Energy update: evil US myths, green taxes, risk and safety

It seems to take a while for the politicians to figure out when they’ve encountered a new swamp. Comments on climate change and energy efficiency prompted Steven Hayward to take note about Romney on Energy Efficiency.

Sigh. This once again reflects Romney’s frequent slavishness to the conventional wisdom. I’ve commented a lot on this trope, most recently over on my American.com weekly energy blog in response to Newsweek magazine’s claim that “”The United States is known throughout the world as a pathetic energy hog,” a claim made without a single fact or statistic to back it up or provide context.

Such as, for example, that as the economy that produces the most goods and services the United States will use the most energy. We use the more energy per capita because we produce the most economic output per capita and our incomes are about one-fourth higher than European incomes.

It’s another one of those anti-U.S. themes that relies on a selected statistical measure with a questionable referent in order to rationale its ridiculousness. The question is why U.S. politicians should be buying into it in the first place.

Then there’s Watt’s item about how Pressure Mounts To Come Clean On Hidden Green Taxes.

Power companies were under mounting pressure last night to come clean about the green ‘stealth levies’ secretly added to fuel bills – and tell customers exactly how much they are paying for Britain’s climate change revolution.

There was a note recently about the premium North Dakota electricity customers are paying for Montana’s anti-coal efforts – which brings to mind one reason why Texas has its own grid. Many states require utility companies to subsidize non-economic power sources and that often adds ten percent or more to individual utility bills.

Then there’s Kate’s item about the German nuclearophobia: “One German organic farm has killed twice as many people as the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Gulf Oil spill combined. Crickets.”

And then you get into Exxon’s discovery of another large Gulf of Mexico oil reserve – that they can’t get permits to drill for – and the war on tapping massive newly discovered natural gas reserves with propaganda movies that use gross deceit to make their point.

Energy is probably a key component in solving the U.S. debt problem. Cheap energy is put into better competitiveness in manufacturing as well as increasing personal wealth. But then, those that think the U.S. are evil also don’t seem to grasp just how dominant the U.S. really is in the world market, either.

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