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Morning Bell: The World Is Powering Up While America Powers Down
The Foundary at The Heritage Foundation ^ | July 24, 2008 | Conn Carroll

Posted on 07/24/2008 12:58:34 PM PDT by twntaipan


The economy is by far the No. 1 issue on most Americans' minds. Gas prices are a close second. The two issues are intimately related. But the spike in oil prices this year is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to similar developments in supply and demand, electricity prices are set to skyrocket next year.

While American oil consumption has grown only 15% since 1973, electricity use has shot up 115%. Right now the U.S. has 760 gigawatts of power to meet consumption. We will need 135 gigawatts of new capacity over the next decade to keep the lights on, but right now only 57 gigawatts of power are planned. No matter what Barack Obama and Al Gore tell you, alternative energy sources cannot meet demand. Solar is still only one-tenth as efficient as the cheapest fossil fuels. Today 97% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro power. Wind provides 1% and solar .01%.

The rest of the world knows that green sources of energy are inadequate to keep their people out of poverty. That is why around the world, from Europe to South America to Asia, countries are building coal and nuclear power plants at a dizzying pace while also drilling for oil wherever they can find it. Meanwhile, the United States, crippled by an out-of-control environmental movement, is refusing to develop needed energy sources.


The left's campaign against oil development is well known. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), liberals in Congress are preventing an estimated 19.1 billion barrels of oil from being developed in our Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and another 10.4 billion barrels from being developed out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Currently the U.S. has only 22 billion barrels of oil reserves. If Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid would just allow the House and Senate to vote, the U.S. could double its potential oil reserves over night. Since energy prices are set on the margin, such a drastic move would surely lead to a significant drop in oil prices. As if the current production bans were not enough, environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity plan to use the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species to stop oil production on current oil leases as well.

While liberals in Congress are forcing less oil production at home, the world is busy drilling at every opportunity. Brazil, whose beautiful beaches rival or surpass anything in California or Florida, recently discovered a huge underwater oil field and it is moving quickly to begin drilling. In Asia, China and Japan were able to put aside centuries of mistrust to come to an agreement on how to drill and share oil in waters in between their countries.


Despite signing the Kyoto Protocol, countries across Europe are rapidly building new coal power plants. Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired plants by 2020. Italy plans to increase its reliance on coal from 14% today to 33% in just five years. In all of Europe, 40 new major coal power are set to be built in the next five years. In 2006 alone, China completed enough coal power plants to match all of Britain's capacity. India plans to boost coal production by 50% by 2012 and quadruple it by 2030.

While the rest of the world can't build coal power plants fast enough, liberals have brought construction of coal power plants in the United States to a complete stop. A highly organized network of environmental groups such as the Sierra Club have been using every state, local and federal law they can to stop construction of coal power plants nationwide. The environmental coalition, which includes the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental Integrity Project, claims 65 victories over the last three years.


The United States has not built a nuclear power plant in 30 years. While there are 30 plants currently being planned, all are tied up in the arcane permitting process the environmentalist left has created. None of the projects has started construction. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is embracing nuclear power. France already gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. Japan has six nuclear plants under construction and another six planned. India also has six under construction and another 19 planned. China has seven under construction and another 85 planned.

The nuclear industry does not need subsidies or handouts in order to succeed. The biggest risk the nuclear industry faces is reactionary government regulation. If the federal government could lift the ban on fuel recycling it could safely manage nuclear waste.

A Question of Values

High energy prices hurt rural and poor Americans the most. The Democrats have become the party of the rich. Rising energy prices do not hurt rich San Franciscans and New Yorkers as bad as they hurt middle-class Iowans and Kansans. Poll after poll shows that Americans desperately want to increase energy production. The rest of the world is increasing their energy production. Why can't we?

Quick Hits:

* Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.) is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to waive new ethanol mandates that have driven up the cost of gas and food.

* Southwest Airlines will post its 69th-consecutive quarterly profit thanks to the company's skills at mitigating risk through oil speculation markets.

* A new U.S. Geological Survey found that the area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — nearly two-thirds the proved gas reserves of the entire Middle East — and 90 billion barrels of oil.

* According to the analysis by the Tax Policy Center, Sen. John McCain's tax plan would add $5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years while Sen. Barack Obama's plans would increase the national debt by an estimated $3.4 trillion over the same time.

* Over half of American voters (51%) now believe the United States and its allies are winning the war on terror.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Politics
KEYWORDS: economy; energy; environment; oil; power; solor
It really is about destroying our economy
1 posted on 07/24/2008 12:58:35 PM PDT by twntaipan
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To: twntaipan

“It really is about destroying our economy “


You’d think even the DUMBEST SHEEPLE would revolt, but no, they are happily lead to the slaughter.

2 posted on 07/24/2008 1:00:10 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: twntaipan

But, but, we can conserve our way to energy independence. /S

3 posted on 07/24/2008 1:03:27 PM PDT by CPOSharky (Blaming CO2 for global warming is like blaming your thermometer for your kid's fever.)
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To: nmh
The liberals have successfully injected the American public with a guilt trip about being leader of the world.

I thought about the Obama speech in Berlin and how he was so far off the mark. The Soviet Bloc had been broken up, Germany reunited and the USSR dissolved mostly because the leadership of the good ol’ USA. Obama was saying America ain't so hot. Please!

4 posted on 07/24/2008 1:20:24 PM PDT by oyez (Justa' another high minded lowlife.)
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To: twntaipan
* According to the analysis by the Tax Policy Center, Sen. John McCain's tax plan would add $5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years while Sen. Barack Obama's plans would increase the national debt by an estimated $3.4 trillion over the same time.

Say what?

5 posted on 07/24/2008 1:37:30 PM PDT by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: twntaipan
135 gigawatts!!! Photobucket
6 posted on 07/24/2008 1:44:44 PM PDT by PeterFinn ("I will stand with the Muslims" - Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: twntaipan


7 posted on 07/24/2008 1:55:03 PM PDT by the anti-liberal (Write in: Fred Thompson)
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To: twntaipan
What will be the cost of the Democrat "No Domestic Energy Policy?"

All of that puts the U.S. in a position that war for oil or
complete economic collapse are our only choices.
You can't frustrate every source of domestic energy
without consequences. Our enemies will blackmail us
to the extent that we are vulnerable to blackmail.

Are the Democrats trying to force us into a real war for oil?

8 posted on 07/24/2008 2:05:02 PM PDT by TigersEye (Drill or get off the Hill. ... call Nancy Pelosi @ 202 - 225 - 0100)
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To: twntaipan


9 posted on 07/24/2008 2:34:01 PM PDT by Delacon ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." H. L. Mencken)
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