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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

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Is a gas car better than a coal car?

There has been a bit of discussion that a plug in hybrid car is really a coal car.  I believe that this true statement is meant to actually scare consumers from buying or hoping to buy an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid.

Let’s do a bit of napkin math and assume that energy transmission losses (and other losses) are negligible or at least cancel each other out.

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Ford hands over the plug-in Escape hybrid to SCE

AutoblogGreen – December 4, 2007

One of the big problems with hybrid vehicles is that they produce extremely expensive electricity and they do it while putting a great number of pollutants into the air.

Think about it.  You are burning gasoline (a fairly high energy fuel source) to spin a generator to charge a battery. The pollution controls must be small and light enough to fit on a moving vehicle and low cost enough to be affordable to a consumer. On top of that, the gasoline is very expensive source of energy (currently about $3 gallon). To put it into perspective, gasoline contains about 125,000 BTU per gallon while coal is only about 10,000 BTU per pound. The burning of coal at an efficient central power station captures far more of its energy capacity into electricity than the burning of gasoline as it moves down the road.

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Don’t Believe the Hype

Wall Street Journal – July 2, 2006

This is an editorial that condemns former Vice President Al Gore’s contentions that there is a true consensus on the issue of human caused global warming.  It cites a few of the more outrageous claims of Mr. Gore which I believe he has soften since last July. The editorial is written by Richard Lindzen, a Sloan Professor at MIT who is an outspoken critic of the climate change melodrama and has been cheered and maligned from the two camps.  Reading his thoughts is important for anyone that still has an open mind on this important issue.

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