Skip to comments.Energy Plans Often Run Out of Gas
Posted on 05/23/2009 4:45:42 PM PDT by reaganaut1
Ordinary light bulbs are supposed to disappear in the next few years as exotic new lighting technologies become common. Much of our electricity will be generated by wind and sun. Car fuel will be extracted from trees and grass. So lawmakers have mandated.
Now President Obama has proposed a new energy initiative, one of the most ambitious in decades, that would require the average car to get 40 percent more miles on each gallon.
At least, thats what is supposed to happen. But as the ups and downs of the nations energy policy have demonstrated over the last 35 years, much of what presidents sought and Congress mandated never came to be. Political will sometimes exceeded technology. In other cases, the market place simply didnt support the policies.
Consider the trajectories of some past energy initiatives announced with similar enthusiasm as the presidents new fuel economy plan, which calls for new cars to average 35.5 miles a gallon by 2016. In 2007, for example, Congress set quotas for ethanol made from plant matter to displace gasoline. Next year, refiners are required to use 100 million gallons. The problem is, no one has figured out yet how to produce it in commercial quantities. The soups not quite cooked yet, said Mitch Mandich, a director of Range Fuels, one of the companies trying to build such a refining operation.
In 2005, Congress passed an energy law requiring that the standard incandescent light bulb be 25 to 30 percent more efficient, beginning in 2012. But engineers are still working on a way to meet that goal.
More than half the states have mandated renewable portfolio standards requiring that some percentage of their electricity come from nonfossil fuel sources.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This coming from the NY Smiles?
LOL! Just another reason Obama's proposal will fail.
[The Times is admitting Obama’s energy plans will not work. ]
Yup, another crack in the flowrpot. You can mandate anything you want by law, but the laws of nature always prevail.
We’ll see how long it takes our idiot countrymen to figure this out.
I strongly advise everyone to invest heavily in 100W light bulbs, and soon, as they are the first to be banned in 2012, and all incandescent light bulbs by 2014.
Britain did so not too long ago, and it resulted in panic buying, and people tormented by light bulbs that give them headaches, have dim and generally unpleasant light.
DO NOT EXPECT THE REPUBLICANS TO STOP THIS NONSENSE!
President W. Bush willingly signed on to this insanity, and Republicans have not made the first effort to end other such evil, ridiculous and mean-spirited programs.
How to calculate how many 100W light bulbs you will need:
1) Count how many 100W light bulbs you currently use in your home.
2) Figure on replacing each one, each year for decades.
The only way this nightmare will end is if the federal government is finally stripped of the unconstitutional powers it is wielding. This may happen after a tremendous crisis, or if the individual States finally have had enough, and are forced to call a Constitutional Convention.
Sad to say, it is not just unwillingness to stop the uncontrolled growth of the federal government. It may be beyond the power of anyone in the federal government to stop it.
Congress! Why is it that every time there’s something impeding our progress, it’s Congress?
I think you're an optimist. I hope I am wrong.
“would require the average car to get 40 percent more miles on each gallon.”
Since these mandates are Cafe standards they don’t apply to all cars manufactured. Auto companies only have to have an average MPG for their fleet. If cars are 40 percent more efficient the demand for gasoline will go down and so will the price. The insentive to buy fuel efficient cars will go away and people won’t by the small more efficient cars. It’s such simple economics, but beyond the scope of the current administration.
“Do you want a light bulb with mercury in it for your oven or refrigerator?”
Based on what EPA recommends for clean up of broken flourescent bulbs I’d venture to say you’d have to throw out the refrigerator, food and all.
Actually, I wouldn't mind. Though CFLs work poorly or not in high or low temps.
I have personally broken at least two of the old fever thermometers in years long past. That's an exposure equivalent to about broken (that's as in "shattered", not "quit working") 200 CFLs. Over the past decade this household has gone from 100% incandescent to 90+% CFLs (only one incandescent that could be replaced by a CFL remains -- the rest are "decorative" lighting). In that time: 2 CFLs broken.
An interesting chart here (yah, it's from the gummint and the EnergyStar program and you need to click on the link to see it): Table 1
Light Bulb Watts Hours of Use kWh National Average Mercury from Mercury From Total Mercury
Mercury Emissions Electricity Use Landfilling (mg) Type Use (mg) (mg) (mg/kWh)
CFL 13 8,000 104 0.012 1.2 0.6 1.8
Incandescent 60 8,000 480 0.012 5.8 0 5.8
There's a whole lot of scare-mongering going on about mercury. It's not a good thing to dump wholesale into the environment, and we can thank the Japanese for our wholesale knowledge of this, but "zero-tolerance" makes about as much sense as banning GI-Joe-figurine guns or blunt butter-spreading knives from schools.
Look, I think we should be free to use what lamps we prefer given the usual caveats. This household likes the benefit CFLs bring to our power bill; we're not sensitive to the adverse effects others claim. (We also heat our house much less than most folks -- if you don't like 64F "occupied" you don't have to come on over -- but if you have special conditions, such as some of our elderly friends, sure, we'll crank the heat up to 70F or whatever we can deal with.)
Zero-tolerance, whichever way it goes, is a substitute for thought. And the one thing the totalitarian nanny-state cannot tolerate is people who think for themselves. (Go read "Atlas Shrugged", if you haven't done so lately. And prepare to be horrified.)
You have your preference in lighting and I acknowledge that. I have my own, with good reasons for it. We should retain this choice.
But CONgress is against that.
You mean you can’t dictate innovation? Really? Who would have thunk it?