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What energy options should U.S. policies support?

November 14, 2012

from Cfact

Open public onshore and offshore lands to leasing, exploration, drilling, production, timber harvesting and mining – under rules that control bad and negligent behavior, ensure that jobs are done carefully and responsibly, and let private sector find best ways to create jobs, produce energy, etc. and generate revenue.

Fracking has unlocked centuries of oil and gas – via private investment and private technology on private lands. We cannot allow EPA and other agencies to block fracking on public lands or impose new, needless federal regulations for state and private lands, despite excellent state and local regulations and records.

Implement policies and support technologies that make sense: economic, environmental, and technological. If they can’t be defended on these grounds, government and taxpayers should not promote or fund them.

End subsidies and mandates. For 20 years, government mandates and subsidies for wind, solar and biofuels have cost billions – but brought no net jobs, while raising electricity costs and reducing its reliability.

Ensure level playing field for all companies and technologies. The same economic and environmental rules should apply to all. No exemptions from pollution, NEPA, eagle or endangered species laws.

We need conservation and renewable energy. Do you support alternative energy and conservation?

We have vast oil, gas, coal, uranium and other minerals resources – and should use them. Not using them is like being uneducated but having library of unread books, starving but having freezer of untouched food. It ignores blessings God gave use to use as responsible stewards to serve humanity.

Being responsible stewards also means conserving, improving technologies, increasing energy efficiency. Fracking and other oil production technologies safely produce more resources from deposits and ensure energy conservation, sustained production and sustainable development.

Other ideas: use wind, solar and biofuels if they make economic, environmental and technological sense and don’t need big subsidies; use more natural gas for heating, cooking, water heating (three times more efficient than using gas to generate electricity to do these things); more natural gas for cars and buses; five days of postal deliveries per week; real time traffic control using monitors, GPS, computers to improve green light sequences and traffic flow during rush hour (equals less fuel, less pollution, less wasted time).

Wind and solar power creates thousands of jobs. Why don’t you support these energy programs?

Wind and solar projects and prices are economically unsustainable and parasitic: they need taxpayer subsidies; fossil fuel backup power; extra land, raw materials and transmission lines; and exemptions from environmental study and eagle, bat and migratory bird protection laws that apply to other industries.

Billions of dollars are taken from productive sectors and taxpayers, depriving alternative investments of needed funding – then given to politically connected companies for projects that cannot survive without perpetual subsidies. (Companies also use this money for campaign contributions to friendly politicians.)

Electricity from renewables costs 2-5 times more than coal or gas generation. By 2016, generating electricity with natural gas will cost $49-$79 per megawatt-hour. Generating the same electricity from onshore wind will cost $75-$138; with offshore wind, $243; with photovoltaic solar, $210. (EIA, EPRI)

That raises energy costs for businesses and families, hurts poor families most of all, and kills jobs. Most manufacturing jobs have been in China. Most U.S. jobs have been installation and maintenance.

How can you justify the enormous subsidies given to oil and gas?

Most so-called oil subsidies are same tax treatment given to all companies, to deduct costs of doing business, manufacturing products and employing workers. I could support ending ALL subsidies for ALL energy production. Proper method is to evaluate subsidies per unit of energy actually produced.

Coal and gas subsidies for generating electricity = $0.44 (44 cents) per megawatt-hour. Nuclear subsidy = $1.59 per MWH (4 times higher). Wind = $23.37 (53 times higher). Solar = $24.34 (55 times higher).

Natural gas, coal and nuclear-based electricity is reliable. Wind and solar electricity is unpredictable and unreliable; it is often most abundant when least needed, and almost nonexistent when most needed.

Energy per acre results in similar figures. Wind, solar, ethanol and biodiesel require hundreds of times more land for same energy output. (U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration data)

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