I’m thankful that Rich Karlgaard wrote this op-ed in this morning’s Forbes. This simplifies what the Democrats are attempting to do. It’s obvious that Pelosi’s Democrats can’t pass basic math:

In the U.S., electricity is produced from these sources. If you are reading this on a handheld and can’t read Wikipedia’s wonderful pie chart, here is the breakdown:

48.9% — Coal
20% — Natural Gas
19.3% — Nuclear
1.6% — Petroleum

Got that? A tick over 88% of U.S. electricity comes from three sources: coal, gas and nuclear. Petroleum brings the contribution of so-called “evil” energy–that is, energy that is carbon- or uranium-based–to almost 90%.

Despite the fact that the overwhelming amount of electricity is created through fossil fuels or through nuclear power, Pelosi’s Democrats want to destroy the United States’ ability to generate electricity. Let’s remember that President Obama said that he was perfectly comfortable with bankrupting coal-powered power plants:

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

How can a thinking person attempt to bankrupt coal-powered power plants? What priorities is such a man setting? What type of people vote for these radical policies? HINT: Blue Dog Democrats like Collin Peterson vote for such things.

QUESTION: Rep. Peterson, was it worth those thirty pieces of silver, aka concessions, to betray your constituents?

The Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House on Friday by a 219-212 margin will punitively tax energy sources that contribute 90% of current U.S. electricity (or 71% if you want to leave out nuclear). The taxes will be used to subsidize the 10% renewable contributors (but really just 3% after you leave out hydro).

In other words, Waxman-Markey is betting the future of U.S. electricity production on sources that now contribute 3% or supply 10 million Americans with electricity. That’s enough juice for the people in Waxman’s Los Angeles County. Or, if you prefer, for Nancy Pelosi’s metro San Francisco plus Markey’s metro Boston.

Well, what about electricity for the other 295 million? You can’t get there from here with Waxman-Markey. At very best, solar, wind and cellulosic ethanol will make 20% contributions by 2025. The smart money would bet on 10%.

What bunch of geniuses would pass a bill that would put the vast majority of power plants on life support? Here’s a better question to ask: Why would anyone think that we’d be able to build the infrastructure needed to dramatically increase production from alternative energy sources?

Meanwhile, traditional sources of electricity that are progressing in the direction of cleaner and more efficient are being ignored (or dissed by Waxman-Markey). Here are two must reads–the first on clean coal by Gregg Easterbrook, the second on fission energy by Robert Metcalfe. Study them if you take electricity production seriously.

Bottom line: There is no way the U.S. economy can enjoy future prosperity without the big three electrical energy sources of clean coal, natural gas and nuclear.

It’s time we took this simple math seriously. Its time that we didn’t put our stock in Pelosi’s pie-in-the-sky projections.

Finally, it’s time that we changed directions away from Pelosi’s special interest-driven energy policies and towards a serious energy policy.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

4 Responses to “DC Democrats Flunk Simple Math”

  • J. Ewing says:

    I’m getting tired of hearing the term “clean coal.” First of all, there is nothing “dirty” about CO2. Removing other things in coal– sulfur especially– WERE the definition of “clean coal,” and obviously we should do all we can in that area. More efficiency is also good, no point in burning more coal than necessary.

    But the problem is there is simply no way to reduce the amount of CO2 created by combining C with O2! Nor should we care, certainly not to the point of incurring great expense to keep a completely natural and harmless trace element of the atmosphere, out of the atmosphere.

  • eric z says:

    Hey, Gary, don’t forget that after the last Republican depression they built Hoover Dam with all the hydro and water resources that entails. There’s TVA and Bonneville on the Columbia basin.

    Perhaps we’ll have to build more of that, call one Bush Dam, just as with Hoover.

    Gary – I think the corporate arm of the GOP, the General Electric sorts, are big on wind power. They are avid. They believe. They’re big in that market.

    Westinghouse, the US nuclear industry – check who’s bought what, and guess how far that option will go other than in Germany and other parts of Europe.

    It will be running the existing nuclear plants at a steady optimal performance level, running all that’s there on fossil fuel as demand grows except for holding the microturbines back for peak demand spikes; and the new thing will be wind – investment in that plus new grid infrastructure to get the power from where the wind blows to where consumers sit. The grid has been overdue for overhauling and upgrade for years. It will be a matter of time before we have a less reliable grid than Brazil, if that situation is ignored much longer. The genco part of the industry will grow, but the transmission and distribution will grow more. And as long as Rockefeller represents West Virginia coal will have its genco share.

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