Herb Phillipson: Utilize our resources to produce energy at homePublished 10:39am Thursday, September 17, 2009
Increase our yearly gross national product by $360 billion a year?
Change a negative national trade deficit so exports exceed imports by billions?
Create thousands and thousands of jobs here at home?
Decrease our carbon emissions drastically.
Is this an insane possibility?
No. It is not. Just use our own resources to produce energy at home; $360 billion is the amount we sent across our borders to purchase crude oil last year.
It will take time that is rapidly passing by, but is a definite possibility.
The possibility exists if we take self-evident measures that will improve the ecology and create jobs and payrolls and eliminate revenues we are giving to our enemies.
Some of these revenues pay terrorists killing our American boys.
Many of the benefits could be reaped almost at once.
1. We could build a network of natural gas dispensing stations throughout the United States at a cost of about $4,500 a unit and equip our autos and trucks to run on natural gas for about $1,000 a unit.
Natural gas is the most efficient and least polluting of all the fossil fuels and costs less.
The United States has more than ample supplies of natural gas for the foreseeable future.
Oil-rich Iran powers 60 percent of its vehicles with natural gas and aims for 80 percent.
Most U.S. manufacturers produce natural gas vehicles (NGVs) for overseas markets.
Many of our cities are going to NGV mass-transit vehicles.
2. We could permit offshore drilling on the continental shelf.
We actually do this in the Gulf of Mexico now.
Using American technology, countries throughout the world permit drilling with no ecological damage.
Our own wells survived Hurricane Katrina without disaster.
Offshore drilling may take a few years but will reduce our need for overseas crude until atomic power plants can supply the growing need for electricity.
3. Increase the size and supply of atomic power plants, already supplying 20 percent of America’s electrical needs. By adopting a single template for plants, work could commence almost immediately, providing thousands of well-paid jobs.
4, Continue to work on other green solutions.
At the present time, less than one sixth of 1 percent of our energy need is supplied by wind and solar panels.
Green power is not now economically feasible without massive tax credits.
Green power appears unlikely to make any great difference in our power supply until new technology is developed.
Does all this seem simplistic?
No doubt about it, it does.
Show me where I am wrong.
Until you do, I will remain unconvinced that Washington has any real will to divorce the United States from Venezuelan and Middle Eastern oil and reduce the carbon in the atmosphere.
Herb Phillipson lives in Dowagiac.