Monday, March 07, 2011

Rep. Roe Embraces Big Oil, Derides Current Technology, As An "Energy Policy"

As mentioned here last week, Congressman Phil Roe voted to keep over $40 billion in tax subsidies for giant oil companies and just days later he issues a "press release" on U.S. energy policy which can be boiled down to three words: Drill, baby, drill.

In his ongoing slavish devotion to oil and fossil fuels, he dismisses other energy sources:

Over the long run, I believe alternative energy sources, like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric and agricultural products and technologies are part of the solution. However, it’s important that we recognize that many of these technologies are, at best, years from being widely available and not yet commercially viable, which means that we will continue relying on more traditional energy sources for quite some time."

Someone forgot to inform him of his own state's innovative steps in solar power alone, which has brought over $2 billion in investments and thousands of jobs at one new project alone from Hemlock:

"This is a “watershed of economic development in Tennessee,” said Matt Kessner of the Economic Development Council. “New jobs in the development of sustainable energy.”

After a two-year global site search, Dow Corning and the Hemlock group opted to make an initial $1.2 billion initial investment in the construction of a new polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) manufacturing and development facility. Polysilicon is key to the development of solar industry. Groundbreaking on the new plant is expect early in 2009, creating up to 1,000 jobs in construction and related crafts during the building phase; the facility is earmarked to open in 2012.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen joined Hemlock’s CEO and President Rick Doornbos in making the announcement. “It’s the right company in the right community at the right time,” Bredesen said of what will ultimately be a $2 billion investment. “What they make is what has to happen to make solar energy. The numbers are staggering.” Bredensen noted that t is not simply the immediate creation of new job but the ability to also attract related industries and suppliers to the state and the region."

There's also.the $200 million solar energy plant in Clinton, TN

And Sharp Electronics new solar plant in Memphis.

As for providing anywhere near the massive $40 billion in tax subsidies of big oil for new technology and development of solar and wind power - the federal programs are paltry.

No, Rep. Roe just wants more coal and oil, with less and less regulation for safety, bemoaning the reality that fossil fuel companies don't want to pay for cleaner and safer operations out of their own deep and rich profits.

Reading his press release, it sounds like he's really ready now to take on the old ideas of the 1970s, like Jimmy Carter's bold plan of turning down the thermostat:

Energy independence is one of the greatest goals we can achieve as a nation. The solution to reduce rising energy costs involves looking forward, not backward. Bringing down the cost of energy will not happen overnight, but is essential to consider ways we can all make our own use of energy more efficient."

Someone needs to inform him the actual date is 2011 in America.


  1. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Clean energy is a tough issue to analyze. Solar and wind I fear just will not make enough of a difference. If climate change is taking place what are the chances that wind corridors will remain stable within the country after the wind turbines have been built? There is hope of thorium salt water reactors as a source of electricity for the future. For some bizarre reason the US is not formally pursuing this as a viable option. Let's halt the trip to Mars and focus the best scientists to develop this source of energy. At this point China and India are the only countries that have an active program of development and this is ridiculous. We will become third rate if we fall behind in energy production, but fossil fuels are not the answer.

  2. thanks for your input.

    the little i know of thorium salt reactors or Molten Salt Reactors is that they were developed by Alvin Weinberg during his tenure as the head of Oak Ridge National Lab. his pioneering work though, was pushed aside by the Nixon administration as Weinberg demanded safety concerns be a primary focus of nuclear power development. i was unaware that MSRs were being pursued by other nations.
    new and developing tech should be the priority, not the continued worship of fossil fuels.