Tag Archives: energy alternatives

It’s As If Paul Ryan Says Obama Is At War With Horse Drawn Buggies

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created clipart of a horse drawn buggy with coal text written on itVice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited Belmont county, in Ohio, Saturday to claim that President Obama has a war on Coal. It is part of the Romney-Ryan plan to drill for more oil, keep the huge handouts to Big Oil, reduce pollution regulations, and stop government assistance to green energy. Of course this also means telling Coal miners that their jobs are in danger even though no matter who is the President their jobs are in danger. If we were at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Ryan would be complaining about President Obama having a war on horse drawn buggies. Coal is a dying source for energy much like buggies gave way to the better technology of the automobile.
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Failure Of Green Energy Companies Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Need Green Energy

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image of President Obama visits a wind turbine factory
President Obama visits a wind turbine factory

A couple of my conservative friends post on Facebook with glee every time a green energy company that received government loans fails or if the Chevy Volt has problems. They are against spending any tax payer money on research or production of technology that will free us from a dying petroleum based energy system. They are missing the point. The failure of specific companies doesn’t mean the technology is faulty. Government support for innovation of technology is actually a common practice and is one reason we enjoy some of the things we have in our lives like computers. It would also strengthen our country against the evildoers.
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What is the REAL nanny state?

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The preamble of the US Constitution says: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” That means the government should act in the best interests of the people and in a way that betters our lives such as protecting our health, liberty, and property. Some conservatives like Senator Rand Paul complain about a “nanny state” restricting our freedom to eat as much as we want when we want, waste energy, and to be homophobic no matter that doing all that might encroach on other’s rights.

Recently Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said:

Sen. Rand Paul, in a tussle with an Energy Department official Thursday, complained about what he described as burdensome, “busybody” regulations that were forcing him to buy a bad bowl.

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do. You restrict my choices,” Paul said.

The issue on the table was a 2007 law requiring a phase-in of energy efficient bulbs. Paul and others are trying to repeal portions of the law, arguing that it restricts the American consumer.

At a Thursday hearing on the issue, Paul — a freshman Republican who shares a libertarian streak with his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — aimed his complaints at Kathleen Hogan, a deputy assistant at the Energy Department.

He began his remarks by asking Hogan if she was pro-choice. She replied that she was “pro-choice of bulbs.”

“The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and would be up front to characterize themselves as being pro-choice for abortion,” Paul said.

Toilets join light bulbs on Sen. Rand Paul’s list of necessities burdened by ‘busybody’ rules0

Setting aside the ridiculous point of comparing abortion to buying light bulbs, he isn’t the only cheap labor conservative to complain about government regulations that force you to change the behavior you are use to.

I understand Paul’s point about low flow toilets. Early models were clunky, but the current models are cutting edge and leave the old complaints behind.

I support the use of CFL or LED light bulbs over the old inefficient incandescent bulbs that haven’t really changed in over 100 years. I have several CFL bulbs and one of them I bought in 2003 and it is still working. I have not had to change a light bulb for more than 3 years now and I have seen a slight reduction in my electric bill. I plan on moving to the even better LED bulbs once the costs moderate a bit more.

What moron would want to spend money on old bulbs and give up savings on their electric bill? Sen Rand Paul I guess and other Luddites like him. Besides I would rather spend extra now for new technology and make that transition than be forced to do it later when we have to save energy either because oil is running out or some other nasty reason. I’m sure there will be someone who demands the right to pay $10 a gallon to gas up their old SUV that gets 5 miles to the gallon.

To me that is being stupid.

There is also complaints about the insurance mandate and other parts of the new health care reform law, belly aching about the First Lady’s efforts to curb child obesity, and the First Family speaking out against bullying.

They might have a point about the insurance mandate of the health care law over reaching by taxing people who don’t buy health insurance, but who would want to let insurance companies decide if life-saving procedures were cost-effective? Why do some people want to put profit over people? How is that moral?

At least if the government decided what was covered, those decisions wouldn’t be based on the bottom line. Just talk to people who spend hundred of thousands of dollars so they can have a few more weeks with their loved one. Compassionate people can’t and won’t put a price tag or profit over their loved one.

I don’t worry about rules and regulations meant to benefit the most people but I do worry, and find it ironic, that people like Senator Rand Paul thinks its okay to interfere in a woman’s health decisions while whining about the government doing that to us.

He would rather force women to have unwanted children, have the IRS police if tax dollars were used for abortions, yet doesn’t want to spend money to help take care of those children.

It seems when Democrats “overreach” they at least help the most people but when the GOP overreach they want to hurt the most people.

What is really a “nanny state”? One that tries to better the human condition or one that wants to be a selfish ass.

Ohio rail plan subject to misinformation

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One mode of transportation missing or not as well known in the US is rail travel. In Europe, where gas prices are large and distances relatively short, rail travel is common. Here in the US the oil and auto industries got all the local urban rail systems torn up in the mid 20th century to force people to buy cars and gas. Now the momentum is swinging back but in Ohio the same tired argument is being heard – “it will cost too much…”. However the facts say different.

One argument being used is that building a passenger train that would connect Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland (the 3C rail plan) would cost too much to build and maintain in a state where budget issues are a common problem.

To the first part – building it will be expensive because the infrastructure was all torn up back in the 1950’s

The second part about the cost of maintaining the system, there is this:

It’s unfortunate to see fiscal conservatives resort to a double standard in claiming to protect Ohio’s taxpayers from the imminent doom of the Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati (3C) passenger-rail project.

The hyperbolic Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, even said he feared the 3C trains’ $17 million annual operating cost would grow into “the biggest money pit in state history.” Perhaps he forgot that the immensely larger, debt-ridden and justifiably celebrated Ohio canal system threatened to be just that to our state as a fledgling.

Or perhaps he mistook Ohio’s ballooning highway subsidy for the 3C trains’ operating bill. On behalf of Ohioans who seek 0.005 percent of the state’s transportation budget for First World travel options other than highways, I ask for fairer treatment.

The double standard is revealed in the $7 billion of highway projects due in the 3C corridor in the next few years: the innerbelt rebuild in Cleveland, the I-70/I-71 reconstruction in Columbus, the I-75 ramps project in Dayton and the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati. No one doubts that quality highways are needed. But no one has scrutinized how Ohio taxpayers can afford to sustain this massive infrastructure tomorrow.

In other words, at least $1 billion of ODOT’s operations and maintenance budget was from subsidies in 2010, and that will grow to $1.4 billion by 2017. Meanwhile, the State Highway Patrol’s $318 million annual budget is no longer funded by the gasoline tax. The patrol’s budget is now a general-fund subsidy to highways.

Trains are a better deal than highways

We need to start to move to alternative transportation modes and rail is one that is really needed.

American Capitalism: short term gain and screw the future

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My one major complaint about American style capitalism or a better term would be corporatism, is the need for short term gain at the expense of the future. Corporations and their lackeys in the Congress seem to bend over backward to protect profits but ignore the consequences of that short sightedness. Take for example the comments made by Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH4) and Marathon Petroleum Co. President Gary Heminger on Thursday to the Findlay Courier concerning the proposed carbon cap and trade program.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and Marathon Petroleum Co. President Gary Heminger on Thursday said congressional Democrats’ plans to reduce carbon emissions would raise utility bills and kill jobs.

The hardship to the 4th District would be compounded by its large number of manufacturers, whose costs would climb. The Democrats’ plan would be a “job killer,” Jordan said.

“It takes a lot of energy to manufacture things,” he said. “We are a huge manufacturing district.”

A study by The Heritage Foundation, a public policy research institute, said the 4th Congressional District would be the fourth hardest hit in the nation.

Marathon employees also are vulnerable, Heminger said.

“I talk to our employees (and tell them) … ‘What this does, is, this is going to eliminate your job. It is not just an extra 50 cents, a dollar, whatever per gallon at the pump, and whatever the increment is in your electricity bill, or your natural gas bill,'” Heminger said. “‘But it is going to eliminate one of the largest industries in the country.'”

Marathon, Jordan warn about ‘job killer’ legislation

Yes, a carbon cap and trade program would force a change in how we do business. The change though is for a future long term benefit by leveling the playing field. The one obstacle to a clean energy economy is the cost. A cap and trade program would remove that obstacle.

Leveling the playing field by forcing fossil-fuel prices to reflect their true cost will spur a wave of clean-energy investment: research and development in new technologies, new factories to produce solar panels and wind turbines, and energy-efficiency retrofits of commercial and residential real estate. That means jobs, and lots of them. While some businesses that rely on dirty energy will be hurt, many others will thrive in the clean-energy economy.

Most carbon cap plans are set up to fail because they reward energy companies with permit giveaways and fail to compensate consumers for increased electricity bills. One such proposal hit the Senate floor last year, only to collapse under the weight of too much spending and not enough protection for the middle class. Obama’s cap-and-refund plan avoids these mistakes.

Obama’s Carbon Cap-and-Trade Plan Can Boost Growth

A clean energy economy would help reduce climate change, improve the health of the population, add to our national security by removing our dependence on foreign oil, and bring about greater technology investment.

We may have to buy electric cars that cost $40,000 but the technology is still pretty new. Heminger doesn’t seem to be aware of Moore’s law in the computer industry and that would happen in the electric car industry as we move forward. Five or six years ago I had to spend about $20 for a compact florescent light bulb, now you can buy them for less than $10. When consumer VCRs came on the market you had to spend thousands of dollars now you can buy one for less than $20 – if you can find one.

We must change our energy policy and get rid of the dirty fuel. I would much rather do it now while the transition costs are relatively low then be forced to do it through some major crisis like the melting of the ice caps or cut off of foreign oil when it will cost us all much more.