As 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."
Have 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.
A 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.”
Two 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.
With the ink barely dry on the resignation letter of self-proclaimed one-time communist Van Jones as President Obama’s Green Jobs Czar, the USA Today is reporting that one area of the “green economy” that is faltering is its virtual mascot: solar power.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on June 25: “The climate-change legislation likely to win House approval Friday will produce ‘millions of jobs’ in renewable energy technologies while slowing down global warming, President Obama said Wednesday.
The Potential Gas Committee, a group of academics and industry specialists supported by the Colorado School of Mines, reports the largest increase in natural-gas reserves in its 44-year history. Estimated reserves rose to 2,074 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2008 from 1,532 Tcf in its 2006 report.
Steven Aftergood, a security expert with the Federation of American Scientists, reported on June 1 that “a compilation of hundreds of U.S. nuclear sites and activities that were to be declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency by the United States was transmitted to Congress last month by President Obama.” The draft declaration was meant to give Congress time to review and revise it before being transmitted to the UN’s nuclear monitoring group.
Nuclear power is portrayed by the major media and by environmental activists as dangerous and perhaps even sinister. Wind power, on the other hand, is considered benign. But the track records of nuclear power and wind power present a different picture.
William Morrison of Des Moines is credited with building the first electric car in 1891. It was successful, except for two problems: the batteries were heavy and expensive, and it wouldn't go very far on a charge. In 2009 Ford and General Motors showed their new line of electric cars at the Detroit Auto Show. They were as pretty as you can make a vehicle. But they have two major problems: the batteries are heavy and expensive, and they don't go very far on a charge.