Billions and billions, but it's all green

President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats seem to believe that they can spend their way out of the current economic slump. Their stimulus plan for spreading the wealth around has a $700 Billion price tag, but that’s just a familiar number which is likely to be inflated before they are done tinkering with it. With the taxpayer’s money already committed to bailing out financial institutions, that which will eventually be committed to rewarding the automakers for a job well done and the stimulus money all added up, we’re talking about $2 Trillion, give or take a few Billion.

A chunk of that $700 Billion, about $100 Billion or so over the next two years according to an Obama aide, will be earmarked for alternative energy projects. Considering that Obama The Magnificent’s entire energy plan, introduced earlier this year, calls for a total of $150 Billion over ten years, the numbers start getting fuzzy. Would they spend two-thirds of the total in the first two years, then dole out the remaining third over an eight-year period? I don’t think so. That $150 Billion total is likely to be upsized. Want large or extra large?

Green fever has struck the Democrats, and they are going to make their dreams of plug and play electric cars and solar skyscrapers come true. Obama outlined part of the plan in a radio/webvideo address delivered Saturday. Federal buildings will get the green makeover first, and then roads and bridges will be tended to as part of a massive infrastructure project. Then the country’s schools will be wired for wireless. Next on the list to be made web-friendly and get the green seal of approval will be “communities across America” and then “every” hospital and doctor’s office.

Interesting. Most home and small business computers being sold these days already have wireless broadband communications built in as standard equipment, so where is all that money going to go? Obama is talking about millions of new jobs being “created” by the stimulus plan. Doing what? Changing light bulbs in federal buildings? Wiring up school buildings, community centers, clinics and hospitals for wireless? Shades of the New Deal and the WPA, the techbuzz part of this does not compute.

The alternative energy part of it doesn’t add up either. Before the Dems jump head first into the green swimming hole, they should check first for snakes, rocks and tree stumps. Consider that Uncle Sam has thrown billions of your dollars into its fleet of over 100,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the past decade and a half without giving due consideration to making sure that a refueling infrastructure was in place for them. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the problems with the existing green part of the federal fleet.

Also consider a new study by ICF International, a consulting firm which deals mostly with energy issues, finds that drilling in ANWR and on the outer continental shelf would provide jobs for 160,000 workers, generate $1.7 trillion tax revenue for all levels of government, and boost the a national economy which needs more immediate assistance than the kind of projects that are conjured up in fits of green mania. Institute for Energy Research
Senior VP Daniel Kish says:

The trouble with haphazard, ham-handed efforts to shoehorn our industrial economy into a green utopia is that it costs taxpayers billions of dollars and generates a small fraction of the proven power of conventional resources. On the contrary, as the ICF study illustrates, developing America’s oil and gas resources creates jobs, stimulates the economy, and actually generates massive revenues for the taxpayer all at once. It’s just that simple.

Paying more to get less is a fool’s errand on any occasion, but it’s downright dangerous when the United States is suffering through the biggest economic recession in recent history. Given the competition we face from developing countries like China and India, mandating and subsidizing the use of inefficient energy sources in America is like entering a tractor with a five-gallon fuel tank in a NASCAR race. You’re going to lose, you’re guaranteed to be embarrassed, and you’re probably going to create a catastrophe in the process.”

But how are you going to keep ’em down on the oil rigs when they’ve seen the wind farms in those greener pastures? The left just loves wind farms as long as they’re not in their back yard. Just ask the Kennedys.

Common sense would lead us to exploit our conventional resources today while we carefully plan for the glorious green tomorrow. Than means considering that when mom plugs in her electric Nadermobile overnight, the juice to charge it up may be coming from a power plant burning coal, and not the clean kind, either. It means having refueling stations in place to fill up the CNG, biodiesel, Mr. Fusion or whatever tanks on all the wonderful new Greenillacs that GM – Government Motors – will be building for the brave new ecoworld.

But when has common sense ever been a factor for progressives? They don’t care that the government green fleet that is using 92 percent gasoline instead of alternative fuels. They don’t care about the ICF study. And they sure as the devil aren’t going to let us drill in ANWR or anywhere else where they can keep us from drilling. There’s an army of enviro-lawyers just waiting to file suits to block any who dare. Ah, but don’t worry. Just grab hold of the frayed rope and swing out over the good ol’ green pond scum. Last one in forfeits their carbon credits!

– JP