Friday, June 26, 2009

More "Green Energy" Lies

There's a group named "Repower America" which has been running a series of deceptive ads on cable television for the past few months.

Here's one of them from a few months ago.

They take a craggy-faced actor and dress him up to appear like a real, wizened, concerned old geezer who knows what's right for America, by gosh!

The current ad features the same 'old crag face,' this time alleging that we are borrowing billions to pay for our gasoline. That new ways are necessary, and, of course, the oft-repeated canard that wind and solar power will create lots of new, 'good-paying' jobs.

Of course, what none of these commercials tell you is that the infrastructure expense and effort, not to mention consumer tradeoffs to accept electric cars, are enormous. As I explained, with the help of a Wall Street Journal article, in this recent post, you just cannot feasibly replace locomotion-focused carbon-based energy with a few windmills and solar panels. The author noted,

"The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that total solar and wind output for 2008 will likely be about 45,493,000 megawatt-hours. That sounds significant until you consider this number: 4,118,198,000 megawatt-hours. That's the total amount of electricity generated during the rolling 12-month period that ended last November. Solar and wind, in other words, produce about 1.1% of America's total electricity consumption."

The conversion of electricity into oil terms is straightforward: one barrel of oil contains the energy equivalent of 1.64 megawatt-hours of electricity. Thus, 45,493,000 megawatt-hours divided by 1.64 megawatt-hours per barrel of oil equals 27.7 million barrels of oil equivalent from solar and wind for all of 2008.Now divide that 27.7 million barrels by 365 days and you find that solar and wind sources are providing the equivalent of 76,000 barrels of oil per day. America's total primary energy use is about 47.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Of that 47.4 million barrels of oil equivalent, oil itself has the biggest share -- we consume about 19 million barrels per day. Natural gas is the second-biggest contributor, supplying the equivalent of 11.9 million barrels of oil, while coal provides the equivalent of 11.5 million barrels of oil per day. The balance comes from nuclear power (about 3.8 million barrels per day), and hydropower (about 1.1 million barrels), with smaller contributions coming from wind, solar, geothermal, wood waste, and other sources.

Here's another way to consider the 76,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day that come from solar and wind: It's approximately equal to the raw energy output of one average-sized coal mine." "

After you build some windmills, where are the jobs? And won't ending the use of coal, oil and natural gas put tens of thousands of miners, pipeline workers, refinery workers and drillers out of work? Most of which, I'd guess, make more than a mundane job in a factory producing solar panels or windmill parts.

Finally, I didn't borrow any money to fill my gas tank this week. So I don't know where the people who put the words into ol' crag face's mouth get their facts.

Probably, they are using the following specious logic. America sells debt to investors around the globe. America imports many things. One of those things is oil.

Let's just assume, and say, that all that borrowed money via T-bills is used to pay for imported oil.

Simple, huh? Wrong, but simple and, to the uninformed, scary and powerful.

But you could point to anything and say it is the source of our trade flow imbalances. I noted this in my critique of Boone Picken's flawed arguments in this prior post.

"Repower America" makes deceptive ads and claims on so many levels, it's disgusting. Let's hope people see through the lies and misleading inferences in their commercials.

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