By ROBERT BRYCE
During his address to Congress last week, President Barack Obama declared, "We will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years."Declaring the we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years sounds great on T.V. But like so many other things BHO says that sound great on T.V., his words are empty rhetoric.
While that statement -- along with his pledge to impose a "cap on carbon pollution" -- drew applause, let's slow down for a moment and get realistic about this country's energy future. Consider two factors that are too-often overlooked: George W. Bush's record on renewables, and the problem of scale.
By promising to double our supply of renewables, Mr. Obama is only trying to keep pace with his predecessor. Yes, that's right: From 2005 to 2007, the former Texas oil man oversaw a near-doubling of the electrical output from solar and wind power. And between 2007 and 2008, output from those sources grew by another 30%.
... For the sake of convenience, let's convert the energy produced by U.S. wind and solar installations into oil equivalents.
The conversion of electricity into oil terms is straightforward: one barrel of oil contains the energy equivalent of 1.64 megawatt-hours of electricity. Thus, 45,493,000 megawatt-hours divided by 1.64 megawatt-hours per barrel of oil equals 27.7 million barrels of oil equivalent from solar and wind for all of 2008.
Now divide that 27.7 million barrels by 365 days and you find that solar and wind sources are providing the equivalent of 76,000 barrels of oil per day. America's total primary energy use is about 47.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.Full article here.
Even if we could somehow increase solar and wind energy by 100 times (never mind a mere 2 times), we would still use hydrocarbon energy for about 86% of our annual demand for energy.
So who is BHO trying to fool. The sheeple, of course. Blaaah! How about talking about the only real non-hydrocarbon energy source around---nuclear power? The U.S. Navy has been operating nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers for nearly 60 years with a spotless safety record. Spent nuclear fuel can be reused in breeder reactors, which can also be operated safely. So let's not head off into the west waving our hands and screaming about storing nuclear waste.
Reliance on nuclear power around the globe dwarfs American use already and will doubtless continue to grow. So why does the federal government (the 545 people who set the limits of your existence) continue to favor hydrocarbon fuels while talking gibberish about solar and wind and putting arbitrary caps on carbon emissions? The answer to that question really isn't particularly difficult. See if you can figure it out.