Monday, May 12, 2008

5 year plan for energy.

Senator Lamar Alexander delivered a plan for energy independence (for the US). It's the usual blah... blah... - all nonsense, like politicians are fond of delivering. Sample:

- Make carbon capture and storage a reality for coal-burning power plants.
- Make solar more cost-competitive with the burning of fossil fuels.

The best reaction was in a comment by peterjackson:

Good Lord, now we've got Republicans proposing Five Year Plans and Seven Step programs like some 1930's Soviet Beet Kommissar. The last thing we need is the know-nothings in Congress pretending they have the expertise required to plan the future of a market segment as huge and critical as energy. They have no such knowledge because that knowledge doesn't exist anywhere as some type of accessible whole. It takes a market with millions upon millions of people, each with their own intimate knowledge of their own needs and capabilities, participating in an open energy marketplace with free prices to coordinate such an unimaginably huge, ever-changing body of knowledge and action. Gas prices have been elevated for several years now due to many reasons, and already the marketplace is responding with the millionth shipped hybrid, high mileage clean diesels, flex-fuel vehicles, and endless number of promising technologies from compressed air vehicles to hydraulic drive trains, all with ZERO input from Washington.

Exactly. Anything the Government will try to do will turn out into a disaster, like the ethanol mandate. The best thing it can do is stay out of the whole mess. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Who finances UK (and US) universities.

The lefties love to declare that anyone sceptic of AGW must be financed by Exxon-Mobile.
Let's see who finances the left-leaning universities:

From an article in "The Australian" (hat tip: Instapundit):

... the Higher Education Funding Council for England held a special meeting to confront fears that Saudi donations were unduly influencing universities. Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies revealed that eight British universities, including Cambridge and Oxford, received more than $US465 million from Saudi and Muslim sources since 1995, mainly to fund Islamic study centres.
In 2005, a prominent Saudi businessman, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, was reported by The Washington Post to have donated $20million to Georgetown and Harvard universities in the US for the study of Islam and the Muslim world to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding.
At Scotland Yard, a security expert cautions that one of Islam's five pillars - Zakat - requires Muslims to give alms and that charity is considered virtuous and essential.
But Emerson, best-selling author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, says Saudi Arabia should be allowed to bankroll religious initiatives in the West only when it becomes open to the idea of religious reciprocity. "I think there should be a law requiring religious reciprocity for funding coming from regimes that restrict religious freedom on their soil," he says. "Saudi Arabia does not allow the practice of any other religion, bars the operations of churches, confiscates Bibles ... As such, there should be laws passed by Western governments prohibiting Saudi donations to universities until and unless Saudi Arabia operates a pluralistic religious environment.
"Absent such laws, I believe that universities should be required to register as foreign registered agents - a law we have in the US - that designates the Saudi donors and their recipients as agents of a foreign power.
"That would certainly stigmatise the grant giving and give pause before a university accepts such money."

I don't know why I just remembered the anti Israel boycott proposed recently by the British lecturers...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Congress: "We didn't know what we were doing".

Congress has second thoughts on the ethanol madness:

"The view was to look to alternatives and try to become more dependent on the Midwest than the Middle East. I mean, that was the theory. Obviously, sometimes there are unforeseen or unintended consequences of actions," Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, told reporters yesterday.

Only a year ago, Congress and President Bush seemed to view ethanol as a near magic solution to the nation's dependence on oil and counted on it to make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions. Republicans and Democrats together piled up the incentives and mandates that pushed farmers into planting corn for ethanol and consumers into buying gasoline blended with it.

"This is a classic case of the law of unintended consequences," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, who introduced a bill this week to end the entire slate of federal supports, including the mandates for blended gasoline, the tax credits for ethanol producers, and tariffs that keep out cheaper foreign ethanol.

"Congress surely did not intend to raise food prices by incentivizing ethanol, but that's precisely what's happened. A jump in food prices is the last thing our economy needs right now," Mr. Flake said.

If they are so terribly dumb that they understood nothing about ethanol, and had no idea what they were doing a year ago, maybe they should be prohibitted from passing any legislation at all.
It's incredible that they adopted this dumb legislation without the least study of the effects.
Throw out the bums.

Things every last person knows. Only congress-critters are surprised by the "unintended consequences" of their dumb act.

5 Myths About Breaking Our Foreign Oil Habit By Robert Bryce:

The new energy bill requires that the country produce 36 billion gallons of biofuels per year by 2022. That sounds like a lot of fuel, but put it in perspective: The United States uses more than 320 billion gallons of oil per year, of which nearly 200 billion gallons are imported. So biofuels alone cannot wean the United States off oil. Let's say the country converted all the soybeans grown by American farmers into biodiesel; that would provide only about 1.5 percent of total annual U.S. oil needs. And if the United States devoted its entire corn crop to producing ethanol, it would supply only about 6 percent of U.S. oil needs.