The Wall Street Journal Online today has a tremendous editorial  which outlines just how much of a fantasy Barack Obama's energy plan truly is.
It makes a great case for just how unrealistic the Democratic nominee's plan is to "end the age of oil in our time" and Obama's announcement that heralds "real results by the end of my first term in office." Obama's rhetoric would be so much more of use to us all if realities didn't tend to get in the way of his dream world.
From WallStreetJournal.com :
Every President since Nixon has declared "energy independence," as Mr. Obama noted. But this time, he says, things will change.
They won't. And not because of "the old politics," or whatever. Currently, alternative sources -- wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal -- provide less than 7% of yearly domestic consumption. Throw out hydro and geothermal, and it's only 4%. For the foreseeable future, renewables simply cannot provide the scale and volume of energy needed to meet growing U.S. demand, which is expected to increase by 20% over the next two decades.
Even with colossal taxpayer subsidies, renewables probably can't even slow the rate of growth of carbon-based fuel consumption, much less replace it.
Take wind power, which has grown rapidly though still only provides about two-thirds of 1% of all U.S. electricity. The Energy Department optimistically calculates that ramping up merely to 20% by 2030 would require more than $2 trillion and turbines across the Midwest "wind corridor," plus multiple offshore installations. And we'll need a new "transmission superhighway system" of more than 12,000 miles of electric lines to connect the wind system to population centers. A mere $150 billion won't cut it. Mr. Obama also didn't mention that this wind power will be more expensive than traditional sources like coal.
The closing segment of the editorial stresses exactly why we are in dire need of the "all of the above" strategy that The American Energy Act (H.R. 6566) and Senator John McCain stresses in bringing about energy independence, technological innovation, and economic growth, all at the same time. Case in point - it's great to try to make promises about putting "one million 'plug-in' electric cars on the road by 2015". But, if he's not going to support expansion of our nuclear energy capabilities that will support such an increase of stress on our electric energy grid, then Obama's talk could really be better put to use in powering the turbines across our "wind corridor"!
The editorial continues:
Mr. Obama also says he wants to mandate that all new cars and trucks are "flexible fuel" vehicles, meaning that they can run on higher concentrations of corn ethanol mixed with gasoline, or second-generation biofuels if those ever come onto the market. Like wind and solar, this would present major land use problems: According to credible estimates, land areas larger than the size of Texas would need to be planted with fuel feedstocks to displace just half the oil America imports every day. Meanwhile, the economic distortions caused by corn ethanol -- such as higher food prices -- have been bad enough.
And yet there's more miracle work to do. Mr. Obama promises to put at least one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. That's fine if consumers want to buy them. But even if technical battery problems are overcome, this would only lead to "fuel switching" -- if cars don't use gasoline, the energy still has to come from somewhere. And the cap-and-trade program also favored by Mr. Obama would effectively bar new coal plants, while new nuclear plants are only now being planned after a 30-year hiatus thanks to punishing regulations and lawsuits.
Problems like these are the reality of "alternative" energy, and they explain why every "energy independence" plan has faltered since the 1970s. But just because Mr. Obama's plan is wildly unrealistic doesn't mean that a program of vast new taxes, subsidies and mandates wouldn't be destructive. The U.S. has a great deal invested in fossil fuels not because of a political conspiracy or because anyone worships carbon but because other sources of energy are, right now, inferior.
Perhaps, the reality is that Senator Obama has ulterior motives behind his unworkable energy proposals. When it's obvious his plan has absolutely no merit, whatsoever, we should examine the possible effects it would have on the nation's economy and its citizens' quality of life. And what would be politically gained by having a voting public, no longer just with a growing need of ever-depleting energy sources, but also in a growing need for governmental entitlements and welfare programs due to the out of control crisis?
Or, as the WSJ.com states:
Consumption isn't rising because of wastefulness. The U.S. produces more than twice as much GDP today per unit of energy as it did in the 1950s, yet energy use has risen threefold. That's because energy use is tethered to growth, and the economy continues to innovate and expand. Mr. Obama seems to have other ideas.
It is clear by now that what is needed is the "all out" approach to attacking our nation's massive energy crisis! That entails going after all of the solutions that we have at hand - more drilling, more refineries, more nuclear, more wind, more solar,
more hydrogen research, more conservation, more tax incentives, etc.. But, Congress just has not pulled the trigger on allowing for this desperately needed "energy moon shot".
But, here's how you can help! All of these approaches are embodied in the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566). Join the movement to get this legislation passed by joining the Conservative Outpost's campaign to support the American Energy Act  by telling Congress to get back to work and pass this crucial legislation!
From the Conservative Outpost campaign page, you can Sign the Emergency Energy Act Petition , you can Send a Fax to Congress  urging them to pass the Act, and you can Forward the information about this campaign  to everyone you know that is interested in helping to solve our nation's critical energy problems.