Sen. Klobuchar has joined with Tim Johnson to co-sponsor legislation that picks economic winners and losers:

Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tim Johnson of South Dakota introduced an energy bill Thursday that focuses on developing domestic renewable energy. The move comes after months of Republican attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and government-funded clean energy projects.

Called the Securing America’s Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies (SAFEST) Act, the bill would establish long-term incentives for the development of biofuels infrastructure, extend ethanol tax credits, and impose a renewable electricity standard of 25 percent by 2025.

Last year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a plan with a renewable electricity standard of only 15 percent by 2025.

“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our energy economy,” Klobuchar said in a statement announcing the bill. “At a time of rising gas prices, this bill will provide incentives that can help us utilize more homegrown biofuels, strengthen our homegrown energy economy in Minnesota, and secure our energy future.”

“This legislation invests in jobs on farms and in manufacturing in America,” Johnson added. “This will prevent us going from importing oil to importing wind turbines and electric cars.”

This is real legislation from pretend politicians who need to be run out of the Senate ASAP. Ethanol has been a total failure, whether you’re talking about its worthless gas mileage to consuming refinement capacity to its pathetic environmental record.

Why we’d want to extend subsidies for that type of failure is typical Washington thinking. DC is into subsidizing failures. It’s one of its specialties.

My first reaction to this was that Klobuchar and Johnson are overthinking this. After thinking this through, though, my reaction is that they’re doing as their militant environmentalist supporters want them to react. They’re up for re-election and they need to fill their coffers again.

Their first reaction is to pander to their special interest groups, then watch the checks come rolling in.

This isn’t serious legislation. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Johnson aren’t serious legislators. This is legislation premised on the belief that government is good at picking economic winners and losers. History says that government is pathetic at it. Utterly pathetic.

The simplest way to eliminate this special interest-created crisis is by telling the special interests to take a hike. We’ve got a couple centuries of energy resources sitting at our fingertips. The problem is that these special interest groups’ litigation is preventing us from tapping into those resources.

We’re known as the Saudi Arabia of coal. Why aren’t we using that? Technology has advanced to the point where storage of spent nuclear fuel rods isn’t the problem that it posed 30 years ago. Gov. Dayton told the conference committee dealing with lifting the moratorium on nuclear power that he won’t sign their bill. Here’s the conditions for his signing the nuclear moratorium ban:

The conditions: No new nuclear plants until there is a federally designated nuclear waste storage facility. Language guarranteeing that ratepayers are not on the hook for plant planning and design costs until it is online. A provision addressing the production of weapons-grade plutonium (already in the House bill).

Rolf Westgard shot down Gov. Dayton’s arguments with ease:

The French deal with this issue for their 58 nuclear plants by reprocessing the spent fuel. Ninety-five percent of the material, including some fissionable plutonium, is recycled into new fuel, and the dangerous 5 percent is vitrified into glass cylinders for storage.

All of those cylinders from 58 reactors are stored in the floor of one large room at La Hague, France. They will eventually go to permanent geologic storage.

During their five years as fuel in commercial power reactors, the pellets produce some plutonium, which joins uranium 235 (U235) as additional fuel, extending fuel life.

After five years, the pellet’s percent of U235 and plutonium declines from about 5 percent to 2 percent, and no longer sustains the chain reaction, but the 2 percent is very valuable reactor fuel when recycled.

The storage issue isn’t an issue, meaning that Gov. Dayton either has another motive for making this a precondition or he’s badly ill-informed. Personally, I’m leaning toward his having an ulterior motive, most likely his cowtowing to militant environmentalist groups.

Time after time, lefties like Sen. Klobuchar and Gov. Dayton ignore science, then accuse conservatives of ignoring science. The facts are clear. The ethanol that Sen. Klobuchar’s legislation would subsidize is inefficient in terms of gas mileage and a pollution hog.

Nuclear power plants, oil refineries and new oil rigs won’t get built because organizations like MCEA won’t let them get built.

If Sen. Klobuchar was interested in proven solutions, she needs to ignore these special interest groups when their agenda runs contrary to the needs of We The People.

Unfortunately, I’ll be surprised if that happens. If it does, the first thing I’ll do is look skyward to see if there are flocks of pigs flying in V-formation.

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8 Responses to “Sen. Klobuchar Picking Winners & Losers”

  • Rex Newman says:

    The Strib is all over Michele Bachmann again, claiming she’s not a “deep” thinker. Never a peep about Betty McCollum or Amy Klobuchar, who show few signs of thinking.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I can’t argue that Michele stepped in it but your point is exceptionally well taken. Klobuchar smiles alot, sounds relatively reasonable in a liberal way but shows no signs of intelligence.

  • Brian says:

    You think Amy got that 25 percent by 2025 from Gov. Pawlenty? I think that is about what he signed into law in Mn.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I’d bet you’re right. The major difference is that Gov. Pawlenty learned from his mistake. Klobuchar didn’t.

  • J. Ewing says:

    As soon as legislation uses the word “mandate” you know it’s trying to make something happen that would not and should not happen if the free market and common sense prevailed. You have to ask for what REASON would anyone want “25 by 25”?

  • Shelley says:

    Mn has already met its RES with hydro. Time to count it! The”GREEN” renewable energy mandate is costing ratepayers w/subsidies up front and higher utilities on the backside. The hundreds of miles of powerlines are in the middle. No CO2 is reduced. Wind energy production is “Trade Secret!” Ratepayers are forced to buy at the highest price without proof of what they are getting. Contested Case at the PUC starting 3-15 on the subject. Look at for more info.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Shelley, Thanks for that information. I’ll certainly check it out Tuesday am.

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