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The House Opens Pandora's Box

By Robert Romano

On Friday, the House of Representatives opened up a Pandora's Box. And although the Waxman-Markey carbon-cap bill may not contain all of the evils of humanity, it is a not-so-good start.

The only silver lining is that the American people are now keenly aware of what Congress is up to.

You see, the politicians in Washington probably thought they'd get away with it. That nobody was paying attention. That they could just jam it down the throats of the American people while nobody was watching. That there'd be no time to mount significant opposition to it. Indeed, that there was no time to even read it.

Now, millions of phone calls and emails later sent from Americans across the fruited plain to key legislators, a brief filibuster from the House Republican Leader while he read from an amendment that was filed by House Democrats at 3AM Friday morning, and now a razor-thin vote by which it barely passed, one thing is clear: They were wrong.

Although the legislation got through on the skin of its teeth, 219-212, the American people rose up and said resoundingly, “No” to the bill, HR 2454. It would force carbon-emitting industries coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas to purchase carbon permits. The bill aims to reduce industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Over time, fewer and fewer permits would be available for purchase.

There is no way around it. The United States in fact depends upon carbon-emitting sources of energy for electricity, transportation, home heat, air conditioning, and just about everything else to make the economy work. Capping carbon emissions necessarily means restricting the supply of the nation's energy resources over time, the means by which the economy functions, and increasing prices to do it.

Indeed, it is the express purpose: to limit the supply of hydrocarbon energy to such an extent as to inflate prices dramatically. In turn—so the hypothesis goes—“cleaner” alternatives solar, wind, and plug-in hybrids will be incentivized with market forces intervening to deliver those alternatives, new businesses, and thus new jobs.

Of course, as with any government-planned hostile takeover of an entire sector of the economy, there are a few problems. The first, as stated above, is that the economy depends greatly upon oil, gasoline, coal, and natural gas for just about everything.

Second, the alternatives are not really ready for mass production, let alone being the standard bearers of American energy. The bill mandates that by 2012, 6 percent of the nation's electricity must be renewable solar and wind, increasing to 20 percent by 2020.

Not only is this highly unlikely to happen, it is near impossible to properly quantify the costs. Having far lower yields than coal or nuclear, is the legislation stating that by 2020 wind and solar must provide the same amount of electricity as 20 percent of the current electricity grid?

If so, forget about it. It will never happen, because paying for that much for these energy sources will break the nation's piggy bank into a million pieces. Instead, the most likely mechanism for increasing the percentage of so-called renewable energy would not be increasing the availability of those sources, but in decreasing the net amount of electricity actually provided in order to meet the government quotas.

Of course, one could hope the drafters of the legislation were not talking about a percentage of watts provided when they drafted their legislation. Because, if they were, they're nuts.

Let's start off with some facts. According to Max Schulz, “Pound for pound, coal stores twice as much energy as wood. Oil packs the same amount of energy that coal does into half the weight and space. But a gram of uranium 235 contains as much energy as four tons of coal.” And wind and solar? Since these sources cannot be stockpiled, such an apples to oranges comparison is not readily available. Nonetheless, according to Schulz, “Electricity from renewable energies such as wind, solar, or biomass can cost anywhere from two to six times as much as electricity from nuclear power.” And produce far less, we would add.

The only means of comparison is kilowatt-hours produced. Says Schulz, “In 2005, the 103 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors operating in 31 states generated 782 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) [emphasis added].” That's about 2.142 billion kWh a day, providing about 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs of about 10.71 billion kWh a day, we'll say.

How much can a solar panel produce? Well, according to this letter to the editor to Salon.com, “The average 'sunny' location in the U.S. (say L.A.) receives on average 5.5 hours of sunlight per day. Simple multiplication of 273.2 watts/square meter * 5.5 hours yields 1502.6 watt hours/ square meter or 1.5026 kilowatt hours per day for a 1 meter square panel. And this is better than the best possible case…” because it accounts for peak solar performance. That means in order to produce as much energy as the 103 nuclear plants in the nation as of 2005 in a single day, one would need 1.425 million square meters of solar panels, or 1,425 square kilometers! And if it gets cloudy? 2,851 square kilometers.

So, if the central-planners were to get to the 20 percent of the electricity provided required solely on solar by 2020, that's how much space would be required. And the cost? Unquantifiable. Astronomical. More than we can bear. That is why, to reach the 20 percent quota, the government would be forced to decrease the amount of kWh a day provided to the American people from the 2005 level of about 10.71 billion kWh a day.

Sure, try to power an economy with those sorts of inherent inefficiencies. Businesses would have to take turns just turning on the lights. That is why jobs can only be lost and none gained by this “green” centralization of the energy sector, the third problem of the bill.

The fourth problem, and perhaps most important, is there is no climate crisis to begin with—the immediate cause for so drastically changing the way energy is produced and transforming the economy.

According to the APS Physics study by Christopher Monckton, “Climate Sensitivity Revisited,” “the [UN International Panel on Climate Change's] estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated. There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001. Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC's estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no ‘climate crisis' at all.”

Monckton's cure for a non-problem? “[T]o have the courage to do nothing.”

Because, by opening the Pandora's Box of capping carbon emissions, Congress will undoubtedly be creating more problems than it even claims to solve—producing many of the evils of humanity along the way.

Correction: The line that read, "Over time, less and less permits are available for purchase" was a poor use of grammar.  It should read as revised, "fewer and fewer permits..." Thank you to our discerning reader, Morton IX, for your impeccable attention to detail.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of ALG News Bureau.


Comments

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By: Robert Ferris
On: 06/30/2009 12:24:56

Ladies and Gentlemen;
I would appreciate knowing the names of the House Republicans who voted for this Cap-in-Trade disaster because I want to include them with the lunatic left and the parliament of whores who, by their vote, they chose to align themselves with. I want to make damned sure that not one dime of what little I may be able to contribute to conservative cause(s) would be used to support one of them.

I am a retired Marine and taxpayer who is thoroughly discussed with the entire political process in the United States today. We are at a point in our history that we cannot trust any of the sons-of-bitches to represent our interests after we elect them. On the other hand that may say more about our short comings of the electorate than those of whom we elect.

This government, in my personal view, is a despicable, treacherous, corrupt, self serving, viciously vindictive, self deprecating parliament of whores. A criminal lot if you will, determined at all cost to foil the collective will of the American people, absolutely determined to nationalize every aspect of their lives and dedicated to enslaving them and their progeny to a Marxist socialist nightmare for the next 50-100 years.

If this Cap-in-Trade insanity passes the Senate, by 2010 solar and wind energy will be the least of our worries. In 2010 we will be well on our way to a bankrupt third world status, and at the end of the day the only thing these political whores will have created is a national disaster of unmitigated proportions. As surely as it did on 911, the war on terror will come home to America, and we will lose this war along with our freedom and our prosperity in the process if we don’t wake up and deal with it. Afterall terrorists are not longer terrorist just pathetic, impoverished unenlightened criminals from the 7th century whom we only need to better understand. And so it goes…

The current policies and direction of this Marxist administration and its socialist congress, dedicated to redistribute of wealth and nationalizing everything left, is a recipe for and a prelude to armed prelude to armed revolt. We are losing on average 615,000 jobs a month since January 09 with no signs of correction and the tax base shrinks proportionally. To continue down this road of treasonously oppressive communist policies of, corruption ever escalating costs, higher taxes and nationalization, is to openly court financial, economic, social disaster and military disaster. Rest assured, If Americans ever wake up and understand that this administration and this congress is doing to them exactly what Bernard Madoff did to his investors, they will be madder than hell and out for blood. Think about it!

Madoff received 150 year prison sentence when he should have been executed. Now we have to feed him for the rest of his life so in effect he continues to bilk his newest clients, the taxpayers, to sustain him for what is left of the rest of his life. What a comfort, at least we won’t have to feed son-of-a bitch for the duration of his 150 year sentence. Actually Madoff will very likely get a 140-year reprieve because he will, in all likelihood, be dead within ten years or so.

The Madoff trial reflected the scope of his enormous swindle of his investors, and what Madoff did to his investors is exactly what this administration is doing to the American people. WAKE UP AMERICA!]

After this administration has raped us, stolen our national wealth, impoverished the nation and consigned our children to a third world slave state status, who will lead the reprieve of we the people? No one! Why? In one word, CONTROL! Why, because it is their political, socialist and absolute intent to ultimately control every facet of our lives from cradle to the grave. How throughout history, have corrupt, oppressive, viciously overreaching, treasonous self serving people in government been punished after they engineered a national disaster? Because they were cowards to begin with, many will commit suicide! Does anyone remember Adolf Hitler and fate many of his henchmen? For those who choose to run and hide, sooner or later they will be recognized, captured by the very people they abused and will hanged by their heels in a public square. Does anyone recall Benito Mussolini’s fate at hands of irate Italians?

When the gravity of just how seriously this administration and this congress has literally screwed the American people in its undeclared war on the middle class and poised to consigned the next four generations of American children to lives of abject poverty in their concept of a utopian socialist slave state, rest assured, as did their forefathers, they too will fight! If that is not true, why then would this administration site returning American Veterans as a terrorist threat to national security? Janet Napolitano certainly thinks so and so does the president. Afterall he sets the tone of his administration dosen’t he?

Regards,
Robert Ferris

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