Friday, March 4, 2011

The Energy Boondoggle


The Energy Boondoggle

Energy costs impact all Americans on a daily basis because we drive to our places of employment, heat and cool our homes, and power our appliances and numerous electronic gadgets.    Furthermore, the ability of business to flourish and create a solid and prosperous middle class absolutely requires cost effective energy and lots of it. 
The boondoggles of agriculture, the environment and energy are all linked together and function as nothing more than gargantuan lobbies to line the pockets of powerful special interests via insane subsidies, tax breaks and special interest pork.  Not only is such a fascist economic system outright taxpayer theft, it drives up the cost of everything for insider profiteers while making everybody’s life a living hell. 
The energy boondoggle is irretrievably linked to the agricultural and environmental boondoggles and they all produce disastrous results.  By churning our food supplies into fuel, the politically connected farmers win 2 taxpayer funded lotteries (energy and food) and, big corporate giants like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)  get to make a gazillion bucks from various taxpayer funded energy/agricultural schemes that create monopolies and protectionism.  ADM is especially famous for being dubbed a case study in corporate welfare and many public interest groups follow its politically well connected road to massive profits.  ADM is a company that has been sucking on the taxpayer’s nipple for decades. 
The issue of burning our food supply for fuel is getting noticed as well as the phony baloney science behind the insanity.  An article from the New Scientist.com  states:
It sounds counterintuitive, but burning oil and planting forests to compensate is more environmentally friendly than burning biofuel. So say scientists who have calculated the difference in net emissions between using land to produce biofuel and the alternative: fuelling cars with gasoline and replanting forests on the land instead.
They recommend governments steer away from biofuel and focus on reforestation and maximizing the efficiency of fossil fuels instead.
The reason is that producing biofuel is not a "green process". It requires tractors and fertilizers and land, all of which means burning fossil fuels to make "green" fuel. In the case of bioethanol produced from corn - an alternative to oil - "it's essentially a zero-sums game," says Ghislaine Kieffer, programme manager for Latin America at the International Energy Agency in Paris, France (see Complete carbon footprint of biofuel - or is it?).
What is more, environmentalists have expressed concerns that the growing political backing that biofuel is enjoying will mean forests will be chopped down to make room for biofuel crops such as maize and sugarcane. "When you do this, you immediately release between 100 and 200 tonnes of carbon [per hectare]," says Renton Righelato of the World Land Trust, UK, a conservation agency that seeks to preserve rainforests. 
U.S. ethanol production is a colossal failure that has cost taxpayers at least tens of billions.  The Clinton Administration funded these schemes and the Bush Administration dramatically expanded them.  Ethanol made from sugar cane is fueling Brazil but ethanol made from corn is very expensive, uses tons of energy to produce, drives up food costs and results in the agony of food shortages.   It doesn’t get any more insane than burning your food supply for fuel.   Zfacts.com reports:
Corn ethanol subsidies totaled $7.0 billion in 2006 for 4.9 billion gallons of ethanol. That's $1.45 per gallon of ethanol (and $2.21 per gal of gas replaced).
Even with high gas prices in 2006, producing a gallon of ethanol cost 38¢ more than making gasoline with the same energy, so ethanol did need part of that subsidy. But what about the other $1.12. Not needed! So all of that became, $5.4 billion windfall of profits paid to real farmers, corporate farmers, and ethanol makers like multinational ADM.

Where did those subsidies come from:
1.  51¢ per gallon federal blenders credit for $2.5 billion = your tax dollars.
2.  $0.9 billion in corn subsidies for ethanol corn = your tax dollars.
3.  $3.6 billion extra paid at the pump.
What did American taxpayers get for all the billions they poured into ethanol subsidies besides expensive food, bearing witness to the anguish of third world hunger and costly energy?  This is where government “solutions” are really exposed in all its gory glory.  The ethanol operators may have taken their money and ran, maybe even laughing all the way to the nearest offshore bank, and still, Congress doesn’t think it grievously blundered.  Congress wants to dump even more taxpayer dough into bigger ethanol scams despite:
When Congress passed the 2007 energy bill a little more than a year ago, it was supposed to herald a new golden age for ethanol production...
Senator Jeff Bingaman, the powerful chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a New Mexico Democrat, says Congress may need to help more.
Corn ethanol plants are closing almost every week.. Private investment money is drying up…
Obviously the ethanol industry is in some difficulty now,” Senator Bingaman said..
The new Obama administration has not pronounced a specific ethanol policy yet. But an administration official released the following statement at the end of last month:
“We recognize that the biofuels industry – like so many other industries – is struggling under a faltering economy. We are working with Congress and assessing ways to help the industry as a whole in the stimulus package…
Is this not a hoot!!  Corn ethanol plants are closing almost every week.  Wouldn’t the American people really like to know what happened to all that ethanol money?  You just gotta know that some of these folks are sitting on a beach somewhere at a luxury resort wallowing in their “ethanol” profits extracted from the backs of American consumers and taxpayers.  More seriously though, the American people have an absolute right to know where every penny of the ethanol money went and who it enriched.  As always, corporate compensation and campaign contributions to Congress Critters are always lingering somewhere. 
To make matters worse, Congress recently (12/10) passed a bill for more ethanol subsidies. 
Besides the ethanol scam, other fuel scams have been tried with disastrous environmental results.  There was the palm oil scam that was mostly concocted in Europe by its bureaucratic idiots who consulted with equally idiotic environmentalists.  The NYT reported “Just a few years ago, politicians and environmental groups in the Netherlands were thrilled by the early and rapid adoption of “sustainable energy,” achieved in part by coaxing electrical plants to use biofuel — in particular, palm oil from Southeast Asia….Spurred by government subsidies, energy companies became so enthusiastic that they designed generators that ran exclusively on the oil…Rising demand for palm oil in Europe brought about the clearing of huge tracts of Southeast Asian rainforest and the overuse of chemical fertilizer there.” Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/business/worldbusiness/31biofuel.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all
Every stupid idea propagated by bureaucrats is always accompanied by some company getting rich off of some taxpayer funded subsidy.  So, Europeans are taxed for some far out pipe dream of palm oil being the latest elixir of energy love and rain forests are obliterated to generate private profit at public expense.  It’s how America also works.
So much of global environmental degradation could never have occurred without government subsidies.   Those who truly care don’t have their pocket lined with special interest dough; therefore the pick pockets of taxpayer cash always trump sane free market solutions.   In politics, there are no moral imperatives.  With the federal budget about to explode to the $4 trillion level, there is so much dirty money sloshing around in DC’s money laundering washing machine that the issue of who really owns DC and our elected leaders is never ever questioned or challenged simply because it’s a foregone conclusion.
As bad as things are, they are about to get a whole lot worse.  The Cap and Trade bill passed by the House of Representatives is a crime against humanity of Biblical proportions.  Our Congress Critters rarely write bills anymore as legislation is substantially written by special interests, their chief lobbyists and attorneys.  Congress just rakes in political contributions and puts a bill number on these economic weapons of mass destruction. 
The Corbettreport.com (specializes in turning real news into comedy) observed in a piece titled “Banksters Love Cap and Trade” that “The well-placed and well-connected are set to make trillions off new climate bill;…The sweeping new bill which just passed the House last Friday, the Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, is ostensibly about climate change, but it is in fact a bill of staggering economic ramifications that is going to accelerate the takeover of the economy by the well-placed financiers who have already plundered the Treasury and the Fed of $12+ trillion and counting. It was rushed through the House in the tradition of such nightmarish legislation as the Patriot Act and the banker bailout of last October: hundreds of pages were added to it at the last minute and it was humanly impossible for anyone to have read it before they voted on it. This, of course, is exactly what Obama promised his administration would never allow to happen, and for good reason; bills passed in this manner are always the result of fear and panic and inevitably results in legislation that would never be passed upon sober second thought…..The well-placed and well-connected are set to make trillions off new climate bill; economic collapse about to accelerate”.  Source:  http://www.corbettreport.com/articles/20090702_banksters_cap_trade.htm
The Banksters again!!  Cap and Trade is all about making money for Wall Street crooks by raping and pillaging “We the People” and blasting our economy and standard of living back to the dark ages.  Pure and simple, it’s oligarchy and fascism on steroids.  Of course, the politicos will also get their cut of the plunder.  
Forgetting a comedienne “journalist” for a moment, much has been written about Cap and Trade.  The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation reported that “this could be a $2 trillion futures market in relatively short order.”  (Source:  http://townhall.com/columnists/TomBorelli/2009/03/07/cap_and_trade_wall_streets_latest_scheme)
The website Investors.com posted an article on 4/28/10 titled “The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud” and said:
Sandor estimates that climate trading could be "a $10 trillion dollar market." It could very well be, if cap-and-trade measures like Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer are signed into law, making energy prices skyrocket, and as companies buy and sell permits to emit those six "greenhouse" gases.
Source:  http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=531731
What’s really important for Americans to inhale on the Cap and Trade monster is that every time the government and Banksters get together it’s all about profits for Wall Street and tax revenues for the government.  Besides being a colossal economy destroyer that will send energy costs out of the stratosphere for most ordinary Americans and further sink our stinking sinking economic situation, the Wall Street Journal (a Bankster ally) reported that “A top White House economic adviser told Senate staff a proposed cap and trade system could raise "two-to-three times" the administration's existing $646 billion revenue estimate, according to five people at the meeting.  This could mean the cap and trade system could actually generate between roughly $1.3 trillion and $1.9 trillion between fiscal years 2012 and 2019.”  Source:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123733423766063691.html
And so we get to the bottom line on Cap and “Tax” – trillions in tax revenues for the government and trillions in profits for the Banksters on the backs of a profoundly suffering American people who can barely afford existing energy costs.  Cap and Trade is a death sentence for those who will freeze to death in the winter and drop dead from the sweltering summer heat.
The financial bloggers went nuts over Cap and Trade for various reasons, from salivating over the trillions in profits to the sheer horror of it all.  Astute folks on the right and left also saw Cap and Trade as a fraud so evil that dubbing it Armageddon was not an understatement.  Just about everybody in America with only half a functioning brain cell can implicitly grasp that Cap and Trade was never anything more than a Bankster scheme to rake in, not millions not billions, but TRILLONS!
Even the biggest huckster on the planet for the Banksters, the Wall Street Journal, took a swipe at Cap and Trade by questioning the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on their off the wall analysis of Cap and Trade which is nothing more than a Carbon Tax. 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put cap-and-trade legislation on a forced march through the House…Despite House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman's many payoffs to Members, rural and Blue Dog Democrats remain wary of voting for a bill that will impose crushing costs on their home-district businesses and consumers…..When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035…..Even as Democrats have promised that this cap-and-trade legislation won't pinch wallets, behind the scenes they've acknowledged the energy price tsunami that is coming.
Source:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124588837560750781.html
Gosh, it sounds like the Dems who voted for Cap and Trade are admitting that it’s an absolute horror that is destined to bring on an “energy price tsunami”.  Then the WSJ went on to quote a taxpayer organization in Britain, where Cap and Trade has been in effect for several years, and stated that in Britain Cap and Trade has thus far cost the average family $1,300 a year in green taxes.  “Green taxes” is just a code word for financially raping the folks for the benefit of the elites, the politicos, the Banksters and the insatiably “hungry for money” Al Gore types. 
Moving right along and exploring more high brow discourse on Cap and Trade, a link from Yale disclosed some very interesting insights, particularly in the arena of what the Carbon Tax (Cap and Trade) would accomplish environmentally.  In a piece titled “The Flawed Logic of the Cap and Trade Debate”, a Yale affiliated article says:
Two prominent — and iconoclastic — environmentalists argue that current efforts to tax or cap carbon emissions are doomed to failure and that the answer lies not in making dirty energy expensive but in making clean energy cheap.
In early May, anxiety among climate activists about the fate of cap-and-trade legislation erupted into a full-throated roar with the release of a scathing open letter by Dr. James Hansen. In it, the NASA scientist called a bill by Representatives Henry Waxman and Ed Markey a “temple of doom,” savaging it for being complex, corrupt, and “a minor tweak to business-as-usual.” Hansen called for a carbon tax in its place, one that would establish a “substantial and rising price on carbon emissions.”

Hansen was right about Waxman-Markey. It will do little to reduce U.S. emissions, will transfer billions to incumbent energy interests in the form of free pollution permits, and will send billions more to timber, agriculture, and other interests, here and abroad, in the form of dubious “offsets.” But Hansen’s analysis of why climate legislation has gone so terribly off the rails is wrong.

Hansen argues that the problem has to do with the mechanism by which Waxman-Markey would establish a carbon price — a cap-and-trade system. In this, Hansen is joined by many other greens and economists, who argue that cap-and-trade is a cumbersome and economically inefficient means of establishing a carbon price, one that is particularly vulnerable to manipulation by polluters and politicians.

On the other side of
this debate stand many business interests, some prominent climate scientists, and green groups like the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. They argue that cap-and-trade is a superior approach, because it guarantees certainty of actual emissions reductions, and a more pragmatic one, because it does not require politicians to vote for a new tax on pollution. They say taxes are just as prone to manipulation by politicians and polluters and that simple carbon taxes exist only in the ivory tower equations of academic economists, not in the real, rough-and-tumble world of politics and legislating.

The truth is, however, that neither of these approaches will lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions....
This program will have little, if any, impact on U.S. emissions. But it will allow President Obama to arrive in Copenhagen next fall touting a mandatory U.S. program to cap and reduce its carbon emissions, thereby returning the U.S. to the community of good global citizens that have made such commitments without discernibly altering the actual trajectory of their growing emissions.
Source:  http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2153 by Ted Nordhouse and Michael Shellenberger.
WOW!  That’s rather blunt.  Cap and Trade is a worthless hoax according to 2 prominent and highly esteemed environmentalists who claim it can’t possibly accomplish a gosh darn thing for the environment. 
Heritage.com is a conservative think tank that has done extensive analysis on the effects of Cap and Trade:
Electricity costs go up 90 percent by 2035, gasoline by 58 percent, and natural gas by 55 percent by 2035. The cumulative higher energy costs for a family of four by then will be nearly $20,000.
We estimate job losses averaging 1,145,000 at any given time from 2012-2035. And note that those are net job losses, after the much-hyped green jobs are taken into account. Some of the lost jobs will be destroyed entirely, while others will be outsourced to nations like China and India that have repeatedly stated that they'll never hamper their own economic growth with energy-cost boosting global warming measures like Waxman-Markey.
Hey brother can you spare a dime so Al Gore and his pals can cruise around in $89,000 subsidized welfare sports cars laughing all the way to the bank while us lesser mortals comprising the shocked and plundered proletariat sweat in the summer, freeze in the winter and the only available jobs are “green” jobs working as field hands picking corn for subsidized ethanol plants that close every week.  Welcome to the new America!  Heck, Americans will be migrating to China and India before long – just to find a job. 
Speaking of China and India, their economies are growing because they are exempt from the job destroying measures imposed on Western citizens by their elitist and thieving politicos.  With the U.S. economy suffering the ravages of millions upon millions of lost jobs attributable to outsourcing our manufacturing base and the current financial/economic crisis, there is no way in hell that we can ever have an economic recovery and/or restore our lost manufacturing.  A Carbon Tax will only accelerate our march back to the future of the Stone Age. 
Solutions to our energy problems start with abolishing the federal Department of Energy that functions as Gestapo partner to special interests and an order taker for Banksters.  States should be allowed to make their own energy decisions.  The more removed “We the People” are from the political process, the more corrupt the process.  By diffusing centralized power in DC and allowing the states to make their own energy decisions, power will shift the debate back to the states and people where the battles can be waged for saner energy decisions.  Of course, the potential for special interests bankrolling the politicos at the state level will be problematic but states that encourage free market solutions and competition to energy problems will reap huge rewards and minimal corruption so long as public private partnerships and crony capitalism are avoided like the plague. 
Ultimately though, defanging the vipers of the vast, corrupt and unaccountable gang of DC power brokers is always a first step in the right directions. 
By the way, the Obama Administration really kicked Americans in the teeth when it announced it was spending $2 billion to explore for oil – in BRAZIL. 
But not to worry – we have bigger worries.  CBS and other mainstream media venues are reporting that the Obama Administration is admitting that Cap and Trade will cost the average American family $1,761 a year. 
The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent…. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.
Government estimates of the cost of anything are always a vastly underestimated, covered-up and the actual damages are always much worse.  
Cap and Trade is nothing more than a 15% “start” tax on ordinary Americans who are already struggling to feed their families and put a roof over their heads.  But the Banksters will make trillions and the government will get its cut of just another scheme to accelerate the impoverishment of Americans. 
And then there’s Al Gore who just never ever goes away.  The L.A. Times did an Al Gore piece titled Al Gore: world's first carbon billionaire?  Besides using his immense political clout to secure automobile subsidies (welfare) to build sports cars for the rich who can afford any car they want, Al Gore is apparently gorging on even more government subsidies and contracts.  One of his companies just got awarded a $560 million Dept. of Energy contract.  Al is so intensely a crony capitalist pig while he silently shouts “capitalism for me but not for thee”.   And being a crony capitalist pig is paying off big for Big Al, in fact, so big that he recently purchased a $9.7 million abode in Montecito, CA.   
The Al Gore Fisker Automotive fiasco is another horror that should make Americans cringe at the raw criminality that goes on in DC on a daily basis as it doles out welfare for the wealthy.
A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.
The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.
With 15 million Americans out of work, our government doles out $529 million to build subsidized sports cars for the rich that will be built in Finland.  To be sure, our government could care less about jobs for Americans.
What America really needs to do first is to make those bastards who shout the loudest  to drive up energy prices disclose their own personal and professional carbon footprints.  Now that would be a hoot because Al Gore lives in multiple monster mansions, owns a yacht and flies all over the world promoting his “make me rich schemes and screw everybody else”.   Al’s carbon footprint has got to be at least the size of Texas. 
John Kerry is infamous for all his legislation to force us to sweat in the summer, freeze in the winter, outlaw our factories, destroy domestic manufacturing and make energy costs so high we will suffer profound economic misery.  Yet, Sen. Kerry and his wife have multiple mansions – at least a Georgetown mansion, a downtown Boston Beacon Hill mansion, a Nantucket seaside cottage mansion,  a Ketchum, ID ski mansion and a Fox Chapel, PA mansion, all with a cumulative value of $33 million the year he ran for president, a fact verified by Associated Press.  And Kerry’s got private aircraft, a gazillion vehicles and yachts.  Kerry is such a phony baloney cheap assed creep that he recently purchased a new yacht and docked it in Rhode Island to avoid paying $500,000 in sales tax to the state of Massachusetts (Kerry supposedly eventually paid the sales tax after the Boston media went nuts over the story). 
How about just dropping Cap and Trade that punishes the middle class and instead just start taxing the hell out of folks based on their own personal carbon footprints?  Now that’s a tax that the Dems should love – it’s progressive, it’s punitive and it specifically targets the rich.  But like the Republicans, the Dems are all about screwing the middle class. 
Congress Critters legally have to disclose their campaign contributors and their net worth but at the top of the list should be their carbon footprint as well as their outsized personal energy costs and consumption.  And the same carbon footprint disclosures should apply to senior officials in the Executive branch as well as senior government agency chiefs.  In fact, why not add Hollywood to the list because these creatures who shout the loudest about global warming also have outsized carbon footprints.  Yet, they don’t think that some working class smuck who lives in about 2,000 square feet (the size of a divas closet) and who drives a modest automobile and who doesn’t have a collection of private aircraft, yachts and limos deserves to have affordable energy that a non-subsidized free market economy could easily deliver. 
Despite welfare queens like Al Gore and rich guys like John Kerry having monster carbon footprints, by far the biggest carbon footprint on the planet is that of the US Military.   Our unconstitutional and murderous wars are destroying the planet and the US Military burns through about 350-400,000 barrels of oil a day.  One of my favorite blogs (Washingtonsblog.com) posted some great information in a piece titled “The Elephant in the Room: The U.S. Military is One of the World's Largest Sources of C02” that includes:
"The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government's energy demand."
Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.
And in 2008, Oil Change International released a report showing that:
The [Iraq] war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.
The fact that the U.S. military is one of the world's largest sources of C02 is an open secret that no one is addressing. If C02 causes warming and the military is one of the largest producers of C02, then any talk of climate change which does not include the military is nothing but hot air.

Environmentalists Against War (envirosagainstwar.org) has listed many reasons to end our destructive wars and carbon burning foreign policy including:
 War destroys human settlements and native habitats.
 War destroys wildlife and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations.
 US clusterbombs, thermobaric explosions, electromagnetic bursts and weapons made with depleted uranium are indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.
 Bombs pollute, poisoning the land with unexploded shells and toxic chemicals. Bombs can't locate or neatly destroy hidden chemical or biological weapons (CBW), but they can cause the uncontrolled spread of deadly CBW agents.
Of course, you will never hear MSM ever discuss the environmental impact of our unnecessary and gargantuan military, its colossal carbon footprint or the massive environmental degradation resulting from military missions, invasions and occupations.    Furthermore, there is no way anybody can seriously discuss energy or the environment without first acknowledging the monster appetite of the military for fuel and its effects on people and their environment.  However, our military machine is all about money and lots of it; defense contractors could care less about dead people, environmental degradation or carbon footprints. 
Feeling a tad green?  After all, green is the color of money. 
Instead of taxing “We the Sheeple” into acute misery, a “green” tax should target outsized carbon footprints and the bigger the footprint, the bigger the tax.   In liberal speak, that would constitute an event of social justice.   Massively downsizing the US military, outlawing draconian weaponry like depleted uranium, ending our interventionist foreign policy and drastically downsizing the military’s carbon footprint would render the entire planet a saner, safer and poison free place for folks to survive and thrive.  

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