Obama’s UN speech and energy facts

Sounding more like Yes Men prankster than president, President Obama spoke of rising seas, floods, drought, and climate refugees. Yet his policies have been far from humorous.

His aim to double generating capacity from wind and other renewable resources sounds similar to President Bush’s goals. Yet to quote George Wallace of the American Bird Conservancy, “To meet (President Bush’s) request that 20 percent of the nation’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030, the number of turbines would have to increase 30-fold. At current mortality rates, the wind industry would be killing between 900,000 and 1.8 million birds per year.” (Environment and Energy Daily, July 11, 2008)

Obama at least admits that these types of “clean energy” energy haven’t been profitable when he says that the “House of Representatives passed an energy and climate bill in June that would finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy for American businesses…” (emphasis mine). He and I differ on his “profitable” prediction, however. Wind and solar energy have been receiving government subsidies since the ’70s, now at the rate of $23 per megawatt hour. (Coal-fired power only costs around $25 per megawatt hour and receives a 44 cent per megawatt hour subsidy.) Yet renewables still aren’t profitable, as he admits. Gifts to corporations such as GE won’t change that.

The president also boasted of “investing billions to cut energy waste in our homes, buildings, and appliances – helping American families save money on energy bills in the process.” Yet, he has tied the hands of those same families from receiving money from efficiency gains when he has supported guaranteed utilities profits. Decoupled rates, for gas utility service, electric utility service, or both, as twenty states have, guarantee profit levels for utilities despite usage reductions.

The $7 trillion dollar federal debt that these policies are helping to create is definitely not “a future that is worthy of our children.”