smart meterAs Americans continue to wonder what happened to the $787 billion in stimulus money and the economic recovered our leaders said would arrive in the aftermath of passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, another $3.4 billion has surfaced. Yesterday, The New American reported on the $400 million that the Department of Energy will be distributing over the next two years through ARPA-Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (or Arpa-e) grants. The expenditure examined in today's article is also linked to the $36.7 billion given to the Department of Energy in "stimulus" funding, but this time it concerns support for development of the "Smart Grid."

scienceHave you been watching the nation’s economy continue to unravel and wondering where all of that stimulus money went? Another $400 million of the $787 billion approved last February in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been accounted for, this time at the federal Energy Department. Why did the Energy Department receive these funds? To support technological research that, in many cases, is so speculative that it apparently cannot attract private venture capital.

Steven ChuA few weeks ago, Energy Secretary Steven Chu surprised a National Public Radio interviewer with an unequivocal endorsement of nuclear power. In answer to a question about his choice of living near a coal-fired or a nuclear-powered plant where electricity is generated, he responded, “If you look at the difference between a coal plant down the river and a nuclear power plant, personally I’d rather be living near a nuclear power plant. There’s less of the pollution we know about that is dangerous. Nuclear power has a record in the United States that is very, very good.”

oil rigIf oil industry discoveries continue at this year’s current pace, 2009 will see the highest number of new finds in nine years.

windmillTwo Danish experts in the field of wind energy will be in Washington for the next three days to speak on the subject of wind generated electricity. One would expect they are here to brag on the fact that their country is a leader in the field and that they already satisfy, as President Obama puts it, "20 percent of the electricity through wind power." One would be wrong in such an expectation. They are here to warn us about the dangers of putting our electricity needs in the wind power basket.

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