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Congress Takes Aim At Green Pentagon Programs

The Pentagon is the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuel – and it wants to go green. But congress is pushing to torpedo the whole idea. Stay on oil. We’ll look at the military and big oil.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), front, leads a formation during joint military operations as part of Pacific Bond 2012. Pacific Bond 2012 is a U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force maritime exercise designed to improve interoperability and further relations between the nations. (U.S. Navy)

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), front, leads a formation during joint military operations as part of Pacific Bond 2012. Pacific Bond 2012 is a U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force maritime exercise designed to improve interoperability and further relations between the nations. (U.S. Navy)

The U.S. military is the country’s number one energy consumer.  All those warships, planes, Humvees and bases drink a lot of oil.  The Pentagon has made a loud, high priority of wanting to get to alternative fuels, green fuels, as an issue of national security.  Safer supplies.  Less volatile prices.

And a candid admission that fossil fuels, long-term, are themselves a security threat.  Now, Congress is moving to throw the brakes on the Pentagon’s go-green campaign.  Republicans, Texas oil-country reps, coal-state Democrats saying no.

This hour, On Point:  torpedoing the Pentagon’s move to green.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Noah Shachtman, editor of Wired magazine’s national security blog, Danger Room and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution. You can find his reporting on the fight over Pentagon’s biofuel efforts here.

Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Charitable Turst’s Clean Energy Program and director of the Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate, which recently issued a major report on the Pentagon and green energy.

Dennis McGinn, a retired vice admiral, he’s the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy.

Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

C Segment: Speaker to Wellesley High Grads — “You’re Not Special.”

Swellesley Report:  “And now you’ve conquered high school.  And, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building. But do not get the idea you’re anything special.  Because you’re not.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Boston Globe “When a bunch of Birkenstock-wearing environmentalists clamor for cleaner energy alternatives — biofuels, solar, or wind — it’s not entirely a surprise when Senate Republicans scoff in response. But it is odd that when military leaders make the same recommendation, those same legislators don’t even budge. Much worse, they have now prohibited Big Green from going green.”

Wall Street Journal “Though some services have begun experimenting in recent years with their own energy-saving efforts—the Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatics team recently made its first flight using biofuels—the new plan is the first effort to revamp energy use across the Department of Defense.”

CNN “The Defense Department has a grand vision for the U.S. military’s energy future, including “green”-powered fleets, jets and trucks. But members of Congress are hung up on the dollar signs that come with going green.”

Time “And while it might be nice to develop alternative sources of fuels that can be deployed at the front lines and with the troops, instead of depending on a long fossil-fueled supply line, the RAND study argues that such a transformation isn’t feasible”

Video: The Pentagon And Fuel

Check out this video from  the Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate about the Pentagon’s use of fossil fuels.

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  • Roy Mac

    On Point:  It is a disservice to your listeners to even broach this subject in a one-hour format.  The mission for at least the past 30 years–and probably longer–has been to protect the fossil fuel energy industry’s resources.  Someone needs to advocate for the military services, and the fossil fuel industry has stepped up by providinn zillions to K Street.

    This is the wrong discussion and will enlighten nobody.

    • Jasoturner

      Shall we sacrifice the good at the altar of the perfect?

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Should we sacrifice the innocent at the altar of the good?

      • Roy Mac

        Not really interested in trying to go fog-sculpting on this, but I’ve gotta observe that I heard nothing new and nothing that would forward the debate.  What was it, anyway?  Climate change?  National defense?  Just more faith-based v. science-based quibbling? And I think I even heard Solyndra a few more times.  Yawn.  

        With great trepidation, I’ll stand my ground on my original statement.  These same actors will be back next week, reading their lines regarding the Farm Bill.  Oooh, I can hardly wait to hear how “American farmers feed the world” several thousand more times.

  • Azra

    “Congress is pushing to torpedo the whole idea”. Is anyone surprised by this?

    They’ve torpedoed everything that will make America prosper, because their whole mission is to make America (Obama) fail. They must avoid jobs bills, and anything that will help someone who isn’t in that elite 1%.

    They might even fight to the death for Big Oil, (especially), and the Koch boys, so don’t expect any help in any way, from ANY Republican, at any time.

    • Don_B1

       They are also pushing to maintain the hegemony of the fossil fuel industry which sees this as a threat to its future.

      The Republican Party has sold its soul and future to the fossil fuel industry.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        As has Obama with his backdoor Keystone approval.

        • Azra

          Unfortunately, you’re correct.

          • Azra

            . . . to a lesser extent.

  • Richard

    The fact that Senator Warner (Republican) is in the video and behind this effort and the House Republicans are against it makes it so painfully obvious that the House Republicans will do anything to block Obama and line the pockets of big oil, even if it bankrupts the country.

    • Jasoturner

      They only want to bankrupt the 99%.  The country and the 1% that runs it will be just fine…

      • Don_B1

         At least that is what they think; climate change is about to become so obvious to most Americans that only those in the position of the man in Upton Sinclair’s statement, “it is hard to convince a man of something when his income depends on his not being convinced” will not see it and be repulsed at the Republicans for having sold out the country.

    • ana

      Is it just the House Republicans?  Or is it Congress all.
      I hope the discussion makes any distinctions clear.
      The media is failing to report up front the actions by the Repub House to derail and underfund government agencies in order to push their agenda.

      • Don_B1

         The mainstream media have a mantra that says they report “both sides” of every issue and “let the reader judge” even where one side is making a provably false statement, though the media does not feel its responsibility to report the facts that show that falsity.

  • Steve_T

    Why does this not surprise me. 

    • Jasoturner

      You can save this comment for reuse when the Supremes overturn the Affordable Care Act, too.

      • Gregg

        That’ll be a great day.

        • ana

          For you, but not for the many who are helped by it already.

        • Jasoturner

          Yeah, why would we want average Americans to have access to healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt them?

          One interesting thing in the ACA discussion is that there is never talk of “fixing” it so that our fellow citizens can have access to healthcare, only of repealing it.  This suggests that the motives of those who oppose it are less than pure…

          • Gregg

            It’s completely unworkable. The notion that opposition to Obamacare means opposition to Americans having “access to healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt them” is not rational. They have nothing to do with each other.

          • Jasoturner

            Romneycare-Plus (aka ACA) is designed to make health care delivery more efficient and less costly overall.  To say there is no linkage between the ACA and trying to make affordable healthcare accessible to more citizens is an interesting claim.  Incorrect.  But interesting.

            Whether ACA is workable or not is another question, but at least it’s a starting point.

          • Gregg

            The starting point is to wait a week and see what the SCOTUS says.

            I prefer “Obamacare” to ACA because he owns it and there is nothing affordable about it.

            Maybe I wasn’t clear, I’ll try the linkage thing another way. The two positions of opposing Obamacare and supporting affordable health care cozy up nicely without contradiction.

            I know the preliminary CBO analysis showed Obamacare to be deficit neutral but that’s it. The actual final report and every revision since have shown no such thing. I realize your claim was it was “designed to” instead of “it does”. Where is evidence that it will save money? Please clarify.

          • Jasoturner

            Taking bets on SCOTUS?  I think it’s sayonara ACA.

            As for your question, let me say this. I work in the health care sector in Massachusetts, home of Romneycare, the kissing cousin of Obamacare.

            Romneycare has prompted a complete rethinking of how we are delivering care in this state, and we believe that enormous savings, while not yet obvious, can and will be achieved.  Everything I am seeing suggests that Romney care, a proxy for Obamacare, is going to work.  It may not be perfect, but it is a solid first step in our national task of making healthcare available and affordable.

            As I have said before, sacrificing the good at the temple of the perfect (regardless of motivation) seldom if ever leads to progress.  Trying things and building on the successes often does.

          • Gregg

            I love the saying and use it all the time but it doesn’t apply here IMHO. We have traded “not so great” for “plum awful”.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Sweden is bankrupt?  Germany is bankrupt?
             

          • Alan in NH

             They have a lot to do with each other. If free market insurance were working to provide the kind of healthcare that would not bankrupt Americans, we would not have had the need for ACA or anything like it. It’s a little bit like Soc. Sec.: if there’d been decent safety net retirement to shield Americans from abject poverty before SS, there’d have been no need for the program. The performance of free markets has been abysmal in both areas for a substantial number of Americans.

          • Gregg

            Obamacare is a disaster.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Because Republicans LOADED it, against the best interests of the 99%!

          • Don_B1

            Romneycare is doing what it was designed to do in Massachusetts and the steps to improve it further by adding cost controls are being added as was planned when Romneycare was passed and signed into law six years ago.

            It is working and will work in the whole country if Republicans do not deliberately sabotage it.

          • Gregg

            Romneycare is not Obamacare although I understand the political need to conflate the two. It’s the same as the claim that Heritage invented the mandate. Apples and oranges. It is fair to say Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare but that’s where it ends. Then there’s the matter of that pesky 10th amendment.

          • Don_B1

             Nothing you have said contradicts the fact that Romneycare works and Obamacare will to; people are already finding good things in it.

            Hospitals, states (except a few recalcitrant Republican controlled ones) are preparing for it; MSMs are reporting on the difficulties of repeal.

            You are fighting a lost battle, even if Romney wins. If the SCOTUS tries to kill it, it will be resurrected.

          • Azra

            Why?

            Brainwashing, (there’s one born every minute), aversion to fact checking, and blind acceptance by the lemmings.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            The bill only offers mandatory access to insurance, not to health care. In other words, it’s an enforced private subsidy to the insurance racket.

          • nj_v2

            I oppose it for reasons entirely different from the right-wing whackdoodles, so i dare you to question my motives. 

            There’s no way to “fix” “healthcare” that’s based on private insurance.

            ACA will provide the “healthcare” industrial complex with virtually unlimited financial resources with which they will oppose any future effort to move toward a single-payer system.

            Obummer caved to insurance companies at ever turn, yet the Obamabots continue to cheer.

        • jefe68

          You are obtuse to a fault.

          • Gregg

             Thank you.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          YOU choose to kill people, by withholding health-care?
             What is YOUR criteria for letting someone live?  $ Billionaire?  $Trillionaire?  Piano player?  HYPOCRITE ‘CONSERVATIVES’ only?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            It is the private insurance industry which chooses who lives and who dies. Access to insurance is not the same as, not even close to and often the opposite of, access to health care.

          • Gregg

            Good point. Thank God we can choose how much of which kind of policy we want from whichever insurance company we want.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Sure, if you’re rich. Most Americans don’t have that luxury, and tens of millions can’t afford health insurance at all.

            Those that can typically have to get large deductibles which still leave them bankrupt when they get sick (health crises are the #1 cause of private bankruptcy in the US).

          • Gregg

            “Tens of millions”? I remember Obama counting illegals to get a number like that until Joe Wilson called him out at the SOTU. Then he changed it. When you consider how many are covered by other programs the number shrinks again. Then when you add the number of people who make over $70K (they can afford it) but choose not to get it, the number gets yet smaller.

            Your point is valid but your numbers are not. Obamacare is not the answer.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            “The number of uninsured people increased to 49.9 million in 2010″ – US Census 

          • Gregg

            After addingillegals, those alreadyeligible for other coverageand those whocan afford it but choosenot to.AsI sad.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            The US Census, as you know, counts only citizens.

            Only 4.4% of those with incomes over $90,000 don’t have health insurance (compared to 17.1% of all adults), while 36.5% of those earning less than $36,000 have insurance.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            IF You have the $MILLIONS!

        • Azra

          Until you have an accident, and are in a coma for years, or you need a bone marrow transplant, cancer treatment, or surgery, and your insurance company refuses to pay, because you withheld information about your pre-existing condition; that bump on your head when you were three years old. Think about it for once, and pretend you are logical, and have common sense. These scenarios are playing out MANY thousands of times every day, all across America.

          • Gregg

            What’s that got to do with the job-killing, Doctor shortage causing, economy killing Obamacare?

          • Azra

            Must be another Faux News story. Which jobs is it killing?

            The TRUTH is, since the Affordable Care Act was passed, ten of the twenty fastest-growing occupations are health care related.

            Please tell us how it’s “killing” jobs.

            By the way, it is a necessary law, for eliminating fraud, and improving the Economy substantially. Why else would Republicans be so dead set against it? If it wasn’t good for America, they wouldn’t be fighting it tooth and nail.

          • Azra

            CORRECTION:

            Should be “eliminating waste and fraud”‘.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        More than two-thirds of Americans hope the Supreme Court will overturn some or all of the 2010 health care law, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News. 

        A recent Reason-Rupe poll found that 51% oppose mandating individuals to obtain health insurance and 62% believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

        • Gregg

          Obamacare has never been popular. It was rammed through on a completely partisan basis with gimmicks like double counting $500 billion in Medicare cuts and reconciliation; and bribes like “The Louisiana Purchase”, “The Cornhusker Kickback” and Stupek’s crew’s meaningless signing statement.
          I suppose one could say it was somewhat legal but it was certainly not entirely ethical. Still it stands, popularity doesn’t mean much. 

          • TFRX

            Cornhusker kickback? You want to make more crap up?

          • Azra

            Of course. Give him time.

          • Gregg

             Ask Ben Nelson about it.

          • Azra

            It was always popular, and the most important reason mamy people gave for voting for him. When it was passed, the Affordable Care Act had the support of 76% of Americans. That’s extremely popular, no matter how you slice it

          • Azra

            Nothing about it was unethical, except those tried to deny us the health care that 76% wanted, by voting against it.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Congress against cutting costs? We can’t have Hummer’s smelling like french fries. When are we collectively going to call them to the carpet for their corruption!!!

    • Azra

      Things are reaching a boiling point, so I don’t think it can go on like this much longer, without massive protests and riots in the streets of just about every major American city. People are fed up to the back teeth with what Big Business is doing to our country.

  • Jasoturner

    When do the republicans micromanage the military that they supposedly revere?  When the military interprets geopolitical realities in a way that conflicts with republican ideology.

    Why do they hate America so?

  • Gregg

    So, now all of the sudden those who rage about cutting the military want to increase military spending. That’s rich.

    • Jasoturner

      Actually, it is the military that wants to spend all this money, since it shields them from exposure to market volatility that could well result from geopolitical upheaval.  I believe that this is called strategic thinking.  It is up to Congress, apparently, to decide if this is a prudent investment in the face other defense expenditures.

      Unfortunately, it is easy to confuse strategic investment with wasteful spending, which can lead one to improperly call out hypocrisy when they are not treated identically.  Not to worry, it happens all the time.

      • Gregg

        The military ALWAYS wants to spend more money. The best way to shield ourselves from geopolitical upheaval is to end this silly war on oil and exploit our own resources. North Dakota is considering eliminating property taxes altogether. This is made possible because they are doing just that.

        • Jasoturner

           King Coal baby! Back to the future.

          • Sam Walworth

             Lets go CNG/Natural Gas..

            Let no farm/land be left unFracked on the face of the nation.

          • Gregg

             reductio ad absurdum

          • Don_B1

             You asked for it.

          • Azra

            Who needs drinking water, or water for any other purpose? Desertification is a figment of our imaginations. There’s no such thing as drought.

        • Don_B1

           That could work for a low population state like North (or South) Dakota, but there is not enough oil in California to do the same. And why then has not Texas with all its oil done this before now?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            What Texas has done is erect the most wind generators of any other state. They’re no fools, they know that their oil is running out, and that wind-generated electricity is the cheapest in the nation (about 3 cents per kWH).

          • Don_B1

             Absolutely! And, though obliquely, you make my point that Texas, where oil rules the day, cannot cover its tax needs with oil taxes only, because there is not and will not be enough for that size population.

          • Gregg

            It’s beautiful.

          • Gregg

            Imagine that, what with all the Republican control. They couldn’t get it done in Liberal Mass. 

            I think it is great but we must realize wind supplies only 6.9% of Texas’ electricity. It’s best not to abandon the wells just yet.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            No, let’s wait until the Gulf is a dead zone. Then Texas can take over the rest of Mexico and find more places to exploit.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Not true. The Pentagon has often told Congress that it doesn’t need expensive new procurement programs which are designed to support local constituencies rather than the security of the nation.

          • Gregg

            That’s not what I said. 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You said “The military ALWAYS wants to spend more money.” That’s patently false. 

          • Gregg

            Overall. If they want less for one thing they want more for something else.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Backtracking?

          • Gregg

            No.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Backsliding, then.

    • jefe68

      That’s not what this is about.
      By the way are you aware that the reason the military brass wants to go down this road is due to national security, are you really so vexatious? 

      • Gregg

        I like nuclear subs.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          How many have YOU served on?

          • Gregg

            No more than a dozen.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            But LESS than?

        • Don_B1

           Not too many nuclear ships moving around the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

          The Army developed insulated tents to cut the amount of oil needed to be trucked into those countries with much loss of life when the convoys were attacked by insurgents.

        • jefe68

          Good for you.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Then go to Subway – they have a special on them.

      • Jasoturner

        Military also believes in climate change.  They are clearly off their rockers…

        • Gregg

          The sun came up this morning and the climate changed. It happens everyday. Who wouldn’t believe in that?

          • kelty

            the weather changed – climate & weather are not interchangable

          • Don_B1

            As usually you are making idiotic comparisons: the temperature change from night to day has nothing to do with climate, not to mention even weather.

            Pure snark, unsuitable even for juvenile humor.

          • Gregg

            I think that was Mr. Turner.

    • Eric

      I think that the internet and GPS are two things that Americans find very useful. Both researched and developed by the Military. Not everything is completely black and white. You can decrease spending while increasing efficiency.

  • Yar

    By the numbers: 
    The US military uses 300,000 barrels per day at 42 gallons per barrel with 365 days is 4.6 billion gallons of oil per year. 
    1 acre of harvested soybeans at
    42.8 bushels of soybeans per acre
    11.28 pounds of soybean oil per bushel of soybeans
    7.7 pounds of unrefined soybean oil per gallon of biodiesel
    63 gallons of bio-diesel per acre

    Energy inputs per gallon of soy oil 91,921 BTU
    Energy output of 1 gallon of bio-diesel is 132,902 BTU 
    .69 gallons of energy inputs required to produce 1 gallon of oil. 
    Without fossil fuel inputs, an acre will only produce a surplus of 20 gallons.  

    A 747 uses about 6.5 gallons per mile at 9600 miles on 60000 gallons of fuel.
    It would require a 2 and 1/2 foot wide swath of soybeans for the entire distance.  Every flight would need a sidewalk width of soybeans just to stay in the air.

    Food to fuel is not a sustainable solution to our fossil fuel situation.
    The energy in one gram of mass equals 641,000 gallons of bio-diesel.

    The US military should focus on Nuclear Energy; as Jessie James said about Banks, because that is where the money is.  

    Note: Numbers by Google, calculations by Ray

    • Jasoturner

       Nice job, Ray.  And let’s not forget, once we fly over our sidewalk of soybeans, we have to replant and regrow it for our trip back, as you implicitly indicate.

      Nukes we know are part of the answer, and the military knows how to manage them pretty well.  What I often wonder is, if we built huge solar arrays in the desert dedicated to cracking water, could we produce enough hydrogen to put a dent in our fossil fuel use?  I haven’t investigated this yet, but would be curious to know.

      • kelty

        I thought I read recently that they started attaching solar panels to Military base housing to help reduce electric costs. At least they are thinking ahead and every little bit helps. 

      • Don_B1

         There is enough energy in the incident sunlight on an acre or so of Arizona desert to equal more than six times all the energy used on Earth in months.

        Even inefficient capture of this energy can give us all the power we will need. What we need is the political will to build the plants, PV or concentrated solar, along with the distribution system.

        But with improved PV it will be possible to have that energy captured locally everywhere without a huge distribution system.

        The use of electricity in vehicles has been inhibited by the slow battery charge rates and low energy density storage capability, while the use of hydrogen has been inhibited by its low energy density, the cost of generating it and the distribution difficulties. A combination could be the generation of hydrogen at each pump using electricity, but less costly ways must be developed unless the cost of alternatives goes up.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Let’s see. The average annual ground-level insolation in Pheoniz AZ is 5.38 kWh per square meter per day. That amounts to about 2.5 million kWh per acre per day.

          The US alone consumes about 28.7 trillion kWh per year or about 78.7 billion kWh per day. 

          So your one acre, at 100% capture and conversion, would provide less than one thirty-thousandths of US daily needs.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Concentrating solar collectors have an Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) of 1.6, and hydrogen fuel has an ERoEI of 0.5, so that’s not even a break-even venture.

        Nukes have been “part of the answer” only if we ignore the costs to society and the ecosphere. Of course the wastes do make very nice bunker-busting and armor-piercing weapons, but we’ve been poisoning both our own troops and millions of civilians and future generations with our depleted uranium munitions. 

        Neither are “solutions” that a rationalist would propose.

        • Jasoturner

           Your ideology is showing….

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            And you think yours isn’t?

  • AC

    i think they should push for a ‘transistion strategy’. whether or not they want to, it will happen, so you can’t just present them with an all or nothing scenario – you have to approach with a plan, even if it’s a 50 year plan, to begin changing the technology. Unless retrofits are easily adaptable, what are they supposed to do with the existing inventory? that’s a lot of money to just throw away & a lot of money to acquire new tech.
    if it happens (& it will eventually), it will have to be paced…..

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Flex-Fuel Vehicles are here!  Run on Gasoline, Methanol, or Ethanol, whichever is available, or cheaper per mile!

  • Gregg

    This is crazy, GM can’t even make an electric car that can survive in the marketplace after $39 billion of taxpayer money. It’s not possible at this time.

    • Eric

      That kind of fatalist attitude is just what we don’t need.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Tesla DID, and WILL!
        WHY can a small company make vehicles FAR more efficient than the major car makers?
         Tesla Roadsters have over 200 mile range, while GM Volt, and the BEST majors offer, go maybe 100?
         The modern-day Hybrid, invented in the U.S., in the 70′s, got 90 MPG!  Home-made?  Non-Aerodynamic body?  NO Millions or Billions of development money?

    • Don_B1

       Only a small fraction, if any, of that money went toward the Volt and it appears to be a well designed car.

      It was only in reaction from fear-mongers like you that there was a short hiatus in Volt sales.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The GM EV1, produced from 1996-1999, was one of their most successful and loved vehicles. The oil industry forced GM to not only stop production but to forcibly repossess all existing units and turn them into scrap, often over the militant objections of those who leased them and love them.

      • Gregg

        I don’t know a lot about it but I don’t think taxpayers subsidized them at $7500 each and I don’t think President Clinton fired their CEO, put in his own guy and demanded they make it. I’m all for electric cars if they can be viable. Forgive me for not accepting your characterization wholesale, but as I recall government regulations played a part in the demise. If the oil companies had a hand in it then shame on them too.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Watch the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car. It was California politics with intense pressure from the oil and automobile industries and the Bush administration that killed the program.

          The California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed the Zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate in 1990 which required the seven major automobile suppliers in the United States to offer electric vehicles in order to continue sales of their gasoline powered vehicles in California. Nearly 5000 electric cars were designed and manufactured by GM, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan, and Chrysler; and then later destroyed or donated to museums and educational institutions.

          The film details the CARB’s reversal of the mandate after relentless pressure and suits from automobile manufacturers, continual pressure from the oil industry, orchestrated hype over a future hydrogen car, and finally from the George W. Bush administration, which joined the auto industry suit against California in 2002 – pushing California to finally abandon its ZEV mandate regulation.

          EV1 drivers offered $1.9 million for the remaining 78 cars in Burbank before they were crushed, and some were arrested for blocking the demolition.

          The oil companies were afraid of losing their monopoly on transportation fuel over the coming decades, while the auto companies feared long term revenue loss because EVs require little maintenance and no tuneups.

          The oil industry, through its major lobby group the Western States Petroleum Association, posing as consumers through astroturfing groups like “Californians Against Utility Abuse”, financed campaigns to kill utility efforts to build public car charging stations. Mobil and other oil companies advertised directly against electric cars in national publications. Chevron bought patents and controlling interest in Ovonics, the advanced battery company, to prevent modern NiMH batteries from being used in non-hybrid electric cars. GM killed the EV1 to focus on more immediately profitable enterprises such as its Hummer and truck brands, which eventually led to their bankruptcy and nationalization.

          In 2003, the CARB, headed by Alan Lloyd, finally caved to industry pressure and drastically scaled back the ZEV mandate after defending the regulation for more than 12 years. Lloyd may have had a conflict of interest as the director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

  • J__o__h__n

    The Republicans have finally found a defense cut they can support. 

  • jefe68

    This is all about the extremist digging in their heals about any alternative energy sources, nothing more or less.

    Jeb Bush is right: Mr. Bush questioned the party’s approach to immigration, deficit reduction and partisanship, saying that his father, former President George Bush, and Reagan would struggle with “an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement.”
    Going one better, he praised his father’s 1990 deficit-reduction deal, which drew the lasting ire of his party’s fiscal hawks for its tax increases

    One can add Green energy sources to the list.
    The GOP in Congress are beyond silly on this, it’s the height of stupidity really.

    • Gregg

       You shouldn’t put words in Jeb’s mouth.

      • Don_B1

         What words? I don’t see anything there that Jeb didn’t say; I believe the italics are a quote from a news report.

        • Gregg

          “One can add Green energy sources to the list.”

      • jefe68

        He said it, I did not. It’s in the news so look it up.

        • Gregg

          Maybe I missed it, show me where he said ANYTHING about green energy.

    • William

      The majority of Americans don’t favor Jeb’s immigration “reforms” so are they all wrong and he is right? Or he just pandering to the media looking to keep himself “in the game?”.

      • jefe68

        Well he is a politician, but the thrust of this is the GOP’s lack of compromise and adherence to it’s ideology over what is good for the nation as a whole. But then again he does go on to criticize the Democrats for the same thing, which is Bush going back into GOP mode.

  • Newton Whale

    The RAND study was sharply criticized, however, by the very people it was written for: the U.S. military. Thomas Hicks, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for the Navy, told Tom Zeller Jr. of the New York Times:
    Unfortunately, we were not engaged by the authors of this report. We don’t believe they adequately engaged the market. This is not up to RAND’s standards.
    Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/01/25/energy-should-the-military-be-going-green-rand-isnt-so-sure/#ixzz1xa7sJJRS

  • Gregg

    How many billions have already been thrown down the green energy rat hole?

    • Sam Walworth

       How many billions were thrown down in the development of TCP/IP and Microprocessors and GPS and Satellite Launch Vehicles?

      • Gregg

        They work.

        • Sam Walworth

          Yes, they work ONLY when it was tested and tried for decades or even more than that.

          What was the first CPU that fit correctly in a refrigerator sized computer or was the first GPS portable?

          • Jasoturner

            Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace kind of figured out the concept of programmable logic in the 1800s (worth reading about, if time permits, fascinating stuff.)  Babbage even build a mechanical “difference engine” to demonstrate his ideas.  Because the concepts are comprehensible, the microprocessor was probably inevitable.  It was basically a sure thing, at least at the conceptual level, and a challenge of execution and engineering.

          • Sam Walworth

            Jasoturner,

            Then in theory, alternate fuels should work as well, correct?

            Yes, its same engineering and execution of the concept we are facing.

            Lets also not foget that we came from the era of External Combustion Engine to Internal Combustion Engine to the Hybrid Engines, allof the concepts require time based RnD and Testing and Improvement.

          • Jasoturner

             Dunno.  I there a sound, logical and demonstrable theory that explains why they should?

          • Don_B1

             A lot of things have failed at the engineering level where function meets cost. It takes trying a lot of different approaches to find the one that meets the goal of cost for function. And then there are always improvements as the design gets implemented and manufactured.

            And it is just as inevitable that energy from the sun will be captured directly instead of relying on what plants did some millions of years ago.

            But without experimenting with the details of each possible process, the best one will not be found. And that does take money, some of which will result in learning why something does not work as well as finding out why something does work and how to build it most efficiently.

    • J__o__h__n

      Does Star Wars work yet?

      • Gregg

        Yea it did but Obama gave Poland the finger while being suckered by Russia and ended it. He got nothing in return.

        • Alan in NH

           So are you saying that Star Wars was not strategically necessary as a defense measure but was merely for leveraging purposes, and if so, to what end?

          • Gregg

            I’m not sure I understand the question but I do think missile defense was strategically necessary and should not have been abandoned willy-nilly for nothing.

          • Don_B1

             Missile defense almost ended the strategic balance provided by the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction, which worked for over thirty years and plays a strong role today.

            It is only those who want to act as bullies on the world stage who hope to use defensive missiles to deny others any security from an offensive missile capability. And that action threatens to destabilize all that MAD has achieved.

            That does not mean that “rogue states” have a right to strategic missiles, and proper pressure must be used to prevent that. But that also calls on those with strategic missiles need to avoid bullying tactics and act circumspectly.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Reagan began the Star Wars program because a remote viewer, employed by the CIA, described (accurately it turned out) what he saw in an underground Soviet lab (it was a communication satellite) and the CIA analysts misjudged it as a space-based weapon.

        Not much different than Reagan’s reliance on astrology to make strategic policy decisions.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          After Astrology worked so well for Hitler?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Billions of Watts, or Trillions of Watts of energy have been harnessed from the wind, and solar sources, for over 2000 YEARS!
         Wind, Biofuels, and Solar were PROVEN sources of energy, BEFORE oil, coal, or gas was first used!

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Not actually, since the Watt is a measure of electrical power and named after the inventor of the horsepower unit in the 18th century, James Watt. It wasn’t adopted as an SI unit of power until 1960.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Whether it was measured as such then, They were harnessed, and used!
            Sails, Windmills, Gristmills, wood fires, etc…, were used, for thousands of years, meaning Billions of Watts, or Trillions, if measured.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You’re assuming that science merely discovers and names things that exist in the universe. It’s just as, if not more, probable that science invents things that never before existed.

            Man said “Let there be light, and there was light”.

          • Gregg

            I thought God said that.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            God doesn’t self-publish.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How MANY $TRILLIONS have been thrown down the rathole of SUBSIDIES to Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Gas, and Nuclear? 
         Won’t they EVER be mature technologies?   That can pay their own way?
         THEIR CEOs get $MILLIONS, for subsidized energy?

    • Jasoturner

      One problem we have is that Americans are so unschooled in science – particularly thermodynamics – that there is this tree-hugging belief that unexpected and near miraculous energy “breakthroughs” are going to save us.  If only we spend enough money on research.

      Alas, it is unlikely that we will see more than incremental changes in the energy conversion technologies (or concepts) that exist today.  The physics are simply too well known to expect, say, a solar PV cell that is 50% efficient.  Entropy will always increase.  Fossil fuel combustion will always result in carbon byproducts, nuclear fuel and waste will always be unwelcome in people’s back yards, there are theoretical limits to efficiencies that can be achieved in heat engines.

      Until Americans rethink how they access and use energy (urban cogen, anyone?), there will be no silver bullets.  Unless, of course, we figure out how to control fusion or something.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Another engineer, Robert Zubrin, DISAGREES with you in his book “Energy Victory”, and gives the facts and figures to support his views!

        • Jasoturner

          I shall perform my due diligence and investigate.  I have positions, but no dogma.  I can be educated.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            As an engineer, you can do no less!  Otherwise, you would have to call yourself something else, like priest?

          • Jasoturner

             Like+

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Engineers are the priests and proselytes of the modern secular religion of reductionist scientism.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Few engineers fully understand or appreciate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which Einstein considered the one irrefutable law of our universe.

          Any use of energy, or increase in local order, exports a greater amount of entropy or disorder into the environment, which is already full to overflowing of our output.

          • Jasoturner

            You really don’t understand that entropy can decrease locally, even as it increases universally.  Read some Sagan, who is good at explaining this.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Did you even read the post of mine which you responded to?

            It addresses the entropic cost of local order.

            And Carl Sagan, as brilliant as he was, was a true believer in the religion of science, or what I call scientism. He was unable to see outside its narrow confines to the greater universe in which we live.

            His son with the brilliant biologist and Gaiast Lynn Margulis, Dorian, had a much deeper appreciation of the thermodynamics of an intelligent living world. His book, Into the Cool, co-authored by Eric Schneider (2005), is a scientific tour de force showing how evolution, ecology, economics and life itself are organized by energy flow and the laws of thermodynamics.

      • Yar

        Jason, I am not so sure you are correct.  I have been reading about using carbon nanotubes to hold hydrogen.  They only improve capacity about 1 percent.  The interesting thing I see in the numbers is it is about the same as the amount of carbon isotopes C13 and C14 naturally occur.  What if making nanotubes out of isotopes of carbon “with spin” holds hydrogen?  Economical hydrogen storage changes everything.  If my theory is correct, I hope it provides for my retirement.  Can you copyright a blog entry under an screen name?  If not, at least you will know you heard it here first.

        • Jasoturner

           You may be right.  But I think the issues of storing hydrogen are secondary to the issues of extracting it in the first place.  It take more energy to crack water than is recaptured when the hydrogen is burned.  Perhaps large PV arrays can be deployed to crack water.  If practical, then storage does become a legitimate issue, especially if it can be done at normal pressures and temperatures.

          Good luck with that retirement.

      • Nutricj

        I am tree hugger AND I understand thermodynamics.

        Conversion of biproducts is key in combustible energy production.

        There are lots of silver bullets- not just one. Many breakthroughs are on the horizon.

        Invention and imagination harnessing the science is the future!

        • Jasoturner

          The second sentence is shrewd.

          For instance, if we could “combust” carbon in something other than oxygen, and could find a catalyst to readily and rapidly separate out the byproduct into its constituent components again, we’d have a pretty slick, no-emitting power source.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          You may be a tree hugger (though your blind faith in technology belies that), but you certainly don’t understand the Second Law. 

          All energy conversions create entropy. No technology can reverse that.

          • Jasoturner

            Actually, my friend, I suspect I understand the second law much better than most.  BTW, locally entropy can decrease.  That is why we are here as sentient, autonomous beings instead of earth being a ball of unformed gases and minerals.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            And I can guarantee that your suspicions are wrong. As a philosopher of science for the past 46 years, there are precious few who have the depth of understanding of thermodynamics that I share with Jeremy Rifkin and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

            As I’ve stated myriad times, here and elsewhere, whenever local entropy is reduced by the creation of order, a greater amount of entropy is exported to the environment in order to balance the always increasing entropy equation.

            The obvious fact is that the earth’s ecosystem can not absorb any more human-generated entropy and is reaching irreversible tipping points in many interconnected systems. 

            And, by the way, the coalescing of cosmic gasses into planets is an increase in entropy. It is only life which locally reverses the flow, but with the overall result of accelerating it to the chill of the universe.

      • Don_B1

         Current technology is capable of providing for today’s energy needs at equivalent cost when the cost of fossil fuels’ externalities are included. It is just that the fossil fuel industry refuses to even contemplate paying for the harm done to people and the environment by its combustion emissions.

        If sustainable energy sources are developed, new efficiencies will be found as part of that process and energy costs could well decline instead of climb which is the only prospect if fossil fuels remain the prime source of energy.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          There are also significant externalities to the production and use of so-called “green” energy technologies, and they all rely on scarce resources which will become both more difficult to procure and more expensive over time.

          There are no magic bullets – only delay tactics.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        “Unless, of course, we figure out how to control fusion or something.”

        I thought you were being a responsible rationalist for a moment there, until you fell into your own trap and expressed an unfounded belief in a “magic bullet”.

        The simple truth is that all energy conversions, whether non-renewable or “green”, export entropy into our environment – a planet that is struggling to maintain homeostasis even with the entropy we’ve already created.

        What is needed is not “better” technologies or increased efficiencies but far, far less conversion and consumption of both energy and matter, which also unfortunately means far fewer human inhabitants.

        • Jasoturner

          Apparently you are unaware that fusion, once combustion starts, liberates far more energy than is needed to initiate the reaction.  And the fuel supply is essentially infinite.  I suggest you read Richard Rhodes’ “Dark Sun” to learn more about this.  It is particularly good at explaining fusion reactions in non-technical terms.

          Is something that demonstrably works, admittedly as a weapon at first, a silver bullet?  I think you need to rephrase.

          Does the entropy of the universe increase when a fusion reaction occurs?  Of course.  But I am a human being who wants a good life for my kids and for me.  Universal entropy trends, in that context, is really a pointless, navel gazing thing to worry about.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Pointless navel gazing? Not according to 22 world scientists publishing in Nature who conclude that the world may be unlivable in two or three generations:

            Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere
            http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11018.html
            Nature 486, 52–58 (07 June 2012)

            The 22 authors of a June 6, 2012 Nature Journal review, “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere”, are biologists, ecologists, complex-systems theoreticians, geologists and paleontologists from the United States, Canada, South America and Europe.

            “There is a very high possibility that by the end of the century, the Earth is going to be a very different place.” – Anthony Barnosky, professor of integrative biology, University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the study.

            “You can envision these state changes as a fast period of adjustment where we get pushed through the eye of the needle,” Barnosky said. “As we’re going through the eye of the needle, that’s when we see political strife, economic strife, war and famine.”

            “We really do have to be thinking about these global scale tipping points, because even the parts of Earth we are not messing with directly could be prone to some very major changes,” Barnosky said. “And the root cause, ultimately, is human population growth and how many resources each one of us uses.”

            Humans have completely transformed 43% of Earth’s land surface for cities and agriculture, compared with the 30% land surface transition that occurred at the end of the last glacial period. Under business-as-usual conditions, humankind will be using 50% of the land surface on the planet by 2025, and it seems unavoidable that the human population will reach 9 billion by 2050.

            “Every change we look at that we have accomplished in the past couple of centuries is actually more than what preceded one of these major state changes in the past,” Barnosky said.

            “It really will be a new world, biologically. The data suggest that there will be a reduction in biodiversity and severe impacts on much of what we depend on to sustain our quality of life, including, for example, fisheries, agriculture, forest products and clean water. This could happen within just a few generations.” – Barnosky

            Coauthor Elizabeth Hadly from Stanford University said “We may already be past these tipping points in particular regions of the world.”
             
            Human actions are dismantling ecosystems, resulting in species extinctions at rates several orders of magnitude faster than observed in the fossil record.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Fusion has been ’25 years into the future’, and STILL is.  OR MORE!

        • Bruce

          I think you’ve put your finger on a potential “third way” out of the quandary (i.e. neither liberal or conservative), but as with your post yesterday, I am uncertain what an economy or society would look like with “far less conversion and consumption of energy…” and less centralization and concentration in the public sector (since govt. historically has provided a countervailing power that offsets the excesses of monopoly power and oligarchies).

          I’m somewhat familiar with Herman Daly’s work and find his Steady State theories relevant even after all these decades have passed since they were first introduced.  Is it possible that their  application might be limited except in the arena of international trade because they would result in a contraction of human activity and aspirations that many find regressive or alternately too utopian?

          I do agree with you (if I correctly get what you’re asserting) and others on this forum who question the utility of purely technical solutions to the conundrums you have ably described.  Growth mania ignores the classical laws of thermodynamics as well as universally accepted biological concepts such as homeostasis, and too often it indulges a kind of technological razzle-dazzle. 

          Technology in the end may only give us efficiency gains, while the ultimate answer may lie in a moral or spiritual awakening in which we consumers wake from the collective dream of hoping the next device, breakthrough or bubble will save us from ourselves.  Maybe we’ll awaken just as we did when we finally gave up our previous vain notions of transforming lead into gold…of devising perpetual motion machines…of eliminating scarcity…or transcending our finite needs.    

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Precisely. Nothing will offer any possibility of the sustainable continuation of the human race but a radical change of paradigm – and even that will almost certainly entail a major die-down of global human population and footprint.

            It will require a spiritual re-awakening to what we once knew: that we are but a strand in the grand Web-of-Life, no more important than any other, and that our purpose is to serve the greater Web.

            It will require a relinquishment of everything we believe to be true and a surrender to the irrevocable laws of the universe.

            I address these ideas in my essay, The Thermodynamics of an Intelligent Living Universe: http://riversong.wordpress.com/intelligent-living-universe/

    • Slipstream

       I guess you are one of these practical, hard-headed individuals who thinks that renewable energy is just a bunch of mushy, hippie b.s., and what we need is oil, dammit.  So what do we do when the oil is all used up?  We have managed to use up about half the world’s supply in about a century, and we have more people on the earth using more oil than ever before.  Where are the fuels of tomorrow going to come from?  Bet you don’t have an answer to that.

    • John in Amherst

      “Green” has become a catch-all for energy produced in ways that lessen pollution.  Some forms of energy production – like fermented corn ethanol – are not truely green, though cellulosic ethanol may be.  Other “green” technologies, like Craig Venter’s ideas about biorecombinant organisms that produce oils may also bear fruit.  And renewable “green” sources like wind and solar ARE soaking up subsidies, but have sound promise of future economic viability.  Unfortunately, lobby money is choking the reasoning ability of congress, and we are stuck with dumbass ideas like corn-based ethanol, while developing solar, wind or more exotic ideas languish. 
       
      But the bottom line is this:  We need to face up to the fact that our U.S. life style is more lavishly
      energy-dependent than is sustainable.  We need more efficient
      transportation (higher mpg & public forms like rail that use less
      energy/mile) & housing (SMALLER and more insulated against heat and
      cold).  We need less energy-hogging diversions.  We need to stop growing suburbs far into the countryside and
      stop developing areas like the arid and hot southwest that are
      unsustainable in terms of water and energy.  We need more locally grown
      food.  Etc. etc.  

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Well let’s see. Between 2005 and 2010, BP invested about $5 billion in its renewable energy business, mainly in biofuel and wind power. 

      Hmmm… Must be something that the petroleum industry knows about peak oil and the future of energy.

  • Newton Whale

    Just so we’re clear that this is entirely political, and not based on logic or sound policy, watch these contortions Republicans are going through:

    1) Last week, the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee proposed a new Pentagon budget. Tucked away inside it was a provision that would prohibit the Department of Defense from buying any alternative fuels that cost more than conventional fossil fuels. 

    2) But wait! There is one expensive alternative fuel that congressional Republicans support. You see, Section 526 of 2007′s Energy Independence and Security Act prohibits the military from buying fuel that is more carbon-intensive than crude oil. Earlier this month, Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) offered an amendment to an appropriations bill, later passed by the House, that would bar the military from enforcing Sec. 526.
    Why, you ask? “Placing limits on federal agencies’ fuel choices,” says Flores, “is an unacceptable precedent to set in regard to America’s energy policy and independence.”
    Yes, I’ll let that irony sink in a moment.
    Republicans have seized on the idea of using the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert coal to liquid fuel (a technology made famous by Hitler — don’t tell the Heartland Institute). Building a plant to do this requires enormous capital investment, running one requires enormous operational and maintenance investments, and the result is … fuel more expensive than oil. This is to say nothing of the fact that it requires mining and transporting coal on the front end and releases up to 2.5 times as much CO2 as oil when burned.So, let’s pause and review. The Republican position on military fuel choices is as follows: Congressional restrictions are an “unacceptable precedent” when they prohibit dirtier fuels, but necessary when they prohibit cleaner fuels. Also, it is unacceptable for the military to pay more for cleaner fuels, but necessary for it to pay more for dirtier fuel.If you were cynical, you’d almost think that the issue had nothing to do with Congress’s relationship with the military, or with costs. You’d almost think Republicans just support fossil fuels and oppose clean energy, no matter the context.

    http://grist.org/politics/republicans-try-to-force-the-military-to-use-dirty-energy-it-doesnt-want/ 

    • Yokosuka1985

      Why do alternative fuel(s) cost so much more than regular oil based products?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Ask Brazil?  THEY DON’T!!

        • John in Amherst

           I am “green” with regard to recognizing climate change and a dire need to mitigate it.  However cane-based ethanol, like corn-based ethanol, is almost certainly NOT a wise choice.  The energy input for refining fermented, plant-based ethanol, and the need for fertilizers, water and valuable food-crop land make this strategy  a loser, except for subsidized agribusiness farmers.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If you’ve got the MONEY, I can show you how.  WITHOUT the disadvantages you speak.

      • Don_B1

         Because they are at earlier stages of development, before economies of scale have kicked in. But the BIG reason is that the cost of fossil fuels at the point of sale do not include the cost of externalities such as human health and other environmental effects that effect the lives of all humans.

    • TFRX

      Glad you went long form on this, as you do often.

      Curious to know if “Just so we’re clear that this is entirely political, and not based on
      logic or sound policy, watch these contortions Republicans are going
      through” is in your autotext, as it could be applied to many subjects.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    National Energy Security, therefore National Security, DEMAND the versatility of Green Energy alternatives!
       In Brasil, Flex-Fuel Vehicles can operate on Gasoline, Methanol, or Ethanol, whichever is available, and less-expensive!
       THAT CAPABILITY cost less than $200 per vehicle!  In a crisis, or battle situation, THAT could make the difference of survival!

  • Gregg

    I just noticed the commencement speech video. I’m not sure of the connection to a green military but it was a great speech.

    • Don_B1

       I thought you were enough of a regular here to know that at this time of year, time is set aside at the end of programs to enable excerpts or more from worthy graduation speeches.

      • nj_v2

        The list of things that Greggg is clueless about is nearly endless.

  • MrNutso

    First, it Congress that is saying no, so I will not dump on Republicans alone.  All politicians are to blame.

    Second, I am not surprised at Congress’ recalcitrance.  Going green means reducing the amount of foreign oil needed for the military, which reduces the size of the military need to protect foreign oil, which reduces need for foreign oil… I think we get the picture.

    The vast military industrial energy complex dominates all policy in the country.  If only we could find one President, 61 Senators and 218 members of congress who stand up for the human persons of the United States and not the corporate persons.

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

    Just shows the primary purpose of military spending is … spending.

    Fuel reducing initiatives – from solar cell power in the field to spraying hardening foam on tents for insulation (so simple and radically reduces fuel needs for air conditioning) reduces costs and in many cases make things safer for troops (reduce need for fuel carrying convoys which are so often targeted).  But apparently giving tax money to oil corps is more important than national security or soldiers lives.

    • Chris

      The Iraq war was for one reason and one reason only: trillions to the military contractors and mercenaries.

  • Eric

    It’s not the cost of green energy that is stopping congress from funding green energy, it’s the green that oil companies have been lining Reps pockets with. Do you think that big oil wants its largest customer to start cutting back on oil usage? I think not.

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

       That and President Obama is for “green” energy…

      Neil

  • AC

    does the military strictly now use JP-8 for all air and ground vehicles? do any alternatives currently come close enough chemically with the same icing/corrosion inhibitors? can the tanks be easily retrofitted for new fuels?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I’m reading that Ethanol is LESS corrossive than gasoline, but to be BEST Flex-Fuel, Vehicles need to use Methanol, too, which IS more corrossive.
         To be Methanol AND Ethanol Flex-Fuel with Gasoline, cost is LESS than $200 more than just gas equipped.

  • John in Amherst

    The Pentagon realizes that climate change is a grave long-range national security threat, and that reliance on petroleum puts the industrialized world in competition with itself, requires defending production facilities in unstable countries and shipping lanes stretching half way around the globe, and subjects us to the whims of oil tyrants.  It is impossible to view the GOP hostility to  the greening of the military with anything BUT cynicism.  It is abhorent for the GOP to force economic hardships on the American public to advance their political agenda, but it is bordering on treason (Definition: the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.)
    to jeopardize our national security.  History will not look kindly on today’s GOP, unless they continue to win with this strategy of sucking up to big money, and get to rewrite it.  

  • Chris

    We need to start calling these Congressmen what they are:

    TRAITORS TO THIS COUNTRY.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Tesla DID, and WILL!
      WHY can a small company make vehicles FAR more efficient than the major car makers?
       Tesla Roadsters have over 200 mile range, while GM Volt, and the BEST majors offer, go maybe 100?
       The modern-day Hybrid, invented in the U.S., in the 70′s, got 90 MPG!  Home-made?  Non-Aerodynamic body?  NO Millions or Billions of development money?

  • J__o__h__n

    We need to change the nuclear subs to coal. 

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

       Wood is the future, man!  ;-)

      Neil

    • GretchenMo

      Why not solar?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Another example of the Right denying fact and experience, and embracing the “drill, baby, drill” and “We’re the US, so we’ll do it they way we always did it – Our way,” mentality. 

    Of course Big Oil, et al don’t want the gravy train to end.  If they had their way the Navy would probably still be using diesel to propel our fleets around the world and not nuclear power.  While a nuclear, solar, or wind powered tank isn’t anything we’ll see, to not have a sane and balanced energy program for the military isn’t rational. 

    Let’s also not forget that the defense budget would require that we buy American for things like solar, wind, etc, and the innovations that would come from advances in green tech would ripple through the economy.  Perhaps Solyndra and other solar companies, that went down when China subsidized their solar companies and dumped product here, could be unshuttered?

    • MrNutso

      Can’t have that.  If it can’t be done profitably by the private sector without subsidies, then it’s not worth doing.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Great Sarcasm!  Unfortunately it’s the attitude of Oil-bought Congressmen!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      MUCH of the Millitary Equipment is Made in China! 
         Quality problems show up quite often! 
         Have HIGHEST people that made these purchase decisions been punished appropriately?

  • Nutricj

    Yes!!!! “clean coal” anyone?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    U.S. Millitary should NEVER have gotten into NEW TECHNOLOGY?  No Coal ships?  No Oil-fueled ships?  No Nuclear-powered ships?  NO aircraft?  NO submarines?
       Would we have the top-of-the-line Navy, without those New Technologies?

    • J__o__h__n

      We never should have put sails on the Constitution.  Rowers were good enough for traditional navies. 

  • Rex

    The military developing alternative and better products? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

    Is the military not a catalyst for technology? McCain’s excuse for the Department of Energy is a load of political crap.

    • Chris

      From the day he lost Mccain has made it his mission to do everything in his power to go against Obama and his administration.

      He is an old, revengeful, sick, dangerous man that is doing everything to keep America from moving forward so Obama and his administration looks bad. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Other Veterans have told me that McCain WRECKED 6 U.S. planes, hot-dogging!  Including the one he was shot down in Vietnam! 
         The son of an Admiral, and the grandson of an Admiral, he had a ‘free-ride’ to the Naval Academy, and the influence to become a pilot. 
         MANY of McCain’s actions and policies have been detrimental to the Millitary?

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        He should have gone AWOL like baby Bush.

  • Slipstream

    The fact that the military is looking into alternative & renewable energy just shows that they are looking ahead and trying to have all the resources they can to continue to be the best military in the world.  The fact that Congress (no doubt responding to pressure from oil companies) is trying to impede this progress shows us what a corrupt organization the current congress is.  Throw the bums out.

    • Nutricj

      Yes, and because the military has such a voracious and unquentiable thirst….they know they need more more more to keep going.

  • Richard Phung

    Congress SHOULD invest in alternative fuel.  Reliance on oil (esp. foreign oil) seems to be a HUGE vulnerability.  If we successfully move to alternative fuels (not necessarily bio- or green-), it would give us a distinct advantage.

    It would be on the scale of fighting with ball and musket vs. bow and arrow.  Or tanks vs. horse-drawn chariots.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    So right-wing political economists don’t want to INVEST in reducing our thirst for oil to
    1) help control government debt in the future
    2) help reduce the demand for oil,
    3) drive down the cost of gasoline and 
    4) leave more money in the pockets of consumers to help drive economic growth

    That’s really, really Rich.

    • Ray in VT

      Of course, Mark.  If there are any innovations to be made, then the markets, and only the markets, will bring those about.  We don’t need no stinking government pushing innovation or invention.

      • Gregg

        Absolutely!

  • TFRX

    Tom, you mentioned “A spanking” from the GOP Congressman from Virginia?

    I couldn’t hear that “spanking” over my alarm going off when that congressman said “all the cuts” referring to the Pentagon budget.

  • Scott

    Did I just hear right, that he said there were only 11 aircraft carriers active in the world, and the USA has 10 of them?

    A little fact-checking: there are 21, and the USA has 11.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers_in_service

    • MrNutso

      True, but look at the tonnage and carrier type.  The U.S. carriers are all super carriers.  Essentially floating air force bases.

  • Jamison

    This is the best news to come from the armed forces in a long time.   Some one needed to step up and buy these bio fuels to make them cheaper for all. (Im not talking about corn here)

    • GretchenMo

      Corn is crap energy; actually crap would be better but it doesn’t have as many political connections.

      • Rex

        Aren’t most politicians are full of it?

        • Azra

          Ten points! :•)

  • GretchenMo

    Energy conservation is low hanging fruit.  We should focus here first.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      The Pentagon already does a huge amount of conservation work.  They’ve made huge improvements, but even so it is not fast enough to offset oil prices and there is no reason to wait to develop more sustainable fuel alternatives.

      • GretchenMo

        Maybe, but I’m guessing that conservation is underemphasized in all branches of government because it doesn’t have a lobby or poster child.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    There was a Stealth ship that was invented powered by sea water that made the ship move quieter and faster but of course they cancelled the ship or it was just an experiment to make a better one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shadow_(IX-529)

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

    Renewable energy would largely remove the need for our military.  Sounds like sensible policy to me.

    Almost nothing bad will happen as a result of climate change, I’m sure! Why would the military care about climate change?

    Hmmm…

    Neil

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Nuclear powered subs and aircarriers are already in use but still majority of navy ships are still powered by gas turbine.

  • ana

    TOM
    Is this an initiative by all of Congress or just  the House?

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Yes, oil is a national security concern. 

    However, if this was only about national security there is a simple solution for the Pentagon.  We have oodles of domestic coal and the technology to convert coal to liquid fuels is well proven.  The Germans did this in WWII.

    Therefore, the rush to biofuels is clearly to promote a different agenda that has nothing to do with military security.

    Also, now that we have oodles of domestic natural gas we could develop gas to liquid supplies as another alternative.
     

    • Azra

      At what cost?

  • Benjamin Levy

    If you want a poster child for why the military should reduce its dependence of fossil fuels, it’s Jessica Lynch.

    Private Jessica Lynch was a truck driver for the Army in Iraq. She was captured (along with five other soldiers) in an ambush while delivering oil to a military base. Also 11 soldiers were killed in the ambush.

    If the military didn’t depend as much on oil, there would be fewer people at risk driving large, slow moving vehicles (aka targets) in war zones.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Bio-Fuels are made from non-food crops, and GARBAGE!  Some are made from food-crops, but NOT necessarily!
       VERSATILITY has ALWAYS been the way our millitary has survived!
       The Battle of the Coral Sea, PROVED that Aircraft Carriers could sink Battlewagons, before Battlewagons could APPROACH a Carrier!

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Whether allegedly non-food crops or not, it still requires precious farm acreage when billions of people go to bed hungry every night (including 1.5 million Americans).

  • TFRX

    Just curious if “competitive with petroleum-based fuel” include or excludes the cost of the BP Gulf spill.

    (Strictly speaking, a drop in the ecosystem. In a larger sense, indicitave of all the costs that extractive industries have foisted off their “costs”.)

    • AC

      what’s scarier is what regulations China’s using in the areas Cuba’s leased out to them….i’m not hearing anyhting at all…..

      • Azra

        Like our own dear Republican party, China doesn’t believe in regulations. Unlike our Republicans, they do believe in science, and global warming, so Chinese are a lot smarter than the GOP in other respects.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          Actually China is trying desperately to clean up its energy sector.

          • Azra

            It is. What I was really referring to is the way they were allowed to poison babies, and pets, among other unscrupulous practices.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Just Corporate Collateral Damage, Nothing Serious to a CEO?

    • Bruce

      I believe they’re called “externalities” (per N. Chomsky) along with the costs associated with projecting our military force, toppling or propping up (whichever is your Neocon preference) repressive regimes in oil-rich regions so that access and trade can proceed unencumbered and our hyper-consumerist addictions can be fed unabated.

      Of course, there are what I assume N. Chomsky would also refer to as “opportunity costs” of continuing subsidies and propping up the record profits of our own companies dedicated to expanding oil exploration off our own coastline, which contains a measly 2% of the total world oil reserves, while neglecting to invest in alternative energy sources that could secure our energy future and put our people back to work in a sustainable industry.     

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

    It is so boring listening to someone pushing an agenda (pro-oil man) rather than providing information – you know exactly what he’s going to say.

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

       The corn ethanol argument is a straw man — it is not renewable and it is not sustainable.  He is correct in that it is at *least* as much carbon as the oil it replaces.  But, no one is saying that ethanol is any part of the solution.

      Straw man…

      Neil

      • GretchenMo

        It’s basically the biggest “green” energy subsidy we’ve got going and it’s set to keep growing.

        • Gregg

          As long as the first caucus is Iowa.

    • Rnadeau77

      Its funny how they talk about reducing our dependence on foreign oil when it is convenient and they talk about our supplies are stable coming from Canada and Mexico an we shouldn’t worry.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Some are too stupid to realize that Canada and Mexico are FOREIGN countries?

    • GretchenMo

      Both sides are completely scripted, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  • ToyYoda

    Finally, a big ticket military item that is worth spending money on.  The technological trickle down can have a huge impact for the rest of the American economy, from the bio-fuel supply chain, to the motors.  How can a congressman want to spend billions per a high tech airplane and want to shoot down this item?  I’m not an oil conspirator,  but it’s hard not to explain this behavior in any other way.

  • MrNutso

    Still waiting for the military to turn a profit.

  • wauch

    When oil runs out as it most assuredly will than all these alternatives will immediately be cost effective! Peak Oil deniers as out of touch as anti-evolutionists.

  • Minorheretic

    If it involves growing something and turning that something into liquid fuel, it will be completely inadequate to our demand. There isn’t enough land, water, or nutrients.

    The question is about the limits to the projection of US power in an energy constrained future.

  • Chris

    America isn’t sitting on any Saudi Arabia’s size pools of easy to sip out oil. No matter what the crazies on the Right try to sell you. We don’t have it.

    So, how do you run a military like this on other nation’s oil?

    Can’t really be done.

    It’s time to retreat to our shores and dare the world to cross them. With 7,000+ nuclear weapons that we are willing to use why would anyone?

    This military spending is all about money to the contractors and mercenaries.

  • Jordan Davies

    The Cato Institute is a group directly influenced by the Koch Brothers who have very large holdings in oil and gas, pipelines, etc. I am not quite sure a representative from the Cato Institute is a fair and honest commentator.

    • GretchenMo

      Seriously, you’re nuts From Forbes.  Koch Industries, through its subsidiaries Flint Hill Renewables and Koch Supply & Trading, for example, has purchased several ethanol plants in Iowa, and together with its Minnesota refinery, reportedly has the capacity to supply about one-tenth of the U.S. market.

  • J-M / Buffalo

    this is insane – christopher preble says using “green” energy is crony capitalism?  the only reason NOT to start looking toward the future for any type of alternative fuel, “green” or not is crony capitalism.  i’m no big fan of the military – but the one thing the u.s. military has been good at since day 1 is innovation – and for that matter – the space program, as well.  shame again on these senators and congressmen who prove yet again that they are bought and paid for.

    • Azra

      . . . and they prove it shamelessly!!!

    • Moby

      This show ties into what I believe is the real problem in our country today.  We no longer desire to invest via taxes in innovation.  Space program ? – cut.  Military investment in alternative energies ? -cut.  This lack of investment will be our downfall and will be what our future children and grandchildren will be ashamed of.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        At least ONE party wants to kill the U.S., for their crony 1%!

  • Tomtomsun

    The Cato guy who is saying renewables will require subsidies for ever…what about the Price Anderson act without which the Nuclear Industry would not exist?  What about the fact that the military is subsidizing FOREVER the oil industry by virtue of the fact that we deploy the military when ever the oil supply gets interrupted. This is a classic subterfuge argument. Please don’t let him get away with it Tom!  Great show!

    • GretchenMo

      So is nuclear being subsidized now?  We haven’t had a new nuclear plant in decades so the subsidies can’t be that meaningful.  The military subsidies all industries to some extent.  We deploy it so we can ship in cheap t-shirts from Myanmar …

      • TFRX

        Someone else wanna explain this? I don’t have the patience to explain to Gretch about, say, the cap on nuke plant liability.

        • GretchenMo

          Wow, if you cap the liability, then why isn’t everyone building them?  Though it’s hard to realize the benefit of a liabiltiy cap.  How much has this cap cost us over the history of nuclear power?

          • TFRX

            If you can’t see the benefit of a liability cap, I can’t possibly dumb it down for you any further.

          • GretchenMo

            I see the benefit, just not the ongoing costs in terms of US taxpayer outlay.  What’d this cost us last year?

          • TFRX

            Wrong question. Ask the Gulf states what BP’s slipshoddery cost them before Deepwater Horizon. It was pretty damn cheap until it all went to crap, and then we discovered how much damage and how little money they were responsible for, and what “legal” meant.

            (And, yep, I can’t believe I have to explain this to you.)

          • GretchenMo

            Dude, the topic is nuclear.  Take your BP reference and stick it … in another thread that cares.

          • TFRX

            Can I buy some insurance from you? You obviously don’t know a rapacious giveaway when you subsidize one.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Three Mile Island mean anything to you?
              Fukushima?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Because, to avoid paying out on the liability the next time a nuke melts down, the government has actually imposed a few modest safety regulations since Three Mile Island, and that has added to the already exorbitant cost of construction ($10-15 billion).

            Additionally, nobody seems to want them in their backyards anymore (since I helped stop them 40 years ago).

            But, in addition to public liability caps, the government (i.e. taxpayers) also subsidize both fuel processing and waste disposal. And, even with all that largess from the good people of America, precious few investors seem interested. Isn’t that odd?

          • TFRX

            Should I have a car crash costing over my $X coverage, I pay the extra.

            Should a nuclear plant disasterize over their $Z coverage, taxpayers pay the extra.

            It makes every car insurance policy I’ve ever paid for look like an Adam Smith wet dream. (Free, informed markets, rational choices, etc.)

      • John in Amherst

         As long as we permit nuclear power generation without requiring the industry to kick in more for the cost of waste storage and decommissioning reactors, the industry is being subsidized, either by us or the generations that will follow.  Nuke waste and reactor parts will be a hazard stretching several times further into the future than the entire time homo sapiens have existed to date.  Our generation is poisoning the planet in perpetuity to satiate our current energy appetite.  We will be damned by our descendents.   

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          “We will be damned by our descendents.”  

          No Worries, Mate. Our descendants won’t live long enough to damn a river.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        It’s easy to see that nuclear IS subsidized!  $3 BILLION, or more to build the last nuclear plants EACH.  One that I know brings in $1 Million per day, when operating, and I believe that is BEFORE expenses of operation, maintenance and HUGE Security costs.
           THAT is without considering the costs of high-level and low-level radiation-contaminated wastes.
           The COSTS of Fussion Energy(?), are ASTRONOMICAL, and haven’t produced Killowatts yet!  HAS to be part of the nuclear COST!
           Nuclear Fussion has been ’25 years into the future’, for over 50 YEARS, so far, and STILL IS!

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          It’s fusion. But fussion sounds more apropos. Fussy, fussy, fussy.

  • George

    lets call a spade a spade. this is another example of the congress  bought and paid for by the oil/energy companies. how is this in any sense a ‘conservative’ position. these right wing ideologues should be called out for their blatent disregard for the  future and the lives of the people. at what cost peak oil, global warming, habitat loss, pollution, etc, etc which are the inevitable result of burning more hydrocarbons?
    talk to the nuclear guys about crony capitalism! cheers, gt

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    iOnePoint:

    Oil and Government are inseparable. The 2 will never divorced even if there are extra marital affairs going on.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    There’s a great (and sad) irony that conservatives seem to miss the point that “conservative” and “conservation” share the word “conserve”. Yet the only conservation the conservatives in Congress seem to think about is conserving the profits for Big Oil and Coal, their political donors, and thereby their jobs.

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

    Sam (the caller) said it, almost perfectly! Adam too — speaking truth to power.

    Climate change is the most serious threat to our survival that we have ever faced.

    Neil

  • AlanThinks

    The crux of the matter is that Republicans are stupid – they have their heads in the hole avoiding the massive wave of change coming over the world. Their denial of climate change is the height of irresponsibility

  • YouRang

    I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I second the comment that there isn’t enough water or land.  Green energy IS NOT GREEN.  The loss of habitat from growing stuff just to burn it is not environmentally respectful.  Nuclear (with all its disposal and safety problems) is a better option.  Even wind isn’t particularly green with the loss of habitat.

  • Bill

    How ironic – a military, one of whose prime missions is protecting fuel imports, is taking the lead in developing replacements for imported fuel 

    • Chris

      You hit the nail on the head.

      The U.S. is falling so far behind Germany and China and other countries that don’t have policies that are destroying them and their future it’s beyond scary.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Renewable Fuels, are RENEWABLE!  We DON’T have to drill MILES into the earth, at HIGHER and HIGHER COST, to get fuel!  Harvest it off land, and land-fills?
       ALL the Congress that opposes Renewable Fuels, should be put out to pasture, where they will thrive on the ‘green’ put in their pockets by Big Oil, which we still SUBSIDIZE!

  • Aaron

    Almost all technological innovation of the last 50 years has started with the military, not the least of which is the internet I’m now typing this message on. There’s no reason to think that this initial outlay would pay huge dividends down the road in terms of economic, technological, and environmental progress. And building capacity around renewables is NOT the same as ethanol, as the one speaker continues to crow about. Ethanol is a crop and by definition not renewable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mhammerschlag Michael Hammerschlag

    It isn’t Congress, it’s Repubs, who have officially transmuted from a political org to a criminal enterprise (helped by a few Dem coal/oil prostitutes), who deny all science. This is national security issue, not some fuzzy eco-aspiration,….

     and what do people think our military response will be when hundreds of millions starve from global warming drought- that’s coming like a freight train. Think worldwide riots, deaths, disease might destabilize things a  bit for pax-Americana?

    • Azra

      Those “blue DOGS” aren’t really Democrats. They just ran as Dems to get elected, but are totally corrupt, and have none of the Democratic values. They only seem to value money; THAT’S NOT DEMOCRATIC.

  • Bob Letcher

    As long as nuclear power remains so cheap we don’t have to meter it”, why go green!?  Emphasis on the sarcasm.

  • Morgan Broderick

    Hello On Point.     My name is Morgan Broderick, I’m 11. I think it is great that the Pentagon wants the military to go green, and so does my mom. I think it would be great if the military went green because we have been polluting our earth for far too long. I also would like my children to live on a safe planet.     Thank you, On Point is great!            Morgan Broderick (11)

    • HeidiFox

      Morgan, I think it is great that you listen to On Point. Keep educating yourself on issues that are important for our future.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Morgan, you and your mom will have to keep watching the people that want to pollute YOUR future, for their own wealth!
         If it had been left to the coal companies, we would still be using coal-fired steam engines for transportation.
         Thanks for getting interested at your age!

  • Peter

    The resistance to this change is just congress supporting special interests and John McCain  still thinking he’s running against Obama. Just like his absurd claims that Obama intentionally leaked classified info to strengthen his re-election efforts.

  • http://twitter.com/PoigniantPolit PoigniantlyPolitical

    The American people have to understand it’s not the government that’s the problem it’s the politicians that are the problem. We don’t respect our military, school teachers, police and firefighters but we trust the politicians to make decisions on concerning science and the business of the military. We have an entire generation of legislative politicians that are completely incompetent and incapable of making any decision. Get the politicians out of government.

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

    Funny how the argument shifts from “the military knows what the military should do and we should not interfere and impose politics on that” to “this is what the military must do” when it will affect lobbyists clients profits.

  • Witterquick

    If the largest user of energy (military) is interested in conservation energy and moving to alternative energy then we should encourage that.  We might then actually see a breakthrough in technology and research similar to the effect the space program had back in the 60’s.  Congress is pathetic.  I wonder if their approval rating could actually go to a negative number.

  • Eluleb

    Isn’t The Cato Institute funded by the Koch brothers?

    • GretchenMo

      Why does that matter?

      • http://twitter.com/saabrian Brian

        Because money and who gets it is at the heart of this discussion.

        • GretchenMo

          So tie it all up in a neat bow for me.

          • Walnut28

             Koch brothers are known for throwing billions into such things as dismantling social security, as well as supporting family interests in oil, and “owning” controlling interests in such think tanks as Cato Institute: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_family

          • GretchenMo

            They appear to control more than 10% of corn based ethanol market, so I guess they’re green too.

          • John in Amherst

             They control a part of the ethanol market because they are greedy SOB’s who see a way to milk gov’t. subsidies to agribusiness, NOT because they give a hoot about ecology.

          • GretchenMo

            There are no innocents here.

  • conservemam

    And it’s not crony capitalism by congress who are in the pockets of BIG OIL!!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    REDUCE the subsidies to Big Oil, and Big Coal, which pay their EXECUTEives BIG MONEY, with our subsidies.
        Put THOSE subsidies into Renewable Energy!
        Prebble is being deliberately mis-leading!
         Brazil is using BioFuels, CHEAPER than Oil!
         Brazil can use oil, OR BioFuels, with Flex-Fuel Vehicles NOW!
        Technology developed in the U.S.!

    • Azra

      How dare you even suggest such a thing? Have a heart. Hope you don’t expect them to forfeit their measly Christmas bonuses. They have presents to buy, like the rest of us. You’re not a grinch, are you?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The Grinch that Stole Billionaires’ Christmas?  I guess I am?
           Prebble brands me a bad guy for this?

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

    In Iraq and Afghanistan, huge cost and logistic problem has always been getting fuel to where the troops are. Anything to reduce that footprint would reduce costs and save lives.

  • John in Amherst

     I am “green” with regard to recognizing climate change and a dire need
    to mitigate it.  However cane-based ethanol, like corn-based ethanol, is
    almost certainly NOT a wise choice.  A primary problem is the relatively low “energy density” of ethanol.  What’s more, the energy input for refining
    fermented, plant-based ethanol, and the need for fertilizers, water and
    valuable food-crop land make this strategy  a loser, except for
    subsidized agribusiness farmers. 

    • GretchenMo

      Are you from the Cato Institute?  You sound like this guy!

      • John in Amherst

         Actually, Scientific American (hardly a right-wing rag) has had extensive articles on this. 

        We need to face up to the fact that our U.S. life style is more lavishly energy-dependent than is sustainable.  We need more efficient transportation (higher mpg & public forms like rail that use less energy/mile) & housing (SMALLER and more insulated against heat and cold).  We need to stop growing suburbs far into the countryside and stop developing areas like the arid and hot southwest that are unsustainable in terms of water and energy.  We need more locally grown food.  Etc. etc.   If Cato is for all this, I’ll eat my hat.

        • GretchenMo

          That sounds environmentally friendly; hat eating.

          • John in Amherst

             Ya, it is a free-range hat.

  • Isabelle

    You can’t just make a statement like “There are other ways of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions without subsidizing a suboptimal market” – what would the guest recommend?

  • AC

    may i ask specifically how many congressman have foolishly decided not to transition and which states they are from?
    is it weird that I’m actually scared by the reps in office at the moment?

    • GretchenMo

      Great question, no answers apparently.  It might have been helpful to have one of them on.  The panel was too busy and too slanted to be helpful.

    • Azra

      We should all be very scared.

  • J__o__h__n

    The internet wasn’t cost effective compared to phonecalls and letters when the military started building that. 

    • GretchenMo

      The internet was about connnecting computers and networks of computers.  It took the private sector to find a higher purpose, like sexting.

    • RobertLongView

      The gov’t didn’t know what they had with ARPA until Al Gore explained the concept of political sound bites and photo ops… .

  • http://twitter.com/saabrian Brian

    We always knew who these politicians represented
    so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

  • Tsughrue

    The less gas that the miltary uses the less demand on daily supply of gas is needed this keeps the oil price down. Example in the winter the bases in NJ switch from NG to oil and drives the heating oil prices up during the coldest time of the year. The home grown Biofuels might never be lower priced but you might  be able to produce then in places that don’t have oil so you might be able to produce it in place instead of have to ship it in.

  • Elizabeth in RI

    This IS A NATIONAL SECURITY issue and Congress should be embarrassed for meddling with it. This is a classic example of Congress putting its special interests ahead of national concerns – and ignoring its own belief in “trickle down” as nearly all of military innovation has done throughout the ages. When so many “Conservatives” seem to drinking the Koch Brothers et al kool-aid, how do we get beyond the idea that “we can’t afford it”? When did we become such a bunch of head in the sand cry babies rather than forward thinking innovators?? This sense of working for future generations is what made us a Super power – and the loss of that is dragging us down.

    • Margbi

       For an answer to your question, read Rachel Maddow’s
      book “Drift”.

    • Azra

      From what I’ve heard, America started going down the tubes during the Reagan administration.

    • RobertLongView

      Could it be the TEA Party plan to take the American Government hostage in order to starve the “Beast” to death?  Even Ronald Reagan could not get elected in this current Republican party said Zeb or Jeb Bush.  

  • Maxgcan

    Why would the US military want to reduce our dependence in foreign oil anyway? Dependence in foreign oil means more wars, the military is in the business of wars, therefore they want more dependence in foreign oil. Let us not forget President Eisenhower’s warning about the military complex in his last speach as President of the United States.

    Max from Newton

  • Caleb

    Energy is a paramount resource.  In defense, I would argue it is as important as weaponry. Regardless of the cost, there is a finite amount of fossil fuel on this planet and it takes a couple hundred MILLION years to make more.  At some point in the future we will be shifting to more sustainable forms of energy. If we want the best defense department in the world, I would like it to be ahead of the curve on this one.  The economy sucks right now, sure, but when is it going to be perfect?  This shift to sustainable fuels needs to happen ASAP.

    Also it is just bananas that congress is even throwing their two cents in on this.  What if they were discussing developing this new weapon called a “drone” but it was more costly than current aircraft, would congress nix it from the budget?

    • GretchenMo

      Yes, especially by those in whose districts airplanes are manufactured.

  • Walnut28

    Just attended memorial service for Dr. Talbot Chubb. Naturalist and humanist Dr. Chubb worked with Oppenheimer on splitting the atom; went on for a stellar career at the Naval Research Lab (identifying Black Holes). But the last 20 years of his life was dedicated to Cold Fusion power.  Many of his colleagues and family members expressed his distress at the inability to get funding and/or backing from gov’t for developing this incredibly safe & clean form of power.  I’m not a scientist, myself.  But I’m just saying….as per a recent interview on NPR w/ one of TWO scientists in Congress, we should be electing more scientists and fewer lawyers.   

  • Cui Bonum

    What fraction of our military budget is an attempt made manifest to subsidise the price of our petroleum-derived energy?

    • GretchenMo

      Ballpark, 3%.

      • nj_v2

        ^ A dispatch from right field.

    • jimino

       I have read that over $300,000 of the annual cost of $1,000,000 to deploy EACH troop in a foreign country such as Afghanistan is for fuel.  And I don’t think much of the other $700,000 goes to the soldier.  Just where does it all go?

  • HeidiFox

    This is why debate is so important, and the filibuster as currently used in the Senate is just obstructionist and does not further legitimate discussion.  

    I lean towards the argument that all but Christopher Preble support. The government invests where the private markets won’t because the risks are great and profitability not assured.  As that venture capitalist caller said, the military is a large market and has made the investments that in the long-term create less risks for the private markets.  

    What I am trying to remain open-minded about, is Christopher Preble’s claim that some of these alternative fuels have already proven to be unsustainable.  How can we make sure that the investments the military makes are in the alternative fuels that hold the greatest potential?

    What I don’t understand, is how Congress’s call for prohibiting the purchase of alternative fuels to the extent that they cost more than the price of petroleum products is an appropriate/effective measure of alternative fuels’ potential.  It seems to me to be a too simplistic, short-sighted prohibition.  

    • GretchenMo

      No doubt, but don’t ignore the potential for political, non-science-based decision making from both sides.  There are special interests on all sides of this.

      • HeidiFox

        I have lost faith in the public’s ability to overcome partisan, simplistic rhetoric.  

        It is so difficult to sort through all the misinformation, and too easy to be satisfied with our preconceived notions. 

        Media outlets like NPR are better than most at seeking truth, although some will claim its “liberal bias”.  I want to be educated, even if the truth dispels some of my bias.  I’m not sure if most politicians these days want that.  I would like our politicians to find common ground and work on real solutions.

        The need to change our energy consumption of fossil fuels is real, and the military’s making an effort to do so is positive.   

  • Stillin

    Oh thank you, thank you thank you for giving the graduation speech that needs to be said all over this country. I have taught 18 years, and I have NEVER EVER seen such a bunch of mollie coddled babied students than I have this year. Anything less than 100 and the parents come in screaming. Administration files it’s nails as the parents rail HOW DARE YOU! MY BABY!I think d-k pre-k should start in Somalia, how about Darfur, and then maybe the parents would get a clue. I would never advise teaching as a career to anybody with this student make up, it’s all a joke. You know the guy behind the curtain in the original wizard of oz? Welcome to your local public school system.  Make the show begin.

    • Markus

       Much too broad. A good (not great) student like in this high school spends 3
      to 5 hours every night studying plus another 6+ on weekends. Plus most have
      extra-curricular activities where again the pressure is on them to do well.

       

      I’m not saying this is right or even the best way to create good workers,
      citizens, whatever. And I’m not saying they aren’t protected or that their
      parents don’t swoop in frequently.  But be careful saying they are babied. This
      kind of school (and it is very different from the average public school) and the
      parents put tremendous pressure on kids. For a lot of reasons, including this,
      they do very well. But they sure aren’t babied.

      • Nutricj

        Race to Nowhere

      • Stillin

         Well, at where I work, they ARE babied. If you were here, I am sure, after watching, you would agree. The “extra curricular” activites are sports, where baby sport jocks are  born, and they are the most babied of all. Trust that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    The main goal of the US Navy and Airforce is to have a plane that can travel 12 times the speed of sound and maintain that speed. The Aurora spy plane has been bzzing aroung Southern California for quite sometime now. The witnesses have seen triangular shape objects on the skies of California the leaves a unique smoke contrail.

    • BigLocal

      How stupid!!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        They don’t care about Green Energy because it can’t travel 12 times the speed of sound.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Aurora spy plane use Pulse propulsion. Pulse propulsion was used by the Germans during WW2. they used it on their V1 rockets.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The same thing was seen by thousands, including governor Fife Symington, over Phoenix in 1997. UFO’s.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Brazil went to Flex-Fuel Vehicles, DECADES ago, and can run their autos on Gas, Methanol, or Ethanol, whichever is available, or cheaper per mile at the time!
       BioFuels have been their main fuel source, since then, BECAUSE it is cheaper per mile!
       They got their Flex-Fuel Vehicle Technology from the U.S.!
       The U.S. STILL runs on SUBSIDIZED Big Oil?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    iOnePoint:

    One Point I guess is little behind on the Green Pentagon news. Mark Schweiker was interviewed by Forbes and he said:

    Department of Energy, Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Agriculture have committed to investing $510 million during the next three years to advance biofuels production. Now, as a part of the Defense Department’s fiscal budget review, the House and now Senate Armed Services Committee have banned it from buying alternative fuels priced higher than fossil fuels. If the budget passes in the full Senate, early biofuels investment and testing by the Defense Department will be effectively squashed.
    Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has made it a top priority to diversify the Navy’s energy portfolio by engaging in biofuels testing programs. Doing so assuredly decreases U.S. dependence on foreign oil and adds much-needed revenue and jobs to the U.S. economy. We can no longer rely on oil as our sole fuel source for the military.

    Last year, the U.S. military spent approximately $15 billion on fuel for its operations and oil prices continue to increase due to global demand and political unrest in petroleum-rich countries. Now, more than ever, our military is subject to the resulting volatile fuel prices. According to Mabus, for every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, the U.S. military fuel expenditure increases by $31 million. Unlike oil, biofuels are derived from biomass that is abundant and available right here in our country. Building a robust biofuels industry that produces a consistent supply of home grown fuel for our soldiers strengthens our national security and is the smart, economic choice for our economy. The Defense Department will have a reliable supply of stably priced fuel, and a growing biofuels industry will reinvigorate jobs in rural economies.

    by Mark Schweiker

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Forbes.com article dated 06/12/12

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      This a cover up by the US Government spend a little money on Green energy so the American people and Congress ARE CONVINCE that USAF is doing something for greener energy but not really.

      Let us talk about this issue in 5 years and I bet it will be the same. No Green Energy for USAF.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     Memo to Tom and onpoint.

    You can favor the development of biofuel alternatives and still realize that these Pentagon expenditures on demo biofuels are a complete waste of money — borrowed money.

    • Gregg

      …or printed money.

      • RobertLongView

        You worried about inflation, eh?  Whose the Presidential Candidate that has all his retirement invested in Gold?  Is that a hedge?

        • Gregg

          I’m not a fan of printing money but my point is the government has none unless they print, borrow or confiscate it.

    • Azra

      . . . unlike huge tax cuts for some of the richest people IN THE WORLD.

    • Doubting Thomas

      When private enterprise actually starts researching pure knowledge, rather than taking late-stage advanced development concepts and bringing them to market, then you would be correct.

      Not an attack on you personally; most people on the front-end of industry don’t realize what goes on in the back-end, where R&D is located. What companies call “R&D”, is actually “advanced development”. To date, government and universities are the only institutions who actively push the boundaries. Steve Jobs was a brilliant systems engineer and marketer, not a theoretical physicist.

  • Bruce

    Fascinating program today.  Thanks OnPoint for having a balanced conversation about a topic which reveals the disconnect of the Far Right, laissez-faire, libertarian position from reality when it comes to the serious matters of national security and economic sustainability. 

    How predictable that the Cato Institute spokesperson would rely on the old canard of “crony capitalism” to reject the types of state intervention and investment needed to plan for and mitigate the effects (strategic, social, environmental) of our dependence on fossil fuels–the supply of which is limited and ultimately will be depleted at a cost that could cripple our economy and ruin the biosphere unless “green” alternatives are developed. 

    How gratifying to hear the ease with which the callers and other panelists shred the Cato Institute arguments for rejecting the type of public investment required in order to explore a range of options that will address this critical issue. 

  • Bruce

    Fascinating program today.  Thanks OnPoint for having a balanced conversation about a topic which reveals the disconnect of the Far Right, laissez-faire, libertarian position from reality when it comes to the serious matters of national security and economic sustainability. 

    How predictable that the Cato Institute spokesperson would rely on the old canard of “crony capitalism” to reject the types of state intervention and investment needed to plan for and mitigate the effects (strategic, social, environmental) of our dependence on fossil fuels–the supply of which is limited and ultimately will be depleted at a cost that could cripple our economy and ruin the biosphere unless “green” alternatives are developed. 

    How gratifying to hear the ease with which the callers and other panelists shred the Cato Institute arguments for rejecting the type of public investment required in order to explore a range of options that will address this critical issue. 

  • John in Amherst

    “Green” has become a catch-all for energy produced in ways that lessen
    pollution.  Some forms of energy production – like fermented corn
    ethanol – are not truly green, though cellulosic ethanol may be.  Other
    “green” technologies, like Craig Venter’s ideas about bio-recombinant
    organisms that produce oils may also bear fruit.  And renewable “green”
    sources like wind and solar ARE soaking up subsidies, but have sound
    promise of future economic viability.  Unfortunately, lobby money is
    choking the reasoning ability of congress, and we are stuck with dumbass
    ideas like corn-based ethanol, while developing solar, wind or more
    exotic ideas languish. 
     
    But the bottom line is this:  We need to face up to the fact that our U.S. life style is more lavishly
    energy-dependent than is sustainable.  We need more efficient
    transportation (higher mpg & public forms like rail that use less
    energy/mile) & housing (SMALLER and more insulated against heat and cold).  We need less energy-hogging diversions.  We need to stop growing suburbs far into the countryside and
    stop developing areas like the arid and hot southwest that are
    unsustainable in terms of water and energy.  We need more locally grown food.  Etc. etc. 

  • GretchenMo

    I think it would be more palatable if the dollars went to university research labs, then we wouldn’t have to worry about the political contributions and quid pro quo to the same extent. 

    • J__o__h__n

      There’s no patronage and pork in delivering money to universities?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Sad to say tha the Armed Forces of the United States are not interested in Green Energy. They should have found a solution years ago. if they can built subs that can dive so deep in the ocean and planes that can travel faster than the speed of sound but they can’t invent or find a greener energy source to power their arsenals.

    They can but they won’t do it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Remember it is not Money. If the Black programs are beyond top secret and are not audit just imagine how many trillions of dollars were spent since they started building Skunks works and the time the U-2 was developed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    USAF wants an energy that can be use to power highly sophisticated planes but going green will not achieve their goal of sophistication.

    Hybrid Planes cannot travel faster than the speed of sound.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      YET?

    • Pagassae

      Just use some of those alien ships found at Roswell back in the ’40s.

  • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

    The US is AWOL

    The US wages never-ending war in order to protect the “American Way of Life” (AWOL), which requires a reliable and endless supply of petroleum.

    The Pentagon is the worlds’ largest consumer of petroleum, so the control of the world’s oil is necessary in order to control the world’s oil to protect AWOL. Catch 22.

    Half of the Pentagon’s oil is consumed by the Air Force, and 85% of that used to move personnel, equipment and fuel around the world in order to control the oil to fuel the military to protect AWOL. Catch 22.

    Which means that the defense of AWOL is the leading cause of the global warming and ecological devastation which is undermining and destroying AWOL. Catch 22.

    The US Navy is the world’s largest consumer of diesel fuel, and now the largest user of biodiesel from genetically-modified soybeans which we can’t sell to the EU and which are displacing heirloom food crops and contributing to food shortages and escalating food prices.

    Which means that the defense of AWOL is a major cause of global hunger and strife which is a threat to, and hence requires the defense of, AWOL. Catch 22.

    • Pagassae

      First comment you have made that makes sense, good going.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Every one of my comments makes impeccable sense, though this may be the first time you’ve been able to recognize it.

        • Gregg

          Yea, like Chomsky being a stopped clock or that there is no distinction between “inalienable” and “unalienable” or that a published song is merely an idea. Gotcha, no hubris here.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Hubris or arrogance is pretending you’re something you’re not, such as an airhead and hot air bag like you. 

            Speaking from a place of knowledge is humility.

          • Pagassae

            Or some over age adolescent who loves name calling….like you.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Naming something for what it is – calling a spade a spade, for instance – is hardly the same as name-calling, which is an infantile behavior enacted by empty minds.

          • Gregg

            So a “Nascar cracker” ISN’T a human?

          • Pagassae

            Robert Rivertune is a total BORE.

          • Gregg

            So Chomsky is a stopped clock and there is no distinction between inalienable and unalienable in the founder’s minds? And Liebestraum was just an idea?

            So now I’m just pretending to be an air head? Make up your mind.

        • Pagassae

          Ya right, you are indeed a genius…in your own mind.  Not very bright, no class or manners, filled with self congratulatory promotion.

          If you were half as bright as you think you are, CNN would be knocking on your door asking for interviews…Wolf Blitzer would be your best bud…. Instead you make incessant, silly and hubris laden comments on a web site any fool with a computer can post to. How impressive.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            IQ 140. What’s yours?

          • Pagassae

            Like I said Rivertune…BORING. Call you mom, perhaps she cares.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Simple question.  NO answer?

    • Gregg

      Iraq is now producing bookoos of oil. We made that possible and took none of it. We were hardly protecting the AWOL. When our military protects the free flow of oil at market prices it benefits the entire world.

      If we accept your claim that fossil fuels are causing climate change then shouldn’t we be more concerned with China and India protecting their way of life?

      Isn’t the use of biofuel an effort to allegedly protect the AWOL? Drilling would protect it better IMO.

      The world would be in heap big trouble without America.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        That’s what I meant with my comment.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        When the US military went into Iraq, it immediately protected the oil fields and allowed the ancient cultural artifacts and administrative buildings to be looted.

        Perhaps you forget that at first Bush called it Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) until his aids thought that might be a bit too obvious.

        But the primary reason we had to take out our old buddy Saddam is because he was threatening to open an oil bourse based on the Euro rather than the dollar (Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was threatening the same).

        I won’t bother answering the know-nothing question about a “claim that fossil fuels are causing climate change”. 

        The production of biofuel protects nothing but the profits of Archer Daniel Midland.

        And the world is in a heap of trouble because of the US. We’ve engaged in 191 military actions in our short history, and the CIA alone has killed more than 6 million people worldwide.

        • Gregg

          So we did take the oil?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            The very first act of the Coalition
            Provisional Authority under Lieutenant General Jay Garner was to open Iraqi oil fields to international petroleum companies (except French companies, because France didn’t support the invasion).

          • Gregg

            No, France was on the take with “Oil for Food”. They are also part of the UN security council that voted for Res. 1441.

            You made my point: “When our military protects the free flow of oil at market prices it benefits the entire world.” 

            Did we take the oil or not? I don’t think so. Doesn’t that shred your argument? Smarty pants.

        • Pagassae

          Never mind the two world wars started by Germany, or the millions killed by Stalin…  Your memory is as faulty as your supposed logic, Mr. Rivertune.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Why entirely blame it to the US military when the American consumers are actually using more oil or diesel or fossil fuel than anybody else in the world. Yes it is a fact that US military used oil but have you counted the Factories all over America that are using vast quantatity of oil to produce capitalistic products that each one of us are using from plastics, cans,wrappers etc etc.

      The goal of United Armed Forces to control oil in order for the American people to have supplies and use them but China is almost over taking our consumption and exploring the South China sea for oil reserve even it will take war to get their oil.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        You missed the essential fact: the Pentagon is the largest consumer of petroleum in the world. 

    • William

      The AWOL is how the rest of the world should live too, but too many of them have rejected success for Socialism. So let those that embrace a failed economic system suffer while we enjoy our way of life. For those that don’t appreciate it, move overseas and suffer with those fools.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        Don’t blame Socialism blame Capitalism.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Those poor Germans and Sweedes!  How soon do you DEMAND that they regress to AWOL?

        • Gregg

          I have some dear friends from Germany. It took them 2 years but just last month they became dual citizens. They certainly don’t want to return to Germany.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I know some dual citizens, too.  They may go either way, depending on which country makes the most mistakes.  Right now, the U.S. isn’t looking too good to working-class.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        Right. The worst wealth disparity, the worst health care system, the lowest life expectancy, the highest crime rate, a failing educational system and a government of, by and for the corporations.

        On the contrary, the new Mercosur trading block is mostly socialist and doing quite nicely now that it has freed itself from Western capitalist IMF control.

        • Pagassae

          Exaggerate much?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Not at all.

          • Pagassae

            Sorry Rivertune, exaggeration is your mantra.

      • Bruce

        Your statement about spreading AWOL worldwide is remarkable.  I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered such a succinct and penetrating expression of what it truly means to embrace American exceptionalism, that is, an exceptional hubris and narcissisism that, if we’re not careful, our children and grandchildren will pay a heavy price for and wind up loathing us for.

      • RolloMartins

        Those Scandinavians are crying in their beer, I bet.

      • Azra

        Failed??? Just the opposite. Better look again.

    • Bruce

      Cleverly put…connections & contradictions that cannot be  dismissed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat
    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat
      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        Sorry the link is not working. It is a new plane being develop by Skunk Works that can take off from the bottom of the ocean.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ONE of how many?

  • Sndnh

    Hi folks — Maybe I’m blind, and/or certainly inept, but I thought Tom said this morning that a transcript of the “you’re not special” Wellesly graduation speech was available at this site.  All I can find is the video. 

    • Pagassae

      Try You Tube.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Transcripts are usually said to be next-day?

  • feettothefire

    Of all the topics shows like OnPoint cover, this is the saddest, by far. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum first came into widespread use at the advent of the Industrial Revolution, over 170 years ago. They were a great boon to the burgeoning industrial forces which changed the face of most of the developed world. Indeed, they created much of what we now consider the developed world. They decimated the whaling industry, whose highly expensive and inefficient forays around the world became redundant. How can it be that 150 years later, we’re still as dependent as we are on an energy source we first called upon before “Huckleberry Finn” was written. When fossil fuels first became all the rage, people in this country still owned other people. People routinely died from injuries as simple as a cut finger. It took months to travel from one coast to the other, if you were lucky enough to make it alive. Today, all of these things have changed because of research and innovation. Travel, communications, medicine have all moved out of the nineteenth century, many times over. But not energy. This reluctance by so many to move into a new century and to support a vigorous search for another way can  be described in many ways. The best is, STUPID.

    • Gregg

      I see a reluctance to bring the country to a screeching halt by abandoning fossil fuels at this time. I see a reluctance to put more taxpayer money into failed green energy companies. I see a reluctance to increase military spending for any reason. I see a reluctance to pay $5/gal. for gas. I don’t see any reluctance to vigorously explore alternatives.

      • feettothefire

         The screeching halt was never necessary. Concerns about the cost and availability of fossil fuels have been a pestering nuisance to this country and the world since the first OPEC oil embargo, THIRTY NINE years ago. I was a junior in high school. I’m fifty six years old now. If this country had decided in the seventies to vigorously pursue R+D in the energy field, I have every confidence that we’d be far further along in the effort to free ourselves from the choke-hold of petroleum and coal. But, instead, we simply kicked the can down the road , year after year. Every four or five years, as the price of oil or gas went through the roof we’d cry, “now is not the time.” Well, if the good times when oil is cheap is not the time, simply because oil is cheap so why bother, and if the bad times when oil is expensive is not the time, please tell me. When will there be a time? If “Drill, baby, drill” is to be the popular sentiment, it won’t be anytime soon.

        • Gregg

          I don’t see any reluctance to vigorously explore alternatives and we are. Now is the time, let’s do it. I am actually seriously looking into buying an old (1927) retired dam and bringing it back online.  It can be had from Duke Power for $10 but Mr. Featherstone says he’d take $8. It comes with no land just the concrete and impounded water… and the liability. A private enterprise just did the same thing with another nearby dam and they’re making a mint. I own property on the river above the dam so it makes sense.  
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM7ggUmvT9w

          In the meantime, which is also a groovy time, the world runs on oil.

          • feettothefire

             Sorry Gregg, no sale. If you don’t think the dismal record of energy R+D since my long ago high school days gives a clear indication of where this country is heading, you’re simply fooling yourself. If the kind of investment we see, of both time and money, in developing nice new electronic toys for our amusement were put towards the development of new energy tech, we’d probably be free of petroleum in ten years or less. Had that kind of investment been made years ago, we might be energy independent today. Despite the fact that government and academia sponsor the lions share of research and development in this country, Republicans and other small government disciples will scream bloody murder at the mention of government money going towards new energy development. SOLYNDRA, SOLYNDRA, SOLYNDRA they’ll cry, as if that debacle epitomizes everything government has ever done, while ignoring the fact that I’m talking to you right now because of a technology that was developed through government research. Apropos of nothing, I’ve always found that amusing. Every day millions of conservative, small government, free market devotees use the INTERNET to convey their thoughts about the ineptitude and waste of government. Now that’s irony.

          • Gregg

            Your entitled to your opinion and you may be right but it’s speculation. I do not agree at all that we could be free from fossil fuels by now. I’m speculating too.

            Solyndra is a big deal because of the warnings and horrible decision to reverse Bush’s stance on the loan for appearances. They are not the only one, there was Evergreen and others. No one said it epitomizes everything the government has ever done. But I will say it epitomizes the green energy initiative under Obama. I’m on solid ground with that. The money spent per job gained is obscene and then they go out of business.

            But I’m talking here and now not the past. I see no reluctance on either side of the aisle to not explore alternatives. And the Republican bashing is just that. That pompous ass, Mr. Riversong (sorry), pointed out that Republican controlled Texas has more wind generators than anywhere else in the Country. Ted Kennedy rejected the wind farm in Cape Cod. Karl Rove came out in support of funding just the other day.

            http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-05/wind-tax-credits-vital-to-energy-independence-rove-says

          • RobertLongView

            Actually, the earth is making more fossil fuel as we speak — it’ll spout forth one day at my place and i’m moving to the South Fork anyday now.

          • feettothefire

             Very surprising about Rove. Kudos to him. But let’s see what Republican’s in congress have to say about extending this credit. If they do, I’ll admit my surprise. If they don’t, I won’t be surprised at all. I’m betting on the latter.

          • Gregg

            Fair enough but I don’t think the issue is opposing alternative energy. It’s opposing bad fiscal policy in hard times. The record thus far is not good.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WHICH other new companies could withstand its ensconsed competition DROPPING prices by 25%, when just starting up?
               THAT would DESTROY almost ANY company?
               Show some that have survived such a start?

          • RobertLongView

            T. Boone Pickens  is too old to be running for POTUS? Maybe an old crony could use a little help w/ the wind farm ROI with Natural Gas so cheap now…. . 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            And keep your god damned government hands off my Medicare!

          • Gregg

            Too late, Obamacare guts it $500 billion and counts it twice. Any serious effort to fix it is met with Democrat ads showing grandma being thrown off a cliff or some other dishonest demonizing BS intended to scare old people. They did it to GWB, they did it to Newt.

          • Bruce

            Nope, what he gutted was subsidies to insurance companies 
            under Medicare Advantage. ACA strengthens Medicare.  Ryan’s proposal dismantles it.

          • RobertLongView

            Medicare Advantage, hmmm.    Must be for congressmen.

          • Gregg

            That’s medicare. 

          • RobertLongView

            Maybe they’ll throw in an old grist mill too?

          • Gregg

            It’s now underwater, the history is amazing and right in my back yard. Don’t get me started.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            AMAZING that you can be this passionate about one form of Green Energy, and praise Subsidized Big Oil, and Big Coal, as the ONLY real answers?

          • Gregg

            Please don’t tell me what I think.

      • Azra

        Tjere’s quite a lot you don’t see. For instance, the FACT that gas prices are lower than they typically are at this time of year. Last I heard, gas prices had dropped to $3.42 a gallon, not $5.00.

        • Gregg

          Not my point. Obama has said he wants high gas prices commiserate with Europe. I’m against that.

          • Pagassae

            Of course you would be against that. Keep on burning fossil fuels until the planet dies.

          • Gregg

            Not what I said. Are you in favor of $5/gal. gas as an artificial means of forcing ourselves off of it?

          • Pagassae

            Actually yes…maybe $8 or more. Americans need to face the real world. We need national high speed rail, and modern public transportation. And I love cars too…but that is not the major issue.
            Check out the price of gasoline in Norway, and also their standard of living, national health insurance, and longevity. All top of the charts. Lucky for them, they do not have to support the MIC and its corrupt minions in Congress.

          • Gregg

            That’s honest, I appreciate that. I’m still against it.

          • Pagassae

            Thanks.  The sad fact is that the US had a first class national rail network and public transportation system. All abandonded in the late 1940′s and ’50s.

          • jefe68

            One problem with that. We are not Norway.

            I agree with you about the need for high speed rail. The problem is
            making people in states that would not use it nor benefit from it pay for taxes on gas when they depend on their vehicles.

            We can’t even get people in Western Mass to pay an extra gas tax to help fund public transportation in the Boston area.
            Even though the majority of the jobs are in Boston. MGH alone employs 22 thousand people with Brigham and Women’s coming in second at 19 thousand.

            Most of the people who work in these health care complexes are using public transportation.

          • RobertLongView

            Carbon Tax Offsets!

          • Pagassae

            Go to bed Mr. Rivertune, your 240 IQ is over worked.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            It is NOT artificial!  Oil-fuel prices are artificially LOW, due to subsidies, and REAL costs NOT being paid!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Simply mandating that ALL new vehicles be Flex-Fuel, Gas, Methanol, or Ethanol, OR for diesels, capable of using BioDiesel, would be a BIG start, for little money!  If Saudi Arabia, or Big Oil, KNEW we could just switch to BioFuel, when they priced oil too high, would keep oil prices DOWN?
           Cost is LESS than $200 per vehicle new!
          I’m going to find out how much retro-fit costs.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Coal was used by the Greeks and was in widespread use in England in the 13th century. It initiated the industrial revolution in 1698 with the invention of the steam engine, which far preceded the modern petroleum age.

      All modern cultural institutions show the same level of complexity and dysfunction. The American medical industry is a perfect case in point:

      Death by Medicine by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD, October 2003

      Introduction: “Never before have the complete statistics on the multiple causes of iatrogenesis been combined in one paper. Medical science amasses tens of thousands of papers annually – each one a tiny fragment of the whole picture. To look at only one piece and try to understand the benefits and risks is to stand one inch away from an elephant and describe everything about it. You have to pull back to reveal the complete picture, such as we have done here. Each specialty, each division of medicine, keeps their own records and data on morbidity and mortality like pieces of a puzzle. But the numbers and statistics were always hiding in plain sight. We have now completed the painstaking work of reviewing thousands and thousands of studies. Finally putting the puzzle together we came up with some disturbing answers.”

      Conclusion: “A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good…It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.”

      See http://riversong.wordpress.com/death-by-medicine/ for more.

      • Pagassae

        Copy and Paste is such a wonderful tool. And it gives the impression of intelligence…falsely.

      • jefe68

  • Doubting Thomas

    When any military is considered “too liberal” or “too partisan”, perhaps we need to take a second look at the political opposition.

  • Jb

    Interesting that the Congress who is always using the line “listen to the Generals” and the Congress willing to spend billions on aircraft the military DOESN’T want, now decides, when it might impact their campaign war chests, that we should NOT be listening to the Generals.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    About 60 percent of the oil consumed daily by Americans is used for transportation, and about 45 percent is used for passenger cars and light trucks

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Energy consumed per active duty military and civilian personal is 35 percent higher than the U.S. energy consumption per capita, which is amongst the highest in the world.

      The DoD is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. Nigeria, with a population of more than 140 million, consumes as much energy as the U.S. military. There are only 35 countries in the world consuming more oil than DoD. The U.S. Air Force is the largest oil consumer within the DoD services.

      Less than half of DoD oil consumption occurs in the continental U.S., and the rest is consumed overseas. The Defense Logistics Agency delivers more than 170,000 barrels of oil each day to the war theaters, at a cost of nearly $10 billion.

  • Jasoturner

     Snarky?  Moi?

  • Mike

    Hi Tom,

    Love your show.

    If Jeff Rubin’s prediction for the near future is any indication, namely that triple-digit oil will effectively force a slow down in the global economy and a reduction in consumption at all levels, the military would be wise to both heavily research alternative options and stockpile oil at current prices. When the world begins to climb up out of the present recession, oil prices are destined to reach record prices, according to Rubin, at which point, the US military will be in a difficult situation. They run on oil, and the country depends on them for their security.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      The world will not “climb out of the present recession”, since it is not a cyclical depression but a clear sign of the end of global capitalism. Every human institution has reached a maximum complexity from which there is no way out but collapse. 

      Neither the country nor the world “depends on [the US military] for their security. Since the Revolutionary War, the US military has never been used to defend our borders but only for imperial expansion or control of strategic resources.

      For at least the last 20 years, US military adventurism has made America less secure – both in the amount of rataliatory terrorism that it’s generated and in terms of bankrupting the nation.

      • Horatio Jones

        ” Since the Revolutionary War…” War of 1812? War against the Taliban (you know, the people that plotted and executed 9/11)?

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          The War of 1812 was about protecting our “right” to Western expansion and the possible annexation of Canada.

          The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, and al Qaeda was merely the patsy in an event that was orchestrated from Cheney’s office.

          • Horatio Jones

            “Since the Revolutionary War, the US military has never been used to defend our borders”

            So to clarify, if the military wasn’t used to defend our borders during the War of 1812, what exactly did it defend? Regardless of *why* it happened, didn’t it occur, you know, in our borders?

            Agreed about 9/11. Dick Cheney recruited the al Qaeda to attack us so we could go around killing their leaders and ruining their country. Who wouldn’t agree to such a sweet deal?!!

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            You seem to be very confused about so much. 

            Al Qaeda is a transnational movement – it has no country – and its clearly stated goal was to draw the US into a war against Islam in order to radicalize world Muslims.

            The Neocon goal, also explicitly stated by the Project for a New American Century (co-authored by Cheney), was global full-spectrum dominance of oil resources through the use of pre-emptive warfare. They gave each other exactly what each wanted. It was a mutual admiration society.

          • Gregg

            Unbelievably delusional. Please show me where the project “explicitly states” any such thing. You inferred it. We didn’t take the oil.

          • Pagassae

            As much as it pains me, I think Robert Rivertune is correct on this one.  sigh… But he claims an IQ of 140, or is it 240, I get so confused. I wonder when Mr. Rivertune will be on CNN??

          • Gregg

            I still think he’s delusional but what do I know? His IQ may be 340 but he doesn’t have a lick of sense.

          • Pagassae

            How about 440>

          • jefe68

            So now it’s the “I’m smarter than you routine”
            This guy is hilarious.

             

          • Gregg

            It’s like if I say my mother is a midwife and am told, “My sisters’anobstetrician”.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Clearly, you’ve never read the document – probably never even heard of it.

            REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES

            Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century

            A Report of The Project for the New American Century

            September 2000

            The military’s job during the Cold War was to deter Soviet expansionism. Today its task is to secure and expand the “zones of democratic peace;” to deter the rise of a new great power competitor; defend key regions of Europe, East Asia and the Middle East; and to preserve American preeminence through the coming transformation of war made possible by new technologies.

            America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy producing region, and East Asia…

            Taken together, the prospects for space war or “cyberspace war” represent the truly revolutionary potential inherent in the notion of military transformation. These future forms of warfare are technologically immature, to be sure. But, it is also clear that for the U.S. armed forces to remain preeminent and avoid an Achilles Heel in the exercise of its power they must be sure that these potential future forms of warfare favor America just as today’s air, land and sea warfare reflect United States military dominance.

            The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor [i.e. 9/11].

          • Pagassae

            Mr. Rivertune, does the word “enough” exist in your 240 point IQ?

          • jefe68

            Apparently not.

          • Gregg

            Please dude, I’m up on the Project although it’s been a while. I love those guys.

            You wrote:”The Neocon goal, also explicitly stated by the Project for a New
            American Century (co-authored by Cheney), was global full-spectrum
            dominance of oil resources through the use of pre-empti
            ve warfare.”

            I did not see the words “oil resources” or “Pre-emtive warfare” in your comment.  

            You inferred
             it. Whose oil did we take? Try again.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          READ the 9/11 Commission Report, as if you were the least bit suspicious!
             THE ‘DECIDER’ took OVER 15 minutes to ‘decide’ that his position required that he be somewhere more important, than being read to in an elementary school?
             ‘Conviently the White House had a Millitary and Airport ‘Exercise’ going on 9/11, or EXACTLY  what actually happened on 9/11?
              Would YOU, or a ‘Decider’, that campaigned that ‘he would make this country safer’, schedule such an ‘Exercise’ on a day SPECIAL, to those you knew had attacked on that day before?
              SO MANY other ‘coincidences’  and ‘convienences’, were provided by the ‘W’ Admin!

      • jefe68

        Forgot about the war of 1812.
        We fought Spain for Florida in 1818.

        The Mexican-American war 1846 to 1848, which gave us Texas. Remember the Alamo…

        Of course you could say despite the war of 1812 all these others were expansionary excursions.

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          They were all expansionary wars (with some expansionary purchases thrown in along the way). 

          • jefe68

            The British sacked and burned Washington DC and invaded New York, Baltimore and New Orleans.

            Are you trying to say the US should be the way it was in 1800? 

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            The US declared war against Great Britain and then moved to seize the Northwest Territories and Canada. British retaliation came a couple of years into the war.

            Not only the US but the entire world has no choice but to return to the population and consumption level of 1800, as that was the last time that humanity did not exceed the carrying capacity of the planet.

            As far as the extent of the nation – yes, we’d be far better off remaining as the original 13 federated colonies with very limited national government and no imperial impulse to take over the world (the Native Americans could have remained on the rest of the continent, showing is how to live in harmony with the earth, and Vermont could have remained an independent free republic).

  • Gregg

    I don’t know the answer to this, maybe someone can help. Aren’t aircraft carriers run on electricity generated by diesel? 

    • Susanne Altenburger

      Nope. In the last ten 100,000tons loaded aircraft-carriers (Nimitz-class and derivatives) are powered by twin nuclear reactors making steam to drive turbines for main-propulsion (listed at 280.000HP via four props) and electric generation via so-called turbo-alternators to make about 64,000 KW of ‘service-power’ electricity.  There are 4 back-up diesel-driven generators to offer about 8,000KW.  Actual power and thus maximum speed is likely classified.  As they are, tyhey will outrun any other vessel-type across the weather-extremes and average speeds, at a refuelling-rate of well over a decade per fuel-load.  Only people-needs define endurance limits.

      Carrier-Aircraft fly via Kerosine (Petroleum).

      The whole submarine fleet is nuclear.

      In the era of 50-70s all US-Navy surface-vessel types above and including frigates were tried with nuclear drives.  The majority of conventionally-powered types were oil-burning geared steam-turbine drives.  Then the cheaper and low-maintenance/low-manpower much faster-starting gas-turbine systems were developed and have been used since.  But they are known to burn up an another 50% extra fuel per HP over a decent Diesel.  

      The Navy has a good number of (slower) Diesel-powered warships.  For instance, amphibious dock-landing ships LSD-41-52 (14-17,000tons) are Diesel-electric powered (4 engines for twin props) for a total of 40,000Hp+

      Larger Diesel-engines are in use in commercial freighters, but none yet in sinle unit-output to rival the super-carrier power demands.

      40,000tons LHD-8 is a fresh ‘green’ example of multiple diesel-generators adding up to necessary output on that 40,000tons vessel.  Large cruise-ships have been doing this for a good while as well so that they can switch from speed to internal entertainment-related consumption… 

      • Gregg

        Thanks. 

    • Pagassae

      Nuclear power.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      MOST U.S. Aircraft Carriers now in service, are nuclear powered!
        Some Navy ships are powered by Gas Turbines.   (Not Natural Gas, as tanks are too bulky, and vulnerable)
        Some smaller Navy ships, are diesel powered.
         MOST Navy ships burn fuel oil, to run steam boilers.
          I’m not familiar with a class of Navy ships that are Diesel-Electric.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596405187 Alfred Letley

    Has the US considered cutting the military budget and spending more on rebuilding poor countries and countries damaged by recent wars?

    • Pagassae

      Not at all, are you serious??

      Reductions in defense spending = reductions in payoffs to Congress from defense contractor lobbyists.

    • Roy Mac

      I’m sure Mitch McCornpone would just love to discuss your idea with you.  If he’s too busy to talk, give Speaker Bonehead a call.

    • Pagassae

      Like Detroit, MI?

  • Pingback: Don’t Spoil My Oil! | NoahNews

  • RobertLongView

    You Go  Hon. Sen. MCCAin!  Didn’t know there were any Republicans that see a need for DOE?  A Man with principles. 

  • Pointpanic

    so next time the US invades and occupies another country, we’ll be more “green” about it?

    • Pagassae

      Indeed.  Excellent point. And after the invasion we can all sleep better at night knowing that we were kinder to the Earth.

      • David Goldbeck

        No – Kinder to yourself and your children.

        • Pointpanic

          So we’ll be killing people with greener forms of Agent Orange and depleted uranium?

          • Angry Badger

            The idea is to shore up our security by giving the military an edge that their opponents may not have; energy efficiency. Not to mention the lives that will be saved by not having to put people at risk hauling so much fuel around.
            The military has the clout to get the markets started and the research done to get us off of fossil fuel and that’s what Big Oil fears most. Until Obama goes public on the overall threats of global warming and ocean acidification, this is what we have to be satisfied with: stealthy efforts at getting the job done.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Stealth green. Covert green. Soylent green. It’s all good!

          • Pagassae

            And the more we kill the safer we will be and all the more respected in the world.  NOT

          • Terry Tree Tree

            What IS Agent Green?

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            They used to call it Soylent Green.

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Agent Green (maybe Soylent Green).

          • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

            Not just for Tuesdays anymore.

        • Pagassae

          I was making a joke….

          • Still Here

            You are the joke.

      • Warren

        Much better manners J.A…..Remember to get outside.Dem.Einstein gave us the A-Bomd…Republic T.Edison said”let there be light(bulbs).

  • David Goldbeck

    There would be no PC’s w/o the military! The military’s support of PCs gave the industry the backing and confidence to grow.

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      Excuse me. PCs were developed by Tandy, Radio Shack and Atari.

      • Clmoeckel

        What do you say to the fact that it was the military — taking 30 years to do so — that developed the infrastructure for, and hence, the Internet? [And that's not just the hardware, but the whole schmear] Do you think Tandy, Radio Shack and Atari — or any other profit seeking enterprise — was capable of the sustained investment and work necessary to accomplish the task?  Look it up on Google.

        • Azra

          It wasn’t Al Gore???

          (Kidding!)

        • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

          I say you’re changing the subject. The statement was about PC’s, not the internet. 

          I don’t need to “google” the history of the internet since I lived through it (have been involved with computers since 1968), and have been arguing for many years that it was a military venture: ARPANET, later DARPA.

  • David Goldbeck

    Sen McCane: It is the duty of all parts of society PARTICULARLY the governemt to be green – this is a secondary benefit of our tax dollars. The only opposition can be from the fossil fuel industry.  

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      It’s tough being green.

  • RobertLongView

    It should be pretty obvious that Big Oil is American Republican.  And Venture Capital Solyndra was done in by China.  Crony Capital would be insider trading — but our NC Senator doesn’t see any such up there in DC land.  Its all good, if you a plutocrat with a bankroll.  By the way, how is it that a VC POTUS candidate would sell the US Gov’t stake in GM in January 2013 AND tell the world in advance?????

  • MomX3

    If we can’t afford to to go Green that we can’t afford to subsidize oil companies through massive tax breaks either.  Fair is fair, let both markets play in the free market then.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Oil Trillionaires would have to subsist on a few Billion?  They couldn’t buy as many Congressmen, and other politicians?

      • Warren

        No Click and Clack are not GREEEEEEDY.You’re a pip

      • Azra

        . . . or houses . . . or islands . . . or yachts . . .

    • Still Here

      There’s a big cash flow difference between tax breaks and subsidies.

  • owldog

    The neocon republicans care more about their 1% corporate masters and their ideology than they care about the welfare and safety of the 99% of Americans

    • Azra

      No one can deny that.

      • Gregg

         I deny it.

        • Azra

          Denying is one thing; proving is quite a different matter.

          • Gregg

            The burden of proof is on Owldog and his outrageous statement that you seem to swallow wholesale.

      • Warren

        48 were shot and 8 died last weekend in Pres.Obamas Chicago,last weekend

        • Still Here

          Does he have an alibi?  Were drones involved?  Anyone from his Enemy’s List?

        • Azra

          Sorry, you’re at the wrong place again. This is about fuel, and the Pentagon.

  • Peter R.

    I am always disappointed when hear the phrase “energy independence.”  I wish PRI and NPR would stop using this term.  It’s intellectually a lie.  It’s a bogus concept.  When we speak of “independence,” we’re really talking about the price of energy and can we insutate ourselves (nationaly) from the price of energy.  No, we cannot.  The price of energy is set on the international market on a demand relationship.  In 50 years the preponderence of our energy will be probably be non-fossil based, but just as expensive.  Unless the Navy/Marines are talking about commissioning Defense Department wind, bio or nuclear power plants at US taxpayer expense the argument is inane.

    • RobertLongView

      You can Drill Baby Drill and you can pipe Crude oil trans-continental but you can never leave the Strait of Hormuz?  

    • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

      You’re confusing fossil fuels with energy. Petroleum is priced on the global market, not the sun, wind, waves or geothermal energy. They are local and independent of foreign policy tensions.

      • Warren

        Vt gave us Leaky Leahy(Pat Cadell says the current leaker is Donelan),Dr.Dean(stay away from my body),Brooklyn Bernie and now Mr Gaia.Mr.Lovelock,inventor of Gaiaism and Al Gores Guru,said it was all a fake.I was wrong.He appologiozed for creating Riversong.Vt.has the highest percent of Govt.workers.Govt.guys don’t work,they post on NPR all day

        • Bezer

           and I would take any of our elected officials any day of the week over any of the nut bags that you vote for.  Anyways, who appologiozed?

    • Still Here

      Except the price of Brent is different from West Texas Intermediate, can you tell us why.  How about light sweet grades versus heavy sour?  How about dry natural gas or NGLs?  The world is quite a bit more complicated than you appear to think.

    • Gregg

      Gas is $6.48/gal. in the Netherlands and 38 cents/gal. in Nigeria. Go figure.

  • Warren

    Germany’s Windmill farms(30 miles offshore),etc have driven energy prices up by three to 500%.Germany now refuses to subsidize any green projects.There’s a reason our aircraft carriers use nukes.They’re the best bang for the bucks.The repository in Nevada is good for 800,000 years and has cost us 8 billion.Harry Reid closed it for purely political reasons.When I  hear an F18 scream by,I hear the sounds of Freedom

    • jefe68

      “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…” 

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPXVGQnJm0w

      3 to 500% in energy prices? Interesting figures you have there. Can you provide the hard data to back it up.

    • Big dick

       You’re a dork–’hear the sounds of freedom do ya!”–i hear the sounds of fascist security sate and a warmongering empire!”  The f18 and the bloated military are nothing–NOTING but bullies and terrorists–and a waste of money–scrap the military and we could save the world.  To hell with oil.  To hell with republicans–war-mongers–no better than murders and genocidal maniacs!  Get a grip freedom fighter–i think you ingested too much lead paint as a kid.

      911 and the so-called terror threat is a direct result of American terror–people like you.  We are better off with people like you behind bars–perhaps in Guantanamo–isolated from normal people–so the real citizens can just live simply and in peace–and freedom.  So hey Orwell–war is not peace–it’s bondage–you fools!

      We are a world at war–nearly every single conflict–every single one–is a direct result or indirect result of American intervention.

      • Jytudkins

        You should probably see a therapist..

    • Still Here

      So true, nice work.  Appreciate the use of facts.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    Like sail to coal, coal to oil, oil to nuclear … time marches on. As I
    recall the stone age did not end because we ran out of rocks. Obviously
    some “big oil lobbyists” made the trek to the office of someone big in the GOP just to reinforce who is master and who is slave.

  • Nlpnt

    It’s simple. More fuel-efficient military = fewer tanker convoys = fewer tanker convoys hit by IEDs = fewer flag-draped coffins.

    Also, did Tom & Ray start calling the “C segment” the “third half” to avoid confusion with the global auto-industry jargon for a compact car?

  • Pingback: Greening the Lily « The Policy Journal

  • JyTudkins

    Taxing Gasoline by $3 a gallon and then writing a check equal to the amount spent for every citizen is the best environmental idea i’ve heard in years..

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sid.abma.1 Sid Abma

    The DOD wants to have cheap renewable electrical energy.
    Lets give them natural gas fired power plants operating at 100% energy efficiency with almost ZERO carbon emissions.
    The energy in the exhaust of these power plants will be recovered and utilized to create algae that will then be converted to bio fuels. Even the products left after removing the oil from this plant will be used. Zero Waste.
    Natural gas we have an abundance of. America just has to learn that this energy source can be used much more efficiently than it has been in the past. Why wasn’t it used more efficiently? Who cared about using natural gas efficiently?
    The technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery has been in use here in North America for 30 years.

  • Pingback: » The Other Red Army Jacob Geller's blog

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