Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Windmills and Gas Tanks

by Pa Rock

I heard a gentleman from Colorado talking about energy this morning on NPR as I was getting ready for work. He said that he favored John McCain because of his stance on energy. McCain wants to drill for more oil. This fellow said that he personally likes the idea of windmills and nuclear plants (renewable resources), but neither would put more gas in his car.

I'm glad that people are thinking in terms of energy, but these are the facts as I know them. More oil drilling will mean more oil on the world market, but not here in the United States. Our refineries are already running at full capacity. So, yeah, drilling for more oil might make us feel good (McCain's psychological cure for the recession), but it won't put more gas in our tanks, at least not in the foreseeable future. More oil drilling would, however, continue to deplete a finite resource - one that our children's children may one day truly need -and it will continue to pose constant risks to the environment - especially in the off-shore drilling that McCain lusts after, or in the Arctic National Refuge where drilling continues to be the wet dream of the far right lunatic fringe.

Surprisingly, windmills (and even the dreaded nuclear power plants) can put more gas in your tank, and, in the case of windmills, they can get the gas to your tank much quicker than drilling can. T. Boone Pickens, himself a proud part of the far right lunatic fringe, happens to be right on windmills. His argument is that as windmills go on line to produce more electricity, they will free up natural gas that is used in some areas for the production of electricity. The technology is already at hand to make cars that can run on natural gas - and they run cleaner and cheaper than the ones that we rely on today. So, fields of windmills could quickly provide combustible fuel that is cleaner and cheaper. What's wrong with that?

And don't forget that hybrid cars are already here, and electric cars are in the pipeline (excuse the bad pun). GM has announced that its Chevy Volt will be on the market in two years.

McCain has recently had a big influx of campaign cash from the oil industry. They would love to open up our coastal areas and the Alaskan wilderness for more drilling. And when that new oil starts gushing, it will follow the market - all the way to China!

We've danced to big oil's tune for over a century. It's time for a change!

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