Monday, March 19, 2012


At a recent fundraiser, President Obama called his republican competitors "flat earthers" in regards to his "all of the above" energy policy (via USA Today):

"If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail," he said, "they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society -- they would not have believed that the world was round."

Yeah, yeah, we get it, conservatives are anti-science.  Well, except when they're not, of course.

Since Mr. Obama is so fond of his snarky little analogies, let's just expand on it, shall we?  So republicans who want to exploit our natural resources and understand that alternative fuels are just not where we need them to be yet are "flat earthers", are they?  Let's switch things up for a minute: 

Our intrepid Barackopher Obambus's fleet wouldn't have used the conventional method of power, namely inexpensive canvas sails (of which there was an abundance) and would instead have relied on his favored green energy schemes.  What a sight it would have been, watching our adventurous leader, chin tilted up in that oh-so-familiar pose, green halo shining above his head,  hitting the high seas in his ships of the future: the Ninavolta, which bursts into flame a mile out from shore  and his beloved flagship, Solyndra Maria, which cost half a billion dollars but can't store enough energy with it's solar sails to make any forward progress, wallowing instead in the harbor as it's crew strips it down before the taxpayer Crown gets it's "investment" back.  Meanwhile, Ninavolta's sleek and sassy high-end electric sister, La Karma, can't even generate enough power to leave the dock.  As for the Pinta, well, it's still in drydock, waiting for it's new algae engine.  Don't hold your breath on that one.

We hear a lot of "all of the above" from the left these days; no one more stridently than our own Dear Barackopher Obambus. Unfortunately, his idea of "all of the above" is more like "anything but what we're using now". The sharp rise in prices is due, in part, to his over-active EPA, his catering to his activist base in shutting down the pipeline (even if it IS "just for now") and his drilling restrictions on federal lands (an eleven percent drop in the number of permits issued year-to-year is absolutely NOT increased drilling under his policies). There are of course other factors involoved; it's a complicated issue. So much more so than, say, four years ago when the answer was simple: Bush. But if Obama would back down on some of his policies and rein in his EPA a bit, prices would ease as the prospect of increasing production changed speculation. 

Obama is forcing Americans, via high fuel prices, onto a non-existent "green energy" market. Just as promised. The impact of this policy of european-style energy prices will have wide-ranging ripples to the rest of our economy at a time when we literally cannot afford it. And that's apparently a-okay with Mr. Obama. He has taken to deflecting criticism with some version of, "do you think I'd be stupid enough to do that?", but it doesn't quite work because too many in his administration, himself included, are on the record stating that the only way to wean us off of evil fossil fuels is to price it out of range. So yes, since you asked, I do think you're stupid enough to do that. The problem is that I'm not stupid enough to be taken in by Chu's mea culpa.

As for his much-mocked algae, that is still, at minimum, a decade away.  They are still in the experimental phase, experimenting with over eighty thousand of varieties of algae to find (or create) the perfect specimen.   Speaking of algae, check out this little quote from Stephen Mayfield, one of the leading researchers in the algae field:

"Algae already makes oil that looks like crude oil. The oil we extract from algae goes directly into a refinery and gets converted into diesel or gasoline," said Mayfield

Huh.  Just like crude, you say?  Interesting.   So here's a suggestion - how about we skip the whole making fake oil thing, and just go right ahead and drill for the real deal?  Because if algae oil and fossil fuel oil are basically the same thing and would burn the same way, how exactly is it more ecologically superior?  Now, while I see their point that fossil fuels will eventually run out (in about 200 years) so having an easily replenishable replacement is important, but how exactly does that help us right now?  And doesn't it make sense that while they are working on the fake stuff we should be drilling for the real stuff to hold us over?  Algae twenty years down the road doesn't put gas in my tank today. 

If our president would only take a break from the demagoguing for a moment and asked around, he would find that he would be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't support alternative forms of energy if they were cheap and readily available - it's the American Way! - but wind and solar aren't even close yet, and the algae idea is, at best, at least a decade away.  Instead he decides to create another commission to investigate high gas prices.  Gee, didn't we already do this last year?  It's a safe bet that whatever recommendations this latest dog and pony show makes will be ignored as thoroughly as the last, just as he thoroughly ignored the recommendations of his debt commission.  Just another wasteful, useless political ploy to make it look like he's doing something. 

One other thing - he hasn't really explained how, exactly, switching to wind, solar and algae will help us with high gasoline prices right now.  Is anyone going to hold his feet to the fire on that?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Well, hopefully there will be algae buses coming off the line right quick because under another four years of Obama's energy policy, the only people who will be able to afford to drive will be his crony buddies in the top 1%.

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