Your Insane U.S. Energy Department

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by Alan Caruba: Why
It’s Too Darn Hot



In mid-September,
Cathy Zoi, an Assistant Secretary of Energy, said that the U.S.
Department of Energy has a “mandate” to issue regulations
about what household appliances should be available to Americans
in the future.

A CNSnews
reported that while speaking at the inaugural meeting
of the recently reestablished Secretary of Energy Advisory Board,
Ms. Zoi “pointed to four tactics the Obama administration intended
to use to advance the ‘deployment of clean energy.’ The
first three were government subsidies, special tax incentives, and
low-interest government-backed loans for green energy projects.”

The likelihood
that any of these “green energy” projects will yield any
electrical power comparable to a single coal-fired or nuclear plant
is negligible. Two recent huge wastes of taxpayer money involve
a $57 million program that includes $11 million under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the failed “stimulus”
plan – to support clean energy technology commercialization projects
for 33 small businesses across the country.

Among the projects
is “harvesting/dewatering technology for algal biofuels,”
money devoted to algae as a source of power. Other projects
include organic light-emitting diodes, and advanced materials and
bio-fueled oxide fuel cells. Meanwhile, the moratorium on oil drilling
in the Gulf of Mexico restricts the provision of an energy source
on which the nation is dependent.

In September
the DOE also awarded $37 million for “marine and hydrokinetic
energy technology development.” The object of this is to “accelerate
the technologies and commercial readiness of technologies to generate
renewable electricity from the nation’s oceans and free-flowing
rivers and streams.” Meanwhile the nation already generates
six percent of its electricity from hydroelectric systems among
which the Hoover Dam is one of the best known.

The Department
of Energy was created in the wake of the oil crisis of the 1970s
and was signed into existence by President Jimmy Carter on August
4, 1977. Its responsibilities were the nation’s nuclear weapons
program, a nuclear reactor for the U.S. Navy, energy conservation,
energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic
energy production.

It currently
employs 16,000 federal workers and, in 2009, had an annual budget
of $24.1 billion. President Obama appointed Dr. Steven Chu as its
Secretary. Dr. Chu is perhaps best known for recommending that global
warming can be avoided by painting the roofs and highways white
in order to reflect back the sun’s radiation. Will someone
please get a net and throw it over Dr. Chu?

One might think
that the DOE would have taken an active role in the recent Gulf
of Mexico oil spill, but that responsibility was handed over to
the U.S. Coast Guard while the Department of the Interior was a
key player as well.

over at the DOE, Ms. Zoi was gloating that the fourth tactic “which
the Secretary and I love is where we have a mandate. Where we can
actually just issue regulations and do market transformation.”

Where is it
written in the U.S. Constitution that the government should play
an active role in “market transformation”? The DOE intends
to “set efficiency standards for energy-consuming products.”

These will
include commercial clothes washers, small electric motors, water
heaters, direct heating equipment and pool heaters, among the countless
products consumers use on a daily basis.

Instead of
encouraging the building of more coal-fired, natural gas, and nuclear
plants to generate the electricity a population in excess of 300
million use daily, the DOE wants to get between consumers and manufacturers
to “mandate” how much electricity products can use!

going to make people save money for themselves,” said Ms. Zoi.

I have a great
idea how to save billions. Shut down the Department of Energy.

from Warning Signs.

28, 2010

Caruba founded The National Anxiety Center in 1990 where this series
is posted. An author, business and science writer, he blogs daily

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