America is Running out of Electricity
By Alan Caruba
February 11, 2008
The provision of electrical power nationwide has become the chosen battleground for environmental groups laboring night and day to insure there will not be enough of it to meet our needs.
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that overall energy demand will grow by 45% between now and 2030.
The effort to insure Americans will not have enough electricity is deadly serious. Take, for example, the exultant news release (Jan 17) from the Rainforest Action Network, "Proposed Coal Plants Losing Steam" celebrating "59 coal plants cancelled or shelved in 2007."
Since coal-fired utilities provide over 50 percent of the electricity generated in America, the need for additional plants would seem obvious. A May 2007 Business Week article about coal noted that, "Today, making electricity from coal can cost half as much as using cleaner-burning natural gas." Half as much at the plant translates to half as much in the monthly energy bill to homeowners and others.
The Greens, however, using the utterly bogus "global warming" hoax and asserting the false notion that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will transform the climate of the earth, are successfully denying Americans electrical power.
There is no global warming and CO2 constitutes about 0.038% if the earth's atmosphere. In past eras there was a lot more CO2 and the result was the lush vegetation that kept a lot of dinosaurs munching away for several million years.
The brownouts in California are testimony to what happens when there are an insufficient number of plants to generate electricity, whether it comes from coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric power.
Right now the population of America is just over 300 million. The rate of population growth is 30 to 40 million people a year-a number equal to the population of California today. All will want and need electricity. Where will it come from if the Greens are successful in thwarting the building of power generation plants?
"Coal-fired power plants are the wrong investment for our climate, our health, and our economy," said Becky Tarbotton, director of Rainforest Action Network's Global Finance Campaign. (1) Such plants do not affect the climate. (2) Americans now have the longest life expectancy ever, so our health is not an issue. (3) Our economy is entirely based on the availability and provision of electrical and other forms of energy.
The Greens opposed nuclear energy so successfully we haven't seen a new plant built in thirty years. If you want to increase the amount of electricity and, at the same time, reduce the cost of electricity, build a few and watch what happens.
Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine points out that, "The construction of just one nuclear power station like Palo Verde (CA) in each of the 50 states, with a full complement of 10 reactors, would supply all of the energy that the United States currently imports-with, in addition and at current prices, $300 billion per year worth of excess energy to export."
If we can't get nuclear facilities built and we can't get any new coal-fired plants, what does RAN propose? The same thing as the other Greens do. So-called "renewable energy." And "efficiency."
Neither solar, nor wind energy is ever going to be able to produce the amount of energy Americans use and need. The laws of physics eliminate these "solutions" to our energy needs.
Energy is measured in British Thermal Units, BTUs. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2006 the United States used 99.5 quadrillion BTUs of energy for electrical energy and for our transportation needs.
What energy sources were used to generate the power? Fully 40% came from oil, 23% came from coal, 22% came from natural gas, 8% came from nuclear plants, 2.9% came from biomass, including ethanol, 2.8% came from conventional hydroelectric dams, and less than 1% came from all other alternatives combined: geothermal, wind and solar power.
Along with the efforts to stop any means to provide the power America needs for its present and future energy, the U.S. government heavily taxes energy industries and has placed so many restrictions on new nuclear and hydrocarbon power production that there has been very little development for two generations. On top of this, it has mandated that a large portion of the nation's corn crop, an essential element of our food supply, be liquefied and burned for fuel.
The most recent "energy bill" passed by Congress and signed by the President actually bans Thomas Edison's most famous invention, the incandescent light bulb!
If this keeps up, we are going to run out of energy in America for electricity and for transportation. The vast oil tar deposits in Canada are a target of the Natural Resources Defense Council that has challenged the granting of permits required to expand refineries and pipelines on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border.
A recently proposed billion-dollar project by ExxonMobil to construct a storage facility and pipeline for liquefied natural gas off shore of New Jersey immediately drew criticism by environmental groups. Gas-fired generation plants would be further thwarted from access to the energy source.
Whether it's coal, gas or oil, the Greens are doing everything they can to return the United States to the same conditions that existed from before the Revolution to fifty years after the Civil War. The use and expansion of electrical energy did not really begin until the last century.
An energy catastrophe is looming for the nation and Americans cannot even look to Congress to avert it.
Alan Caruba is an American public relations counselor and freelance writer who is a frequent critic of environmentalism, Islam and research on global warming. In the late 1970s Caruba founded the PR firm The Caruba Organization, and in 1990, the National Anxiety Center, which identifies itself as "a clearinghouse for information about 'scare campaigns' designed to influence public policy and opinion" on such subjects as global warming, ozone depletion and DDT.