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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oz-bama: Don't Look Behind the Curtain


Obama’s myopic energy non-policy is a dangerous exercise in stealth and guile. Its front people promote and defend it with rhetorical misdirection and trust-me-I'm-with-the-high-command perfidy. In order to succeed, the Green Regime's spin meisters in the lapdog media must convince the public to suspend disbelief and disassociate cause and effect.
 
America’s TASS is trying to sell the tale that the federal Environmental Protection Agency, along with the US Departments of Energy and Interior  actually want energy from fossil fuels to be more readily available and affordable for the public. Actually, a preponderance of evidence shows that these government agencies have acted to drive up the cost of energy and to make it artificially scarce.  The current administration cites this contrived scarcity and the resulting price increases as justification for additional public investment in Team Obama's Clean Green Energy Machine; unfortunately, it is out of gas.   
 
The intended beneficiaries of this swindle are the same Obama cronies and economic supporters who have already squandered billions of tax dollars on the first failed clean tech experiment. Now, the very people who perpetrated that unsuccessful green energy scam want taxpayers to bail them out with fresh billions of Other People’s Money.  It is revealing that private sector investors, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists are not beating a path to invest in these so-called opportunities; thus, the only people willing to gamble are bureaucrats who plan to use—you guessed it—Other People’s Money.

Juliet Eliperin's Wired article "Why the Clean Tech Boom Went Bust" describes how Obama's socio/political and environmental flagship quickly became his administration's Hindenburg.  Consider a recent analysis by Matthew Nordan, a venture capitalist who specializes in energy and environmental technology. Of all the energy startups that received their first [venture capital] funds between 1995 and 2007, only 1.8 percent achieved what he calls unambiguous success.  Eliperin's article explains the lack of success.  

Prices for solar panels have fallen 40% recently, ensuring that China's 54% market share will increase; US industries simply cannot compete.  Wind turbine generated power remains significantly more costly than that produced by natural gas fired electrical plants.  Concerns over propellers killing eagles and other raptors have made permits for wind farms as difficult to obtain as those for coal fired generators.  Although energy from algae looks promising, the needed technology is elusive.  Researchers cannot produce it in sufficient quantities to make it viable. 

A kilowatt of energy produced from fossil fuels costs about $30; produced by fuel cells, it runs about $50.  Not only must the price decrease to be competitive, we only have about 60 refueling stations in the country.  Our current hydrogen infrastructure is comparable to the US interstate highway system in 1950.

Hopes for a viable cellulosic biofuel industry have all but evaporated since the US revised its anticipated production downward in 2010 from 100 million gallons annually to 6.6 million per year.  The sugars from this type of biomass are simply far too difficult to extract compared to those in corn; additionally, it can cost up to four times as much to build a cellulosic biofuel processing plant.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan yesterday released a proposed budget that would immediately terminate all programs that allow government to play venture capitalist with taxpayers’ money.  This budget reverses the President’s policies that drive up gas prices, and instead promotes an all-of-the-above strategy for unlocking American energy production to help lower costs, create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Preventing the federal government from fleecing taxpayers with future 500 billion dollar Solyndra-like schemes seems prudent.  Undoubtedly, those who wish to continue rewarding their constituents with Other People's Money will disagree.

May your gods be with you.  

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