Marita K. Noon
If there is one thing T. Boone Pickens knows how to do, it is make money. When T. Boone gets behind something, financial gain is the incentive. There is nothing wrong with making money, but his motives cannot be viewed as purely altruistic. When the price of natural gas was high, he advertised converting the world to wind power as wind power needs back-up base-load power and the only source that can ramp up and down quickly is natural gas. Now that natural gas prices are lower, he no longer promotes wind power. He is, however, pushing a new scheme to increase natural gas usage. Natural gas is a clean-burning fossil fuel, so using more natural gas is good.
However, when T. Boone partners with Congressman Harry Teague, one has to look askance. At best, Teague appears to be a bit schizophrenic.
While we do not currently know what version of cap and trade will pass through Congress-or even if any form will pass, we know that Teague voted for the Waxman/Markey Bill (AKA cap and trade). The purported goal of cap and trade is to get America off of fossil fuels by making their emissions taxable in some form-and therefore more expensive for the consumer. One variant of cap and trade basically eliminates coal from America's energy portfolio, which means our coal-fired power plants that provide about half of our base-load energy needs will all have to be converted to natural gas--additionally upping the price. So Teague has essentially voted to make natural gas--a fossil fuel his company helps produce--more expensive and then supports a bill (H.R. 1835) that would use taxpayer money to underwrite the conversion of vehicles from gasoline or diesel to natural gas. We the taxpayers will get hit on both sides of his efforts.
In addition to his apparent split personality, the opinion editorial produced jointly by the Teague/Pickens team has several other flaws.
In their proposal, they recommend tax incentives for converting fleets to be fueled by natural gas. On the surface this sounds good-we trade an imported fuel for a domestic one. The use of natural gas has already been tried in agricultural and oil field vehicles since the 60's and was not reliable.Yet, this is being tried in several government agencies as a way to be more environmentally friendly--even though the infrastructure is not there. To solve this, Teague/Pickens then encourage opening more NGV fueling stations. This will take years and years to make happen due to right-of-way issues, environmental regulations and excessive costs--which their approach would have underwritten by the taxpayer (as are, or course, the aforementioned tax incentives). By the time a NGV infrastructure could be functional, something totally different could be in place.
Another flaw is their idea that NGV will reduce our dependence of foreign oil. We currently use foreign natural gas and their plan would increase natural gas use--therefore using more from foreign sources. I am all for natural gas use and I support getting off of foreign fuels of all kinds. But switching our vehicles to NGV will not do that. What we need is to open up drilling options-for both natural gas and oil! Their op-ed cites a study indicating that the continental United States has enough natural gas reserves to last 118 years. That may be true, but how much are we currently allowed to access? Much of America's natural resources are off-limits due to environmental NIMBYism! With all of the nonconventional fuels coming online, I believe we could be almost energy independent now--or at least have energy security (meaning we get our fuels from friendly countries such as Mexico and Canada). But we must be able to access them.
Additionally the Teague/Pickens piece claims that natural gas burns cleaner and produces "virtually no particulate emissions." I agree that natural gas burns cleanly, but so do most other fuels today. America and Canada derive the largest single percent of energy from coal, yet they both have some of the cleanest air of the industrialized world. Wasn't Waxman/Markey about CO2, not particulate emissions? Come on Harry, make up your mind.
Teague's action in voting for Waxman/Markey was a vote to shut down fossil fuels when the next generation of fuel--whatever it may be--is not yet available. After all, as they state, "Wind and solar are not helping you drive to work in the morning."
Marita Noon is the Executive Director at CARE (Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy), the nonprofit organization working to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom and the American way of life. Find out more at www.responsiblenergy.org. Note: The above is in response to a previously published op-ed
The Piercing Truth
This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes