Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama on Oil

"Barack Obama received many ovations during his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in Denver. Perhaps the most enthusiastic applause from the crowd of 84,000 came after the senator from Illinois declared: 'And for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.' ... But we retain a quaint notion that reality should be in the same room during discussions of the world's single most important commodity. And embracing energy reality requires looking closely at the numbers. If you assume a fleet of electric power plants operating with 30 percent efficiency, replacing [6.1 million barrels of OPEC crude daily], would require about 1.4 million megawatts of electric power capacity. ... That's a huge amount of production capability, particularly when you consider that the entire U.S. power grid has about 986,000 megawatts of capacity. Thus, if Obama wants to replace OPEC supplies with electric cars, then, in just 10 years, he plans to: a) more than double America's existing power production capacity; and b) overhaul the power grid so that millions of cars can be recharged without causing blackouts. .. We're in favor of solar. So what would it take to replace OPEC oil if Obama wanted to just use electric cars supplied by solar power? If you assume a conversion efficiency of 12 percent, the [US] would need about 3.5 million megawatts of installed solar capacity, That's more than three times the existing electric capacity in the country. It also translates into about 35.5 million acres of solar collectors, or an area the size of the state of Illinois. ... So let's take a modest approach and assume that Obama wants to use cellulosic ethanol to replace the 2.5 million barrels of oil per day that come from the Persian Gulf. That would mean creating a domestic industry capable of producing 38.3 billion gallons of motor fuel per year. Sound's reasonable, right? Not so fast. ... Remember that ethanol's energy content is only about two-third's that of gasoline. So to produce the energy equivalent of 38.3 billion gallons of conventional motor fuel, the [US] would actually need to produce about 49.7 billion gallons of celluslosic ethanol per year. ... Obviously, there's disconnect between the Democratic nominee's rhetoric and the hard realities of the energy world, a business that runs on numbers, not vague promises about 'change.' In July alone, Obama's campaign raised some $51 million. Perhaps someone on his campaign should buy the candidate a calculator", my emphasis, Robert Bryce and Michael Economides (B&E) at the Houston Chronicle, 7 September 2008. Here's a link:

"To find anything comparable to crowds' euphoric reactions to Obama, you would have to go back to old newsreels of German crowds in the 1930s, with their adulation of their fuehrer, Adolpf Hitler. With hindsight, we can look back on those people with pity, knowing how many of them would be led to their deaths by the man they idolized. ... A leader does not have to be evil to lead a country into catastrophe. Inexperience and incompetence can create very similar results, perhaps even faster in a nuclear age, when even 'a small country'--as Senator Obama called Iran--can wreak havoc anywhere in the world, when they are led by suicidal fanatics and supply nuclear weapons to terrorists who are likewise suicidal fanatics. Barack Obama is truly a phenomenon of our time--a presidential candidate who cannot cite a single serious accomplishment in his entire careeer, besides advancing his own career with rhetoric. He has a rhetorical answer for everything. ... Those who studied the years leading up to World War II have been astonished by how many people and how many countries failed to see what Adolf Hitler was getting ready to do. Will future generations wonder why we slept? ... Yet what are we talking about? Taxing and spending policies, socking it to the oil companies and rescuing people who gambled on risky mortgages and lost. Are we serious? Are we incapable of adult foresight and adult responsibility? ... But what does Obama have besides talk--and adoring crowds?," Thomas Sowell (TS) at, 16 September 2008.

Numbers? Call a CPA. Blackouts, how dare you? Racist! Why not? There's a movement afoot in Dallas to rename "black holes" since the name is racist. I kid you not. We should not expect more from Obama, a man who is "as non-scientific as the most muddled philospher", see my 22 December 2007 post,

Indeed, TS, what else does Obama have?


Jesse said...

Don't worry too much about Obama, he's just a lefty more in the spirit of FDR and JFK. They too had the big crowds of the common people.

Look to the industrialists and the right for the Hitlers.

Did Bernanke Panic?

edgar said...

That's more than three times the existing electric capacity in the country...

hello i.a.,

I did some math that showed it only doubled. No-one wants to talk conservation. I could get by with an EV, a few pv panels, and a squirrel cage wind turbine on my roof. However, the neo-cons don't want me to have it so I will happily compete with the commuters for every last drop of gazolene.