Archive | July, 2008

Nuclear mini-me’s

17 Jul

I remember when I was probably 12 years old, a member of my church congregation was an engineer at a nuclear facility under construction south of my home town of Greeley, Colorado.  He invited my family to come to the plant for a tour.  The plant is not a large plant, like the one near Phoenix, AZ, just a nice small facility.

So on the way to work the other day, my wife and I were talking options in energy and I expressed my thoughts that what we need in the US are a whole bunch of small nuclear plants, perhaps 2 or three in each state.  No only would this employ people in constructing and running the plants, but would be a safety feature.  Take down one huge plant and you have a problem.  Take down one small plant, and there or two or three around it to get the job done.

Anyway, my wife sent me an email yesterday for this very idea as proposed in Popular Mechanics.  Check it out here.

More on Energy Solutions

15 Jul

In an article of the same name, Dan Scandling comments on the new Manhattan Project for Energy Independence as outlined by two members of congress, Randy Forbes and Frank Wolf.  While I might applaud the desire, and even give a one-handed clap for the seven goals outlined, energy independence, and security, are right around the corner, and can be done with existing resources.  At today’s rate of consumption, we have a 240 year supply of oil from oil shale, and a 250 year supply of liquid fuel from coal.  We don’t have to spend millions and millions of dollars and wait 10 years to achieve independence, we can do it today by tapping these vast resources.

Mind you, I have no problem with alternative forms of energy; my home is not going to be powered by a gas generator anytime soon, unless someone can figure out a muffler system that works better.  Cars are not going to be powered by wind generation or nuclear fusion, and the trucking industry is not going to transport your goods and mine to market by way of solar power.  However, if we can identify those resources that best fit a specific need, and make them specialists to that need, we might make really good progress; Gas for cars, regular and bio-mass diesel for trucks and trains, solar and wind for the home, and bugs that poop oil for the farm.

Drill and Mine US Oil–Buy and Refine US Oil!

12 Jul

US Energy Independence and Security comes from a three-fold mission:

 

The United States of America

 

1.  Has a divine destiny to defend democracy in every nation that currently embraces democracy, and promote democratic principles where tyranny and dictatorship runs supreme.  This cannot be accomplished while the US is beholden to the very tyrants against whom it fights.

 

2.  Has energy, whether from oil, bio-mass, coal, or nuclear power, as the life-blood of the US economy.  The effects of skyrocketing fuel cost have a direct impact on the affordability of food, clothing, and shelter for every citizen, rich or poor.  We must bring down the price of energy without further delay.

 

3.  Energy policy plays a vital role in the creation of thousands and thousands of jobs.  The oil shale fields alone can produce enough oil to replace our current imports and do so for 240 years.  This is a minimum of 5 generations of employment for families in CO, UT, and WY.  We have 250 years of coal supplies that can be converted to liquid fuel, and produce thousands of jobs.

 

It is time for liberal politicians to severe ties with fascist, economy-wrecking, pseudo-environmental groups and begin to do what is in the best interest of the whole of the citizens of the United States.  It is time for conservative politicians to stand and make a very vocal demand for energy independence and security.  And it is time for every citizen to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Henry and declare that “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” (Patrick Henry, 1775, House of Burgesses)

Why start drilling now?

10 Jul

There is a lot of play in the press from the liberal side of the energy debate that even if we started drilling now, we would see no benefits for 10 years.  And?

So, I came up with an analogy that goes like this.  A young person, straight out of high school, leaves home to make it on his/her own.  S/he gets a job working at $8/hour, but is barely getting by and doesn’t know what to do.

The conservative will tell the young person to go to school and get an education.  Finish a bachelor’s degree, and then maybe go on to an advanced degree, like law.  In 8-10 years, you will be doing well, considerably better than you are today.

The liberal will tell the young person “vote for me” and I will give you free health insurance, subsidized housing, food stamps, and a welfare check.  Don’t bother with school, ten years is far too long to have to wait, we’ll take care of you now.

The same is true with drilling and mining for oil.  It may take 7-10 years to produce, and the cost of fuel may not go down immediately, but how long can government pay our way?  What will come of the liberal plan is an entitlement to gas, and a new hand-out to the poor, gas stamps.  What will come of the conservative plan is national energy independence and security.

Your choice, but as for me and my house, we prefer the conservative ideals.

In Response to one dystressed…

7 Jul

I don’t get the whole trackback thing, or how to link someone else’s blog with mine, so I am posting a response I wrote to dystressed on the blog FreeThought Fort Wayne

Perhaps a little lesson from history will be good- “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” (Patrick Henry, 1775, The House of Burgess)

Scathouse- If by hijacking the Constitution you mean allowing freedom of the press as opposed to the Fairness Doctrine, a democrat-backed demand for equal time in a market that won’t buy it, I agree. If by hijacking the Constitution you mean allowing freedom of religion rather than demanding freedom from religion, I agree. If by hijacking the Constitution you mean allowing law-abiding people to choose to bare arms rather than creating a state in which only criminals will be able to bare arms, I agree.

dystressed- Obviously you have some real issues with the idea of “sea to shining sea” and defending this great land. Sure, it is not perfect- it is run by imperfect people. For instance, when elected officials kowtow to the demands of the fascists that have usurped a worthy environmental cause and prevented land-owners from the rightful use of land to protect a nest of snail-darters, you’re right, I am concerned. When I am forced through legislative action to pay confiscatory tax rates so you can have public healthcare rather than working to provide your own, as I do, you’re right, I am concerned.

I would ask both of you, what have you done today, this week, this month, or this year to make a difference in this great country? Have either of you done anything more that whine and complain on your blogs? Have you tried to educate yourself on the issues of the day, to write your representatives in congress, to donate to charity to relieve the suffering of those less fortunate than you? The way of the Republican party is self-determination and giving, while the liberal left would force giving for re-distribution to the poor through a failed system of welfare that has seen $1.5 trillion come and go, with little if any positive effect.

If you seek for the welfare state of the democrat/liberal left, you seek to enslave yourselves to a state that will determine everything you are, everything you get, everything you become, from the day you are born, till the day you die.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” (ibid.)

The Cost of Gas as a Percentage of Median Income

6 Jul

I probably had better things to do tonight, but I decided to start pulling statistics from several sources, including the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Senate website, and the House website, and here is what I came up with.

In May 1981, the price of a gallon of gasoline was the equivalent of .0072% of annual median income.  By the end of the Reagan presidency that percentage had dropped to .0036%, with a slight up-tick to .0040 by May of 1989.  From that time until 2003, the percentage hovered around .0036, sometimes up by .001, and sometimes down by a lesser margin.  In 2003, when we “went to war for oil,” the percentage started going up, and today is at .0074% of annual median income.

Two points: If we went to war for oil, one would think that the percentage would drop with the benefit of the US now getting all that oil from Iraq.  Fact is, that wasn’t the reason, it that isn’t the result.  Second, is that really the issue?  We can parse the data to show which party had control of the White House, the Senate, or the House, but in the end, none of that matters either.  What really matters is that we are not keeping fuel prices down by increasing oil supplies, which will best be done right here in the US.  If we pull ourselves off the world market and start producing our own oil from the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in CO, UT, and WY, we gain energy independence, and we put 22 million barrels of oil a day back on the world market for the world to consume.  Prices go down, employment goes up, national security is enhanced, energy independence is realized, and we are a better country for it.

So, for those of you who prefer to sit around whining about the price of a gallon of gas, I ask you to do one of two things:  Shut up, or do something about it.  If you are not going to step up to the plate and make a difference by making your voice heard to the people who can make a difference, your house of representatives, then please stop whining and be content with the high prices.  On the other hand, if you are a person of character, open your mouth and start talking to your representatives.  Write letters, sign petitions, heck, buy a t-shirt so I can afford to keep sending them to your reps for free.  Just do something!!!!

Patrick Henry- Give me Liberty!

5 Jul

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
 
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort.

“I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves.

“Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.  

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”