America is running out of electricity
By Alan Caruba
The provision of electrical power nationwide has become the chosen battleground for environmental groups laboring night and day to insure there will not be enough of it to meet our needs.
The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that overall energy demand will grow by 45% between now and 2030.
Since coal-fired utilities provide over 50 percent of the electricity generated in America, the need for additional plants would seem obvious. A May 2007 Business Week article about coal noted that, "Today, making electricity from coal can cost half as much as using cleaner-burning natural gas." Half as much at the plant translates to half as much in the monthly energy bill to homeowners and others.
There is no global warming and CO2 constitutes about 0.038% if the earth's atmosphere. In past eras there was a lot more CO2 and the result was the lush vegetation that kept a lot of dinosaurs munching away for several million years.
The brownouts in California are testimony to what happens when there are an insufficient number of plants to generate electricity, whether it comes from coal, nuclear, or hydroelectric power.
Right now the population of America is just over 300 million. The rate of population growth is 3 to 4 million people a year—a number equal to the population of California today. All will want and need electricity. Where will it come from if the Greens are successful in thwarting the building of power generation plants?
Dr. Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine points out that,
Energy is measured in British Thermal Units, BTUs. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2006 the United States used 99.5 quadrillion BTUs of energy for electrical energy and for our transportation needs.
What energy sources were used to generate the power? Fully 40% came from oil, 23% came from coal, 22% came from natural gas, 8% came from nuclear plants, 2.9% came from biomass, including ethanol, 2.8% came from conventional hydroelectric dams, and less than 1% came from all other alternatives combined, geothermal, wind and solar power.
Along with the efforts to stop any means to provide the power America needs for its present and future energy, the U.S. government heavily taxes energy industries and has placed so many restrictions on new nuclear and hydrocarbon power production that there has been very little development for two generations. On top of this, it has mandated that a large portion of the nation's corn crop, an essential element of our food supply, be liquefied and burned for fuel!
The most recent "energy bill" passed by Congress and signed by the President actually bans Thomas Edison's most famous invention, the incandescent light bulb!
A recently proposed billion-dollar project by ExxonMobil to construct a storage facility and pipeline for liquefied natural gas off shore of New Jersey immediately drew criticism by environmental groups. Gas-fired generation plants would be further thwarted from access to the energy source.
Whether it's coal, gas or oil, the Greens are doing everything they can to return the United States to the same conditions that existed from before the Revolution to fifty years after the Civil War. The use and expansion of electrical energy did not really begin until the last century.
An energy catastrophe is looming for the nation and Americans cannot even look to Congress to avert it.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!