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This just in: The Obama Deficit Reduction Plan

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What does this have to do with scouting issues?

Alternative fuels... yeah, right. We've only been hearing about alternative fuels since Carter. And look what we got - the Chevy Volt, which will be an absolute failure. The only buyer of that piece of junk will be GE, using tax-payer stimulus dollars. Who wants to pay $41,000 for a car that gets 25 - 50 miles on a charge, and takes 10 - 12 hours to recharge? Oh, and that "electric" car has a gasoline engine, as well, to charge the battery and drive the car at highway speeds. Running just on gas (after that initial 25 - 50 miles of your trip), the Volt gets around 30 mpg. Woohoo!


We could have a car now that delivers 65 mpg, for around $25,000. Unfortunately, the greenies have declared diesel "bad" and those fuel taxes on diesel make it more expensive to the consumer than regular gas.


The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have



This is what we get when the government (Big Brother) chooses the winners and losers.

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I agree with Beavah on this, especially that "Except the gas tax. I'd make da gas tax go up by 10 or 15 cents each year... forever." part. Forever is a long time but I it's possible to change our minds once we've re-established a sense of responsibility in this country.

I'm not happy with that 10-year-out deficit though. I'd like to see this thing killed quickly.


But I'm sanguine about the chances of most of those proposals getting passed. This could just end being a political quagmire.

Regarding how we got here I just read some of David Stockman's thoughts:



Too bad he wasn't as straight-forward back when he could have helped rein in the Reagan excesses.


Edited to add: Eagle92, increased cost of energy will cause more of production to become more local to the markets. There will consequently be less fuel used for transport AND more jobs locally. The gas tax is really a misnomer for what essentially is a carbon tax applied only to petroleum. Oh well, I doubt we're going to pass that either.


Brent, I agree with you on that diesel. It's a shame we can't have that on the road right now. I've driven them on numerous occasions various places overseas and I think they're just great.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Hate to burst your bubble Brent, ok, I admit, I kinda do!

VW has been importing diesel cars into America for decades. I used to drive a 1981 Rabbit. And the latest ones meet the most strigent emmission standards. Don't blame the greenies, blame Americans for not buying them.

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Gern, those Rabbits were not the same thing. The new diesel technology is quiet and clean. I had friends with Rabbits and while they did get 50 mpg, they sounded like my John Deere.


Edit: Just reminded myself of what my German friends called Volvos: The world's fastest tractors. ;)(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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- My Lord, the stupidity over energy.


1) Solar. Every. Single. Building. South of the 40th Parallel!


2) Wind. It's a small percentage because we haven't fully figured out sharing ag land and wind farms. Let's get with the program.


3) Geothermal. There is not a reason in the world California needs to burn a single BTU or load a single nuclear fuel rod with the heat of the Pacific Rim at hand.


My favorite NIMBY story: Barbara Boxer, US Senator, demanding the Bureau of Land Management not build solar farms in the California desert:




Entrepeneurs need some small help making the risk worth the reward, and then we need to unleash them.

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Right there with yeh, Brent.


I think yeh tax petrol, but then yeh let the market generate the alternatives, not the government. The point is to just make the thing that's bad for us more expensive, not to tell people what to do. If diesel is the best road to efficiency, then diesel it is. If it's natural gas powered vehicles, then natural gas it is. If it's developing new domestic industry closer to the market because transport costs are higher, so be it. People are free to decide.


Where government gets involved in stuff, it should do so in a simple, transparent, predictable way that lets markets do what they do best. The advantage of da "Cost of Freedom" incremental gas tax is that it's simple, transparent, and predictable. It's not a 3000 page piece of legislation that will take 10 years of litigation before a corporation can rely on it to make business decisions. It's not complex enough to hide special interest loopholes in. It's not tryin' to dictate behavior or pick winners and losers based on lobbyist dollars.


And by my back of da envelope calculations, it would also get us to a zero deficit in 7 years, in combination with da other stuff.


But big-government folks love da 3000 page bills, eh? Requires a whole federal agency to administer. Ensures a gravy train for lawyers and lobbyists and accountants lookin' for loopholes.


That's why cap & trade is such a bad idea, where I could support a simple carbon tax, especially if yeh reduced other business taxes to match. But regardless of what yeh feel about a general carbon tax, a petrol tax is absolutely vital to our national security, and would support our domestic industry.




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Current world energy use is about 15 terawatts (TW).

Of that 15 TW consumption, about 13 TW is from fossil fuels (oil/gas/coal). 2 TW is from various forms of hydro/nuclear/wind/geothermal sources.

In 30 years, demand is estimated to grow to over 35 TW worldwide.

If the fossil fuel source is finite, the 20 TW gap is going to have to come from some other source.


Every home/business could be a solar power station, feeding back into the grid when it isn't taking out.


Geothermal - yes. Every home/business could be heated and cooled with it. Simple tech. Drill a deep hole, pump water through it.


Wind - not so good. Power transmission is a huge barrier. How do you get the power from the desert to the city with our disjointed, out of date power grid? Upgrading the grid is enormously expensive.


Solar farms - same issues as wind.


Drill baby drill - well, we've seen the results of that. And we've already reached peak oil discovery.



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OK, so you power Denver from the Colorado steppes. I power Kansas City from the Kansas Steppes. SR540Beaver and Eagledad's Oklahoma City gets powered...


Every major city (and many of the small cities/towns here in Flyover Country) you power from alternate means is one less requiring BTUs.


Think local in planning alternative energy support.

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You aren't going to get an arguement from me John. But turbines are expensive and our grid isn't ready to handle them. They are starting to go up all over eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa. Unfortunately, not enough people live in those areas close enough to consume it.


Estimated potential energy

Solar 86,000 TW

Wind 870 TW

GeoTherm 32 TW

Hydro 7.2 TW


Solar is clearly the winner. And it doesn't look bad or kill birds like wind turbines do.

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