"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This Man Should Be President


TF said...


Anonymous said...

Newt is one of the clearer thinkers around.
It's too bad then that he's a serial adulterer, and has a stupid name.

Anonymous said...

What's your point Ted? Another Liberal afraid of an open and fair debate on the issue of drilling for oil.

Anonymous said...

Drill for more oil...fine for today, but what about tomorrow. Same old ideas that have thrown around for 50 years now. That's progress.

Anonymous said...

I think he addressed present times and the future! You should go back and listen more carefully. I realize liberals have a hard time thinking anyone else has a brain but if you listen you might be surprised.

Jeremy Barlow said...


There are substantial proven reserves in the Rocky Mountains, unfortunately, as he accurately points out, it is shale oil.

No one has figured out A) how to extract such shale oil in a way that doesn't destroy the environment in Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, and B) how to extract it in a way that will make it useable at a price point that will make it economically viable.

Those are the first two big problems.

The third problem is that the time needed to ramp up production even if the first two problems were resolved would be decades, which does nothing in the sort term.

Belief in "hydrogen" is a certain sign of "pie-in-the-sky" thinking. Fuel cell technology makes lithium ion battery technology look cheap, you know that technology that John McCain wants to invest $300 million in developing. The average cost of a fuel cell vehicle has been $1 million, part of the reason is that PLATINUM is one of the key elements of a fuel cell. If you thought gold was expensive, check out the cost of platinum per ounce. The other drawback of hydrogen is the same drawback with ethanol, it takes more energy to make it than you can get from it. It is a net energy loser.

Yes, offshore drilling is far more environmentally proven and safe than in the past, but again, it will take decades to become a viable source and by that time, Saudi, Iranian, Libyan, Kuwaiti, and Iraqi reserves will be drying up. Part of the reason Iran is developing nuclear technology is that Iran WILL BE A NET ENERGY IMPORTER WITHIN A DECADE.

Releasing part of the strategic petroleum reserve MIGHT cause a brief hiccup in the market, unfortunately, according to some of the leading experts including hedge fund managers who testified before Congress last week, the speculators are INVESTMENT BANKS who are building up their own private reserves to keep the price of oil artificially high. They would just buy it up and horde it to keep the price up if part of the reserve were released.

The strike price on an oil futures contract as a percentage basis is considerably less than a similar strike price for an option on stock, this is one of the reasons that there has been considerable speculative movement in the commodities markets. Simply requiring a higher percentage of the value of the contract price be paid to purchase a futures contract in the commodities market would greatly reduce speculation. Adding stricter capital requirements for margin calls on such contracts would also greatly reduce speculation.

Creating regulations that allow the market to work with actual producers and actual commercial suppliers to set a trading range for the market as proposed by one of the people testifying before Congress last week, would provide a better control over the speculative market, while allowing for prudent hedging, and some speculative investment.

Supporting "Flex-fuel" vehicles appears intelligent, but the truth is that even if the ENTIRE US CORN CROP WERE USED TO PRODUCE ETHANOL, it would only provide a replacement for about 2% of all gasoline used by the US, and if the ENTIRE US SOYBEAN CROP WERE USED TO PRODUCE BIO-DIESEL, it would only provide a replacement for about 2% of diesel used by the US. As a side effect the modest amount being used today to replace fuel is driving the cost of foods, such as WHEAT to record high prices because so much land is being used to produce corn and soybeans now that food is being removed from the crop rotation. This is not good for most people. If we can't have cheap gas, we should at least try to keep the price of food down.

A more appropriate response in the near term to solving the oil crisis would be to DRAMATICALLY RAISE CAFE STANDARDS TO ABOUT 100 MPG. It is achievable in the next three years. Supporting gasoline assisted electric drive hybrids, such as the Chevy Volt to be released in November 2009 with tax credits would be a smart idea in the near term as well.

The Volt was designed to meet the needs of the majority of Americans during there commute. Its 16 KWhour battery will provide 40 miles of travel on the electric motor, and when that runs out of charge, a small flex-fuel engine will drive a generator to keep the car moving on longer trips. The car comes with a standard 110v plug, and can be charged at home with an extension cord. 40 miles of driving range exceeds the daily commute of 78% of American drivers.

At a price of even $0.20 per KW hour, the Volt would allow people to drive 40 miles per day for just $3.20. If your daily commute were 10 miles each way, you could drive to work and back twice on a single charge, which means that the cost of juice for the vehicle could be as little as $8 per week for someone working a 40 hour week at a 5 day per week job. Not bad!

In terms of electrical generation, nuclear power might be part of the solution, but that presents serious risks to the population, especially in an era of global terrorism that seem excessive. The other 800 lbs gorilla in the room is disposal of radioactive nruclear waste.

Investment in research such as Dr. Robert Brussard's fusion reactor that was originally developed under a Navy contract might provide a safe nuclear solution that will make nuclear part of the solution because it is non-polluting, and has no radioactive waste.

The most viable solution appears to be something that the oil industry has expertise in, deep drilling to build hydrostatic geothermal electrical generation plants. This is cutting edge technology, and there are some sulfur emissions/pollution that must be dealt with to make it viable, there is also reportedly some increased seismic activity that may make it risky and require additional research prior to widescale use, but hydrostatic injection geothermal plants could be built anywhere that we can drill 6 miles into the earth's crust and provide relatively clean and cheap power.

The other alternative is the one that Germany is adopting, widescale solar generation at the site where power is used, coupled with net metering. The Germans have subsidized widescale adoption of at home solar by providing guaranteed mortgages to homeowners and commercial enterprises and providing regulations that require utilities to purchase excess power generated by these systems at high rates that allow the systems to pay for themselves within a decade.

Newt is thinking far too inside the box on these issues.

Earthbob said...

Fusion, as a nuclear option, is the better alternative.

The vessel necessary to contain that process needs to contain Helium 3.

This is very rare on Earth.

However, our Moon has a great quantity of Helium 3.

Is going back to the Moon part of our energy solution?

Anonymous said...

Some ideas have been thrown around for fifty years. Maybe if they were tried fifty years ago we would not be in the same spot. We can argue it will take years to bring it to the market but if we don't do it now in 2020 it will take years to bring to market.

Bottom line is that when government gets involved things get screwed up.

Newt, was right 20 years ago and he is right now


Anonymous said...

Conservative or not...he sure makes a ton of sense...Conservative Dem here! As I've gotton older, I've grown to actually like Newt a bit for his message. Yeah, his personal life was a mess...UNLIKE anyone else in politics oh life (sarcasm, freaks). I'm about the message, not the messenger!

Anonymous said...

yeah, i know...gotton....sorry, should have proof-read my typo...you got me for my laziness...Freaks!

NorthCountryLiberal said...

Now that's an argument, Jeremy.

But, it's easier to just say "The government screws things up".

Anonymous said...

What a joke. Let us not forget he shut down the government...and Clinton kicked his butt. Let us not forget when the mid-terms were over during Clinton's 2nd term..NEWT resigned because he was being removed as speaker. President...no thanks !

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