22 Jun 2010 Energy Pipe Dream or Nightmare?
Syndicated columnist Robert J. Samuelson has a terrific piece in the Washington Post yesterday entitled “Energy Pipe Dreams.” Here’s an excerpt:
Just once, it would be nice if a president would level with Americans on energy. Barack Obama isn’t that president. His speech the other night was about political damage control—his own. It was full of misinformation and mythology. Obama held out a gleaming vision of an America that would convert to the “clean” energy of, presumably, wind, solar and biomass. It isn’t going to happen for many, many decades, if ever.
Fossil fuel usage would increase slightly in 2035 and its share would still account for 78 percent of the total.
Unless we shut down the economy, we need fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use. But offsetting these savings will be more people (391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size). Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow as much as 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11 percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008.
Healthy food for thought as President Obama attempts to end Americans’ “addiction to fossil fuels” and shove us in a costly, destructive “rehab” renewables program.