Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sarah Palin Not all That Pleased With Obama's Insane Energy Policy [And Neither Are We!]

By Gary P Jackson

Energy is the lifeblood of any economy. No energy, no economy. Barack Obama's energy policies, whether by design or sheer ignorance, will end up with America having less energy available, and Americans paying a heck of a lot more for it.

One of the reasons we support Sarah Palin so strongly is her expertise in the energy field. Her hands on experience is invaluable.

As Whitney Pitcher pointed out earlier, when President Obama gave his big energy speech, he couldn't resist taking a shot at Sarah and her "Drill baby, drill" philosophy.

After hearing Obama's uninspiring drivel, Sarah had a few choice words: [emphasis mine]

FLASHBACK: What We Were Saying One Year Ago About Obama’s Failed Energy Policy

It’s unbelievable (literally) the rhetoric coming from President Obama today. This is coming from he who is manipulating the U.S. energy supply. President Obama is once again giving lip service to a "new energy proposal"; but let’s remember the last time he trotted out a "new energy proposal" – nearly a year ago to the day. The main difference is today we have $4 a gallon gas in some places in the country. This is no accident. This administration is not a passive observer to the trends that have inflated oil prices to dangerous levels. His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security.

Through a process of what candidate Obama once called "gradual adjustment," American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Meanwhile, the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now. We’re subsidizing offshore drilling in Brazil and purchasing energy from them, instead of drilling ourselves and keeping those dollars circulating in our own economy to generate jobs here. The President said today, "There are no quick fixes." He’s been in office for nearly three years now, and he’s about to launch his $1 billion re-election campaign. When can we expect any "fixes" from him? How high does the price of energy have to go?

So, here’s a little flashback to what I wrote on March 31, 2010, at National Review Online’s The Corner:

Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again "all talk and no real action," this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of "drill, baby, drill," the more you look into this the more you realize it’s "stall, baby, stall."

Today the president said he’ll "consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic." As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, "Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska."

Since I wrote the above, we have even more evidence of the President’s anti-drilling agenda. We have the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the de-facto moratorium in the Arctic. We have his 2012 budget that proposes to eliminate several vital oil and natural gas production tax incentives. We have his anti-drilling regulatory policies that have stymied responsible development. And the list goes on. The President says that we can’t "drill" our way out of the problem. But we can’t drive our cars on solar shingles either.

We have to live in the real world where we must continue to develop the conventional resources that we actually use right now to fuel our economy as we continue to look for a renewable source of energy. If we are looking for an affordable, environmentally friendly, and abundant domestic source of energy, why not turn to our own domestic supply of natural gas? Whether we use it to power natural-gas cars or to run natural-gas power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal "bridge fuel" to a future when more renewable sources are available, affordable, and economically viable on their own. It’s a lot more viable than subsidizing boondoggles like these inefficient electric cars that no one wants.

I’m all for electric cars if you can develop one I can actually use in Alaska, where you can drive hundreds of miles without seeing many people, let alone many electrical sockets. But these electric and hybrid cars are not a quick fix because we still need an energy source to power them. That’s why I like natural gas, but we still have to drill for natural gas, and this administration doesn’t like drilling or apparently the jobs that come with responsible oil and natural gas development. They don't have a coherent energy policy. They have piecemeal ideas for subsidizing impractical pet "green" projects.

I have always been in favor of an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy independence, but "all-of-the-above" means conventional resource development too. It means a coherent, practical, and forward-looking energy policy. I wish the President would understand this. The good news is there is nothing wrong with America’s energy policy that another good old-fashion election can’t solve. 2012 is just around the corner.

~ Sarah Palin

As I wrote last year in an article entitled: Obama Asks: "If We Can Put A Man On The Moon, Why Can’t We Give Up Oil?" Here’s Why It’s Impossible, Obama's blue sky, unicorns and rainbows outlook on "green energy" is right out of Fantasyland.

For one thing, after decades of spending billions to subsidize various "renewable" energy projects, we are actually using less, not more, of these sources of energy. In other words, they only exist because we waste billions of hard earned taxpayer dollars to keep them on life support. From the article:

In 1949 nearly 91% of America’s total primary energy came from coal, oil, and natural gas. The balance came from renewables, with hydropower being a dominant contributor. By 2008 the market share for coal, oil and natural gas, along with nuclear, had grown to 92.5% of total primary energy in the U.S. with the remainder coming from renewables.

Given the raging hype over renewable energy sources, those numbers, which are readily available from the Energy Information Administration, are remarkable. Over the past six decades tens of billions of dollars have been spent on renewable and alternative energy schemes such as wind energy, solar energy, corn and other biofuels, and electric cars. All have aimed at cutting our hydrocarbon use. And yet only nuclear power, which went from zero to about 8.5% of the U.S. primary energy over that time frame, has managed to steal significant market share from coal, oil and natural gas.

In other words, despite these huge investments, renewables’ share of the energy market has been shrinking. What’s happening? While conspiracy theorists may want to believe that Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear are stifling the growth of renewables, the simple truth is that coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear can satisfy the Four Imperatives: power density, energy density, cost and scale.

The Four Imperatives provide a simplified way to analyze the physics and math that rule our energy and its delivery, the latter better known as power. Before going further we must differentiate between energy and power. If you recall your high school physics, the definitions are straightforward: Energy is the ability to do work; power is the rate at which work gets done. Put another way, energy is an amount; power is a rate. And rates are more telling than amounts.

Read more here.

Like Sarah Palin, I'm one of those "all of the above" people, when it comes to energy. I like the idea of finding alternative energy, as long as it works, is cost effective, and doesn't need a government subsidy to exist. With that said, there are very few of these things that meet that criteria .... yet.

In the mean time, back in 2008 The Kiplinger Letter published a report detailing just exactly how much oil we have: [emphasis mine]

The U.S. is sitting on the world's largest, untapped oil reserves

-- reservoirs which energy experts know exist, but which have not yet been tapped and may not be attainable with current technology. In fact, such untapped reserves are estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand -- at today's levels -- for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.

Read more here.

Bear in mind, that was written in 2008. Since then, estimates of our recoverable oil have been revised upward by a considerable amount. Whitney Pitcher covered this for us earlier: [emphasis mine]

As Governor Palin mentioned in her tweet, Alaska has billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. The Natural Petroleum Reserve in Alaska alone is estimated to have 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The Arctic is estimated to have 90 billion barrels of oil and 1. 67 quadrillion (1,670 trillion) cubic feet of natural gas. For some perspective, that is 1,670,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

Those kinds of numbers make even Obama’s deficit numbers seem small! She also mentioned that other states have large amounts of resources as well. For example, the Green River formation in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah is estimated to have 1.5 trillion barrels of oil–6 times as much as Saudi Arabia. There are 3-4.3 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. Those a just a few examples of the abundance of God-given resources.

Read more here.

I've written a lot about the potential of natural gas as a motor fuel. This is the cleanest burning fuel there is. There's a reason why we can cook with it in our homes with no ill effects. The technology needed to run an internal combustion engine on natural gas is mature.

Compressed natural gas, as well propane, has been powering cars, trucks, buses, farm equipment, and more, for nearly a century. Rather than invest billions of taxpayer dollars on pie-in-the-sky ideas, we could start working towards a natural gas powered fleet immediately. Many other nations already have a good number of their cars running on CNG.

In fact, the timing has never been better. With modern computerized engine management, variable valve timing, and pressurized direct fuel injection, today's engines are ideally suited for the conversion. Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors already offer CNG powered vehicles. It would take little investment to offer even more CNG powered models.

And for those who may be worried about the availability, the automakers have this covered as well, making duel fuel vehicles than can run on either CNG or gasoline. Hundreds of thousands of these vehicles are in state and municipal fleets right now.

Although they are expensive, you can even purchase a compressor unit that can be installed in your home garage. If your home has natural gas service, these units can compress that gas and fill up your car, saving you a trip to the station. Again, they expensive [around $5000] now, but as with every new technology, as more people buy it, the price goes down.

Oh, and with minimal investment, any existing store that sells gasoline, and has natural gas service, can install a CNG fueling station.

The bottom line is with little effort, we could have a truly "green" fleet, and we could do it using OUR resources, not anyone else's. We could be truly energy independent. Oh, and natural gas is less expensive than gasoline.

In her post, Sarah talks about electric cars. These things are still glorified golf carts. For those that don't follow automotive history, in the early 1900s, through the 1920s, there were several automakers that built electric cars. These were popular with the ladies of the day, because one didn't have to hand crank them like a Model T Ford, nor did one have to deal with refueling and other concerns. These cars were quite plush, offering many amenities ladies of the day appreciated. Some of these cars are still around today and still in fine working order.

Sadly, after spending untold billions of dollars, today's electric cars are not much of an improvement over electric cars that were built over 100 years ago.

The Detroit Electric, one of the most popular of the day, actually went further on a charge than a Chevy Volt will! Of course, top speed was a tad less back then, so one can say the old and new are about equal when you factor in that difference.

It's insane, and insanely expensive. The Volt, a barely usable automobile, costs more than some luxury cars. Oh, you get a big government rebate check when you buy one, but we are broke, and that's just more money we are borrowing from the Chi-coms.

Now the tree huggers think they are accomplishing something by being "green," but the fact is, the electricity needed to recharge the batteries in these things comes from coal powered plants in most cases. If "green" is the true objective, then this is a huge failure at every level.

Oh, and no one wants these things either. General Motors has a long history of building niche vehicles that no one wants. The Volt is no exception. According to AutoBlog, the industry news site, there were only 281 Chevy Volts sold in February 2011. They also report GM buried this embarrassment in their sales report.

Nissan offers an all electric vehicle, the Leaf. Only 67 of those left the dealer's lot for a new home last month.

Billions were wasted on these things. In GM's case, those billions were taxpayer dollars. This is why the government has no business picking winners and losers. They screw it up every time. The free market would have killed these mistakes off long ago.

It would be one thing if the United States had no natural resources, and was forced to try radical, unproven ideas, and recycle century old technology that was iffy then and iffy-er now. That, however, is not the case.

Fact is we are setting on the world's largest stockpile of energy. We have centuries worth of oil, natural gas, and coal. There is no reason why we shouldn't be developing these resources. We could be totally energy independent in short order, if we had the leadership to make it so.

Once that goal was met, we could then turn our efforts toward looking at alternatives that actually make sense and won't need a government check to survive.

Sarah Palin is the one showing the leadership we need. Our nation's future depends on it's energy security. Energy independence is the key. It will not only make the nation secure, and less effected by world events, it will create jobs. Good paying jobs.

President Obama's agenda is one designed to cripple America and redistribute wealth to other nations. While Sarah Palin is out there saying "Drill baby, drill" Obama is meeting with the Brazilian president and offering them money and assistance so that some day, in his words, we can be "Brazil's best customer." What kind of nonsense is that? It's certainly not Winning The Future!

Obama has failed America in every way conceivable. It's time to start working towards putting a competent leader in the White House. One who understands what this nation needs to get us back on track.

Run Sarah, run, so we can Drill baby, drill!

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