Renewable energy, oil, taxes and – huh!

by Craig Masters

The coming campaigns are beginning to take shape.  As I watch the ads on television I have become confused over the basic motivation for some and the whole concept of others. Thinking I might not be the only one, I thought some of the best informed readers in the world might be able to offer explanations to clear up some of the confusion.

Let’s start with the really big money attack ad here in Colorado. The million dollar anti-campaign paid for by some people masquerading as some sort of conservation group is focused on making absurd claims about oil being so bad that any candidate they obviously oppose is horribly bad by association with the filthy oil guys.

So there are three key questions about this campaign.

1) Why can’t these people tell us why we should believe anything they say?

2) Why can’t they tell us why we should vote for the candidate they do support?

3) How do they figure any big oil related corporation is actually receiving billions of taxpayer dollars instead of paying billions in taxes and salaries for thousands of workers who in turn support tens of thousands of other workers who all pay millions and millions in taxes?

Their latest release in this big money campaign tells us it is a bad thing to support a responsible tax policy in which energy companies receive tax breaks. Do these “conservationists” realize that it is impossible to tax a business. Taxes any business pays are built into the prices we as consumers have to pay for goods and services. Companies only collect taxes, they do not pay them. To think otherwise is just simply stupid, are the members of this alleged group of conservationists stupid? Does anyone know? Is there really even a “league” of these arguably stupid people? Who cares?

Meanwhile another ad campaign by a big energy company is trying to convince us that we should be thankful and supportive of the endearing qualities of this particular energy company because it is investing in “renewable” energy sources; wind and solar systems.

Some of us, however, may wonder how it is that if these sources are so valuable, why is it necessary for that company to ask the state to allow them to raise the cost of our energy?

But rates aside, can anyone explain how the energy from the sun is renewable? I may not have much education about the sun, but as most astronomers explain it, the sun is a burning ball of energy that is going to run its course like every other sun in the universe is doing and has done for billions of years. When it is gone – it will be gone and so will we. For us to capture some of the sun’s energy we have to wait for the sun to shine. We can’t get any energy from it at night, get very little on cloudy days, and really can’t even get a return on the cost of the solar panels if a tree or mountain cast a shadow on our panels. We have no control over the cycle of days and nights and clouds whatsoever. So how does some energy company claim to able to ‘renew’ the sun’s energy?

And what about wind? How in the world is it possible to ‘renew’ the wind? Even if there was some way to deflect a wind into a circle so it passes the same wind powered generator more than once, once it quits blowing, how is it somehow ‘renewed?

When I ask this question to a fourth grader presenting his wind energy farm diagram as an example of renewable engineering, he had a clever answer. His plan called or the construction of a large fan which would blow wind to turn the windmills which would generate enough electricity to power the fan and some houses. I think he’s on to something.

I wonder if we could use a pump to pump water through a water turbine to replace those big ugly river-killing dams we use for hydroelectric power?

Speaking of solar panels, does anyone know just how much earth has to be stripped of grass and trees and top soil to dig up enough of the minerals needed to make a few solar panels? Did Solyndra go broke because they ran out of raw materials or money to mine them?  Wasn’t that one of those Obama renewable energy plans that I’ll bet those ‘conservationists’ against big oil don’t think wasted any taxpayer money.

That reminds me, while I thank you for this momentary bit of whimsy, how ’bout those Benghazi e-mails? Wow, Obama accused of lying again; imagine that. Now there is some serious renewable energy.


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