Sunday, August 30, 2009


Straining to Find Points On Which We Can Agree

Long- time lefty activist and former Californian Congressman, Tom Hayden, has a piece today in the Denver Post about energy policy. It's not very good. But here is something on which I can agree with Tom, at least partially:

My feeling of deju vu first came with the recital of the persistent failure under both parties to capture energy savings from what Chu called the "low hanging fruit": half of all energy waste, for example, is in existing buildings and the materials used for those buildings. Thirty-six million American homes currently qualify for weatherization subsidies, while another 100 million homes need similar retrofits. But only 36,000 units are being weatherized per year.
No rational person is against making homes and businesses more efficient in energy use--the problem arises regarding who is to pay for the upgrades, here weatherization. Tom seems on board with the federal government paying for them. I think that giving a tax credit would be a preferable way. But if it makes economic sense to make the house or business more like a thermos cooler, wouldn't the home or business owner want to do that? If it saves him or her money, wouldn't he or she want to spend a little to save more? Nothing is stopping anyone from weatherizing, that is, no federal entanglement--no penalty or regulation. But on a broader scale, how is conservation a complete energy policy? And the agreement fades.

But here is some straight BS from the aging radical:
The Obama stimulus legislation and Waxman-Markey bill, despite being watered down, still would invest $24.4 billon in real money for energy efficiency, $25.3 billion for renewables, and $23 billon for transit improvements. Greenhouse gas emissions would be based on California's regulation of new vehicles. The measure puts off setting standards for renewable electricity, industrial efficiency and carbon capture and storage, setting the stage for fights ahead. According to Clinton and Obama adviser John Podesta, the package means $150 billion in clean energy investments yearly for 10 years, creating 1.7 million net new jobs.

There just has to be a point where additional government spending here will be seen as counterproductive, for the simple reason that we, as a nation, don't have the money to spend on weatherization and the like. I think we passed that point a while back, but rational lefties, which pretty much leaves out Tom Hayden, certainly will reach a point in our proposed spending where they have to say: Basta. No Mas. And we know from the Europeans, who have attempted it, that there will be no net new jobs in renewable energy. See the next posting down. $1.5 Trillion to create the illusion of 1.7 million new jobs, actual lost jobs, and worse energy sources, that is, more expensive and less reliable, indeed just a whole lot less of it, as the "renewable" Hayden is talking about is less than 2% of our current supply?

The "green" revolution in alternative energy Hayden is so nostalgic for, up to when Carter was president, did not end because of sabotage by capitalists and big energy corporations. It was stillborn because then, as now, it couldn't supply the needed energy and it was way too expensive. Scapegoating the companies who could, and did, power our nation to ever growing prosperity, as Tom Hayden does here and there throughout this opinion piece, reminds me of the excuses the Soviet Union always relied on--the wreckers.

There are more moribund lefty talking points, however, than just those left in Hayden's battered portfolio.

How to possibly evolve from our current fossil-fuel economy to one based on renewables and efficiency while fighting long wars over oil and pipelines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran was a contradiction too large for the specialized brains at the table.

Tom! The war in Afghanistan against al Qaeda and its enabler the Taliban was about an oil pipeline? You're worse than the Birthers. Where is that pipeline? Where is the oil we were to steal from the Iraqis? And "too large for the specialized brains at the table?" Only the non-specialized giant brain at the table could comprehend the fantasy world history of Tom Hayden and, of course that non-specialized giant brain would be Tom Hayden's.


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