Okay, you probably don’t need any more reasons why U.S. energy policy is so lame. But don’t complain to me, complain to Greenwire (subs. req’d), which reported on a Forbes panel of three
Stooges former Republican energy secretaries who seem to revel in their ignornance of all things energy [sound effects added]:
Former South Carolina Gov. James Edwards, who served as Reagan’s Energy secretary from 1981 to 1982, was the most pessimistic, predicting that the Democrats would preside over an era of energy doom and gloom. A foolish pursuit of carbon emissions controls and fear of nuclear power would result in much higher electricity costs, job losses and some parts of the country left in the dark, he warned.
An era of energy doom and gloom? What the heck does he call the Bush administration? Massive power outages, huge energy price spikes, Detroit on the verge of bankruptcy, a war in the Persian Gulf, soaring electricity costs, job losses?
“Now listen, grape-head. I’ll explain this so even you can understand it.” The one thing we know for certain — pursuit of nuclear power would inevitably raise electricity costs. Indeed, in Florida, utilities are allowed to jack up rates years long before the plant is built. It looks like the lucky customers of Progress Energy will get to each pay more than $100 a year for years and years and years before they even get one kilowatt-hour from these plants (see “Nuclear power, Part 2: The price is not right“).
Herrington, who served as secretary under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush from 1985 to 1989, expressed skepticism about Obama and the Democratic Congress supporting new nuclear power. He was especially critical of Obama’s call for “safe” nuclear power.
” ‘Safe’ is the code word for no nuclear,” Herrington said.
Oh, a wise guy? Does Herrington even realize what he is saying — claiming that anybody who talks about safety is secretly a nuclear opponent. What is this, the former Soviet Union? This nuclear McCarthyism is a terrific way to get another accident — and yet it is a widespread view in the GOP (see McCain calls concern about nuclear safety and waste “blah, blah, blah.”).
For the three GOP stooges “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk” is apparently replaced by “nuclear, nuclear, nuclear.”
“Cap and trade doesn’t work,” Edwards said. “It hasn’t worked in Europe, and it won’t work here.”
Certainly! It worked here for us to limit sulfur dioxide emissions from utilities far faster and far cheaper then conservative like Edwards claimed. And since Europe’s real 5-year carbon cap only kicked in this year, it is absurdly premature to say that it hasn’t worked, especially since it looks like Europe will actually meet its Kyoto obligations (see “15 EU countries on track to meet Kyoto targets“).
But here is where the Three Stooges make clear they have taken one too many blows to the head:
The three said they favored the recent energy policy proposal offered by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, especially his call to divert the nation’s natural gas reserves to fueling transportation. Pickens has suggested building massive wind farms in the Midwest to replace the electricity now generated by natural gas.
Diverting the nation’s natural gas reserves to fuel transportation remains arguably the dumbest energy idea ever proposed in a major multi-million ad campaign — and its pointlessness from an energy or environmental perspective is surpassed only by its political and practical impossibility (see “Memo to T. Boone Pickens: Your energy plan is half-brilliant, half-dumb“). It is safe to say that anybody who endorses such a plan understands neither energy nor the environment nor practical considerations (see “Pickens’ natural gas plan makes no sense and will never happen“).