Energy playing field

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    To comment on a sidebar issue, the proposed pipeline to route Canadian tarsands oil to the Gulf, might I propose that such to railed instead of planting a new environment destructive pipeline. Before you jump all over me, note that pipelines ARE NOT SAFER THAN RAIL. We have ample experience with that here in Utah. Moreover, the railroad is already in place, i.e. doesn't have to be built. Note also that increasing quantities of crude are going by rail what with the new nontraditional origins and nontraditional destinations. The oil can go anywhere the rail network goes, lots of places more than pipelines. Some rail outfits like BNSF will get more filthy rich, but maybe that's a price worth covering.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 27, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    To "Happy Valley Heretic" but the liberals and their environmental buddies are preventing us from building large renewable energy power plants. They block every effort to build new nuclear power plants and faciliies to reprocess the spent fuel rods.

    What I would really like to hear is how does nationalizing the oil development in the US help? Private industry typically operates at a lower cost than government, and also can get things done quicker than the government. How does nationalizing oil do anything other than make oil even more expensive?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 27, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    ...and what are the costs associated with defending pipelines and shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf?
    There is no free market. If we don't nationalize our oil then we will never be energy independent, ever, without renewables.

    Still trying to blame Obama is a sad excuse for lack of research on your part pro.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 26, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    Re: "[Taxpayers reap] . . . lower energy prices across the spectrum."

    You're not seriously suggesting the Obama regime's flushing of billions down that crony-capitalist "green energy" toilet can be credited for any tiny dip we've recently seen in energy prices?

    You're also a little off on inflation-adjusted gas prices. In 1972, [pre-embargo] gas cost about $0.36 a gallon. If inflation were the only pressure, today's gas would cost right around 5.5 times that, or about $2 a gallon.

    Inflation's not the only pressure, of course, but we're WAY ahead of 2 bucks a gallon.

    We might be there, if we weren't enriching Obama's "green energy" buddies, or if the regime would step out of the way on exploration, drilling, and pipelines, but . . . .

    The big driver of lower demand is, of course, the Obama recession. So his policies may actually exert some negative pressure on energy prices, but, here's hoping that'll turn around soon. When it does, reduced natural gas prices may help, some, but liberals can't honestly take credit for that, either.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 26, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    "And taxpayers reap next-to-nothing from those incentives."

    Just lower energy prices across the spectrum. Thats all.

    We are at a 17 year low in demand for oil... it didn't happen by accident. That decreased demand is resulting in inflation adjusted prices for oil about what we paid in 1972. Those prices are what is keeping coal and natural gas prices down, because that is who oil competes with.

    US population up..... energy demand down.... "next to nothing for those incentives"

    Looks like something to me.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 26, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" you got the industry wrong. Oil companies pay massive taxes and royalties to the US government. Read "Which Companies Pay The Most In Taxes?" in Forbes. Learn that while Oil companies do make some profits, they are taxed at about a 40% rate, which is higher than the Pharmacuticles or Apple Computers.

    They don't receive subsidies, and in fact have lower tax breaks than other industries.

    As for your figure for subsidies to energy production, according to CNN "Energy subsidies total $24 billion, most to renewables" we are spending $16 Billion on renewables and energy efficiencies, and only $2.5 could even be considered subsidies to oil companies, and those are in the form of tax breaks, not money from the government to make them competitive.

    Ethanol alone got $6 billion, yet you are fine with an industry that burns food.

    Please stop the lies and exagerations.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 26, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    It's not an either or issue.

    Alternative power (Solar, Wind, Geo-Thermal, Wave, etc.) is to supplement and augment the existing power generators,
    thereby reducing our future 100% dependance on smaller and smaller resources, and minimizing the impact from future power growth requirements.

    Why do conservatives only see the past, and never look forward to the future?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 26, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    This is a low-information letter. Las Vegas is gearing up to power the entire city with thermal solar collectors NOW. Meanwhile, we here in Utah send our kids to die in the coal mines.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 26, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    OK, Fine --

    Let's start by dropping the extremely profitable Oil Industries $25 Billion annual government subsides.

    How's that for leveling the playingfield.

    However -- after watching REPUBLICAN Texas congressman Joe Barton blubber, cry and cow-tow and apologize to BP oil executives after THEIR oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- We won't being seeing that anytime soon.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 26, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    To "Roland Kayser" you mean the article where you have to build 2 power plants in place of 1? They propose building a solar farm to produce fuel, then a second facility to produce energy using the fuel. What you are saying is that you would rather they build 2 power plants where only 1 would be needed if they went nuclear.

    Now with this system, you will need to have a large water source available for splitting into hydrogen. What large body of water do we have in Arizona where that type of system would work?

    They still have not solved the hole cloudy day issue.

    It is an interesting concept, but it is still not feasable and probably won't be feasable for another 50 years or more.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 26, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    To Red Shirt: Goggle MIT solar power. They have a solution.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 26, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    To "Scott M. Soulier" we already have an alternate reliable power source that is renewable.

    Nuclear power is cheap, and the spent fuel is recyclable. Spent fuel can be turned into new fuel, but right now the Feds waste it by burying it.

    To "Roland Kayser" will we eliminate night time and cloudy days in 20 years? How do you expect to generate power at night?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 26, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    Re: ". . . renewables get their own incentives to levelize [sic] the playing field for energy."

    And taxpayers reap next-to-nothing from those incentives.

    It's not the concept of government offering short-term incentives for new and promising technologies, to push them over the hump to profitability, that bothers most conservatives. Government has done that for years.

    If these incentives funded academic research or engineering projects, most of us would be fine with them.

    Rather, the problem is that these "renewables" incentives are too closely tied to crony-capitalist, not-ready-for-primetime, production enterprises, almost all led by left-wing campaign contributors. They produce almost no benefit to taxpayers, but have developed a long-term life of their own, promising to perpetually sap American vitality, to fund left-wing politics.

    In other words, it's that these disingenuous, "shovel ready" liberal scams are laughably unlikely to produce benefit for Americans anytime this century, but are pursued anyway, for the sole purpose of unjustly enriching well-placed liberal courtesans, at our expense.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 26, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    The price of solar power has been falling sharply. It is projected that within 20 years, solar will supply electricity as cheaply as coal does now, without the environmental costs. We just have to figure out how to get through the next 20 years, and fossil fuels will obviously still supply the majority of our power throughout that period. Substituting natural gas for coal gets us a long way toward that goal.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    March 26, 2013 5:49 a.m.

    Energy isn't a free market.

    Consumers can't "choose" electric utility providers -- they're monopolies, and we have no choice but consume whatever electricity they provide, whether it’s from coal, gas, or solar. No competition means we pay whatever the monopoly charges -- and breathe the air pollution they leave behind. No "free" choice here.

    Oil is dominated by state-owned "companies" controlled by Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Iran, etc., that dwarf ExxonMobil, and those state-own companies use oil revenues to advance their politics and way of life, including terrorism. Since cars need gasoline, we're at the mercy of global political forces that drive yo-yo oil prices. No “free” choice here either.

    Regarding subsidies, renewable energy can't tap into the subsidies and incentives offered to fossil fuels. Subsidized water for nuclear, coal, and natural gas, for example, can't be enjoyed by wind or solar because they don't use precious water. Subsidized drilling, railroads and pipelines can't be used for renewables either. Thus, renewables get their own incentives to levelize the playing field for energy. Nuclear and fossil fuels have been favored “winners” with government subsidies for decades!