Thursday, August 7, 2008

McCain’s Spins More Lies On “Energy Independence“

John McCain keeps talking about making the US “energy independent.” Yet Robert Bryce – an energy industry expert and author of the new book Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of 'Energy Independence’, points out that it will be impossible for America to be energy independent with current technology. McCain says nuclear energy can make the US independent of "foreign oil." But the US imports 83% of the uranium it uses. And, by the way, if you built a lot of new nuclear reactors, it will cause the price of uranium to soar. There is only so much uranium in the world so we will have "Peak uranium" within a few years if we go that route.

McCain keeps saying that the US navy has run subs on nuclear power for years and there have been no leaks. Like much of what McCain says, it’s a lie: An American nuclear submarine making a regular stop in at a naval base in southern Japan leaked radiation earlier this year, according to a Japanese newspaper report published Monday.

McCain says drilling in the United States can make the US energy independent. This is utter and total claptrap. If drilled, all the offshore fields now known off the lower 48 states might produce 400,000 barrels a day, 10 to 15 years from now. Yet the US imports 13-million barrels a day of oil. The world produces 86-million barrels a day and wants 87. Offshore drilling in the US would yield a tiny drop in the bucket – less that 0.04% of the world’s total daily energy production.

Meanwhile, China's oil imports were up 12% last year over 2006. The extra oil from offshore drilling would get used up lickety split.

McCain calls "foreign oil" expensive. But it is all one global market. Once oil is pumped, it sells for the same price everywhere (except if there are government subsidies, a huge waste of money and bad economics). It doesn't matter if it is pumped in Oklahoma or Ahvaz, it is priced the same.

Moreover, getting more fossil fuels out of the ground will produce more global warming, ravaging the world's coastlines and their inhabitants. Again, it doesn't matter whether American carbon is put into the atmosphere or Chinese. It is all one atmosphere.

The only prospect for US energy independence is cheap and effective power generation from wind and solar energy, which needs new, cheaper and better methods of battery or other storage to be practical.

Obama’s promise to invest $150-billion in alternative energy is a promising first step. Look at it this way: It is no more than what the entire Apollo project cost the US in today's dollars. And putting a man on the moon was rather less important than, like, saving the planet.But the really disturbing question is this: If I can spend 30 minutes on-line and uncover this information, why can't one of the stenographers riding the McCain campaign plane disguised as reporters also use the information in their reports to unmask McCain's energy plan as a total scam?