Fuel Economy Standards and the Free Market

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards law includes a method to calculate the average fuel economy of a manufacturer. Fuel economy figures, however, are not necessarily reliable, given that the EPA admits it tends to overestimate gas mileage.

Over at the Spread Truth Liberally blog, John Nicosia is pleased at least that the larger light trucks, like the Hummer, will no longer be exempt from CAFE standards. (That said, near as I can tell, the gas guzzler tax still only applies to cars.)

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Sam Kazman says forget standards -- let the market solve! Kazman argues that not only are CAFE standards ineffective, they're also potentially deadly and counterproductive. He says that environmentalists, who campaign for people to drive less, should not support fuel economy rules that will make driving cheaper, thus encouraging even more driving.

But there's only so much driving a person needs to do, right? Is it likely that a large segment of the population will start zipping aimlessly around town just because they have to fill up every six days instead of every five?

Conversely, it seems most people don't cut back on everyday car travel just because of high gas prices. Would you walk to the grocery store? Take a bus to work?

By Emily Messner |  April 6, 2006; 9:04 AM ET  | Category:  National Politics
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Once again, conservation by CAFE means nothing without America checking it's explosive population growth, 90% of which is from immigrants and their USA-spawned children.

The cold hard numbers, one more time. We use 107 Quadrillion BTUs of energy. 40 of which are from oil. Of which 16 Quads are for American personal vehicles. We use much less oil per person than in 1970 because of previous easy conservation measures like largely eliminating use of oil for electric gen, substitution of nat gas for heating, and easy engineering changes to automobiles and trucks that added miles, plus new roads.

With the easy stuff done, further CAFE is harder without accepting that more Americans will die in smaller, lighter vehicle accidents. And with a highway system designed for 250 million and many urban road infrastructures for 25% less people than their immigrant swelled numbers - traffic delays and tie-ups negate vehicle efficiency savings. AS would lowering speed back to 55 or 40 MPH as some enviroweenies claim we must do rather than look for new oil.

Yet while we use 30% less oil per capita, we use 35% more oil than in 1970.

That is the immigration effect. In 35 years we went from 220 million to 300 million people using resources. And sprawl as we fled congested, dangerous cities added to commute times.

Now we are projected to add 63 million more Juans, Pedros, Ivans, and Abdullahs by 2030, according to the US Census. Any picayune efficiencies gained by CAFE will be eaten up as Maria and 63 million more like her reward themselves. 5 years of hard work between babies after jumping the Border, Julio working hard too, for his corporate master - and they get a big 3rd-hand 10 year old SUV for the 6 members of their familia.

Meanwhile, refugee Omar has managed "family reunification" of his extended, interrelated Yemeni village and chain immigration has allowed Omar to initiate a process where 23 Yemenis are brought in legal, on welfare, with free health care and college tuition, including their old Wahabbist Mullah. 6 drive cars.
Concluding. Oil is finite. Population is increasing geometrically with unchecked immigration. CAFE and other conservation only slightly moderates the demand for new oil for our swelling numbers. The world has 6.7 billion people, soon 10 billion. 60% want to come to America. Many liberals and ACLU Jews claim they have a "right" to come to America because they would be "hard-working, great Americans" that would add to corporate GNP, and make America "more diverse".

Something has got to give.

A start would be getting rid of myths like we can drill our way back to energy independence and cheap oil. Or the myth that if we only recycle, build windmills, and ban SUVs we will "drive the Saudis to their knees in unwanted oil".

Another start would be the end of anchor baby citizenship, a guarded Border, and an end to mass immigration into America.

Otherwise, we will have 420 billon people by 2050 according to US Census, slightly over 1 billion packed here in a polluted, resource-scarce, degrading environment by 2100.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 6, 2006 10:04 AM

Emily:

Clearly Kazman's argument is a bit looney, but I agree with his general sentiment. Market solutions are the only solutions.

It is unreasonable to expect a large demographic in this country to environmentalize for the sake of the rest. There is a demonstrated "free rider" attitude that has not and will not abate.

After Katrina and Rita, hybrid sales and fuel efficient vehicle sales skyrocketed while fuel inefficient vehicle sales plummetted. The cause was a natural disaster which raised gasoline prices and the result was an immediately identifiable drastic change in consumer tendency.

The government should take note. While it debates complicated measures like CAFE standards or politically difficult ones like ANWR, nature has offered it a clear way to immediately and effectively change the way Americans purchase vehicles. If they simply increased the price of gas by 50 cents, through taxation, than consumers would purchase more fuel efficient cars.

And not a moment too soon, since the added revenue could certainly help us abate the projected half a trillion deficit we face this year.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 10:59 AM

While I find the argument that given time, the market will force a resolution of the problem, an attractive one, I worry about the pain such an alternative would cause people in the middle and lower economic spectrum.

I have a Toyota Corolla that I used to fill a short time ago with 16 dollars. That has now doubled. Those dollars have to come from somewhere else. That means that I will be less likely to purchase other things with those dollars. That affects the overall economy.

Note that for two months in a row now store spending has declined 13 to 16 percent. The notion that the market will solve the problem of high gas prices has a down side that affects other areas of the economy. At some point that impact will tricle down through the entire economy.

What we need are a mix of solutions. This is not the time to be doctrinaire ideologues. We need pragmatic solutions that take into consideration the entire economy.

Bush is notoriously prone to policies that benefit only a select group of Americans--mainly wealthier people of capital who tend to return a share of their wealth into his and his republican allies campaigns. Nothing of much consequence is going to happen with the current group of politicians in power.

Posted by: Jaxas | April 6, 2006 11:36 AM

Gee,

Leave it to Chris Ford to blame our oil addiction on immigrants. What's next? The war in Iraq because too many goddarn Latinos are in the US army? Or the budget deficits because too many Mexicans benefit from the tax cuts? Or the poor quality of Detroit made cars because too many illegals work them assembly lines up there? Maybe republicans should encourage more birth control or even abortion as a mean of population reduction next?

Quad this and quad that don't mean jack when every other vehicle out there is a SUV getting 10 mpg. A couple years ago this administration let Detroit get away with that fuel cell baloney knowing full well they don't have to show anything on it for decades to come. All the while Toyota and Honda go all out for hybrid technology.

And Will, forget about the gas tax. It won't fix a thing. All you will do is to give more money to politicians to build more bridges in Alaska, or let them use it as more excuse to shift more tax burden from the money class to the working class.

You want gas price to go down get Spitzer to start looking into price gouging and energy producers/traders antitrust practice. The energy market is controlled by OPEC on the one hand and manipulated by Big Oil and speculators in NY and London on ther other. Paranoid? Look at what Enron pulled in California a few years back. The free market academic crowd thought deregulation is the cure-all and got snookered by the big time globalist trillion dollar hedge fund capitalized speculators/traders.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 11:44 AM

Jaxas-

I think you are missing the point.

People will not en masse altruistically save the environment by spending more on hybrid cars. If you want people to practice fuel efficiency you need to make fuel efficiency financially plausible. There are two ways to do this regarding transportation costs:

a) increase incentives for purchasing fuel efficient vehicles
b) introduce disincentives for purchasing fuel inefficient vehicles

The former already exists in the form of tax credits for hybrid or fuel efficient vehicles. I applaud efforts to do so, but frankly with the deficit we have this option is limited. You cannot subsidize every driver into a prius.

The latter existed whether we liked it or not immediately after Katrina and Rita. And it had immediate effects and the economy did not bomb. Consumers responded to increased fuel prices by making more informed decisions. As soon as the costs for driving a 15,000 fuel inefficient vehicle became perceivably higher than driving a 20,000 fuel efficient vehicle in the long haul, consumers went ahead and purchased the correct fuel efficient vehicle.

Of course this places an undue burden on the middle class. That's unfortunate. But, like so many other things, a real debate cannot be all about winners and all about losers. If you want to decrease America's dependence on oil there are going to be costs.

Do you have any pragmatic solutions that have no losers?

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 11:44 AM

Borg-

Regarding Chris: I hate to be Mr. Ford's defender, but instead of saying "quad this and quad that" why don't you try disputing his numbers? Are you willing to go on record saying that, per capita, we use more oil now than we did in 1975? Because if Chris Ford's statistics are unchallenged, then his conclusion is irrefutable. If we are more efficient now than we were in 1975, yet we use more oil as a nation, the only possible cause is an increase in population. If our population increase is driven in large part by illegal immigration, or by the uncharacteristically high hispanic population growth levels, then these are real factors that influence our oil consumption that need to be addressed. It is not mindless race-blaming but just one more step towards a reasonable solution.

Frankly I tend to agree with his sentiment. Drastically lowering per capita oil consumption won't do a bit of good if we continue to increase the oil demanding population at an uncharacteristically high rate (for western countries).

Regarding my idea:

Maybe I misused the term free market solution, since you've run away with that point. When I say free market I should've said consumer dependent. You cannot expect consumers to altruistically invest in fuel efficient cars until it is financially plausible. A tax on consumption would hardly be a traditional "free market" approach since the tax is meddling with the market. Still, the tax would serve the same artificial purpose that natural disasters such as Katrina and Rita did; it would force consumers to make financially resposible decisions about how much oil they consume.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 11:52 AM

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info

April 6, 2006 -- Department of Homeland Perversion. Doyle wasn't the only child predator. Department of Homeland Security deputy Press Secretary Brian Doyle, arrested in Maryland for soliciting sex from a Florida undercover detective posing as a 14-year old girl, had company within the department. On October 25, 2005, Tampa-based Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Frank Figueroa was arrested at Orlando's Mall at Millenia for exposing himself and masturbating in front of a 16-year old girl in the food court. Figueroa used his federal law enforcement badge in an attempt to avoid arrest. Amazingly, Figueroa had been in charge of the Homeland Security Department's Operation Predator, designed to curb child sexual exploitation and child pornography.

The collection of GOP mug shots are beginning to resemble a large high school year book

It is clear that as reported yesterday by WMR, the Bush administration and the GOP are chock full of pedophiles, sexual harassers, male prostitutes and their clients, and others who display anything but so-called "family values." The leadership of the Religious Right are aware of, condone, and in some cases, participate in these sordid activities.

Posted by: che | April 6, 2006 11:52 AM

Will,

I will grant you that our energy consumption goes up as our population increases. But that is only part of the story. To let Chris Ford use it to demagogue the immigration issue is foolish.

One, if the population increase puts such demand on energy how come oil price per barrel 'quad'ruples in the past few years. Did our population 'quad' as well. Oil price dropped to the low teen per barrel during the Clinton years. Did we only have one fifth the population then?

Two, the explosion in electronics, computers is a big factor in the demand for energy. I just read that a company cuts millions in electricity bills annually by just switching from hot CPUs to slower clocked cooler running ones.

Three, the size of American houses keep getting bigger and bigger. All those Hollywood types who drive Prius to save a few gallons weekly also live in 5000 sq feet mansions. And McMansions are not just for the rich anymore. Drive around your neighborhood and see for yourself. I just saw a house going up that looks to be at least 8000 sq feet the other day.

Look in their driveways also, how many cars/minivans/SUVs/pickups does the typical American family have nowadays? One per teenager so busy mom and dad don't have to cad them around anymore?

Look on the freeways/parkways/beltways every morning and evening and see how many cars are on them. Americans don't just live in bigger and bigger houses they also live farther and farther from their work. No gas wasting there?

And you think it's a coincidence that as more and more gas guzzling SUVs/pickups fill the road, higher and higher gas price goes up?

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 12:19 PM

Borg-

You at least agree on the central point. Even though we are, as a society, more efficient per capita in our oil consumption, oil consumption continues to rise. The reason for this is a booming population growth relative to the rest of the serious oil consuming world.

"And you think it's a coincidence that as more and more gas guzzling SUVs/pickups fill the road, higher and higher gas price goes up?"

You have the correlation mixed up. As gas prices made it financially more plausible to purchase hybrids post-Katrina/Rita, consumers adjusted their tendencies.

If you have such a problem with the people buying bigger and less efficient vehicles, why are you against taxing these bad decisions?

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 01:01 PM

Borg misunderstands 'quads' as ratios when they are actually units of measure, but otherwise he raises good points in response to Ford. Population growth due to immigration is one factor, but not the only one and Ford's macro data is insufficient to prove that it is the dominant one. New immigrants usually use public transport, bikes, and pack lots of people into one house - their energy use profile is quite a bit different that the average middle class person.

But my vote is for the quasi-market solution of increasing taxes to lower demand and induce a more rational choice of vehicles. One post notes that this isn't a pure market choice - but the supply is not governed by pure market conditions either, given the subsidies to producers, particularly (in addition to tax and royalty breaks and exploration/production credits) the costs of maintaining our military to provide security for the production and transport of oil - not only for ourselves but for the rest of the world also! If the true cost of production and supply was reflected in price, gas taxes wouldn't be necessary. The costs of supply are instead hidden in income taxes, etc. The regressive effects of gas tax increases can be ameliorated by reductions in income taxes, possibly with credits for lower income households.

Ford is correct to note that gas is only a fraction of our energy budget. The taxes should apply not only to gas but other oil-based products also. Then we would get serious about energy-efficient buildings and urban planning as well.

I personnal cackle at the thought of the neighbor who built his house out to the property line set-back and driving the Hummer paying enough taxes to subsidize my Saturn!

Posted by: Sane almost | April 6, 2006 01:12 PM

Bush authorized leak. http://news.yahoo.com/fc/us/bush_administration

Since the need for better fuel economy standards is linked to oil reserves and more importantly ME oil reserves. This article, although on a tangent relates to this subject.

Posted by: | April 6, 2006 01:22 PM

>> If you have such a problem with the people buying bigger and less efficient vehicles, why are you against taxing these bad decisions?

Posted by: Will | Apr 6, 2006 1:01:25 PM

Because I no longer trust this crowd in Washington when it comes to fiscal/monetary policy. They are all for limited govt but when it comes to pork they are the best of the best. Cutting tax by the trillions for the well to do while saddling the rest with trillions more in deficits/debts is not the work of responsible adults anywhere.

I know the neocon argument that their plan is to starve the beast and force everybody's hand when the reckoning day comes. But when that day comes these loudmouth thinktankers never-work-an-honest day-in-their-life will lose control of the situation completely just like in Iraq, and the rest of us will pay thru the nose.

If forced to choose, I'll go with the free market type and let supply/demand sets the price and alters behaviour even though these free marketeers are not a hundred percent honest and/or realistic either.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 02:53 PM

BTW I used 'quad' as a metaphore for increases by order of magnitude as in 'quadruples', sort of a play on word if you will.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 02:59 PM

Borg-

This is not a discussion about how much you hate Washington D.C. politics, tax cuts, neoconservative agendas, and growing deficits/debt. If it were, we would be agreeing with one another.

This is thread is about oil consumption and ways to curb it. I have proposed a tax increase on gas which would force consumers to use less oil. They might buy hybrids, for example. Or they might decide that the convenience of driving to work is not worth the cost, and take the bus. Or they might buy a bike.

"If forced to choose, I'll go with the free market type and let supply/demand sets the price and alters behaviour even though these free marketeers are not a hundred percent honest and/or realistic either."

Then you think we consume the correct amount of oil right now? Because we have been letting the free market dominate prices and dictate consumer trends and it has lead to a country of gas guzzling addicts who drive Hummers and commute an hour and a half to work.

I disagree with our current oil consumption because I think it creates geopolitical problems for us in a region that largely hates us. It forces us to get involved in someone else's mess because someone else happens to be sitting on the future oil reserves that I will depend on. If we can lower our dependence on that oil we would be better off.

Gasoline price increases demonstrably change consumer trends as they did last August/September after the hurricanes. We can legislate gas prices through taxation. Therefore, we can legislate ways to change consumer trends to conserve. I think we should do so.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 03:02 PM

Will,

You and Chris Ford still think we live in the 20th century don't you? You still think the resource/raw material market is driven by US demand alone? Well let me paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld - that's "Old America"!

The wealth of a nation can be correlated more or less to the amount of energy it consumes. The strength of the US, what allows it to project forces thru out the globe and throw its weight around, comes from its total wealth which depends on its per capita times its population. Sure you can cut energy consumption by cutting population growth. But that comes with a cost with regards to the US 's place in the world. With the potential EU population approaching 600M, twice that of the US, with the population of China and India at 3B, ten times that of the US, at their current growth rates of 9 or 10 percent how soon do you think it will be before the GNP/GDP of these nations dwarf that of the US. Are you prepared for the US to play the role of today UK fifty years from now? Or will you wish the US population to be twice what it will be today? Hard to say now isn't it?

It would be more fruitful to focus on efficient and productive use of energy, the 'work' output per energy input, than this immigration driven energy demand hogwash. Frankly if I see a Hispanic driving an F150 filled with construction materials, I'm inclined to say he's putting all that gas to useful work. On the other hand if I see say Chris Ford stuck on the freeway in the same F150 for hours daily on his way to his govt sinecure, I'd have to conclude he's wasting precious energy.

As for taxing gas, you will only fix one evil with another. I say let the market force consumer's behaviour, it will be much better in the long run that way.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 03:56 PM

Borg-

"Or will you wish the US population to be twice what it will be today? Hard to say now isn't it?"

Not at all. The question is do I want to live in a globally dominant country with 300 million and a high standard of living or do I want to live in a less dominant country with 1.2 billion people in it with a lower standard of living. I make this decision everyday: I choose not to live in China, India, or Indonesia.

Population growth is also a poor measure of success since, historically, the countries with the lowest population growth tend to be the wealthiest. I am not suggesting a causal relationship between not having babies and being more wealthy, but rather that as countries become wealthier the citizens in them choose to have less children.

We do not need to sustain high population growth percentages to maintain global importance. Europe's population is forecast to decrease or stagnate. Africa, hardly a global powerhouse, has had significantly higher population increases than Europe or North America. Japan, the second richest nation in the world, is likely to decrease from 128 million to 100 million by 2050.

"With the potential EU population approaching 600M, twice that of the US, with the population of China and India at 3B, ten times that of the US, at their current growth rates of 9 or 10 percent how soon do you think it will be before the GNP/GDP of these nations dwarf that of the US."

Well, for one your measurements are ridiculous. Population is not a measure of GDP, as evidenced by the United States having nearly 8 times the GDP of China while having 1/4th of its population. Japan with 1/10th the population of China has nearly 4 times the GDP.

"It would be more fruitful to focus on efficient and productive use of energy, the 'work' output per energy input, than this immigration driven energy demand hogwash."

I believe it's more population growth driven energy demand. And in so far as immigration drives population growth, which all evidence suggests it does, then limiting consumption is really only dealing with part of the issue. I believe we should limit immigration to decrease demand and we should increase the price to decrease consumption.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 04:17 PM

Gee Will,

I am not citing current population numbers alone. I am citing China's population COUPLED with their annual GDP growth rate of 9.5 percent. Do some math, at that rate plus their population how long do you think their GDP will exceed that of the US with one fifth the population and one third the growth rate? Population and growth rate is the exact reason why everybody in the US, no everyone in the world, is concerned with China and nobody is concerned with Japan anymore.

As for tax vs market set price I guess we will have to disagree. I am no raging globalist, but I do believe in the long term the market, not the govt, is the most efficient distributor or scarce resources. The best role for the govt is to make sure the market is efficient, i.e., there are no illegal manipulating forces involved.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 05:21 PM

Will - I have to agree with you, we have to steer consumer choice through gov't policy that discourages gas wastage. It beats 50 MPH mandated speed limits, mandatory motor pooling, or rationing - all which are distinct possibilities as growing demand faces short supply or outright cutoffs in politically unstable areas. (We should also consider doubling the strategic oil reserve capacity).

"You cannot expect consumers to altruistically invest in fuel efficient cars until it is financially plausible. A tax on consumption would hardly be a traditional "free market" approach since the tax is meddling with the market. Still, the tax would serve the same artificial purpose that natural disasters such as Katrina and Rita did; it would force consumers to make financially resposible decisions about how much oil they consume."

That is how Europe and Japan avoid the spectacle of "ultimate behemoths" clogging their roadways. High petrol prices force choices, and those governments recycle the revenues into better transporation systems and further conservation.

Poor Borg feels compelled to dismiss the cold, hard numbers as factually inconvenient to his "feelings".

And Borg somehow thinks that cooler CPU chips and less McMansions will cut oil use by reducing electric and nat gas use - ignoring he is in apples and oranges territory confusing one set of energy use apps with another. Reducing electric demand from nuclear & coal generation does not reduce oil demand. A McMansion heated and cooled by natural gas has no effect on petroleum demand for commercial air, vehicles, plastics, and petrochemicals.

Finally the poor dear believes we must "shoot" for a massive population increase to be more like India and China in population numbers so we "have a bigger GNP" and instead of environmental sustainability, our liberal Borg now somehow fixates on the importance of "our ability to project force". Conveniently ignoring the draconian measures India and China have undertaken over the years to overcome their large populations hindering their ability to become modern countries with a middle class and higher standard of living WITH drinkable water and breathable air.

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Sane almost - " Population growth due to immigration is one factor, but not the only one and Ford's macro data is insufficient to prove that it is the dominant one."

The mathematical logic is really quite simple, "Sane Almost". 1. We use less per capita oil than we did in 1970. 0.133 Quad per million Americans - oil equivalent in 2004 vs. 0.141 Quads per million oil usage in 1970. 2. Yet our net oil usage has gone up 35%, from 31 to 40 Quads. The answer is logically obvious and unavoidable except to ideologues like Borg determined to avoid "inconvenient facts". In this case, the capita part of "per capita" going from 220 million to 300 million people.

Immigration drives 90% of population growth.

In that context, effects of new oil drilling and voluntary conservation are negated by population growth. Drilling can stretch our supply somewhat, but the easy cheap oil is finite in nature. Conservation that doesn't hurt consumer spending power or productivity is going to be harder - because the easy stuff, like stopping oil for baseload electric power generation, and putting high tech electronics and materials into vehicle efficiency has been done.

We have 60 million new immigrants and progeny plus amnesties and "family reunifications" on top of that, slated to swell our population by 2030, then 420-500 million by 2050 - adding to the "capita part" of net oil use. Lowering per capita by conservation does not affect that overriding "capita" part of the equation.

I cannot think any liberal or environmentalist is serious about oil use or environmental concerns unless they are willing to address our immigrant-driven population explosion. Little cute sidestuff like "ban SUVs", "recycle all plastic supermarket shopping bags", "lets reuse gray water!" to address the SW's growing water shortage are all minor sideshows to the increased oil demand and presure on othr irreplacable natural resources (particularly Western water supplies and arable land) caused by the population explosion.

Will's proposal to really jack up gas prices has merit as long as productivity is maintained..and should be extended past the consumer pump to jet fuel, diesel.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 6, 2006 05:34 PM

Borg-

"I am not citing current population numbers alone. I am citing China's population COUPLED with their annual GDP growth rate of 9.5 percent. Do some math, at that rate plus their population how long do you think their GDP will exceed that of the US with one fifth the population and one third the growth rate? Population and growth rate is the exact reason why everybody in the US, no everyone in the world, is concerned with China and nobody is concerned with Japan anymore."

1) more often than not there is a negative correlation between population growth and economic growth
2) you assume that China can sustain a 10% growth which is highly optimistic
3) to answer your original question of how long it will take for the GDP to overcome the United States... assuming that China maintains a 10% growth rate per year (highly unlikely) and assuming that the United States' economy experiences 0 growth over this period of time (highly unlikely), it would take China's 1.6 trillion GDP 21 years to overtake the United States economy.

Assuming that China's population stayed the same in that time (also unlikely) it would still only mean China's GDP per capita would be 10,000 which is 1/4th of what the United States current per capita GDP is.

So no, I would not want to compete with China globally if it means lowering my standard of living. Would you?

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 05:59 PM

It is not Ford's numbers that are suspect, it is the misleading way they are used to create a false impression.

The number of quadrillion watts of energy reflect multiples of the kilowatt-hours of power you see on your electric bill every month. A kilowatt is 1000 watts, a quad is a quadrillion watts (think million, billion, trillion, quadrillion). Yes, the US really uses that much energy.

But what is disingenuous is that the energy the US uses for motive power - transportation - as well as for manufacturing plastics, is included in that total and not considered separately. We'll get to why this is important.

The US does not burn oil to make kilowatt-hour power, or at least not more than 5% of our oil to light the lights and heat our homes and run a blast furnace in a steel plant. About half our oil is used for transportation and about half for synthetics manufacture - mostly plastic.

We are very very far from being fossil fuel free in our ability to light the lights and heat our homes and run blast furnaces. So Ford would say then we should just give it up. But the question of the hour today is - can we be OIL free? That is a fundamentally different question. Can we be fossil fuel free in the near future? NO. Can we be totally oil free? NO. Can we be much much less oil dependent to where our national security and entire economy doesn't depend on it? That's a YES.

The arguement that fuel efficient cars are unsafe is another Righty lie. Japanese hybrids weight the about same as the other cars in their class. Hybrids are expensive because they can get more for them. If Detroit was cranking out hybrids the quality of a Japanese model, they could indeed sell them for more because people would want them. There is no reason the tax cuts for the wealthy (which includes me) couldn't be re-structured to pay for tax credits for buying a hybrid and for junking gas guzzlers.

The Righties like to belittle recycling as moonbat stuff. But if we recycled all our recyclable paper we could slash Persian Gulf imports by 40%. Tom Ridge would have better told us to keep our tires inflated than to buy duct tape - slash off another few percent.

A lot of small changes in public education - recycling, tire inflation, tax cuts for buying hybrids, eschewing unnecessary packaging, even just the President really making it a priority could make us almost totally Persian gulf oil free ASAP. Without cramming your supersize American bodies into balsa wood Geo Metros or, God forbid, walking to the corner store.

Posted by: greenie | April 6, 2006 06:32 PM

greenie-

Agree on issue disagree on method (partially). I don't have a problem with any of your particular messages per se. But I also do not think mere conservation is enough. Psychologically it isn't a motivator since most people enjoy free riding on the conservationists. Psychologically disincentives are far more powerful.

Further, it is expensive to subsidize every person into driving a more expensive hybrid. A better solution would be to create circumstances under which the consumer makes that decision for themselves because it is financially more practical to purchase a car that gets 50 mpg vs one that gets 15. One method of doing so is a gas tax. One added benefit is that it generates revenue which we are in dire need of facing half a trillion dollar deficit this year.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 06:44 PM

Greenie misses on the definition of a Quad. 1 Quadrillion BTUs of energy utilized. BTUs, NOT Watts.

Nor am I saying "give it up" - just that the longstanding Leftist/Enviroweenie reluctance to address unchecked immigration as a great taboo obviates any conservation savings.

And greenie repeats dubious claims like the hoary old "if we recycled all our recyclable paper we could slash Persian Gulf imports by 40%!!!" That was debunked in the 70s. And soon thereafter, most recycling centers quit paper recycling as a main objective. No one wants much scrap paper due to fuel costs to ship it to and from recycling (studies exist showing a "roll" of recycled paper takes more oil usage to manufacture than a virgin paper "roll" of better color and strength), heavy use of water in the recycling process, heavy labor costs sorting and processing. Most paper is rejected from recycling as uneconomic, and ends up in landfills or trash-to-energy plants.

Greenie - "even just the President really making it (paper recyling, tire pressure check, hybrid subsidies for well-off Lefties) a priority could make us almost totally Persian gulf oil free ASAP".

Which is disgenuous, greenie, and you know it. While America gets only 18-20% of our oil directly from the ME, oil price depends on global demand and US use of ME oil is only 4% of that exported from the ME because we are close to Venezuela, Canada, and still significant US pumpage, and we made a decision to get Nigerian oil after the 70s just so a Saudi cutoff wouldn't cripple us. Most of the other 96% of ME oil goes to China, Japan, Europe, India, and the developing world.

So you can talk misleadingly about trivial domestic oil savings policy affecting solely that miniscule part of ME oil production we physically get and make it sound impressive - almost like we could affect world oil supply and price with our "higher green consciousness". But we couldn't in the short term because any efficiency savings don't affect global demand for a global commodity and in the long term, our present Open Borders eat up any conservation savings by adding tens of millions more Americans with additional oil resource demand.
****************************

Finally, we shouldn't penalize (energy/oil using) device efficiency but put the onus for whatever conservation we wish, in the face of the Lefty-Environweenie reluctance to confront immigrant-driven population explosion, at the consumer side. I have a F-350 driven in winter, and wife's Lexus, plus a snowfree-only RX-7. We go with 280 bucks of electricity/natural gas (propane + heat pump) per winter, plus wood from our 18 acres.....

Our divorced, childless neighbor commutes 60 miles a day to her consultancy in NYC in her brand new high social status Toyota Prius (33 MPG!!)- which she says makes my F-350 "disgraceful" in gas hogging, carbon footprint - but not as bad as our retiree neighbors - ex American Airlines pilot & wife & stay at home 30ish slacker...who have the "ultimate behemoth" motorhome that gets maybe 5 MPG on level road.

The "truth" was - after a challenge when she was all over us on her superiority in having a car that stopped any need for "blood for oil!!" was - we slapped her with the cold, hard math. Over 6 months we looked at, my family "fleet" of un-PC vehicles sucked up only 2.2 gallons of gas a day compared to her single-only "hybrid-car" only factored in 120 daily mile commute (3.63 gallons), plus errands & weekends (0.70 gallons/day), less oil burning business travel on jets...not counting her squandarously miraculous 600 gallon fuel oil heating home bill (I kept it at 70 Deg for the aquarium!)...she still uses more even with her nifty (isn't it marvelous!) hybrid.

As for the pilot, he and the wife drive out to Arizona, Nevada, and CA every year in the wintertime with the "ultimate behemoth" and tow their Toyota Camry. We calculated they use 870-880 gallons, behemoth-wise. Plus Camray use of 600 gallons the rest of the year and various forays from the "behemoth". They miss heating their home other than a 100 gal tankful in wintertime to keep pipes from freezing.

Results?

1. Our PC-compliant single Prius neighbor uses 727 gallons on car commuting, 115.6 leisure travel, plus 600 in home heating. 1442.6, Counting her jet travel, another 200 gallons. Giving Ms. Hybrid 1642.6 oil gallons used per year.

2. We use 953 gallons - not counting oil used indirectly in production of other things we buy, same as Ms. PC's not adding her other oil usage or oil used in her business travel. Adding my consultancy and jet passage oil use, elsewhere, 180 gallons.
1133 gallons for us, or - 566 gallons per person less indirect oil usage.

3. The Retirees with their 5 MPG ultimate behemoth? 1580 gallons. Or, 790 gallons per person, not including 2-3 air travels a year.

************

All of which is cautionary in lauding being energy penny-wise but pound-foolish.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 6, 2006 09:24 PM

So no, I would not want to compete with China globally if it means lowering my standard of living. Would you?

Posted by: Will | Apr 6, 2006 5:59:35 PM


The question is not whether you want to. The question is whether you can afford not to. Man you are all acting like the choice is still yours. Our current standard of living is subsidized to the tune of 800 billion a year by foreigners. Sooner or later the bill will come due. Future historians may look back and say 20 century life in America was an anomaly when the union movement and the post war period came together to provide American workers with an unparalled standard of living. We maybe going back to the 19 century model where workers, blue collar or white, are fungible and the only thing that matters is the flow of capital to whereever the return to investment is the greatest.

Welcome to the New World Order.

Posted by: Borg | April 6, 2006 09:53 PM

19th Century...

I've been struck with the comparisons with those writing about the current dilemma and those titled muckrackers of the same period...


writing against child laboring and trusts/monopolies...sort of similar to the international corporations that are busy raping the worlds economies now....

and their environments...


people writing about child labor, the inequities of the caste system, an extended form of feudalism..


Charles Dickens, writing Oliver Twist, A Christmas Story (Scrooge), A Tale of Two Cities...


In a sense Mark Twain writing about the evils of slavery...


Emerson in another sense talking about ethics...


one thing common with the


illegal aliens

rape of the environments

scofflaw attitude about the cavalier handling of


_YOUR LIVES_

is that the illegals and congress are trying to convince you that


_IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL_

well, pardon me, I don't remember anyone saying that electing bush would mean that we would solve our oil addiction problem by

occupation,


or that we would have to swallow a bunch of hokum about terrorists....


that we must be genarating at exceptional levels now....


>>>>>>>>> and which NOTHING has been done about .

./

Posted by: yeah, I would have to agree with the projections about returning... | April 6, 2006 10:24 PM

Borg-

"The question is whether you can afford not to. Man you are all acting like the choice is still yours. Our current standard of living is subsidized to the tune of 800 billion a year by foreigners. Sooner or later the bill will come due."

Well we know the solution isn't to breed more and allow unbridled immigration since population increase will only excacerbate whatever doomsday scenarios, imagined or otherwise, you seem to be proposing.

So, even from everything you've said, immigration/population control is still a necessary and noble goal.

Posted by: Will | April 6, 2006 11:08 PM

it is.

a _more_ noble goal would to be a destroyer of the nobility...

by arresting felons for hiring


illegals.

.

Posted by: yes, | April 6, 2006 11:23 PM

i am not proposing any

doomsday scenarios.

i was just sketching the choices

we've made and the choices we now

face.

you fellows all claim to be Americans

yet you go around saying there is nothing we can do

as far as

conservation goes. it's useless. or Americans can't be trusted to

make the tough choice

and govt must impose a tax for our own good.

at the same time blaming

some god forsaken immigrants for all our, your ills.

where's the American spirit

in all that? has the whole nation

become whiners?


the irony of all this is if the

doomsday comes to pass


it will be because joe sixpack and nascar dad

keep voting for these nobility who knows exactly what red meat

to feed these blue collar ones

when.

Posted by: how's that poetry man? | April 7, 2006 01:26 AM

If my post implied that we could do everything we need wrt cutting oil use by recycling alone, then please accept my apology. Recycling is but one of a number of relatively small changes that we could make to slash oil imports enough to improve our national security.

And, yes, Mr. Ford it is indeed BTU's. I was tired after a long day and erred in my units of measure.

Back to recycling. We import about a million barrels a year of oil from the Persian gulf (2.5-2.9 thousand barrels a day). Per the EPA we currently recycle 82% of newspapers and 56% of office paper, 33% of magazines, 32% junk mail, and 16% of phone directories, but still put 10 million tons of newsprint and 4.5 million tons of office paper in the landfill every year. It is estimated that we could recycle approximately another 46 million tons of paper currently going into our landfills (above what we already recycle). One ton of recycled paper saves about 9 barrels of oil. That is, 46 million tons of paper times 9 barrels per ton equals 414 million barrels a year of oil saved - about 40% of Persian Gulf imports. I'm not making this up. I was astounded when I actually started doing the research and crunching the numbers.

The US goes through 2.5 million plastic bottles per HOUR. Per the EPA about 25% of them are recycled. One ton of recycled plastic saves 16.3 million barrels of oil. If each bottle weighs an ounce, that is close to 10 million barrels a year of oil saved by recycling beverage bottles, or about 10% of our Persian Gulf imports.

So, just from recycling paper and oil we could slash Persian Gulf imports in half. Now of course not every one is going to recycle. But this president had a bully pulpit after 9-11. If he had told us it was patriotic and in the interest of national security to put a recycling can next to every public garbage can, we would have had the ACLU spitting nails over the laws they'd be trying to pass making tossing a paper or a phone book or a soda bottle in the trash an act of treason.

But again, recycling is but one of many small changes. If the President had made slashing oil imports a priority after 9-11, Detroit would today be flush with cash and trickling it down into the economy as people like the Hummer driver ran out to get the latest status symbol, a hybrid.

What can the middle and lower classes do if they can't afford a hybrid? The effects of recycling, keeping tires properly inflated, saving to buy better replacement tires, demanding less plastic packaging and other grassroots efforts, each of which slashes Persan Gulf imports by a variable percent but which add up and up and up.

All that is needed is a national will. Which the president could have given us, but chose instead to stand by and smile as Hummers became the newest status symbol.

And no one has yet even mentioned sacrifice beyond asking municipalities to put out a blue recycling can next to public trash cans, or bending over to check tire pressure. No one has even mention, gasp, conservation. Or walking. Or riding the bus. Imagine if our president asked us to even consider doing those things.

Posted by: Greenie | April 7, 2006 01:56 AM

I mean, I know what I'm talking about...

I'm not trying to make anyone feel good or bad...


but hey, when you're leaders are talking about taking on another country when they can't finish the job they already started...


all I can say is hello Soviet Union....


they spent themselves into a hole...and it didn't help them a bit, seems like things went to hell in a hand basket...they seem a little stressed now with no end in sight.

as for the _oil_ problem.


there are multiple ways of removing the oil addiction, we're not in a problem area unless you give this to the military to solve...


immigration problem, no problemo


just arrest the people that hire them and charge them with a felony...

wind goes out of sails for takeover of the United States by the Mexican Mafia....


and legal immigration moves front and center...

and blue-collar middle class reappears.


do you ever _reward_

people that break the law and expect them to behave?

doesn't stop congress people or your president...

I mean it's ludicrous...bush...mr dope smoking, coke snorting, dui'ing, daddy will bail my honky butt out of jail....what me worry fauntleroy...

george says:
"you all have the same life as me right?"


did he think twice about shipping the National Guard overseas with no military training....I didn't notice did you?

.

Posted by: sounds rather polly anna ish to me dude... | April 7, 2006 01:57 AM

thought so, cheers.

.

Posted by: that you tom... | April 7, 2006 01:58 AM

you dig?


there are enumerous ways of addressing the problems of this United States without embracing a

scofflaw congress, president or supporting staff.


stop outsourcing

bring the factories home

make hiring illegals a felony

enforce the laws with congress people first...


remove international companies from having the same rights to sell as Americans if they don't use American employees at a certain level..

oh yes, there's simple ways of doing things besides starting _occupations_

to corner the market on oil for your cronies...

see yah..

Posted by: anyone that's a movie star doesn't actually live in the real world... | April 7, 2006 02:03 AM

there's a crucial point that needs to be reached...


and that is where joe six pack gets it


that his life is being given away,


and worse than that.......that he or she doesn't matter to the ones that they gave it to.

there is a distortion that permeates our civilization right now, a miasma of thought...

that must be penetrated by making the obvious really obvious...


there's a cadence that must be applied to strike a chord of

that's it...


you know


like


"Battle Hymn of the Republic"


or

"Amazing Grace"


not power over,

power with.


To move through the door without needing to open it.

.

Posted by: reread what you said... | April 7, 2006 02:10 AM

I shouldn't do math when I'm tired. CAn't count the damn zeroes

We import about a BILLION barrels a day frm the Persian gulf.

Posted by: Greenie | April 7, 2006 02:31 AM

...almost like we could affect world oil supply and price with our "higher green consciousness". But we couldn't in the short term because any efficiency savings don't affect global demand for a global commodity and in the long term, our present Open Borders eat up any conservation savings by adding tens of millions more Americans with additional oil resource demand...

Chris, you make my points for me. While our dependence on natural gas imports will rear its ugly head after our foreign oil dependence is solved (and be a lot harder to fix), it would in fact take pathetically little to slash Persian Gulf imports and fix our terrorism problems - out of sight out of mind. In the short term our good friend Prince Bandahar and his friends in the Carlyle Group would feel the heat. Look what happened after the SOTU. It would indeed be a chance to insist they clean up their closet support for terrorists if they don't want us to stay on the path to reduced oil imports.

But, as you suggest, the long run China and India will pick up the slack, and, as you say, world markets will be restored. But then who is providing closet support for terrorists objecting to our ME presence won't be our problem any more, it will be Beijing's. I can't wait to see what happens when airplanes start flying into buildings in Beijing. And we won't need to go to war with China and India over our respective oil supplies. (Natural gas maybe, but not oil.)

It is indeed true that if the increased oil demand of the past 5 years is extrapolated, we will be in deep doo-doo by 2025. But it is not a given that we have to keep driving Hummers, making a trickle of pathetic excuses for hybrids while sitting on our fat asses driving 2 blocks to the corner store, and consuming ever more useless plastic packaging without recycling. All it would take is decent leadership to turn this nation around and change the direction of our energy use.

Posted by: Greenie | April 7, 2006 02:55 AM

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org
otherside123.blogspot.com

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 6, 2006 LATE EDITION After weeks of informed speculation that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was preparing to issue at least one indictment against White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove in the CIA leak matter, well-placed sources have revealed that Rove continues to "cooperate" with the prosecutor in an effort to shield Bush from the ever-widening scandal. This has temporarily delayed new indictments, according to informed sources.

Fitzgerald's decision to use Libby's statement as part of the prosecution's evidence is a sign that the prosecutor has other statements from high-placed White House individuals like Rove that implicate both Cheney and Libby in the leak of a CIA covert agent's name to the media. However, Fitzgerald also has testimony from Libby that places blame on Bush, in addition to information obtained from over 200 e-mails first reported by the White House to have been mistakenly deleted. Some of the e-mails also implicate Bush and Rove.

Potomac scandal fever: Renewed CIA leak scandal blossoms along with the cherry trees

Sources say that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony before a grand jury that President Bush, acting through Vice President Dick Cheney, authorized the leak of a 2003 classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to the New York Times is part of bitter internecine finger pointing between Bush and Karl Rove on one hand and Cheney, Libby, and Cheney's current staff on the other. By directly implicating Bush, Cheney can argue that he was merely carrying out the president's orders and passed instructions to Libby to use his media contacts like Judith Miller of the Times and Matt Cooper of Time to pass along selected portions of the NIE, which stated that aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were intended for uranium enrichment. However, a one-page executive summary included with the NIE was withheld from the leaked segments because it contained a statement that the State and Energy Departments believed the tubes were for conventional weapons, which turned out to be the case. That information would have undercut the Bush administration's claims that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear program.

Fitzgerald's court filing states: "According to defendant [Libby], at the time of his conversations with Miller and Cooper, he understood that only three people -- the President, the Vice President, and defendant [Libby] -- knew that the key judgments of the NIE had been declassified. Defendant [Libby] testified in the grand jury that he understood that even in the days following his conversation with Ms. Miller, other key officials -- including Cabinet-level officials -- were not made aware of the earlier declassification even as those officials were pressed to carry out a declassification of the NIE, the report about Wilson's trip [to Niger] and another classified document dated January 24, 2003."

The bottom line is that there is now a severe rift between Bush and Cheney. Rove continues to protect Bush while Libby, who at first provided cover for Cheney, is now willing to let the chips fall where they may. As one source put it, Rove is more than willing to "throw Cheney under the bus to protect the president." There is also the possibility that Libby is cooperating with the prosecutor in return for a reduction in his criminal charges.

Washington insiders who were involved in Watergate and maintain contacts with the current administration report that the situation within the Executive Mansion has never been so tense since Watergate. Even the Clinton impeachment pales in comparison to the current situation they claim.

Posted by: che | April 7, 2006 05:13 AM

you know why oil companys raised prices so high< because they can,bush left oil companys write the energy policy andhe signed it , they could put anything they wanted to in it and they did , our law makers should be writing these policys,

Posted by: marks | April 7, 2006 07:21 AM

My comment would be: "What free markets?"
They are rigged. The hidden M3 numbers drive the Stock Market now and the same could apply to gas and oil too, by manipulating down times of refineries and the like just as Enron took turbines off line to increase the cost of electricity.

Posted by: Richard Katz | April 7, 2006 08:09 AM

How the L did Chris Ford get so knowledgable?
Not that I always agree but one must be amazed at the cornucopia of information and reasoning this debater provides.

Posted by: Richard Katz | April 7, 2006 08:21 AM

Kazman brings up the rarely raised point that the distance / amount people drive is much more important than fuel economy.

Government is happily blaming/scapegoating car/oil companies while non-market government zoning boards are causing the trouble.

Hugo Chavez at his best couldn't write a better script than our unaccountable leaders have managed to write.

Posted by: mike | April 7, 2006 08:47 AM

Chris Ford,

I, like you, mainly use wood to heat the home. But I still haven't escaped the need for natural gas to generate hot water. If I get the chance to build a small replacement home, I'll design active solar for year-round water pre-heating. However, wood as a source of fuel is not available for most people on an economical basis, and its carbon emissions are large. Still, for me, wood will be the major part of my home heating fuel source for my lifetime.

Posted by: On the plantation | April 7, 2006 08:54 AM

Chris Ford,

People who think ahead, and have the time or money, are taking practical measures. Let me add an experience. I've been building an timber-frame extension to the back of my home (working alone, about 3/4 done after two years). For illumination, I am using 12-volt DC service supplied by solar panels, and L.E.D.'s (light emitting diode) bulbs; taking the lighting entirely off the grid. The power consumption of L.E.D.'s is about 10% of incandescent, with all light and virtually no heat. It's two stories with an upper room set up to capture natural breezes through large shuttered openings on two sides, and therefore requires practically no adjunct cooling in summer.

Posted by: On the plantation | April 7, 2006 09:03 AM

che -

Shut the hell up with spamming your blog. We don't care to read your articles here inline.

***ing tard.

Posted by: Tani | April 7, 2006 09:53 AM

With congress, the "upcoming break" is a "coming breakup."

They have not got one single issue right: budget, energy, war, border protection, immigration, mass surveillance of civilians, lobbying reform, medicare, and on and on.

This is the most amazing lack of performance, combined with incompetence in leadership from both parties, I believe we have experienced since the end of WWII. Now is time to withdraw from the world and stop offering opinions or policies to correct anything behyond our present domestic condition and confusion. Every deed done seems to be more and more counterproductive and additive to debts, as well as absent any convincing rationale meeting the approval of Americans.

Is is too late to enroll all of Congress and all Cabinet members in a Betty Ford clinic for the fall semester?

Posted by: On the plantation | April 7, 2006 10:38 AM

What a difference a day makes.

Imagine.....

It is September 12, 2001. Our President has just told us that the most patriotic thing we can do to protect ourselves from future attack is to stop needing ME oil so desperately. As a man who believes in market forces, he creates a market for hybrids when he asks people to buy hybrids whenever possible, and offers them enough of a tax break to supplemente their new found patriotism to get their attention. Detroit suddenly finds themselves with a huge unmet market. There is a hiring boom, demand for American steel goes up, GM pension funds get flushed with cash, the shops and hairstylists and nail salons and cleaning services around Detroit are suddenly booming with cash, and what was good for GM is suddenly good for the country again. Just imagine...

Instead our main man strolls across the meadow hand in hand with Prince Bandahar while telling us that national security requires we give him unlimited and unchecked power. And when, five years later, he makes a paltry token effort to say that, well, maybe our dependence on oil is a national security problem for us, he takes it back the next day because it upsets his good friend the Prince. Imagine if our president had the interests of America in mind instead of the interests of the Carlyle Group.

Posted by: | April 7, 2006 10:45 AM

Chris Ford Wrote,

"Finally, we shouldn't penalize (energy/oil using) device efficiency but put the onus for whatever conservation we wish, in the face of the Lefty-Environweenie reluctance to confront immigrant-driven population explosion, at the consumer side."

Not sure what you mean by "Environweenie", the only president that tried to address the overall energy issue was Jimmy Carter, but the "righty-neo-con-Reagan destroyed all his work and put us on the path to energy disaster.

Ford, there you go again....I'm not sure if you're foolish or just out right placing falsehoods on the web. As illegal immigration goes read the article in the post, seems to me it's "righty-neo-con" problem not a "lefty" problem. Perhaps you're just politically and culturally dyslexic and always getting confused on what is lefty and what is righty?

"For the past six years, Bush has sought to expand the GOP coalition by appealing to the fast-growing Hispanic community. That project has produced enough success to convince many Democrats that unless those gains are checked or reversed, Republicans could enjoy a long period of political dominance."

"The president finds himself caught in a battle pitting what has been his most important constituency -- conservative Republicans angry over the flood of illegal immigrants -- against what he and advisers such as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove regard as an emerging GOP constituency -- Latinos.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/06/AR2006040601893.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

Funny how you can distort and twist the truth, with no basis of fact to support your post. So tell me, you're neighbors actually let you track the mileage, and personal bills they pay or is this just more of your unproven BS. I would never ask my neighbors for such information, nor would my neighbors allow me to see it.
I agree with you on the importance of no illegal immigration, limited legal immigration, and an effective long term energy policy. However you place blame on the wrong parties. The right-republican-neo-con's are the blame for this situation, they have dismantled everything put in place in the late seventies. I find it highly hypocritical for you to keep supporting the "righty" when the "righty" are fully the blame. Chris Ford, as long as you vote republican-neo-conservative-"righty", what you ask for will never happen, you're just a neo-con puppet.

Posted by: Chris Jr. | April 7, 2006 11:15 AM

After five years of Lies, More Lies, and Just More Lies, the reality is noone trusts the feds at all.

Most of the Western States (and Maine, NH, VT) have already decided what we're doing, and since we're more than 40 percent of the US economy you just have to learn to adapt to it. Trying to kill the California emissions regulations won't work - we are the engine of the US economy.

We're all waiting for the Impeachment Trials anyway - whether in July or in January.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 7, 2006 12:52 PM

urbanization.

moving away from suburbanization.


rail systems with trucking hubs, river traffic

buy and grow local, japanese style gardens that are vertical rather than horizontal...european window boxes for spices...small gardens on rooftop.


homes built as treasure boxes, rather than conspicuous displays of wealth....for the socially inept...


I'm not against this or that,


but it's annoying to look at all of the _huge_ houses on huge lots that used to be farmland

that hold two people, with no children and no plans for children, that use two rooms in the whole estate.

Posted by: earth bermed solar homes... | April 7, 2006 01:43 PM

ChrisJr.

You're clueless on curbing consumption on the "consuming" side rather than slapping on "gas guzzler" taxes blindly. You envision a silly totalitarian police state needed to track everyones miles and energy use - when the Euro or energy crisis solutions - much higher prices or rationing - are adquate to drive consumer demand. It is unjust to punish a poor couple buying a 5 MPG motorhome they use twice a year, while rewarding the woman who uses 6X as much petroleum a year with her "energy-saving" Prius on her 110 mile daily commute.

AS for Lefties and Enviroweenies, their side of the "Ruling Elite" is even more responsible that the greedy corporate Republican side of the Ruling Elite.

1. The Lefties started this population explosion with the 1965 Immigration Reform Act orchestrated by NYC Jews with a few Catholics adding support. (Catholics anticipated most 3rd worlders swarming in would be Catholic, Jews saw swelling our population as a money-making opportunity as middlemen, and also a way to become power brokers for new minorities and their guides to a remade, more "progressive America"). Lefties blocked immigration reform for years as "racist". And, have so far stifled outcries from Lefty constituent groups that are most harmed by illegal immigration - the white and black poor and working class.

2. The Enviroweenies are even more culpable, because ther leaders see the environmental movement first and foremost as part of the Democratic Party Coalition, not safeguarding the environment. While those leaders had recognition from the early 70s onward that immigration drives 90% of the population explosion, and ensuing resource use, loss of environmental sustainability and loss of wildlife habitat...they were dead silent about immigration except behind closed doors because they feared alienating their largely liberal moneymen donors.

That leaves the fatcat Republicans, who don't care if half the inner city blacks are now jobless, unwanted workers, and displaced by the hispanic invasion in the SW and other major cities. Nor do they care about habitat loss and resource constraints as long as they don't have to pay for it and the huge profits generated by cheap labor continue to fill their already fat wallets.

The pity is the Lefties that totally want as many third Worlders to pack into America as possible due to ideological considerations, the Enviroweenie Elite that keeps their code of silence, and the Fatcat Republicans are a tiny fraction of the US population that have so far, as Ruling Elite, managed to utterly defy the will of 82-85% of the American people.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 8, 2006 12:56 PM

"You're clueless on curbing consumption on the "consuming" side rather than slapping on "gas guzzler" taxes blindly. You envision a silly totalitarian police state needed to track everyones miles and energy use - when the Euro or energy crisis solutions - much higher prices or rationing - are adquate to drive consumer demand. It is unjust to punish a poor couple buying a 5 MPG motorhome they use twice a year, while rewarding the woman who uses 6X as much petroleum a year with her "energy-saving" Prius on her 110 mile daily commute."

But Dear old daddy, I was honestly pointing out the truth of how the "righty-weenie-neocons" have ignored the impending energy disaster for quick personal profit, don't you agree? Didn't it begin with the lead "righty-weenie-neocon" Ron Reagan only to be brought to new levels of incompetence by the "righty-weenie-neocons" of the bush administration? You're still dyslexic on cause and effect and embarrassing to our family.

Posted by: Chris Ford Jr. | April 8, 2006 04:22 PM

Personally, I think we need to increase the gas tax, both to bring down the deficit and to discourage things like these mega-mile daily commutes. I live ten minutes from work. My home surroundings may not be perfect but I get time with my family instead of on the highway and gas remains affordable.
I also have to agree with those who are concerned about the "McMansions" that are springing up. As a country, we need to start being more responsible about how we use all forms of energy, and start thinking a little more about our children and their future. The Bush Administration had a golden opportunity after 9-11 to change this country's self-destructive habits. Instead, he has pursued policies that made them worse, and our national security is more compromised than ever because of it. WE will be generations in recovering from the damages wreaked by the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Midnight Mike | April 11, 2006 08:35 AM

Judging by Chris Ford's initial tedious, semi-readable, pseudo-informed drivel, one must blame immigrants for the high energy prices (and presumably the rest of America's problems, am I not right?) What a novel idea, Ford. First they wiped out the Indians, than blacks were a problem and now, in this enlightened age, it's "our immigrant-driven population explosion". Special WASP award for Originality of Thought is due, sir.

Immigrants are the only ones who produce anything of a value in this country, and always have been. The rest are just trust fund, government or corporate parasites, trailer park degenerates, subsidized housing dwellers and the vast, mostly suburban, "middle-class", not exactly useless nor particularly useful either. Surely it's a simplified picture but one gets the idea.

Now, Ford, anyone who brags about driving F-350 and living on 18 acres should simply go and hang himself, so why don't you just do it, you waste of space.

Posted by: Kevin Chrysler | April 11, 2006 04:50 PM

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