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Does America Have The Juice?

American Energy. President Obama says we’re going to become an energy power again. Is he right? And how clean can the energy be?

In this Oct. 27, 2011 photo, a wind turbine is seen at the First Wind project in Sheffield, Vt. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants the state to get 90 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, largely eliminating the state's reliance on fossil fuels. (AP)

In this Oct. 27, 2011 photo, a wind turbine is seen at the First Wind project in Sheffield, Vt. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants the state to get 90 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, largely eliminating the state's reliance on fossil fuels. (AP)

It was energy boomtown talk in the State of the Union address the other night. The President, lit up like Jed Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies, talking about American-made energy. Black gold. Texas tea. And nearly everything else on the energy menu. Every fossil fuel but coal. Natural gas. Fracking all over. New offshore oil drilling. Wind, solar, green tech, clean tech.

“All of the above!” said the President, talking about the USA as a rip-snorting energy powerhouse again. Yes, this is politics. But that’s not all.

This hour, On Point: America’s big energy makeover.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Juliet Eilperin, the national environmental reporter for The Washington Post and the author of a recent article in Wired magazine on the collapse of the clean energy market.

Phil Verleger, Founder of PKVerleger LLC, an energy & economic consulting firm whose clients include firms, governments, and individuals. He’s a visiting fellow at the Petersen Institute for International Economics.

From Tom’s Reading List

Las Vegas Review-Journal “President Barack Obama today will visit a UPS plant in Las Vegas to promote a national transition to alternative fuels, including natural gas to power trucks that deliver millions of packages to Americans’ doorsteps and offices every day.”

Wired “The billionaire venture capitalist had come to the end of his now-famous March 8, 2007, TED talk on climate change and renewable energy, and his emotions were getting the better of him. Doerr had begun by describing how his teenage daughter told him that it was up to his generation to fix global warming, since they had caused it. After detailing how the public and private sectors had so far failed at this, Doerr, who made his fortune investing early in companies that became some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names—Netscape, Amazon.com, and Google, among others—exhorted the audience and his peers (largely one and the same) to band together and transform the nation’s energy supply. “I really, really hope we multiply all of our energy, all of our talent, and all of our influence to solve this problem,” he said, falling silent as he fought back tears. “Because if we do, I can look forward to the conversation I’m going to have with my daughter in 20 years.””

Washington Post “In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama spoke optimistically about the bounty of unconventional natural gas under the eastern United States. “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years,” Obama said, “and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” ”

NPR “Rancher Tim Pennell says you need only look out the window in DeWitt County to see what “fracking” has brought to the gently rolling terrain of South Texas.”

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  • Worried for the country(MA)

    It ain’t going to be wind power.  Do the math.

    Down the road LFTR(thorium) looks promising for producing electrical power, synthesis of liquid fuels, and destroying our nuclear waste stockpiles.

    CNG vehicles are here today.  Only the fueling infrastructure is lacking.  Many major auto makers market bi-fuel (gasoline and CNG) vehicles in Europe. Since natural gas works out to $1.50/gallon there should be a healthy market and the supply is 100% domestic.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I am not anti-wind unless the state forces costs onto the rate payers like they did in MA.  If they ever build Cape Wind, we will have to pay at least 3x market rates for Cape Wind power.

      Because wind is unpredictable it causes major problems as a grid base load power source.  Based on the European experience the limit wind can provide is about 15% of total power and even that will have challenges.

      • JustSayin

        An interesting historical note about the first technological trial of wind power at Grandpa’s Knob Vermont 1941:  http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/newengland/history_grandpa.asp

      • JustSayin

        Won’t the choose your generation company be valid for Massachusetts customers on their utility bill, or has the cost been diffused into generalized fees?

      • Anonymous

        @ec83219a7a1ebf66c63f3a5b695ec4ba:disqus @eb6e941afefc55d914e933031fc4b98a:disqus 
        In May of last year the estimate was that the higher cost for Cape Wind Power would cost the average ratepayer about $1.50. By Worried for the country(MA)’s estimate, the average ratepayer’s monthly electric bill is $0.50? I don’t think so but it would be nice. Also, the cost of electricity in Massachusetts has doubled over the last 10 years or so. NE does not have a lot of indigenous fossil fuels, so they have to be brought in at high cost. But the long-term contracts Cape Wind is seeking allows the capital costs to be distributed over that period and thus the slightly higher cost. But the surge in natural gas availability will die down and energy costs will resume their upward trend. Then wind power will be (much) cheaper and reward the ratepayer for their investment. There is already the likelihood that wind power may undercut the “peak use period” purchases price that utilities pay and become part of the rate base.

        But 25% of the NE power generation facilities are over 40 years old and will need to be replaced. While the cost of power from OLD nuclear plants is around $0.04/kwh, the cost from a NEW one is now estimated at between $0.20 and $0.30 /kwh, and going up. Because thorium plants would not require the level of “containment” that uranium plants do does not mean great reduction in cost, plus there will be a lot of development costs, unless they are delayed until India does it.

    • nj

      At this point, thorium is wishful thinking. Talk to us when there’s a working, full-scale prototype.

      I’ll keep saying over and over that any fossil fuel is not a sustainable solution. 

      Current estimates for natural gas reserves in the U.S. are about 1,000 trillion cu. ft. Current consumption is about 24 trillion cu. ft. per year. So the reserves represent about a 40-year supply at current levels. Start burning it in vehicles and the supply is gone in a couple of decades.

      Then what?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      A Nuclear Physicist that I know, told me that Thorium was NOT a nuclear fuel.  It was researched decades ago.  I showed him the article in ‘Popular Science’, and he didn’t see the validity!
         Nuclear fussion has been 25 years into the future for over 60 years, and that is also the latest projection!

      • Anonymous

        If he says it’s not a nuclear fuel, he’s not a good nuclear scientist.
        Thorium is a fertile fuel just like U-238, the most common uranium isotope. Hit it with a neutron and it turns in to fissile fuel. Hit that with another neutron and it fissions, releasing energy and on average over two neutrons to keep the reaction going.

        And where do you get fusion from? We’re talking about fission here.

        • Anonymous

          I think she meant a “practical” fuel. There was a development reactor built at Oak Ridge (TN) in the 1960s, but it was shut down for unclear reasons after a year or two. The “practicality” may depend on the type of reactor used.

          But India and another country are trying to develop it and the world can try to work with them or wait to see how they do.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Excuse me?  This ‘she’ is a he!   Moda keeps referring to me as a hysterical woman, and such, AFTER I have plainly stated my gender, and my interest in women!
               Since he claims to get ‘limp-wristed’ about guys, I prefer he think of me as female?   I don’t want him getting ‘limp-wristed’ about me!
               The physisist I referred to, worked on that reactor in Oak Ridge, and others.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          My reference to fusion, was an oft-stated ‘fact’ about fusion!   For 65 years, fusion has been “25 years into the future!  That’s the last projection for it, that I have heard.

  • Still Here

    Can we talk about the travesty that is corn-based ethanol?  Science doesn’t support it.  Economics don’t support it.  We’re left with Dick Durbin driving a policy that results in higher food-corn prices for consumers across the globe. 

    • Anonymous

      Talk about corruption in government, I don’t here anyone except consumers, scientists and economists complaining about this nonsensical mandate which is against the interests of the consumer, not just those with cars, but those who eat corn. ADM – we’re in everyone’s pockets.

      • Anonymous

        You are right, but it took until the last year or so for enough people to realize it. Before then, anyone voting against corn-to-ethanol would not get reelected.

        But the subsidy has expired, though not the ethanol requirement. [See PBS's Need to Know.]

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Switchgrass?  Jerusalem Artichoke?   Cellulose?  So many alternatives to corn?

      • Anonymous

        There is still some development work on these alternatives, mainly in scaling up the processes; they should be available in a few years.

    • nj

      BushCo. initiated corn ethanol and the support of it has been bipartisan, but, yeah, it’s dumb.

    • Anonymous

      T. Boone Pickens tells of a conversation he had with Senator Bob Dole (C-SPAN) where he asked why Congress was passing an ethanol subsidy; the answer from Dole was that as there were some twenty-five plus states [he gave a number] with an agriculture base growing corn, there was NO WAY that a subsidy would not pass [he implied there were near 70 votes -- or more -- in the Senate]. I believe there were MORE REPUBLICAN VOTES than Democrat votes on the issue, but I can’t imagine a Democratic Senator from a corn-growing state not voting for it.

      But the subsidy though not the requirement for ethanol has now expired.

      And it was the biggest boondoggle ever, much bigger by orders of magnitude than Solyndra.

  • AC

    many types of energy could be available; no one want to pay for transmission lines. Or any infrastructure. I think it’s called cutting off your nose to spite your face…..

  • Roy-in-Boise

    “The stone age did not end because we ran out of rocks.”

    North America is in the grip of
    large private interests that are hellbent on stymieing advancement from “the oil age” into “the age of sustainable energy” … Any student of geology will tell you that fossil fuel supplies are finite.

    Jeremy Rifkin’s “The Third Industrial Revolution” is a work that
    outlines the trajectory of the EU and where mankind will eventually be. The US will be a follower in this transition not a leader.

    • Same Old Cory

      Great post.  Thank you.

  • Jasoturner

    In my experience, architects get all excited about PV and wind and other so-called renewable energy solutions, while the engineers in the room roll their eyes, knowing they will have to waste valuable time once again demonstrating that the life cycle costs are awful, and that these are little more than boutique technologies for large facilities that want to show off their green cred.

  • Anonymous

    Large scale fracking threatens so many people’s water it’s not funny. So let’s drive forward hell bent on exploiting the natural resources this process produces? This is exactly what we need regulation for: amoral interests scrapping for power and wealth. Frack the frackers before they frack the water supplies of our farms, our towns and our homes.

  • Ed

    It’s such a shame that we never managed to get anywhere yet with solar power.

    • JustSayin

      Ed the world is moving forward, but slowly: http://www.solarbuzz.com/facts-and-figures/market-facts/global-pv-market

      First we must differentiate between decentralized production and utility production. Decentralized production is growing.

      Second, the technology is evolving rapidly each year, and there are cost reductions and efficiency increases that will evolve over time.

      Future solar cells can be multi-frequency converters such as were used on the mars rovers. Those being the most expensive, efficient and durable cutting edge cells made.

      The important companion technology with solar and wind is development of energy storage technologies, like electrochemical, hydrogen storage & fuel cell, or water elevation.

      …I’m claiming this as a utipian visage: I know that this is NOT the ONLY energy option, and that it will NOT power the ENTIRE US grid.

      • JustSayin
      • Terry Tree Tree

        And it’s certainly not a complete list of the advances in green technology! 

        • nj

          Any new technology will always result in a bunch of unintended, unanticipated, and unpredictable (and, sometimes detrimental) consequences.

          There are no magic bullets.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            True.  We KNOW the detrimental effects of Oil, coal, and gas.  The industries keep trying to cover them up, and diverting attention!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            True.  We KNOW the detrimental effects of Oil, coal, and gas.  The industries keep trying to cover them up, and diverting attention!

  • Gregg

    I lived in Boone, NC during the early 80′s. It was the home of the largest windmill on earth at the time. People hated it, it’s gone.

    I love those little solar night lights that charge in the day. We have solar powered fence chargers for our pastures, they’re great. I remember the windmills that pumped water out of wells. At this point that’s about the scale that works well.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      WHY did people hate the windmill?
         Wind-Turbines of 500 Kilowatts are being installed, with 1 MEGAwatt in the works!

      • Gregg

        The noise and sympathetic vibrations but there was a religious sect who called themselves the “Whooshies” that worshiped it. Really.

        • Ray in VT

          That’s hilarious.

          There was some very determined opposition to the large turbines that have gone up around my brother’s farm in northern New York.  I think that they’re pretty cool, and compared to the noise of the farm, I don’t think that the whoosh is too bad.  My brother’s making some nice money off of leases and revenue sharing from the company that put them up.

          • Gregg

            I found this on it, the “whooshies” are mentioned in the comments:

            http://jackbetts.blogspot.com/2009/07/readers-recall-windmill-noise-over.html

            It was a long time ago, I’m sure the technology has improved since then.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I was going to ask about when this was, and the improvements since?

          • nj

            There’s some evidence that people living near some windmill installations are actually experiencing physiological distress from the movement of the blades. It goes beyond just the sound.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Ever listen to an oil pump-jack, for hours on end?  The compressor plant for natural gas?  The smell of crude isn’t that of a rose, either~!

        • JustSayin

          I wonder if they hold the same opinion over highway traffic noise?

  • Soli

    I’m still waiting for the talk to swing back to real conservation efforts. But I suppose that makes me un-American.

    • Same Old Cory

      Bingo!

  • Modavations

    Two years ago I saw a guy on Washington Journal.He developed(you know those wells that Soros and Fidel are drilling 90 miles from Miami)deep water oil wells.He said you’d have to cover 2 midwest states in Windmills to get the equivalent to his one well.Just Giaist malarky.I’m Green,I’m cool.You want to save,then develope a more  advanced combustion engine.All those sweet looking Diesel cars in Europe are gettuing 45MPG

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Moda only missed the number of Wind-Turbines in Germany by 21,000?  Saying there were next to none?  Wonder how much oil stock he has?

      • Modavations

        It’s the friggin frakin by the Greeeedy,GREEEEEDY

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Moda only missed the number of Wind-Turbines in Germany by 21,000?  Saying there were next to none?  Wonder how much oil stock he has?

  • Modavations

    Kennedy and all the Ma.Swells,fought for years to block the Cape Winds project.They love windmills,but not in their back yards.All the Solar Projects in the Mojave are endlessly litigated by the Greenies.It’s over the Tortoise.Lefties love humanity,it’s humans they hate

    • Anonymous

      It was extremely disappointing that the Cape Wind project was opposed so strongly. But the initial opposition did clear up the real questions and some design aspects were changed to make it more acceptable.

      The same is reasonable when siting in the Mojave or any other desert. Not all sites in the same area are equivalent and the plant should be put where the least environmental damage is done. Even “green” plants can have some detrimental aspects which need to be minimized though elimination is not necessarily required (or possible).

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard — or thought I heard — the president on Tuesday say something about national infrastructure needing federal attention in order to accommodate new energies.  Or maybe I’m reading between the lines there.  It seems to me the energy of voting constituents will be behind new energy when they can personally pump energy into the system, when the grid can give as well as receive, and when, during national emergencies (whether from interference with the computerized management systems or from disasters of various sorts), people need to rely on energy generated close to home, or actually by their own homes.  I like to think if everyone had a stationary bicycle that would kick energy back into the system, and the nation had the capacity to receive, transport, or store that energy, people would look not at the three hotdogs’ worth of energy they had kicked back into the system one particular week, but at the many, many kilowatts their community, or state, or nationwide that individuals had contributed.  I’m pretty sure once the systems are in place there will be a race at all levels, from individual to state, to boost our supply from the ground up.  Have we tapped the energy of waves?  Have we tapped geothermal?  Who but the oil companies are to stand in our way?  Less profits for them means less costs for us — and “fewer jobs,” they say.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thanks for discussing some more alternatives!  There are SOOO many others!

      • nj

        And all of them put together can’t replace fossils fuels to meet our current (and growing) consumption levels.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Combined with sensible conservation?  When the fossils run out?
             Try to get into a nuclear power plant?  The costs of Security alone, is staggering!

    • nj

      A gallon of crude oil contains as much energy as a healthy human could expend by muscle activity in about five weeks’ worth of vigorous activity.

      Something to keep in my while you’re fantasizing.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        A bicycle weighs a LOT less than most machines that use oil?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I would like to see a comprehensive approach. Yes oil and gas exploration and drilling are and will continue to be an important part of our energy needs for the next 25-50+ years and we should continue to expand and improve what is avaiable to us. But, if we are going to gain true energy security in America we must start planning beyond that. Wind turbines (both vertical and horizontal turbines, yes it makes a difference!) and solar panels on public buildings and lands. More stringent and energy efficient construction standards for new buildings, homes and infrastructure. Expanded research and development of nuclear fission and fusion technology. A revamped power transmission system. Expanded use and development of biofuels. Improved recycling and storage of energy. All of these things will be needed and more if we are to make ourselves truly energy independent. How we would pay for it all is beyond me, let alone the political hurdles involved. But the fact remains that if we focus exclusively on just oil and gas to the exclusion of other options we will only hurt ourselves in the long run.

    • JustSayin

      Well funding is always the big issue since 1980. If the government puts a fee on something to pay for development, then its labeled as a commie plot, unless the garnered funds are redirected from their designated purpose and funneled into the military waste machine.

      The article about Grandpa’s knob is interesting because that America was philosophically different from today. In the day of that war and that project, Americans thought the word Impossible was a call to action to a challenge and overcome it.  Now, mention ANY green technology and conservative opinion is that ONLY the Chinese or Germans can do that…

  • Terry Tree Tree

    An oil well, when pumped out, is useless! 
       A

  • Modavations

    You know the big windmill farm you pass leaving San Francisco to Sacremento.It’s been there for at least 30 years.Someone told me they do nothing,just show.Is that true?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some people put up ornamental windmills.  Several are visible in peoples’ yards.
          If they are designed as ornamental, they cannot be blamed for not producing electricity!

      • AC

        the focus here should be storage & transmission

        • Yar

          Yes, read my comment on energy storage.  What would happen if windmills generated hydrogen instead of electricity.  It could likely be added to existing natural gas lines.  Most of the energy in natural gas comes from hydrogen.

    • TFRX

      “Somebody told me…”

      Talk about the unreliable narrator.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Wind-Turbines and Solar Panels can power your vehicles, heat and cool your home, pump your water, and almost EVERY thing you want to do!  With almost NO pollution!   Without depending on Foreign supplies!
       SO MANY advantages!
       Drilling for oil requires 5 stages of transportation, at least!  Before oil gets to you, it is hauled 5 times!
        Empty wells are all over the country!
        ‘W’ drilled several dry wells, and I’m not sure he hit a producer, much less a gusher!  Millions of WASTED dollars!

    • Modavations

      Macho,macho man agrees with Jan Shatowsky(Dem.Ill.)from yesterday.He said,screw the pipeline,20,000 high paying jobs arn’t that big a deal.I disagee and my guppies disagree

      • Terry Tree Tree

        TransCanada admitted the 20,000  jobs was ACTUALLY a LOT less, along the lines of 13,000 men for 1 year!
           A closer analysis would probably bring that number down to a more realistic number of 5,000 to 8,000?
           The same investment into Solar Panels, would probably provide MORE jobs!
           The same investment into CONSERVATION of energy, WOULD produce MORE jobs, and be a savings for the forseeable future!

  • Modavations

    Wasn’t I saying a few days ago that were awash in oil,etc,.I said 90 years worth no sweat.I see Pres.Obama says 100 years worth.Drill baby drill.

    • Same Old Cory

      Wouldn’t it be much more pragmatic (a distinctly American contribution to the realm of philosophy) to approach energy in a multi-dimensional way?  Solar, wind, tidal, geo-thermal, and yes-petroleum?

      • Modavations

        If it makes financial sense,by all means.We call this the “market”.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Certainly!  The TRUE costs of each need to be considered!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      President Obama said 100 years of NATURAL GAS! 
         Once again, Moda gets ‘facts’ that suit his arguement, but not the truth?

  • MarkVII88

    When I built my house a couple years ago I made it a point to build-in energy efficiency wherever economically possible.  Better insulation, higher-performing windows, efficient heating system…etc.  But until the average, non-millionaire, homeowner can implement new energy technologies like solar/wind/geothermal on their small scale and actually realize an ROI in a reasonable time frame what’s the point?  Don’t you think these new technologies eventually end up being like computers such that 2-5 years after I spend $15,000 for a solar tracker at my house, my neighbor can install one that’s twice as efficient for half the cost?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that we can do quite a bit on the efficiency front.  I’ve also been buttoning up my house and using efficient appliances.  So far I’ve managed to cut my energy usage by about 10%.

      One thing that is causing me to hold off on solar is that prospect of cheaper and more efficient technologies that could be coming.  Sooner or later, though, I’m just going to take the plunge if the numbers work out in my favor.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        While you are waiting for the prices to come down, you can do better conservation, and be studying the best ways for you to incorporate solar, wind, and other renewables into your situation.

    • JustSayin

      Building codes are finally being changed to accept structural technology that conserves energy. Until solar panels and housing infrastructure are standardized to the point that a person can go to Home Depot and purchase a panel and install it himself, the solar revolution is going to be expensive.

      Imagine that electrical panels had a standardized purchasable utility switching panel and every south facing roof had the option for plug-n-play panels.

      There is a huge commercial opportunity here if the government setting standards (it’s real purpose) for green tech were not being cast as a commie plot.

      • Modavations

        There’s no crisis in energy.This is just the usual suspects wringing their hands.Next week it will be some other crisis.

        • Ray in VT

          Yeah, the oil will never run out, so, like the bumper stickers used to say “drive fast, freeze a Yankee”, right?  There’s a price, both monetary and environmental, in extracting and using fossil fuels, unless you deny global warming science, so why not diversify our sources and push like hell on efficiency?

          • Modavations

            Mean Streets,Human Global warming is an invention of the Hand Wringer party.When it gets serious the Edisons of the world come foward with the light bulb.One friggin crisis after another with you guys.We live in a Golden Age and alll you see is doom and gloom.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, global warming is a figment in the imagination of scientists, who are really just in league with the Democrats.  There is such a thing as depletion of the ozone layer, rising CO2 levels in the oceans and such that have been observed for decades.  Ignore it if you want, but history will just pass you and the other deniers by.

            Also, I find your name calling to be juvenile.  I expect more mature behavior from my children.

          • Modavations

            Mean Streets,”hide the decline”.

          • Modavations

            Mean Streets,Canada said adios to Kyoto.

          • Ray in VT

            So what is your solution?  Fiddle while the world warms?  Even a Koch funded former denier recognizes the reality of warming.  Are you going to follow Dale Gribble’s advice and grow oranges in Alaska?

          • Modavations

            It’s Natural dude.Eric the Red and Leif Erikson discovered Green Land when the “natural”thaw unfroze the seas.That was 1100AD.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not going to deny natural cycles, and I’m well aware of the settlements.  But do you deny that there are not consequences to releasing into the atmosphere massive amounts of gasses that have been trapped in the ground for millenia?  Smarter people than you or I think that there are.

          • Modavations

            Absolutely.

          • Ray in VT

            That doesn’t surprise me considering some of the nonsense that you promote here.  Still think that the Earth is flat?

          • Modavations

            You ask my opinion.I give it,then you ridicule.Nothing new with my man Mean Streets

          • Ray in VT

            Well, then stop saying things that are incredibly moronic.  If you don’t want ridicule, then don’t be ridiculous.

          • Modavations

            I believe one would call this “opinion”

          • Ray in VT

            True, but some opinions, like some people, are just plain ignorant.  There’s my opinion.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            When guppy posts the comment, it’s more mature?

          • Modavations

            I’m a macho,macho fireman,for the 50,0000 time.Real men don’t call attention to thier charitable work.Right guppy,right Moda

          • Terry Tree Tree

            More of Moda’s B.C. math skills on display?  I have NOT been on here long enough to post 50,000 times, and Disqus has cut that down.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Deniers have come up with distractions like ‘heat island’, which is a backhanded way of admitting that humans DO affect climate, at least locally.
               How many ‘heat islands’ are there?  How much do they raise the temperature ‘locally’?
              Heat produced in one place SPREADS!  It becomes more than ‘local’!

          • Modavations

            Why do you pester me Terry Macho macho man.You get your marching orders from Move On and are wrong about absolutely everything.How pathetic,20000 high paying jobs isn’t that big a deal…..

        • JustSayin

          Dude you gotta let this hand wringing thing go. In this thread, so far,  only you are hand wringing. 

          The statements are all pro technology and how to implement it in a cost effective way… That’s very American and very progressive. Not recessive.

          Old people don’t like change. This is why technology only advances as the old curmudgeons die off and the rhetorical wall go with them..

          • Modavations

            Dude,the purpose of incendiary language is to get a rise.It’s obviously worked

          • JustSayin

            Yeah, And they always take the bait. I have to admit, you really are a motivator.

          • TFRX

            No.

            The age-old quandry of responding to the troll is a particularly internet-based issue.

            If this were the real world, Moda would be quickly left alone talking to himself.

            On the intertubes, things are different. Leaving his crap to hang there means people get the feeling, somehow, that he’s made a point, or has bested people who are ignoring him.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Vested interests in oil, coal, and gas, have done what they can to keep the curmudgeons stirred up in the interest of those companies?

      • Ray in VT

        My wife’s uncle is an electrician, and his union has been working over the past few years on solar.  They took a “field trip” to a local guys house who has a small scale turbine and some solar panels on his house, and that guy has a credit with the power company that should never run out.  Now that net metering is on the way, people like that, who actually produce more power than they consume, can actually be green and make some cash.  Perhaps that will push more consumers to move into the market.

        • MarkVII88

          This person may have a credit with the power company but how dues his ability to get paid for his surplus power compare to what he paid or is paying for the solar panels and wind turbine?  That’s the key to realizing a return on your investment.  Without this, there won’t be enough selfless altruists who will buy in to alternative energy.

          • Ray in VT

            That is the key, isn’t it.  If I could install a system that cost 15k and wiped out my light bill, and this is all for the sake of argument, then it would take a bit over 12 years to break even.  But then there also might be maintanence costs, etc.  Some of the recent info that I’ve seen on solar says that they’re effective for at least 20 years.

            My interest in solar, and wind (which my wife has totally nixed) is not altruism.  I’m just cheap.  If I can find a way to save money in the long run with these technologies, then I’m going to go for it.

          • Modavations

            Now you’re talking.If it makes financial sense then pursue it.Don’t do it to prove Greenie Creds

          • Terry Tree Tree

            And if you can get both?

          • Modavations

            Let the markets advance the sensible product.Don’t allow Govt.mandate  to interfere with the magic of free markets.This macho,macho fireman is what is known as Laissez faire…….Layzee fairy,how pathetic

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I agree Layzee Fairyees are pathetic.  Most of them work for a living!

          • Steve

            How much of the work can you do yourself?  What is the payback?

            Insulate then solar, heat exchange, geothermal, wind (“small scale vibrating strings”… maybe in the future)?

            Cradle to Cradle…I enjoy the dreams.

            Can one grow architecture instead of building it?

            I was speaking with my twelve year-old about a science challenge last evening – interdiscipilinary knowledge transfer from cellular biology to photosythesis to energy production.

            AC please respond and help me expand his horizons.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Done right, your wife will be able to buy a new outfit per year, with the savings.
               The companies that do a poor job, cause the technology to be constrained.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            He can charge his electric vehicles, and save a LOT on gas and health-care costs!  Electric riding lawnmowers are on the market!
               Who doesn’t have some battery-powered tools?
               Battery-powered lawnmowers have been on the market for decades!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Yes, I believe Moore’s Law will apply to Solar and Wind technology.  Companies will find ways to bring costs down.  Competition will bring down prices!  Higher rates of mass-production will bring down prices.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    What kind of a question if America has Juice?
     
    For me it’s insulting but we have to admit that we are behind in manufacturing. I asked a Japanese student from Harvard med school 5 years ago about how come Japan good with inventions? He said it’s not invention it is manufacturing helping small business to compete with big manufacturers, helping each other that resulted successful automotive industries in Japan.

    • Modavations

      Fax68 I saw the new Integra you were talking about.Sweet,but I’ll bet it’s over $60,000.I can only afford $30,000ish.I noticed your comment that listening to TerryTT ,Trfx,Jeffe,and N.J also makes your wrists go limp.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        You did. if you have budget of 30 thousand I recommend buying the Subaru Impreza not the WRX $28,000 or the Hyundai Genesis Coupe $25,000 fully loaded models. I prefer the Hyundai because it looks more like Acura TSX and nice interior and space.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Hyundai’s engine is now very reliable.

          • Modavations

            My prejudice is always to Honda and Toyota.I’m hoping they develop a Diesel.BMW and VW are starting to bring them in.Where would I buy fuel,is my worry and how much a gallon is a concern

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Those car I mentioned are 30 to 35 mpg. The problem with electric cars you can’t really drive 2,000 miles from Boston to Jacksonville, FL without stopping for a recharge, where to plug and the horsepower is below 100 hp. just window shop Hyundai has a new Hybrid for sale with 200 horsepower.

          • Modavations

            righteous

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68
          • Terry Tree Tree

            You drive 2,000 miles without stopping for fuel? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I guess you’ve never heard of truck stops?  Most of them sell diesel fuel?

          • Modavations

            What a busy body.Do you have panties on,or shorts today.We don’t have truck stops in Boston.Why don’t you take my advise.Pay no attention to me and I will reciprocate.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          $30,000 is about the price I was offered on a new 2011 F-150, before the 2012 came out!
             You can carry any of the cars you listed, in the ‘trunk’ of an F-150!

      • Anonymous

        For a man who likes to think he’s an adult you act like a 12 year old with issues.

        • Modavations

          The thought police have arrived.Don’t say that,don’t think that

    • Anonymous

      On a break I see.

  • Modavations

    You’d have to cover two midwestern states in windmills to get the equivalent of one good deep water well.Soros knows it,Fidel knows it.Macho,macho fireman Terry ,denies it

    • Cynical Cory

      So let’s not develop wind power at all.  Let us not explore and improve the technology, let’s not use it to displace some fossil fuels from unstable sources…  It isn’t perfect, so let’s abandon it.

      • Gregg

        That would be silly, no one is suggesting that. The suggestion is we abandon fossil fuels which is insanely impossible.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          WHO is suggesting we abandon fossil fuels?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Fossil fuels ARE abandoning us!

      • JustSayin

          That’s why we all ride horses to work… They were such a good idea we never needed to advance any further.

        We need to just stand and shake our fists at those newfangled energy sources!

        You whippersnappers, git dat stuff off my country!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Actually, it would take several million windmills to equal the pollution of Deepwater Horizon. The windmills could be producing electricity!

      • Modavations

        Tell that to the Norwegians my hysterical woman.Tell that to the rest of the Scandavian oil well operators.How’s the hang over today.The guppies say hi

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Actually, it would take several million windmills to equal the pollution of Deepwater Horizon. The windmills could be producing electricity!

  • Pingback: » Wind energy passes 6 GW in the UK – Renewable Energy Focus » Energized Energized

  • Anonymous

    At one level, we need centralized planning and regulation: Energy
    is a resource that has to be managed at the federal level. Look at what has
    happened to our power transmission infrastructure over the past 30 years with deregulation.
    It’s decayed to the point of becoming rickety. Private companies don’t invest
    in such infrastructure unless compelled.

     

    At another level, we have corporate energy interests rigging
    the system with their arsenal of lobbyists and privatley owned congressman and
    senators.

     

    We need a broad spectrum of investment and solutions at the
    private, small business and utilities level.

     

    I hear all this pooh-poohing of solar and wind. The computer
    in our cell phones are more powerful than super computers of 50 years ago and a
    millionth the cost. Without public investment through DARPA, NASA and I’ll bet
    NSA in the development of computer technology, computers and cell phones would
    not be where they are today, nor would many of our technologies; computers have
    had a profound effect on how we live and work.

     

    With the amount of solar energy incident on the earth, possibly equally as profound would be the effect of
    inexpensive, mass produced solar technology, not just on us, but the
    environment itself.  Do we
    not at least need tax incentives driving investment to accelerate advancement
    in solar technology to bring us a sorely needed low impact source of energy? How
    do we achieve this with the corruption of Congress who will be lobbied to subsidize oil and gas and invest in nuclear power when we cannot afford a nuclear disaster the likes of which Japan is still recovering from?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Solar power in India and China are well use by poor people. One Indian inventor invented a cheap parts to create solar panel and he is now helping a lot of poor people in India. China has the same agenda by providing solar energy to poor people but in America it cost a fortune to built solar panels and installing them on houses will cost a fortune.

  • Yar

    The next major breakthrough we need is in energy storage,  I believe it will come in hydrogen storage,  Hydrogen is a perfect fuel, except for its difficulty in storage.  Think of oil and natural gas as single use hydrogen containers. Carbon holds hydrogen extremely well, the trick it to release the hydrogen without combining (burning) the carbon with oxygen (CO2). Then we can recycle the carbon to hold more hydrogen.  Solve this problem and we can develop a sustainable energy budget.  Instead of power plants to create electricity we will pipe hydrogen to point of use and use the low grade heat energy for heating and cooling while the high grade energy for movement (work). This will change our whole world economy.

    I want to link money and energy, make our currency indexed to the cost of energy.  My reason is that the future of our country is predicated on surviving inflation resulting from our past and current deficit spending.
    Does money represent energy? 
    Money is trading work over time, money is the accounting system used to measure work. Inflation is an energy leak in money that reduces the value of past work over time. When we see oil prices rise and fall, we are seeing money going up and down, not a change in the price of energy.  By indexing energy to wages, we prevent inflation from drowning the average worker and establish a plan to survive as a nation.  The unit of energy independent of energy type is the Quad.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_(unit)

    • AC

      hydrogen has a moisture by-product problem leading to severe corrosive issues. it is also HIGLY volatile & explosive…..

      • Yar

        Yes, the by product is water. Combustion of natural gas which contains carbon dioxide and water, which is also corrosive on a planetary scale. Why not work toward better storage and combustion of hydrogen?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      There are at least three ways to store electricity:

      1) elevated reservoirs with a hydro plant — this can be with a mountain, or with the plant underground

      2) compressed air underground in spent gas fields (of the irony!)

      3) once electric cars become numerous, their old batteries can reconfigured for grid storage.  When there are millions of cars in use, many of them will be plugged in at any given point, and they can be used for short term storage, as well.

      But hydrogen is a very problematic storage medium; for the reasons AC mentions.  The exception may be if the “artificial leaves” that Professor Daniel Nocera at MIT become viable — they produce hydrogen directly from the solar panels, making their electricity at the molecular level just like leaves do, but more of it.

      http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/201104081

      Neil

  • Derek M.

    I was pleased to hear President Obama mention conservation. This is typically an overlooked ‘source’ of energy. What do your guests have to say about conservation?

  • AC

    once again, no engineers on the panel. that means nothing but nonsense arguments posting with lots of opinions – no actual facts/figures…..so depressing….

    • Anonymous

      At least they aren’t bloggers.

      • Ray in VT

        True.  On Point, why couldn’t you get an engineer to talk about some of the more technical issues involved in production and conservation?

    • Gregg

      Astute observation.

  • Gregg

    What about Hydro? There are thousands of small dams built in the early 1900′s that could be refurbished. Our farm is connected to a river that leads to an 800 acre impoundment. The dam was built is 1925 but has not been used since 1935 when they built the dam that impounded the Catawba River below it and raised the water level reducing the drop. I’m sure today’s technology could deal with it now. I inquired and the dam can be bought for $10 ( he said he’d take $8). It comes with no land just the concrete, the water and the liability.

    A private entity bought another dam on another tributary emptying into the Catawba. He got it going and is making a mint.

    • Modavations

      Now were talking!!!!!dON’T FORGET nUKES,JUST DON’T BUILD THEM IN jAPAN ON THE COAST,NEXT TO vOLCANOES OR THE sAN aNDREAS FAULT.mEAN sTREETS,IN 50 YEARS our HOMES Will be powered by Walnut Sized Reactors

      • Anonymous

        Good luck with that… Nukes need water, lots and lots of water. Of all the Nukes we’ve built, how many are not near faults? Even now our geologic surveys are turning up faults that we didn’t know about 30 years ago when these were built. Good luck finding a site that is really, Really, REALLY safe for a nuke.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Gregg mentioned nuclear in that post about hydro?
           WHERE?

    • AC

      hydro’s good if you live near a river or tide & have fairly mild seasons with no freeze cycles

      • Ray in VT

        But it does have it’s uses, so we should use it where appropriate.

        • AC

          it would be nice, just still the costs of storage & transmission – the area where all good ideas in this feild seem to die quickly….

          • Gregg

            Good point, but I believe we need to work more locally and ease the load on the grid as opposed to replacing the power source for it.

          • Ray in VT

            I agree.  Hopefully local generation, i.e. residential primarily, will become cheap and reliable enough for individuals to begin making a portion of their own power.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The good ideas are strangled by the agents of Big Oil, Coal, Gas, and Nuclear!  Where the BIG subsidies are!   Where the BIG pollution IS!

    • nj

      Limited generating potential and dams make a mess of river ecology.

      • Ray in VT

        Which is also a valid point.

      • Gregg

        As I said it won’t power the grid. Of course it’s limited, everything is. The dams are already there, I’m not talking about building new ones.

        • nj

          Sure, do it. Microhydro has potential for local applications. Just don’t pretend it’s more than a drop in the bucket.

          • Gregg

            That’s my point, none of these “alternatives” are more than a “drop in the bucket” compared to fossil fuels. 

            I really may do it. The easiest way is to connect it to the grid and require the electric company to buy it but the regulation and compliance enforced by those electric companies are expensive. But even if I invested in my own infrastructure and sold it to the neighbors it would pay the cost and then some over time. The problem there is, AC cannot be stored. The conversion to DC (storable) and back is inefficient. That makes it harder to sell power 24/7 because it would have to be capable of fully supplying everyone using peak power but unless they were the dam would be under utilized. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            How many drops to fill a bucket?  A bathtub?
               Drops fill lakes!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You can use $10.00 from the money you promised me, so many months ago!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    We’re driving down prices – and driving up consumption, especially on a global level. Which is just going to make the next shortage that much worse.

    And if Obama’s talk takes off, speculators will just drive prices up regardless of supply.

    • TFRX

      The cheaper energy is thisveryminute, the longer Americans think it will all last.

      A book recommendation on the subject:Green Metropolis.

  • Yar

    Are we a major exporter of oil, or of refined oil products?  The statement is used to make us look like we export oil, we import oil but export refined products.  I think your guest misstated this.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Price collapse on natural gas sounds good if you’re a consumer – but aren’t producers going to go out of business if prices don’t pick up?

    • Modavations

      We call this the market

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        Well, as we saw in 2008, we can’t handle the market.

        • AC

          may i ask your age?

    • Yar

      I don’t like the term producer for fossil energy,  They are energy harvesters or energy exploiters they did not produce it.  The world took billions of years to produce and we can’t replace it, ever.

      • Joe

        Do you like the word “electricity”?  I could go on but its not worth it.  We have taken an organic material from the earth and transformed life.

        We will be a carbon based economy for decades to come.  My hope is that we can someday drive 100+ miles on a gallon of gas.  Maximize efficiency etc.

        Solar is a great concept but I think we are decades away from technologies that are subsidy free.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          200 miles on a charge!  Costs LESS than a gallon of gas!

      • TFRX

        How about “miner”?

        Everything else which is mined runs out sooner or later.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Executives will starve on the paltry $Millions they will get?   Of course, belt-tightening will HAVE to start at the bottom?

  • R…

    Who are these people and who funds them?
    National Wind Watch: http://www.wind-watch.org

  • Modavations

    In 50 years our houses will be run by Walnut Sized,Safe,Nuclear Reactors.In 50 years we’ll be teleporting.This is a Golden Age

    • Ray in VT

      And I’ll use Mr. Fusion to power my flying Delorean.

      • Modavations

        That’s the difference between the right and left.For you guys the glass is always half empty

    • nj

      …posted while Modaman is zipping around in his jetpack.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That prediction was made 50 years ago, and was predicted for about 20 years that we would be driving nuclear-powered cars, and would NEVER have to re-fuel!

  • Dee from NY

    Fracking is just another scam by the usual suspects in Big Oil & Gas. They have every intention of raping our land and leave an environmental mess just so they can export our energy supplies to China where the price is 4-5 times the domestic price. What a crock that they or their shill, Mr. Obama, cares about getting off foreign dependence.

    • Joe

      We don’t export Natural Gas.  This is why there is a glut.  Fracking is not a scam….

      • R…

        Yes we do export Natural Gas in the form of LPG* on very large tanker ships to Asia and points beyond.
        *LPG= Liquified Petroleum Gas

        • Joe

          What do have in terms of infrastructure?  One terminal??  Gimme a break it is a bottleneck of epic proportions. 

          yes, we will have export terminals by 2016.  For now we are going to run out of storage capacity.

          LNG is what we call it.  Liquified natural gas.  It is super cooled gas that shrinks to 1/600th of its original volume. 

      • Dee from NY
        • Joe

          Of course prices will go up when we can export NG.  But for now producers are losing money because of the glut in production.  Fracking changed everything and now we have more than we can handle.

          We should use our resourses that ae readily available. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You might want to research, BEFORE commenting.  LNG tankers have been in use for over four decades.  I know it’s hard for some to keep up with progress?

  • Jonathan B.

    Tom, the President mentioned some important efforts on clean energy being undertaken by the Department of Defense:  “And I’m proud to announce that the Department of
    Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest
    commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough
    capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.” 

    The DoD recognizes the importance of clean energy and our need to shift
    to renewable and alternative fuels.  This is extremely significant for
    clean energy investment, but also socially; renewable energy isn’t just
    for the environment — we need it for our security.

    • Ray in VT

      There have been some interesting stories on NPR about DOD using lightweight portable power generation systems to enable soldiers in the field to power some of their equipment rather than relying on heavy batteries and such.

      • Jonathan B.

        Yea, definitely.  Check this story out:  http://www.marines.mil/unit/1stmardiv/Pages/RenewableenergyvitaltoMarinessuccessinAfghanistan.aspx

        Marines in Afghanistan were sent over there with solar power chargers and panels to drop reliance on fossil fuels for generators (and the deadly attacks on fuel convoys that was occurring.)  Stories are that the Marines turned their noses at it saying “We’re Marines.  We like to burn and shoot things!”, but were converted to the importance of renewable energy after they realized how much stronger it made them.

        • Jonathan B.

           Here’s a quote from the end of that story:  “When we first got
          the gear, I was a skeptic. As Marines, we do not always like change. I
          expected ExFOB to be a burden,” added Carrion, a native of Philadelphia.
          “Now that we are in theater, and we have so many PBs set up, we all see
          the how crucial and important renewable energy is. Every infantry
          battalion should have the ExFOB, it has proven to be an extremely
          valuable asset!”Also, one of General Petraeus’ last memos to soldiers reflected the importance of energy in operations:  http://energy.defense.gov/OperationalEnergy-SpttoMission.pdf

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    “green” energy isn’t green – it’s just greener than some other forms.

    Conservation is still the best course – all this energy talk is just saying we’re raiding our children’s and children’s children energy reserves for our own short term benefit.

  • Yar

    The big fracking lie is that chemicals assist in the process.  Some additives may help the pumps, but water is the hydraulic that separates formations.  The additives are simply a disposal system for hazardous wastes.  Much like the burning of hazardous wastes in cement kilns.

  • skeptic4321

    The interviewee didn’t comment as to WHY Obama vetoed the Bill-
    1) It was hastily drafted without proper assessment of all the issues
    2) It is highly likely the politicians involved in the Bill stood to make a bundle of money – wake up people- Washington is corrupt!  How long are we going to ignore/allow their insider trading?
    I want energy independence as much as everyone else, but Obama did the right thing, in my opinion, with this veto.  Also, we need to be smart and keep politicians out of this, since they seem to do only the things that fatten their wallets and not what is best for us or the planet long term.

  • Fbaldassare

    Thanks in large part to misinformation in the media and the hyper sensationalized “documentary” Gasland, the public has become so misinformed about the process of hydraulic fracturing.  Hydraulic fracturing is a highly engineered process that is safe when done properly.  Have there been problems, yes, but at a very small scale.  Better engineering and site management has improved the process. 

    One myth that continues to perpetuate is that hydraulic fracturing has caused stray gas migration problems.  This is patently false.  Not one reported stray gas incident has been linked to this process.  

    Natural gas from shale makes so much sense from many viewpoints, economically, environmentally.   

    Fred (Researcher on impacts from shale gas)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      I guess that’s why the EPA is now delivering water to people with wells contaminated with fracking chemicals.

      • Modavations

        The Epa called Hay illegal!!!!Dust pollution.Shut em down

        • TFRX

          The usual suspect is usual, and suspect.

          I’d ask you for a real source. But reading whatever you’d come is a waste of time.

          • nj

            Some guy told him, somewhere. I think. Maybe. Could be.

    • AC

      did you notice the guy who bashes fracturing then praises geothermal? lol!!!

      • Modavations

        Hydro Quebec is forever trying to sell New Eng.energy but the fruit cakes complain about the aesthetics of the transmission lines.Cover em with Spanish Moss,or the equivalent,there of!!!

    • Charles A. Bowsher

      Dear Fred,
      Please wake up to the fact that untold amounts of previously non-toxic water is now being poisoned by an array of chemicals that make BP’s dispesresants injected at the sea floor level look like cool-aid. in comparison.  Deep water drilling is also a “Highly engineered process”, that turned out so well with BP and Tony “Wayward” Hayward.  The nuclear energy plant at Fukishima (sp?) was a “highly engineered Facility/Process. They are using incredible pressures  up and down the drill string, they are relying on a  concrete liner to “seal” the shaft. Gee, I seem to recall from my introductory materials class that concrete is  is not known as particularly flexible.
      What happens to the concrete “seal” when there is the least little seismic distrubance?  I don’t care that there is enough natural gas available via fracking to last 100 years, because at the end of that time we will no longer be able to drink our water or breath our air.  Oh, wait, I get it, if we melt the Polar icecaps there will be plenty of freshwater!  Fire up the grill!, open the windows, turn up the heat my new mission is to contribute as much as possible to global warming. I see the light, I see the light, (which I am now going to be leaving on 24/7, Praise the Lord I saw the light!

      Yahoo! Tom just read part of one of my comments on air. I have arrived!

      Cheney was always representing Haliburton no matter what post he (dare I say it?) “occupiied”.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Astute and accurate observations!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Deepwater Horizon proves that drillers don’t EVER make mistakes?
         Yellowstone River leak PROVES that oil people can be TRUSTED?
         Canada has 800 examples about 1 pipeline company of leaks, totalling OVER 200,000 barrels of oil, proving that GREED beats safety?   That honesty is the oil industry policy?
         You failed to address the OTHER problems with fracking!  WHY?

  • Anonymous

    Where did you find all of these apologists for the energy industry? Does all of this rah-rah America First ideology mean that we have to watch the destruction of the American environment and the increase of global warming? If Obama is destroying the environment for political gain (or because he is too weak to do anything else) let’s call him on it.  The health of the world is at stake!

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Fracking will in the long run be the most damaging, costly, energy boondoggle in our Nation’s history.  Fracking is short for Fracturing, meaning they actually fracture the sub-structure of the earth. Everyone seems to be swallowing the gas industries slick feel-good ads that have the teenage “Green Energy” person going ooh and ahh with the “assurance” that “don’t worry it is clean”, Bullshirt! There are tens of thousands of wells. Each well uses hundreds of thousands of gallons of water mixed with a mystery mix of toxic chemicals which once used is then so toxic much of it has to be trucked to Ohio where it is deep-well injected into the earth.  The reason they haul it to Ohio, is because the Environmental regulations in Ohio are the most lax and therefore it is their new lowest cost disposal facility. Apparently it is so vile that they aren’t even willing to reuse in the next well.  And the energy industry has obviously proven time and again how responsible it is when it comes to environmental protection!

    Wake up America! It is time to declare “Shenanigans!” to the powers that be.  Conservation, Passive Solar, Wind, PV, Waves, and Geo-thermal get my votes.

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, our most important resource is clean water, not $3.00 a gallon gasoline!

    All these people (like the guest) who think shale oil/gas is a great thing are utterly clueless.  This isn’t a future you want to hand to your children and grandchildren. They will thank us more for keeping the air and water clean, than for keeping energy costs low.  It’s time for their futures to decide an issue, instead of our immediate wants, wants, wants.

    And most telling of all?  Dick Cheney favors fracking!
    Enough said!

    • Yar

      Think $3.00 per gallon for water!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        In Saudi Arabia that is the price of their water and the gas is about $2.00 a gallon or less.

      • Charles A. Bowsher

        Will that be with or without fracking fluids?

      • Charles A. Bowsher

        Will that be with or without fracking fluids?

        • TFRX

          That’s the average. Figure $2 for “as is”, $4 for “treated”.

    • NHWoody

      Shout HALIBURTON brother!

  • Jim

    How can Phil Vergler say that the Oil Industry eventually solves it’s enviormental impact after being pushed by regulation when the Gulf of Mexico is full of oil?

  • jmeadow

    Oil and Gas companies are controlling to Government, why would they want Green energy to start to rise because they are going to fall.  The oil Giants will do whatever they can.  Why hasn’t the Oglemobile, been revitalized? A car in the 80′s that got 100 miles per gallon, http://elpasotimes.typepad.com/morgue/2008/04/200-miles-on-tw.html

  • Anonymous

    Seems like the U.S. is becoming the Nigeria of the developed world. It’s not hard to imagine entire communities made uninhabitable by the aftermath of fracking and other extraction projects. These companies are like locusts falling on a crop field, leaving nothing but devastation in their wake.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    100 years?  Maybe, or it might be 15-25 years.  Even 100 years — what is our plan for when it:

    a) runs out?
    b) causes too much damage to well water and/or earthquakes?
    c) uses too much water when that water is needed for people?
    d) keeps the climate change affects going way too fast, and food production collapses and/or we get too much flooding?

    What if we spend the same money on renewable energy?  Renewable energy WILL be with us until the end of the earth!  We won’t have to worry about it running out.

    Neil

    • Patrik

      Exactly!

    • Joe

      The technology isn’t there yet.  We have 14000 abandoned windmills in this country already.

      Spain’s Green campaign is over and they are bankrupt in part because of their investment/subsidies in wind mills.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Show me the evidence.

        Texas and Iowa and California are moving forward on wind turbines.

        Neil

      • Terry Tree Tree

        14,000 abandoned windmills in the U.S.?  WHERE?
           Are they electricity-producing wind turbines, or ornamental windmills?
           The only abandoned wind-turbines that I have read or heard of, are the ones T. Boone Pickens built in an area that he had NOT got a right-of way to the grid!     NOT the astute businessman he has the reputation to be?

        • TFRX

          I have read that that TBP thing was a cover for a water boondoggle.

          Not difficult to imagine, actually.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            T. Boone made his FORTUNE in oil and gas!  Maybe a diversion?

        • Joe

          It said most of them were in CA.  I will look for the article

  • Patrik

    The world HAS to phase itself out of using fossil fuels and start phasing in renewable energy methods.  These fossil fuels are finite!  We need to stop having such a short-term outlook and start looking hundreds of years ahead instead of just one generation.

  • Vtpeaknik

    The political talk about energy is ignoring the important facts:
    * gasoline is more expensive this month than ever before in January
    * US usage of oil and oil products dropped 10% since the economy collapsed amid high oil prices
    * that’s the real reason for the drop in imports
    * US oil extraction is 40% below the peak in 1970
    * we’ve had upticks before (e.g., Alaska) but they did not change the long term declining trend
    * we’re still importing most of the oil we use
    * we now have excess refining capacity relative to our declining consumption
    * that is why we’re exporting refined products (made from imported oil)
    * also, some refineries are closing, especially in the Northeast, putting our supply of refined products at risk

    • Modavations

      Finally,someone is talking sense

  • skeptic4321
    • Fbaldassare

      This article is based on a “draft” EPA report. EPA is backing off their draft conclusion.  Their data are very inconclusive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    As I mentioned before that Solar powered cars are already being sold and use in China. Let us use the endless power of the sun in our daily lives. http://gas2.org/2008/10/16/chinese-company-unveils-solar-powered-car-for-5560/

    • Modavations

      The problem is the storage.You know the current problems with the batteries.In time,though,they’ll figure it out.When they do,when the price is right,I’ll buy

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        I think the battery will last for 10 to 15 years and the car is only $6,000 brand new. good price for students and those people who uses their cars for business.

        • Modavations

          Fax,you know me.I need horsepower and a “killer”sound system

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Tesla Roadster, at $110,000 per car, would beat a $365,000 Lamborgheni, off the line, AND top-end!  Plus, it went over  200 miles per charge! 
               For 1/3 of price?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Germany has figured it out.  We can too.

        Neil

        • Modavations

          My mental masturbation friend,read again.I’ll buy when the bugs have been figured out

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            When you get your head out of the sand we’ll talk.

            Look it up: Germany is already getting 20% of their electricity from renewables.  It works very well.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR8gEMpzos4

            They are moving toward 100% renewable by 2050.  Germany is about as sunny as Washington state — if they can do it, so can we.

            Are you afraid of the change?  Don’t you think we can?

            I know we can.

            Neil

          • Modavations

            My mental masturbation friend,I’d reply but know the conversation will go on and on and on.My mates in Bonn and Berlin drive Diesels.Please don’t bother responding.Prof.Lindzen,Sloan Chair holder knows nothing!!!!

  • Ellen Dibble

    If we dominated the international energy markets, maybe we could control global warming.  Put sanctions on other countries, using human rights as an excuse, and force all the nations to go on a non-green energy diet.  All their non-green energy coming from us.
        That’s the devil’s advocate in me coming out.  I think it’s the ONLY excuse for boosting energy production.  If we’re going to export it, make sure we somehow DECREASE global usage.  OR ELSE make sure we have a “cure” for the damage we do.  I’m not ruling that out.  But we just had a bunch of nighttime tornadoes, in January, down south.  Weatherpeople can point to certain things.

  • Vtpeaknik

    Regarding shale gas, the estimates of 100 years’ supply are overstated.  And even if they are true, that’s at current rate of use.  If we start relying on natural gas more and more, for electrical generation (replacing coal) and for heating and transportation (replacing oil), it will last less than half that long, and peak in 20 years or so.  Not much of a “bridge”.

    Additionally, at the current low price of natural gas, fracking is a money-losing proposition. That is the reason for the effort to export some gas: the world price is much higher.  If exports happen, the domestic price will triple.  If they don’t, fracking companies will go bankrupt, supply will contract, and the price will triple.  Either way, the party will be short.

    • nj

      Frack gas is just another bubble, as is shale oil and all the other harder-to-access fossil fuels. All this blather about is is just so short-sighted. 

      Vtpeaknik is exactly right. If fully exploited, most of the gas will be gone in a couple of decades. And then what?

  • JustSayin

    Where US energy production can be done: http://nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_energy.html

  • Dotty Tribeman

    Could you clarify the President’s statement regarding fracking that would require the chemicals used on ‘public’ lands be identified. (Referencing Dick Cheney’s coup on allowing them to be kept secret.)
    Does this mean that fracking on private land can be done without any regulation?
    There should be no dividing line between public and private land once you get below the surface.
    Thank you.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What are the chemicals we are injecting directly into the underground aquifers?

      Neil

      • nj

        Who said anything about injecting anything directly into aquifers?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Fracking?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ask the Frackers, they will tell you that the chemicals and process are perfectly safe, but ‘proprietary’, so they WON’T tell you!  Mumbo-Jumbo, but NO truth!

  • Gregg

    Energy efficient windows are melting energy efficient cars. Unintended consequences.

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/01/25/woman-claims-neighbors-energy-efficient-windows-are-melting-her-toyota-prius/

    • Modavations

      Laser beams.I heard that one General G,commander of the liberated middle states

  • Matts

    stop global whining

  • Ellen Dibble

    After a few power outages of considerable length, I’m scouring the net and catalogues for solar this and that.  If you want a lamp, why not get one that will gather steam from the sun.  Ditto for other electrical things, like radios, or for that matter generators.  I’ll be looking for that.  If these things store wind power too, all the better.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I just broke down and bought a standby generator.  I was sick of throwing out freezers full of food and and going stinky because my well pump wouldn’t work.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Was the sun shining?  Did the wind blow?  If you have to wait in lines, for hours, to buy a rationed amount of gas?

      • Ellen Dibble

        People were putting their refrigerated food out on their porches at Halloween, but freezer food, that got eaten pretty quick.  There were big parties here for consuming everything that was going bad, and letting body heat do some of the temperature generation.  I suppose the wild creatures had a feast as well, going porch to porch.  If weather gets any wilder, I think neighborhoods will have a windmill each, not enough for Standard of Living, but enough to recharge cell phones and recharge chargers for well pumps, certain necessities.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ellen, a combination of solar and wind, with battery and other storage, should handle most, if not all, of your needs.
         Like any other business, shysters and scam artists will be ‘available’ to separate people from their money.  Please be careful.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ellen, a combination of solar and wind, with battery and other storage, should handle most, if not all, of your needs.
         Like any other business, shysters and scam artists will be ‘available’ to separate people from their money.  Please be careful.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ellen, a combination of solar and wind, with battery and other storage, should handle most, if not all, of your needs.
         Like any other business, shysters and scam artists will be ‘available’ to separate people from their money.  Please be careful.

  • TFRX

    While we’re talking about Solyndra, what does Eilperin think about the Minerals Management Service scandal which was uncovered in 2008?

    After all, shouldn’t an MBA oilman president be trustred to do this right, instead of it being a “dysfunctional organization” “riddled with conflicts of
    interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much
    of the Bush administration’s watch”?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Look up the “Halliburton Loophole”.

      Neil

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Speaking of global warming (not that it necessarily has anything to do with it), this has been the weirdest winter I’ve ever seen in Boston. Very large number of days in January over 40 degrees, going over 50 (again) tomorrow.

    • Modavations

      I can’t wait for Palm Trees in Revere Beach

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        If it keeps up the trees that are there are going to start budding

      • TFRX

        And for mosquitos to never die during the winter. Malaria: It’s not just for tropics any more!

        • nj

          Don’t you go be troubling Moda-troll’s simple, little head. He’s found his special place.

  • JP

    Thanks for bringing up the issue of climate change and locking ourselves into carbon fuels for another hundred years…

    … now how about addressing the FREAKIN’ FRACKIN’ QUAKES!!!!!

  • nj

    Left out of the intro to the show is Obie’s support of expanding subsidies to nukes. All the renewables are not going to be able to substitute for fossil fuels once the prices of fossil fuels, and even some “environmentalists” are going to be pointing to nukes as the only thing that can save us. 

    Despite calm reassurances about safety, this will just about guarantee us a Fukushima-type event every few years or decades.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Right — they are fighting to mine for uranium around the Grand Canyon.

      http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/9623-hanford-americas-nuclear-nightmare

      I mean whiskey tango foxtrot…  We have passed peak uranium.  We have passed peak oil — the tar sands are proof of this.

      Neil

      • TFRX

        That’s the problem with “past peak”: It’s a crap system for those of us that will be around afterwards.

        Only when uranium or oil is expensive does it become “feasible” to get it from places like around the GC or from those tar sands. And it also hinges on bidnessmen being able to socialize the costs and environmental risks.

  • TFRX

    Addressing climate change is a luxury, per Verleger?

    Nah. Building exurbs are further and further away from everything and pretending that that new 4500-lb truck will actually get 21 mpg when its poseur owner drives it from subdivision to office park?

    That’s a luxury.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Panelist Verleger says “climate change is a luxury.”  My foot!  Next time he weathers some droughts, and forest fires, and unseasonable tornadoes and floods, let him remember that.  I’m thinking last time we took our eye off the ball on these energy matters was a time when all of a sudden OPEC decided to reduce the cost of energy.  Think Jimmy Carter.  Think gas lines.  We were all green until the cost of energy went steeply down.  Then all of a sudden, “Climate change is a luxury,” and the industries that were profitable using oil were milking us for our “custom” once again.

  • Anonymous

    Phil Vergler personifies everything that is wrong with how the supposed “balance” we “need” to make between man-made climate change and energy consumption has become. He states because of the recession we’ve had to “set aside” the debate on climate change. What?!!! As if the planet in seeking its natural equilibrium which WE have disrupted through our emissions is going to hold off until after the recession is over.

  • Ed Walker

    I think a majority of Americans want to deal with climate change, as a matter of good stewardship of the earth. It isn’t happening, and the President has given up.

    We have to see ourselves for what we are. We are not a democracy, we are an oligarchy inside a putative democracy, as Jeffery Winters explains in his book, Oligarchy.

    The richest Americans don’t think about the need to deal with global warming, because it will affect their current income. They won’t do anything, and them won’t let our government do anything.

    Nothing will change in the next election, or in the foreseeable future.

    Carpe diem.

  • Yar

    Eat, drink and be merry, says the yeast.
    As we drown in alcohol. 
    I saw an interview with Jane Goodall on 60 minutes.
    She first thought primates didn’t act like humans, only to find out that they do.
    When it comes to energy usage, I think humans act like yeast.

    • Steve

      Yeast can either make the bread or destroy the whole loaf – thank you for the analogy

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Hurray for Dave the caller!  Hear, hear, hear!

    A number of the callers are far more realistic.  Oil has a very messy history:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5267640865741878159#

    Neil

  • Jerose

    Important discussion – thanks.  The comment that closed out the section said “addressing global warming is a luxury” is a sad state of affairs. 
    Fiscal conservatives fight government debt in part to not pass this burden on to our children and grandchildren.  What a failure of us to recognize and frame this fight against climate and other pollution.  A degraded earth and atmosphere is a costly burden to put on our kids.  The failure to tax pollution and better measure the costs is a bigger accounting scandal that Enron.

  • Rsprattster

    The laws of physics and chemistry cannot be put on hold just because us, pathetic humans, think we cannot afford them!  The 2nd Law of Thermdynamics rolls on irrespective our contrived economic systems.

  • Mb3332

    any comments on the movie “THRIVE” and free energy production?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Vested interests will fight it! 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Earthquakes in Oklahoma and Ohio, near the oil and gas wells?  Polluted water in Fracking areas? 
       When there was a big push, here in East Tennessee, many people’s water wells became unuseable!
       Oil, coal, and gas have been subsidized for a hundred years? 
       Oil is subsidized with the LIVES and health of our millitary personnel, and the HUGE costs of protecting oil concerns globally!
        When Oil, Coal, and Gas are NOT subsidized, and pay ALL related costs to health, ecological damage, and ALL the other damages, and risks, people will NOT be able to afford them!
       Right now, everyone pays a high price for the damages, but NOT the oil, coal, and gas producers, to the extent of their damage!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Hear, hear!

      We cannot forget so-called “mountaintop removal” — this royally messes with the water and kills all the life in the area.  These scars will come back eventually, like in 10,000 years.  The very soil itself comes from the cycle of life, and we depend on it for everything that matters.

      Neil

      • Yar

        Actually, the coal barons developed the model being used in the natural gas industry.  A gas lease today looks very much like the broad  form deed used at the turn of last century.  Watch out, the industry knows how to extract resources from a land while leaving the people poor.  Ever notice how the most resource rich areas in the world have the worst poverty.  It is called the resource curse.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_curse
        Capitalism, externalize the costs and maximize the profit. 
        It is good business.  The model of American innovation.  That may sound great, unless you are a native American.
        Much of our ‘growth’ is from the exploitation of the land and of its people.
        We can’t even have a civil discussion on our uncivil history.
        This is in large part our political schism.  
        No Nuclear, because we can’t store the waste, while coal slurry ponds are fine, even though all of them will fail.
        We strain at the gnat and swallow the camel.
        You would think the fossil energy industry is telling us what to think.
        Clean coal; I saw it on TV, so it must be true.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Ray, I’m thinking we need a Native American for president, ASAP.  Their values managed to preserve things for thousands of years.  

          • Yar

            You really want scare the ‘conservative’ right. If you think they fear what a black man in power might do to ‘get even’ for the sins of our fathers, a native American would make them think they are going to lose the very property they stole ‘fair and square.’

          • Ellen Dibble

            The thing is to find one Native American who learned not how to be vengeful but how to value — really value — the way “fair and square” actually works.  There are lots of African Americans (I don’t count Obama as one, since his heritage is Kenyan, half Kenyan; but by marriage he’s taken that on board, I’d say) — lots of African Americans whose sense of fairness seems to me to outflank any of the Republican candidates, for example, and I expect there are American Indian descendants who can teach a thing or two after being dispossessed for a few centuries.  We’ll see. 

          • Yar

            Fear is at the root of racism.
            I don’t think Obama has ever tried to ‘get even’, or that a Native American would either. I was saying that conservatives would fear the possibility that they might. I expect it is how they would respond if they found themselves in a similar position. Your fears say much more about you than the those who you fear. Why is it conservatives are so angry at our current President?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            FEAR , and ‘  ‘ envy!   Plus a lot of mis-directed guilt that has been subdued to the sub-concience!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Right ON!!   Yataheh!

    • Joe

      Property rights should be enforced.  There should be a lawsuit brought against the fracking companies for negligence etc.

      If the evidence is there (I believe fracking has caused a lot of unforeseen problems) and these companies are sued for million/billions then it well set a precedence for the rest of the country.  Force them to do the necessary research on the impact of fracking in a certain area.  If they can’t prove its safety, don’t grant them the permit.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Different people have commented on here, that the fracking companies have gotten laws changed to the fracking companies’ benefit, taking away many citizens’ rights to recourse!  Politicians and judges are cheap, compared to losing lawsuits.
            Companies can drill down, then drill sideways, SEVEN MILES, under your land, your neighbors’ land, WITHOUT telling you, OR paying you for the ‘mineral rights’ they are stealing from under your land!

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    As a hoarder I am having trouble understanding why we aren’t hoarding all our domestic energy supplies. In the card game of guts the saying goes “Never Cheaper”. I realize todays price is lower, but the long term costs are not factored in to the fracturing equation.  China is not dumb, they are buying up all the earth’s resources they can get their hands on.
    When will we begin to really understand we are on a limited resource in the middle of nowhere?

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    MA is a failure in energy vision.  MA is in the highest tier of electric rates and that has driven manufacturing OUT of the state.

    • John in Amherst

      Manufacturing follows cheap resources, cheap labor, favorable tax deals (that cost everyone else money) and lax regulation with regards to health, safety and the environment.  MA electric rates reflect a lack of oil, gas & coal, and the NIMBY attitude of those opposed to wind & solar in MA.  Failure of vision?  or just greed, short-sightedness and the market?

      • Joe

        John, thank god we don’t subsidize wind and solar in MA.  They don’t work?  I respect the Amish but don’t want to live like them.

        Wind and solar are fantasies for now.  When the technology is there I will support it.  But I think your general perception of energy and where it comes from and what it costs are unrealistic. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Wind and solar don’t work?
             Wind was the predominant energy source for hundreds of years!  Heard of sails?  Sails provided transportation around the world!  MOST of the exploration was done with WIND power!
              Solar power, keeps us alive, provides food, and so much more!   Solar water heaters have been used in some places, for hundreds of years!
             Please tell me how they don’t work?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Wind and solar don’t work?
             Wind was the predominant energy source for hundreds of years!  Heard of sails?  Sails provided transportation around the world!  MOST of the exploration was done with WIND power!
              Solar power, keeps us alive, provides food, and so much more!   Solar water heaters have been used in some places, for hundreds of years!
             Please tell me how they don’t work?

          • Joe

            Of course they work.  Agreed they are essential to life…they work.
             I have no doubt that the sun provides enough energy for the whole world.
            Today’s products have a long way to go and governments shouldn’t spend so much on these early prototypes.  I read today that we have 14000 abandoned wind mills in the US.  How many of those were subsidized?

            I believe the private sector will develop the best technology before any government entity.

            I have confidence that someday the technology will be there.  For now we are stuck with carbon fuel. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If you are using Modavations’ assertion of 14,000 abandoned windmills, please take into consideration that Moda said that Germany has few wind-turbines, and the link from Germany shows they have 21,000! 
                For Moda, that’s a SMALL math mistake?  Moda thinks less than 20 = 50,000 to zillions?

          • Joe

            I don’t know what he said or read.

            I do know that Spain is wishing it never invested billions into green energy.  It has crippled them.  Spain lost 2 jobs for every one created when their subsidy bubble burst.

            http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/how-many-jobs-have-wind-and-solar-power-produced-in-spain-and-denmark/

            Good intentions don’t make good results.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            There are MANY proven renewables on the market today!  R&D can find more! 
               I would much prefer to subsidize the renewable energy, with the money that subsidizes oil, coal, gas, and nuclear, and HAS for a hundred years!
              Renewables will be able to stand alone, without subsidies LONG before a hundred years, I think.

          • Joe

            I remember reading that the sun throws off enough energy every day to power the planet for a year.  Not sure how true it is but I don’t doubt it for a second.

            Personally, I think all subsidies are a bad idea.  Especially, oil and agriculture.

          • Modavations

            Welcome to Terry world.Of course I said no such thing and he’s got me confused with someone else as regards abandoned well.The kid has issues

          • John in Amherst

            your right wing rants would be a tad less repugnant if you didn’t insist on getting personal

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not familiar with the issues that Spain is having on this front.

            They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the possibility of loss and failure shouldn’t prevent us from putting our collective effort behind measures that we, as a society in general, deem to be worthwhile.

            The public and private sectors have very different motives, and I think that some things that are beneficial to the public might not necessarily be profitable, and therefore of much interest, to the private sector.

    • nj

      Electric rates appear to vary by region.

      http://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state.php

      No worse in Mass. than the rest of New England. What is is you think Massachusetts is doing that causes rates to be higher?

    • Ellen Dibble

      My electric bill has gone down every year in Massachusetts.  Mostly it’s because I figure out how to be more energy-efficient.

  • TFRX

    Wouldn’t be surprised if there were a massive blind spot: Do “energy poor” Mass’ federal tax dollars go to enable “entrepreneurs” in “energy rich” to extract energy? What does Mass. get out of it for their tax dollar?

    • Ellen Dibble

      We do get creative in energy-poor Massachusetts.  I listened to a proposal by the local electricity provider to my city to switch up all the municipal facilities to the most recent technologies — solar roofs and so forth.  The utility company was guaranteeing, for the amount of upfront money in the bargain, to reduce costs by whatever it was.  I’m sorry I don’t remember the details, but there was hardly anything to even question.  The utility was going to pay for their own conservation methods — as if any energy company was going to come out ahead by selling LESS.  They were taking ALL the responsibility for the upgrades, guaranteeing the savings.  Even in 2010, I believe it was, with municipal budgets squeezed very very tight, this was a shoo-in proposal.  Total no-brainer.  The state energy offices keep coming up with proposals along those lines.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The MAssachusetts undersecretary who called in, Barbara, talking about the importance of conservation — I wished she had said something about nuclear energy.  There is a Fukushima-style nuclear plant just over the border in Vermont, just upstream from where I live, and yesterday I was scanning an editorial to the effect that Vermont had not been able to block its re-licensing, and that a “higher court” would be the only resort.  To me, that meant the Supreme Court.  I mean, it’s a lot of energy, but meanwhile — I think I have some radioactive leak right in my body.  We don’t have good studies about what can happen…

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Ellen, I understand your concern but central VT is not in the tsunami danger zone.  That plant provides 60% of VT’s power and cheap power at that.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I’d like the challenge — meeting the challenge, and telling the country:  This is how to do it — of replacing that nuclear fuel source.  I don’t know about Vermont, but I think the home of the Green Mountain Boys can come up with something better.  I believe that was their idea too.  But an out-of-state company that had bought Vermont Yankee outmaneuvered the state.  I try not to pay attention to these shenanigans, but somehow it happened. 

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t think that Vermont Yankee is in danger of being hit by a tsumani, but Entergy has had some problems in recent years.  It just seems to have one problem after another.  Some of it is relatively minor stuff, but it makes the public not trust the operators.

      • John in Amherst

        Cheap power and a tritium (radioactive water) leak, even without a tsunami.  It is one of the oldest nukes in the country, and its systems appear to be failing.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        And if you’re wrong?   Do you suffer, or does Ellen?

  • A_phip

    Natural Gas is not so cheap once you start factoring in the costs to the communities, Infrastructure and loss of jobs when wells dry up.  Any fossil fuel solution is increasingly short sighted.  100 years is not very long. 

  • Matts

    Ya, some professor has mother nature figured out, you’re right

    • Ray in VT

      I’ll trust years of scientific research and data collection over someone’s gut or energy industry interests any day.

      • Matts

        atheists make the worst scientists

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t think that religious outlook matters.  One need only have an open, rational mind and follow the scientific method.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          How about the evangelical Christian scientists?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHYhovvLQyc

          Neil

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the guy who headed up the Human Genome Project was an Evangelical Christian.  He did not see a contradiction between his religious faith and scientific inquiry.

          • Modavations

            Darwin was supposedly super religious

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know much about his personal life.  Einstein was religious.  Faith and scientific pursuits need not be mutually exclusive.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Why?

  • Ellen Dibble

    The guest is saying we’ve learned our lesson about energy prices won’t stay down.  But isn’t he the same guy who’s saying energy prices will go down to 15% of previous?  Get real.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      The threat to our economy is oil prices.  They are still hovering at $100/barrel and are expected to rise substantially from there.  There is still a huge market incentive to find alternatives to oil.

      • Joe

        The military industrial is the biggest threat to the economy.

        An attack on Iran or enforced embargo on their exports will drive up prices by 30% according to the IMF.

        The occupation of Iraq has prevented oil from reaching the market.

        The overthrow of Libya is contributing to the current high prices.

        If these conflicts didn’t take place prices would be at least 30% cheaper…$70 a barrel.

  • Ecantarow

    Please see my article on the New York anti-fracking movement, as well as on the industry, at Tom Dispatch, at the following URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175492/ “An Environmental Occupy Fracks America.” Fracking has been banned in Bulgaria. It has been banned in France. Ireland, South Africa and Switzerland have moratoria. The bad news about fracking only starts with its added burdens on climate change (International Energy Agency says we have 5 more years of fossil fuel use at current levels before planet goes into irreversible climate change: greenhouse gas footpring of fracking is bigger than that of coal.) Water waste is mind-boggling. Groundwater contamination is a fact, and recently cited by EPA in Wyoming. A recent MIT study reports that fracking actually blocks the pursuit of renewable energy. I hyperlink all of this in my article, which has been reprinted at CBS News and dozens of other places.  

    • Ellen Dibble

      Thanks for that post.  But don’t we hear that Canada can easily re-route that frakked product to their west coast and find other countries to extract the profits?  In other words, can we stop Canada?  Well, North Dakota is another story.  But something apparently has to be more inviting to capitalist exploitation in order to get us clear of this, to my mind, environmental threat.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        We have no right to stop Canada!  We can stop high-risk, low true-value projects in the U.S., where we do have the right.
           We have no right to the oil and other products of other countries.
            We do have the right to protect us from the bad choices they make, by trying to show them the damage to themselves, and us.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        We have no right to stop Canada!  We can stop high-risk, low true-value projects in the U.S., where we do have the right.
           We have no right to the oil and other products of other countries.
            We do have the right to protect us from the bad choices they make, by trying to show them the damage to themselves, and us.

      • Melissa Austin

        Frakking in Canada won’t happen before we frak here.  Right now it’s not viable to do it in Canada … it’s actually cheaper here.  Sadly with increasing oil prices it might become viable to do it more here and then there and you just try to get in front of that captalist engine once it’s rolling.  It will roll over you.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    This guy is right about one thing finally, Carter was the best President we ever had in terms of his vision and work on Energy. Even in Kentucky we had passive solar projects all over the place and our KY Department of Energy did some great work.  Alas, the Republicans, Regan and the Iranians doomed us to the 30 year hiatus from clean energy research and development.

    Pipeline, smipeline, I say if they want to transport tar sands oil, they should install a railroad. At least when the tar sands run out we would have something more useful than a rusting fetid pipeline!

  • Ellen Dibble

    A good infrastructure project would be to bury the electric lines.  Those of us who watched people come from as far as Texas and Canada to  Massachusetts, twice in one year, to put those lines back up — after tornadoes, after an October snowstorm that pancaked the leafy branches over lines statewide — we see letters in the newspaper about why not bury those lines.  However, it seems to me that burying pipelines to transport oil is counterproductive, and dangerous.  Oil wouldn’t dissipate in the earth the way electricity does.  Or am I wrong about that.  I think oil would seep its way to — to what…

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      There are almost as many trade offs with this.  Look at Vermont last year with the buried water and sewer pipes that got washed out.  And earthquakes, corrosion, etc.

      It is *far* more expensive to bury them.

      A recent proposal was to install a grid trunk line off the Atlantic coast, to tie into the wind farms and wave power and tidal power systems that we need to get to building.

      neil

    • TFRX

      after an October snowstorm that pancaked the leafy branches over lines statewide

      The pluses and minuses are yet to be tallied on line burial. One factor is how often something like that October leaves-on snowstorm is going to happen.

      I wonder if meteorologists have to rewrite their books on what they used to call a “hundred year event”?

      (PS I had no electricity for a week. And we had no precipitation for about 3 1/2 weeks after the storm, very unusual for November in these parts.)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ellen, I reccomend that you study more on the subjects.   Yes, burried oil lines hide the leaks, so they do more damage, before being detected.  Oil companies have been proven to NOT inspect to the degree needed!
         The last price I heard was $1 Million per mile, to bury electric lines.  I doubt that was the highest voltages, which would cost FAR more.  Repairs are FAR more expensive!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ellen, I reccomend that you study more on the subjects.   Yes, burried oil lines hide the leaks, so they do more damage, before being detected.  Oil companies have been proven to NOT inspect to the degree needed!
         The last price I heard was $1 Million per mile, to bury electric lines.  I doubt that was the highest voltages, which would cost FAR more.  Repairs are FAR more expensive!

  • Greg

    I was just a kid during the Arab Embargo. 

    My parents and my grandparents both lost their jobs because of the recession.

    The next car my parents bought I insisted on the best miles per gallon they could get. We bought a Volkswagen Diesel Rabbit.

    It got in the low 50s.

    I’ve been waiting for years for similar mpg in cars.

    We Americans bought the Reagan lies that oil never runs out. And now we are going to pay as we descend into peak oil

  • Frederick Burroughs

    The warm winter must’ve reduced the consumption/demand of natural gas for residential heating, and the recession must’ve reduced consumption of gas for manufacturing. Of course, the industry wants the public to mistake low prices are almost entirely due to the fracking extraction process, and are taking advantage of other economic drivers to increase support for the technology.

    • Joe

      We have a true over supply of Natural Gas.  We have no export capacity.  Three years ago a warm winter would have driven prices down…but then prices were $8 a unit..today it is $3.5 a unit.  So, the over supply in this country is solely due to Fracking.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You have never seen a LNG tanker? 
           Can you really say that oversupply of NG is due SOLELY to fracking?   Was there NO new wells drilled that didn’t need fracked?

        • Joe

          Yes, I can say that the over supply is derived Solely on the innovation of fracking.

          There have been some recent discoveries of NG….massive.  Fracking increases the the size of these discoveries by many multiples.

          I have mixed feelings about the widespread use of fracking.  Some of the chemicals they are using probably haven’t been studied enough and anywhere the water table can be impacted negatively it should be halted immediately.  IMO

          I have seen LNG tankers.  I just know that we don’t have the ports to send it out in any kind of quantity.  Until we build the infrastructure to export, prices will remain depressed n the US.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Since you can be realistic about the possible dangers to water, and the unknown chemicals, WHY did you sound so in favor of fracking?

          • Joe

            I think it could done safely in some environments.  I know they use water as a form of fracking.  They also use chemicals….some wells are deep and some horizontal.  Maybe some methods are safe and some are not.

            I am not in favor or against it.  I think local communities should demand more research be done before giving out permits.  I think if any pollution has occurred as a result of fracking, the responsible parties should pay for the clean up.  Not the taxpayers.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            We agree on these points!  Especially the clean-up expenses!

          • Dwhitbeck

            It’s not about what the communities want.  Their wishes are almost irrelevant.  If they object — they’re over-ruled by the state.

  • John in Amherst

    Obama’s turn-around on green energy is a shining example of how our federal government and two-year election cycle are woefully deficient when it comes to the challenge of dealing with environmental choices that play out with global consequences over decades or longer.  The Chinese are now planning for decades into the future.  The Dutch have a 200 year plan to deal with climate change issues.  Sadly, it appears Obama has made the calculation that GREEN is not politically expedient, and given the state of the public’s understanding (or lack there of) of climate change, he is probably right.  At the very least, he has done little to be the educator-in-chief on this issue, and has chosen to hide behind the bully pulpit rather than use it.  In the short term, facilitating fossil-fuel use for the sake of manufacturing jobs is akin to legalizing crack because it would provide economic stimulus by employing more dealers and expanding detox/rehab opportunities.  It is an inexcusable short-term gain / long-term-cost-be-damned approach.
     
    The climate, and especially the stewardship of water resources should trump all other considerations in development.  I grew up in PA before fracking, but even then, the scars of reckless industrial development were abundantly clear in the hillsides denuded by air pollution and strip mining, and the mountain streams running the color of consumptive phlegm from acid mine drainage.  Now gas exploration is compounding the environmental misery.  As farmers contemplate selling mineral rights to their land, as state governments contemplate encouraging drilling, they should check with those in the Marcellus shale region who are already dealing with ruined water supplies and sludge ponds filled with toxins.  The GOP and some Democrats seem to have trouble looking beyond the next quarterly report, and grouse endlessly about creating jobs and opportunity for us and our kids.  When our kids (and their kids, ad infinitum), realize we have sold off their future by doing nothing to stop the pollution of the air and water, or the wholesale development of environmentally unsustainable areas like the Southwest,  our generation will be vilified for all times for our short-sightedness.  In twenty or thirty years, today’s economic turmoil will be an historical footnote, but the consequences of our poor environmental stewardship will just be coming home to roost.  At this historic junction, we can choose to be heroes making short term sacrifices for long-term environmental sustainability, or villains willing to mortgage the future for riches today. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      I listened at whitehouse dot gov slash live at 1:00 today to Obama speaking about our energy future in Nevada, at the UPS center, where the government has persuaded them to re-fit a fleet of trucks for natural gas, and he was talking about a highway from I think Reno to San Diego that would have refueling stations for that fleet, and how the government should be re-fitting its fleet and so on.  And he was asserting that not only is this new fuel cheaper, but it is also cleaner, and “greener,” certainly implying that it is less damaging to the environment.  From what I’ve read, the president is flat wrong on that, or someone has not told him the whole truth.  As I understand it, so much energy goes into extracting this “cleaner” fuel, that it ends up being quite a bit less green than regular gas.  Obama is speaking on the same general theme at 5:30 in Aurora, Colorado:  America’s Energy and Energy Security, at that same website.  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Ellen,  Natural Gas is a cleaner fuel to burn, than oil, and certainly coal!  The big problems with Natural Gas, come from Fracking, and ‘venting’, to determine well volume and pressure!
          

  • nj

    On Point really needs to do a show centered on Peak Oil and the Transition Movement. Rob Hopkins. James Howard Kunstler. Richard Heinberg. Etc. Discussions like today’s are incredibly and depressingly narrow and short sighted.

    What rarely gets addressed, and certainly not on today’s show, is that the entire infrastructure of most developed countries was developed and continues to exist largely because of cheap, readily available, liquid, fossil fuels.

    We are at the peak of these fuels. In the very near future, prices for these fuels will begin to rise. Inexorably, and, eventually, steeply. Numerous studies and analysis confirm this. For example: http://www.manicore.com/fichiers/Australian_Govt_Oil_supply_trends.pdf

    Imagine gas and home heating fuel at $6 per gallon. $10 per gallon. $15 per gallon. That’s where we’re going. Food, travel, construction,, consumer products, building heating and cooling, everything will be more expensive.

    Drilling, mining, fracking, and squeezing every last gallon of oil, ton of coal, and cubic foot of gas cannot solve the problem, as half of all these resources have already been vaporized. What’s left is geographically remote and technically challenging to garner. The easy, cheap stuff is mostly gone.

    By exploiting the remaining, hard-to-get, expensive-to-produce, environmentally contaminating fossil fuels, we’re only putting off the invevitable for a few years’ worth of supply, and diverting resources from making infrastructure changes reduce energy use. Plus, it’s just plain stupid to burn most of what’s left when there are other, unique and valuable uses for crude oil other than fuel.

    All the alternative or “renewable” sources put together cannot replace the current base-load use levels that fossil fuels comprise. And there are problems with all these. Photovoltaic cells need increasingly rare materials, and require nasty solvents to manufacture. And we’ll soon have mountains of spent panels to dispose of. Battery technology is still not sufficient to make electric cars practical. Windmills have limited siting potential and they shred birds and bats.

    Inevitably, nukes, despite their huge expense, safety problems, and toxic waste, will represent the preferred comprise among those who want to maintain our energy-intensive lifestyle and societal structure.  

    Unless we’re willing to change the fabric of how we’ve organized our overall society, there will be no technological solution to our energy problems.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You only listed a few of the problems with nuclear! 
          The ‘problems’ with renewables, are mostly with fossil and other forms..   The problems with renewables are overcome-able!  The others are NOT.

      • nj

        You seem to have missed the point.

        • Modavations

          Don’t worry NJ,he’ll explain it two us in about 7.5 seconds from niow

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Paul Gilding, Lester Brown, Bill McKibben, Richard Alley, Vandana Shiva, Bill Logan, Wes Jackson, Katherine Hayhoe, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver — the list of excellent guests is a very long one!

      Have you seen this movie?

      http://www.dirtthemovie.org/

      Neil

      • nj

        Yes, i saw it on PBS and we bought it to show in our town as part of an ongoing film series, after which it went to our library.

        Sure, there are lots of possibilities for guests on the topic. I just tossed out the ones that came quickly to mind.

        There is so little comprehensive, long-term thinking that makes its way into the mainstream media. One might expect OnPoint to be somewhat different, but, alas, they seem to default to the usual suspects most of the time.

        I’ll keep agitating…

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Disqus is having trouble posting my comments!  I apologize in advance for any multiple posts that result from hitting the ‘post as’  again, in case it missed it first time.

    • Gregg

      I’ve had that happen as well and have noticed others too. If you get a message that says “system error” don’t believe it and repost.

    • Ray in VT

      Does anyone else have the problem of new posts not showing up at the top?  Sometimes the updating on the page just stops, and all of the recent comments get filtered down to their threads.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Since fossil fuels have been subsidized for a hundred years, they are NOT ‘affordable’, just subsidized! 
        Subsidize renewables to the same extent, for the next hundred years, and the 2100 citizen will just say “What is gasoline and diesel?”

    • Joe

      Subsidies don’t work.  If something is real it shouldn’t need to be subsidized.

      Subsidizing is just another tax.  Another department……

      No thanks!!

      • Ray in VT

        I would have to disagree with you on this one, Joe.  I think that sometimes they can be justified.  If you are against subsidies, though, are you open to the idea of publicly funded R&D for alternative energy technologies?

        • Joe

          Hi Ray,

          I am not for publicly funded R & D.  Look at Solyndra….I don’t trust the government to spend that money wisely and efficiently.  I believe the private sector has more motivation to bring the best product to market.  Subsidies create an unfair market as well.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Apples and oranges.

            Solyndra was crony capitalism.  The government propped up an uncompetitive product.  It was classic picking winners and losers.

            There are tons of ‘good’ examples of government funded R&D. Of course we need to guard against waste and diversion from the mission.

            Were you against the Manhattan Project?
            Were you against the NASA moon mission?
            Should we eliminate the NIH?

          • Joe

            Do you think that these achievements were not possible with out tax payers money?  I think they would have been achieved anyways.

            I was not against the any of the mentioned projects but I believe things have changed in DC for the worst.  There is too much waste and its impossible to tell the difference anymore.

            I know Solyndra and R & D are apples and oranges it just came to my mind as a recent example of waste and possibly corruption.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Manhattan Project private?  For MANY reasons, it couldn’t have been done  in 30 years, much less the six!
              NASA and the moon?  NOT til someone found something on the moon valueable enough to go get!  Probably about 2159?
               Solyndra collapse was due to many things!  The crony-capitalism, fraud, abuse, and waste are the bad part!

          • Joe

            Agree to a degree.

            But how did we the tax payer profit from these projects.  We could have cornered the nuclear market and made a tidy profit for the taxpayer.  Instead, our intellectual knowledge was sold on the black market.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            THAT is a different matter!
              You’re welcome to find a way to fix it?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Would you say the million U.S. and Allied lives, saved by not having to invade Japan, WASN’T enough payment for the Manhattan Project?   The MILLIONS of Japanese lives?
               The costs of the war materiel?
               The years saved from the prolonged fighting?
               The lives of Allied POWs, that would have died, in less than two months? 
               Need I go on? 

          • Modavations

            yes

          • Anonymous

            Not to mention the internet.  The only benefit I can think of is that it would eliminate having to be subjected to Moda’s mini misbegotten missives.

            Kinda J

          • Ray in VT

            But was Solyndra really crony capitalism?  Go ahead, people, pile on me for saying that, but wasn’t a part of what killed Solyndra a massive drop in global solar prices fueled in part by massive government subsidies by the Chinese?

            I think that there have been some very worthwhile developments to come out of research that was in part funded by the public.  Take the Internet, for instance.  It certainly isn’t now what it was originally envisioned to be, but that’s where it got it’s start.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Ray, from what I understand, the Solyndra concept was good, but was admitted to be more expensive.  It was supposed to deliver more sun-power, longer.  That would have made it competitive.  The company went bankrupt FAR too fast, for there to have been financial prudence.  What all went wrong, and how, we may never know!  I hope we get to!
                Chinese product prices dropped GREATLY, just as Solyndra should have been poised to start selling, killing Solyndra.

          • Ray in VT

            That is a problem for much of our manufacturing.  Chinese wages have been on the rise, but they are still far lower than what Americans could live on, and companies there do not have to particularly worry about keeping the air and water clean.  I did hear a news story fairly recently, though, about jobs getting outsourced from China to Vietnam because the Vietnamese were willing to work for less than the Chinese workers, who were expecting higher wages and benefits for their labor.

          • Anonymous

            I emphatically disagree. The private sector has more motivation in refining existing technologies and products and fine tuning/developing them for maximum appeal to the consumers so that they can make the most profit, but it does not have the motivation to invest in pioneering and potentially high risk research and development. This is exactly why research universities and the Pentagon have been and continue to be the far greater contributors of game-changing new technologies where the private markets then enjoy the trickling down of public funded findings. I’m not sure how one can even begin to argue this actually provided that anything technology related has been developed by the Pentagon and academia.

            On the issue of Solyndra, I’m more livid than you are on the bungling because it’s really sent us back a decade due to the biases that will continue to fester in the public discussion arena on the issue of sustainability and green infrastructure. As others here have noted, we in the US cannot begin to imagine how far behind we’ve falled with respect to western Europe and developed Asia. Whole, sustainable LEED 2012 compliant and just beautiful cities are being built there with wind and solar to help power them, with 40-60% open space designs, “smart” skyscrapers and public transportation systems, rain and waste water capture and recycling systems and on and on for one tenth of the price of our F-35 program.

          • Joe

            We should all live tax free by now then.  If our tax dollars are responsible for all these innovations through publicly funded universities, then why don’t we profit from them.  Of course we get to use the technologies, but the profit goes back to the private sector.

            The green building that is happening in some parts of the world is great.  they have the space and no existing infrastructure.  But in Europe some of green subsidies have been disastrous to the economy.  Take Spain.

          • Anonymous

            We do and have profited from them directly and indirectly. So many made a direct killing during the dot com bubble – the internet was joint Pentagon and edu project – and the interent has obviously enriched all our lives. That’s one example. We can keep doing this on and on with these examples. As far as the mission to the moon is concerned, solar panels for one were also developed by Pentagon and NASA. 

            And you keep taking failed exceptions on green ventures as if they’re the norm. They are not and it’s this public, negative rhetoric that’s in part responsible for the US having been left behind. Yeah, domestically, we had huge problems with the Big Dig. Does that mean you want all the highway infrastructure and the redevelopment of cities to be left to the private sector or to just accept defeat and not modernize our great cities to the extent that they all become Gary, IN?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Ever heard of GREEDY CEOs?
               MOST of them couldn’t invent ANYTHING!  They are cunning enough to see the potential of someone else’s invention, and CAPITALIZE on them!

      • Michele

        Perhaps you would like to pay for a gallon of gas without subsidies?  Say $10 per gallon…

      • Terry Tree Tree

        We have been paying oil, coal, and gas subsidies for a hundred years!  They don’t work?  For the executives of those companies?  They paid for the pollution, that are an added cost, along with the health care costs!

  • Bob32

    Wake up Americans!
    When are you going to reject what you have been fed for so long?
    Do something about it!
    You are so afraid. Scared shitless in fact.

    Chaney deserves nothing less than decapitation!
    Storm the glass towers. Drag them out by their feet. Line them up and be done with it. Start over.

  • Pauline

    My parents emigrated to the US from impoverished southern Italy 98 years ago.  I’m in contact with my cousins there and visit frequently.  Their homes in a formerly backward, isolated small village use solar power because of government subsidies and initiatives. My educated relatives (my parents were illiterate) have shown us, their American cousins, how far behind we are when it comes to using technology to save fossil fuel energy consumption.  Viva l’Italia, Viva Mario Monti!    

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Point 1 – you are correct on how far we have fallen behind.
      Point 2 – if you are so much in love with Italy, why not emmigrate from the US?

  • Judith Coffin

    I don’t believe in subsidizes. They are just giving FREE monys away!
    I am a supporter of Obama BUT He didn’t sign a bill to have gas brought to US from Canada. Why??

    • Michele

      Not gas.  Shale Oil which is an environmental disaster.  The amount of energy required to take the shale oil out of the ground is greater than the yield from drilling.  Additionally, the refining process for shale oil reduces the yield even more.  The tar sand oil is not environmentally or financially sustainable.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        Exactly correct.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You don’t like that we have subsidized oil, coal, and gas, for a hundred years?   Or you don’t like the idea that we may subsidize renewables for a few decades, to avoid pollution, health risks, possible earthquakes, and other associated dangers from oil, coal, and gas?

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      It isn’t gas…but crude oil. Tar sand oil is dirty, hard on the environment to obtain and will not benefit the US at all. What Trans Canada is up to is a LIE. All they want to do is build the pipe line across the US to get their oil to the WORLD market.

      All this crap about jobs is one big LIE.

      • Modavations

        We refine Hugo Chavez’s crude in Texas.It’s the diirtiest in the world

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

          Thanks for stating the obvious anyone with a brain ALREADY KNOWS and which is IRRELEVANT to my comment.

          • Modavations

            hang ne

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

            Step up and take it like a man then.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Was it not Nixon who called for an energy policy for the US?  NOTHING has been done in over 40 years. The US government has failed the Nation, yet again. By ANY measure the US is in decline except in three areas:

    1. CEO compensation and bonuses.
    2. Corporate profits.
    3. The complete corruption of the Congress.

  • Anonymous

    I missed most of the discussion on the radio today…. did this issue get discussed? California Condors vs. Wind 

    …”Given that the government has not issued such an “incidental take” permit and has no intention of doing so, if a turbine kills a condor, the operator could be charged criminally….” Forbes Article Jan 4, 2012 http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/01/04/revival-of-iconic-california-condor-threatens-states-wind-farm-boom/

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Modavation you mentioned you like horsepower and sound system. The only car I know has a 850 watts rockford-fosgate car stereo is the new 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS it has Paddle shifter like a Lamborghini, push start. TPMS, tec-tronic clutch, sub-woofer and tweeter etc etc. gas mileage is 35 mpg horsepower 160 hp if manual and automatic is about 155hp

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      2.4-liter, 168-horsepwer MIVEC engine
      (LEV: 161 horsepower) 18-inch alloy wheels with P215/45R18 tires Color LCD multi-information display Covered front cup holders and center console storage FAST-Key electronic keyless entry and starting system ,Fuse Handsfree Link System™ with USB port GTS-tuned suspension with front strut tower bar. it has a DVD player and NAV system and screen hides when not in use. Base price $19,495

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        The Japanese car brand that Americans forgot.

    • Modavations

      I got pals in the bizz,but I’ll contact you too when I get close to making a buy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Just show the pics. i love talking about cars and putting high performance parts in my car’s engine. tell me what brand you bought and I will give a site that sells parts.

        • Modavations

          I’m going to get in touch with you before I buy anything

  • Anonymous

    our local CongressWoman recently introduced the FRAC act in response to a recent fracking issue locally. Very interesting and informative community meeting and the regional panel members fighting fracking in their area are ironically die hard Republicans. They would be interesting sources for subsequent interviews. 
    http://www.independent.com/news/2011/sep/08/fracking-fiction/

  • Anonymous

    ok… final comment… :-/

    my cousin, Holly McGlinn, is also very knowledgeable about the wind power industry. she has been at the forefront of the industry.

    here is her Linked-In Bio — she would also be a great resource for future discussions.  ”I focus in wind, solar, and geothermal – plant owners/developers, operations & maintenance firms, contractors, and suppliers. My coverage expertise lies in Equipment Maintenance Insurance, Third Party Warranties, General, Professional, and Product Liability, Workers Compensation, Pollution, Inland/Ocean Marine, Commercial Auto, and Umbrella/Excess. ”

  • Modavations

    Barney Frank’s getting married,says his sweetheart is pregnant.Yes Terry Tee Pee,that’s a “J”

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Normally, I would express condolences over your loss.  Since you get ‘limp-wristed’, so easily, I’ll leave you to your own devices to survive your heart-break?  Maybe you could get Newt to convince Barney into an ‘open’ marriage?

      • Modavations

        When Barney resigned I quipped this is how he should answer if asked why..
        1.I’ve been redistricted 
        2.I’m resigning to spend more time with the wife and kids
        3.I’ve accepted the opening for sports coach Univ Penn.
        Terry Tee Pee is there in two seconds saying,but Moda,but Moda,Barney is Gay.

        Terry if you go down the posts there are still four or 5 posts where you haven’t put in one of ypur eruditions.The concept of “J’ was born,exclusively for Terry

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Barney got kids and a wife I thought he’s gay?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You never heard of a gay guy, or woman, with a spouse and children?
               They HAD to do that for ‘cover’, during the J. Edgar Hoover decades! 
                Made the revelations about J. Edgar VERY interesting!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            I heard of gay man wanted have kids even though they are gay and the same female gay. I never hear about Barney’s family that’s why I was suprised. I thought he is one of those gay man that’s straight forward.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I recall you using “J” for someone else, first.  Alex could tell us, if it’s worth Alex’s time?

  • Marya DeBlasi

    There is one thing I just don’t get.
    One never knows what the future will bring.  Why wouldn’t we  use everyone else’s gas and oil up first, before we begin to use up our own?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Why unnecessarily pollute the world for future generations, with the health losses?
         THAT’S what the future already brings!

      • Modavations

        Terry I like you better as a mean drunk.Now your a mean Meth Freak.Look at macho man go and go and go,and go

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I NEITHER Drunk, nor use drugs!  Since I don’t, that was a low slander!
             I have to deal with the results of both, as a Fire-Fighter, and as a Rescue Squad member, and am deeply offended that your ignorance and arrogance compells you to stoop so low!

          • Modavations

            Guppy,BC idiot,mercury,Meds,Lead poisoning.Cry me a river!!!!And this after I turned the cheek 50 times.The 51st insult was the one that broke the camels back.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WHO started commenting on here about their guppy being smarter?
               WHO bragged about playing with mercury, in their youth?
               WHO made dismissive and derogatory comments about my comments, for months, before I started serious retort?
                WHO commented about the lack of danger of lead-based paint, and the overregulation of its removal, using himself as an example of the lack of problems with it?  With MOST of the posts having spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes?
                WHO braggs about a B.C. education, while making third-grade mistakes?
                WHERE did I call you an idiot?
                With the background of lead and mercury, why would I not think you were on medications for that, when I see the results of the lead and mercury in your comments?

  • Osullivan

    Hi, Can you please sort out the podcasts. Can you revert to the previous uploading of same day ~3pm PST. The new way means I’m a day behind the story and often that means that the show loses some topical value for me….. Cheers and Thanks

    • Ellen Dibble

      Hey.  We on the East Coast could use the inputs of you on the Pacific side of things, too, while it’s still “topical,” well before the next show shows up.

  • Still here

    The WSJ reports that Japan’s big three automaker’s are ramping up production at their US plants, with the intention of shipping their US-made models to Europe, Korea, the Middle East and other parts of the world.  Gosh, I hope Japanese politicians don’t do something stupid and demand that those jobs come back to Japan.  Wonder if Saudis think our politicians are stupid enough to insist that we outsource more oil discovery to Saudi Arabia?

  • Joe

    Agree mostly with what you are saying.

    I am all for green energy if and when it works.  If the government has to pay for half of the cost, it doesn’t work.  When a product works well enough to sell on its own then it will work.

    • Modavations

      Let the market pick the winners and losers.If not, we get Solyndra and half billion dollar bankruptcies.To make it worse, the thing was run by a Dem.Bundler.They just announced big layoffs at one of the Ma.phoney baloney solar co.s.God knows how much that one will cost the tax payer.Don’t forget Boston’s Big Dig.

      • Joe

        I agree.  The market knows better than suits at a desk.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, don’t forget the Big Dig and the negative role that Bechtel and the private subcontractors played in the mess also. The lawsuit filed against them ended up costing the taxpayers more let alone the shoddy construction and skimping of parts that led to a wrongful death settlement.

        But if you’ve been down to the waterfront of late, and I used to work on High Street before the Big Dig so know well the area, it is now a world class area where business is thriving. 

        Listening to people like you and your ideologically driven absolute free market jihadists, we’d all be stuck in crumbling caves.

        • Joe

          It could have been done for billions less though.  But I agree, it is nice down there.  The drive into Logan is great now.

          Why do Bechtel get so many contracts.  Why weren’t they held accountable for the over rides and sub standard work in some cases?

          • Anonymous

            The waterfront area is even better and there are so many people hanging out there now just walking around or going restaurant hopping. How much revenue does all that bring into the city and how many lasting jobs were created let alone the temporary construction jobs that were available for the years it took to build that whole area up. 

            On Bechtel, why is Halliburton continuall in these discussions also even on the issue of fracking and why haven’t they been held truly accountable? That’s a subject for another On Point episode or perhaps even a series.

          • Modavations

            I’m born and raised in Boston(though I left for 20 years) and the city is now beautiful.The Athens of America

          • Janetevans

            the contract forced them to buy cement from sammy’s brother; it was in globe; other  provisions were equally pay-to-play

          • Terry Tree Tree

            MORE GOOD questions!

          • Modavations

            There are only a few businesses that can handle this type of stuff.I think Flour is another.Crony capitalism,or as we say “juice”, is why these guys get protected

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Some GOOD questions!

        • Modavations

          How bout all the junkie relatives of the Solons and Union guys.

          • Anonymous

            Indeed, MTA was partly to blame in cost overrun but unless people like you get honest and don’t frame EVERYTHING in hyperpartisan blame-game where the free market people can do and have done no wrong, all you’re doing is preserving a status quo which is failing. IOW, you’re all a big part of the problem and denying it with troll antics does nothing to win people over to your side.

          • Modavations

            My friend skip all that,this is a fight between Communist-socialists and Free Men.I reject you at every turn.But your civility is appreciated

          • Anonymous

            No it isn’t. I actually don’t care whether it’s the “free market” or “gov” that’s more effective in building things. I just wanted them built right the first time and at a reasonable price so that huge slabs of concrete or lighting fixtures do not fall onto moving traffic and end up killing people. Gov bureaucrats and the free market companies were all guilty of having fleeced the taxpayers majorly with shoddy construction and material that keeps falling apart with private companies either filing for chapter 11 protection after losing suits, government bureaucrats destroying paper/electronic trails to hide their negligence or complicity and the workers just not giving a shit while putting in their hours and collecting checks. How the hell is this some struggle of “isms” and why the hell do people keep arguing about moronic stuff of dogmas while continually bending over and whining about it.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The last I heard, the epoxy used to hold the bolts for the roof tiles was the WRONG epoxy. 
               I haven’t heard any other claims, since then.  Care to inform me?

          • Anonymous
          • Anonymous

            The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. –Benjamin Franklin

          • Modavations

            My friend skip all that,this is a fight between Communist-socialists and Free Men.I reject you at every turn.But your civility is appreciated

          • Modavations

            My friend skip all that,this is a fight between Communist-socialists and Free Men.I reject you at every turn.But your civility is appreciated

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The ONLY union guys listed in that article, are the people that did the RIGHT thing!
                Thanks for trying to shift the blame?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          WOW!  I read the news report you gave the link to.  ATTROCIOUS! 
             The main people that did the RIGHT thing, according to their jobs, are the laborer that picked up the light fixture, (it would have been nice if he had looked up), the electrician that recognized the problem and reported it, and the engineering supervisor that was forced to resign!
              The people that did the WRONG thing, are the engineer that specified the light fixtures, and/OR the purchasing agent that ordered the wrong fixtures, the top engineering supervisor Muller, and the engineer supervisor Ernst!  Talk about ‘Cover your Own Assets’!!
             THEY should face charges of attempted negligent homicide, and a LOT more charges!

          • Anonymous

            I’m outraged too but it’s in a long line of having been outraged by this situation. Still, not so fast in your condemnation because if you speak to a structural engineer with experience on similar situations, they’d tell you that something isn’t right and that something must have been changed at the last minute. There are so many missing documents, licences and what-not that it’s nearly impossible to know who’s at fault. There are many decent engineers who feel that the epoxy company you mentioned previously was hung out to dry and that it was a miscarriage of justice.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            From that report, It is EASY to see someone that would ‘hang someone else out to dry’, to cover their own guilt!
               I was commenting about the apparent blame that the article indicates.  I have installed ‘the wrong fixtures’, that were what were ordered, and delivered, before I was on the job!  We CAN’T install the right fixtures, when we get the wrong ones, and are NOT privy to the specs!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        FULL DISCLOSURE of ALL costs?

      • TFRX

        Let the market clean up its own PCBs.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Make the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries pay BACK, ALL the subsidies from the past hundred years?
          Make ALL energy industries pay for ALL damages, ruined water, pollution, health problems, and ALL the others! 
          Make it a FAIR market!
          ALL COSTS of ANY methods should be completely transparent, including Lobbyiests, ‘Consultants’, ‘Advisors’, ‘Historians’, and ALL other costs!

    • John in Amherst

      one problem with that equation: industry generally gets away with this or that pollution problem for years, even decades, before the evidence is overwhelming and enough public outcrying (and / or political involvement of competing industries) leads to legislation and maby enforcement.  But by then, the damage is done, remediation is costly or impossible, and the money spent over time to fix the problem and deal with the health consequences to workers or the public.
      Too often industries don’t charge the full cost of production of an item because the production wastes and the disposal costs of the products themselves – the ultimate environmental and health costs – are rarely assigned a dollar value.  Hence these significant costs are not included in the purchase price.  Those costs are passed on not to the purchaser, but to people downstream or the people of the next generation or century. 
      We may be able to extract gas with a relatively modest input of money, time and machinery, and sell the gas for a handsome profit.  The hidden costs of production, like irreversable pollution of aquifers and all the burdens that places on the communities affected, are just coming to light.  So instead of a gas well costing x dollars for drilling equipment, chemicals, wages, etc., the cost is x plus restoring fresh water to the watersheds and aquifers contaminated by fracking, and it’s a lot pricier product.  More distant costs of using fossil fuels will come due as pollution-related health care and the results of climate change become more severe.  
      These costs are not included in the cost equation relating fossil power to green power.  

  • Modavations

    Hot off the press is Pres.Obama in Nevada.”Why we have natural gas supplies for at least 100 years”.Who said that yesterday?.I took so many arrows from the Birkenstock crowd,that I looked like a friggin porcupine!!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You were saying we had oil for 100 years!  Do you know the difference?

      • Modavations

        Keep spinning.And furthermore with science advancing technique by leaps and bounds there’s probably two hundred years.And Global warming is Natural,not man made.

        • Ray in VT

          The scientific community disagrees.  There have been a number of climate skeptics in recent years that have changed their tunes based upon the accumulated data.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            They have admitted, just re-named it, to try to distract.  They admit to ‘heat islands’, meaning cities, roads, cleared land, industrial areas, denuded lands by mining, etc…   They refuse to add up all the ‘heat islands’, and the heat they cause, because that would add up to man-made climate change!

          • Modavations

            I detect hysteria in your voice young lady

          • Still Here

            That’s future Mrs. Barney Frank to you!

          • Modavations

            Barney’s wife is thirty years younger.Barney is a Cougar

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda is the one that commented that he got ‘limp-wristed’ about Barney Frank, and four or more guys.
               I am tolerant, but NOT interested in guys.   Single women are my interest!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Even hysterical, I would spell, and punctuate, with better grammar, than the poster-child for AVOIDING a B.C. education?

          • Modavations

            Ray,when you get busted conversing with your colleagues saying hide the decline and when all contesting opinion is cast aside and when Prof.Lindzen,Sloan Chair Professor MIT,says he has doubts,I do too.This is a power grab by socialist communists.The judge in London said Al Gore’s movie was a political manifesto and must state so.

          • Ray in VT

            Get busted conversing with my colleagues?  Was that you hiding in the bushes?  I know that climate skeptics always trot out Professor Lindzen, but he seems to have fewer and fewer colleagues who are likewise convinced.

            Are you aware that the Cold War is over?  There is really no such thing as “international communism” anymore.  The only massive communist-socialist plots are in your head.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            They RAGE there continuously?

          • Modavations

            Raymond,Raymond.When I say busted for “hide the decline”,I refer to the E.Anglia scandal.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, you mean “climategate”.  Can you cite for me any serious actual inquiry into the data by a reputable body that found the data to have been tampered with or falsified?  Sure, Fox News, the GOP and big polluters had a field day with it, but to my knowledge there was no evidence of actual wrong-doing or tampering with the data.  Nice try though.

          • Modavations

            .I guess you are unaware that MIT is absolutetly the top school in the cosmos.PProf Lindzen holds the Sloan Chair,in the greatest technical institute in the world.He transferred from Harvard where he spent the formative years.Now cut the crap

          • Ray in VT

            The most recent rankings that I saw globally put MIT in the top 5 I think, but not #1.  I think that that was Oxford.

            I’m sorry, but do my positions offend you?  Yeah, he’s a big dog at MIT, and he’s also in the small minority of scientists who hold such views.  Other notable and credible skeptics have had their views changed by observing the data, and maybe he will someday, or maybe he won’t.  I will not, as you suggest, “cut the crap”.

          • Modavations

            Mit is # 1 and Stanford is #2.Patrice Labumba University does not count.

          • Ray in VT

            Looks like MIT is #3.  Too bad he took a step down the ladder by leaving Harvard.

            http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/top-400-universities-in-the-world

          • Modavations

            Squeezing this in.Best technical schools in the cosmos are MIT and Stanford.Harvard is sometimes #3(of course he broke in there).Now go right to bed young man,I’ve wasted enough time with you.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t you mean that you’ve wasted enough of my time?

            In the whole cosmos?  Wow, that’s pretty impressive.  Don’t get too worked up and have a stroke or something.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Mother Moda has spoken?  Dismissed to bed? 
              Arrogant, or delusional?

          • Gregg
          • Ray in VT

            I’d never heard of them, or him.  He is another climate skeptic, calling man-made climate change a “new religions”. I found this quote about CFACT: “CFACT’s Board of Academic and Scientific Advisors is a who’s who of climate skeptics and industry-funded scientists”.  The only articles that I could find an a couple of academic databases on CFACT’s founders all had them coming down hard on the business side of things.

            There is this on Richard Muller, a former skeptic:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/10/climate-skeptic-woops-the-majority-is-right-on-global-warming.html

          • Gregg

            I have heard of Muller, he’s a darling. My example was only one of many and if you want to trade examples then I am happy to do that. But my only point is the debate is not settled nor honest.

          • Ray in VT

            I am sure that there are others, but I do not think that it is honest to suggest that opinion within the research community is anything near evenly weighted on the topic.  I do not necessarily think that the debate is settled, and good scientific inquiry should always be challenged and tested, but it does seem that there are more experts moving away from the more skeptical stances.  Are you suggesting that scientists who do support the position that man-made climate change is happening are not being honest?

          • Gregg

            Not enough space but to say yes, I do think the scientific community believes CO2 levels rose after temperatures. It’s true and out a small part of the dishonesty.

          • Ray in VT

            But if they believe it, then why is that not put out as part of the broader debate?  I’m sure that there is discussion of this in the academic literature, but the public rarely seems to pay attention to matters long enough to dig deeply into a topic.

            There is evidence that warming temperatures is causing more natural CO2 release, such as in thawing arctic tundra, and levels may have been on the rise to begin with, but it does seem to be the general consensus in the scientific community that we are feeding into the natural process and exacerbating it.

            Here’s a bit from a NOAA work on the topic:

            Rather
            than a natural cause, current increases in greenhouse gases have been linked to
            human factors such as agriculture, burning of fossil fuels and
            industrialization, and deforestation.

          • Gregg

            More room up here. This is a very good overview, skip to 3:30 if you’re pushed for time but the entire 8 minutes is well worth the watch.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOvCCTEfypk

            Keep in mind, it’s old and before all of this:
            http://notrickszone.com/2010/08/03/climate-scandals-list-of-94-climate-gates/

            And for good measure something recent citing 16 more scientist:

            http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/4843-leading-scientists-no-need-to-panic-about-global-warming.html

  • Tina

    I’m so grateful that you aired the concerns about fracking.  Members of our family own land in Pennsylvania, and the way that it works THERE is this:  the oil/gas corporations are allowed to drill on your land and pipe under your land whether you give your permission OR NOT!!!  You can just hear the echoes of how THAT policy got put in place, even now, any number of years later.  I ask:  why do ordinary citizens care about “excess regulations”??!!  Could it be that that concept was thrown into the basket of beliefs that the politicians and lobbyists courting these voters threw in to help grease the roadway to the passage of their (pols and lobbyists) goals:  profits from fracking?  Once again:  why would people vote against their own best interests (drinkable water; no toxic chemicals in the drinking water) to support the rallying cry of “no federal regulations”?!!!  Even “good jobs” does not give the answer:  your family cannot drink poisoned water; you cannot sell your house to move elsewhere for another job if your homestead has toxic water.  You can ALSO hear the echoes of  arguments regarding States’ Rights, when that often just means:  influence CAN be managed to the advantage of the greedy, yet smaller seems to be easier than wider; as in:  gas companies can influence a small number of people in the rural areas of one state a lot easier than they can influence the entire electorate of the country. Today, I heard so many callers who were well informed about the threats to our environment and to our personal health by fracking.  Once again, the US seems to make everything into an either/or situation.  Maybe — just maybe — fracking can be used IF there are four or five separate and tested and completely well-executed protective measures put into place.  Instead, the pro-fracking people sneak stuff into state laws, thus permitting fracking; they act as if any environmental concerns will have people jobless for forever; whereas, PERHAPS enough precautionary measures put into the design of the systems could, possibly, allow fracking while also employing all those extra engineers and scientists and designers and contractors needed for the extra precautionary measures — as spelled out by unbought-out environmentalists.  Perhaps, but the pro-fracking forces already established legal bulwarks in places like PA.  

  • Still Here

    There’s been fracking for decades, the whining only started recently, mostly by Saudi surrogates looking to maintain the Arabs monopoly.  Don’t buy into the propaganda!  Stay strong America!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Earthquakes in Oklahoma and Ohio, in ‘Fracking country’?  All those Arab residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York State, Oklahoma, , that LOOK Scandinavian, British, German, Irish, and other European decendancies, of generations of area residents, that have polluted, and burnable WATER?
         Verrry Clever, these Arabs?

  • david

    What a difference a year makes, this time last year, Obama was barking a different tone. It is election time and he will do and say anything to get elected, even sounding like a repubican!
    Just in, Barney Frank is getting married.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Moda, seemingly in tears, told us about Barney Frank getting married.   Maybe Moda can get Newt to talk Barney into an ‘open marriage’?
         Republicans have been HAMMERING Obama, and the rest  of us on the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!’  from as many sides as they can , for three years!

      • Modavations

        Listen to this hysterical woman talk about crying.I’ve offered you my hand in friendship so many times and all you do is spit in it

        • Anonymous

          You know, you waste a lot of time bloviating and it’s amusing in a kind of pedestrian way. But this act of you being fair to folks you don’t’ agree with is as fake as a 3 dollar bill.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You notice how seriously I take his offers?

  • Modavations

    Mr.Buffets impoverished secretary makes between 250,000 and 500,000 per annum

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Nice little ‘between’!  Is this as accurate as your zillions=20?

    • Still Here

      not nearly enough to put up with the advances of that blowhard

  • Anonymous

     I do not believe there are aliens stored at Roswell but I do believe the Energy industry can change their prices at will and without logic. If They believe there is a threat to their dominance they can certainly slash the price for a time to make us realize alternatives make no sense. Furthermore, if Obama plays chess while we play checkers, I hope he is not going Bobby Fischer on us with the fracking issue. That cannot be right.

  • Ray in VT

    One of my problems with climate deniers is that a decent number of them seem to be like this guy:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/13/john-shimkus-climate-change_n_782664.html

    And for the record, for those of you here who do deny man made climate change, I am not insinuating that you are religious nuts.  If any of you do happen to be so, then that is merely a coincidence.

    • Still Here

      who cares?

      • Ray in VT

        A lot of people, I am willing to wager.  Do you want someone with that world view making major changes that can, and will, affect your life?

        For all of you here who malign the left’s social policies, what do you think that a society run by the religious right would look like for you.  Ask yourselves that when praising Newt.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Religious like Newt?   ROTFLMA!!  
             Left the church that evidently says ‘open marriage’ is GREAT, for the Roman Child-Molesting, Child-Abusing church?

          • Ray in VT

            I was raised Catholic, but I left the Church, and I would not defend their horrible failures, but Newt and Santorum give a bad name to the many Catholics that I know.  But that’s neither here nor there on the energy front.

          • Ray in VT

            Should probably by it’s horrible failures.

          • Gregg

            Newt’s and Santorum’s religious beliefs are the least of my worries.

          • Gregg

            Or Romney’s or Paul’s. Obama’s bugs me because “Black Liberation Theology” is racist in nature and Rev. Wright is un-American.

          • Anonymous

            Bunk, buddy, pure unadulterated bunk. And I’m not a fan of President Obama. But you come on here all righteous, and strutting around like someone who thinks he’s being fair minded. When in fact your full of it. You  support Gingrich is. That says it all.

            “The possibility of Newt Gingrich being our nominee against Barack Obama
            I think is essentially handling the election over to Obama,” says
            former Minnesota Governor Tom Pawlenty, a leading GOP conservative. “I
            think that’s shared by a lot of folks in the Republican party.”

            Pawlenty’s views are indeed widely shared in Republican circles.
            “He’s not a conservative – he’s an opportunist,” says pundit Joe
            Scarborough, a member of the Republican Class of 1994 who came to
            Washington under Gingrich’s banner. Gingrich doesn’t “have the temperament, intellectual discipline or ego control to be either a
            successful nominee or president,”says New York Republican representative
            Peter King, who hasn’t endorsed any candidate. “Basically, Newt can’t
            control himself.”

            Gingrich is “an embarrassment to the party,” says New Jersey
            Republican Governor Chris Christie, and “was run out of the speakership”
            on ethics violations. Republican strategist Mike Murphy says “Newt
            Gingrich could not carry a swing state in the general election if it was made of feathers.”

          • Gregg

            I wish just once you could cite what I said that was “bunk”. there was nothing I wrote untrue.

          • Anonymous

            For one, your rant about Black LiberationTheology being racist isn’t merely “bunk,” it’s pure race card playing bullshit.

          • Modavations

            Oprah left that church because it’s racist

          • Modavations

            Terry this is the third time today I’ve made this recommendation.Don’t respond to me and I won’t respond to you.It’s really not that difficult

        • Gregg

          I am a non-Christian very happy to malign the social policies of the left. When you posit you are willing to wager many think like the congressman you cite, my reaction is, “I’ll take that bet with Romney like enthusiasm”. $10,000? No one who matters is like him. Science is important and the debate has not been honest. The science is by no means settled, other than we know CO2 does not cause higher temperatures. Higher temperatures hold more CO2.

          “Religious right” is a meaningless emotional phrase. The left is religious too. We are seeing what a society run by the religious morals of Bill Clinton (Baptist) and Barrack Obama (Black Liberation Theology) looks like and it ain’t pretty.

          I also am a Newt supporter.

          • TKPGH

            Gregg,

            You haven’t been paying enough attention to the latest science on climate. The B.E.S.T study, meant to discredit the science on climate, actualyy reaffimed the work that has been done previously. Dr. Richard Muller’s reversal was definitive.

            Also, you have ot look to the oceans to see that we don;t have time left to play with fossil fuel: the pH is dropping, as are the phytoplankton populations, as about 1% per year. Look up the results of Dr. Boris Worm’s work in this area.

          • Modavations

            Canada left Kyoto!!!!

          • Ray in VT

            And your comment addresses the comments made by TKPGH how?

          • Modavations

            20 prominent scientist wrote an Op Ed in WSJ Thursday(?) saying poppy cock to the alarmists

        • Modavations

          None of my mates have a religious bone in their body and my mates are all over this planet.So not only are you parocial,your a bigot.Best technical schools in the Cosmos are 1.MIT,2.Stanford,3.Harvard.Now go stand in your corner young man

          • Ray in VT

            Most of mine don’t either, but just ask yourself this, will you just bite the bullet and side with your laissez-faire economics to support candidates that want to push the Bible into your personal life.  If you think that the religious element of the GOP doesn’t want you to live your life based upon their biblical interpretation, then you’re even more deluded than I previously thought.

            If you think that I am a bigot, then fine, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.  I’m not going to let some random poster online hurt my feelings.  You’re just not worth it.  But here is my opinion of you:  you’re a moron.  You post a lot of half-baked garbage, much of which you repeat, which does not make it any more valid.  Now, why don’t you take your own advice, find your pointy hat, and go sit on that nice stool in the corner that has been reserved for you.

            Also, I think that Professor Darmok from the University of Ceti Alpha 4, which is a far superior to our terran institutions, has far more informed opinions on the topic.  Just google him.

          • Modavations

            Real men,don’t vote the party.They vote the competent choice.Put a “D” next to Stalin,or Mao and you’ll vote for them

  • Modavations

    Indiana has just become the first rust belt state to go “right to work”.Another state is liberated

    • Ray in VT

      … and the race to the bottom continues.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        At break-neck speed!

      • Modavations

        Did I tell you you could come out of your corner.MIT is a two bit school!!!How pathetic.

    • Gregg

      There was a lot of hoopla given to the Democrat Convention being awarded to Charlotte, a right to work State. Conventional wisdom said propping up Governor Bev Perdue (I voted McCrory) was a chief consideration. She said today she will not seek re-election. She has no chance.

      I was working recently in Charlotte at an uptown Hotel and they were very excited about the convention. My younger brother lives in Tampa and says people are very worried.

      Democrat protesters are sooooo much more nasty than Republican protesters. History proves is beyond a shadow of doubt.

      • Gregg

        in a right to work State.

      • nj

        Flagged for responding to off-topic babbling with more off-topic babbling.

        • Gregg

          Your last 3 comments were off topic. Why are you such a jerk?

          • Modavations

            Just little men with nothing left to say

    • nj

      Flagged for off-topic babbling.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CEOs in Indiana now have the ‘Right to Exploit MORE’, the lower-waged, harder worked employees that will have LESS protections from abuses of MANY kinds?
         That’s liberation? 

  • Gregg

    Santorum is very impressive and I give him the win tonight.

    • nj

      Flagged for off-topic shilling.

      • Modavations

        What did that kid say to you two weeks ago?.It went something like….”Flag you-mini cop”

  • mw

    THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE AS A NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC.  Regarding topics for new shows and discussions…I appreciated your topic today about our energy future, given developments in Natural Gas production and Obama’s State of the Union address.  For a while now I’ve been confounded as to why climate change is not more front and center in the decisions we make about our energy infrastructure, food systems, and general way of life.  I’d love to believe that climate change is not man made, not a big deal and I can go about my business without worrying about making big lifestyle changes.  But is there really a difference of opinion in the scientific community as to what the reality of the situation is?  If so, I’d love to hear what the evidence to the contrary is.  If not, we need to understand why this extremely important scientific reality is not front and center in our everyday decisions.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Man-enhanced Climate Change would come from pollution, and lack of conservation of resources! 
         The Anti-Global Warming crowd are polluters, or paid by polluters, mostly? 
         Cleaner renewable power is harder for the present GREEDY rich to control!  That makes it harder for them to keep accumulating money, and other power?
         A BP CEO will profit how much, from you re-charging your electric vehicle from your home Solar Array, and Wind-Turbine?

      • Modavations

        What a fraud you are my hysterical woman.Now it’s “man enhanced” global warming.Utterly pathetic.By the way the fake Indian was Ward Churchill,Colorado.

  • Modavations

    Terry Tee Pee and Jan Shakowsky,Dem.Indiana say,20000 high paying jobs is justr no big deal.

  • Modavations

    The failed men of the left watch their world view challenged and are verging on nervous breakdown.All of Europe(including Spain)have turned their backs.Canada is now run by adherents of Laissez Faire.Even at NPR(playground of the Limosine Liberal)they are under assault.By they end of the day NJ,Terry Tree Tree(I’m still convinced he’s a woman),Jeffe68,Trfx,et al are nothing more then black crows on a telephone wire Caw,Caw,Caw.

    • Modavations

      I didn’t forget about you Jason A.You’re the same as the usual suspects,except you have more courage.You give voice to what they all think.That being….hang em!!!

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  • Slipstream

    Thanks for a serious discussion of the energy situation and some contrasting views on the subject.  I think that some of the thinking was a little too rosy – with our ever-growing population, are we going to be able to provide enough energy for people with some fracked natural gas alone?  I highly doubt it.  This could provide for us for a while (and damage the environment in the process), but coal and gas are still not renewable resources.  Despite failures like Solyndra, we need to keep trying to develop sustainable energy.  Or we could sit back and let China and Germany lead the way, and buy our technology from them (with the profits going in their pockets of course).

    Oh yeah, and a question for the caller from Pittsburgh.  He said he saw the Oklahoma and Louisiana license plates at the airport, and he thought that meant that oil and gas people were flooding the area.  But wouldn’t they fly up from Houston or something, and then rent cars?  Why would they leave their cars at the airport?  Maybe they drove to the airport, then switched to rental cars with PA plates – is that what he meant?

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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