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30,315 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The house today passed a measure to raise gas mileage standards on new cars and trucks. However reasonable or unreasonable those standards may be, there is a part of measure that is pure folly. Part of the bill mandates electric utilities to generate 15% of their power using "alternative energy methods such as biomass, wind, and solar" by 2020.

I'm a Democrat, but I'm thankful for a Republican president that promises to veto such silliness should it pass the Senate.

The government cannot legislate new inventions. It cannot change science or technology. It can act as a spur to invention and new technology, but government can't just pass a law and expect 15% of our electric power to come from the wind and the sun in 13 years. Hopefully, it can't be done at any price, because if it can be done, we'll all pay the price for such silliness.

We are a nation of 300 million people who burn about 21 million barrels of oil a day. It would be desirable to encourage using less of that oil, and much, much more desirable to pass laws that encourage finding more of that oil. A man who's running short of money needs to find a way to earn more money, if he can. Conservation isn't a bad idea, but it's not going to be the solution to the problem. We need more energy. Cheaper energy. That's the real solution.

Should wind, solar, or biomass energy generation ever become cheaper than hydro, coal, natural gas, or nuclear energy, then the government wouldn't need to pass any laws to mandate their use. Until they do, the government is trying to insist that the American people pay higher electric rates for an "alternative" that isn't as efficient as what we already have.

15,565 Posts
I'm a Democrat, but I'm thankful for a Republican president that promises to veto such silliness should it pass the Senate.
I always like a divided govenment keeps them from taking more of our rights and money away from us.

But I just have to say it, you voted for them you helped pass this law. If you think we need more exploration and more energy now well quit voting for the fools who put this legislation forward and block drilling everywhere.

Luckily the Senate has signaled it likely will not pass there and Bush has promised to Veto "as it is now".

30,315 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My party, the Democrats, needs desperately to remember that the best thing we do is be a friend to the working people. We are going to loose and keep on loosing elections, and we deserve to loose elections, until we quit doing silly, politically correct things like putting caribous in Alaska before working people who want to fill up their cars.

We Democrats aren't at our best when we are railing about raising taxes on the rich. But we are at our dead level worst when we try to add to the burdens of the working people by doing everything in our power to keep our energy supplies expensive.

At least, when a Republican is touting ethanol plants, he's just wanting to buy the farm vote and enrich his buddies who are building the ethanol plants. He surely knows better, and is just being corrupt. Too many of us Democrats actually believe in all those fairy tales. :lol: [/i]

3,397 Posts
SuperXone you should consider changing parties. I was raised democrat
but figured out upon education, things like taking Economics 101 and
102 that governments are usually the problem when it comes to things
like economics.

But now to get back to the energy problem. Have no fear about the
law passed about energy. It will prove to be BS and will somehow
be killed. The government really has very little business trying
to dictate economic development. They really are not equiped to
do this. Very few of them are scientists, engineers, or other
type folks that actually do solve these problems. The government
can influence new development by giving some tax incentives, and
I suppose they can actually aid new development by pouring money
into some technology, but I am not sure of the wisedom of this.

In actual fact economics will soon solve the problem of energy
if the government just stays out of the way. Here is what will
happen in a market economy. A market economy by the way is
a republican economy as opposed to a government planned economy
such as the democrats dream of and the communists actually did
institute. The gift to the world of communism should have been
that governments cannot oversea an economy by arbitrary rules.
They tried this for about 100 years over very many countries
and drove every country into poverty and malnutrition, if not
starvation where they tried this. But back to how this will
eventually be solved, providing the government stay out of
the way.

(1) First of all the problem. The world has now used up half
or more than all of its petroleum resources. New exploration
and production is not keeping up with failing and declining
oil field production. For this reason the world has now been
pumping at production capacity for a couple years and is only
meeting demand, because prices rises have kept the lid on increasing
demand. Demand is still increasing even with increasing prices
because of vastly increasing demand from China and India. As
these developing countries move ahead, demand will only increase,
but yet insufficient new supply will be available. This means
more price increase in oil, over the long haul.

(2) As price of oil increases, as it absolutely has to, given
the supply/demand situation one thing that will happen is that
alternative energy sources will become more attractive as
their price becomes less, relatively speaking, because oil is
increasing in price. Very soon you are going to see more and
more alternative energy source vehicles come onto the market.
At first they are not attractive because they cost more, as
does the fuel for them. There are several technologies and
I don't know which will win out, but just for argument lets
say that hydrogen with the internal combustion engine wins.
How might this happen? Right now at least 2 car companies
are offering vehicles with engines fueled by hydrogen. The
interesting thing about these is that it is pretty much the
same technology as today's gas engine. They use the same
engine and transmission, and the difference is the fuel
delivery system. It injects hydrogen instead of gas into
the engine and it pretty much works the same way. Right now
these vehicles cost more than the gas versions, but as
improvements in design are made they can probably be
brought down to equivalent to todays gas engines. Next
is the fuel problem. Where do you get the hydrogen? I
don't know where but I can invision some pretty good ways
coming on the schene to use electrolysis to take it from
water. For example you could have wind mills generate
electricity which could continuously extract the hydrogen,
or you could use solar panels to do the same, with large
electricity farms in pretty barren areas doing this.
The wind is free and the sun is free. These things could
function continuously and automatically shut off when the
wind or sun disappears, but while operating they could
produce unlimited hydrogen. Actually people with some
land available could install their own hydrogen generators.
Likewise as these things are developed their cost will
come down and efficiency increase with new break throughs
in the technology. This will all happen just because
people are trying to make a buck off the situation. It
won't take a government decree, and what is more no one
in government is smart enough to know what this solution
is going to be. Actually the government is always the
last one to figue out anything. Going further, the world
has now only pumped oil for about 100 years, with most
of it being pumped in the last 50 years. At today's
use level there is not even 50 years supply left, because
todays level is way above the level of the last 50 years.
So this problem has to resolve itself through the depletion
of oil in a very short time.

(3) At some point these new technologies will become
actually cheaper than oil based solutions as the technology
gets better. When this happens there will be an explosion
of demand for these vehicles and as industry churns out
new ones and replace older gas models the demand for gasoline
will plummet along with its price. If hydrogen engines is
the next solution this will also solve the carbon problem
that so many are worried about, since hydrogen produces
no CO2 as it burns. It only produces O2.

The bottom line is that the problem will take care of itself
if you just let it alone. The government will try to do many
things though, and most will be probably counter productive.
For example they might try to hold down oil prices with some
sort of scheme like rationing. If they do hold it down they
will just prolong how long it takes for new systems to be
developed and do nothing more than postpone the problem.
Their favorite idea right now is conservation. This is just
another version of postponing the inevitable price rise of

Political parties change over the years and reverse themselves
at times. For some time now the democrats have been advocates
that the government can solve everyones problems. Republicans
have pretty much believed that everyone can solve their own
problems, if you just leave them alone. As you watch the oil
thing develop over the next few years you will get a very
good clue which one is right. The democrats will be making
new laws and regulations, while at the same time business will
be solving problems of the market place. I have no doubt which
one will really solve the problem.

30,315 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My dear old Uncle Jiggs sat me down about thirty years ago and explained to me the concept of a hydrogen powered car. As I remember it, the idea was to set up nuclear power plants near the ocean and convert a lot of sea water into hydrogen, burn the hydrogen in cars, and the cars would put out water when they burned the hydrogen. Sounds wonderful. Might even work. But there are problems, he said.

We have upteen millions of cars. True, we used to have upteen millions of horses, and they all got replaced by cars. But, Whatever we do has to make allowance for the fact that we'll be burning gasoline in the millions and millions of cars we already have for a long time. In the meantime, before we can sell the very first hydrogen car, we have to consider the buyer expects that hydrogen car to be able to go any place he wants to go, and him buy hydrogen for it. Hydrogen is much nastier than gasoline to handle, too. Folks pumping hydrogen in their cars isn't like folks pumping gasoline. It's nasty stuff to handle. We'd need a hydrogen infastructure first. And, the hydrogen car has to be cheaper than a gasoline car to run. And, it can't cost very much, if any, more to buy. We already have the gasoline cars, both new and used, on the market. To add to all that, there are a lot of companies and a lot of politicians that have vested interests in the gasoline car. They aren't going to just lay down and play dead. In spite of all that, my Uncle Jiggs predicted that the hydrogen car was the wave of the future. He said it would take twenty, maybe thirty or more years.

Uncle Jiggs died this summer, at the ripe old age of 86. They carried him away in a 2007 Cadillac hearse, which he would have approved of mightily. He thought my Cadillac Northstar was a fine car. Shame it didn't run on hydrogen. Uncle Jiggs may well have been right about hydrogen, except it's going to take a bit longer than he thought, obviously.

The world burns about 86 million barrels of oil a day. That's a whole lot of BTU's. The USA burns about 21 million barrels a day of that total. At a hundred bucks a barrel, that's 2.1 billion dollars each day. Almost 800 billion dollars a year, in a 13 some trillion dollar economy. If we'd drill for new oil like there was a war on, we might well lower the price of oil by half. In early 2007 the price dipped below $50 a barrel for a short time.

We are stuck with oil, for today, and tomorrow, and ten years from now, at least. As Harry Hopkins (a good Democrat) said "People don't eat in the long run, they eat every day". Our government should provide every incentive to encourage new production in the United States. Not only would the oil drilling jobs benifit Americans, lowering the price of oil would amount to the same as a huge tax decrease. Nobody looses here. Everybody is the gainer. The US produces about 8 million barrels of oil a day, as it is, without the environment being destroyed. A few million more barrels a day wouldn't kill anybody, probably not even any caribou. :wink:

I like people a lot more than animals. A lot more than I like pretty scenery for people with homes on the sea coast. People gotta have oil, like it or not. I'm for cheaper oil, and more of it.

15,565 Posts
Super X it sounds to me like your party has abandoned you and left you behind to cater to the wackos on the left. Moderates and conservatives have no place in the mode4rn Democrat party just ask Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller.

Drilling for oil is a common sense way to secure oil here in the US without having to send any soldiers anywhere and without having to enrich a foreign despot. So why are the Dems so dead set against it? They are beholden to the wacko Environmentalists and their ever increasingly radical left base. If people continue to vote democrat they simply put far left people in positions of power. Don't be fooled that a dem isn't going to knuckle under to the party once they get to washington that is how the game is played. Nancy Pelosi runs the show as well as Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Conyers, Waxman, Biden these are all commite chairs seting the agenda and deciding what gets before coimmite and out of committee. Commited lefties and extremely liberal they trump any moderate although I am hard pressed to find one in that party anymore.

12,362 Posts
SuperXOne said:
I'm for cheaper oil, and more of it.
SX1, first off, I am sorry to hear about your uncle Jiggs passing!

Second, I am sorry as well about your not realizing that you really are a Republican! :roll: :lol: It is just beyond me, why you don't realize it!

But I know numerous folks with the same problem. You ask them their views and they match perfectly with the Republican set of values, yet they continually vote Demo. And are usually outraged when some one points out the inconsistency. (The Democratic Party just isn't the same party that it used to be!)

Now, I didn't mean to insult you, no offense meant! But if one only took your writings, and compared them to the parties stances, you would come out Republican, virtually every time!


1,255 Posts
We need to be burning natural gas in cars. We are, a little, but it needs to be more widespread. Oil and NG used to follow each other, but now there is a huge difference in the oil/NG (measured in barrels of oil equivalent) price. Boone Pickens has a start up company or two putting LNG mostly in taxis and buses (Clean Energy Fuels Corp. nasdaq-CLNE) at something like $2/gallon compared to gasoline. It is cleaner and cheaper than oil, and we have a lot of it here in the good ole USA. Not to mention it's easier to find and all oil wells produce some NG also and it is far easier to get out of the rock. We are lacking the proper infrastructure here too, but it is closer than H2.

I do believe in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars also. It works, we just need the infrastructure as SX1 said.

Full disclosure: I work in the OIl and Gas industry.

1,255 Posts
By the way, I hunt deer, elk, antelope, and quail in very densely drilled oil and gas fields in New Mexico and Colorado. Drilling bothers wildlife a whole lot less than the tree huggers and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation would like you to believe, and many people do. My old boss even has a picture of a working drilling rig in Wyoming with a Bald Eagle sitting right on top of it. Once the wells are in production the critters don't even notice them. In the Rockies it can take up to three years to drill a well, test it, and complete it due to wildlife stipulations. It should take about eight months and yes, I have experience with this exact thing happening.

4,773 Posts
Alternative power should have been done a long, long time ago. Our ememies have gotten rich on our thirst for oil, and it has made them powerful, while we have gotten weaker. Powerful, rich ememies are not good, weak US is worse... This isn't rocket science.


30,315 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jiggs lived a good, long life. He was married for over fifty years, raised four daughters, helped every one of them and all of his many, many grandchildren buy a home and fix it up, and he bought and fixed up more old "daily driver" cars than you could imagine. He always wore a slouch hat, he was a machinist, tinkerer, and watch maker. He's the reason I'm in love with old time country music and big long silver Avion travel trailers. We'll miss him, but we only grieve for our loss, not his.

We don't any of us get out of this life alive, folks.

When the funeral was over, the family all went back to Jigg's house and brought out guitars and sang old country songs.

One of my cousins remembered how much he loved pulling that Avion travel trailer. Pulled it for thousands and thousands of miles.

Think anybody was sorry how much it cost him for gasoline?

Not hardly. Wished he made several more trips.

Gasoline isn't just for going to work. It's for freedom, too. In Jigg's time, the working man could afford gasoline to travel with. In big cars, pulling big trailers.

Jiggs was a Democrat when he was young, and then he later became a Republican. I think. He didn't talk politics very much. :wink:
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