Romney’s Historic Opportunity: Low-Cost Energy Fuels Economic Recovery

Editorial by Dr. Fred Singer

Romney can clinch the election by detailing an energy policy that restores jobs, prosperity, and American economic leadership. “To be credible, a reform agenda must have some reform substance.”
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Energy, the life-blood of the economy, is the Achilles heel of President Barack Obama. Mitt Romney can win the November election if he concentrates his campaign on a sensible energy policy.

Mr. Romney will have to make a case not merely against Mr. Obama’s failings but also for why he has the better plan to restore prosperity.” [WSJ 4-26-12] “…optimistic conservative vision that can inspire the party faithful, appeal to swing voters and set out a governing agenda should he win in November …”  source NYT

As a presumed candidate for the US presidency, Romney should spell out now a coherent policy of low-cost and secure energy that would boost the US economy, ensure jobs and prosperity, and raise people up from poverty. Fundamentally, he and his surrogates must educate and inspire the public. 

He should pledge specific goals: Lower gasoline prices; cheaper household electricity; cheaper fertilizer for farmers and lower food prices for everybody; cheaper transport fuels for aviation and for the trucking industry; lower raw material costs for the chemical industry. He should also indicate the kind of people who would be part of his team, who would fill the crucial posts and carry out these policies. His running-mate should have a record of endorsing these goals.

Obama has made it easy for Romney

It’s a winning situation for Romney; Obama has already provided him most of the ammunition:

**Under Obama, the price of gasoline has more than doubled, from $1.80 (US average), and is approaching $5 a gallon. His Secretary of Energy, Dr. Chu, wanted the price to rise to “European levels of $8 to $10.” It is really hurting the middle class, particularly the two-car couples who must commute to work. Yet everything Obama has done or is doing is making the situation worse.

**He has vetoed the Keystone pipeline, which would have brought increasing amounts of oil from Canada to Gulf-Coast refineries, created ‘shovel-ready’ jobs, and improved energy security.

** He has kept much federal land off limits for oil and gas production — particularly in Alaska and offshore. The Alaska pipeline is in danger of running dry. Even where exploration is permitted, drilling permits are hard to obtain because of bureaucratic opposition.

** To Obama, oil is a “fuel of the past;” not so to millions of drivers. He’s looking to put algae in their gas tanks – the latest bio-fuel scheme! In his 2008 campaign, Obama promised that under his regime electricity prices would “skyrocket.” He seems to have kept his promise — with help from the misguided ‘Renewable Electricity Standard,’ which mandates utilities to buy costly ‘Green’ energy from solar/wind projects and effectively become tax-collectors.

**He also promised that potential builders of coal-fired power plants would go “bankrupt.” That too would happen, thanks to extreme, onerous EPA regulation. The latest EPA plan would stop the construction of new coal-fired power plants by setting impossible-to-obtain emission limits for carbon dioxide. True, EPA has made exceptions if the power plant can capture and sequester the emitted CO2; but the technology to do this is not available and its cost would be prohibitive.

**It seems likely that, if Obama is re-elected, his EPA will use the CO2 excuse to also close down existing coal-fired plants — and may not permit the construction of any fossil-fueled power plants, including even those fired by natural gas, which emits only about half as much CO2 as coal. The Calif PUC has already banned gas plants (on April 19, 2012) in order to reach their unrealistic goal of 33% Green electricity.

**One can see the signs of impending EPA efforts to stop the exploitation of shale gas by horizontal drilling, using the claim that ‘fracking’ causes water pollution.

The only explanation for this irrational behavior: The Obama administration, from top to bottom, seems possessed by pathological fear of catastrophic global warming and obsessed with the idea that no matter what happens to the economy or jobs, it must stop the emission of CO2.

The starkest illustration of this came in his [Obama’s] answers to questions about climate change in which he promised to make this article of faith for the left a central issue in the coming campaign. This may play well for the readers of Rolling Stone. But given the growing skepticism among ordinary Americans about the ideological cant on the issue that has spewed forth from the mainstream media and the White House, it may not help Obama with independents and the working class voters he needs as badly in November as the educated elites who bludgeoned him into halting the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. This conflict illustrates the contradiction at the core of the president’s campaign

Source Commentary Magazine

The situation is tailor-made for Romney to launch an aggressive campaign to counter current energy policy — and the even worse one that is likely to be put in place if Obama is re-elected.

What Romney must do to win the November election

Romney has to make it quite clear to potential voters why low-cost energy is absolutely essential for economic recovery, for producing jobs, and for increasing average income– especially for the middle-class family, which is now spending too much of its budget on energy essentials. Romney should hold out the entirely realistic prospect of US energy independence – often promised but never before achieved – or even of the US becoming an energy exporter.

**Romney can confidently promise to reduce the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon or less, with a gracious tip of the hat to Newt Gingrich, who had proposed such a goal in one of his campaign speeches. To accomplish this, the world price of oil would have to fall below $60 a barrel from its present price of $110.

**But this bright energy promise is entirely possible due to the low price of natural gas, which has fallen to $2 from its 2008 peak of $13 per mcf (1000 cubic feet) — and is still trending downward. All that Romney has to do is to remove to the largest extent possible existing regulatory roadblocks.

It is essential to recognize three important economic facts:

**Since many of the newly drilled wells also produce high-value oil and NGL (natural gas liquids), natural gas becomes a by-product that can be profitably sold at even lower prices.

**Natural gas currently sells for less than 15% of the average price of crude oil, on an energy/BTU basis. This means that it pays to replace oil-based fuels, such as diesel and gasoline, with either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). This may be the most economical and quickest replacement for heavy road-vehicles, earth movers. diesel-electric trains, buses, and fleet vehicles.

**It also becomes profitable to convert natural gas directly to gasoline or diesel by chemical processing in plants that are very similar to refineries. Forget about methanol, hydrogen, and other exotics. Such direct conversion would use the existing infrastructure; it is commercially feasible, the technology is proven, and the profit potential is evident — even if the conversion efficiency is only modest, say 50%.

Thanks to cheap natural gas, Romney’s promise for lower gasoline prices is easily fulfilled: With reduced demand and increased supply globally, the world price of oil will decline and so will the price of transportation fuel. So by satisfying transportation needs for fuel, it should be possible to reduce, rather quickly, oil imports from overseas; at present, 60% of all imports (in $) are for oil. At the same time, oil production can be increased domestically and throughout North America. The US is on its way to become not only energy-independent but also an exporter of motor fuels – with a huge improvement in its balance of payments.

Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources and discoverer of the prolific Bakken fields of the northern Great Plains, complains about current energy policy that’s holding back development. “President Obama is riding the wrong horse on energy,” he adds in an interview with Stephen Moore. We can’t come anywhere near the scale of energy production to achieve energy independence by pouring tax dollars into “green energy” sources like wind and solar. It has to come from oil and gas. Hamm is an energy advisor to Romney. Similarly, Governor Bob McDonnell, intent on making Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast by developing offshore oil and gas, complains, in a WSJ op-ed, that Obama’s words are “worlds apart from his actions.”

Another promise Romney can confidently make is that he will cut the price of electricity in half — or even lower. This promise can be fulfilled not only by the low price of natural gas but also by the much higher efficiency of gas-fired power plants that can easily reach 60% or more, compared to the present 35-40% for nuclear or coal-fired plants. Higher efficiencies reduce not only the cost of fuel (per kilowatt-hour) but effectively lower the capital cost (per kilowatt).

Efficiencies can be raised even higher with ‘distributed’ electric generation, if such gas-fired power plants are located in urban centers where co-generation becomes an attractive possibility. This would use the low-temperature heat that is normally discharged into the environment (and wasted) to provide hot water for space heating and many other applications of an urban area: snow and ice removal, laundry, and even cooling and water desalination. Again, this is proven technology and the economics may be very favorable. Distributed generation also improves security (against terrorism) and simplifies the disposal of waste heat.

Low-cost natural gas can also provide the basic raw material for cheap fertilizer for farmers, thus lowering food prices, and feedstock for chemical plants for cheaper plastics and other basic materials. Industries can now return to the United States and provide jobs locally — instead of operating offshore where natural gas has been cheap.

With the exploitation of the enormous gas-hydrate resource in the offing, once the technology is developed, the future never looked brighter. Somehow, Romney must convey this optimistic outlook to the voting public.

“Natural gas is a feedstock in basically every industrial process,” and the price of gas in the U.S. is a fraction of what it is in Europe or Asia. “This country has an incredible advantage headed its way as Asian labor costs rise, as the cost to transport goods from Asia to the U.S. rises, as oil prices rise, as American labor costs have stagnated or gone down in the last 10 years. We have a really wonderful opportunity to kick off an industrial renaissance in the U.S.” [Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, WSJ 4-26-12]

Slaying the ‘Green Dragon’

Romney should speak out on the “hoax” (to use Senator Inhofe’s term) of climate catastrophes from rising CO2 levels. He should also make it clear that there is no need for large-scale wind energy or solar electricity — and even the construction of nuclear plants can be postponed. Many environmentalists will be relieved to avoid covering the landscape with solar mirrors, windmills and – yes — hundreds of miles of electric transmission lines and towers.

In his book Throw Them All Out Peter Schweizer reports that 80% of the Department of Energy’s multi-billion Green loans, loan guarantees, and grants went to Obama backers. Romney should proclaim that there will be no more Solyndras or other boondoggles, and no need for government subsidies for ‘Green energy’ or for crony capitalism. The marketplace would decide the future of novel technologies, such as electric cars, solar devices, etc. Many Washington lobbyists will lose their cushy jobs.

There’s absolutely no need for bio-fuels either. Yes, that includes algae as well as ethanol, which is now consuming some 40% of the US corn crop. The world price of corn has tripled in the past five years – even as EPA plans to increase the ethanol percentage of motor fuels from 10 to 15%! True environmentalists are well aware of the many drawbacks of bio-fuels, the damage they do to crop lands and forests in the US and overseas, and to the vast areas they require that could be devoted to natural habitats.

Finally, Romney should make it clear that if elected he would appoint a secretary of energy, secretary of interior, administrator of NOAA and administrator of EPA who share his convictions about energy. Above all, he should recruit a White House staff, including a Science Advisor, who will bring the promise of low-cost, secure energy to the American economy.

Perhaps the WSJ (April 27) said it all: Did you like the past four years? Good, you can get four more”

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project.  His specialty is atmospheric and space physics.   An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. Though a physicist, he has taught economics to engineers and written a monograph on the world price of oil. He has also held several government positions and served as an adviser to Treasury Secretary Wm. Simon. He co-authored NY Times best-seller “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years.” In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [See http://www.NIPCC.org. For recent writings see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.

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128 Responses to Romney’s Historic Opportunity: Low-Cost Energy Fuels Economic Recovery

  1. philjourdan says:

    While I would love to be thought of as a Rocket Scientist (my Cousin actually is), Economics is not rocket Science. However, that does not mean that everyone knows economics.

    And Obama does not know economics.

    Very well stated Dr. Singer.

  2. Ed_B says:

    Way way too complex. Rommney needs to keep it simple.. support every effort to grow the USAs advantages in energy, and create jobs doing it, instead of exporting jobs. His competitor, Obama, has failed to get Congress to shut down our energy industry, and is now doing it through the back door, using the EPA. If you want to cause a depression in the USA, vote Obama.

  3. Leo Morgan says:

    The word “Hoax” is electoral suicide. Like “Denier”, it’s an insult that creates sympathy for the insulted.
    The average onlooker can judge our debating even if they can’t judge the science. They recognise that however wrong-headed the alarmists may be, they are genergally sincere in their claims.
    The average “I suppose it must be right” person can be won to our point of view by the facts- but if we call them “Hoaxers” they will see that we’re wrong about the only thing they know for certain, their own motives.
    The accusation “Denier” has cost the alarmists the high moral ground for a decade now. That fact has swayed the opinion of more of the public than anything else has. Lets not join them in the raxe to the bottom.

  4. Gary says:

    The headwinds to this sensible course of action are the perceived and real problems that the voters have with “Big Oil” — collusion/corruption (ENRON-type fallout), disregard for the environment (belching smokestack images), and mega-accidents (Exxon Valdiz and BP spills). These are strong memes that the opposition is sure to exploit. Unless there are strong rebuttals, not platitudes, the argument loses much of it’s force. Dr. Singer makes the economic case; somebody needs to make the political case that safeguards will be in place.

  5. Mr Lynn says:

    Bravo, Fred Singer! Now let’s get together and get this to the Romney campaign!

    Four years ago I sent a letter to Gov. Romney, suggesting he take the lead in denouncing the myth of anthropogenic global warming and in arguing for exactly the renaissance in industrialization based on plentiful, cheap fossil fuel that Dr. Singer advocates. But I never received even an acknowledgement from a staffer.

    When he was Governor of Massachusetts, and later during his first primary run for President, Gov. Romney was content to go along with the AGW ‘consensus’. Maybe this year will be different. But someone has to get to him and convince him. Does Professor Lindzen have enough clout to get a meeting?

    I’m going to copy Dr. Singer’s post and send it to the Romney campaign. I hope many of you will, as well.

    /Mr Lynn

  6. bruce says:

    I would add authorize a new refinery or two in US for first time in quarter century. Not much can be done about Brent but significant cost add-ons due to pipeline refinery capacity is within the scope of control from POV of the President. Most important element will be negation of the EPA CO2 regs.

  7. fhhaynie says:

    Bravo, Dr. Singer, I nominate you as the new president’s science advisor.

  8. Stephanie Clague says:

    First kill the EPA and redistribute its core responsibilities and duties to each state to approve or repeal as needed on a local level, if an individual state wishes to try and run its energy grid on green fantasies and make believe then that is their choice isnt it?

    Then kill the department of energy, kill it stone dead and create a fully free open market in energy supply, a total free market in energy provision would see energy prices fall off a cliff. Open up all federal land to fossil fuel exploitation as a matter of national urgency/survival and the USA would thrive.

  9. SocialBlunder says:

    From an economic perspective, the cheap natural gas is forcing consolidation in the natural gas industry. Once consolidation is complete, prices will rise. Increasing demand on natural gas will also force prices to rise. While many of the benefits described in the above article are true at current natural gas prices, they will not be true as natural gas prices rise.

  10. Michael Palmer says:

    This concise outline by Dr. Singer makes it startlingly clear just how much economic damage is being done by blind, ideological environmentalism. Excellent.

  11. CD (@CD153) says:

    Rather than forcing coal-generated electricity out of existence, the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC) promises dramatic improvements for making electricity generated from coal and natural gas more environmentally friendly: http://www.llnl.gov/str/June01/Cooper.html. The DCFC allows for the generation of electricity from coal without burning it, and the CO2 it produces can be easily captured and used with water and heat (maybe waste heat from nuclear plants) to produce synthetic liquid transportaion fuels to reduce our dependence on imported oil. This ease with which CO2 can be captured using this technology would eliminate one more excuse the climate alarmists have for trying to phase out fossil fuels through government regulations.

    My bottom line here is to fight the good (CAGW) fight with technological advances as well as with sound science.

  12. L Nettles says:

    “Why is energy such a high-level issue this year?,” said Harold Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources and chairman of Romney’s energy policy advisory team, on Thursday. “It is pretty simple: because of the failure of Obama’s energy policy.”

    He said Obama’s policies aimed at developing renewable energy are based on a false notion of oil and natural-gas “scarcity” that has been overtaken by the U.S. production boom.

    “Romney has a policy of abundance; the other one is one of scarcity,” Hamm said.

    POLICY OF ABUNDANCE

  13. Jim Cripwell says:

    I sent the URL for this to my Member of Parliament here in Canada. Our Conservative government is doing this sort of thing, but they wont make it official policy.

  14. pat says:

    Yup.

  15. There is a video of Obama promising that electric rates would necessarily skyrocket if his energy plan was enacted….make that clip your number one commercial and make sure every American is exposed to it at least 10 times….and then as it ends remind Americans gasoline prices were $1.84 when he took office….do those two things and you will have a Romney landslide.

  16. Mailman says:

    Sadly the democrats and their compliant MFM will merely spread the meme of republicans = anti-science.

    The problem for Romney is that anything he does will be spun as a race attack. So while everything said the the article seems like common sense to you to the clowns running Romneys campaign they will bend over backwards not to highlight anything about Barry’s presidency that was a failure (pretty much everything).

    Mailman

  17. Dr Singer makes a common error in suggesting that the “waste heat” from local power generators could be used outside of the plant.

    While technically feasible, doing so necessarily reduces the cycle efficiency of the generating plant at it “sees” a hotter cold sink in such circumstances.

  18. Ed_B says:

    “My bottom line here is to fight the good (CAGW) fight with technological advances as well as with sound science.”

    OK, lets start with you showing ANY empirical evidence of CAGW. Only then would I accept your suggestion.

  19. Chuck L says:

    As President John F. Kennedy testified at a Senate hearing in 1961, after the Soviet Union successfully sent Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin to orbit the Earth , “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” Governor Romney should declare here and now that if he is elected, before this decade is out, the United States will be energy independent. The number of jobs and energy/technology breakthoughs that will be created through this declaration and breadth of its execution will help catapult the United States back to being the shining light and world leader that it once was.

  20. kim2ooo says:

    There are MANY reasons to hope for a change. I have talked to many adults who are disenchanted [ hate ] Mr Obamas’ appointees and their actions – [ Lisa Jackson - Chu - Holder - Kathleen Sebelius, etc ]. The things about energy will help but I think Mr Romney should also target these people and their bureaucracies UNDER Mr Obama.

    In a recent post at WUWT their was some kid [? Personally, I don't believe it was a kid ] in despair over CAGW climate claims….
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/29/a-student-in-despair-over-romms-11f-by-2050-article-if-this-comment-was-reversed-it-would-be-called-a-death-threat/

    Well…I’m in despair, as well. Only my fear is based on tangible realities of the last few years of governance…. under the present administration.

  21. navytech says:

    What would be the direct annual $ value to the Federal Government from leases, warrants, and taxes of FF resources under Federal lands and off shore? Let alone from the general lift in overall economic activity?

    Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina -seemingly everybody but us is drilling for all they’re worth. As it is now with our current federal policy, any new supply of FF will need to be imported.

  22. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:

    Dr. Singer could not be more correct! Labour costs in Asia are not the problem that effects our competitiveness. Asia (China in particular) subsidizes energy. The result is that steel and plastic are cheaper because the major cost of producing both is the energy required in their manufacture. The advent of horizontal drilling and multi-stage fraccing has returned North America’s historical advantage that precipitated our initial industrial prowess – cheap, plentiful energy. If you have a plastics manufacturing facility that uses 200,000 boe/day as raw material, your cost of labour (even unionized) is a fraction of your raw material cost. Here in North America we now have the capability to keep the price of natural gas below $3.00 for a generation or longer! With such surety, plastics manufacturers, agricultural products, steel mills, heavy industries of many varieties would again find N. America to be the preeminent location for millions of good paying jobs. Let’s get it on!

  23. Bruce Cobb says:

    Very true. Give people a reason to vote for you, not just reasons to vote against Obama. Stay away from emotion-laden terms like “hoax”, though, which would give Obama the chance to say something like “My oponent, despite the overwhelming majority of whom say otherwise, thinks that climate change is a hoax”. Call it bad science, unsupported by the facts.

  24. J. Felton says:

    Excellent editorial, Professor Singer. Let’s hope Romney reads it!

  25. Jud says:

    I don’t see this happening.
    Ambitious politicians inhabit a bubble where utterings like this are akin to treason.
    Things need to get a lot worse – as they likely will with another 4 years of the current administration – before a credible alternative will emerge.

    My bet is we will see policy proposals like this being openly proposed in 2016 – but not in 2012.

  26. Jeremy says:

    Sadly it is the media and the powerful people who control the media which determines US Citizen’s thoughts and ultimately who will be the next President. Democracy only exists in name. Elections are simply bought with money and graft. Unless the collective population suddenly wakes up from “dreamville” there is no way that the rational sensible approach proposed by Dr Singer will ever fly. The Fossil fuel industry have been painted as evil for such a long time that Romney would be attacked as an industry puppet if he took such an agenda to the public.

    The only way for Romney to win is to raise more money and make more promises to those in power than Obama does.

    Sadly, it wasn’t ever going to be an election decided upon platforms and policy. It never is.

    Sadly, it is all and only about Money.

  27. CD (@CD153) says:

    Ed_B says:
    “OK, lets start with you showing ANY empirical evidence of CAGW. Only then would I accept your suggestion.”

    You misunderstand what I was saying, and it is probably my fault. I accept that there is no sound scientific evidence for CAGW. What I meant to say and should have said was that we should develop and use technological advances as well as sound science to undermine CAGW alarmism. DCFCs consume coal for electricty generation far more efficiently than burning it, so we would get significantly more electrical power out of a ton of coal with DCFCs. They are worthwhile for that reason alone even if we don’t capture the CO2 from them (and I have no problem with not capturing it, although I think it would be wasteful not to do so if we can use the CO2 for synthetic liquid transportation fuel production).

  28. David L. says:

    One interesting thing that I’ve observed about gasoline prices is that most of my liberal friends that overpaid for their hybrid cars a few years ago are actually praying for higher gasoline prices. It was the fear of high gasoline prices that lured them into selling their perfectly good cars for pennies on the dollar to buy expensive hybrids. They did the calculations and convinced themselves it was a sound finanial decision. Well, it turs out that it’s only a sound decision if gas prices are way over $5 a gallon. So to prove to themselves that they had made a good decision, they are cheering-on gasoline price hikes! They say to me “They higher it goes, the more I save”!

  29. Doug Proctor says:

    Hi, Fred,

    With respect to natural gas: the “abundant, cheap” gas from shale gas needs to be checked closely. See Arthur Berman, Dorothy Rogers and others.

    There is a mass of technical detail about well performance that tells you that the “resource” potential (a bogus fraud of a term, in that it makes you think you have more than a dream) of shale gas is 1/5 of what is claimed. This is very significant as future energy availability in the President’s mind is propped up by false ideas of where energy is coming from in the future. Beyond that is the actual costs: the drilling, completion, infrastructure and facilities costs push shale gas PRICES into the next level.

    Forget the operating costs, forget the “total reserve potential” numbers. Look to the amount of gas to be retrieved in under 10 years. That is where the benefit lies. And that is where the costs plus profit are retrieved. This is what will be used to say how much the American consumer (or the Euro-Brit) will be paying.

    Last year the USGS quietly dropped Barnett shale recoverable reserves by 70%. Shale gas plays are like any other play: a core exists which pays for the facilities etc. that the outer portions use, while the fringe areas increase total production numbers but are cost centers, not profit centers. The fringe areas make companies look good only because the loss is covered up by the profits elsewhere, and the total costs are rolled into the price consumers pay. If the consumers wanted only the lower cost “cheap” gas, the producers would have to shut in a lot of their field.

    This is a new problem in the world. “Resource” plays are now what companies boast about, saying that technology and prices will make the non-economic portions economic in the future. Two troubles: first, nuclear weapons won’t release a great deal because the rock mechanics forbid it, even thought there is gas trapped inside, and second, the PRICES that justify it would horrify the consumer if he understood what the future will bring.

    The Austin Chalk play was the first I remember. Coalbed methane was the first one I spent a lot of time on (: my company claimed a 56% recovery factor when, in fact, the recovery factor was (on their lands) < 3%. They could be forgiven, though, as the government geo survey said 26%. In the established US fields, the central portions are in the 3-9% range). The tar sands are similar in that the non-produced oil that is there is deeper, in more difficult terrain, and of lower quality. Which is why the focus is where it is! Easier, cheaper, better. Shale gas is just the latest.

    Shale gas: not a national game changer, not an energy savior, not cheap. While oil and gas in the ground may be astonishingly large, oil and gas in the pipeline is going to be much less.

    That which sounds to good to be true, once again is.

  30. pokerguy says:

    Leo Morgan wrote:The word “Hoax” is electoral suicide. Like “Denier”, it’s an insult that creates sympathy for the insulted.
    The average onlooker can judge our debating even if they can’t judge the science. They recognise that however wrong-headed the alarmists may be, they are genergally sincere in their claims.
    The average “I suppose it must be right” person can be won to our point of view by the facts- but if we call them “Hoaxers” they will see that we’re wrong about the only thing they know for certain, their own motives.
    The accusation “Denier” has cost the alarmists the high moral ground for a decade now. That fact has swayed the opinion of more of the public than anything else has. Lets not join them in the raxe to the bottom.”

    This is exactly right in my opinion. We must resist the all too human urge to climb down into the mud. I hold us skeptics, especially leaders like Anthony Watts, to a higher standard. Name calling, taunting, inflammatory rhetoric concerning Leftist plots to take over the world which I see much too much of, are to be avoided. That was so well said Leo…”The average onlooker can judge our debating even if they can’t judge the science.” In fact, that’s partly what changed me from a believer to a full on skeptic several years ago.

  31. Smokey says:

    Here is another way to save a lot of fossil fuel.

  32. Brian H says:

    The only explanation for this irrational behavior: The Obama administration, from top to bottom, seems possessed by pathological fear of catastrophic global warming and obsessed with the idea that no matter what happens to the economy or jobs, it must stop the emission of CO2.

    Not so. The “fear of catastrophic global warming” is just cover for rampant statism, a one-size-fits-all justification for suppression of production and productivity and centralization of power.

    If Romney promises: 1) cheaper energy (fuel and electricity); 2) surging economic growth; and 3) decentralization and devolution of federal power — he will be a shoo-in. Mentioning the deep-sixing of the likes of Holder, Geithner, Napolitano, Holdren, and Chu wouldn’t hurt, either.

  33. CD (@CD153) says:

    Ed_B says:
    “OK, lets start with you showing ANY empirical evidence of CAGW. Only then would I accept your suggestion.”

    Continuing… What I am saying here Ed is that we should use techno advances to eliminate what the climate alarmists perceive to be a problem (or pretend to) without caving in to their demands that we shut down our coal plants. Would it not be far more preferable to incorporate DCFCs into our coal plants to make them consume coal in a cleaner and more efficient manner rather than shutting them down? The alarmists might point to the incorporation of DCFCs with carbon capture as proof that they were right all along, but using the captured CO2 for synthetic liquid transportation fuel production to reduce our oil import dependence would (I believe) counter that argument.

    There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. DCFCs show the anti-fossil fuel alarmists the right way.

  34. paddylol says:

    Now is the time to make Romney commit to a rational, long range energy policy based primarily upon hydrocarbon sources

    While doing so he must permanently and publicly shed himself of John Holdren, Gina McCarthy, Douglas Foy and their ilk. Holdren and McCarthy are currently advisors of Obama. Foy was Romney’s man that represented Massachusetts on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative directorate. Foy is also a principal author of the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan. The three of them are uber-radical climate alarmists and true believers.

    When Romney cleanses himself of his past energy sins, I will begin to fully trust him.

  35. Brian H says:

    CD (@CD153) says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Rather than forcing coal-generated electricity out of existence, the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC) promises dramatic improvements for making electricity generated from coal and natural gas more environmentally friendly: http://www.llnl.gov/str/June01/Cooper.html.

    Interesting — but the article is dated June 2001!! What’s taken 11 years to move it forward? Livermore hasn’t made a peep about this recently that I’ve heard.

  36. Roger Sowell says:

    Re: US energy independence.

    This goal is not in the US’ national interest.

    Another world war with imported oil cutoff will require the US to produce domestic oil. It is foolish to waste that oil now when others are willing to sell it to us. Every President since Truman has known this, even Obama.

    See the second half of:

    http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html

  37. Bernd Felsche:

    At May 30, 2012 at 9:43 am you say

    Dr Singer makes a common error in suggesting that the “waste heat” from local power generators could be used outside of the plant.
    While technically feasible, doing so necessarily reduces the cycle efficiency of the generating plant at it “sees” a hotter cold sink in such circumstances.

    Sorry, but you are wrong.
    Waste heat can be efficiently used in many ways and has been for more than a century.
    1.
    In most cases the cycle efficiency is not affected because the waste heat utilisation is ‘seen’ by the generating plant as being part of the cooling of heat exchange fluid.
    2.
    In other cases the loss of generating efficiency is more than overcome by the energy saving provided by use of the waste heat.

    I don’t like citing wicki, but in this case it does provide a useful overview; see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogeneration

    Conventional large scale cogeneration systems would be difficult to apply in the US for cultural reasons, but – as Fred Singer says – distributed generation with associated cogeneration would significantly reduce US energy usage.

    And the American cultural opposition to large scale cogeneration would not be a problem for adoption of the very small systems for individual home use that are now available; see
    http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Electrical-Electronics/combined-heat-power

    It is not wise to challenge technical comments made by Fred. He really is a rocket scientist.

    Richard

  38. Brian H says:

    CD (@CD153) says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Rather than forcing coal-generated electricity out of existence, the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC) promises dramatic improvements for making electricity generated from coal and natural gas more environmentally friendly: http://www.llnl.gov/str/June01/Cooper.html.

    Interesting — but the article is dated June 2001!! What’s taken 11 years to move it forward? Livermore hasn’t made a peep about this recently that I’ve heard.
    ___
    Further reading indicates that preparation of the carbon particulates, and keeping them from clumping up during processing, are unresolved issues. The net cost of capital plus pre-processing pushes net costs into the same ballpark as current generation systems. Hence no real incentive to invest in much R&D.

  39. Gail Combs says:

    CD (@CD153) says: @ May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am
    Fine, if it is such a great idea get funding and build a proof of design plant, then come back to me with the numbers that show it is economically viable. Do not use political hysteria to get your invention funded.

  40. Bruckner8 says:

    Romney’s already on record as believing in Man-made Global Warming. Prolly for the wrong reason (big biz), but he is nonetheless.

  41. MarkW says:

    CD (@CD153) says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

    If it’s economically feasible, you won’t need to coerce anyone to use it.
    If it isn’t economically feasible, then it is immoral to coerce anyone to use it.

  42. Brian H:

    At May 30, 2012 at 11:58 am you discuss the technical problems with DCFC technology.

    But technical capability is a lesser problem than ‘novelty risk’ as an inhibition to commercial adoption of novel coal-fired power generation technologies.

    There is an alphabet of such technologies which all have greater efficiency than conventional PF coal-fired power plants, produce cheaper electricity. and are very clean. CFBC, PFBC, ABGC, IGCC, and SCPF are the most significant. Only SCPF is likely to be adopted because novelty risk severely inhibits adoption of the others.

    Circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) was much used to upgrade dirty power plants in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall. This was the only affordable option for the upgrades so novelty risk was irrelevant: the plants needed immediate upgrade or they would be shut.

    Pressurised fluidised bed combustion (PFBC) has been used as a commercial power plant in Cottbus, Germany, for decades but the method will not be commercially proven until that plant has operated commercially for at least 30 years. And then the ‘proof’ will have only been one example in one place.

    The British Coal air blown gasification combined cycle (ABGC) is the most efficient of these new technologies. We tested all components of it at full scale and thus obtained data for a computer model of a full scale plant. However, the closure of British Coal prevented construction of a demonstration plant at full scale. The computer model indicates an ABGC power station would use 20% less fuel than conventional PF to generate each unit of electricity. Also, ABGC plants gain no benefits from size so small ABGC plants (e.g. 300 MWe) could be used for distributed generation of the kind Fred Singer suggests.

    IGCC uses an oxygen-fed gasifier to gasify the coal then burns the resulting gas in a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant. The use of oxygen (not air) to gasify the coal means the resulting flue gases do not need processing and/or separation before capture for carbon capture and storage (CCS) if that is needed.

    But supercritical pulverised fuel (SCPF) is the only one of these technologies likely to be adopted in the foreseeable future because of novelty risk. SCPF uses supercritical steam to increase the efficiency of conventional coal-fired pulverised (or powdered) fuel (PF) power generation.

    An investor in a new power station obtains return on investment over the 30+ years of the plant’s life. There is little return over the first ~15 years because the capital is being recovered, but there are good returns after that. Indeed, this is one of the main reasons for building gas-fired CCGT despite the volatility of gas prices: return is relatively high in the short-term because the capital cost of a CCGT plant is low relative to that of a nuclear or a coal-fired PF plant.

    The investor needs certainty that the plant will provide the good return after the plant has recovered its capital cost. A coal-fired plant has risk that future environmental constraints (e.g. such as the proposed Hg emission constraints in the US) may close it before it obtains good return on the investment.

    Importantly, a novel generating technology has very high risk that the novel plant may fail before the end of its expected life. A provider of the capital ‘insures’ against this novelty risk by placing a high interest rate on the loan. And this high interest rate usually makes it unfeasible to use a novel generating technology for a commercial power station.

    Coal-fired PF technology has been used for more than a century. Hundreds of PF plants have operated commercially for their complete operational lives in many places. So, they provide no novelty risk. SCPF is a development of PF. It is perceived as having very little novelty risk because it could be downgraded to conventional PF if an unforeseeable problem arose.

    In summation, there is no need for additional novel technologies for coal fired power generation because several such technologies exist but their novelty risk means that only SCPF is likely to be adopted.

    Richard

  43. Follow the Money says:

    “Romney should spell out now a coherent policy of low-cost and secure energy ”

    How is it that lower-cost anything produced is a “conservative” goal in American politics? Republicans believe in magical markets, not government working for the people’s general interest.

    And Romney? Mr. Cap and Trade himself? He’s there to make his buddies and factions richer, just as Obama and Dems. Two corporatist parties, both parties for the rich.

  44. David G says:

    This editorial is wrong about so many things it’s an embarrassment. Romney has zero chance of`winning this election, Obama and Congress bought it long ago and besides that the guy has no core principles and no one likes him. Obama has been a failure as president but the Republicans have failed to find a good candidate. The fact that he mouths the global warming nonsense shows how out of touch he is even among his Republican peers.. My own idea for a major energy fix would be to convert the entire American fleet of vehicles to diesel from gasoline over a 10 year time frame. The savings and innovations that would come from this would be enormous. Gasoline refining is a dirty and dangerous job and this would make it unnecessary. The savings in rubber and plastic parts would also be huge as diesel fuel is far friendlier to them than gas as well. With a major effort to push for cleaner diesel and liquified coal solutions we could be assured of plenty of energy for the next 300 years and maybe many more beyond that. And we’d be creating a lot of good jobs also. Where’s the courage for an obvious move like this that no one has suggested but me?

  45. Curiousgeorge says:

    Since this is patently political, I’ll be obvious and point out that there are many more ( and larger) issues in play than just energy ( translate that to electricity and transport fuels ), and/or climate. I won’t list them, since they’re on the nightly news every nite since 2008 at least.

    Let’s cut thru all the crap.

    First; we’ve got 2 choices for political leadership. Nobody at this point in time is going to change their mind. Nobody. Romney is an unknown quality, Obama is a narcissistic idiot. Pick one.

    Second; there will be a series of small wars continuously for the foreseeable future, which one or the other (above) will have to deal with.

    Thirdly; the economy is not going to get better – deal with it.

    Fourthly; Rinse and repeat.

    Anthony, will all do respect I have some itches I’d like scratched, as below.

    I will point out that this blog (and others) tends to get down in the weeds far too much and too deeply on climate stuff. Too be brutally frank, climate ( and closely related topics ) is getting really boring. The same people, redux the same tired rhetoric over and over. Variety is the spice of life.

    The header would leave one to believe that a wider variety of issues would receive equal time.

    I think that you have gotten into a comfortable rut that you ought to break out of.

    I hope you take this in the spirit of constructive criticism, as it is intended.

    However since this is your blog, you can do whatever you want, I’ll still post and visit.

  46. clipe says:

    Roger Sowell says:
    May 30, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Re: US energy independence.

    “This goal is not in the US’ national interest.

    Another world war with imported oil cutoff will require the US to produce domestic oil. It is foolish to waste that oil now when others are willing to sell it to us.”

    The idea is not to shun imports, but that when push comes to shove, you don’t have to rely on them.

    Americans are going to continue to buy energy from Canada. AKA cross-border shopping.

  47. rogerknights says:

    Here’s something that was posted on Tips & Notes:

    Brian H says:
    May 26, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Zero-water, zero-chemical frac process:
    http://www.gasfrac.com/

    Greatly reduces costs, improves yields, eliminates environmental objections.

  48. rogerknights says:

    If Romney wants to win, he needs to get out of his rut and do something visionary–and put Obama on the defensive.

  49. Rhoda R says:

    Getting into a shooting war is a he$$ of a time to start trying to develop your energy sources.

  50. tonyb says:

    From this side of the pond I am astonished and disappointed that the US has a choice of electing one of two lightweights. Leaders of the Western World-only in name.
    tonyb

  51. Roger Sowell says:

    @clipe: May 30, at 1:56 pm

    We have maintained domestic production at around 6 million barrels per day so that we can easily and quickly ramp up production if the need arises. I make this point in my Peak Oil speech.

    Canada is a good neighbor and supplier of oil.

    That can change, as history has shown repeatedly.

  52. Gail Combs says:

    Unfortunately this is what Romney is fighting or at least he thinks he is:
    TOP new articles on Google:
    Polling results suggest that public support for steps to curb global warming has dropped from 72% to about 62% since 2010: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/05/reaction-roundup-climate-steps-support-poll/1#.T8aSWh-wcxI

    Tracking Public Attitudes — Latest Polls: from the US Climate Action Network: http://www.usclimatenetwork.org/hot-topics/climate-polling

    NYT: In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/science/earth/americans-link-global-warming-to-extreme-weather-poll-says.html

    Poll: Americans’ Understanding of Climate Change Increasing With More Extreme Weather, Warmer Temperatures: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/29/434563/poll-americans-understanding-climate-change-increasing-with-more-extreme-weather-warmer-temperatures/

    The number of people who believe that the planet is warming is at its highest level since the fall of 2009. According to a survey conducted in December 2011 by the National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change, 62% of Americans say they think global warming is happening. That’s up 7% from last spring….

    Of course the change in name from Global Warming to “Climate Change” really confuses the issue. I would have to lie to say I do not believe there is “Climate change”

  53. Gail Combs says:

    SocialBlunder says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:11 am

    From an economic perspective, the cheap natural gas is forcing consolidation in the natural gas industry…..
    _______________________________
    Once coal is gone Natural gas is the next target. Sierra Club is already gearing up:

    Wall Street Journal, Sierra Clubs Natural Gas: The green lobby picks its next fossil fuel target. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304363104577390432521371296.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

  54. John Kehr says:

    Fred nails this. There is nothing green about a policy that wastes 40% of a major foodcrop to turn it into a lower density energy that increases ozone pollution. Gasoline/diesel are used because they are the best sources of high density energy.

    Romeny could make a huge difference on this, if he shows some backbone. Let’s all hope that he manages that.

  55. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ tonyb says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    From this side of the pond I am astonished and disappointed that the US has a choice of electing one of two lightweights. Leaders of the Western World-only in name.
    *************************************************************************************

    This might be an epiphany for you. We like lightweights. That’s the way our system was designed. We view government as subservient to the will of the people as opposed to the European model, in which the people are subservient to the government. Unfortunately, the current occupant of the White House seems to prefer the European model. We are about to fire him.

  56. Follow the Money says:

    “From this side of the pond I am astonished and disappointed that the US has a choice of electing one of two lightweights.”

    It could have been worse. It could have been Gingrich, a featherweight who thinks himself an Einstein. But Obama is a known quantity now, albeit as a revealed liar. The only people who still believe him are the goofier fringes of urban liberals, national news media robots, and Rush Limbaugh.

  57. clipe says:

    @Roger May 30, at 1:56pm

    I was thinking more of Hydro than oil.

    Specifically Muskrat falls as one example. Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia also want in on the game.

    http://www.gov.nl.ca/lowerchurchillproject/backgrounder_3.htm

  58. Zeke says:

    Romney has a consistent past in both his statements as a candidate and policies as governor. He has been deeply involved in energy and health mandates. He has re-affirmed in his books and in his presidential campaigns that he supports emissions reductions for greenhouse gasES. He has expressed support of worldwide emissions reductions agreements and of a carbon tax.

    Keep in mind that NO Republicans voted for the final passage of Obamacare. Now Obama is making statements that the health mandate is “a republican idea” and has strong “bipartisan support.” If no Republicans voted for the final passage of Obamacare, how is it that Republicans are picking up a Presidential candidate who wrote Romneycare, and is running on its success as part of his executive experience as a governor? He has not signed the repeal pledge, and his campaign has said that they would keep components of the bill.

    A vote for Romney is a vote for what, precisely? He has a deep history with mandates, ghg regs, the bailouts, and has made statements that were consistent with these positions, along with occasional campaign promises to the contrary. Fred Singer is giving advice, and that is all this is. Ignorance of Romney’s actual positions is not a very encouraging sign on the part of the electorate. Being desperate to get rid of Obama is not an excuse to act irrationally and vote for an energy and health mandate politician.

  59. Gail Combs says:

    Jack Mclaughlin says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:39 am

    There is a video of Obama promising…
    ___________________________
    Then add in the DOUBLING of unemployment from the real statistics: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

    And include the fact College grads can’t get a decent job: Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-04-22/college-grads-jobless/54473426/1

    This not only effects the student but the rest of the family who has to house and feed the kid while he scrambles for the money to pay off his student loan as well as his buddies and the friends of his family who are all going to be hearing the complaining about the situation.

    The U.S. college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

    A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

    Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans….

    The Blair-Rockefeller Poll has some interesting information. The Tea Party part of the poll is very obvious propaganda crap but the information on where the support for Democrats is is probably OK because that is information they need to be accurate.

    2012 Battlefield

    Overall, the results of this survey indicate that the traditional base of support among older voters that Democrats have relied upon since the partisan realignment following the New Deal continues to weaken. While older voters continue to vote in high percentages, compared to younger cohorts, clear support for the Democratic Party is confined largely to African Americans. While older Hispanics generally favored the Democratic Party, they showed substantial willingness to vote for Republican Senatorial candidates in the 2010 midterm election. Further, the traditional Democratic support among older Caucasians continues to decline, particularly among older Caucasians living in the South. If these trends continue, the 2012 presidential election will require the Democratic Party to continue to bring young, and often unreliable, voters to the polls. Further, the Democratic Party must continue to make inroads into the growing Latino/Hispanic population. If the GOP is able to maintain its grip on older voters in the South, that tend to not only vote at high rates, but are also overwhelmingly conservative, Republican and willing to support GOP candidates the Democratic presidential campaign strategy will be forced to continue building winning coalitions without the assistance of most of the southern states. With growing populations and over one-third of the Electoral College votes needed to win the Electoral College, losing support among the elderly is an important trend that scholars must continue to monitor.

    http://blairrockefellerpoll.uark.edu/5292.php

    With graduates unable to find decent jobs and being saddled with loans that can not be gotten out of, those “young, and often unreliable, voters” make take a good hard look at their future and start questioning all the crap they have been fed including CAGW and killing the energy that fuels their possible jobs. The green energy dream is really turning into a nightmare for a lot of them.

    The following is going to be a real bummer for many college students.

    Student Loan Bankruptcy Exception

    The US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 523(a)(8) provides an exception to bankruptcy discharge for education loans.….

    Student loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy prior to 1976. With the introduction of the US Bankruptcy Code (11 USC 101 et seq) in 1978, the ability to discharge education loans was limited. Subsequent changes in the law have further narrowed the dischargeability of education debt.

    The exception to discharge for private student loans evolved over time. Prior to 1984, only private student loans made by a “nonprofit institution of higher education” were excepted from discharge. This was intended to protect the National Defense Student Loan Program (NDSL), the predecessor to the Perkins Loan Program. Those loans were made by colleges using a revolving loan fund created using matching federal contributions. The Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 made private student loans from all nonprofit lenders excepted from discharge, not just colleges, by striking the words “of higher education”. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 expanded this to include all “qualified education loans”, regardless of whether a nonprofit institution was involved in making the loans….

    That is going to be a real wake up call!

    H.R. 2028: Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2011 has been
    Referred to Committee where it has pretty much died. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr2028

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) (whom I really dislike) is trying to revive the idea: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/2012/03/28/looming-student-debt-crisis-hits-the-senate
    Wether it ever gets any legs especially before election remains to be seen. The total value of student loan debt has passed $1 trillion. So I doubt the bankers want that going down the drain.

  60. Gail Combs says:

    Chuck L says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

    ….Governor Romney should declare here and now that if he is elected, before this decade is out, the United States will be energy independent….
    ______________________________________________
    At least that sounds better than Hopey, Changey

  61. Curt says:

    Bernd Felsche says:

    May 30, 2012 at 9:43 am
    **************
    I’m with Richard Courtney on this. Singer is fundamentally correct. This kind of cogeneration is not just theoretical; it is already widely used. Most American universities have an on-campus electrical generation station with the waste heat used for campus heating purposes (both air and water). This started in the “energy crisis” of the 1970s. It was an easy upgrade for the colleges, which generally already had a central steam plant that burned fuel just to provide heat through the campus-wide steam plants.

    Remember that steam must leave an electrical generation turbine as a gas — if it condenses in the turbine, it will quickly destroy the turbine blades. So it must still be above 100C and still a gas — this provides a lot of available energy.

    Where you have half a point is that this is “low grade” steam, with a lower specific energy than “high-grade” steam directly out of a boiler. And there are trade-offs in reduced electrical energy if you wish to provide higher-grade steam to your heating system. But even the low-grade steam can provide a significant energy source that would otherwise be wasted.

    I read recently about a cogeneration system installed at a large midwestern steel mill. The energy savings in that single installation were greater than the supply from all of the photovoltaic systems in the country.

  62. conradg says:

    THe only thing Romney (or Obama) could do to bring down the price of oil and gas is to bring about peace in the Middle East, particularly with Iran. Right now oil trades a speculative premium based on the threat to oil supplies that a war with Iran would bring about. End that threat, and oil drops $20-30 a barrel.

    As for Canadian shale and other drilling measures, that’s all a drop in the bucket in the world oil supply and its effect on price would be negligible. Long term, there needs to be other sources of energy, including gas, and some hi-tech miracle which is not really so miraculous if we finance huge research and development (but not subsidies of inefficient technologies). Thorium LFTR power plants, for instance, are a great possibility.

    Politicking the climate change issue will help neither side, and just make a mess of things. On the other hand, anything that helps Obama change the conversation from the immediate state of the economy to the future helps him. And since I plan on supporting Obama in the fall, I think it’s a great idea for the conversation to switch over to energy plans for the future. He’s not the greeny many think he is on energy, and getting a chance to air his policies will probably help him.

  63. Gail Combs says:

    Jeremy says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Sadly it is the media and the powerful people who control the media which determines US Citizen’s thoughts and ultimately who will be the next President. Democracy only exists in name….
    ______________________________________________
    The Best Government Money Can Buy

    Donations are flooding in a level unmatched in U.S. history, led by Super Pacs. The intent is for these powerful and wealthy interests to continue to buy control of the U.S. government.

    ….the developments underscore how dramatically the political landscape has changed since a trio of federal court cases — most notably the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling — paved the way for a flood of campaign cash from corporations and tycoons looking to help their favored candidates…. http://www.thebestgovernmentmoneycanbuy.com/news/

  64. clipe says:

    conradg says:
    May 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    THe only thing Romney (or Obama) could do to bring down the price of oil and gas is to bring about peace in the Middle East, particularly with Iran. Right now oil trades a speculative premium based on the threat to oil supplies that a war with Iran would bring about. End that threat, and oil drops $20-30 a barrel.

    How would you propose bringing about peace in the Middle East (“particularly with Iran”)?

    Hide the decline?

  65. Gail Combs says:

    Doug Proctor says: @ May 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

    With respect to natural gas: the “abundant, cheap” gas from shale gas needs to be checked closely…..
    ___________________________
    What you say makes nuclear, esp Thorium, if we can get it approved, look better and better. Save the organic fuels for transportation needs and for plastics, fertilizers and the many other useful things mankind makes out of organic precursors.

  66. clipe says:

    Mods can you fix the above? in wrong place.

    How would you propose bringing about peace in the Middle East (“particularly with Iran”)?

    Hide the decline?

  67. Kip Hansen says:

    I am surprised and disappointed to see a political (as in US Two-Party Politics) piece appear on WUWT. A spoiler for me…..

    REPLY: Sorry you feel that way, but we’ve had a politics category for quite some time. It doesn’t get used as much as other categories. Still you are welcome to skip over them when they occasionally appear – Anthony

  68. JKrob says:

    David G said:
    “…My own idea for a major energy fix would be to convert the entire American fleet of vehicles to diesel from gasoline over a 10 year time frame.”

    Sorry but, no, I’m *not* converting my 2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 from gasoline to diesel. That is unamerican! And besides – I’m not sure which of my vehicles is greener; my Mustang or my Suburban.

    Jeff

  69. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says:
    May 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Romney has a consistent past in both his statements as a candidate and policies as governor. He has been deeply involved in energy and health mandates….
    _________________________________
    Yeah, Romney seems to be Obama Lite. I Really Really do not like him and I wish we had a better choice. I hate having to pick the lesser of two evils all the time and just getting the same old, same old.

    Dr. Evans had it right I am afraid The Climate Coup: How the regulating class is using bogus claims about climate change to entrench and extend their economic privileges and political control. Romney is not a “republican” he is a member of the Regulating Class as is Obama.

    Do you want the red poison or the blue poison? is the real question.

    NONE of the candidates for president were worth the powder… except maybe Keith Judd better known as federal prison inmate number 11593-051, at least I KNOW what his crimes were. “….extortion connected to making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999….”

    Hey he is a great candidate. After all Judd says he attended the JFK School of Politics at Harvard and that he also attended the University of California Los Alamos, where he took classes in physics. He has more campaign experience than Obama, having run for the White House in every election cycle since 1996. His release date is in June 2013, so he will be able to serve nearly his complete term. Who could ask for more in a US presidential candidate?

  70. “Romney can confidently promise to reduce the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon or less.”
    No he can’t. Ok, there is a way which involves cutting the US oil market off from the rest of the world and subsidising it. This is like the last days of the Roman Empire with the presidential hopefuls bidding on bread and circuses.

  71. Zeke says:

    <This article is totally silent on Romney's past and present positions on energy and ghg regulations. For example:
    1. He supports 20 billion in federal spending on energy and “car technology”
    2. A large part of his executive experience as gov of Mass (besides authoring Romneycare) was a regional ghg emissions agreement between northeastern sates
    3. He passed co2 emissions standards for cars in Mass that were 30% stricter than federal standards
    4. He supports worldwide agreements on ghg emissions reductions, publically, as a candidates. Statements were made specifically in this bid for the nomination in June 2011
    5. He supports a carbon tax offset by a payroll tax cut.

    Romney is a global warming candidate. This article is 100% advice and has no factual content or basis in the positions held by this candidate.

  72. I don’t like politics here on WUWT. Anything else I can think of to say only furthers this political discussion. Please, fewer articles like this. Leaves a distinctly bad taste in my mouth.

  73. Smokey says:

    James Hastings-Trew,

    I recommend skipping any articles that bother you. Simples.☺

  74. Zeke says:

    European and Southern hemisphere economies and energy supplies are being destroyed by ghg regulations and mandates. A worldwide carbon trading market and a way of taxing carbon dioxide is still a hope for the banks and the governments. Now notice that Romney has outspent real conservatives by a factor of 12, and that Romney does not offer a genuine difference on Obamacare or on ghg reductions.

  75. elbatrop says:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=S._Fred_Singer

    thought I recognized the writer

    [REPLY: An anonymous troll expects US to be impressed with THAT? Given your intellectual band-width, I'm surprised you recognized the name at all -REP]

  76. Zeke says:

    Gail, credit needs to be given to Congress members who have opposed Obamacare and ghg regulations. Also, many incumbents have been unseated by new Republicans who commit to repeal Obamacare.

    Nominating Mitt Romney would be a betrayal of those who have taken principled stands on health and energy mandates. They represent us and can do plenty for us in Congress. They would be open to abuse by Romney leadership, whereas they can represent us and oppose Obama. They also need our support in opposing green energy, which they can do quite well, as long as it is not their own party that is pushing the Obamacare/Green agenda.

  77. DesertYote says:

    conradg
    May 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    ” He’s not the greeny many think he is on energy, and getting a chance to air his policies will probably help him.”

    ###

    That’s just because he is to RED to be green. Time to fire that Marxist poser before the damage he does becomes permanent. Even then we’ll have a tough time with all the Marxist in the media, the school system, government agencies, and influential NGOs.

  78. Smokey says:

    Zeke says:

    “Nominating Mitt Romney would be a betrayal of those who have taken principled stands on health and energy mandates.”

    You assume too much. Primary voters have many different reasons for their choices, and ‘climate change’ is way far down the list. And the choice is between someone who has pledged to repeal Obamacare, and Mr Obamacare himself.

    Romney would not have been my choice, but there is such a huge difference between him and the incompetent community oragnizer that the choice is a no-brainer. It’s time to let adults run things for a change.

  79. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says:
    May 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Gail, credit needs to be given to Congress members ….
    ___________________________________
    Zeke, I am aware of that. I do not know where the heck the republicans heads were when they nominated and approved Romney. I am thinking of getting bumper stickers made.

    Don’t Just fool around,
    VOTE Keith JUDD
    Put a REAL criminal in the White House….

  80. Zeke says:

    You are not specific about the difference you are expecting from Romney- is it health care mandates? GHG regulations? Bailouts? Federal spending on so-called “renewable” energy? Carbon tax?

    I have listed the facts about Romney’s governorship and political positions. Also, this article is purely theoretical (to the point of being hallucinatory or delerious) so I think you should thank me for providing some actual facts and reality to the discussion.

  81. Zeke says:

    Thank you Gail, :D I needed the hilarity!

    I couldn’t even have fun and become a Paulistinian, because he (conveniently for Romney) dropped out. Maybe I will take you up on the bumpersticker.

  82. ferd berple says:

    Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:06 am
    Dr. Singer could not be more correct! Labour costs in Asia are not the problem that effects our competitiveness.
    =========
    Correct. I work in Canada with computer professionals originally from India that complain that their peers are growing wealthy in India, while they are remaining poor in Canada. Cheap energy is fueling the boom in India and China. Cheap natural gas is the only positive development of late in the US economy. In spite of the US administrations best efforts, the market has found a way forward.

  83. Merovign says:

    Apparently a lot of people are used to never being exposed, even in passing, to ideas that disturb them or challenge their worldview, and this damages them irreversibly.

    Or maybe they’re just trying to shut up people they disagree with, *as usual*. How tedious.

  84. Gunga Din says:

    Gary says:
    May 30, 2012 at 8:53 am
    The headwinds to this sensible course of action are the perceived and real problems that the voters have with “Big Oil” — collusion/corruption (ENRON-type fallout), disregard for the environment (belching smokestack images), and mega-accidents (Exxon Valdiz and BP spills). These are strong memes that the opposition is sure to exploit. Unless there are strong rebuttals, not platitudes, the argument loses much of it’s force.
    Dr. Singer makes the economic case; somebody needs to make the political case that safeguards will be in place.
    ==============================================================
    Good point. How about promising to return the EPA to its original purpose of protecting the environment instead of promoting an agenda?

  85. DesertYote says:

    ferd berple
    May 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    ###

    One of my co-workers from India told me once that we don’t have capitalism in the US, we have a tyranny of regulations.

  86. Gary Hladik says:

    Zeke says (May 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm): “Gail, credit needs to be given to Congress members who have opposed Obamacare and ghg regulations. Also, many incumbents have been unseated by new Republicans who commit to repeal Obamacare.”

    Which makes this election a lot like all the rest: grit your teeth and vote the lesser of two evils where you must, and give thanks for those few races that offer a real choice. Who knows, that lowly but decent congresscritter or governor you vote into office today may run for POTUS in 20 years. :-)

    As for Dr. Singer’s advice to Romney, I expect most will be ignored, but it’s still good advice.

  87. Lark says:

    Mitt Romney hired John Holdren and Gina McCarthy. Those two moved on to Obama, but if you go down the list of Romney’s energy advisors, you see a crony oilman “Low oil prices would be a disaster.”, some crony green types and a whole swath of Wall Street cronies who are “investing” in him in hopes of Cap & Trade. Many of his economic and foreign policy advisors are Keynesians and AGW types. Maybe Romney will be better than Obama – but not if his friends get their way.

  88. Gunga Din says:

    Bruce Cobb says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:13 am
    Very true. Give people a reason to vote for you, not just reasons to vote against Obama. Stay away from emotion-laden terms like “hoax”, though, which would give Obama the chance to say something like “My oponent, despite the overwhelming majority of whom say otherwise, thinks that climate change is a hoax”. Call it bad science, unsupported by the facts.
    =====================================================================
    In the political arena, you wouldn’t even have to appear to be accusing anyone of “bad science”. Just make it clear what it was they had predicted would happen by now and what actually HAS happened. (“Mudslinging” turns voters off.)

  89. conradg says:

    “How would you propose bringing about peace in the Middle East (“particularly with Iran”)?”

    A peace deal with Iran could include all kinds of possible cooperation on nuclear energy inspections in exchange for help with their peacetime use of nuclear energy, trade deals, etc. The dirty secret is that Iran and the US are actual natural allies in the region, who got all messed up due to the politics of the cold war and the Islamic Revolution. A deal of some kind is quite possible there. In fact, there’s speculation that Obama is working on just such a deal with the Iranians that could happen before the election. The Palestinian/Israeli situation, not so much.

  90. conradg says:

    “That’s just because he is to RED to be green. Time to fire that Marxist poser before the damage he does becomes permanent. Even then we’ll have a tough time with all the Marxist in the media, the school system, government agencies, and influential NGOs.”

    Can you name a single thing Obama has done that is Marxist (and not of the Groucho variety)?

  91. Gunga Din says:

    tonyb says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    From this side of the pond I am astonished and disappointed that the US has a choice of electing one of two lightweights. Leaders of the Western World-only in name.
    ===========================================================
    One reason that happened is that it was a given that Obama would be the Democrat’s candidate. During the primaries, there was no real opposition from another Democrat to Obama. That left many Democrats free to declare they were Republicans and vote for the person they wanted the Republicans to run against Obama. It also happens in reverse when the Republican candidate is a given. It’s a flaw in our party system. I can’t think of a way to fix it.

  92. Gunga Din says:

    James Hastings-Trew says:
    May 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm
    I don’t like politics here on WUWT. Anything else I can think of to say only furthers this political discussion. Please, fewer articles like this. Leaves a distinctly bad taste in my mouth.
    =====================================================================
    Unfortunately, CAGW is more politics than science. This is an election year in the US.

  93. Gunga Din says:

    elbatrop says:
    May 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=S._Fred_Singer

    thought I recognized the writer

    [REPLY: An anonymous troll expects US to be impressed with THAT? Given your intellectual band-width, I'm surprised you recognized the name at all -REP]
    ============================================================
    I recognized his name also. 15 to 20+ years ago I came across SEPP. I’ve always been grateful that I had more sound info on the various topics they covered than could be obtained from a MSM press release.
    (A belated “Thank you, Dr. Singer”.)

  94. Smokey says:

    Gary Hladik says:

    “…grit your teeth and vote the lesser of two evils…”

    That has always been the case. The only ‘perfect’ candidate for you, would be you, and the only perfect candidate for me would be me. But that choice would lead directly to getting the worst possible candidate elected, because if you or I wrote our own name in, we would not get elected. And, we would deny our vote to the person whose views are closest to ours, thus supporting the person whose views are the farthest from our own.

    The only rational vote in November is for a viable candidate, who has the most realistic chance of being elected. The choice in this election, therefore, is between Obama and Romney. Anything else, on either side, is a completely thrown away vote. Worse, if you throw away your vote, you necessarily help the person whose views you disagree with the most, and the person who is inimical to your own best interests.

    Many otherwise rational folks refused to vote for John McCain in 2008 because he did not pass their personal purity test. What that got us was: utility bills that have ‘necessarily skyrocketed’, gasoline prices that have shot up from $1.78 nationally on the day Obama was inaugurated to over $4.00; an out of control EPA that has declared CO2 to be a “pollutant”, an Attorney General who is an accessory to murder for running illegal guns to Mexico, and who constantly race-baits, and uses his office to go after perceived political enemies while refusing to prosecute Obama’s donors, and fast rising food prices due to diverting the US grain crop to ethanol based grains.

    And it got us Obamacare, which passed without a single Republican vote; and which is thousands of pages long, written by a committee whose Chairman says he does not understand it, and which was only shown to the opposition the day before the vote; and which was passed by a Congress that didn’t read it, but exempted themselves from it. Healthcare Socialism was signed by a President who also never read it [and who smokes cigarettes], with funding administered by a lawbreaking Treasury/IRS chief who cheated on his taxes. Government healthcare that is overseen by a grossly obese Surgeon General, and financed by taxpayers who overwhelmingly do not want it, and to be paid for by a country that is almost completely broke as a direct result of the profligate and unaccountable Obama spending spree over the past 3 1/2 years — spending wasted on dozens of failed companies like Solyndra, which burned through more than $535 million in a matter of months; run by the President’s cronies, and for which not one person is in jail.

    NASA’s mission is now ‘Muslim Outreach’, and GISS is run by a serial lawbreaker. $7 – $8 billion in federal grants are shoveled out every year to ‘study climate change’ [and 99.9% of that tax money goes to alarmist scaremongers]. The government is now the owner of a large part of General Motors; the Administration forced out the legally elected CEO and half the Board of Directors without charges, replacing them with his political appointees. The Chevy Volt doesn’t sell because it is overpriced even after huge subsidies, and it bursts into flame. GM bondholders were stiffed by an arbitrary presidential decree, overturning more than two centuries of established legal precedent, and newly issued GM stock was simply handed over to the UAW union in return for votes, while half of the country’s GM dealers were put out of business by presidential decree — the half of dealerships owned by Republican businessmen and women. [IANAR, BTW.]

    Gov. Romney would not have been my choice for a candidate to oppose Obama. But let’s get real: the choice we now have is night and day; between inexperienced, incompetent, tyrannical, wild-spending amateurs who have never held real jobs, versus someone who has met payrolls, and paid his taxes, and worked in the private sector, and saved dozens of companies from certain bankruptcy, mass layoffs, and Solyndra’s fate; someone who doesn’t lie every time he opens his mouth, and who doesn’t blame anyone and everyone else, whenever something doesn’t go as expected.

    It’s a pretty stark choice. No candidate is perfect. But do you want four more years of Obama’s EPA? That’s the choice we have in November: to keep the current EPA, or fire them.

  95. DesertYote says:

    conradg
    May 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm
    ###
    Yes.

  96. RockyRoad says:

    If Romney doesn’t turn this economy around, there won’t be anything to fight over.

  97. Brant Ra says:

    I think Ron is better than Obomney……

  98. Ed Mertin says:

    @ Mr Lynn, I be sending this to his big money friends. If they go for it then he will pay attention.

  99. tonyb says:

    Are any of the candidates actually facing up to dealing with US debt which makes the European version of debt look like a tea party?
    tonyb

  100. conradg says:

    DesertYote says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    conradg
    May 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm
    ###
    Yes.
    _________________

    Apparently not.

  101. beng says:

    ****
    conradg says:
    May 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Can you name a single thing Obama has done that is Marxist (and not of the Groucho variety)?
    ****

    Better question: Can you name a single thing Obama has done that isn’t Marxist?

    While you’re at it, look up the definition of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.

  102. Alan Watt says:

    Bernd Felsche says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Dr Singer makes a common error in suggesting that the “waste heat” from local power generators could be used outside of the plant.

    While technically feasible, doing so necessarily reduces the cycle efficiency of the generating plant at it “sees” a hotter cold sink in such circumstances.

    What? This is done all the time in smaller co-gen plants; one of the things that makes them attractive and increases overall efficiency. Yale University installed their first 16 megawatt co-gen plant in 1993 and a second 10 megawatt one some years later.

    So-called “waste” heat can be used as, well, heat for example. Yale has an existing steam distribution infrastructure to heat its buildings in New Haven, so waste heat off the co-gen plant is used in the winter to provde building heat which would otherwise require burning additional fuel.

    In the summer when heat is not needed the waste heat can be used to drive an ammonia gas absorption cycle and produce refrigeration (counter-intuitive I know, but it works). In some locations (middle east), the waste heat can be used for de-salinization.

    The problem with using waste heat on a large scale is heat does not transport well so the usage site must be close to the production site. This is not the case for commercial power plants, so I expect they would continue to dump waste heat to the ambient air.

    The combined cycle natural gas co-gen plant is not a replacement for major utility generation plants, but a supplement. Universities, office parks, and large hotel complexes can profitably run their own co-gen plants assuming they already have the natrual gas supply, taking peak time load off the grid.

    But I think the main point is: if you get burdensome regulations out of the way, major energy consuming businesses will look at available technology on their own and pick what they believe is optimal for them. And if they decide a co-gen plant makes sense, they will invest their own money to build it.

  103. polistra says:

    Romney isn’t going to do any of that. His buddies are strongly invested in Green crap. He will give occasional vague lip service to the non-Green side, but his actual policies will return to Bush-era tight restrictions on production and increased subsidies for wind and solar.

    Remember: He’s not about improving the American economy, he’s only about maximizing profit for the financial sector.

    Obama is mostly the same, but has to satisfy unions as well. This modulates his policies slightly toward improving the actual American economy.

  104. Curt:

    At May 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm you say;

    I read recently about a cogeneration system installed at a large midwestern steel mill. The energy savings in that single installation were greater than the supply from all of the photovoltaic systems in the country.

    I would appreciate a citation for the source of this information.

    Please not that I am NOT disputing what you say. On the contrary, it would be useful information for me to use in dispelling false statements about solar power.

    I have expended some hours unsuccessfully trying to track-down the source of the information you provide. So, I would be grateful if you could cite its source.

    Richard

  105. Gail Combs says:

    Zeke says: @ May 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    ….I couldn’t even have fun and become a Paulistinian, because he (conveniently for Romney) dropped out. Maybe I will take you up on the bumpersticker.
    ____________________________________
    Given the general disgust with politicians in the USA it might actually sell well.

  106. Matthew R Marler says:

    I agree with the essay. Cheap, plentiful energy should be the goal of federal policy, not expensive, constricted supplies.

    Related, Here is another step toward cheap solar power:
    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/05/31/sharp-hits-concentrator-solar-cell-efficiency-record-43-5/

  107. conradg says:

    “Better question: Can you name a single thing Obama has done that isn’t Marxist?”

    Since nothing Obama has done is Marxist, that’s easy. Let’s start, say, with creating a health care plan based on Gov. ROmney’s Massachusetts plan. If that’s Marxist, then Romney is a Marxist also.

    But I still demand that you name something, anything, that Obama’s done that is Marxist. You do know what that would mean, I hope? And stop trying to shift the burden of proof. You made the claim that Obama is a Marxist. Now back it up with evidence.

  108. Red Baker says:

    Convert the 5th paragraph to a numbered list and use it often in speeches:
    1. Lower gasoline prices;
    2. cheaper household electricity;
    3. cheaper fertilizer for farmers and
    4. lower food prices for everybody;
    5. cheaper transport fuels for aviation and for the trucking industry;
    6. lower raw material costs for the chemical industry.
    Thank Komrade Obama for giving us a great platform.

  109. David says:

    You know I first started reading this blog because I thought it was scientific. I used to believe in Global Warming too until Anthony Watts’ blog gave me pause to reconsider. Now I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t some cheap political schill site for the GOP. Anthony if you consider AGW types to be ideologically liberal then you need to remove shameless political BS like this from your site. It damages your credibility. I think it is important to have a sincere debate on the climate and what if any impact human endeavor has on it via the burning of hydrocarbons. There is no basis for claiming that the president’s policies have raised the price of gas. That’s a free market enterprise, and oil companies have never seen bigger profits. If the government were truly to blame then there wouldn’t be those profits. Not to mention all the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons on US soil. If you’re gonna go political, please state that at the top of the website, in big letters. This is not a place for sincere discussion only politics as usual.

  110. Kevin Kilty says:

    David says:
    May 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    You know I first started reading this blog because I thought it was scientific. I used to believe in Global Warming too until Anthony Watts’ blog gave me pause to reconsider. Now I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t some cheap political schill site for the GOP. Anthony if you consider AGW types to be ideologically liberal then you need to remove shameless political BS like this from your site.

    I know this was addressed to Watts, but I’m trying to figure out why you are angry that politics has something to do with beliefs about AGW? If a person is left, politically, then they also generally dislike oil companies, free markets, low taxes, and on and on and on. Political party affiliation is highly correlated with views on a large range of topics, and complaining that no such associations should ever be made on this site because to do so is “shameless political BS” is, frankly, unrealistic and naive, and bit strident. Is there really any doubt that the current Administration hasn’t made petroleum exploration and development as difficult as possible, or that they are committed to “green” energy to the point that they cannot see the perils of over-committing to such?

  111. Curt says:

    richardscourtney says:
    May 31, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Here’s the source:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90714692

    It was a story on the morning news show of America’s National Public Radio, not exactly a right-wing source…

  112. Curt:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at May 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm that says:

    Here’s the source:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90714692
    It was a story on the morning news show of America’s National Public Radio, not exactly a right-wing source…

    The link says;

    Energy recycling creates about 250 megawatts of power at this steel mill. That’s about half of the electricity it uses each day, the company says. In 2004, the total at this one steel mill equaled the total electrical output of all the grid-connected solar collectors in the world.

    Excellent! That is exactly what I wanted. Thankyou.

    And I hope you will not be offended that I ask what you are suggesting when you write;
    ” not exactly a right-wing source”.
    As I said, I asked you for the citation because I want to use it. You have kindly supplied the citation but I wonder if you are you suggesting the source is loony (I have no means to find out for myself).

    Richard

  113. philjourdan says:

    @conradg says: May 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

    “Let’s start, say, with creating a health care plan based on Gov. ROmney’s Massachusetts plan. If that’s Marxist, then Romney is a Marxist also.”

    The accusation of being a Marxist is not negated by anyone else doing the same thing. There can be (and are) more than 1 Marxist. You failed logic.

  114. Curt says:

    Richard – I know that there are those that would tend to dismiss a story like that outright if it came from a “right wing” source like Fox News, so I was simply trying to point out that NPR does not have that reputation at all (I would call it “soft left” in orientation.)

  115. beng says:

    ****
    conradg says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

    “Better question: Can you name a single thing Obama has done that isn’t Marxist?”

    Since nothing Obama has done is Marxist, that’s easy. Let’s start, say, with creating a health care plan based on Gov. ROmney’s Massachusetts plan. If that’s Marxist, then Romney is a Marxist also.

    But I still demand that you name something, anything, that Obama’s done that is Marxist. You do know what that would mean, I hope? And stop trying to shift the burden of proof. You made the claim that Obama is a Marxist. Now back it up with evidence.
    ****

    Impeccable logic there. /sarc

    You must’ve forgot to look up “useful idiot”.

  116. Ed Mertin says:

    Severe recession now unfolding in Europe where they have a common currency and monetary policy but unlike America, lack a common fiscal policy to deal with the mess. It’s looking more like Gary Shilling is going to be right about a hard landing in China. And we will double dip into a moderate recession. SpaghettiO will likely be toast. Personally, I hope the world gets together on a debt forgiveness reset with individual currencies leveled to the assets countries possess and just start over.

  117. Curt:

    Thankyou. You have been a great help and I am grateful.

    Richard

  118. Alan Watt says:

    Re: Curt & richardscourtney
    Yes thank you Curt, that was most interesting. The interview also touches on why Europe and Japan do a lot more waste heat recycling than the US (no surprise):

    So why isn’t it done more often here?

    “The real challenge is that it’s typically illegal,” says Casten, “and you’ve got to find a way around the laws.”

    That’s right, many industries are prohibited from utilizing waste heat to produce electricity.

    So by some simple changes in the law, we could get private industries to invest their own money in systems to produce electrical power from waste heat.

    We could eliminate all subsidies for wind and solar projects and yet have more available electrical energy than we do today with zero additional pollution, regardless of what you consider pollution.

    Further, the industries which produce a lot of heat also tend to be major blue collar employers, which is the segment really hurting today with the loss of manufacturing jobs. Allowing these types of industries to be more competitive by recapturing some of their fuel costs would improve the employment outlook for their workers.

    So let’s see — we have a strategy which (a) is funded by the private sector [no new federal outlays], (b) increases the electrical supply, especially at peak times by more than enough to compensate for halting subsidies of wind and solar projects [federal savings], and (c) strengthens industries which tend to be major blue collar employers [it's a jobs program!]. This is such an obvious no-brainer you really have to wonder how our government could be so dumb to actually prohibit it.

    And this is the same government we expect to solve hard problems?

  119. Alan Watt:

    In your post at June 3, 2012 at 11:46 am you say

    So by some simple changes in the law, we could get private industries to invest their own money in systems to produce electrical power from waste heat.

    Indeed.
    Clearly, you have understood why I was so interested to obtain the citation for the illustration which Curt so helpfully provided.

    But I write now to suggest that there is a more important question than how to change the law.
    That more important question is ‘Why were such laws introduced?’

    This is the issue that I touched on in my post at May 30, 2012 at 11:49 am when I wrote

    Conventional large scale cogeneration systems would be difficult to apply in the US for cultural reasons, but – as Fred Singer says – distributed generation with associated cogeneration would significantly reduce US energy usage.

    My “more important question” pertains to the “cultural reasons” I mentioned.

    As several discussions on WUWT demonstrate, many Americans fail to distinguish between cultural and political issues. And that failure is why I suspect any attempt to repeal those laws would be difficult in the US although – as you say – it is economically desirable.

    Richard

  120. Brian H says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 4, 2012 at 2:04 am

    As several discussions on WUWT demonstrate, many Americans fail to distinguish between cultural and political issues.

    Um, as opposed to where, exactly?

  121. Brian h:

    If you cannot recognise it then there is no point in directing you to examples.

    Richard

  122. Brian H says:

    richardscourtney says:
    June 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Brian h:

    If you cannot recognise it then there is no point in directing you to examples.

    Richard

    Those claiming to be above cultural influence or conditioning are the least self-aware and generally are attempting to appoint themselves as sole rational critics and adjudicators of cultures. Post-modernists come to mind; unwarranted intellectual arrogance is their most obvious and obnoxious characteristic.

  123. Brian H:

    North American (i.e. US) culture is essentially ‘individualistic’ and sees ‘competition’ as always being desirable. This is exhibited in several ways.

    Commonly known examples of the US ‘individualist’ culture include
    • The US Constitution seeks to protect the populace from government power instead of demanding government has and uses powers to protect the public.
    • ‘Cowboy’ or “frontier’ myths are seen as ideals by many Americans.
    • Many Americans see any attempt to constrain ownership of firearms as an inhibition to them protecting themselves.
    • etc.

    Each national culture has advantages and disadvantages.

    A disadvantage of the American culture of ‘individualism’ is that it encourages the US government to ‘game’ the system so it can protect the US public with changing circumstances. One consequence of this is that successful ‘gaming’ becomes adopted by bureaucracies to advance their own interests (e.g. the existing EPA proposals for constraint of anthropogenic Hg emissions).

    And the ‘competitive’ culture has direct political effects. For example, in the US rich e.g. industrialists pay for political campaigns with the expectation of financial rewards from elected politicians whom they thus supported. This is a direct inducement to political corruption which is endemic in US politics. But constraint on the monies expended on elections (as exists in several countries including my own, the UK) would be difficult to obtain in the US because it directly inhibits a form of ‘competition’ (i.e. obtaining maximum campaign funds).

    Of importance to discussion in this thread is the imposition of laws which inhibit adoption of cogeneration. Such laws exist to encourage ‘individualism’ with resulting increase to ‘competition’. Large scale cogeneration requires a large degree of cooperativeness from all in the community (e.g. town) which adopts it, and this cooperativeness is inhibited as a by-product of laws which enhance individualism and competition.

    Any opposition to the laws and policies I have here mentioned would be perceived as political action. But, as I have explained, the opposition is culturally-based.

    Your ridiculous implications that I am post modernist etc. are not worthy of discussion.

    Richard

  124. Curt says:

    Richard: Whatever the validity in general of your analysis of US culture and its implications, I don’t think it’s too valid here. In the NPR story, they are talking about the legal problems in using waste heat from industrial processes to generate electricity. But the legal restrictions in this case are designed to protect the electric utility monopolies — hardly a case of individualistic competition.

    In the US, dating from Edsion’s time, electrical generation and distribution has overwhelmingly been allocated to regulated public utility monopolies. There are some valid reasons for it, but certainly not every decision made in this venue has been in the best interest of the public.

    I will say, however, that there are real technical, and therefore, policy challenges in opening up electrical generation to sources outside the regulated utility monopoly. If you recall, California totally botched this a decade ago, and we’re still paying for it…

    If the utility distribution system must take the electrical power that, for example, a steel mill generates from its waste heat, this gives the utility less flexibility in choosing what the rest of its sources are. (The utilities are driven nuts by similar “must take” regulations for solar and wind sources.) The key problem is that these sources are typically unrelated to demand, tending to unbalance the grid. These objections should not be dismissed lightly.

    When cogeneration works the other way — waste heat from electric generation used for low-grade heating needs — the US is hampered by its dearth of “district heating” systems as compared to Europe and Japan. Fundamentally though, this can be simply explained by the lower population density in the US. High-density Manhattan, for example, has a lot of district heating. Now, whether this lower population density is a cause or effect of “rugged individualism”, or unrelated to it, is a very interesting question. But as a “fact on the ground”, it simply means that there are relatively fewer opportunities to use this waste heat.

  125. Curt:

    Thankyou for your informative post at June 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm.

    Richard

  126. Kyle says:

    You guys are cool
    Data is cooler
    [snip. Please don't promote unreliable blogs here. ~dbs, mod.]

  127. Brian H says:

    rsc;
    A disadvantage of the American culture of ‘individualism’ is that it encourages the US government to ‘game’ the system so it can protect the US public with changing circumstances. One consequence of this is that successful ‘gaming’ becomes adopted by bureaucracies to advance their own interests (e.g. the existing EPA proposals for constraint of anthropogenic Hg emissions).

    And the ‘competitive’ culture has direct political effects. For example, in the US rich e.g. industrialists pay for political campaigns with the expectation of financial rewards from elected politicians whom they thus supported. This is a direct inducement to political corruption which is endemic in US politics.

    O’Reilly? I suggest you check out some of the scandals in France in the last few decades, in which ministers were found to have wallowed in kickbacks and dished out favors on a scale unheard-of in the US.

    There are two realistic options/models: offsetting narrow claims that probably/possibly average out to a general good, and top-down selection of the Right Way by beneficent Wise Ones. It turns out that the latter are in very short supply, and tend to succumb to ‘absolute corruption’ or to throat-slitting. Leaving corrupters and slitters with their concentrated power mandates. Not good.

Comments are closed.