Monday, January 23, 2006

McCain Frets About Oil Imports But Is Way Behind On Getting Solar Energy To Arizona


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

My parents used to lecture about solar energy while living in Arizona. They did solar energy research there. You would think Arizona would be number one on solar energy implementation but it is #45 on the national solar energy use list which is insanity and then along comes Senator McCain, baying that we need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil? Where's he been at this last 30 years?

From Associated Press:
A top Republican lawmaker said Sunday that America must explore alternate energy sources to avoid being held hostage by Iran or by "wackos" in Venezuela — an apparent reference to Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's populist president.

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), a potential presidential contender in 2008, said recent action by "Mr. Chavez" and by Iran's leaders make it clear that the United States will be vulnerable as long as it remains dependent on foreign energy.

"We've got to get quickly on a track to energy independence from foreign oil, and that means, among other things, going back to nuclear power," McCain said on Fox News Sunday.

"We better understand the vulnerabilities that our economy, and our very lives, have when we're dependent on Iranian mullahs and wackos in Venezuela," said McCain, who challenged President George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
Yeah, the "wacko" in Venezuela who is giving cheaper oil to the Bronx and Mass and other interested states? The one who is spending money from oil on the infrastructure and not on mega yachts? Eh?

From the NYT:

At a time when energy prices and industry profits are soaring, the federal government collected little more money last year than it did five years ago from the companies that extracted more than $60 billion in oil and gas from publicly owned lands and coastal waters.
You know, Nigeria is melting down over this sort of thing, namely, thanks to Americans imposing a very corrupt government on them, the oil profits all flow to the USA, not to Nigerians.

McCain particularily steams me. My family has lectured until our faces were blue, about instituting a massive solar energy drive for Arizona which is blessed with more sunshine per year than anywhere in the USA. We got sun up the yin-yang in Arizona, nearly every day, every year. Endlessly. It is probably the most consistent thing going in Arizona!

Yet the state rates #45 on promoting solar energy use? Cloudy NY state beats Arizona? Huh?

Talk about insanity. The deep south is nearly united in refusing to invest or encourage solar energy. Instead, they burn coal, coal! This month, we see coal miners dying all over the place as they frantically dig coal, 60% of which is used to produce energy in the south for airconditioning! This is lunacy.

From Make Democracy Work:
In the United States the current energy bill has billions of dollars in subsidies, but for every dollar in tax breaks for renewable energy like solar and wind, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group calculates there is $3 for nuclear, $3 for coal, and $8 for oil and gas. None of it is paid for, so the subsidies add to our burgeoning debt that we’ll pass on to our children. In the House, Rep. Jeff Flake, calling it “corporate welfare,” was the only Arizona Republican to join Democrats Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva opposing the bill. The libertarian CATO Institute has joined the Sierra Club in arguing we’d be better off with no subsidies than this bill.
Refering to the Energy Rip-off Bill recently passed. They gave tax credits to oil companies just as they were registering record profits and their profits are shooting to the stars this week thanks to their oil buddy boy, Bush, sabre rattling.

Great.
This summer my kids and I have been biking to summer activities, while I go on to ASU and then return to get them. Despite a few hairy moments crossing busy intersections and a couple tumbles, the kids are having fun, getting some great exercise and learning to be safer cyclists.

My disappointment is that we’re the only family biking to these activities, even though I’m sure other families travel less than the three miles we do.
In the sixties and seventies, there were legions of bikes on the streets in Arizona, I used my splendid 10 speed which was made specifically for my size, it fit like a glove, to careen about town. Last time I was in Arizona, I saw not one cyclist anywhere. Lots of SUVs belching around town. Phoenix is much worse, it is flat, for crying out loud, and there are no cyclists to be seen hardly anywhere and kids who rode everywhere when I was a child are missing in particular.
Unlike our competitors, the United States is far too fat in our energy use. Japan, which imports nearly all of its oil, produces more solar power than the United States and Germany combined. For each dollar of economic output, the United States consumes three times as much energy as Japan and twice as much as France and Germany. Much of their fuel efficiency and movement towards cleaner fuels are ingrained in the culture and encouraged by subsidies.
Yes, the Japanese are scared and are working hard to not only use solar power but to manufacture it. The USA seems to have forgotten what "industrial manufacturing" means. We just want things to magically appear for us.

Arizona, which is mostly a right wing, red state, thinks they might end up producing 5% of their energy use via solar panels by 2020. Gack. Talk about lax, lazy, slow poke, stupid. By then, if that sun-blessed state isn't producing at least 50% of their energy use via solar power, they might as well turn off the lights and evacuate because the place will be intolerably hot due to global warming and will have virtually no fossil fuels left except at very high prices. Try bicycling when it is 120+ outside.

I used to do that. Heh. Sweat city. But then, I didn't use airconditioners, either, so I was aclimated to the climate. No bubble for me, no sirree.

Meanwhile, I suggest to Senator McCain, wake up, dude, the cock is crowing and it ain't Clinton's.
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