Monday, September 8, 2008

Nailing Down Mark Udall's Shifting, Cuban-Centered "Comprehensive" Energy Policy

As reported in today's Grand Junction Free Press, from last Saturday's Club 20 debate:
[Bob] Schaffer pounced on [Mark] Udall for supporting drilling in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico, something Udall said he backed in order to give Americans the opportunity before someone else got to it.
In the interest of general consistency, doesn't Mark Udall also want to give Americans the first opportunity at ANWR, oil shale, and most - or even all - offshore drilling in American waters? No. Meanwhile, drilling in Cuban waters appears to remain Udall's idea of "responsible drilling."

Mark Udall's energy policy is "comprehensive" - if by "comprehensive" you mean "any energy source that won't soon be profitable nor help quickly lead to energy independence for the American people, plus a little bit from Cuba, plus whatever else absolutely has to be done to win a few extra votes." That's the best definition I can come up with after following the issue for months. Any alternative suggestions?

Contrast that with Bob Schaffer's reasonable comprehensive energy policy.

3 comments:

Curious Stranger said...

"Mark Udall's energy policy is "comprehensive" - if by "comprehensive" you mean "any energy source that won't soon be profitable nor help quickly lead to energy independence for the American people, plus a little bit from Cuba, plus whatever else absolutely has to be done to win a few extra votes.""

So what energy source that will "soon be profitable" and "help quickly lead to energy independence" is he opposing? Because its definitely not any of the items you mentioned. They are all 20-30 years off and won't significantly impact price or energy independence. If you claiming differently, perhaps you can provide some numbers to rebut the Department of Energy numbers I've provided in earlier posts.

Similarly, perhaps you can expand on Schaffer's alternative energy plans - beyond carrying a shard of solar panel in his pocket and installing windows in his house that is. I'm still waiting to hear what those "comprehensive" plans would be.

Ben DeGrow said...

You are saying that the U.S. Department of Energy says we're stuck with high gas prices & dependence on foreign oil? Or that wind & solar will lead us to energy independence? Or that increased domestic fossil fuel production isn't part of a short-term solution? Or that it's hopeless even to try drilling for more oil? Or that environmentally clean (aka "responsible") drilling isn't possible except off the coasts of 4 states and Cuba?

Provide a link to the report. I'd be glad to read the summary & conclusions.

Curious Stranger said...

You mention in your post: ANWR, oil shale and offshore drilling. Which one of those three meets the criteria you mention above - "soon be profitable" and "quickly lead to energy independence"?

Offshore oil drilling - nope, not enough to be more than drop in the bucket resulting in no significant price difference.

ANWR - nope. See above.

Oil shale - nope. There's a lot of potential oil here, but it's only economical to extract when oil prices are high, not a recipe for lowering gas prices. It also uses enormous amounts of water in arid regions which could cause serious problems for agriculture (and I'll note that concerns about water don't make me a big fan of most of today's biofuels either)

There are no good short term answers to high fuel prices - the Republican Party is lying about this fact by omitting any sort of timetable on their claims. The long term answer is to get away from oil, as it is not renewable and no matter what resources we find, we will use them up. A finite and diminishing supply and increasing demand cannot result in lower prices. Time and money are better spent moving us away from oil and onto renewable sources initially as a supplemental source to stretch the diminishing oils upplies and eventually as the primary source.

The Democratic plans floating around are giving Republicans their oil company land-handout in return for actual progress towards getting us off of oil by incentivizing real renewable development and discouraging dead-end oil development.