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Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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View Poll Results: Which Candidate Has the Best Energy Policy?
Candidate #1 (Clinton) 3 16.67%
Candidate #2 (McCain) 8 44.44%
Candidate #3 (Obama) 7 38.89%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-08-2008, 04:39 PM   #31
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
There is something to like about all 3, however, the candidate that I would most like to see is the one that says NO MORE OIL. (yes, we all know I am a Bush advocate, but I don't have to like EVERYTHING about his tenure do I?)
It's time to stop using oil 100%, and we need to make a plan to stop it NOW. Corn is my alternative, and no one seems to be making that a priority.
I love the wind and solar energy idea for homes etc...if we put more money towards research in those departments, we could maximize the energy they give us.
All this kind of reminds me of Monsters Inc. They needed screams and they were barely making the energy needs, then they found out that laughter was the better solution. Right now, oil is screams, and corn / solar / wind is laughter. We just have to learn to harness it.
Well if you read what allot of experts say about corn is that we burn more energy producing a gallon of ethanol. Also with the fields needed to grow corn we will cause more green house gases by clearing land.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #32
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Should I go ahead and name the candidates now?
I'll try:
1 Hillary
2 McCain
3 Obama
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #33
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
I am no economic expert on this stuff. I have a college level understanding of economics and zero targeted understanding of the energy market but I think in general what I'd do is:

- First off I'd abolish any current tax break that oil companies get. Let's start with a clean slate.

- Identify a reasonable timeline for becoming oil independent. This will require understanding what oil reserves we have and how long they would last us at certain levels of usage. The idea here is to figure out at what point we can raise the proverbial middle finger to the middle east and say "Hey, were good now. We've got enough to last us 50 years in reserve". I am guessing that would mean we'd need to reduce our oil usage to approximately 2% of what we use today. I have no idea how realistic that is. Or whether it is realistic at all. I suppose there will always be a need for oil at some level no matter what.

- Construct a roadmap to oil independence. This will be hard since we have no real solid idea what the key to oil independence is. Maybe it is corn or hydrogen. Maybe biodiesel. Maybe a mixture. Probably a mixture. But we need to be reasonable. How long would it take us if we started today with full funding to overhaul our infrastructure? Once we uinderstand what generally needs to be done we can figure out how long it would take and how it can be done.

- Structure an incentive to big oil to follow the roadmap or even outperform it. If we figure out we can be 50% oil independent in 10 years then structure a tax incentive, A MASSIVE ONE, over the next ten years that forces them from a busniess perspective to get it done. Then slowly reduce the tax incentive over the next however many years it will take to be 100% independent. At the end, the old oil infrastructure will be gone and we'll using whatever else we have. Then we can start simply taxing the hell out oil comsumption to inhibit any type of revival.

All it takes is for everyone to be honest and reasonable. We simply can't ram this down big oil's throat at the expense of their profits and expect it to work. The reason they have so much influence is because they have money and they will do every thing they can do to keep their money and influence. The only reasonable way to get them to go along is to make it more proftiable to NOT USE OIL as a source.
This is pretty good stuff. By the way, I'm even less of expert than you are. If that makes sense? Anyway...

As far as tax breaks are concerned, US corporations have the highest, or at the very least, second highest taxation in the world. So I'm sure any tax breaks would be welcomed by big Oil in that regard.

As far as timelines go, I know candidate #3 (wink*wink) thinks it will take well into the year 2030 before we'll see any significant changes in our dependence on oil and OPEC producing nations.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #34
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by firstdown View Post
I'll try:
1 Hillary
2 McCain
3 Obama
Well, that wasn't really my question, but I guess the answer then is yes I should. And yes you're right.

1=Hillary Clinton
2=John McCain
3=Barack Obama

Again, the points I listed does not cover the full range of their agenda but their major points. I gathered this from various sources, including their own official sites.

Overall, I tend to be a McCain guy but if Energy was a major issue for me I don't know that he would be my guy. For one thing he makes hardly any mention of it on his own site which tells me it's not a huge priority for him (could be wrong though) and his solutions were somewhat vague. He spoke more about the will and creativity of the American people to solve this problem, without much in terms of actual plans and benchmarks.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:32 PM   #35
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Well, that wasn't really my question, but I guess the answer then is yes I should. And yes you're right.

1=Hillary Clinton
2=John McCain
3=Barack Obama

Again, the points I listed does not cover the full range of their agenda but their major points. I gathered this from various sources, including their own official sites.

Overall, I tend to be a McCain guy but if Energy was a major issue for me I don't know that he would be my guy. For one thing he makes hardly any mention of it on his own site which tells me it's not a huge priority for him (could be wrong though) and his solutions were somewhat vague. He spoke more about the will and creativity of the American people to solve this problem, without much in terms of actual plans and benchmarks.
And that's why I called his plan a joke. Where is the substance I ask?
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:48 PM   #36
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

Alright, I'll admit off the bat I voted for Clinton. Cap and trade is probably the only thing that will really reduce pollution quickly and effectively (aside from an actual tax on pollution which will never happen because tax is an f'ing four letter word in America).

But here's what I would really like to throw at the fan. We've all heard politicians (especially conservatives) say that renewable/green sources of energy are not cost effective compared to oil. Like the average cost per unit of energy is lower for oil and coal than wind, solar etc. etc. What about this: if a person is honest enough to acknowledge that a huge amount of the federal budget goes toward securing or exploring for oil (in order for big oil to gain access) is it really cheaper than green energy.

For example, people from Alan Greenspan to Toni Zinni (both avowed Republicans by the way) have been big enough to admit Iraq is about oil one way or another. Most people I know who are honest admit this as well. So... the cost so far is at least half a trillion and most experts say the final cost will be several trillion. Shouldn't that count as a bottom line cost per barrel of oil? I don't see why not.

Relating this theory back to the poll, it's exactly the reason why I could never vote for McCain. Aside from what he says today the guy has voted against almost every alternative energy program and constantly voted for Big Oil right-offs and subsidies. I know he says otherwise but I've seen vote tallies on votesmart and other public sites. McCain is clearly the Big Oil candidate in this election, but I have a sick feeling nobody is going to get that.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:58 PM   #37
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

Incidentally, here is how each of the candidates has voted on Energy issues over the past few years (thanks to http://www.ontheissues.org)

Hillary Clinton
Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007)
Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. (Jun 2007)
Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
Voted NO on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)
Voted YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)
Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
Supports tradable emissions permits for greenhouse gases. (Aug 2000)
Keep efficient air conditioner rule to conserve energy. (Mar 2004)
Establish greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. (Feb 2005)
Require public notification when nuclear releases occur. (Mar 2006)
Rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness. (Nov 2007)
Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)

John McCain
Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
Voted NO on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
Voted NO on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)
Voted YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)
Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
Voted YES on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling. (Apr 2000)
Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on approving a nuclear waste repository. (Apr 1997)
Voted NO on do not require ethanol in gasoline. (Aug 1994)
Sponsored bill for greenhouse gas tradeable allowances. (Feb 2005)
Rated 17% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Supports immediate reductions in greenhouse gases. (Sep 1998)

Barack Obama
Passed tax credit for installing E85 ethanol at gas stations. (Feb 2008)
Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007)
Voted YES on making oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. (Jun 2007)
Voted YES on factoring global warming into federal project planning. (May 2007)
Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
Voted YES on $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas. (Oct 2005)
Voted YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)
Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)
Sponsored bill for tax credit for providing 85% ethanol gas. (Apr 2005)
Sponsored bill to notify public when nuclear releases occur. (Mar 2006)
Sponsored bill raising CAFE by a 4% per year until 2018. (Jul 2006)
Rated 100% by the CAF, indicating support for energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness. (Nov 2007)
Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:00 AM   #38
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

I don't think people adequately understand the paucity of oil that remains in this world. If you are familiar with peak oil theory (which isn't so much a theory as a geoligical fact) then you know oil will reach a peak point of production after which the quality of oil will be reduced and it will be increasingly more difficult to extract. Increasing oil consumption in the developing world, particularily in China but really everywhere, is only quickening this inevitability. Now some argue that oil production peaked last year, but when it peaks is really irrelevant. What matters is that it will.

That means that at some point we are going to face a major day of reckoning, since not only transportation but the world's entire industrial infrastructure is predicated on access to relatively cheap oil. My point is that a major technological project is needed to avert what will likely be an extremely unstable period, as the world's 3 powers - Europe, America, China, and their respective allies - fight over the remaining scraps.

I think all 3 candidates fall short in doing enough on this and I wish someone would speak to the people honestly about the poisonous effect that increased consumption in a world of declining oil production will have on the stability of the global economic system.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:01 AM   #39
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
But here's what I would really like to throw at the fan. We've all heard politicians (especially conservatives) say that renewable/green sources of energy are not cost effective compared to oil. Like the average cost per unit of energy is lower for oil and coal than wind, solar etc. etc. What about this: if a person is honest enough to acknowledge that a huge amount of the federal budget goes toward securing or exploring for oil (in order for big oil to gain access) is it really cheaper than green energy.

For example, people from Alan Greenspan to Toni Zinni (both avowed Republicans by the way) have been big enough to admit Iraq is about oil one way or another. Most people I know who are honest admit this as well. So... the cost so far is at least half a trillion and most experts say the final cost will be several trillion. Shouldn't that count as a bottom line cost per barrel of oil? I don't see why not.
I suspect we don't agree on much but I completely get what you're saying here. Unfortunately this is the kind of extended thinking that most Americans seem to not grasp. Or at least it is the type of thinking that never gets into the media cycle because media types don't think we understand it and politicians think we're even dumber than that.

Quote:
Relating this theory back to the poll, it's exactly the reason why I could never vote for McCain. Aside from what he says today the guy has voted against almost every alternative energy program and constantly voted for Big Oil right-offs and subsidies. I know he says otherwise but I've seen vote tallies on votesmart and other public sites. McCain is clearly the Big Oil candidate in this election, but I have a sick feeling nobody is going to get that.
I'd love to know what a "Big Oil candidate" is though. If it means you think he thinks Big Oil is probably the best driver then I agree with him and don't care if he is a Big Oil candidate. On the other hand if it means to leave Big Oil alone and let it happen normally then I say fugetaboutit! We can incentivise it to happen and make it worth it to them. Win/win baby.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:05 AM   #40
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by djnemo65 View Post
I don't think people adequately understand the paucity of oil that remains in this world. If you are familiar with peak oil theory (which isn't so much a theory as a geoligical fact) then you know oil will reach a peak point of production after which the quality of oil will be reduced and it will be increasingly more difficult to extract. Increasing oil consumption in the developing world, particularily in China but really everywhere, is only quickening this inevitability. Now some argue that oil production peaked last year, but when it peaks is really irrelevant. What matters is that it will.

That means that at some point we are going to face a major day of reckoning, since not only transportation but the world's entire industrial infrastructure is predicated on access to relatively cheap oil. My point is that a major technological project is needed to avert what will likely be an extremely unstable period, as the world's 3 powers - Europe, America, China, and their respective allies - fight over the remaining scraps.

I think all 3 candidates fall short in doing enough on this and I wish someone would speak to the people honestly about the poisonous effect that increased consumption in a world of declining oil production will have on the stability of the global economic system.
Theoretically though economics would say that as thise "day of reckoning" approaches the costs of oil will become untenable driving a major movement towards alternative fuel.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:10 AM   #41
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Theoretically though economics would say that as thise "day of reckoning" approaches the costs of oil will become untenable driving a major movement towards alternative fuel.
Yeah I agree and that's what is likely to happen. The problem is that we will have a painful adjustment period while we try to figure things out. And I don't mean painful as in having to eat out less, I mean major global instability. That's the worst case scenario, but I don't think an implausible one. It's not as if countries have never gone to war over oil before.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:11 AM   #42
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

Let me add FRPLG, that's assuming that there aren't any tenable renewable alternatives ready at the time, and right now we are light years away.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:27 AM   #43
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
I suspect we don't agree on much but I completely get what you're saying here. Unfortunately this is the kind of extended thinking that most Americans seem to not grasp. Or at least it is the type of thinking that never gets into the media cycle because media types don't think we understand it and politicians think we're even dumber than that.


I'd love to know what a "Big Oil candidate" is though. If it means you think he thinks Big Oil is probably the best driver then I agree with him and don't care if he is a Big Oil candidate. On the other hand if it means to leave Big Oil alone and let it happen normally then I say fugetaboutit! We can incentivise it to happen and make it worth it to them. Win/win baby.
Not sure what you're suspicious about. Anyway, Cheney's energy ceo roundtable that wrote the initial Bush energy policy is classic Big Oil candidate stuff. Way too coincidental that he spends the first years of the term: working w/ oil execs to write a policy, backing an idiotic coup in Venezuela because its government refused to "cooperate" w/ our energy needs, then invading and occupying the most oil rich country in the world that could not possibly defend itself. It was especially amusing when the energy firms out of Texas were caught red-handed cutting supply to California to spike prices (remember the tapes of "Yeah, fuck 'em), after Cheney had spent months defending his buddies and touring the country to tell everyone that the real problem is that we weren't subsidizing oil/gas/coal enough.

Anyway, the real point is that McCain has been right there w/ hardliners like Cheney. The difference is McCain says otherwise, which really makes no sense whatsoever to me because if he talked like other hardliners he'd probably be much more popular w/ the conservative base IMO. I'm just saying I am confused about his positioning. What is he going for?
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:32 AM   #44
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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Originally Posted by djnemo65 View Post
I don't think people adequately understand the paucity of oil that remains in this world. If you are familiar with peak oil theory (which isn't so much a theory as a geoligical fact) then you know oil will reach a peak point of production after which the quality of oil will be reduced and it will be increasingly more difficult to extract. Increasing oil consumption in the developing world, particularily in China but really everywhere, is only quickening this inevitability. Now some argue that oil production peaked last year, but when it peaks is really irrelevant. What matters is that it will.

That means that at some point we are going to face a major day of reckoning, since not only transportation but the world's entire industrial infrastructure is predicated on access to relatively cheap oil. My point is that a major technological project is needed to avert what will likely be an extremely unstable period, as the world's 3 powers - Europe, America, China, and their respective allies - fight over the remaining scraps.

I think all 3 candidates fall short in doing enough on this and I wish someone would speak to the people honestly about the poisonous effect that increased consumption in a world of declining oil production will have on the stability of the global economic system.
I'm starting to really question if we're anywhere near peak production. I mentioned in an earlier post that geologists are finding huge deposits off the coast of Brazil and other places that were previously out of reach but can now be drilled.

Not that I'm arguing w/ you, cause I don't really know the science, but I suspect that environmental damage will become critical before oil supply becomes critical.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:41 AM   #45
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Re: Understanding the Issues 2008: Energy

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I'm starting to really question if we're anywhere near peak production. I mentioned in an earlier post that geologists are finding huge deposits off the coast of Brazil and other places that were previously out of reach but can now be drilled.

Not that I'm arguing w/ you, cause I don't really know the science, but I suspect that environmental damage will become critical before oil supply becomes critical.
Yeah i've heard stuff like that and I am really in no position to judge when oil production will peak. I just think it makes more sense to start preparing for it now, if for no other reason then to put America in a position to technologically dominate the next century the way it did the last.
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