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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/14/10

American Energy Policy

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The use of USA engineering know-how and American factories, equipment, and expandability to export potential should be the cornerstones of American Energy Policy.

Doing so in an environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and in a manner which is sufficient to meet current and future needs should be the guiding constraints of American Energy Policy.

So, I ask all of you, why are we doing exactly nothing to achieve these cornerstones and within these constraints?

Have we all succumbed to hallucinations that if we do nothing, it will all get better? Have we all swallowed too many "Stupid Pills"?

Many years ago, a group of scientists and engineers that I worked with developed plans for achieving the goals set forth above within those constraints. The key elements were wind farms, centralized solar power, ocean thermal energy conversion, ammonia production, distribution, and utilization, and biomass conversion and combustion using managed facilities and waste to energy digesters and combustors around our major cities. The enabler was extensive use of conservation practices in every endeavor, passive solar techniques in all modern construction, and a new fleet of super-light and super efficient automobiles, trucks, buses, aircraft, ships, and trains.

This was over 30 years ago. I see little or no progress in this approach since the PTB decided to go with whatever was the energy flavor of the day based upon wishful thinking and those with the most skillful lobbyists.

The key was to displace all of our use of fossil fuels to switch to a hydrogen economy based upon anhydrous ammonia produced by American renewable energy. We produced our own ammonia 30 years ago, mostly from natural gas. We now import 60% of our needs from China and elsewhere, mostly made from coal.

For every step forward, PTB leaders taking Stupid Pills have taken us backwards two or three steps, no matter what technology was chosen.

The latest idiotic approach latched upon by the PTB is electric vehicles. As long as we spend untold trillions of dollars on new nuclear plants built at sea level while the seas rise and import 95% of the fuels for them from Russia, Iran, and other friendly places, while storing the waste in nuclear cesspools on the plant property, and build new power lines to hook them up to our cities and highways, just to blow it all on vehicles with a 70-mile range using batteries made from lead or exotic metals that are not available here either. Meanwhile, the overall efficiency of raw energy to make the power to energy at the wheels for electric vehicles is LESS THAN HALF what it is using ammonia made from windmills and burning it using an engine or fuel cell in the vehicle, and at more than TWICE THE COST.

I won't go into oxymorons like "Clean Coal", what's the point? Do we want Canadian tar sands? Strip mined coal from West Virginia? Frakked gas and oil from shale? Stupid Pills for our addiction?

Of course, there are those that think carbon dioxide is not a problem. I wonder whose planet they intend to live on once this one has been destroyed.

If you agree that we must find a new course for our future, then comment on what ideas you have that will bring about a new direction.


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Designed first all-solar home for Ryland Homes in 1974. At MITRE, led a group of 35 of the best minds in the world (including Dr. Edward Teller, among others) who performed detailed engineering, scientific, socio-economic, and political analyses (more...)

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