Conservative Corner: Energy’s Growing Pains

Mankind has had the need for energy since the discovery of fire. The need for energy sources for early man was light, heat and protection. Early man quickly learned they could rely on the cover of caves and fallen trees for protection from the elements, the use of fire to help see in the dark, scare off predators and keep warm, however, with the advancement of technology, man learned that wood, sod, coal and manure was not the only source of energy that can be used to serve mankind.
Thanks to the technical advancement of energy productivity we now have cleaner burning wood, natural gas, oil, and coal power plants and more efficient and safer use of nuclear power. These forms of energy, however, still use a common means to produce electricity. Wood, oil, coal are burned and used with water to create steam in order to operate hydro-electric generators. The same basic production occurs in the use of geo-thermal and nuclear energy, only the nuclear fuel rods are not “burned” to create steam.
There are different forms of energy that are somewhat still in their infancy, or at least their youth as we use them today. Solar and wind power have actually been in use for hundreds of years, but not to create electricity. Today wind turbines provide us with some electricity, but not enough to sustain the country. Solar panels can provide some homes and businesses with power, but they are expensive and they aren’t yet very efficient in less than favorable environmental conditions.
According to http://www.nationmaster.com the United States leads the world in energy consumption, with Canada in a close second. America, however, is working to equal the production with the consumption. With the advancement of solar, wind production and other alternative forms of energy along with in increased production of oil and natural gas, cleantechnica.com tell us that America is quickly turning into an energy production leader as well as a consumption leader.
America began drilling for oil and building the infrastructure for the petroleum industry at the beginning of the 20th century. For better or worse, oil and oil products has become the predominate fuel for the internal combustion engine and other propulsion systems that are widely used today in our society. The Obama Administration, however, seems to be on a mission to destroy the petroleum industry.
Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, said in 2008 “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Obama’s Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, said on the Senate floor in that same year that he would oppose off shore drilling even if gas went to $10 a gallon. We are also reminded from spectator.org that when Obama took office in 2009, the average price of gasoline in America was $1.83 a gallon. Today it has more than doubled to at least $3.87 per gallon.
It is believed that the Obama’s administration wants to increase the prices of traditional energy sources so the average American will be forced to buy solar panels and electric cars no matter how expensive they are. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started the process of putting the dunes sagebrush lizard on the endangered species list in order to stop, or at least pause, oil and gas production in the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas.
It is unknown how long the oil and natural reserves in the United States will last. The US is listed 14th in the world for oil reserves and more oil fields are discovered every day. The US has the world’s largest supply of coal in the world and vast natural gas fields. We may run out of petroleum products in the future, but it won’t be soon. We can widely incorporate wind, solar, and geothermal into regular use in America, but it won’t be soon or cheap.
It took years to create the petroleum infrastructure that we enjoy today; it will take some time to create an alternative energy infrastructure for tomorrow that will equal oil. Until we catch up in science and technology enough to equal the power and price of petroleum, we need to continue with using out traditional energy sources and stop trying to wage war against oil. Until alternative energy sources can catch up with the efficiency and price of petroleum, we will continue to suffer from energy growing pains.

dkhummel@hotmail.com, dkhummel.blogspot.com

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About D.K. Hummel
I am a dis-placed Alaskan, Ham radio operator, Broadcaster/DJ, Seahawk fan, Alaska Aces fan, U.S. Army Vet, and a conservative; but not always in that order.

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