How Government Energy Works

July/05/2009 18:57PM
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When the government gets involved in the energy business, two things are certain. One, millions or billions of your tax dollars will be spent. Two, the price of energy will go up.

The classic is ethanol. Mandate increasing amounts of ethanol in gasoline. Reason: it reduces our dependence on foreign oil. This is an outright lie. It is a net energy consumer. When you add all the btu’s needed to produce a gallon of ethanol, it is more than the btu’s in the gallon of ethanol. Those were fossil btu’s from foreign oil that created that gallon of ethanol. So, no imports were reduced. It is cost ineffective. So, it must be subsidized with your tax dollars. Billions of them and growing. It is simply a farm subsidy bill. It drives up the price of gasoline. And, at times the price of food. So, billions of your tax dollars are spent and the price of gasoline goes up. Plus, environmentalists now say it adds to the carbon problem.

In 2007, the EPA mandated higher standards on diesel engines to reduce pollutants known as “particulate matter”. To do this the particulate matter must be trapped in the engines and burned. To do that, new diesel engines needed to be produced. Since this and many other moves like this broke GM and Chrysler, we taxpayers have had to bail them out with our tax dollars.

The results. The burning of the particulate matter in the engine reduced fuel economy. This increased the fuel burned, thus increasing carbon emissions. It decreased the mileage 2-4% while increasing the cost of the new engine $8,000-$10,000. Stepping that up more in 2010 will reduce mileage more and add another $10,000 to the cost of the engine. No gain, lot’s of pain. Pain for truck manufacturers, truckers, and you, since someone pays for all the bad decisions.

The state of California has mandated that 33% of their power come from renew-ables. Always eager to lead the Nation, California has been a bastion of good ideas. That’s why they are broke and issuing IOU’s. The state auditor has warned that the electricity sector poses a high risk to the state’s economy. They may be short on power as soon as 2011. Not content with setting goals that are impossible from a cost and physical perspective, the state has passed new regulations to curtail existing practices. Once-through cooling sucks water out the the ocean and rivers and discharges massive amounts of warmed water, supposedly harming some aquatic life. Ending this practice will close 19 plants that produce as much as 15% of the state’s power. The tab to get to the 2020 goal, $114 billion and growing. Federal and state tax dollars are going to subsidize the alternative power.

The result of all this. The state of California will run itself out of power as early as 2011. Utility bills will skyrocket. More businesses and taxpayers will exit California replaced by more illegal Mexicans. The state deficit will grow and the state will be asking for help from Washington.

You want cap and trade? Here are three classic examples of what happens when the government gets involved in energy. Do you want the Federal government involved in every aspect of energy in this country?

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