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ralou
QUOTE
President Bush proposed allowing oil companies to build new refineries at abandoned military bases and encouraging new nuclear power plants in steps that critics said would do nothing to address America's immediate problem of high gasoline prices.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?t...storyID=8319309

Reuters



QUOTE
President Bush is offering to make closed military bases available for new oil refineries and will ask Congress to provide a "risk insurance" to the nuclear industry against regulatory delays to spur construction of new nuclear power plants, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=707045

ABC


QUOTE
President Bush called for construction of more nuclear power plants and urged Congress on Wednesday to give tax breaks for fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel cars. He also said he was powerless to bring down high gasoline costs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0...4967536,00.html

Guardian


QUOTE
"In the years ahead, technology will allow us to create entirely new sources of energy in ways earlier generations could never dream," Bush said. "Technology ... is this nation's ticket to greater energy independence."

http://ktla.trb.com/news/nationworld/natio...oll=ktla-news-1

KTLA/WB



QUOTE
"Technology is the ticket," said Bush, calling today's tight energy markets "a problem that has been years in the making" and will take time to resolve. He said he was determined to spur development of more nuclear power, coal, oil and renewable energy and again called on Congress to provide him with a national energy agenda.

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/ap/story.asp?AP_ID=D89O1GEO1

Spokesman Review



Bush has called for the promotion of clean diesel. Clean Diesel Programs are not alternative fuel programs, however. In other words, he touted hydrogen, hybrid, and vehicles that emit less pollution. He did not call for greater use of biodiesels in this speech, although he did mention biodiesel on April 16, 2005. However:

QUOTE
The House energy bill is tilted heavily toward helping traditional energy industries -- mainly coal, oil and natural gas. Less than $500 million in tax incentives are directed at renewable energy and efficiency programs.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../w155443D02.DTL

SF Gate   



Questions for Debate:


Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?



Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything?



Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway? If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it?



Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?



Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids?









Google
SWM28WDC
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?

I think future technologies, or even today's technologies will help solve our energy dependence problems. We just have to be able to rationally weight the costs of various energy alternatives. New nuclear fission technologies are much safer, cheaper, and produce much less radwaste than reactors built in the 70's on 60's technology. One day fusion will be even better. Currently wind MIGHT get 5kW an acre in the best locations. Solar might get 10kW an acre. At these rates, one 1000MW nuclear plant would have to be replaced by 150 square miles of solar collectors.


Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway? If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it?

We could sue polluters for air & water pollution. Giving away billions of dollars worth of land to Bectel and other is pure corporate welfare. I'd rather see some old base be converted to a sustainable 'green' community, giving 100,000's of people a place to live and work.

Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?

No, but we should collect the externalities of curent energy production, specifically pollution, which would raise the price of energy. A higher price is plenty of incentive to build a new plant. To keep the higher price from adversely affecting our economy and being a burden on teh poor, i'd like to see the revenue be distributed as an 'energy dividend, or energy credit' to each and every american. A carbon tax equivalent to 5 cents a gallon of gasoline would mean a credit of $260 per family, more than enough to cover the additional cost of energy. This plan also addresses conservation, rather than merely finding a new way to make energy.


Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids?

No, he should just make people pay for the gas they use and the pollution they emit.
ralou
If you would, have a look in the Domestic Policy forum, in the gas tax thread. I just posted something there that seems relevent to this, but I don't want to copy the entire post. I'll summarize:

A gas tax (you mention it as an emission tax, that might work, too), would work, if and only if there is an alternative to what we currently drive. So tax the gas hog drivers, tax the automakers who build the gas hogs, and dump every dime of the tax into a biodiesel infrastructure and research into even more sustainable fuels, and into paying drivers to purchase and run their vehicles on these alternative fuels.

Bikerdad
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results? Based on past experiences, yes, Bush is right. Given the record of mildly optimistic forecasts versus Malthusian chicken-littles, I'll go with the mildly optimistics. In 1600, our energy technologies depended on muscle power, wood, animal power, and a smidgen of wind and water. Advances, in succession, have brought us coal based energy tech, whale oil based lighting was superseded by kerosene as whales became scarce, and now we've moved to a mix of coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear energy, with a healthy dose of hydroelectric in there as well, for our energy. New technologies have vastly improved both the efficiency of our quattro of primary energy sources, but also the recovery of those sources. This is in stark contrast to the predicted collapse of our civilization.....


Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything? If implemented, it will reduce our dependence. Whether that reduction is 'significant' is a matter of perspective. The "how" is fairly simple: new refineries will be more efficient, reducing "transaction" losses, which means a given barrel of oil delivers more to the pump. ANWR supplants some foreign oil. More nuclear energy means that the oil fired power plants (NYC is primarily electrified via oil burners) can be replaced.

Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? No, it won't significantly increase pollution, if anything, it will decrease pollution. Current refineries are running flat out, at max capacity, barely with time for the most basic maintenance. Newer refineries will be cleaner and more efficient, allowing the retirement of older refineries once we have an adequate refining base.

If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway? Depends. Do you want gasoline and electricity? Much of the reason Enron was able to play the games it did was because of California's dependence on "foreign power", because, in their "wisdom", California hadn't allowed a power plant to be built for quite some time.

If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it? Talk to your Congressional reps. My guess though is that the "NIMBY Brigade" will be most likely to take to the courts, in which case I would advocate that the Federal Government apply a 25% tax to all interstate power transfers.

Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants? Yes, as long as US taxpayers subject private companies to a capricous and chaotic regulatory environment. If, on the other hand, Congress simply passes a law that says "Company X, you have a permit to build a nuclear power plant of such and such nature at Site Y, no challenges permitted, end of discussion", then no, there's no reason for us to foot the inducement bill. (BTW, I get the impression that you object to taxpayers footing the bill for this inducement, but have no objection to footing the bill to induce greater "alternative energy" use. Exactly what principal are you operating on here?) Simply put, as long as we are the ones injecting risk into the equation, we should bear the cost of that risk. Trust me, we will one way or the other. Ask the customers of Lilco, who're still paying off the $5bil loss that Lilco took when regulators yanked the rug out from under their nuclear power plant.


Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids? No, he shouldn't have called for "smaller, more fuel efficient cars", save as a directive to the GSA in its purchasing decisions. The last head of state to dictate car design gave us the Volkswagen Beetle. True, a fine car, but heady with his success in shaping the automotive culture of his adopted land, he set out to reshape the political and social landscape of Europe. So, along with the Bug, Adolph also gave us the Holocaust and World War Two. Little tyrannies lead to bigger tyrannies.
Christopher
QUOTE
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?
Yes he is right. Future technologies will solve our dependence problems--but in the end do you put your money where your mouth is. In the case of consumers and autos the demand for the guzzlers is huge. Once gas prices become lower the demand will again rise. Right now they are dropping because of the price.

Does anyone have solar on their homes? What if anything do you do to support the emergence of these technologies?
most of the Grails of future energy tech depend on significant R+D and the development of better technologies to implement the goal and even better materials to make it all possibles. In some cases huge changes to infrastructure are required.
It all takes time and MONEY. Add in the fact that the consumer may not buy it--there fore no market.

QUOTE
Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything?

Anything is better than where we are now. I would open up the sale of bases to the highest bidder however.



Want to increase the number of extremely fuel efficient vehicles out there. Set an incredibly high standard--100 MPG--and then offer a huge tax break to the companies selling them. What ever it is they are charged on a per unit basis--reduce by half.
They will have them on the streets in a relatively short amount of time. At the same time offer a generous tax credit to citizens for buying them and more will buy them.


QUOTE
If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway?

Hell of a question? I guess in the end its up to the people. Here in AZ and over in Texas I am sure they will be very welcomed indeed. Who wouldn't want new jobs for their people. As for states that prevent them--their choice but they shouldn't whine about prices either.

QUOTE


Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?

NO.





Just Leave me Alone!
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?

What is wrong with current technologies? We have clean methods of energy production available to us today and Bush is doing the right thing encouraging hybrids, solar, geothermal, and nuclear power. The question is, is it enough?

Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything?

Lets look at the $8 billion over 10 years package the House passed. This is the equivalent of 0.032% of the overall budget. The rebate program for residential and business investments in renewable energy systems are not crafted as a secured tax credit but rather rely on funding to be appropriated by Congress each year. Sounds like another unfunded promise. There is nothing in it for wind. An attempt to require automakers to increase fuel economy to a fleet average of 33 miles per gallon over the next decade was defeated 254-177 which according to Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., use 70 percent of the country's oil. Looking at these facts, NO - it will not significantly effect America's dependence on foreign energy. We need to fund the rebate programs, and take whatever means necessary to reduce demand.

Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway? If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it?
I don't know.

Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?
No.

Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids?
Something should be done to address the demand side of oil usage. Bush's current plan of increasing refineries is not going to address the fact that 60% of our crude is coming from overseas. Whether we should implement a gas tax, higher millage standards, or funded tax incentives is debateable. Note: a one cent tax on gasoline would provide more funding than the entire House bill.
ralou
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Apr 28 2005, 03:27 AM)
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?  Based on past experiences, yes, Bush is right.  Given the record of mildly optimistic forecasts versus Malthusian chicken-littles, I'll go with the mildly optimistics.  In 1600, our energy technologies depended on muscle power, wood, animal power, and a smidgen of wind and water.  Advances, in succession, have brought us coal based energy tech, whale oil based lighting was superseded by kerosene as whales became scarce, and now we've moved to a mix of coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear energy, with a healthy dose of hydroelectric in there as well, for our energy.  New technologies have vastly improved both the efficiency of our quattro of primary energy sources, but also the recovery of those sources.  This is in stark contrast to the predicted collapse of our civilization.....


Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything? If implemented, it will reduce our dependence.  Whether that reduction is 'significant' is a matter of perspective.  The "how" is fairly simple: new refineries will be more efficient, reducing "transaction" losses, which means a given barrel of oil delivers more to the pump.  ANWR supplants some foreign oil.  More nuclear energy means that the oil fired power plants (NYC is primarily electrified via oil burners) can be replaced. 

Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? No, it won't significantly increase pollution, if anything, it will decrease pollution.  Current refineries are running flat out, at max capacity, barely with time for the most basic maintenance.  Newer refineries will be cleaner and more efficient, allowing the retirement of older refineries once we have an adequate refining base.

If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway?  Depends.  Do you want gasoline and electricity?  Much of the reason Enron was able to play the games it did was because of California's dependence on "foreign power", because, in their "wisdom", California hadn't allowed a power plant to be built for quite some time. 

If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it?  Talk to your Congressional reps.  My guess though is that the "NIMBY Brigade" will be most likely to take to the courts, in which case I would advocate that the Federal Government apply a 25% tax to all interstate power transfers.

Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?  Yes, as long as US taxpayers subject private companies to a capricous and chaotic regulatory environment.  If, on the other hand, Congress simply passes a law that says "Company X, you have a permit to build a nuclear power plant of such and such nature at Site Y, no challenges permitted, end of discussion", then no, there's no reason for us to foot the inducement bill.  (BTW, I get the impression that you object to taxpayers footing the bill for this inducement, but have no objection to footing the bill to induce greater "alternative energy" use.  Exactly what principal are you operating on here?)  Simply put, as long as we are the ones injecting risk into the equation, we should bear the cost of that risk.  Trust me, we will one way or the other.  Ask the customers of Lilco, who're still paying off the $5bil loss that Lilco took when regulators yanked the rug out from under their nuclear power plant.


Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids? No, he shouldn't have called for "smaller, more fuel efficient cars", save as a directive to the GSA in its purchasing decisions.  The last head of state to dictate car design gave us the Volkswagen Beetle.  True, a fine car, but heady with his success in shaping the automotive culture of his adopted land, he set out to reshape the political and social landscape of Europe.  So, along with the Bug, Adolph also gave us the Holocaust and World War Two.  Little tyrannies lead to bigger tyrannies.
*





I didn't ask, "Should Bush lock SUV owners up in concentration camps". I asked if he should call for more fuel efficient cars. Bit of a difference. There are countries where officials have asked citizens to drive these cars, and gosh, I think some even managed to avoid holocausts!


By the way, Hitler's first concentration camp victims were communists and socialists. Just a little trivia, in case you didn't know.


I want to foot the bill for greater alternative energy use because it's a question of long term survival, and I do not want energy companies to make money off us both ways: we foot the risk, then they charge us for power. If we're going to foot the risks and deal with any pollution (should your assertion that it will reduce pollution be incorrect), it should become a publicly operated enterprise, as should the taxpayer funded alternative sources.

In fact, that gives me an exceedingly wicked idea:

Why not tell the auto and fuel industries: "Look, we're going to spend a trillion dollars a year in taxpayer revenue to come up with cheaper, cleaner energy that we can create here at home. Meanwhile, you guys might want to get together and come up with something, too. Because we're not just going to hand you this technology after the taxpayers have funded it. And you won't be able to sell your polluting, foreign oil dependent vehicles and expensive foreign fuels in America because you won't be able to compete. So how about we work something out where you pitch in the money and expertise, and we'll save the taxpayers some money, and save your corporate behinds?"
Bikerdad
QUOTE(ralou @ Apr 29 2005, 12:34 AM)
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Apr 28 2005, 03:27 AM)
Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids? No, he shouldn't have called for "smaller, more fuel efficient cars", save as a directive to the GSA in its purchasing decisions.  The last head of state to dictate car design gave us the Volkswagen Beetle.  True, a fine car, but heady with his success in shaping the automotive culture of his adopted land, he set out to reshape the political and social landscape of Europe.  So, along with the Bug, Adolph also gave us the Holocaust and World War Two.  Little tyrannies lead to bigger tyrannies.
*




I didn't ask, "Should Bush lock SUV owners up in concentration camps". I asked if he should call for more fuel efficient cars. Bit of a difference. There are countries where officials have asked citizens to drive these cars, and gosh, I think some even managed to avoid holocausts!
I neither thought that you asked the hypothetical question to which you object, nor did I answer the hypothetical question. (While there are some folks in this country who would find the thought of SUV owner's in concentration camps very emotionally satisfying, most of them would put Bush in there as well, so I doubt they'd ask him to be doing the "locking up." cool.gif ) I was simply shining an off-kilter light on the risks of the head of state getting involved in car design. It should be pointed out that you're question appears to be directed at the supply of cars, i.e. what cars are made, not at the choices the consumer makes. Perhaps simply rephrasing it to "Should he have laid out inducements for DRIVERS to choose smaller, more fuel efficient cars", but as constructed, it looks to be a concern over design.

QUOTE
I want to foot the bill for greater alternative energy use because it's a question of long term survival, and I do not want energy companies to make money off us both ways:  we foot the risk, then they charge us for power.  If we're going to foot the risks and deal with any pollution (should your assertion that it will reduce pollution be incorrect), it should become a publicly operated enterprise, as should the taxpayer funded alternative sources.

In fact, that gives me an exceedingly wicked idea:

Why not tell the auto and fuel industries:  "Look, we're going to spend a trillion dollars a year in taxpayer revenue to come up with cheaper, cleaner energy that we can create here at home.  Meanwhile, you guys might want to get together and come up with something, too.  Because we're not just going to hand you this technology after the taxpayers have funded it.  And you won't be able to sell your polluting, foreign oil dependent vehicles and expensive foreign fuels  in America because you won't be able to compete.  So how about we work something out where you pitch in the money and expertise, and we'll save the taxpayers some money, and save your corporate behinds?"
*

The only way your "trillion dollars a year" spending plan, followed with freezing the energy and auto companies out of the technology, would be fair and just, is if you exempted those same companies from paying any taxes.... Otherwise, you find yourself in the diabolical position of forcing somebody to pay for the bullet that's going to be delivered between their eyes.... I believe it was the communists who did that, eh? (of course, that could just be urban legend) It is, as you said, "an exceedingly wicked idea" devil.gif

To be clear, I don't have a problem with alternative technologies, I simply believe that the market, on the whole, has been far better at providing them than gov't ever has... It has been government meddling that has effectively killed nuclear power development in this country, made the building of refineries too risky, etc. When gov't directs energy technology development for its own specific and narrow purposes, its quite successful, such as the fuel cell development for the space program, maritime nuclear reactors, rocket fuels, etc. For the economy as a whole? All the smart people in all of government aren't smart enough, organized appropriately, nimble enough, etc, to do it effectively. Which, btw, is the reason why I said that if Bush wants to direct the GSA to only purchase hybrids, fine. That's a customer approach, a far cry from the design approach which your post seemed to suggest.

Remember, at one time, petroluem was an "alternative energy source." BTW, what does it matter if cars are smaller? How about simply shooting for "more fuel efficient", and let the smart guys figure out how to achieve that? Making them smaller is one way of doing that, but it ain't the only way...
ralou
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Apr 29 2005, 09:22 PM)
QUOTE(ralou @ Apr 29 2005, 12:34 AM)
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Apr 28 2005, 03:27 AM)
Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids? No, he shouldn't have called for "smaller, more fuel efficient cars", save as a directive to the GSA in its purchasing decisions.  The last head of state to dictate car design gave us the Volkswagen Beetle.  True, a fine car, but heady with his success in shaping the automotive culture of his adopted land, he set out to reshape the political and social landscape of Europe.  So, along with the Bug, Adolph also gave us the Holocaust and World War Two.  Little tyrannies lead to bigger tyrannies.
*




I didn't ask, "Should Bush lock SUV owners up in concentration camps". I asked if he should call for more fuel efficient cars. Bit of a difference. There are countries where officials have asked citizens to drive these cars, and gosh, I think some even managed to avoid holocausts!
I neither thought that you asked the hypothetical question to which you object, nor did I answer the hypothetical question. (While there are some folks in this country who would find the thought of SUV owner's in concentration camps very emotionally satisfying, most of them would put Bush in there as well, so I doubt they'd ask him to be doing the "locking up." cool.gif ) I was simply shining an off-kilter light on the risks of the head of state getting involved in car design. It should be pointed out that you're question appears to be directed at the supply of cars, i.e. what cars are made, not at the choices the consumer makes. Perhaps simply rephrasing it to "Should he have laid out inducements for DRIVERS to choose smaller, more fuel efficient cars", but as constructed, it looks to be a concern over design.

QUOTE
I want to foot the bill for greater alternative energy use because it's a question of long term survival, and I do not want energy companies to make money off us both ways:  we foot the risk, then they charge us for power.  If we're going to foot the risks and deal with any pollution (should your assertion that it will reduce pollution be incorrect), it should become a publicly operated enterprise, as should the taxpayer funded alternative sources.

In fact, that gives me an exceedingly wicked idea:

Why not tell the auto and fuel industries:  "Look, we're going to spend a trillion dollars a year in taxpayer revenue to come up with cheaper, cleaner energy that we can create here at home.  Meanwhile, you guys might want to get together and come up with something, too.  Because we're not just going to hand you this technology after the taxpayers have funded it.  And you won't be able to sell your polluting, foreign oil dependent vehicles and expensive foreign fuels  in America because you won't be able to compete.  So how about we work something out where you pitch in the money and expertise, and we'll save the taxpayers some money, and save your corporate behinds?"
*

The only way your "trillion dollars a year" spending plan, followed with freezing the energy and auto companies out of the technology, would be fair and just, is if you exempted those same companies from paying any taxes.... Otherwise, you find yourself in the diabolical position of forcing somebody to pay for the bullet that's going to be delivered between their eyes.... I believe it was the communists who did that, eh? (of course, that could just be urban legend) It is, as you said, "an exceedingly wicked idea" devil.gif

To be clear, I don't have a problem with alternative technologies, I simply believe that the market, on the whole, has been far better at providing them than gov't ever has... It has been government meddling that has effectively killed nuclear power development in this country, made the building of refineries too risky, etc. When gov't directs energy technology development for its own specific and narrow purposes, its quite successful, such as the fuel cell development for the space program, maritime nuclear reactors, rocket fuels, etc. For the economy as a whole? All the smart people in all of government aren't smart enough, organized appropriately, nimble enough, etc, to do it effectively. Which, btw, is the reason why I said that if Bush wants to direct the GSA to only purchase hybrids, fine. That's a customer approach, a far cry from the design approach which your post seemed to suggest.

Remember, at one time, petroluem was an "alternative energy source." BTW, what does it matter if cars are smaller? How about simply shooting for "more fuel efficient", and let the smart guys figure out how to achieve that? Making them smaller is one way of doing that, but it ain't the only way...
*





If companies don't want to do business here, they don't have to pay taxes here. If they do, what does it matter that they'll contribute to the bullet between their own eyes? They can enjoy the profit while it lasts. Besides, they don't pay much in taxes, anyway, for the most part. So I won't boo hoo if they contribute to their own demise.

Now, on to the free market being an engine of efficiency while the government is an engine of inefficiency myth:

Ever heard of federal funding for research? The military? NASA? While all have their inefficiencies, the so-called free market has enjoyed benefitting from their research for longer than you and I have been alive.

Shall we discuss corporate welfare? Did you know that the US government uses your tax dollars to insure the insurance companies that insure corporations who invest overseas? That way, mudslides, riots, and other inconveniences can be absorbed by, guess who? You, when the corporation loses money on an Indonesian sweatshop.

Most free market players are neither worthy of reverence nor worthy of sympathy, yet I've been called upon to extend both...in the same post, no less! I decline.

1 trillion a year. If they don't think it's fair, let them go sell cars and oil somewhere else. I hope they don't let the door hit them on the way out. I hear Afghanistan is nice this time of year, and Russia is very accomodating, for the right price.
AuthorMusician
QUOTE
Is Bush right? Will our future bring technologies that will solve our energy dependence problems? If so, why didn't earlier promises (made circa 1950s or before) yield results?


Yes, our future depends on developing alternative energy technologies. We have started to tap wind and solar in this country to generate electricity. Not very well developed is geothermal and ocean current/tidal reaping. President Bush did not mention these highly potent sources of energy, so I'm writing off his remark as being true but not sincere.

What about Carter's energy policy? That was working to a degree for encouraging efficiency and the development of alternatives. The reason earlier attempts failed was that 1) energy got cheaper, and 2) energy got cheaper. Now it looks like a period of gouging is going on, and so public opinion could head over toward efficiency and alternatives again.

QUOTE
Will Bush's plan, as outlined in his speech, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign energy? If so, how, and if not, what will reduce our dependence, if anything?


Less use of petroleum products and more use of alternative products that can be made domestically will reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. Using geothermal to boil water, which is all a nuclear power plant does, is an absolutely clean and safe way of generating gigawatts of electricity. We have the drilling technology from oil exploration and harvesting. We have the grid. We have the land and water. We also have two major coastal areas for reaping ocean current/tidal energy.

With enough electricity, we can crack H20 into H2 and O, thus making enough hydrogen to power our fleets of commercial and private vehicles. What's left for petroleum then amounts to making polymers, and this can be done through biomass instead of petroleum.

I don't think the energy policy that President Bush is selling has these ideas as focus. It is only giving small nods in their directions, if at all.

QUOTE
Will the plan to build refineries on former military bases while curtailing the right of state legislators to refuse permits to refineries and power plants significantly increase pollution? If so, should we tolerate them in our states anyway? If we should not tolerate it, what can we do to stop it?


Yes, more pollution. No, don't tolerate them in our states. I really don't know how to stop the feds from selling former military base assets to private refinery companies. State law might work, but keep in mind that gasoline prices might be manipulated right now to get people to demand more refinery capacity.

QUOTE
Should US taxpayers foot the bill to induce private energy companies to apply for permits to build power plants?


Depends on the kind of power plant. No to traditional, yes to alternative (geothermal).

QUOTE
Bush did not mention SUVs in his speech. Should he have called for smaller, more fuel efficient cars as a way to reduce energy use, or was it enough to offer tax incentives to people who drive hybrids?


Yes to geothermal/hydrogen, no to traditional energy sources.

I'm all for spending our tax dollars on solving the energy problems as described over spending on war or traditional energy sources.

The technologies are right here under our noses. President Bush is selling old ideas and ignoring the real solutions. He is not the one who can lead us into energy solutions, and we are probably not ready to go there anyway.
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