Monday, February 4, 2013

The GOP Energy Policy

Despite the comments, and some things I don’t like, I can see room for compromise in this look at the GOP Energy policy. It’s not a great plan overall, and it looks more like a plan to keep the energy use in the US mostly the way it is now, protecting businesses. That makes some sense, but we should be phasing out limited or really dirty energy use where we can. Not that I hate coal or oil as sources, but I do know that coal mining isn’t necessarily good for the land or miners, and we don’t protect enough against oil issues (and we’ve had a few).

I’ll address the items as listed.

1. Mostly I agree here, and we should look to remove our dependence on oil, especially from the Middle East. If for no other reason than it should help us get out of politics over there and bring our troops back. Permanently.

2. Asinine and stupid. Let’s make sure we can speak about this intelligently and clearly. I’m fine with banning “clean energy” as a term, since some of the alternatives, like solar, require mining and chemicals that aren’t that clean.

3. I agree, and I am OK with allowing more drilling, but if we do, it needs to be limited, controlled, and with some recourse when things break and spill. We want contained failures that companies are responsible for.

4. I think we could do a better job, and we should use Hoover and any others that are there for “emergencies”. Even if we compete, the Federal government needs to use its assets.

5. I actually do like the idea of more basic research and patents owned by the government and licensed to companies. I prefer this over companies having to foot the bill for R&D and our patent mess. Let’s help them figure out how to do things and then let them figure out how to finance it. I hate the Solyndra guarantees. However I do like tax credits for deployment by citizens.

6. Yes and no. I do think coal can play a part in energy policy. Yes we can not be so hard on the burning of coal. No I don’t think we should loosen regulations on mining. Those benefit relatively few people that control the companies and miners, who are good citizens, get abused.

7. I remember the debate over nuclear energy, and I understand it. I’d like to see more larger scale wind/solar deployed to see if we can power the US. That being said, I think we should investigate newer, cleaner, less wasteful, nuclear energy, especially at smaller scales.

8. Not sure, but this is worth a debate here. I don’t know if this will work, but I’d like to see a small scale pilot.

9. I agree, though I’d like more research funded and without the emotional response that either the world is ending, or nothing is happening. The truth is somewhere in between.

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