tmccarthy0's picture

    GOP in the HOR - Renewable Energy is Anti-Energy! Whaaaat????

    As usual the TeaBag GOP is going out on a limb to protect Oil, Coal, and Nuclear energy producers. NREL - the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado is on the chopping block. I did an internship while in graduate school at the Washington State Energy Office in 1993. The program I worked for was the Energy Ideas Clearing House which was funded by grants through the Department of Energy. The funding source was through the DofE's Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs. NREL recieves their funding from those programs at the DoE.  Republicans in the house are seeking to have these programs eliminated in the 2012 budget. They claim of course that these programs offer nothing to the US and have by and large failed. What should be of particular interest to everyone is that Republicans seems to believe that Renewable Energy isn’t necessary to explore. Defunding these programs will essentially defund NREL, EIC, NCAT and other Alternate Renewable Energy programs in the US.

    According to a report in the Denver Sun GOP lawmakers are pushing to defund the Department of Energy's Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in the 2012 budget, because they "have failed to live up to their supposed potential." This is an assessment they offer without supporting data, but what is most interesting is Tom McClintock from a TBag district in California, who states:

    "We should not follow the president's poor planning in increasing the funding for these anti-energy boondoggles."

    Republicans are seeking to save money by defunding these programs while continuing to subsidize Oil, Coal and Nuclear Energy industries. Of course those subsidies are much larger than any monies spend on funding these energy research programs. NREL was founded in 1978, by the Carter Administration, and that was effectively the last time the nation attempted to develop solid energy policies to move us towards the future.  According to the NREL website, it is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Backed by 33 years of achievement, NREL leads the way in helping meet the growing demand for clean energy.

    So are renewable energy programs anti-energy boondoggles? Do these folks really believe wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuel research has no place in developing sound energy policy? So while there are many folks out hatin' on the president, Republicans in the House are getting away with destroying programs that are beneficial not just to the nation but to the world.

    Until we the people are able to convince lawmakers that we would like to fund these programs the United States will never develop a coherent energy policy that can move us to a cleaner energy future, and while China is investing 54.4 billion dollars in renewable energy sources, we will cease to fund research into renewable energies, because they are deemed anti-energy by those whose political campaigns are funded by the oil, coal and nuclear industries. Until we pressure our law maker to do this we will continue to fight wars over oil.  We all know that we went to Iraq because of Oil and not for any other reason.

    According to Open Secrets, Rep. Lamborn of Colorado, the guy behind eliminating the funding source of these programs, in 2010 he received the majority of his donations from:





    Defense Aerospace




    Oil & Gas




    Defense Electronics








    Real Estate





    Over his lifetime as a representative Oil and Gas are among the top three of those contributing to his campaigns, so it is no surprise he wants to eliminate funding for NREL.  He received a lifetime total $91,762 total from Energy and Natural Resource Industries with$58,000 coming directly from PAC’s. We certainly know why this particular congressman is pushing to have NREL, NCAT, EIC defunded by eliminating the funding of the DOE’s Office of Science and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs.

    The Republican leadership on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development are as follows:

    Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) [Chairman]

    Energy and Natural Resources: about $217,000 life since 1998 of which pac’s donated $90,000

    Jerry Lewis (R-CA)

    Energy and Natural Resources: $469,000 since 1998 with $419,000 coming from PAC’s

    Mike Simpson (R-ID)

    Energy & Natural Resources:  $535,797 since 1998 with $441,445 coming from PAC’s

    Dennis Rehberg (R-MT)

    Energy & Natural Resources Industries:  $659,599 since 1998 with $464,750 coming from PAC’s

    Rodney Alexander (R-LA)

    Energy & Natural Resources:  $279,446,  $67,750 from PAC's

    Steve Womack (R-AR)

    Is pretty new to congress and has received $21,000 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries

    Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)

    Also a new member and he received $79,200 from Energy and Natural Resource Industries

    I know for a fact my congressman Norm Dicks will vote against these efforts, however your own congress-person needs to hear from you if you care about it at all. They need to know whether you for or against these efforts.  If we truly are a government by the people for the people, your participation doesn’t have to end with voting. Blogging about how you hate, hate, hate every single thing about everyone in congress, isn't as effective as contacting your congressperson. To me this is very important. Make some noise and implore your likeminded friends and neighbors to do the same, especially if you care about moving towards building a green or sustainable future for future generations. They need to know where you stand on real issues. Write them a letter, shoot them an email, and let them know you understand the issues. Do it every day if you have to, but don't let the Republicans get away with demagoguing renewable energy programs.

    Cross posted at The Angriest Liberal and Once Upon a Paradigm


    Those whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad...

    @Jollyroger, I might agree with you, but I don't let them drive me mad. By writing and informing people about some of the other issues out there that matter I not only feel better, but I think maybe at least one or two people might take that information and pass it on and take some action themselves and that is how we make change, by being active. At least that is what I think.

    They ain't after your sanity, nor mine.  We are collateral damage...#the price of madness

    We are being outspent by China by the EEU and so many other nations in the area of renewable energies.  But we the people are allowing it to happen, people would rather center on Weiner's weiner rather than the real issues that impact the entire nation and the world. How many blogs and columns talk about Weiner, how many people know that the HOR Republicans want to kill NREL? Everywhere I go, now on Gawker I expect the main topic to be Weiner's weiner, but unfortunately it it everywhere. Certainly news organizations by and large are not covering this topic, I sure don't see it at FDL, KOS, or msnbc, cnn, nbc news, abc news or cbs news. But you know what they are covering today, Sarah Palin's emails. Okay, now I am officially being driven crazy.... 

    I am a big believer in alternative energy. Especially since I HATE POWER UTILITIES nearly as much as I hate banks.

    The biggest problem with alternative energy though, is efficiency. Photovoltaics as you can see in this chart have a maximum efficiency of around 48% not bad. But look at the spectrum utilization. We still do not have potovoltaic cells that work well in the ultraviolet region. Necessary for cloudy and overcast days.

    The other problem is with transmission, which with our current system of high voltage 60Hz is very inefficient for most forms of alternative power.You have to convert the DC power that you get with photovoltaics to this AC power and that waists energy in the form a heat and magnetic losses - heat again.

    Of course you can have individual alternative power sources but you still have the same problems since all our electronic, heating, cooling, cooking etc. is designed for 120/240 volt 60Hz power.

    You either have to convert the DC or redesign the devices themselves. Then you also need batteries. The most economical of which are still lead acid types which require maintenance. And periodic replacement which means what to to with the acid and the lead.

    Their are other batteries being developed that are more efficient and smaller but they too use materials that need to be disposed of or recycled carefully.

    It will eventually happen but the big factor is the time needed to make it affordable to the masses, not just those that are well fixed. 

    Consider the automobile. It was available for a long time but did not take off until Henry Ford and others made it affordable to the masses.

    Wind power is great but it has it's problems as well. Like turning our feathered friends into to puree of feathered friends. You also need wind and it does not always blow. They are also noisy. All stuff that makes them less attractive.

    There was great interest in fuel cells a while back but that has faded as the reality of acquiring the hydrogen necessary is energy intensive. Plus storage and the hazards there of.

    In short there ain't no free lunch. All these need to be explored further but will take time to mature.

    Just a heads up.

    I am now going to apparently contradict the above. We need to pursue these alternative forms of energy for this reason.

    The only reason that oil and gas are still viable is because they can still be retrieved in massive quantities. Once this is no longer the case, their economic viability decreases markedly.  It is not practical from a financial point of view to retrieve either in small quantities since the initial costs and over head of doing so keeps going up. And this will happen far sooner than the oil and gas itself will be used up.

    And atomic energy has already reached this point. Believe me the power companies have been paying very close attention to what has been going on with the TEPCO plants in Japan. Which is why they have been shying away themselves from atomic power.  It's simply far too expensive to build them in a manner that is safe enough to prevent an accident and the financial consequence of an accident make them very unattractive.

    Why sell your soul for such a small amount of money?

    And you supposedly would not even pocket the money since it goes into a campaign chest.

    Unless your wife or son is receiving some executive job worth a million?

    Or two years later you quit and join the 'firm'?

    Does anybody track these things?

    Open Secrets tracks some of these things Dick, that is where I obtained the information. We know why they do it though, don't we, that money helps them get reelected for the rest of their lives. And I would not have an argument against that if they voted in the best interest of the population, as opposed to voting and crafting legislation that benefits those particular industries. Strike that, those industries are allowed to craft legislation now, soooooooo... given that fact, maybe there should a movement to outlaw lobbyists from crafting and contributing to crafting legislation.

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