Obama’s energy policy: Turn out the lights and pray for wind

posted at 1:35 pm on August 4, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Perhaps the Barack Obama campaign needs the services of a mathematician, but it doesn’t take differential calculus to determine that his energy policy doesn’t add up.  Politico reports on Obama’s speech in Lansing, which officially served as the re-launch of his efforts to defuse public anger over Congressional inaction on domestic energy production.  Obama wants to both transfer American transportation from oil to electricity and then cut electrical production as well:

The three main components of Obama’s plan are:

— Get 1 million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on U.S. roads within six years.

— Require that 10 percent of U.S. energy comes from renewable sources by the end of his first term – more than double the current level.

—Reduce U.S. demand for electricity 15 percent by 2020.

Well, far be it from me to point out the obvious, but the more cars we have that use “plug-in hybrids”, the more demand for electricity will increase.  Apparently, this didn’t catch the attention of the Harvard-educated candidate, but it should catch the attention of the voting public.  Transferring the burden of transportation from gasoline to electricity will vastly increase the need for more generating stations.

Even without the transfer of cars from gas to electrical power, how exactly does Obama plan on cutting electrical demand in the US?  As the economy and the population grow, the need for electricity will continue to expand as well, in order to just maintain the current standard of living, let alone improve it.  Perhaps we will hear more about the electrical equivalent of inflating tires, and Obama does plan to spend billions of dollars weatherizing homes — which Americans do when their energy bills increase anyway.

What happens when the demand doesn’t decrease by 15%?  Where will Obama get the energy needed to power the economy?  He doesn’t answer that question.

And why worry about electrical demand if Obama believes that we will have emission-free mass-production sources on line in the next 10 years?   Electricity in and of itself is completely neutral to the global-warming debate; it’s the source that matters.  If we have solar energy perfected, as an example, why worry about electrical demand?

This sounds like a Luddite philosophy, an energy-hostile policy regardless of its source or its benefits.  Obama wants America to live in a shortage economy, where we become ever more dependent on government to ration energy and in which our standard of living decreases year after year.  Obama talks about Hope, but he’s really selling Despair … and it has started to lose whatever luster it ever had as his energy policies come more into focus.


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Obama’s plan for saving gas by inflating tires is about as practical as roasting a turkey by singeing it with a cigarette lighter. What a fool.

MaiDee on August 4, 2008 at 7:05 PM

so what would happen if that heat could be captured in the form of steam and turn a small electrical engine. Much like the steam engines of old yet instead of using the steam for motion we use it for electric generation?

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:02 PM

That is the trillon dollar question. We have to get that wasted heat to the wheels. I am willing to bet that has been and is being researched at this moment. By all major engine builders.

O but wait, we who live in the northern usa will lose our cabin heat!!!! lol jk

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:07 PM

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:07 PM

yeah but those that live in the southern states would sure love to take the ecess energy and use it for an AC without using more gas per mile

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:10 PM

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Added weight, which would lower efficiency.

Johan Klaus on August 4, 2008 at 7:11 PM

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Ahh yes refrigeration from heat! a very old concept. We had a old propane fridg at our cabin in 1960.

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:14 PM

—Reduce U.S. demand for electricity 15 percent by 2020.

Recession, maybe depression.

Johan Klaus on August 4, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Do we have a refrigeration person here who can explain how heat cools? I know it has to do with the freon (refrigerant) used, but nothing more.

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Johan Klaus on August 4, 2008 at 7:11 PM

good point but an alternator is that heavy and an extra battery isn’t that much either. so how long would the A/C run on battry power? how much of a steam release would be needed to power a small electric motor like an alternator? Right now all that heat needs a raditor, hoses, and a water pump to keep the heat buildup to a min so the enegine doesn’t cook itself. That heat is transferd from the water/antifreeze to the outside air under pressure. the first prototypes would be bulky but with modern electrical minuturation I’m sure the finsihed mass peroduced system could be lightweight enough to get more from it than not having it.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:18 PM

MaiDee on August 4, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Great analogy!!! LOL

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:19 PM

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:16 PM

look on the back of your fridge. It works the same as car radiator. The freon is like antifreeze.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:21 PM

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:16 PM

here is a good primer on refridgaration

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/how_it_works/refrigerator.html

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:24 PM

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:24 PM

thanks

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM

dm I did it again.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:24 PM

thanks

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM

Off topic again, sorry. This is primarily for Miss Upinak:
https://www.ktrakcycle.com

and add some sort of power unit.

I like electric, because it is ‘stealthy’. Have to use the right kind of batteries and take some extra care in below freezing though.

Gasoline (for now, anyway) would be more practical due to initial cost and convenience, longer practical range, lighter weight and lower temperature operation. But I like it quiet, so, electric it is for me.

LegendHasIt on August 4, 2008 at 7:28 PM

allrsn on August 4, 2008 at 7:16 PM

Google radiators.

upinak on August 4, 2008 at 7:29 PM

The Dishonesty of Barack Obama

Barack Obama gave a major speech on energy in Michigan today, in which he offered a number of new proposals to try to bring down the cost of gasoline. Over the next day or so, I intend to take a careful look at Obama’s new energy strategy. For now, though, a quick comment about Obama’s proposal to sell a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Obama said:

We should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.

This is, of course, another policy reversal on Obama’s part. Until now, he has opposed selling gasoline from the Reserve. His spokeswoman acknowledged as much:

Previously, Obama opposed tapping into the reserve, but campaign spokeswoman Heather Zichal said he reconsidered because “Americans are suffering.”

Now, I have no problem with a politician changing his mind when conditions change. Thus, I’d be delighted to see John McCain reverse himself on ANWR, on the ground that $4 gasoline demands measures that $2 gasoline doesn’t. This is the sort of rationale implied by Ms. Zichal.

But Obama’s opposition to selling petroleum from the Reserve is not some relic of the days of cheap oil. It was reiterated on July 7, in St. Louis:

I do not believe that we should use the strategic oil reserves at this point. I have said and, in fact, supported a congressional resolution that said that we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve, but the strategic oil reserve, I think, has to be reserved for a genuine emergency. You have a situation, let’s say, where there was a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia that was destroyed as a consequence of terrorist acts, and you suddenly had huge amounts of oil taken out of the world market, we wouldn’t just be seeing $4-a-gallon oil. We could see a situation where entire sectors of the country had no oil to function at all. And that’s what the strategic oil reserve has to be for.

On July 7, oil and gas prices were higher than they are today, not lower. So Obama’s explanation that he changed his mind because “Americans are suffering” is transparently false. What has really happened is that Obama has been reading the polls, as always: John McCain has caught up with him, and poll respondents now say that they trust McCain more on energy. Hence the new policies that Obama unveiled today. (powerline)

I just listened to Obama’s “major” speech. I didn’t hear a single idea from this POS about what he is going to do to reduce the price of energy; not one idea. The man quoted Pickens “in part” only, using a few words to shape a message, without giving the entire quote. I also heard this POS depict America as greedy once again. I’m sick and tired of Liberals slamming America as if we are the evil of the world.

Pelosi “I’m trying to save the planet.” What Liberals won’t say is “I’m trying to save the planet from Americans.” Obama views himself as the new leader of the world! Jeez, these people make me want to puke. Liberal Socialist Dummies (LSD)

Keemo on August 4, 2008 at 7:31 PM

And back ON topic….

Ed or Allah… give it all you got:

Palin Pleased with Obama Energy Plan.

GAG! If Sarah has gone the way of Obama…. i think I am going to be sick!

upinak on August 4, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Keemo on August 4, 2008 at 7:31 PM

As far as BHO wanting to replace the SPr with cheaper crude or heavy crude. there is a reason for this. Refiners have a hard time cracking the heavy sulpher fuel, it causes more polution, is more costly to make gasoline with and some refiners can not handle the product. thus BHO wants to exchange top grade crude for crap. I guess he figures our children can pay the addtional cost if /when we need to use that oil for a true emergency. Many countires in the middle east have tankers full with heavy oil sitting in port because noones really wants the crap. It would be much better if instead of adding this crap to our existent SPR we build an entire new SPR and place the heavy crude in that for emergencies of longer than a month.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:37 PM

upinak on August 4, 2008 at 7:33 PM

from the article it seems she likes the pipeline idea which as she notes Alaska is already leading on. The fuel credits she seems to like also but not by paying for them with windfall profit taxes. I would imagine that this winter people are going to need some help of freeze to death. With the lack of sunspots on the Sun this winter maybe very very cold.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:40 PM

A couple of thoughts:

How does one run an air conditioner, heater or defroster in a hybrid or electric car?

Trust me, once the “cap and trade” crap kicks in, nobody will be able to afford to use electricity any more.

darwin-t on August 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM

darwin-t on August 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM

well the prius is going to but solar panels on the roof to run the AC

should be fun on a cloudy hot muggy day.

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 8:03 PM

Away out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire.
The rain is John, the fire’s Gone and they call the wind Obama.

Obama blows the crowds around and sets the blogs a-flyin’.
Obama makes Hotair sound like folks was out there dyin’.

Obama. (Obama).
Obama. (Obama).

MB4 on August 4, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Ed, I think you are insulting Luddites.

burt on August 4, 2008 at 8:21 PM

MB4 on August 4, 2008 at 8:05 PM

That’s one of your best!

Mariah was one of the few songs I could sing really well.

I kept thinking yesterday, you’d do something to the tune of “What’s it all about, Alphie?”

LegendHasIt on August 4, 2008 at 8:31 PM

I kept thinking yesterday, you’d do something to the tune of “What’s it all about, Alphie?”

LegendHasIt on August 4, 2008 at 8:31 PM

What’s it all about Obamie
Is it just for the presidency you live
What’s it all about when you sort it out Obamie
Are you meant to take more than you give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind Obamie
Then i guess it may be wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the elite Obamie
What will you lend on an old golden rule
As sure as i believe there’s something much more
Something even republicans can believe in
Your fans are in love with you Obamie
Without that love you’d hardly exist Obamie
Until you find the rest of what you’ve missed you’ll be nothing Obamie

MB4 on August 4, 2008 at 9:19 PM

MB4 on August 4, 2008 at 9:19 PM

:-)

Great!

Although I was thinking of our own resident socialist who pretends to be a Reaganite, of same name, (different spelling), rather than Obama.

No need to do it now, but maybe you can have it in your repertoire for use in the nearly inevitable future.

LegendHasIt on August 4, 2008 at 9:32 PM

He is the same as “Malaise” Carter, and the American people know it.

We need to drill here to stop jihad, if for no other reason. Everybody knows the hypocrisy of sending our dollars to the Middle East and of requiring other nations to endanger their environment for ours.

Keep talking, Barry, you’re making McCain’s day.

PattyJ on August 4, 2008 at 9:53 PM

How does one run an air conditioner, heater or defroster in a hybrid or electric car?

darwin-t on August 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM

It would work the same way as any other car. Think of it this way- the compressor doesn’t care how it’s driven, it just needs mechanical force to turn the pump. All current hybrids drive the A/C in the time honored method, and an electric car would drive the A/C with an electric motor. The technology is available for an electrically heated water-based heater/defroster, or you could go electric there, too. A gas powered heater, such as was available on VWs and Corvairs is also a possibility. Everything else would function exactly as a gas or diesel powered car. I will add the caveat that even as efficient as the current state of A/C technology is, it will have a deletrious effect on overall range of any electric car. The laws of thermodynamics and physics will not be denied.

BillH on August 4, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Ever notice that everything the Democrats do is about centralizing control?

They want more public (centrally controlled) transportation.

They want to concentrate population in cities.

They prefer electricity (generated in large, central regulated plants) to gasoline (widely distributed).

It’s all about making YOU easier to control, and more dependent.

I’m really hating me some Democrats these days. Not that they’ve really changed that much.

That, and their collective calculator is broken (ethanol efficiency, air pressure and mileage, electrical demand vs. electric cars).

Merovign on August 4, 2008 at 10:22 PM

And how does one drive one of these little electro-turd cars from Illinois to Florida? Or vill trafel to zee fvar places be verboten, Komrade NObama?

electric-rascal on August 5, 2008 at 1:32 AM

electric-rascal on August 5, 2008 at 1:32 AM

Well, it’s like the East German border guard told me, a rather stupid/lucky tourist, in 1986 at Checkpoint Charlie:
Welcome to East Germany. What you have done is illegal (crossing into East Berlin), but we are going to cut you some slack. Please have the correct papers in place the next time you visit. You are free to go, and thank you for visiting the People’s Democratic Gulag of East Germany.

BillH on August 5, 2008 at 3:13 AM

On the bigger picture. To me, this is more about (finally) telling the environmental wackos and global warming alarmists to shove it. I hope this is a new trend.

myamphibian on August 5, 2008 at 3:49 PM

unseen on August 4, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Changing heat into useful energy is being forced on formula one race teams. These teams have almost unlimited budgets and the best engineers in the business. Most of them see only the problems related to this venture and little or no practical benefit. If they thought they could benefit from this they would have tried it long ago. We’ll see what happens.

Johan Klaus on August 6, 2008 at 1:11 AM

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