill farm, but I know there is planty of land coastal and otherwise far enough from highly populated areas to make it workable. Sure it is costly to establish and maintaining is not cheap, but what are the altenatives?

            I said have the govenment bring the cost of these alternatives including the plugin cars down, at least we would see our tax money working for us in a positive way.

            How much longer do we complain about supporting terrorists, being at the mercy of big oil, and still refuse to impliment some of these things?

            Can you deny that solar panels are being used and do work? I know for a fact they work but are too expensive for the average homeowner. Change that, make it affordable and fight to save our country. We are sitting around and doing nothing. The windmills could find places to exist without bothering anyone, and provide energy for many communities. The solar panels and hybrid cars work and would be used if the government was willing to invest in America.

            How many more Summers will we just sit and wait for the price of gasoline to rise? How many more Winters will we hold our breath as home heating fuel prices skyrocket out of control? Employ Americans to take back our country and let the arabs go live in tents, not Americans!

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Oil Drilling

              Is it confirmed that drilling is going to be done? Or research.

              If it is research, it's being done to appease the right, nothing else. Swinging left as much as been done lately is merely to calm the waters.


              Certain news media outlets are not running with this story, that's why I think it's smoke.
              Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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              • #37
                Re: Oil Drilling

                Originally posted by DUNBAR PLUMBING View Post
                Is it confirmed that drilling is going to be done? Or research.

                If it is research, it's being done to appease the right, nothing else. Swinging left as much as been done lately is merely to calm the waters.


                Certain news media outlets are not running with this story, that's why I think it's smoke.
                I tend to agree since we already know where oil is.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Oil Drilling

                  come on guys this is a joke or maybe even april fools or american fools or 2008 election joke the government does not care about oil drilling. It does not effect them they don't drive them selves around and not even in their own cars or pay for their own gas. And tax gas up to ten dollars who the he!$ gets this money man come on. Government is in the way we need limited government small government . We pay for it, we pay for are cars,gas,insurance, the whole nine yards and their nine yard while we are at it. If they cared they would do every thing they could to get the he!$ out of the way. And why are we not drill up and down both coasts the government they set the rules they know better right! Why is health insurance so much well who wrote the rule book the Government again! Why is or money worth nothing should I say it again the Government via the Federal reserve bank ! they wright the rules man thats the way it is. If this green tech. is so good why is it not flying off the shelf people are not dumb it does not pay off ask guys here why they are not selling tankless water heaters every chance they get so the can say their customer money because it does not pay well maybe if the Government takes some of my money and gives it to you to off set the price is that right!! Thats my two cents.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Oil Drilling

                    Lets compare apples to apples.

                    Let's pull our military out of the middle east. Let the market dictate the cost of oil when the shipping lanes get blocked and pipelines repeatedly destroyed by anti-western sympathizers.

                    Gasoline produces the greatest amount of BTU per unit of any known substance. However, does the average commuter really need an internal combustion engine? If someone is commuting more than a hundred miles a day, they need to move or get a job closer to home.

                    Nuclear fission plants are not the answer. No one will build one without government help and liability waivers up the whazoo.

                    In the northwest we enjoy hydroelectric power. However it is not without its downside. Namely the salmon population is declining, which aside from removing a link in the food chain, has devastated the commercial fishing industry. Most coastal towns in Oregon have suffered dramatically. Logging has also directly impacted the salmon population. The hills and mountains have been clear cut leaving streams that normally had been in the shade now exposed to sunlight. This warms the waters feeding into the Columbia river, raising the temperature of the river.

                    I think a green energy policy the likes of the Apollo project is in order. In ten years we should have 50% of residential housing in urban area's off grid and producing their own energy.

                    That's a lot of solar shingles, panels, paint, batteries and manpower. Imagine the novelty of never going to a gas station again, except to air up a tire. Or to get a check from the local electric utility for the excess power you sold to them at wholesale.

                    How many nuclear plants would have to be built to power 50% of the urban residential housing and what would it cost? I bet it would be cheaper to retrofit 50% of the current housing with existing technology.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Oil Drilling

                      Just a bit more information.

                      The world's known oil reserves are, from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, estimated to be 1.368 trillion barrels.

                      Also from the C.I.A, the world's current consumption is about 99 million barrels per day. The U.S. consumes 20% of the world's oil production. All of Europe consumes about 15%, and China currently consumes over 8%.

                      A quick aside... why do you think the CIA cares? Probably because energy is considered a huge threat to the security of the United States, and we have no viable alternatives. You don't really think we are in Iraq just because Saddam was a bad guy or we were threatened by his non-existent WMDs, do you? You don't think we freed Kuwait because of the moral righteousness, do you?

                      Assuming 100% of the oil can be extracted (generally not true - useful numbers range from 90% down to 10%) and that consumption does not grow (clearly not a good assumption), this oil will last about 38 years.

                      These numbers are consistent with those from the US Geological Survey and also close within tolerance to those published by the oil industry.

                      Obviously huge growth in consumption is happening in Asia -- China particularly. In addition to use by industry, which will track their GDP growth, we have to expect that the massive population will contribute to China becoming the largest consumer by far in the very near future. This is not factored into the 38 year estimate - if you consider this it will be considerably less than 38 years.

                      On the other hand, the estimates do not include reserves that have not been discovered. No reliable estimates exist for these unproven reserves. Obviously, since they are unproven, various people use any estimate they like to prove whatever point they would like to make. Several estimating methods are in use, some based on so-called "peak oil" theory, which is widely used bnut not without controversy. The US Geologic Survey estimates that possibly the total amount of oil on the planet is 2-3 times the known reserves, or roughly 2.7 to 4 trillion barrels. What does appear to be a fact is that the rate of discovery of new oil reserves has slowed since 1980, despite increasing value.

                      Another important factor is how much of this can be extracted, and the difficulty (cost) of extracting it. It's not known for undiscovered oil, and not well understood even for proven oil. For example, in Venezuela a very large reserve (known) is currently considered to have an extraction factor of between 15% and 70%.

                      Most estimates that I am aware of peg the depletion of the world's total oil reserves, considering undiscovered, extraction factors, and increase in use, at 30 to 50 years. Some claim as little as 10 years and some claim 100 years. Either of the extremes are probably not the right answer.

                      Depletion estimates are not reliable. Fact is, as oil is extracted it become more costly to get the remainder. Many wells are capped at after 35-50% of the oil has been pumped because they are no longer economical. These could be re-opened as oil prices increase and they become economically viable again, or if improved methods can provide additional economically justifiable production.

                      The United States is not "out of oil", even not withstanding additional drilling. It is simply not economically sound to extract more. Economist Thomas Sowell points out that it is incorrect to consider "running out". Rather, costs will go up as reserves are used and scarcity increases in accordance with supply and demand laws. Usage will decrease as it becomes less affordable. Also, the resource becomes more valuable, more money will be spent on exploration, This is a more realistic way to look at the situation.

                      Many believe that the proven reserves are overstated, particularly middle east oil. The estimates come from the governments controlling the oil reserves. It is in their best interest to overstate the amount of oil so as to discourage efforts to develop alternate sources, of either fossil fuels or renewable resources.

                      Nuclear energy is important, practical, viable and in use in 31 countries around the world - but is in fact a very short term solution. Current fissionable material occurs from primarily two sources: mining of Uranium and subsequent enrichment to increase the concentration of U235 from the naturally occuring level of 0.7% to the needed level for a reactor of 4% and so-called secondary sources, such as reprocessing of plutonium 239 or further refinement of spent fuel rods (typically 1% U235 remains when a rod is depleted). The only countries that are Uranium self-sufficient are Canada, Russia and South Africa. All other countries either import material or fuel their reactors using secondary sources such as reprocessed fuel rods or de-enriched weapons-grade material (U235 and Pu239). Current estimates show serious global shortages of fissionable material within 10 years, notwithstanding dramatic increases in usage. Considering the time it takes to get a reactor on-line, which can be 5 to 10 years, nuclear reactors are unlikely to solve our energy issues.

                      The United States currently controls a large part of the world's supply of fissionable uranium, possibly up to 50%... although this is maintained for strategic weapons purposes. The exact numbers are not, for obvious reasons, publicly available. The US and Russia currently both release, by agreement, limited amounts of material for energy production, but it is highly unlikely that the either will agree to release substantial levels that will compromise their strategic weapons reserves. Even if the world's entire weapons stockpile of fissionable material was re-processed into reactor fuel, it would supply the world's current nuclear reactors for about 8 years. Total nuclear disarmament is highly unlikely. In other words, existing nuclear technology is not going to provide the long term solution for energy independence and may not be viable at all in the United States in light of the time it takes to commission a reactor.

                      Fusion energy is a nuclear reaction with tremendous promise but massive complexity and problems. The Princeton Particle Physics Lab estimates the cost of developing commercial fusion at $30 billion. However, they are looking for money. The actual cost could be $100 billion or more. And most give such a project no more than a 50% chance of success. Still,. compare the cost of such a program with the money spent on the recent stimulus package, the bank bailout, of the health care reform bill. Funadmenetal science is and always has been much cheaper than government giveaway programs. If it could be made to work, fusion offers virtually unlimited production capability and zero carbon footprint. Even so, the US Government puts token funding only towards this research. We don't have the money for this, but we pass out much more to the bankers, oil wars, ineffective stimulus programs, and health care reform.

                      We currently have no identified alternate energy schemes for certain applications. For example, aircraft. It is unlikely that these will operate on anything except fossil fuels in our lifetimes or our children's lifetimes. Similarly, plastic resins and materials are made primarily from oil. These are the raw materials for industry.

                      I am not trying to be the prophet of doom. I only want to point out this is not a little problem... we have serious issues that we are not doing anything to address. Energy ranks up there just below food and water in terms of its value to society. Our industrialized society is based on cheap energy and will fail without an ample supply of it.

                      We in the United States have a demonstrated propensity to consider only the short term. That approach is responsible for lot of our problems. We have been unwilling to address the above situation for 40 years, even though most of this information has been known, because oil has been cheap compared to the cost of developing alternates. We continue to focus on cheap oil so we can drive our vehicles and not pay more than $300 a month for fuel. Well, ok... but to me, in light of the numbers, it seems like a very poor trade off.

                      Relying on current technology, which isn't even economically viable or representative of a solution for the most part - including nuclear energy - just means we are in denial. And the hope that there is plenty of oil that we will be able to use for cheap is also just not consistent with the best available information.

                      Drilling will not reduce your fuel cost, in the long-term or the short term. This is the government's way to appease you that they are looking after your energy concerns, without really doing it. Which they can't do. Because they wasted your money on b*llsh*t, and the oil lobby isn't done milking you yet. Drilling is like taping an aspirin tablet to your forehead to cure a brain tumor. But the appeasement does seem to be appealing!

                      There is no silver bullet. The real solution will be a multi-phase, long term one consisting of probably every technology we know about and several technologies that we haven't discovered. It will take real money to solve this, but not as much as the Government has wasted in just the past 18 months.

                      We need to quit debating this for the next 40 years while the house of cards collapses, get our collective heads out of places where solar energy is not an option, and solve this problem. Or we are literally done. IMO. Obviously that view is not widely shared.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Oil Drilling

                        Much of our electricity in So Cal comes from hydro-generation as well. The problem is the "Dam-Busters" who are trying to eliminate all dams. As for nuclear power, good luck getting through the lawsuits to build the plant, then find a way to dispose of the spent materials (Obama defunded Yucca Mountain). Currently 50% of all electricity is from coal fired generation but Obama has declared war on them. The best solution seems to be, leave the Middle East to their own misery without our money, export all environmentalists (perhaps to the Middle East) and subsidize more alternative energy sources at a reasonable pace.

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Oil Drilling

                          I agree with virtually everything you said and 100% of your comments on energy.

                          Imagine not only what a trillion dollar investment in energy nine years ago would have yielded by now, but the shock waves it would have sent around the world. Every other nation would be following our lead. But the best part would be watching the OPEC nations go broke.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Oil Drilling

                            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                            Much of our electricity in So Cal comes from hydro-generation as well. The problem is the "Dam-Busters" who are trying to eliminate all dams. As for nuclear power, good luck getting through the lawsuits to build the plant, then find a way to dispose of the spent materials (Obama defunded Yucca Mountain). Currently 50% of all electricity is from coal fired generation but Obama has declared war on them. The best solution seems to be, leave the Middle East to their own misery without our money, export all environmentalists (perhaps to the Middle East) and subsidize more alternative energy sources at a reasonable pace.

                            Mark
                            California wants water from the Columbia river, a a big fight is brewing over the great lakes. Fresh water is growing in demand as water tables get lower and lower each year.

                            After a century or more of taking natural resources without any regards for sustainability, and allowing communities to establish and flourish in regions they otherwise would not be able to populate, the tab is coming due. Arizona, Las Vegas, Klamath basin are just a few areas that would not exist without redirecting natural resources.

                            Come on up here to Oregon and I'll show you all the clear cutting they do here. And all the sentiment gets washed off the hill sides into streams, into the rivers. The only reason they clear cut is because it's the least expensive means of harvesting trees. Not because it's the best way to manage the resources. Someone will have to pay the fiddler because no one dances for free.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Oil Drilling

                              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                              My point exactly regarding government incentives, right now our tax dollars are going towards bailouts, payoffs and other programs and sweethearts deals that do nothing to reduce oil consumption. Change that now, by mass producing the solar panels, employing Americans instead of paying them to sit home and wait for jobs that are never coming!

                              I have not been within ten miles of a windmill farm, but I know there is planty of land coastal and otherwise far enough from highly populated areas to make it workable. Sure it is costly to establish and maintaining is not cheap, but what are the altenatives?

                              I said have the govenment bring the cost of these alternatives including the plugin cars down, at least we would see our tax money working for us in a positive way.

                              How much longer do we complain about supporting terrorists, being at the mercy of big oil, and still refuse to impliment some of these things?

                              Can you deny that solar panels are being used and do work? I know for a fact they work but are too expensive for the average homeowner. Change that, make it affordable and fight to save our country. We are sitting around and doing nothing. The windmills could find places to exist without bothering anyone, and provide energy for many communities. The solar panels and hybrid cars work and would be used if the government was willing to invest in America.

                              How many more Summers will we just sit and wait for the price of gasoline to rise? How many more Winters will we hold our breath as home heating fuel prices skyrocket out of control? Employ Americans to take back our country and let the arabs go live in tents, not Americans!
                              Technologies like solar panels are getting better, but they are not there yet. Take a look at this link:

                              http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0220224901.htm

                              You will find all sorts of other analyses that say they make sense, but it's all from those that want to sell you the panels. The fact is, if businesses, which are huge consumers of grid power, could be getting their electricity cheaper with photovoltaics they would be... no arm twisting needed. The ways to analyze the economics of these sorts of things is very well understood in business, they do it everytime they make a capital equipment buy. Since they aren't buying, you can be quite sure that it doesn't yet make sense to.

                              Wind farms don't require large expanses of area. They require large expanses of area where the wind is unusually high on a consistent basis. And even at that the payback is not good.

                              Government subsidies to encourage adoption of un-economically viable solutions don't make a lot of sense. The same public pays for it. What has been accomplished?

                              Current average US electricity rates are about 12 cents per kw-hour. Gasoline is about $3. There is about 36.6 kw-hour of energy in a gallon of gasoline. So if you bought the equivalent of that gallon of energy from the grid, it would cost $4.40. Electric systems are better from an efficiency point of view than IC engines, so that the actual fuel cost per mile is better with the electric car, maybe 50% better. The cost of manufacture of the electric car, and the cost of replacement batteries, drives the cost hard the other way. Yes, there are people that might benefit from the electric vehicle *IF* the government subsidized it. But in the end what does that buy us? This is yet another redistribution of wealth scheme that costs the public but benefits only a relative few that can deal with the limitations of the current electric technology. Why is this acceptable when a tax on fuel, that by definition will cause the cost of alternate energy development to be borne in proportion of energy use by the actual users, is somehow not acceptable?

                              Rather than play a shell game with subsidies, doesn't it make a whole lot more sense to invest your tax money in an overhaul of the complete energy picture that will actually solve the problem for most or all Americans? Government subsidies cost tax money that would be much better spent doing the basic work needed to solve the long term problems. We have cheap oil right now. There is no shortage, and we already pay less than the rest of the industrialized world. For cryin' out loud why the focus on 'cheap cheap cheap / let's do it now'??? Why dilly dally around with non-solutions?

                              We pass out a trillion for a stimulus package that was politically motivated but few thought would work, but won't fund $100B for a huge scale fusion energy program that will not only create jobs TODAY but possible change the world in a very positive way forever??? Am I missing something or is this madness??

                              In addition to immediate creation of jobs, a large scale alternate energy industry will create and sustain millions of high paying jobs in every area from science and engineering all the way to people rebuilding the transmission grids. The only unhappy folks would be the oil companies. And the OPECers. And when oil prices shoot through the roof for the rest of the world, United States industry will be enjoying a very substantial competitive advantage thanks to the investment we make today. Kind of like China's cheap labor advantage - we can't compete there because we don't have a billion workers that will work for $1 an hour, but what w are very good at is science and technlogy. Wouldn't it be nice if, for a change, to feel like leaders again?

                              Quick and painless solutions may be quick and painless but they won't be solutions. Reality is that weaning our country off of foreign oil will take a massive effort. It won't be cheap but it will cost less than wars and current Governnment waste on utter idiocy. There isn't enough money or time available to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic... it's time to solve the problem for real.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Oil Drilling

                                Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                                Technologies like solar panels are getting better, but they are not there yet. Take a look at this link:

                                http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0220224901.htm

                                You will find all sorts of other analyses that say they make sense, but it's all from those that want to sell you the panels. The fact is, if businesses, which are huge consumers of grid power, could be getting their electricity cheaper with photovoltaics they would be... no arm twisting needed. The ways to analyze the economics of these sorts of things is very well understood in business, they do it everytime they make a capital equipment buy. Since they aren't buying, you can be quite sure that it doesn't yet make sense to.

                                Wind farms don't require large expanses of area. They require large expanses of area where the wind is unusually high on a consistent basis. And even at that the payback is not good.

                                Government subsidies to encourage adoption of un-economically viable solutions don't make a lot of sense. The same public pays for it. What has been accomplished?

                                Current average US electricity rates are about 12 cents per kw-hour. Gasoline is about $3. There is about 36.6 kw-hour of energy in a gallon of gasoline. So if you bought the equivalent of that gallon of energy from the grid, it would cost $4.40. Electric systems are better from an efficiency point of view than IC engines, so that the actual fuel cost per mile is better with the electric car, maybe 50% better. The cost of manufacture of the electric car, and the cost of replacement batteries, drives the cost hard the other way. Yes, there are people that might benefit from the electric vehicle *IF* the government subsidized it. But in the end what does that buy us? This is yet another redistribution of wealth scheme that costs the public but benefits only a relative few that can deal with the limitations of the current electric technology. Why is this acceptable when a tax on fuel, that by definition will cause the cost of alternate energy development to be borne in proportion of energy use by the actual users, is somehow not acceptable?

                                Rather than play a shell game with subsidies, doesn't it make a whole lot more sense to invest your tax money in an overhaul of the complete energy picture that will actually solve the problem for most or all Americans? Government subsidies cost tax money that would be much better spent doing the basic work needed to solve the long term problems. We have cheap oil right now. There is no shortage, and we already pay less than the rest of the industrialized world. For cryin' out loud why the focus on 'cheap cheap cheap / let's do it now'??? Why dilly dally around with non-solutions?

                                We pass out a trillion for a stimulus package that was politically motivated but few thought would work, but won't fund $100B for a huge scale fusion energy program that will not only create jobs TODAY but possible change the world in a very positive way forever??? Am I missing something or is this madness??

                                In addition to immediate creation of jobs, a large scale alternate energy industry will create and sustain millions of high paying jobs in every area from science and engineering all the way to people rebuilding the transmission grids. The only unhappy folks would be the oil companies. And the OPECers. And when oil prices shoot through the roof for the rest of the world, United States industry will be enjoying a very substantial competitive advantage thanks to the investment we make today. Kind of like China's cheap labor advantage - we can't compete there because we don't have a billion workers that will work for $1 an hour, but what w are very good at is science and technlogy. Wouldn't it be nice if, for a change, to feel like leaders again?

                                Quick and painless solutions may be quick and painless but they won't be solutions. Reality is that weaning our country off of foreign oil will take a massive effort. It won't be cheap but it will cost less than wars and current Governnment waste on utter idiocy. There isn't enough money or time available to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic... it's time to solve the problem for real.
                                Andy, you seem positive that current alternatives are a waste and not better than doing nothing. I think if we have to wait for better technology, we may run out of time. Ultimately, I don't know which is the right answer.

                                I agree the govenment is wasteful and does many things poorly or half arsed! You think they will ocme through on research for fusion energy?
                                Anyway, a Doctor Octavius already had some limited success with fusion energy. Couldn't keep it stable.

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