Electricity–The Next Big American Disaster

June/17/2008 21:11PM
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Just watch what happens to your electric bill the rest of this year and into next year. It is forecast to increase 29% on average across the U.S. in 2008. That’s an average. This is on top of the 30% power costs have gone up the past 5 years. What is causing this? Take a wild stab. The same things that are causing your gasoline price to go to $5 this summer. 

First demand. Not here again, but elsewhere in the world. The price of coal which generates half of the power in this country has gone up 100% since last year. China and India are buying all we can ship them. Natural gas is up 50% due to domestic demand. No new nukes–regulations and environmental stoppage, but two on the drawing board at $10 billion each will be added to that utility’s existing bill. No new hydro electric- again, stopped by regulation and environmental objecton.No new coal–same. Old plants being taken out of service must be replaced with more expensive options.

Getting the picture? Our government has shut down all new forms of power except two–wind and solar. They have actually mandated–key word here–mandated that percentages of new power must come from renewable sources. How’s that going? Here’s an example.  San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and its potential partners have a plan to build the world’s largest solar electric plant in the desert and surround it with plants that run on wind and underground heat. Just what the government ordered, right? Wrong. Environmentalist groups are opposing and delaying the plan. Why? They object to the towers that transmit the power form the desert to users. They prefer you have solar panels on your roof.

Maybe we all need to get to the point where we say, we really don’t care what you prefer. I prefer to have the plant in the desert and the power brought to me and if you other folks don’t like it, move. Move to that little pristine patch in Alaska that your are so concerned about. The one with all the oil under it. Live with the caribou and polar bears. 

So here’s the new mess. You can’t produce new power from old conventional methods like nuclear and coal, but you must meet set percentages of total power from solar and wind by set dates, except the environmentalists wont’ let you get there because they may not like the way your have to transmit the power from the source. Sounds like the old pipeline from Alaska bringing clean natural gas that we can’t build all over again. 

Just as you are settling down about $5 gas and getting over your frustration with your government, you will be upset all over again with your electricity bill.

I won’t even go into the neglect the power grid that delivers power across the country has had. Won’t matter if there is no power to transmit.  

Remember this is a democracy and the majority is supposed to prevail. But you and I in the majority are as active as the very small minority of rabid environmentalists who are against every form of progress. They get heard and we don’t. So it isn’t a democracy is it? It’s a special interest form of government run by people who respond to polls not wisdom and their first allegiance is to the media, not the voter. 

Next chapter, wait until winter and you try heat your home. 

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